Remember when guitars had six strings and a bass had four? Nah, me neither.
We really are that old.
Attracting a disappointingly small but loyal crowd of Brisbane’s geekiest, hipster metalheads, the HiFi tonight played host to Australian tech-metal exports Circles out of Melbourne, as well as Brisvegas’ own The Schoenberg Automaton, Dead Letter Opener, Humality, and The Archivist (whom I unfortunately missed, but hope to catch another day).
Second cab off the rank, Humality belted through a solid pile of bass-driven metalcore. More ‘djent‘ than ‘tech’, these guys nailed a short but brutal set. With a slap-bass to rival Jaco Pastorius, Humality represent the local alt-metal scene with confidence an power. Rating: Solid.
What can I say about Dead Letter Opener? Fucken amazing – these guys absolutely blew me away.
Playing a doom, sludge and thrash laden set of what I’m going to call ‘stoner-tech’, these lads have all the enthusiasm and wizardry to someday blow the likes of Meshuggah clean out off the charts. Six string mastery from both bass and guitar; solid, brutal drums; and the most metal piano piece I have ever heard in my entire life – these boys are deadset contenders. Rating: Worthy.
Showing all the polish that saw them signed to indie label Basick Records, Melbourne’s Circles pounded their way through a solid if not predictable set. I think what I discovered tonight is that I prefer Circles on my stereo at home more than live on stage, which is unusual for both myself and metal generally I think.
Tight, proficient and motivated, it felt like Circles were going through the motions. That’s not a criticism, mind you, merely an observation. I enjoyed the set but it mostly served as a melodic interlude to tonight’s main course. Rating: Lukewarm.
Taking to the stage just hours after announcing the imminent departure of vocalist Colin due to medical reasons, The Schoenberg Automaton showed no signs of sadness, angst or hesitation. Renowned as one of Brisvegas’ most energetic live acts, the lads didn’t disappoint. Hammering through a tight set of world-beating tech-metal, you can’t help but wonder why these guys remain unsigned. Colin’s infamous prowling stage presence can make you a little dizzy if you let it, but it provides an amazing contrast to his affable banter and surprisingly charismatic audience engagement.
It will be interesting to see whether Colin’s departure represents a low point or a new beginning for The Schoenberg Automaton, and I for one can’t wait to see and hear the next chapter. Rating: Future Legends.