Bangers And Thrash (Sydney, NSW)

7 September 2013 at Valve at Agincourt
Metal Thrashing Productions first festival in the dark caves of the freshly established Valve Underground in Central's Agincourt Hotel was opened by some bluesy groovy metal – Blacksmith.

They were followed by Amora whose singer just arrived in time from work to jump on stage and sing. He was accompanied by some amazingly crafty guitar players.

Next was Til Rapture with a dominant and very expressive singer who mastered a surprising variety of sounds. Their metal was a mixture of metal core and death metal with some thrash elements.

Terrorential were thundering their way through their show. High-pitched singing with awesome guitars and quite a crowd of fans, everyone just head banged while they played.

Our usual company in Sydney's metal concerts, Head In A Jar had their best show so far from what I was able to compare. The sound was perfect, singers Nick and Gordy were really funny with Nick joking around with the crowd while announcing their songs… About rats, nuclear catastrophes and other unfunny things these guys just comically thrash away.

Atomesquad always makes me wonder what they are doing on the small stage pub events because they have certainly potential for so much more. Whatever the reason, Atomesquad are playing some very decent metal which is certainly Iron Maiden influenced. The 2 guitarists are awesome and this time the drummer proved to be a good guitarist when he changed places with the usual guitarist who took over the drums. To prove the Iron Maiden influence they played "2 Minutes To Midnight" and all that was left to us was passionately join into singing along.

Since Exekute got the part of supporting Polish metal gods Behemoth at their Sydney show, the Exekute fan community seems to have grown… First thing Exekute had to do was put their shirts back on which was hard for singer Fred who always performs bare chested. Apparently, taking your shirt off is offensive while grunting Death Metal lyrics is not. Lucky for us then because that's exactly what we wanted from Exekute. That and Fred's crazy performance… of course there was something like a stage dive (stage was 10cm high) and certainly lots of moshing.

Mason from Melbourne were changing the vibe back to thrash. Following more the old school style, the four long-haired guys were playing very decent metal and obviously have a lot of potential for more. Metal Thrashing Productions' Luke joined them on stage with some of his opera-heavy metal-or so singing performance. I chatted to Mason after the show (see interview below).

Last band, Inslain are a classic metal band in several ways. Most obvious their old school style influenced by early Metallica and Megadeth. Listening to Inslain gives you back the original metal feeling without Nu-Metal, Hard Core and newer styles unknown where you just get the heavy guitars and classic song lines. It makes you go back to a (probably not) less complicated time where metal was still metal. Anyway, Inslain are awesome!

After the show I caught up with Jimmy, singer of Mason, and asked him a couple of questions:

How often have you been in Sydney?
– We played a show about a year ago with Hazmat.

What do you think of the new Valve location (they moved from Tempe to the city a couple of weeks ago)?
– Valve Underground has a cool vibe.

How do you describe your sound?
– Old school metal and strongly influenced by the Big 4 (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth).

So what is the metal community like in Melbourne? How many bands are there? Which type of metal is strong?
– THRASH!!! And there are too many bands to count.

Your album is out. What's next? New album?
– Touring. We are now touring in Australia and keep doing that until 31 December. We go everywhere: Brisbane, Sydney, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Tasmania, Perth… really everywhere in Australia.
When we are done with that we go to Europe. We are still working on some bookings but we definitely go to Austria and start from there – Germany, Czech Republic and Italy are on the list. We play some shows but also on some festivals.

Good luck, Mason! You are playing great metal and you are investing a lot to keep doing it. We hope your touring brings you to the next level and you promote Aussie Metal everywhere in the world!

Line-up: Inslain, Mason, Exekute, Atomesquad, Head In A Jar, Terrorential, Til Rapture, Amora, Blacksmith

Reviewer: Anja