Devil’s Night (Wollongong, NSW)

10 September 2016 at The Music Lounge

Devil’s night was an event to bring together old and new metal acts in a new venue to an all-ages audience. The initial start time of 5:00pm did not occur due to some technical difficulties with the audio and PA of the venue. This is the first time that the Wollongong Music Lounge hosted anything beyond their usual cabaret or small theatre production since opening in March 2016, so it appears that the sound and tech people did not get the memo stating what sound equipment would be required, nor that the acts performing were metal-genre-based bands with loud amps and also other electronic-based equipment. Thankfully, NecrostalgiA and Cyndustry came to the rescue by offering fold back speakers to be used by the other bands if needed. Besides a late start, the Devil’s Night show opened with a blast:

Pänik: This crazy three-piece from Wollongong created a tongue-in-cheek attitude with youthful exuberance that set a great standard for the night. Playing tracks from their demo album “Riffs Or Die (demo 2016)” and some Metallica, Lost Society and KISS(!), Pänik’s ability to not only perform, but also be able to play their instruments very technically, laid a great foundation for the evening. Their own songs stand out as odes to 1980s thrash metal with a strong Bay Area sound. A vitality and aggression that has not been experienced in quite some time in Australian venues. While musically talented, the boys need to overcome a need to hide an apparent shyness behind too much humour. Fun is fine, but when it becomes a semi-rehearsed routine (such as an attempt to do a little dance number in the middle of the set) it can detract from the spontaneity and craziness that can occur during a live energetic metal performance. Stand-out songs include the spiteful “The Disease” from their demo, raw and full of bite. Pänik are an excellent live act and musically-wise they cut it with the big bands out there (in fact they are more technical and competent than most bands that have been playing the circuit!), however as they are still in their growing stage, they need to learn to appear more confident in their stage presence when introducing songs. But, they are still finding their way and we will see mighty things happen with this band in the future when they grow in stage maturity and musical originality. 

NecrostalgiA: Unfortunately due to a work-related injury, their drummer could not make the Devil’s Night performance, however, the rest of the band kicked on with a backing track of the drums. That being said, those attending the gig forgot that they were not witnessing a live drummer and were head banging and grooving out to the band like they would any other great band. NecrostalgiA opened with a guest guitarist whom riffed away until being joined onstage by the lead guitarist, Necros. So what? Well, that guest guitarist was only about 7-10 years old, and he riffed on that guitar like a seasoned professional! It wasn’t just a cute factor here, that kid could actually play without stumbling on the over-sized fret board and held the riff together perfectly! Once the intro with the young guitarist was completed, the band played with a barrage of riffs that had more grooves in them than a ploughed field! Bassist and lead vocalist Jupiter roared his way through the set like a rabid zombie that just rose from a mediaeval battlefield. While Necros supplied melodic and souring leads that coiled up one’s spine like a creeping nightmare to nest in your mind, the rhythm guitar work of Abaddon retained an ongoing gallop that syncopated perfectly with the drum track like a demonic machine that will grind your bones to powder as you love every minute of it! Stand our numbers included “In Time” and “Digital Footprints” from their debut self-titled album. While the audience was shaken to the core by NecrostalgiA’s auditory assault, the band’s visual intimidation had a few (especially the younger audience members) shaking in their boots. Covered in blood and black gunk over their faces (guitarist Abaddon was covered with a mouth mask making him look like a demented surgeon) and pieces of armour, NecrostalgiA gave the impression of undead soldiers rising from a post-apocalyptic battle. Both sonically and visually intimidating, NecrostalgiA are one Hell of a groovy Death Metal band that supported the evening’s title of “Devil’s Night!”

Cyndustry: Wollongong veterans have been around since 2001, and originally a more straight-forward metal style, they took a hiatus and returned as an evolved Industrial Metal beast that we all know and love. Robbo, the lead vocalist and keyboardist (and band tech-head) was struggling before the show with migraines and looked worse-for-ware, but his will to destroy the patrons with his aggression and presence showed no sign of succumbing to the pain that had threshold over him. As per usual, Cyndustry’s bass-player Rob, was his loud and obnoxious self, which makes the band a volatile component when playing live: you have no idea who Rob will offend and /or what antics he will get up to on stage (guaranteed alcohol will be the basis of any craziness!), however this is an additional drawcard to their live show. Guitarist Peter kept a tight rhythm that complimented Mark’s machine-precise drum work. As a musical unit, Cyndustry are one of the best acts that produce this type of industrial metal around (that is why bands such as Segression and King Parrott request they support them) and they delivered their brand of sound in spades on the evening. They are the living embodiment of the industrial industry that Wollongong is founded on! The ground of the venue literally shook with their monstrous soundscape, and all who witnessed were more than pleased. Not only did Cyndustry deliver on the sound, they brought a visual side that Devon Townsend would be proud of! Each riff and beat was punctuated by the band’s strobe lights and behind the band was a visual feast of flames and metallic mishmash of images thanks to wonderful computer graphics displayed on the wall behind the band. This is the first time that Cyndustry were able to put on the majority of their effects and visual display and it definitely reflects that this band should be permitted to play larger venues that enable the audience to enjoy both the sonic and visual beast that is Cyndustry!

Children Of Perdition: No Review. [Reviewer’s band]

Final verdict: Devil’s Night started with a few glitches and delays, and the time between bands setting up could have been handled better and in a more time-effective manner, however, the bands that played gave as good as they could under the circumstances and overall the audience (attendance of approximately 100 bodies) enjoyed the bands and had a great time.

Line-up: Pänik, NecrostalgiA, Cyndustry, Children Of Perdition

Reviewer: David Sinclair-Smith