Hidden Intent Thrashing Through Newcastle (Newcastle, NSW)

8 February 2014 at The Small Ballroom
South Australia's Hidden Intent toured Australia and we went to see them in Newcastle. Metal Thrashing Productions presented Hidden Intent in The Small Ballroom. We arrived just in time for the first band, Abacination from Central Coast.

Abacination is a thrash band with a death metal touch. Singer Billy masters the fast vocals and various vocal levels including grunting. The guys play a very fast metal with changes between slower sing-along parts and back to the speed. Songs like Abacination and Systematic Extermination were part of their playlist. They just got their album The Illusion Of Freedom out which they launched just some weeks ago. Abacination's mascot, a card board orangutan, follows them everywhere and wears now also their band t-shirt.

Next on stage was Balescream who I had not heard or seen before. It's a local Newcastle band and their bassist Sam 'Jangles' Brown plays also in another big Newcastle band, Sabretung (who are having their last show on Friday 28 Feb 2014). Balescream started with a groovy slow intro. The singer has a husky rock voice but before he could show much of that, the band speeded up into their mix of melodic death, groove and thrash metal. We get screams, grunts, dancing interludes from the singer and lots of guitar plus Jangles bass.

We have seen Newcastle locals Cerebral Contortion on several occasions and know they are good. So we lean back and enjoy the show. The 4 piece band plays awesome thrash. Singer Tynan has a really good voice which I like. Together with lead guitarist Cameron, Tynan plays the fast guitar parts while Matt and Adam take care of the rhythm section. They have an album out, Brain Damage, which got our reviewer to perform some heavy headbanging at home. If you can't see the guys, get hold of their album for good solid thrash.

Grim Demise is a bit of a change to the blacker side of metal. Grim Demise is also a 4 piece from Newcastle but with a heavier darker sound than the bands before. They have been around quite a while and have opened for several well-known Australian and international acts. Their charismatic singer has a variety of singing styles and we get death, black, blackened thrash accompanied by a range of human and inhuman sounds coming from said singer. Apparently they are looking for a second guitarist, in case somebody in Newcastle is interested…

And back to a lighter and ridiculously speedy thrash metal with Hidden Intent finally taking the stage. The guys have toured South East Asia in last year, produced their album Walking Through Hell and will play shows in New Zealand after they finish their Australian mini tour. The night before, they had a show in Sydney; Perth and Bunbury were scheduled for the following weekend. Whatever you say, these guys are working hard to get their metal out to the world. And they are really good! I liked the super fast guitar play – lead guitarist Phil together with singer Chris are doing an awesome job which is completed by drummer Jay's work. I am reminded of old school Metallica mixed with groove elements. Chris seems to love the interaction with the crowd who gives the love back. We are all entertained and I can only recommend seeing these guys live or at least have a listen to their CD.

Line-up: Hidden Intent (SA), Grim Demise, Cerebral Contortion, Balescream, Abacination

Reviewer: Anja