12 July 2014 at Valve Bar
What a great night! Just one day after the Tankard show, Alkira are playing in the Valve Bar with Hazmat, Dark Order and Enfiled – all high quality local bands. It is also the birthday of Promotorhead Bookings' Brootal Troodes who has organized this show. And it's a great party – especially because the Valve Bar is a very intimate venue where the band is pretty much playing in the audience.
Enfiled open the show. Coming from Bathurst, just behind NSW's Blue Mountains, their motto is "Keeping it Fast, Heavy and Fun". The 4 piece consists of guitarist/singer Tony Sparks, Morgan Ryan, calling himself with some reason "shred wizard", Mitch Housler on the drums and bassist Peter Hall. It's thrash! Besides their own songs Decisions, Bloodlust and Between The Blades – just to name some -, they also play a Sepultura cover of Slave New World which gets everybody going. To describe their style, I quote a friend standing next to me: "The singer wears a Bathory t-shirt and the lead guitarist Megadeth. They mix that up." Good band!
Next on stage are Dark Order. Who has read my previous reviews knows that I like them quite a lot. Raul, the singer, is of Chilenean descent which strongly influences Dark Order's songs. Not only are some titles Spanish – like Operacion Siglo Veinte (Operation 20th Century) and their final song Odio Puro (Pure Hate). The themes are also reflecting the Chilean military dictatorship in the 70s and 80s under Pinochet. The Terror Empire and especially Disappeared are best examples. (Disappeared [Spanish: desaparecidos] are suspected leftists taken by the government and never appeared again. Their number reached several thousand and it's a big wound in the history of Chile and Southern Latin America.) Dark Order have a distinct sound of brutal thrash metal. They are all very really skilled musicians: Raul Alvarez plays also the guitar, Sean Veale is on the bass and does backing vocals, Zac Sale is the drummer and Jimmie MacGregor guitarist.
Hazmat… I love their sound. They just recently went to the Philippines and New Zealand for shows. Jay Hazmat is a charismatic singer/guitarist. The songs are catchy – almost sing along. Life, The Judge, Burden of Truth – songs I can always hear again… "it's right or wrong is this the truth?"… Love it! Hazmat is less thrash and more between heavy metal and heavy rock – making the evening's line-up musically nicely varied. Bassist Stu brings in even more variation when he plays a flute solo. The rhythm section is completed by Caine on the drums and Duck is on the guitar.
And finally Alkira from South Australia. They opened for Tankard just the night before and it was great to now see them on this small stage in the intimate setting. The 4 guys had been partying already all evening with the crowd (I assume they have been partying since their plane touched Sydney grounds). It's sad how people leave when interstate bands come on stage but Dark Order and Hazmat had already had made it clear that Alkira are great and everybody needs to stay – so everybody stayed. And Alkira certainly deserve it. Awesome thrash! Very talented guys! Gregory Challis singing and on lead guitar, Kyle Simpson on rhythm guitar, Sean Grubel on the bass and Ryan Quarrington taking care of the beat on the drums. Power Trip, Hell's March, Land of the Sodomite Damned… and of course their EP's title track Red Devil… are some of their songs. The much expected album is out in October 18 and will be called Juggernaut. It's surely filled of more throaty raw vocals, 80s and 90s influenced thrash and galloping guitars. Alkira means Nighttime in an Aboriginal language – but nobody can fall asleep when they are on stage. We hope to see much more of those guys!
Line-up: Alkira, Hazmat, Dark Order, Enfiled