24 October 2020 at Enigma Bar

Metal is back in Adelaide, I repeat, METAL IS BACK IN ADELAIDE!

Albeit, the lack of pit and the fact it was a seated gig, was something that most show-goers will take some getting used to (let’s hope that we don’t have to), but these regulations did not stop the bands playing at the METAL UNITED DOWNUNDER show at the legendary Enigma Bar in Adelaide on October 24th from tearing up the stage.

The night was opened by Sloven, Adelaide’s own sludge/doom metal act, and it was the perfect way to get back into it. A seated crowd was no barrier for Sloven, with them pulling off an almost flawless set, feeding a live music starved crowd with the heaviness that they had all been missing. The audience lapped it up as Sloven tore through their epics. Stellar vocal work from the singer and just absolute precision from the band made it hard to believe that they had not played a show for quite some time.

While Sloven’s cleanliness and precision made it seem like they had not missed anytime performing, the energy and enthusiasm that power metal band Skyhammer took to the stage with showed just how much they had missed playing in front of an audience. Being everything you want from a power metal band, along with the cheesy but epic cover of Bonnie Tyler’s hit ‘I Need a Hero’, Skyhammer gave the seated Enigma crowd a real treat. Really amping up the room, the stage looked too small to contain the energy that was being thrown around that stage, Skyhammer really put on a show.

With the energy being set up high by Skyhammer, by the time Adelaide thrash favourites Hidden Intent took to the stage, it made difficult work for the crowd to remain seated. Another band looking to be absolutely enthralled to be back onstage, Hidden Intent took the opportunity to show everybody what they had been working on during the forced break, road testing new songs from their upcoming album with some fan favourites. Playing into the seated crowd, from replacing a circle pit with a Mexican wave and normally motivating chants of “go!” with encouraging the crowd to keep seated, Hidden Intent had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand, making it hard work to stick to the restrictions.

The first three bands were chomping at the bit to perform after a break, South Australian grindcore legends Sickness really showed what coming back from some time off was all about. Playing their first show in two years, the headliners ripped through their extensive setlist at hyper speed, having the crowd on the edge of their seats as they resisted the urge to get up and headbang. There was no other way that one of the first big shows back in Adelaide could really have ended, then with having Sickness shred out the night in their brutal fashion. After this incredible show, and even with the pits and a seated crowd, it shows that no virus can ever kill the passion for metal that Adelaide has. Being a scene that has been thriving for decades, make no mistake, metal in Adelaide is back and thriving. 

Line-up: Hidden Intent, Sickness, Skyhammer, Sloven

Reviewer: Kayla Hamilton

Metal United Down Under Adelaide (Adelaide, SA)

16 September 2017 at Enigma Bar

So much has gone into this year’s MUDU and the excitement levels seems to be rising – with the talent on show for this awesome night is set to explode. The build-up is done and tonight it kicks off. I’m in Adelaide about to witness a very special show.  Unfortunately, there is a late change to the bill tonight with Seminal Embalment having to pull out but I’m still excited for many reasons. All the bands on the bill I have not seen before. Included in that list are tonight’s headliners In:Extremis. I have listened to their music for 20 years but never seen the madness live.

Kicking off the festivities is Dirty Pagans, a new band but with very recognisable members, each of them known from different respective bands. Dirty Pagans have a sludgy, stoner rock groove. Very catchy tunes reminiscent of the 1970’s styling of Sabbath and the like. A very entertaining beginning to the night.

Skyhammer follow up next with high intensity power metal. The vocals from Steve Labadi are awesome and the intricate guitar melodies are a bit Maiden-like. Unfortunately, part way into their set there were some sound issues. Surprising me they banged out their version of Highway to the Danger zone, bouncing around the venue I was channelling in my inner Maverick.

The Enigma Bar crowd is gradually building up still when Icarus Lives rumble to life. Featuring dual female attack, hauntingly beautiful vocals to the destructive punishment behind the drum kit. This is when I had a fanboy moment, a young band hailing from Perth with a massive future ahead of them, being a relatively unknown band in SA I was unaware of what was to come. The feeling of awe swept over me once they began, such power and potency. The vocals were complimented with a death metal inspired growl. The precision of the guitar work was a sight to behold, but the biggest highlight was witnessing the absolute crushing drumming, this young lady has the chops to give any one a run for their money. A bruising show and I’m feeling very happy right now to have seen the future of heavy music.

Metalcore is on the agenda now with the fearsome Arcadia, local lads that are building a strong following. Intense from the outset these local lads make short work of the set a Metal United Down under. Bruising riff and solid technical breakdowns, Arcadia have the crowd pumping and my neck becoming sore.

Paying homage to the Big 4 of Thrash, Wartooth explode in a fury of breakneck speed and flying hair. The boys who travelled from Brisbane to join us tonight in the magnificent night of metal craziness and are putting on one hell of a display of precision. Not having seen Wartooth before I’m unfamiliar with their material but an enjoying the energy that’s being transferred and I’m sure this is being received back to them too.

Leviatation Hex are somewhat akin to metal super group, made up from current and past member of bands like Alchemist, Alarum and Aeon of Horus. I recognised a few members of the band from other bands. When the band started I was very excited to hear the voice of Adam Agius, ex-vocalist of Alchemist, he has a very unique and very distinctive singing style that gave me chill, loved it. The band has a space prog psychedelia theme which is a fantastic change up in pace. A little slower but packing a solid punch in their own right, Levitation Hex are all so proficient in each of the instruments it was hard not to stand and gaze in admiration whilst they were playing.

Now attention has shifted to the main stage for the last time tonight as headliners. In:Extremis step forward and begin their aural assault, quick lesson to those who don’t know. The band first formed to destroy eardrums in the early 90’s produced a few albums than faded slowly away for whatever reasons. They reformed a year or so ago, began recording new material and are here tonight to reclaim their title as heavyweights in the Adelaide metal scene with a few new members but still crushingly heavy and ripping hard as always.

The front of the stage is a mess of flaying hair as they eradicate the opposition – Extinct Eradicate to be more precise. I have waited a long time to hear songs off Skin Thick Vision and the wait was rewarded with versions of Flesh Test and Blindfold which kicked my ass. The ferocity of In:Extremis is going ballistic as the crowd has hit fever pitch. All I can say is thank you…the madness truly has begun and will be here to stay.

All up tonight has been extremely enjoyable. Those who travelled to be here tonight, thank you and safe travels back to home….until Metal United Down Under 5….good night.

Line-up: In:Extremis, The Levitation Hex, Arcadia, Seminal Embalmment, Wartooth, Icarus Lives, Skyhammer, Dirty Pagans

Reviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham
Photocredits: Max

Metal United Down Under – Adelaide (Adelaide, SA)

10 October 2015 at Enigma Bar
Adelaide had an air of excitement that night. There are people everywhere. On the way to the Enigma bar, I saw guys dressed up in superhero costumes, presumably on a buck's night, although it is Hindley Street and one can't always tell. Hundreds of zombies were also staggering about on their annual walk, but I was surrounded by metal heads about to take part in our annual venture…..Metal United Down Under…\m/.

Kicking off are Stoved who have set the bar high. The lads are in fine form with their brand of pounding power groove metal which would make any Pantera fan happy. Stoved are MUDU veterans making their second appearance and hopefully many more to come.

From Birth to Burial slam into their set with vigor and ferocity they had the crowd head banging along to their ruthless brand of metal – killer set from the lads. It's been a brilliant start to Metal United Down Under and with the dual stage set up, the change over times a very minimal.

Melbourne based death metal band Hollow World have been touring around the country and now it's the Enigma Bars time to get decimated by the boys. Hollow World are absolutely relentless in delivering a set from hell – it was an pleasure finally seeing them play live after listening to their material for a while now.

Sedulous Rouse take to the second stage now. A big thank you to Roly Moore for all his efforts in organising the show – big thumbs up mate. Their set is punishing, playing material from the upcoming album which is sure to make a huge impact upon its release. With some of the longer songs of the evening the blackened death metal was savage.

Truth Corroded are well travelled veterans of the scene and we are blessed to have them annihilate the metal heads in front of them. The Truthies deliver a formidable set once again. They demand respect wherever they go and it was given back to them by the crowd who appreciated everything the boys gave us.

One of my personal favourite local metal bands was next to play: Headbore pronounce themselves once again as a tight knit group who deliver the goods time and time again. The crowd sing along with Fish to Enemy,

Headbore's debut new song tonight which will be sure to be fan favourites in gigs to come. I also must have to give a special shout out to Chris Ward and kind and generous man who shared an ale with a thirsty punter prior to the gig. Cheers mate.

The second of the Victorian brigade to destroy Enigma are the mighty Orpheus Omega who headline tonight's Metal United Down Under show in Adelaide while also finishing off their tour for Partum-Vita-Mortem. I loved their set, having the unique sound added by their keyboardist. Orpheus Omega endear themselves to the crowd on hand to witness a punishing set. It was a guilty pleasure to see these guys finally.

Closing out the night is Fragmenta, although the crowd has dissipated which is their loss; Framgenta execute a blistering set which rival all the bands that have performed tonight.

Tonight's Metal Down Under show has been a bloody excellent night, a big thanks to Hollow World and Orpheus Omega for making the trip across to destroy everyone, all the bands who played tonight, a big thumbs up!! Roly Moore for his tireless effort in setting up tonight's gig, The Enigma bar for the venue, Michael and Anja for their vision and Wardy for the beer.

Until next year…\m/

Line-up: Orpheus Omega, Truth Corroded, Hollow World, Headbore, Sedulous Rouse, From Birth to Burial, Fragmenta, Stoved

Reviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham

Metal United Down Under – Adelaide (Adelaide, SA)

29 November 2014 at The Land Of Promise Hotel
After months of hard work and effort put in by many people around the country, the fruits of labour are about to be reaped. From the idea of Metal-Roos founder and CEO, Michael Lueders and wife Anja Wendt, comes Metal United Down Under, bands playing in venues all around Australia on the 29th of November. A massive undertaking but with many helpers make light work.

The Land of Promise in Adelaide is one of the venues for Metal United Down Under tonight and with four bands on display its time get start head banging….

Kicking off proceedings are a young band… literally!! The oldest being 16 years of age, too young to buy a beer but old enough to rock out. Iron Feather have the makings of a great band, playing tracks off their debut album Set in Stone they set out with a heavy crunch sound but unfortunately have technical problems where I could barely hear lead singer Jacob Gartlan but that didn't stop the youngsters ripping out a fantastic set. Jacob wins the award for the most entertaining and energetic performer of the evening jumping of the mini stage, running around a generally have a great time.. .my hat off to you mate.

Up next was Stoved who, in comparison, have many years of life skills behind them. They have been around for a few years but only 2 with vocalist Matthew James Johnson at the helm. I enjoyed their set of heavy, southern style groove set of with Matty's death metal growls leading from the front, the boys really put on one hell of a set, as they say in ANZAC tradition "age will not weary them" nor shall Stoved.

Thrashers Fragmenta are next up and although there is only a handful of people in the venue tonight, those who are here are enjoying the aggressive sounds of these local lads. Tounding out the night are death/thrashers and organisers of Metal United Down Under for Adelaide, Sedulous Rouse, the 3 piece outfit have a sound that is punishing and brutal. Guitarist and lead vocalist Roland is on fire tonight, proving to why Sedulous Rouse are kicking ass in heavy music around the countryside.

I would like to thank all the bands for killing it on stage tonight. Lack of attendance didn't deter from a fantastic night out. Thanks also to the Land of Promise Hotel for letting us crank out the tunes, the bar staff for keeping us lubricated, the strippers for the pre show entertainment I didn't expect any of that, but wasn't gonna complain) and Michael Lueders and Anja Wendt for having the guts to pull off a massive gig as this, until next year….Cheers

Support local music…\m/

Line-up: Sedulous Rouse, Fragmenta, Stoved, Iron Feather

Reviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham
Photocredits: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham