Metal United World Wide 2019 Sydney (Sydney, NSW)

15 June 2019 at Valve Bar

There are a talented bunch of musicians with great song-writing ability in the lead band Avalon’s Peak. Unfortunately, they suffered under a lopsided sound in the Valve Bar. Stand in axeman Connor Barratt slayed with his solos but unfortunately lead guitarist Ricky Worland was all but in-audible. While his fingers were moving a million miles an hour, you could only barely make out what he was playing. Avalon’s gave it their all with an energetic performance, drummer Sebastian Weir’s flare and charisma shining from behind the kit and Rodney Park’s powerful vocals filling the Valve Bar and the enthusiastic MUWW crowd loved every second. Mixing sensitivity with an aggressive edge combined with fantastic melody Avalon’s Peak have a real shot at going far. The sound only dampened their set slightly, for when the guitars came through, they came in hard, recent single We Could Be Titans being a real standout. Announcing the departure of bassist Jack Barratt, the band wore their emotions on their sleeves and rocked hard with hair flying everywhere for closing song, the monolithic, Oxygen.

Up next were solid 3-piece, Age of Emergence. Their tight progressive rock vibe induced much headbanging from the amassed crowd. A sound unto their own, Emergence are hard to classify, with influences from all over and more power to them. With their big rock sound and relaxed stage presence, Age of Emergence were an absolute treat. With songs that take the listener on a true winding journey through all manner of peaks and valleys, Two Halves was a real stand out. Closing the set on latest release Kingdom Dies, Emergence proved that metal encompasses many different sounds and includes many under its umbrella. When bassist Dean Holmes HhjbHand guitarist Matt Neilson were swapping lead licks and solos it was quite a sight to behold, not to be forgotten Ben Baxter kept it all together with his exceptional performance on the skins, a killer set.

SteelSwarm then took to the stage, a three piece with an amazing unique sound. Providing the Valve Bar an expansive sound with memorable lead guitar licks and leads from Vocalist/Guitarist Dane Simms in combination with the exceptionally skilled fingers of bassist Jamie Simms, they genuinely looked like they were having a ball onstage and that mood infected the entire crowd at the Valve. With both growled vocals and melody thrown in, there are many different elements to SteelSwarm’s sound that work together very well. Proclaiming themselves as a progressive band, they went on to prove it in absolute spades, unfortunately I didn’t quite catch the names of the tracks, but they gave the audience an aural feast during their set. The members each having many moments in the sun, with solo spots traded back and forth, including a thunderous drum spot from Zac Stewart. SteelSwarm had a monster of a set. Truly an exceptionally talented bunch of musicians that we are lucky to have in our local scene.

Then Taliesin launched into their set next with a more traditional type of metal sound. Coming all the way from Canberra, they thanked the Valve crowd for supporting local metal. Their set intensified quickly with big riffs and huge vocals filling the room. With the vocalist having a commanding presence onstage, as a combined unit they were truly powerful. I kept feeling a Sabbathy Black Label vibe from Taliesin, but with a lot more vigour and energy and the crowd loved every minute. Unleashing a new song Taliesin upped the pace a notch or seven. Closing with a track called LSD the riffs kept on coming, with big sludgy interludes boosted by their massive stomp and slicing solos, Taliesin was really impressive and a great addition to MUWW Sydney.  

The headliner for the night Red Sea are an interesting listen, exceptionally powerful while being something very different. New song Burn it all Down brought it all down when the solid four to the floor stomp kicked in with its great groove. The colossal vocalist Erica Bowron bellowing from the stage demanding the crowd move. Attilla Muhari on bass asked the Valve crowd to say hello and the audience responded in kind. A tight unit that packed one hell of a punch, using intricate dynamics to bend the listeners ear with exquisite guitar from Scott Daniels. Playing cuts from their ep with songs about the battles of addiction, they truly have a powerful sound, both sonically and in their energetic performance. Attilla and Erica infiltrated the audience and dragged them into the performance by force. Hurricane quietly snuck its way into the audience’s ear, then exploded some heads in bursts of exuberance. Pete Kelly really came through hard on drums smashing through each song. Pulling out another new song the yet unnamed donut kept the power coming, with big riffs, bigger vocals and a storming double kick. I’m not sure how Red Sea haven’t had more mainstream exposure; I see them going down an absolute treat if they got a chance to support the likes of Halestorm. Celebrating the release of latest single, Red Sea unleash hell once again, with a smooth groove and a monster bass line, and an even bigger chorus, I do hope they gain the recognition they deserve with this track. The relentless onslaught kept the valve moving till 1am. Closing the night with Lose Your Head Red Sea were truly a spectacle to behold, the epitome of a headline act.

Line-up: Red Sea, Taliesin, SteelSwarm, Age of Emergence, Avalon’s Peak

Reviewer: Jonathan Hurley
Photocredits: Mira Live Photography