15 November 2014 at The Bald Faced Stag Hotel
Cross-over thrash is promised for the summer's day in Sydney in The Bald Faced Stag Hotel. As we enter the premises, a bunch of metalheads is enjoying first beers in the beergarden. It is a nice and relaxed atmosphere before this hell of a festival starts.
After losing their bassist Onni to his home country Finland in January, I haven't seen much of Head In A Jar. They still have their new bassist, Adam, who joined when Onni left and haven't changed much else. Singer/guitarist Gordy Whyte wears completely non matching LSD coloured clothes, singer/guitarist Nick Coady is slightly crazy but very entertaining and their songs express some obscure fun slash ironic views on system, ideologies etc. plus thrash or what they call this mix, Atomic Circus Thrash.
Crossover thrash from Cromer, NSW, comes next from Frank Rizzo. The 5 piece named after a character from Jerky Boys, a comedy based on prank phone calls, has been around since 2005 but with several line-up changes. Mostly screamed vocals from singer Scott with speedy thrash. They released their album also as a 12 inch called Have You Seen Him?
Abraxxas from Melbourne starts and Ildris Eldritch's powerful voice demands attention. Supported by Sean and Slick's guitar riffs, bassist Haas and Leigh on the drums, it's an aural attack. They describe themselves as Teutonic inspired thrash assault and they do have obvious influences from Kreator but also Slayer. They recently released a demo called Bitter Harvest.
Also from Melbourne are Deathripper. The 5 piece is clearly more on the punk side of the cross-over thrash. Shorter staccato songs in the stop and go manner with full power instrumental interludes. The title of their recently released 3 song promo Hells Eternal War provides me here with the right words to describe what their show feels like. It all is delivered by A.D. Destroyer (vocals), Hellspawn and Kevin Thrash (guitars), Nuclear Holocone (bass) and D-Beat Dozz on the drums.
Founded in 2011, Hostile Objects consists of members who are or have been also members of a serious of other bands. The 4 piece fits very well in the cross-over thrash category. The mostly screamed songs by singer Rod Hunt are combined with a speedy guitar of Jimmy Fatal. The party mood is up and the mosh pit has started. Young God is their EP, released end of 2013.
When Hostile Objects leave the stage, the guys from Pizza Gut get really busy because setting up their stage takes longer. When they start 2 inflatable dinosaurs join them on stage. During the show the dinosaurs go stage diving and surf the crowd for a while. The guys from Pizza Gut are quite young and the band has been started only this year but they do show quite some talent and not only for partying. Singer Zane Braams has a voice filled with the right level of anger. He is joined by guitarists Dylan Burkleberry and Tim Greer, Sam Jones on the bass and Kieran Hutchinson on the drums. Finishing with their own version of Beastie Boys' Fight For Your Right To Party… Party on!
After seeing the guys from Cerebral Contortion on several shows last year, I had only been at one show with them in February this year. Singer Tynan Reid has shaved his hair but has kept his rough husky voice. He and the lead guitarist Cameron Turner, together with bassist Matt McIntyre and drummer Adam Cinelli produce awesome thrash. The guys are from Newcastle, NSW, and it's always good to see them! If you can't do that they have an album out, Brain Damage. Get it!
Time for another band from Melbourne: Join The Amish. I was impressed when they started to play – really good sound, aggressive, yes, but in a good way… Join The Amish (according to my google sources) chose their name after the Suicidal Tendencies album Join The Army. They are a 5-piece and they play a mix of metal and hardcore. Their EP is called The Rumspringa Diaries.
High-pitched screamed vocals mark the start of DisXparo (or Disparo!). Their own description is Punk/Fastcore. Their songs are super fast and very short with mostly high-pitched aggressive screaming from their singer. The band name is Spanish and means gun shot. And indeed, they shoot their music at the audience. They have a split 12 inch out with the next band, Atomic Death Squad.
The fifth Melbournian band tonight is Atomic Death Squad. It's just a 3 piece which doesn't lessen their force. Singer/bassist Kevin Thrash with aggressive rough voice gives the band's name meaning. I feel the whole power of at least some Death Squad. All band members are also singers and they even invite more singers on stage. Fenrir's guitarist slash Hangman's singer Adrian makes the start but more are following. Good show! EP has been released in February this year and is called Hard To Kill.
Disintegrator have organised this whole goodness of cross-over thrash and now it's their turn to take the stage. Singer Rad with his sunglasses invites… demands everybody… closer to the stage. And off we go. Disintegrator changed guitarist since I saw them in January. That was the show they organised for the American band Wehrmacht. It was a last minute action but everybody had a blast. After that Disintegrator released a split album with Wehrmacht and organised now Thrash 'Em All in the second year. They matured musically but it's good party as always. They are recording their next album, so there is something to look forward to.
And so we get to the last band of this festival, Party Vibez. The guys are also from Melbourne promise party. Party thrash with silly songs like The Legend of Gnarlia and Indiana Cones & The Temple of Goon. So party it is. A wild mix of talking, screaming and singing together with the full sound of twin guitars, chugging bass and drums. After a lot of crossing over to punk and hardcore, I say this is the thrash side. And with those thrash vibes another festival comes to an end.
Line-up: Party Vibez (Melb), Disintegrator, Atomic Death Squad (Melb), DisXparo, Join The Amish (Melb), Cerebral Contortion, Pizza Gut, Hostile Objects, Deathripper (Melb), Abraxxas (Melb), Frank Rizzo, Head In A Jar