Graves

GRAVES, I EXALT, OCEAN GROVE, CRUEL INTENTIONS, BRIARCLIFF, OVERLORD, DALLOWAY
Fowlers Live, Adelaide
19th December

The Adelaide stop of down tempo act Graves on their 506 tour along with the hardcore orientated Ocean Grove, featured seven bands of such quality, many locals of the scene were referring to the show being the highlight of the year. Complete with around 400 attendees including band members, it brought 2014’s year of music to an incredible end.

Up first were newcomers Dalloway, whom despite having been their first show performed to a close 150 people with doors having only been opened for 15 minutes. Although a few lapses in overall tightness, Dalloway have easily proven that given time and possibly a few more songs released, they will be a force to be reckoned with, giving a few of the more enthusiastic members of the crowd a nice warm up for the following bands.

Overlord, one of Adelaide’s resident beatdown bands have made their local mark rather quickly, opening for Aversions Crown and I Exalt on numerous occasions. Frontman Darren Vinicky has become quickly renowned for his pit antics, balaclava and the bands overall worship of bands like “No Zodiac” and “Benchpress“. Overlord began their set playing the opening of Oceano’s ‘Misery District’ before launching into their brand of sludge/doom hardcore beatdown, complete with the famous tapping section from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. A poorly wrapped Christmas present walked onto stage and out burst none other than Cruel Intentions front man Maxim, who then proceeded to tear up the surrounding pit still adorned in his 6’ft chirstmas box before joining Overlord on stage for their final, self titled song.

Up next were Briarcliff, a band whom unfortunately I had to sit out of for most of the set due to copping a rather nasty spin kick to the head during Overlord, but what I did see/hear was nothing short of outstanding. Opening the show with their newest single ‘Rogue‘, Briarcliff’s hoodie clad frontman Jake reaffirms why some consider him to be one of the most dominating vocalists in Australia. Bringing a sharper, more refined style of deathcore than previous bands, what Briarcliff lacked in stage antics they made up in sheer musical intensity throughout old and new songs.

Cruel Intentions marked the half way point of the night, bringing a barge of sludgy, hardcore driven power-violence in the same league as openers Overlord. Playing songs from their debut EP “Eastern Promises“. Vocalist Maxim produced roars that were enough to send the entire room into a frenzy of hate moshing insanity. Finishing with their two arguably most popular songs “No saints in Petersburg” and “Sewercide“, mic grabs were pleniful.

Ocean Grove, the first of two interstates acts on the bill managed to maintain the frantic energy of the night, despite being somewhat of a curve ball in terms of genre clashing with the rest of the lineup, the simple opening of “Backbone” was enough to wind up most people for a set focused on groove orientated riffs.

Finally the first of the two co-headlining bands: I Exalt, took to the stage. Having done both an independent tour and opened for Martyr Defiled and Boris The Blade on the Spring Rage tour, plus a string of headline shows to great success with the help of their controversial stage act. The infamous noose was laid to rest, demonstrating that frontman Daniel still possessed a hypnotic and atmospheric stage presence, spending most of the set amongst the crowd or on top of the barricade whilst the rest of the band appeared to effortlessly breeze through new and old songs alike, confirming that long hair is in fact the secret to incredible muscianship. Crowd participation reached its peak for the evening, with the entire crowd chanting the ending of “Desolate Hollows” and every audible word of crowd favorites “Astral Desertion” and “Purge“.

Judging by the crowd of nearly 400 people people gathered, the final band of the night needed no introduction. Graves took a page out their old tour buddies “Prepared Like A Bride” book with floodlights flaring the moment what only could be described as “the brown note” of Grave’s guitar sound shaking the room and sending the people inside into a hate moshing frenzy with twice the fury witnessed during Overlord’s set with half the room to move within. Playing a handful of new songs as well as “Alone” off of their debut demo followed by the much aclaimed “506” there was not a moment during the entire breakdown-laden set in which a handful of payers were not moving. Finally finishing the night with an encore of “Homewrecker” which vocalist Rhys Benn promptly dedicated to his mother, everyone in attendance was left with zero doubt that Adelaide’s scene was alive and well (not to mention a few bruises to remember it by).