The best metal gig of the year?

It’s amazing to think that four short years ago, I saw In Hearts Wake supporting The Amity Affliction at the small The Commercial Hotel in South Morang. How far both bands have come!

I would never have thought then that In Hearts Wake would come close to selling out the 2,000 capacity Forum Theatre in Melbourne but that is exactly the case as eager punters queued well around the corner, in the spitting rain, all keen for a good spot early.

Unfortunately, due to doors not opening until a little past seven, and Sydney’s Polaris starting at 7:15 a lot of us missed the first song or two of their short but aggressive twenty-five minute set. The five piece metalcore act get a great reaction for their new single Consume which was only released last week and frontman Jamie Hails works the crowd brilliantly. Give it a few years and there’s every chance we could see Polaris headlining these sort of shows themselves.

It’s hard to believe that this is already Crossfaith‘s fourth trek to Australia considering the first time they came here was for Soundwave 2013. I have caught each of their Melbourne shows so far and know how brilliant they are live so my expectations were super high and from their very first song you know they are not going to disappoint. The way Crossfaith perform live is absolutely high-octane, full of enthusiasm and they play every show like it could be their last. It truly is a treat to see this band live. The dual vocal attack of Kenta Koie and programming and sampler Terufumi Tamano is possibly the best I’ve seen it.

Within their first couple of songs, they have multiple circle pits and the biggest wall of death of the night and Tamano himself joins in the crowd surfing. By the time it all comes to an end with Leviathan (which starts with a Slipknot inspired “jump up”) you wonder how their half an hour set could possibly have gone so fast. I for one, cannot wait to see one of the best live bands on the planet finally do their first headline tour of this country. I think they’re well overdue.

Recently, a video has gone viral of a 65,000 strong Green Day crowd singing Bohemian Rhapsody before they come out to play. Well, tonight’s 2,000 strong Forum Theatre crowd do their best to replicate that before In Hearts Wake frontman Jake Taylor literally jumps out of a box on the stage to kick off the band’s biggest headlining show to date. As soon as the curtain drops not long later to reveal the rest of the band there isn’t a single person standing still as In Hearts Wake show exactly why they’re currently one of the biggest metal bands in this country right now. Everything about their performance in on point to Taylor screams, to Kyle Erich’s clean vocals, to the dual guitars of Eaven Dall and Ben Nairne, to drummer Conor Ward.

In Hearts Wake latest album Ark went to number three on the ARIA charts which is a huge achievement for metal in this country and it’s very clear that a lot of the people tonight helped make that happen with many singing along to every word.

A couple of many highlights of the band’s sixty odd minute set are the giant blow up whales, stingrays and sharks being battered around by the mosh during Frequency (which was inspired by “the world’s loneliest whale” in the Pacific ocean – have a read about it. It’s an interesting story), to the band playing Survival while Taylor crowd surfs on a blow up raft to get a cake to their sound guy, Chucky. Koie from Crossfaith and Taylor from While She Sleeps even join the band on stage for two different tracks.

A massive wall of death brings the set their massive set to a close and you can’t help but wonder as the crowd slowly piles out, if we’ve just witnessed the best metal show of the year.