It is the first winter night here in Melbourne, and needless to say how devastatingly freezing the environment is. Though, the temptation to hibernate in the warm did not stop Melbourne modern metal enthusiasts to support Australian bands ATLVS, Rumours and Drown This City. It is 8:30 pm, and people are gathering into a line of impressive size to enter the Workers Club in Fitzroy. The gates are finally open, and the crowd is flooding into the haze of the stage, foretasting the modern metal night of highest quality.
ATLVS are kicking off the night, and the crowd meets them with welcoming cheering and energetic headbanging. ATLVS’s material is a finely refined distillation of modern metalcore, influenced by a wide range of bands including Make Them Suffer, Northlane and Ocean Grove. Francis King‘s vocals vary nicely between solid melodic clean delivery and insanely thick deep growls. The band delivers a solid performance, both in terms of playing style and stage behaviour. Their latest single Insinuate sounds very impressive live with some catchy chorus lines and breakdown grooves, and it lights up the crowd fully. “We are just another shitty metal band”, Francis jokes. And then delivers another stellar performance over and over until the end of the set with massive crowd engagement. ATLVS are definitely a highlight of Melbourne up-and-coming modern metal act with succinct, straight to the point set, amazingly tight drums by Nick Clavarino, impressive bass work and great backing vocals by Matthew Borthwick, and kickass double alternating guitars by Steve Ljiljak and Nick Fitz.
Next on the list are Rumours from Wagga Wagga. Jackson Bentley starts off with highly emotional, impressive vocal performance ranging from intimate lines to brutal modern grainy screams. Their influences are more in post-hardcore and deathcore vein, varying from Architects and Northlane to Bring Me The Horizon and Make them Suffer. Reece Philpot’s drum delivery confirms that, building up on huge snappiness and superior double kick technique exactly to my personal preference. The band combines ethereal yet explosive delivery, and even though they are lacking the bass player on this night, it feels like guitarists Harry Coote and Kane Duck don’t even need one, blasting thick and full wall of the guitar sound. The songs from the ‘Lost Together’ EP sound really solid live, for one of which a guest vocalist jumps on stage to honour the memory of their friend together with the band. The venue is hot as hell by the end of Rumours set, and loud guitar feedbacks drive the crowd crazy, enforcing a fair bit of mosh pit.
The venue is fully packed by the time Drown This City hit the stage. The set starts with the drummer Anthony Pallas delivering a tasteful solo onto a vibrant electronic backing track. The entire band immediately kicks in then, providing an instant electric explosion with tremendous loudness and sound clarity combined with extremely appealing strobe light effects. The frontwoman Alex Reade delivers an absolute top performance, and her charisma and the stream of primal aggression are stunning. Alex jumps off the stage, singing directly into the crowd and communicating with her fans to drive them absolute nuts, enforcing the moshpit and the extreme headbanging. Her vocal technique is tremendous, ranging from intimate melodic passages to heavy staccato screams.
Needless to say how tight Drown This City is, working as a cohesive ultra tight mechanism with Anthony crushing walls with his drumming, Alex blasting pounds of supercharged vocal energy into the crowd, bassist Matt ‘Beanie’ Bean supporting this solid foundation with thick low end action and screaming backing vocals, and the two guitarists Laurence Appleby and Josh Renjen additionally driving the groove with lead and rhythm parts. The vibrant show included the hits I’m Not Divided and Third Law, which were very well-received by the audience. However, Drown This City performs each song from their set as an absolute hit; no passing songs ever exist in their repertoire. The unique electronic sound with charismatic vocals, explosive grooves and tasteful melodies define the sound of the band, and even though DTC define them as modern post-hardcore, it seems that they have just invented something completely new, a futuristic moment of the present in an absolutely authentic vision which never existed before and won’t be ever repeated.
I am highly convinced that Drown This City is about to break through the roof and tour internationally within their nearest future, as their performance and delivery at the Worker’s stage was of the Wembley scale.
Photos by Mike Trubetskov.
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