Recommended Aussie Tunes:Psycroptic | The new single "A Fragile Existence" | Listen

Live Reviews : Wolves In The Throne Room (Sydney) – 26/02/10

By on March 9, 2010


w/ Monarch, Agents of Abhorrence, Dining In Tuscany

The Bald Faced Stag, Leichardt (Sydney) – 26th February 2010

I can’t say this is going to be my longest review, nor my most well written, due to several contributing factors. I’d have to say that the main one would be that when I went to this show, I was terribly sick with a nasty cold that most people had dubbed “The Soundwave Virus”, due to so many people I know who attended the Sydney festival coming down with the illness. So after being bed-ridden for the previous two days, the last thing I felt like doing was to go to a metal show with two headlining bands whom I knew were going to “bring the drone”. But regardless, I dragged myself out of bed and aboard the two hour long public transport system, and got my arse to the show. And let me say now, it was definitely worth it.

I arrived just before Melbourne grindcore band, Agents of Abhorrence, begun. After grabbing a magical elixir from the bar, I positioned myself towards the back of the venue so that the vibrations of the PA wouldn’t make a mucus milkshake out of my head. Being a drum enthusiast myself, I knew from the band’s sound check alone, drummer Max was going to be a machine. While being unfamiliar with their material, I really enjoyed Agents of Abhorrence‘s extremely tight, brutal set, and barely took my eyes from Max’s unyielding performance.

Next up were Monarch, all the way from Bayonne, France, who were here on their second visit down under. During the night I noticed a cute, petite blond girl carrying gear around with the bands, and knowing the nature of the music being played on this night, I didn’t think once that she may actually be a member of one of these bands. Not only was she a member, but she was the singer of Monarch, and forget your Angela Gossows, this girl was fierce! Sounding akin to the shrieking wails of a Pterodactyl, and standing at only the height of a Compsognathus (haha…slight exaggeration there!), singer Emilie lead the doomy drones of the bands through their 40 minute set which felt, or perhaps was, only one track. The singular entity took the crowd through a series of accumulations and slow passages that both captivated and held the audience’s attention, while they anticipated the final band of the night.

After a half hour wait, I walked back into the live room to find a mystical smoke covered, dimly lit stage, with a few lit candles sprawled across the stage. It was time for Olympia, Washington’s Wolves In The Throne Room to take the stage. What followed was an hour long set consisting of slabs of black metal distortion that revealed amazing melodies before an audience that mostly stood in reverential awe. This set is not just a concert experience, but also an unworldly occurrence as WITTR appeared, played their set, and then walked straight off. This is a band that came to do one thing, and that was put on a gripping performance without any of the bullshit so many bands drag their audiences through these days. Definitely a band worth encountering if you ever get the chance.