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Live Reviews : The Dead Are Among Us @ Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne 13/06/2014

By on June 15, 2014

There are many reasons as to why one might want to move from elsewhere to Melbourne: semi-adequate public transport and Lord of the Fries may be among them, but for mine, there is only one reason.  This one reason comprises of two simple but significant words: “local metal.” In celebration of the “Strawberry Full Moon”, Friday the 13th saw Kiss or Kill Australia present The Dead Are Among Us; featuring no less than five bands: Internal Nightmare, Order of Chaos, Series, Hollow World and Blood Line, all of which amassed at the Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood. It doesn’t get more local Melbourne or more local metal than that, and all this for the admission price equal to that of fresh brand name undies.

The Dead Are Among Us

First, a little foreground for those of you who might be reading from interstate: if you are unfamiliar with the Bendigo Hotel, it is one among many of Melbourne’s live music institutions, nay, treasures. Its support of local rock, punk, hardcore and metal of all kinds is unwavering while the community that revolves around the venue speaks a loud and clear voice in the cityscape of Melbourne against the threats to live music that are presently heading in from all angles. Pubs, by definition, are supposed to be all about community, and this place is perhaps the centre-point of the local metal community, hence the Bendigo Hotel has a strong place in my heart as well as that of the city as a whole.  Do I dare utter the word “local” again?  Yes, I must, for I wish someday for this magnificent pub and live music venue to be just that.

Blood Line were first up to the plate and, frankly, nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of devastatingly frenetic, thrashy deathcore that ensued. Breakdowns were aplenty as well; in fact these guys (who had Evolution of Self / Bury the Fallen bassist Tim Aldridge filling in on the currently vacant bass guitar slot) threatened on more than one point to steal the show. A note to those who like to arrive fashionably late: don’t, if it can be avoided. You never know what you are missing. In this case you would have missed a fantastic opportunity to be knocked eight ways from Sunday by an excellent and entertaining Melbourne deathcore act.

Hollow World gleefully assumed control, unleashing igneous blast-beats, epic solos, and generally watertight black metal. Numbers had proliferated substantially by this stage; the full moon’s effect on the tides now evident.  Alas, owing to less than concise note-taking and the imbibing of quite a few too many pints of Cascade stout, I cannot quite recall Hollow World lead singer Karl Steller’s rather amusing reference to bog roll, or the apparent lack thereof. No matter; what I do remember is thinking, at various points during their set, that this is one band I would love to see again before too long.

More Cascade stout flowed (thanks be to the Bendigo Hotel for providing stout besides that other black, nitrogenous stuff) as SeriesThe Dead Are Among U took to the stage. These guys laid out some, err, serious, and at times improvised metalcore. Apparently the lads are fans of Whose Line is it Anyway? A particularly impressive moment occurred toward the end of one of their tracks; a beautifully melancholic piece that I would never have expected to witness in a live setting.  Besides that, the emphasis of their sound is on solid, thunderous Pantera-esque mid-tempo goodness. Without a shadow of a doubt Series’ (both their studio and live performances) are well worth checking out, and they are a friendly bunch of lads to boot!

Due to unforeseen technical difficulties Order of Chaos’ set was delayed, however this did not deter the local lads in tearing the Bendigo Hotel apart with an assault of airtight thrash and groove, replete with a rhythm section worth reckoning with.If you have not done so already, check out their latest single: “Deadweight Undertow.”  This three-piece ought to be turning – and banging – heads across this fair city more often.  Dark beer turned to dark rum, at least in my case, for the purpose of sustenance.

Only event headliners Internal Nightmare remained. As if the prospect of a full moon on a Friday the 13th was not scary enough (not due to reoccur for another 35 years), Internal Nightmare have a sound that bears the potential to soil those freshly purchased undies. For the record, no audience members succumbed to aforesaid uncontrollable bowel movements, however one can now imagine the sheer brute force behind this excellent tech-death beast. Not dissimilar to the other acts on the night, Internal Nightmare boasted a sound that was as brutal as it was tight, with drummer Tom Jarrett proving to be most impressive with his acute work behind the kit. At this stage, their next outing is inked (most likely in blood) for The Living Dead Fest II at the Bendigo Hotel, set to go down on Saturday August 30.  If you missed this show, make sure you do not miss the next!  According to the band’s Facebook page, a new song shall be written in time for the event, as though any further incentive were needed.

Kiss or Kill’s The Dead Are Among Us event proved why relocating to Melbourne was the right thing to do. From a mere consumerist point of view, participating within a healthy local scene is truly a thing of rare beauty.  Never in my life have I felt so alive thanks to this and other similar shows.  Kudos to Kiss or Kill Australia, the Bendigo Hotel and each one of the bands on the night for staging this thoroughly engaging night of Full Moon heavy metal.