Recommended Aussie Band:Tamerlan Empire | Sydney Symphonic Black Metal | Listen

Live Reviews : Soundwave Festival Day One @ Bonython Park, Adelaide 21/02/2015

By on February 22, 2015

Images: Kerrie Geier
Words: Cameron Dodds

Click here to view the full gallery.

Under a scorching sun, Soundwave 2015 kicked off with one of Australia’s hottest metal bands, King Parrot. Despite temperatures reaching 40 degrees, the band performed with a level of intensity that was unsurpassed by any other performing band on the day. After coming out to the classic melody ‘Popcorn’, the band broke into a set of what can only be described as pure carnage. “Stop being f**king pussies, it’s the last one [Adelaide Soundwave] lets party”, vocalist Matt ‘Youngy’ Young screamed to the ever building crowd, whipping them into a frenzy of headbanging and circle pits. Youngy was in fine form, revealing his bare ass to the crowd, before crowd surfing and calling for a wall of death, which he stood screaming in the middle of. The crowd was treated to all the King Parrot favourites, including ‘Bozo’ and ‘Shit On The Liver’, as well as three new ripping tracks from their upcoming album. If you are heading out to Soundwave in Melbourne today, get in early and check these guys out.

KingParrot_SoundwaveADL_KGeier_21022015-2577

King Parrot

Next up for me was a band I was totally unfamiliar with, progressive alternative rockers, Nothing More. While not my cup of tea, these guys sure do know how to put on a show, thanks to their flawless vocal harmonies, percussive beats, hard-rocking riffs and energetic stage presence. At one point bassist, Daniel Oliver had his bass on what looked like a weird suspended stand, but actually turned out to be some kind of audio effects unit, which he, vocalist Jonny Hawkins and guitarist Mark Vollelunga played simultaneously, producing an incredible and highly unique sound that was backed perfectly by the thumping drum beat. I’ve never seen anything like it and there is no doubt the crowd appreciated the level of talent possessed by this band.

Following Nothing More was the new mask-wearing, ‘horror metal’ outfit, Terror Universal, which features current and former members of Machine Head, Ill Nino and Soulfly. With a sound that blends nu-metal with industrial metal, this is a band that probably would have done well 10-15 years ago, but in 2015 it’s all been done – especially the masks. Although the band were able to spark a couple of circle pits and a wall of death during their thrash song (their words, not mine), ‘Your Time Has Come’ and got the crowd singing to their over-the-top cover of Rob Zombie’s ‘Superbeast’, their big choruses and heavy riffs failed to hit the mark with many in the crowd.

By the time two-piece industrial metal godfathers, Godflesh hit the stage at 3:40, everyone was feeling the effects of the heat, which could explain why the crowd was a little more subdued. Regardless, Godflesh showed just why bands like Fear Factory were inspired by their sound, captivating the relatively still audience with the thick bass sounds of G.C. Green and harmonic filled riffs of frontman, Justin Broadrick. I had never heard a Godflesh track prior to the performance and was to begin with, taken back by the fact that they played to a backing track. However, three or four songs in I began to get the feel for the band and I too marvelled at their uniqueness. By the end of the set I was a fan.

FearFactory_SoundwaveADL_KGeier_21022015-3724

Fear Factory

The stage 4 crowd had tripled in size before Fear Factory had even hit the stage and the anticipation of what was to come was even larger. Opening with fan-favourites ‘Shock’ and ‘Edgecrusher’ and ending with four classic tunes from their genre defining album, ‘Demanufacture’, the band put on a masterful performance, filled with songs from their entire 20+ year career. Despite struggling with some of the higher notes, frontman Burton C. Bell had the crowd in his hand, encouraging them at every opportunity to sing the choruses and bang their head to guitarist Dino Cazares’ gun-tight riffs and pump their fists to bassist Matt DeVries’ and drummer Mike Heller’s crushing beats. Unfortunately, the show was temporarily delayed when the band’s computer hard drive overheated (I mentioned it was hot right?). However, one lame joke later, the hard drive was back up and running and so was the band, who ripped into their first ever hit, ‘Martyr’. There is no doubt Fear Factory are one of the greats of the modern metal era and while they may not be the band they once were, they still blow most bands out of the water.

After being blown away by Fear Factory, I ventured away from stage 4 for the first time to head over to stage 5 to witness the progressive metal stylings of Monuments, who are on their first ever tour of Australia. I had never heard this band before either, but had been told good things, so it was safe-to-say I was pretty excited to see them. However, due to no fault of their own, it was the most disappointing set of the day. While it was clear to see the band was extremely talented and had the energy to go all day, the sound was terrible. I’m not talking bad tones here, no, there was something very wrong with the speakers. Every minute or so the band was drowned out by an ear-piercing crackling sound, almost like a lead was being plugged into a dodgy input over and over again. I have to give credit to the band, as they kept on going as though there was no problem, but the horrible sound was just too much for me to bare. I walked back to stage 4 disappointed, but with every intention of seeing these guys again.

SteelPanther_SoundwaveADL_KGeier_21022015-3569

Steel Panther

Then came Dragonforce. I’ll admit straight off the bat that I am not a fan of these guys, I can’t handle the vocals at all. That being said, they certainly do know how to have a good time and their mood is infectious. The set was everything you would expect from a Dragonforce show: unbelievable guitar showmanship, eighties style power-metal melodies, lots of energy and horrible vocals. Crowd favourites included a very unique cover of the Johnny Cash classic, ‘The Ring Of Fire’, which you would never guess wasn’t a Dragonforce song had It not been for the lyrics and ‘Through The Fire And Flames’, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. Although the set was also plagued by some sound problems, it was very good – if you’re into that sort of thing that is.

Last up was the legendary Faith No More. The massive crowd erupted when the band, all dressed in white, took to a stage that looked more like it was set-up for a wedding then a rock show. Along with King Parrot, this was my favourite performance of the day. After opening with their new track, ‘Motherfucker’ the group blew the crowd away with an incredible one and half hour set. Mike Patton, though a man of few words had the audience hanging on to every note he sang. The man’s voice really is incredible and extremely diverse, he flawlessly nailed every note, scream and growl – much to audience’s appreciation. Everyone in the crowd sang along to the band’s staple tracks like ‘Epic’, ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ and ‘Ashes To Ashes’ and moshed, crowd surfed and danced to hard-hitting tracks like ‘We Care A Lot’ and their new song ‘Superhero’. All in all it was an amazing performance, marred only slightly, once again by sound problems.

Bring on the last day of Soundwave Adelaide will ever see.