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Live Reviews : Ebonivory, The Last Martyr, Vatic, In Vanity @ The Workers Club, Melbourne 12/10/2019

By on October 13, 2019

On their Facebook, Melbourne’s In Vanity deem themselves to be of the ‘metalcore’ persuasion. Well, if they are to be considered thus, they are certainly bringing a new flavour to the metalcore table, a rumbling, unrelenting industrial element, with a fully intentional lack of definition in the guitars. The band consists of two guitars, no bass, drums and extremely abrasive vocals, all enhanced with some electronic bumps, grinds and whistles. The relentless aspect of their sound is broken up on occasion by some sledgehammer breakdowns, atmospherics and three-way vocals, which are all very welcome amid the mechanical dredge.

This band is young, raw and need a little work around the edges, but they know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re going, and the potential to realise something a little different here is palpable.

Melbourne five-piece Vatic also classify themselves as ‘metalcore’, and they do indeed ply a more traditional metalcore terrain.  And they do it extremely well. Their grooves are nuclear strength, their edge is very sharp and their rhythm section watertight. Add in extremely harsh but on the money vocals provided by frontman Matt Payne (with bassist Zakary Luttrell bobbing up with a few heartfelt cleans here and there), a few subtle electronic enhancements and some very solid songs and you yourself have a highly enjoyable mix. Like In Vanity, Vatic are young and just a little green, but have enormous promise. Keep an eye on them.

I saw The Last Martyr a while back. The impression I got was, again, great potential, but they need a little work on some of the finer points. Tonight I see that that work is definitely progressing. They already had stage presence by the bucketload,  now their overall presentation is just a little tighter, a little smoother, a little more together. Unfortunately for some reason the bass guitar loses a little of its presence after the first tune tonight, so the overall sound loses some of its oomph, but they carry on regardless, as professionals do. The show must go on, and so it does.

Headlining this bill is Ballarat’s Ebonivory. This band defines the term ‘indefinable’. Their sound cannot be easily categorised, it is a melting pot of sounds, styles, influences and genres, all swirling around but all making complete sense. They venture, completely convincingly and effortlessly, into rock, metal, prog, pop, alt and punk territory and more, often on a ten cent piece within the space of a single song. Their more complex musical passages are delivered with an accessible edge and are almost always followed by a big vocal/chorus payoff.

And it is all presented in a highly cohesive, powerful and fun manner in a live setting, carried by the enthralling voice of frontman Charlie Powlett.

Their set this night is a delight, and brings 50 minutes of joy into the lives of the very solid throng that shows up to the ruggedly intimate Workers Club bandroom. There is something very special going on here. Ebonivory are a band of the future, check them out as soon as you possibly can.

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.