The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world Anthrax-Worship-Music-CD-Review

One year till the End of the World Countdown…




WITH: fall of man, Human extinction project and It all ends here





Beyond Never review 2011




There’s nothing like a bit of Metal before setting into a slow-paced Christmas lull of family, feasting and copious alcohol but sadly after the usual Christmas last minute rush we missed the opening band tonight ‘Fall of Man’ and ended up at the Rosie just in time for the set from ‘Human Extinction Project’…



Human Extinction Project





Well if you manage not to spill you beer you are in for a treat if you like it nice and extreme. HEP manage to muster some unseasonable cheer in their combination of  heavy as hell growls, roaring drums and an abyss deep groove filled with arcane sounds from the pit; which at time fragments into a bastard heavy groove from somewhere down below.



In truth this is unrefined and brutal, with a dying undercurrent of melody that at times escapes before being eaten alive by traditional ‘cookie monster’ vocals. It may be at times hard to distinguish the riffs above the chaos-addicted wall (or should I say cliff) of sound, and you may feel that on the whole instruments that are mauled rather than played, which makes it all the more remarkable when the singer addresses the crowd in a surprisingly polite and well, ‘normal’ speaking voice.





In a set of short songs that bludgeon rather than cut, and with a vocalist who at times seems to be extolling the earth or spewing into the abyss; there’s some seriously heavy gristly shit here, music to make you angry. He may be spitting fire but if anything the singer is too often off into the shadows or out there the crowd rather than commanding the stage, like music of this weight probably deserves.



The sound even gets a little proggy at times and it’s here that the vocals and music often seem at odds with each other, it's an uncomfortable marriage of sounds, but an interesting band to watch out for, something’s happening there, we’re just not quite sure what it is yet!









If you thought that Australia was lacking in high-art/conceptual melodic metal then look no further than Perth’s Beyond Never. Be-masked denizens of another world where capes are still in vogue or maybe even the masked survivors of a nuclear holocaust who knows? BN has managed to harness melodic metal as a sustainable power source, and being temporarily becalmed on earth for an evening at the Rosie, they need to play a good long set to build up enough power to escape back to their own dark realm…



Like something out of step and out of time on the bill of extreme-metal they none-the-less draw in the crowd with the brooding delicate build of their Queensryche Waring-era opus ‘One Thousand’. It’s a beautifully constructed and powerful song that breaks all the rules - what bands do you know who kick off with a massive epic?



These guys would go down a storm in Europe where this kind of overblown, bombastic metal draws massive crowds. Close your eyes for a moment and the stage at the Rosie disappears and the main stage at Wakken shimmers into view, or maybe that was the Christmas high spirits…





There’s such underlying power in the surprisingly fresh ‘Familiar’ which turns out to be probably the most melodic of the heavier Beyond Never fare tonight.



Keeping the deadly sins theme that the band’s concept is based around, third up ‘Stranded’ which deals with gluttony is a masked ball of obsession and instance, it has a far more orchestral basis and the keyboards take on a far heavier and meatier sound counterpoint to some nice cutting guitar.



Beyond Never throw it all into the performance tonight, driving metal if offset by contemplative and introspective interludes. It's the melodic metal balance of speed and power coupled with moments of real melody and quirky parts like the clockwork musical box interlude that rounds out a well-developed sound that should sound amazing in the studio.





One of the highlights for me is when the band breaks into ‘How Did It’:  a truly great vocal, with a sweep of keys and guitar as Avarice reaches upwards searching to pull down more music to colour the emotion of the song. Who would have thought that ‘sloth’ could be forged into such a great love song or at least a broken heart song?
There’s a nice sweeping guitar solo from Vanity to boot.



The set descends or ascends, depending on how you gauge these things into heavier climes. The set-piece that is ‘Ravenger’ starts with a spoken word soliloquy that has avarice coming over like Vincent Price on acid in full ‘Black Widow’ flow. Its pure theatre that cranks up into a big-assed metal riff only tempered and softened by the underpinning keys. It’s as heavy as the band gets and takes them firmly into a darker era Queensryche, with the darkness of Sabbath and the drive of Maiden.



And just then, as its Christmas and just in case anyone was taking it all too seriously, ‘Gorge’ the drummer skulls a jug through a funnel and breaks into tribal drums. The last two songs ‘Down the Line’ and ‘Eve of Extinction’ are the fitting end to a great show. There are elements of so many great bands here and aside from those mentioned you can add bands like Pagans Mind and Accept to the mix. Tonight Beyond Never has taken on a bit more steel; they seem a little darker, a little heavier and a lot more comfortable. A band to watch out for.  




It All Ends Here





If ever there was a fitting name for the final band on a bill of a show celebrating the countdown to extinction as predicted by the ancient Mayans (I know any excuse for a party) it’s It All Ends Here. Sadly that’s about all I can say about these guys. They start off with a funky little interlude and you think maybe we’ve found another Primus, but it quickly descends into ‘kiddie-metal’ with the very predictable (and to be honest here nit that good) cookie monster vocals. The nice enough riffs are sadly drowned under an overflow pipe of screams and growls and as I said not even the best growls I've heard tonight. Their mates seem to like it though and they’re still young, but some ‘heavy shit’ needs an emphasis placed on both of those words…



363 days to go…




By Mark Diggins