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
SOUNDWAVE-MELBOURNE-2015-REVIEW

SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL 2015 - DAYS ONE AND TWO FROM MELBOURNE FEBRUARY 21 & 22 2015

SOUNDWAVE MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE SHOWGROUNDS, MELBOURNE VIC

FEBRUARY 21-22 2015

The annual rock and metal festival in Australia that is Soundwave arrived in 2015 in a new format, expanding to a 2 day weekend which helped avoid a lot of those all important clashes. However Perth became the sacrificial lamb and missed out altogether for the first time since it started in Perth over a decade ago. That being said, the 2 day weekend feels comfortable and not so rushed like in previous years so there's more enjoyment here (at least for those keen to make the trip over or lucky enough to live close by). So we kick off the first review with day one in Melbourne with half the festival lineup (the other half in Adelaide which they then switch over cities the following day).

Soundwave review - Melbourne

Saturday february 21st

A stinking hot day kicks off with King 810, a band that blends hardcore with a somewhat progressive funk so to speak which came across fairly heavy. The band played the metal stage well and started the day with an aggressive tone. Out on main stage 1 local Aussie band I, Valiance showcased the local flavor with their brand of Meshuggah inspired heavy music and definitely got the crowd moving around early on which was great to see. On the other main stage right after was Finnish cello metallers Apocalyptica who were a big highlight early in the day. Say what you will about classical music but the power of the cellos these guys utilize cannot be denied. They are as heavy as any band can be and the crowd loved every minute of it. The band played a few tracks off their upcoming album "Shadowmaker" with vocalist Franky Perez singing fantastically. A few oldies got in the set as well as welcome surprise "Seek And Destroy" from their Metallica tribute album which founded their career.

Supergroup Killer Be Killed which features members from Dillinger Escape Plan, Soulfly and Mastodon ripped it up on the metal stage 4. High energy, Max Cavalera always great to watch live and Dillinger frontman Greg Puciato going crazy jumping into the crowd and getting into it all. Great band, even better live than on CD. A quick stop off on stage 3 to check in on The Vandals with their fun lively vibe before heading indoors to stage 5 where Japanese electronic metal band Crossfaith were exploding on stage. It was good to these guys back after witnessing their Soundwave debut a couple of years back which then they impressed the crowd immensely! This performance was no different and despite the muggy temperature inside the "tin shed", they brought massive energy and enthusiasm to the fans.

A quick break to catch a breath before hitting the metal stage again, this time for legendary bay area thrashers Exodus. A few drawbacks marred the bands appearance including technical issues which delayed the set by 20 minutes which affected the sound for at least the first couple of songs and the untimely absence of guitarist Gary Holt who couldn't make it due to a family issue. But the band carried on and by the time "Toxic Waltz" came around, all was forgiven. Hopefully they have better luck for the rest of their tour!

 

Main stage 2 saw the legend that is Slash along with his compatriots The Conspirators which includes the fantastic voice of Myles Kennedy. The great thing about this band is the fact they play everything in the spectrum in Slash's amazing career including Snakepit and Guns N' Roses and it sounds great, maybe even better than the originals themselves. Slash will always be a legend in my books and his music is simply timeless. Quickly heading over to stage 5 for the always interesting Butcher Babies where 2 female vocalists along with the rest of the band proceeded to give the crowd a loud and eventful show. It was a small crowd but they were into it no matter what.

Last but not least the mighty Slipknot made their headline appearance on the main stage next door and it was the first in Australia since the release of their new album 5: "The Gray Chapter". The band played a bunch of new tracks from it early on but the rest of the set was filled with older material with "All Hope Is Gone" on heavy rotation. Corey Taylor with his new mask is maybe not as intimidating as previous disguises but his performance was stellar as always. The rest of the band looked like a circus but somehow they make it all work and the fans embraced it as always, clearly the top draw on the bill.

A few bands were missed on day 1 and day 2 is replaced with a whole set of different bands so we decided to cover those bands at the Sydney dates the following weekend. Those include The Smashing Pumpkins, Judas Priest, Marilyn Manson and more so check back next week for that review.

Soundwave review - Melbourne

SUNDAY february 22nd

 

The 2nd day of the Soundwave weekend in Melbourne had another solid lineup of bands and our focus this day was a more metal one. We will cover the others at the Sydney weekend but in the meantime here's what went down on Sunday.

Starting the day off is local Melbourne extreme metallers King Parrot who have really forged a slot on the world metal scene with their brand of pure and utter chaos. I have said before after reviewing their show last year in Sydney that frontman Mathew Young is insane (in a good way) and this performance didn't let anyone down, a well deserved spot as opening act at Soundwave. Heading over to stage 5 indoors we see English rockers The Treatment who tore the place down with some solid groove rock that was headbanging good. The punk look threw off punters thinking it was punk rock when hard rock was obvious but a great show was put on regardless. Back to stage 4, Nothing More hit the stage and found a bunch of enthusiastic fans rabid for their more alternative metal approach but back to stage 5 right after saw Deathstars bring the house down in another muggy but energetic environment. Punks and Goths ruled this house and the band gave the fans some much needed distraction from the heat.

We stick to the metal stage for a while as there were too many acts to not miss, starting with another Melbourne local, NE Obliviscaris whose progressive elements wowed those who had not yet familiarized themselves with the band. Sharing 2 singers, the melody and heavy contrast added to the power of a band who keep getting better and better. Next is another supergroup like yesterday with Killer Be Killed, this time with Terror Universal which features members and ex-members from Massacre, Ill Nino, Machine Head and Soulfly. Masks are used to hide the identities of each member but rather than Slipknot or Mushroomhead type headware, it was closer to Gwar with monster like features. Its hard to describe the music without resorting to hybrids and comparisons to the above mentioned bands but heavy is really a perfect summary for the band. They even threw in a Rob Zombie cover song just to make things even more interesting.

It's at this point that the industrial theme kicks in for a while starting with Godflesh who drew a decent crowd to the 2 guys on stage who, despite being only 2 proceeded to give a simplistic but top notch performance that was without a doubt a nice highlight of the day. Next the legends of industrial metal that are Fear Factory making their Soundwave debut despite being regulars to Australian shores kicked off a set that was filled with classics and only a few new songs. It's hard to top "Demanufacture" or "Shock" but it was great to see some rarities like "Archetype" and "What would Become". Burton's voice may be cracking here and there but it's hard to get past the power of their sound. Ending the industrial metal machine today is none other than Ministry who were also making their Soundwave debut. It was fantastic to see Al Jourgensen on stage, getting the crowd into it and bringing out some of the best beats at the whole show. Even after all these years the band still sound brilliant and the big video screen showing political snippets was hilarious but true to Ministry fashion.

At this stage we take a break from metal madness and hit the main stage for Soundgarden who were one of the bigger drawcards at the festival. All the classics including "Spoonman" which was surprisingly early in the set as well as "Black Hole Sun" and "Rusty Cage" were played on top of the newer tracks which have yet to make their mark like the older material. Frontman Chris Cornell still has that amazing voice even if some of the vocal melody on some songs were changed which was a little disappointing. But easily this set had the most vocal participation from the crowd on the day and it's easy to see why when you think how catchy the lyrics are, even if they are a little dark. Big set, great band.

Lastly we hit the metal stage again for a Soundwave regular, the mighty Lamb Of God. I don't know what it is but tonight the band were on absolute fire, hitting every note with precision and the always entertaining Randy Blythe spitting out vocals with great range. All the regulars made the set including the crowd favorite "Now You've Got Something To Die For" which was exceptionally heavy tonight. Whatever it was, the band sounded mighty good and really ended the Soundwave weekend in Melbourne on a high note.

 

We do it all again next weekend where we cover Sydney Soundwave and all the bands we missed.

 

 

by Andrew Schizodeluxe 2015

 

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