From Birth to Burial kicked off proceedings with a visceral brand of metal. This is metal consummated in the deepest vaults of hell, the bastard child of a plethora of different metal styles. Guttural vocals and a brutal sound which is both primitive and raw. They have obviously garnered a sizeable following as they had some good support gathered at the front of the stage for this early slot.
Tria Mera made the 2000 km journey from Queensland as part of the promotional campaign for their new e.p. “Extinction”. No strangers to Adelaide, they celebrated the bands six year anniversary with an appreciative Adelaide audience. They unleashed the brutal sonic assault which won them the 2011 Triple J Unearthed competition, which ultimately saw them playing their third ever live gig as the opening band on the Soundwave main stage in Brisbane.
The headliners Octanic are a band that I have seen before, most notably supporting Ripper Owens (ex-Judas Priest/Iced Earth/Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist) but never truly appreciated how good they actually are. After witnessing the astounding performance tonight I will not make that mistake again. Octanic are an enigma, the music is so original and diverse that it transcends the metal genre, thus ultimately, the band supersede their contemporaries.
The other aspect that made this show special was that Octanic know how to entertain, the band clearly enjoy their time on stage and the atmosphere created spills over into the audience. Vocalist Jay Shepherdson stalks the stage like a caged beast ensuring every member of the crowd is drawn into his world. The talented musicians that support him had to dodge and weave to avoid being drawn into the hurricane that he creates on the stage. The highlight of the night was the encore “Pariah”, were Jay was joined on stage by Damo Seller from the band Sever Hill… The vocal sparring between the two sent shivers down my spine.
In the Adelaide heavy metal scene Octanic are in a league of their own and tonight’s blistering performance was one that I will not forget in a hurry. Suitably armed with both Octanic albums, I walked away from the Cavern Club tonight with a sense that I had witnessed one of the truly special performances from a band slated for much bigger things.
Review by Mike Trandafil
Photos by Tanya Begg - see the full gallery here