This was a show I had been looking forward to for a while as most of the people performing or attending had been at the last show I was at in Auckland before I left on my travels way back in September so I was looking forward to having a mosh and reconnecting with my NZ metal brothers and meeting some new metal brethren from Australia (I’m still not sure if I’ve seen Frankenbok before – possibly during their last show here but that’s over five hundred shows ago now!) It was a show that lived up to my expectations, despite some technical issues and late starting time – oh the joys of live music and not being able to control everything in a live environment. Despite the technical issues I still had an amazing time moshing out with my NZ metal family.
Silent Torture are one of those bands that I just can’t get enough of! A Silent Torture show is everything a death metal band should embody – anger, torment, rage and in your face brutality that pushes your own body to its limits making you want to mosh and let out all the feelings that this music brings to the surface. It’s been just over a year since I first saw Silent Torture at The Dogs Bollix and man what a difference a year can make! Other than some lineup changes, their sound and stage presence embodies bands that have twice their stage and life experiences. Their music is technical, hard and fast and when Liam opens his mouth, it’s like a demon is being released. In their short time together they have achieved a lot more than bands twice their age – having played overseas and supporting many international bands – with more international slots to be announced.
My favourite two tracks from Silent Tortures set were from their latest release Torn to Pieces the title track of the Abum with the song by the same name and Bodies in the Sewers. Silent Torture is a band that is going places and if you are a fan of heavier music – do your selves a favour and get online or out to a gig and CHECK THEM OUT! Bring your moshing body though, I think it’s impossible to stand still for their show!
Just One Fix have been my brothers for the longest time and they used to play a lot more often than they do now due to other band commitments and life – it happens! But this makes the times they do play even more special and memorable, especially as they are heading into their nineteenth year of being an active band! Their set tonight was a mix of new and old songs but my favourite was Proxy God which is from their 2016 release Let Them Hate, so Long as They Fear. Despite the number of times I’ve seen Just One Fix live, I have to say that Riccardo and Sharne still blow me away! Sharne’s guitar tone and solos makes him one of my favourite live guitarists with both his guitar playing abilities and showmanship. Riccardo too has one of the best metal growls in New Zealand with power and vocal range a lot of bands struggle with. Just One Fix featured some new songs during their performance and hinted at a new EP being recorded and released in the months to come! I can’t wait to hear its brutality and to add it to my collection!
Finally it was time for Frankenbok! While I was loving catching up with my NZ family and reminiscing on shows and going on trips down memory lane with the first two bands, I was looking forward to Frankenbok the most. I was very lucky to have been able to review their last release (here) and I absolutely loved it. Frankenbok live is a whole other new experience. The aspects I loved from their album, were even more powerful live. Often recordings use vocal layering to add depth to the vocals or to make them stand out over the intensity over brutal metal recordings. Frankenbok don’t need to do this all of the string players also do gang vocals and take turns growling too.
Of all the bands tonight Frankenbok gave our NZ brethren a run for their money providing the most energetic performances out of all four of the bands – kiwis you know I don’t like saying that! I couldn’t stand still and just watch Frankenbok and while I know many of my friends hadn’t seen them before or listened to their music so stood back, I was happily in the front of the crowd head banging and throwing the horns along with the rest of their fans. It’s so hard to say which Frankenbok songs they played are my favourite. Black Sabbath is one of my favourite bands and I loved Frankenbok’s bluesy 70s break downs in between the brutal blast beats, guitar solos and pure raging insanity of the monster on the throne at the back of the stage. My favourite moments of their set was when their vocalist Daniel White ran off the stage and outside to the road it brought back a flashback to my recent travels to Mammothfest when a band at the festival did exactly the same thing, except then it was day time and a very nonmetal middle aged man was walking past and got screamed at! The other epic moment was during Voodoo Inc. when Frankenbok got the crowd singing back at them with great enthusiasm and a whole lot of horns and head banging in between. Of the recent international bands that have come to NZ since I’ve been back in New Zealand, the last three weeks Frankenbok was definitely one of my favourite experiences.
Last but definitely not least it was time for local legends 8 Foot Sativa! I had the pleasure of working with 8 Foot Sativa last year with another Australian band Tensions Arise and during that show I remember thinking I wish I wasn’t working so I can relax and jump around in the pit a bit. I probably should have stood back for longer than I did tonight, but 8 foot Sativa are one of the NZ bands that got me into this line of work and it was SO GOOD to have a good old head bang up the front next to my brothers in Just one Fix and Frankenbok. Especially during Hate Made Me and 8 Foot Sativa which are my favourite 8 foot songs. It was awesome seeing how well their new bassist Paul fits on stage with the band and with Paul on one side and Nik on the other their energy was contagious and it was probably one of the most energetic shows I’ve seen of 8 foot in recent years.
Despite the technical issues all four of the bands experienced on this Saturday night I had an amazing time catching up with my NZ brothers and meeting my new Australian brothers. It was an awesome night of family, amazing brutal music and moshing. While the crowd was thinner than expected the people that were there had an amazing time. Thanks for the music, brothers!