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Gig Review: Chaos Divine + supports, Woy Woy

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Chaos Divine + Steelswarm + The Gathering Storm + From Ashes To Victory + Lost Without Life
26 March 2015
Woy Woy Leagues Club
Review and photo by Peter Coates

The combination of a venue change from Baker St in Gosford (which was a shame as this is a classy venue) and road works on the freeway meant I missed the early part of Lost Without Life’s set, but they appeared to be a young local metalcore act, with a decent following garnered from recent high profile supports that gave them a good response.

FROM ASHES TO VICTORY are another five-piece metalcore band from the Central Coast – must be something in the water – and despite a rather muddy mix it was clear that they have two excellent guitarists, featuring on their triple j Unearthed track ‘Nostalgia and Cigarettes Will Be The Death of Me’.  Some clean melodies among the more common guttural growls of Tim Prior, and a crowd response that was enthusiastic, if not the most impressive wall of death!

The set featured some excellent technical and driving drums from Sam Shergold and Tim worked really hard sometimes playing two vocal parts – but to my mind there was little to make the guys stand out from so many other metalcore bands.

Any band at such a gig that sets up stage with keyboards, and features two girls in frocks raises an immediate eyebrow, and The Gathering Storm certainly delivered on this with an immense symphonic metal sound from twin guitars and the bass and keys, and some soaring crystal-clear piercing vocals from Ella, which despite a somewhat limited range, were really impressive on many of the songs.

The set featured a couple of covers, with a version of Gary Moore’s ‘Over the Hills’ providing hints of Curved Air combined with the Gaelic theme of the original, with some pounding drums under Julie’s synth melodies.  This band clearly offers something a bit different and has the talent and musicianship to deserve wider exposure.

Steelswarm had made the journey up from Sydney, and were a leather-clad three-piece clearly channelling Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Metallica and other classic metal acts…most reminiscent to me of Angelwitch and Raven, the classic British trios from the NWOBHM in the late 1970s.  The main focus of the band is the riffs and solos, with the songs more instrumental than vocal, and brothers Dane (Guitar) and Jamie (Bass) Simms generated a barrage of noise, over the powerful drumming of Alex Marr.

The band suffered the curse of distance, with little support in the house, and while obviously all accomplished musicians, the overall impact was slightly one-dimensional, and they were not in the same genre as the other bands on the bill.

As a fan of Aussie progressive rock for the past ten years or more, I have clearly failed in not picking up on Perth’s Chaos Divine until now. And the release of their fourth or fifth full-length CD, ‘Colliding Skies’, which is being toured around the main cities this month, including a detour to the Central Coast prior to the main Sydney show.

A technical progressive rock outfit, featuring some selected backing tracks and tapes, which enhance the consistently high-quality delivery from the guys onstage.  Complex bass and drum patterns, with Ben Mazzarol smashing the kit through some obscure beats and time signatures and massive edgy riffs from Ryan Felton and Simon Mitchell on guitars, as well as some piercing pure soloing from both.

The multi-layered and powerful vocal delivery of David Anderton provided real warmth to the songs, all of which were taken from the new album, except for the set closer ‘One Door’.

Lots of musical references to early Karnivool, Cog and the Butterfly Effect, as well as Dead Letter Circus (the new CD was mixed and mastered by Forrester Savell), providing a polished Aussie prog-metal sound, and really well executed throughout.  Highlights for me were opener ‘Landmines’ and ‘Badge of Honour’, but the whole set was impressive and the CD has remained on my player all day today!


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