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[LIVE REVIEW] HIGGO’S HEAVY CHERRY VIII, The Cherry Bar Melbourne, Dec. 16

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Dave Higgins aka Triple M’s “Higgo” is a man known for his love of Aussie metal. So it came as no surprise when a couple of years ago he teamed up with iconic Melbourne venue Cherry Bar for Higgo’s Heavy Cherry. Now onto its eighth edition; some of Higgo’s favourite Aussie bands hit the Cherry Bar stage once again.

First up tonight is Wollongong fantasy/folk metal band Saralisse. Saralisse are definitely quite different from the rest of the bands on the bill tonight, but that doesn’t stop them from having a great time with their songs about “slaying dragons and slaying anything.” They even include a great cover of Kenny Loggin’s Danger Zone (the classic Top Gun song).

Se Bon Ki Ra have had a big year. They’ve supported both Soilwork and, recently, Lamb of God on their Adelaide sideshow when they were here with Slipknot. Now they’ve made the trip over from Adelaide for Heavy Cherry. Frontman Chad Corsgrove has some great vocals. They remind me a bit of Randy Blythe of Lamb of God mixed with Robb Flynn of Machine Head. Their brand of groove/thrash metal is catchy, and they put on a solid set.

It’s hard to believe Melbourne’s Dreadnaught have been around since 1992. But their confidence and stage presence is shown very early when launching into Clenched Fist and have everyone head-banging along. As Dreadnaught plays through their set, they just seem to get better and better, and I wonder how I’ve never listened to these guys before. They’re bloody great! They even show off a more hard rock side to them when they play Set Fire To The Plan but frontman Greg Trull shows he can sing just as well with the mellower stuff as he does with the heavy metal. Dreadnaught recently released their fifth album Caught The Vultures Sleeping which is now high on my list of albums to listen to.

Ending tonight is melodic death metallers Orpheus Omega and it’s quite clear this is who everyone is here to see. The band get the small crowd worked up into a mosh onto more than one occasion and bassist Nathan Mesiti and keytarist (yep, they have a keytar!) Keswick Gallagher spend a lot of time playing their instruments wandering around the crowd. Gallagher even jumps up onto the bar for their final track, Sealed In Fate. For Orpheus Omega’s final show of the year, they even include a couple of covers that go down a treat. In Flame’s Take This Life and a surprising (but awesome) cover of my, all time favourite song Prisoner of Society by The Living End.

I love gigs like this. Discovering new music. So, big thanks to Higgo for another awesome Heavy Cherry and I keenly await the announcement of the ninth edition. In the meantime, however, make sure you catch, for the first time, Higgo’s Heavy Pelly in Frankston.

from 8 pm on 17th Dec. Pelly Bar, Frankston
with DreadnaughtKill: Death: Ratio Se Bon Ki Ra

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