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SUNK LOTO, HELM: Mo’s Desert Clubhouse 19/10/23

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Pix by MrBrad Media

I sneak in just before doors at 7 to score a seat up in the corner lounge and just as I do the mixing console starts getting packed up in its road case. I think to myself, this is an odd thing to happen before the show., but as it turns out, following two days of pre-production the consoles brain fails half an hour before doors. At least it wasn’t my brain this time. Anyway, doors are now 7:30 and Helm will start rocking this boat around 8pm.

Helm quietly make their way on stage while Hed PE rocks over the PA. Suddenly Dario hits a few notes on the guitar and the whole band comes thumping in with the heavy drawn-out rhythms they are known for. There is a solid crowd early on and the thunderous rolling drums and bass lines have them swaying in anticipation for the next heavy onslaught. And there it is … Ooft!

I’m not sure how long it’s been since Helm last played a show, well apart from that acoustic one on Sunday, but it’s gotta be almost a decade right? Time has not spoiled this act though and in fact they are as solid and heavy as back in the good old days. Goddamn we are all a bunch of old bastards now though. Luckily, for all of us, dad bods are in! Lucas, Ruckus, Fabio, Rory & Dario it was a pleasure to see you all at the Helm again! Hopefully we’ll see this ship back in port sometime soon, yeah? And going by that display of appreciation, the fans certainly won’t be disappointed!

Bang on 9pm the stage lights dim and PA subwoofers start rumbling and the members of Sunk Loto enter stage 1 by 1 with each member receiving individual applause and cheers from the crowd. The band launches into 5 Years of Silence and immediately gets the crowd moving and then screaming in appreciation as the track ends.

Next up is Fall Apart and without encouragement the crowd don’t hold back singing the words to the chorus. The same applies for Empty Alone which draws the biggest crowd response so far. I have a feeling we are in for one hell of a show here.

I’ve just been informed that the band is playing Between Birth & Death in full, so I can probably stop telling you what the tracks name are. I won’t though, and next up is Help which the band strangely enough doesn’t need any help with. They still managed to get some though with the crowd clapping along mid-song.

I totally forgot how heavy this album was, and how ahead of its time it was way back in 2003. It does however slow down a touch and mellow out for Starved. It’s only momentary though as the song builds to a powerful climax.

This next one is close to my heart as the song my beautiful wife and I walked into at our wedding reception. I’m not gonna lie, I’m singing every word to this song, and I’m not the only one. Everything Everyway is a massive song, and I could probably leave satisfied now, but I won’t because this is just too good of a show to walk away from.

Burning Bridges heavy’s things up again, goddamn does it heavy things up again. I always thought this song sounded like it should belong on a Mudvayne album, but who cares, it’s an absolute banger. No need for brrr brrr dengs in this one though, it holds its own weight without the need for gimmick riffs.

INSIDE heightens the show to a new level of intensity as the band kicks it up a gear. This song is pretty bloody intense, and the aging crowd appreciates it even though they are having trouble keeping up.

Four songs to go and next up is Past Tense Existence followed by Public Imagery, Erased and Soul Worn Thin to finish off the album listing. And what a battering the band gives us all. That was intense, but what’s next, some old favourites or some new tunes?

Turns out it’s the new track, The Gallows Wait. Being the slack prick I am, I hadn’t bothered to listen to this one yet. If you also haven’t heard it, all I can tell you is that it’s crushingly heavy. I even just pulled the brutal face, several times! Fuck it’s loud in here, but the crowd just got louder!

Time for a little Vinegar Stroke, and it still slaps as hard as it did when these guys were still in High School. In case you all forgot, the lads in Sunk were only 16 when this track was released. 4 years later they released a track called Sunken Eyes, but this time around they wasted only about 4 seconds before busting into it.

I don’t want to lift the lid on the last track and ruin all the surprises, so I’ll just end this review by saying “What a fucking show, holy fuck, what a show”! Sunk are back baby, bring on the new album!

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