Gig Review: Justice For The Damned + Cursed Earth + Daybreak + Conform @ Amplifier Bar, Perth
Headliner: Justice For The Damned
Support Acts: Cursed Earth, Daybreak and Conform
Venue: Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
Date: Saturday 2nd September 2017
Last night a show comprised of some the heaviest bands Australia has to offer took the stage at Amplifier Bar. Headlining hardcore band from Sydney: Justice For The Damned performed in recognition of their new album Dragged Through The Dirt, and are currently on their “Dragged Through The Dirt” Australian tour. They were backed up by local Perth heavyweights: Cursed Earth, Daybreak and Conform.
First up were Perth’s nu-metal band, Conform, who went straight into the rapped introduction of “Nasty” off their 2016 EP Cigarette Lullaby. Vocalist Troy Van der Meer’s rapping was tight, and mixed well with the instrumentals. The band hit hard when approaching the heavy sections, Troy’s screaming was excellent, and the instrumentals sounded brutal. They moved onto the audience-favorite “Rout III” and tore through the set with a huge sound, sparking up plenty of head-banging and moshing. The band’s clean vocals were good too, and blended very well with the heavy instrumentation and sampling. Furthermore, Conform had a solid stage presence and really resonated their intensity with the audience, notably when bassist Vincent Robinson jumped in the mosh pit halfway through “Narrow”, causing a few technical difficulties cutting off their samples. Regardless, these guys are giving a great spin on nu-metal – incorporating elements of deathcore and experimental metal to create a niche that sounds destructive live. With no shortage of hard-hitting breakdowns, Conform tore through a great set, an excellent warmup for the show.
Stepping up the heaviness, up next was local deathcore band Daybreak. There was no shortage of heaviness as the band went straight into the brutality of “Loose Ends” from their new EP Death Dreams. Frontman, Shaun Cox, is an absolute menace onstage; his vocals are insanely brutal, and matched perfectly with the sheer violence that is their instrumentation. Daybreak managed to go heavy upon heavy. The razor-sharp, down-tuned guitars, paired with the ominous ambient melodies, created a truly menacing live set. The band tore through their set with incredible energy and stage presence, with no shortage of breakdowns – hence no shortage moshing and head-banging. The title-track “Death Dreams” also showcased some of the clean vocal highlights from guitarist: Blake Pearce, that really added a dynamic change of pace following the absolute brutality. The band had a few technical issues during their set, but continued to push through with breakdown-heavy tracks “The Possessor” and ending their set with audience-favorite “Lost Sentience.” Shaun didn’t compromise any energy despite the noticeable strain on his voice, and went full-throttle through the entirety of their set.
The heaviness of the night continued to spike as local legends Cursed Earth took the stage with their iconic, raw, ferocity. Tearing straight into “Sanctioned Violence” off their latest EP Cycles Of Grief, and immediately sparked a frenzy of moshing and head-banging that became more relentless as the night went on. Lead vocalist, Jazmine Luders, absolutely owned the stage, and tore the set to shreds with her raw, murderous vocals. Matching this with the devastatingly raw guitars and ultra-tight drums, brutal is not enough to describe the sheer heaviness of this band. Of course, Cursed Earth included their moshpit-friendly “Colon Colon”, the ominous buildup to the breakdown preceding the infamous pessimism quote erupted into a gargantuan wall of sound accompanied by one of the more hectic mosh pits of the night. The band stormed through highlight tracks such as “War March” and “Violated” off their new EP and ended their set with “Degenerate” from their 2016 debut LP Slaved By The Insignificant. The intensity of this band was never once under 100%. Cursed Earth did not disappoint.
The Sydney heavyweights Justice For The Damned took the stage to a full-venue, and stomped right into the title-track off their 2017 debut LP, Dragged Through The Dirt. Similar to Cursed Earth, these guys were raw, intense, and created a destructive sound. Frontman Bobak Rafiee’s vocals were ruthless; his raw energy and incredible stage presence was maintained full-throttle through their entire set. The instrumentation is a chaotic array of gargantuan guitar tones, blaringly accurate blast-beats and devastating bass. It was slightly difficult to hear Bobak’s vocals in the former half of the set, however, the mixing did improve as the set progressed, and never did it detract from the band’s tumultuous energy. The audience exploded into mass hysteria during monstrous tracks like “It Will Always Be My Fault”, “No Flowers On Your Grave” and “Demon”. It was also great to see Jazmine sharing the stage for her feature tracks – seeing two iconic, hardcore heavyweights together was a thrilling experience. The band ended their set with an audience-favourite: "Please Don't Leave Me" for a destructive finale to an incredibly heavy-hitting show.
This was Justice For The Damned's second show for their "Dragged Through The Dirt" Tour, and there was no slowing down the entire night. Heaviness upon heaviness, the band put on a fantastic performance, alongside great supporting acts: Cursed Earth, Daybreak and Conform.