Gig Review: Lavidius Album Launch @ The Brightside

Headliner: Lavidius

Supports: Dirty Brew + Caetera + Symbolic Weapon + Mergatroyd

Venue: The Brightside, Brisbane

Date: Friday October 13th, 2017

Photography: Jeremy Edwards

Review: Tomina Vincent

The Brightside is nice and hot as I head in to check out a packed 5 band lineup tonight. The early doors make for a slow start, but by the end of the night, things got a little crazy. Here’s how it all went down.

Dirty Brew open the night with a great stoner rock vibe that was unfortunately not witnessed by many. They sound groovy and the bass hits right where it should. Vocalist Brad Jeffrey Has a little bit of Ezekiel Ox in him, which is entertaining. The band behind him is tight and deliciously heavy. Their closing track starts off almost exactly like Marilyn Manson’s The Beautiful People and everyone immediately starts dancing and some even sing along. Apart from being a little rough around the edges, Dirty Brew are a worthy and charming opener.

Next up, Caetera unleash hell. They’re impossibly heavy and have a commanding presence. You can feel it as the eyes of everyone in the room fix on them. This is a bold take on technical death metal, and there are some very interesting moments. At times I’m reminded of Meshuggah, and even Fleshgod Apocalypse. Vocalist Adrian Rosa Is a remarkable technician, maintaining power and presence the whole time. The rhythm section is grueling and blends with the guitars beautifully, and guitarist Jackson Price’s fingers are a blur and he’s a delight to watch, as he looks relaxed and the smile never leaves his face. Caetera are a clear stand out for me tonight and I’m left wanting more when they finish.

Symbolic Weapon kick of at 9pm with groovy death metal That’s easy to get into. Their drummer Craig Dadson Is fantastic to watch and his head banging and stage presence are pretty mesmerising. The band is certainly having fun on stage. There are syncopated drums, guitar solos and crushing bass. Singer James Maclean holds his can of Jack Daniels (I’m assuming) without dropping it for 30 minutes, which is a skill in itself. Fans of Pantera and Sepultura, these guys are for you.

The room is filling up nicely and fans excitedly rush to the stage as the Lavidius begin their set, and they immediately stand out. The elaborate light show is very welcome at this point - one of those things you never notice are missing until they’re actually a part of the show. The constant antics bring something new in every track. The crowd obeys every command, they jump, dance and sing along and around "Concentrated Hatred", the Brightside is pumping. The band seems like a bunch of mates playing music they love for their friends, and they’re clearly having a ball, and the audience is too. It’s a celebration of everything the metal community stands for: the booze is flowing, the humour is inappropriate and everyone is having a whale of a time. Vocalist Nathan Stiffel brings a fan on stage to sing with him, after which the band invite the whole crowd on stage for a group photo which was a very heart warming gesture to witness. Lavidius have been around for a long time, but I think right now is when they really started bringing the goods and what I saw tonight was a tight and entertaining band on its way into the hearts of old and new fans alike.

Lavidius prove to be a tough act to follow. Mergatroyd are last and unfortunately for them, many punters have already left as they take the stage. They certainly bring on the old school. There is a distinct Motörhead vibe about this band, and they certainly entertain the few remaining punters. They are launching an EP tonight and play a mix of old and new tracks that make for a varied and eclectic set that was perhaps better suited for an earlier time slot.

The Lavidius album launch was a huge success for the band and for everyone involved, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Brisbane metal is alive and well, and the family keeps on growing and bringing the goods. Do yourself a favour and check out all of these excellent bands.

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