Gig Review: Ye Gods Of Metal Festival 2017

It’s that time of year again - Ye Gods Of Metal has finally arrived with an incredible lineup for 2017. Sadly we arrive a little late, but we catch local favourites Adriatic as our day begins.

Adriatic are a beloved local act and they perform in front of a cheering crowd. They’re heavy and energetic and kick-start our day on a high note. Next up, we catch new addition Anchored to Eternity. They seem a little unsure on stage, but there is a lot of promise in this band. They’re probably the youngest band here today and I can’t wait to see where they go from here. Their musical identity isn’t quite clear yet, but it’s refreshing to see such a young band be so ambitious. This is the first of several female fronted acts today, and following this fun set are another female fronted band - Devonian. They are absolutely superb. Front woman Diletta Luna is a goddess on stage, reminding me of Ozzy Osbourne in her demeanor. A showcase of utter fearlessness. She’s so infectiously confident, but also has the voice and charisma to back it up. She’s like Janis Joplin’s gothic cousin that’s been possessed by Iggy Pop. Someone yells ‘more chicks!’ at the end of their set and I can’t agree more.

Next up, Symbolic Weapon. They are heavy and fun, and the crowd loves them instantly. Massic continue the party on the main stage with a funky and groovy take on what is probably best described as nu metal, but has a progressive edge. They kick start the mosh pit immediately to a super enthusiastic crowd, and it escalates beautifully to a full on metal party. Caetera are up next on the theatre stage and despite playing without a drummer (he was hospitalised recently), they are crushingly heavy and emotive at the same time - an absolute treat. A fan of almost every strain of rock and metal would love these guys. Wartooth on the other hand, should be endorsed by L’Oréal Paris. Arguably the band with the best looking hair of all time. They are a ferocious ball of energy and the crowd loves every second. A great take on old school thrash metal, executed perfectly. This band belongs on a big outdoor stage in front of a huge crowd. They sound and look absolutely incredible, and this is perhaps the craziest, most rowdy crowd of the day. Superb show.

Kaosphere blend modern and nu metal in an interesting way and deliver an energetic show. Amicable Treason have had a big year, and having recently seen them perform at Fleshgod Apocalypse, I knew I was in for a great show. Bands often forget to interact with the audience, but not in this case. The band is super tight, fun to watch and leave the crowd wanting more.

Medics of Pain make for a cool departure into more old school territory, and In Death follow suit. They have recently returned from Europe, and are finishing off a massive year here today. Another female graced the stage, this time on bass, and it’s great to see how much thought has gone into diversifying this lineup. In Death are having a ball on stage and so is the crowd. One of the the largest crowds of the day.

Therein take the theatre stage at 8pm, and their adventurous progressive death metal is super fun. Certain musical changes and direction choices are really surprising and therefore, exciting. Certainly a band to watch.

I make my way to Silent Knight’s set, one of the more left of centre acts on the bill. They bring in the classic heavy metal a la Iron Maiden, which is a nice change at this point In the day as these are the first clean vocals we’ve heard in hours. awesome light show and presence, and an appreciative crowd for this set.

In between the shows, punters are gathered in the lobby, talking about music and having a beer, and the atmosphere is pretty amazing. This event is a huge success and I feel proud to see so many people here today. Well done, Brisbane.

Lavidius are phenomenal as always, with their breezy vibe and grooviness. Frontman Nathan Stiffel Is sporting lipstick and a tutu, which is pretty damn great. Their set is well received by an enthusiastic crowd, and they’re a perfect lead up to Witchgrinder. Having waited a long time to see these guys, I was pretty excited to catch their set.

Witchgrinder introduce pyro into the show and their set is elevated to 11. It’s a dark and moody show on the goth end of the spectrum, and a well thought out spectacle of light and fire. The audience is having a ball and a roar of appreciation follows every track.

It’s time for the headliners. Placing Seraphic after Witchgrinder is somewhat of an odd choice, but it certainly doesn’t affect them. The band is in fine form tonight, and another superbly talented female dominates the stage. This incarnation of soaring symphonic metal with a lighthearted vibe, is joyous and a very welcome change of pace. A worthy closer to the awesomeness that unfolded on the theatre stage tonight.

Finally, Chronolyth take the main stage to close the festival. Vocalist Hamish McSorley is doing double duty today as he also fronts Amicable Trason, I can only imagine how long today has been for him. That said, he’s not showing any signs of fatigue whatsoever, and his voice cuts through the mix with authority. A blisteringly heavy set dominates the crowd, and the impeccable performance of the band is a wonderful way to finish off such an epic day. It’s unbelievable how much energy this crowd still has, and at the end of the show it really feels like despite this being such a long day, it was a day that no one wanted to see the end of.

The most amazing thing about metal has always been it’s power to act as an emotional release. Ye Gods Of Metal wasn’t just a festival, it was a family gathering. Everyone had a blast and every single band was worthy of its placement here. Heads were banging, the mosh pit was constant, and despite being rowdy and enthusiastic, this was a well behaved crowd, here for the sole purpose of supporting metal. An absolutely wonderful event I hope to see continue for many years to come.

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