Gig Review: The Acacia Strain + Guests @ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne

Headliner: The Acacia Strain

Supports: Kublai Khan + Boris The Blade + Colossvs + Gravemind

Date: Sunday December 10th, 2017

Venue: The Corner Hotel, Melbourne.

Photography: Aidan Rice (Broken Hound Studio)

Review: Zachary Quinn

Opening up the night were Melbourne's Gravemind melting fan's faces with their triple-guitar assault, The room was barely full at this stage but that didn't stop the band from delivering a energetic set and started the hardcore dancing off. Their front-man especially wasn't deterred, He was getting in people's faces and giving it his all.

Next up were Colossvs bringing a different vibe, their own style of blackened death metal. Their infectious riffs kept the momentum going, Front-man Lochlan Watt announced that they haven't played a show in a while and also said "Thanks for letting us dust off the cobwebs" during their set. Colossvs played a fun set that had the crowd chanting and pumping their fists.

Moving onto, Boris The Blade, Melbourne's finest in deathcore hit the stage with 'Warpath' and the crowd really started to swing into action. Blast beats galore, technical guitar work and an aggressive performance got the crowd in full participation. Their front-man Sharpy is a snarling, water spitting unstoppable monster, getting into the crowd and giving out the mic often. I've seen Boris The Blade many times and they only get better, They performed a great mixture of songs ending with 'Like Wolves' from their 1st EP Tides Of Damnation, which saw a punter lifted from the ground until the song came to an end. They even had time to throw in a snippet of Korn's 'Blind' which was greatly received.

This was Kublai Khan's second time coming to play in Australia, it's been only one year since they last came over and I had only heard great things about the band's live performance. The room finally became full of people and anticipation, myself and the crowd were very eager for this set to begin. "We are Kublai Khan from Sherman Texas' and with that the band were off bringing down 'The Hammer' and the crowd came alive, fists were flying, spin kicks all over the place and a two stepping extravaganza for the eye to behold. Front-man Matt Honeycutt dedicated the set for those who do what they believe in and stand opposed to the things they do not. Honeycutt's vocals and performance was one of the strongest of the night, There were moments where I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, Kublai Khan played a tight, powerful set and I can't wait to see them again in the future.

The Acacia Strain are a band I have wanted to see for a long time, It's been three years since they have been in Australia and nothing could prepare me for the show that was to come. TAS took the stage with front-man Vincent Bennett telling everyone "We're here to fuck you up". The band went all out unleashing chaos within the full room, crushing breakdowns had fans losing their minds and people (and drinks) were sent flying. The band's energy was fantastic and Vincent's performance was phenomenal, His guttural vocals were gut wrenching and sounded brilliant. Vincent looked like he was having a lot of fun, frequently talking with the crowd, making sincere and heartfelt statements, I wasn't expecting this to be honest but it was just as important to the band's performance as are the down-tuned guitars. Speaking of unexpected, The Acacia Strain also had time to throw in a Christmas Carol, As Vincent sung "Deck the halls with boughs of holly" to which the crowd responded with a "falalalala lalalala" It was awesome and generated a few smiles and laughs. A real highlight was a newer song 'Big Sleep' where Honeycutt came out and killed it on vocals, While Vincent sprayed water like a flamethrower. The set list was full of fan favorites like "Send Help", "The Hills Have Eyes" and of course "JFC'". The Acacia Strain truly fucked shit up and ended the night with a solid bang with "Beast" I can't wait to see The Acacia Strain back in Australia. Vincent said he had thought about throwing in the towel but not after receiving such a great response from the Australian fans. This Sunday night down at the Corner Hotel was honestly special, if only it was a Friday and the party never ended.

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