Gig Review: Torizon Single Launch w/ For The Wolves & Failed Assimilation @ The Brightside

Headliner: Torizon

Support: For The Wolves + Failed Assimilation

Venue: The Brightside, Brisbane

Date: Saturday July 27th 2019

Review by Sam Wolstenholme.

There’s been a lot of hype recently around fresh hard rock kids on the block Torizon with the recent release of their four powerful singles. Bursting onto the Brisbane metal scene with their assertive and distinctive core melodic rock sound, the five-piece have quickly demonstrated that they absolutely mean business, and Brisbane needs to sit up and take notice. It’s all been building up to this point - tonight Torizon is set to debut their singles live on the Brightside stage, joined by two staples of the Brisbane alternative music scene in For The Wolves and Failed Assimilation. It’s a cracking lineup, and as I arrive at the Brightside just in time for doors opening, I know I’m in for one very entertaining Saturday night.

Heavy electro-industrial outfit Failed Assimilation are up first. As they launch into their set, I immediately get heavy Marilyn Manson meets Placebo meets Paradise Lost vibes through their gloriously rich 90s gothwave aesthetic. Initially, the four-piece is playing to a mostly empty stage floor, but almost straight away, punters begin flocking forwards, entranced by the hypnotic tones of the band’s unique goth industrial sound.

The band maintains a static intensity on stage, and in most tracks are expert in building the tension from a subdued beginning to a climactic and unexpectedly heavy point in the track. This is underscored by vocalist John’s powerful harsh vocals, which add a layer of gritty darkness to the overall sound that suits the band’s underground gothwave style. I’m surprised at the injection of harshes in a band that doesn’t have a drummer, but it oddly works and it lends Failed Assimilation their own distinctive edge. A fantastic and fitting opener who have set the scene and expertly built the anticipation for the main attraction.

A horde of loyal followers instantly gathers at the stage floor as Torizon take their place on stage. Wasting no time, they rip right into their catchy brand of dark melodic rock, and I am instantly struck by how comfortable and confident they seem on stage for such a young band, even since the last time I saw them live. All members give energetic performances, but it’s frontwoman Misha who completely owns the stage – with her powerful vocal delivery and the raw passion in her movements, you simply cannot take your eyes off her. The recent addition of a second guitarist in Torizon’s lineup was an inspired decision, as the band now delivers a bigger and more well-rounded live sound, which is further enhanced by how tight the five-piece are rhythmically. The live mix is excellent, with prominent vocals backed by punchy guitars and crisp drum lines.

First single “Falling” has such a great Soundgarden vibe, and by this point, Misha has well and truly warmed into the set, and this is where she really hits her stride vocally. A highlight moment of the set is when Torizon launch into “Shine On”. A truly uplifting track, it’s a real anthem when played live, and by this point, the crowd is moshing away and cheering wildly, and this carries on through the banger of a new single “Immerse”. But it’s during “Hey You” that I really feel the chills. Misha has been very open about the personal tragedies she suffered that have inspired these songs, so as the whole band smash through this powerful song with a defiant, take-no-prisoners attitude, it’s an empowering moment that is felt keenly throughout the room. Torizon ends the set with the entirely new, never-before-heard “Oceans”, which offers a nice change of pace with its alternating passages of frenzied riffs and sweeping choruses. It’s an excellent set from this very promising band that has a bright future ahead of them, and judging by the enthusiastic cheers as they walk off stage, it’s clear that the crowd tonight thinks so too.

By the time For The Wolves take the stage, a lot of punters have disappeared, which is a shame. Nevertheless, the four-piece immediately command the stage with their incredibly engaging and hard-hitting melodic rock sound. Coming fresh off the coattails of their highly profiled live appearance at Dead of Winter Festival, I’d been looking forward to checking these guys out, and it certainly looks promising so far. There’s a great live mix that is underpinned by a particularly booming, powerful bass sound that gives the overall sound a strong foundation. The first half of For the Wolves’ set offers the band’s more commercially appealing tracks consisting of catchy melodic choruses reminiscent of the Foo Fighters, interspersed with a Mastodon-esque sludgey edge. Despite initially being rather reserved on stage, the four-piece deliver solid riffs and a tight performance, and gradually the crowd grows throughout the set as the band begins to loosen up a little.

The band then change tack partway through the set with the introduction of some interesting proggier elements. The addition of ambient effects in a few tracks lends the overall sound an unexpected post-rock shoegaze vibe that makes for a great change of pace from the enjoyable yet rather formulaic rock numbers that preceded it. Drummer Anthony is particularly skilled, and I stand in admiration of his excellent double kicks. The band launches into a really punchy new track that kicks things up a notch and carries them through to the end of their set on a high as their biggest crowd gathers at the foot of the stage to send them off.

Any fewer than four bands on a local band lineup can be risky, but all three bands tonight performed to such a high standard and flowed so cohesively from one set to the next that it was a stellar show the whole way through. If all the bands proved anything tonight, it’s that the Brisbane heavy scene is absolutely bursting at the seams with diverse talent, and these bands are just waiting to be discovered by the discerning punter who can spare a $15-20 here and there to support the talent that’s right on their doorstep. An excellent night for Brisbane heavy music, and a testament to the calibre of all the bands. For Torizon in particular, I really can’t wait to see what they do next.

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