Orpheus Omega, Hadal Maw, The Seer, Daemon Pyre, Immorium, Newtown Social Club, Sydney, 7/08/15

A home-grown metal bill as good as it gets rolls into town.

Let’s not beat around the bush, Sydney has a very particular attitude towards supporting live music. Sure, there’s always going to be that handful of diehards that make it to every show and certain bands that for whatever reason can make us get out and show our support, but the majority of us just can’t seem to be bothered with live shows. If you wanted a stark example of this fact, you’d have to look at tonight’s Orpheus Omega show. Their performance in Melbourne a few days prior managed to draw in over 500 punters and while that’s obviously a massive number even for Melbourne, we could barely manage to match 1/5th of that number tonight in Newtown.

However, let’s not focus on the negatives. After all, tonight’s show is about the awesome bands and awesome people that are in attendance.

First on the bill was Immorium from Canberra. They got things off to a good start, getting the few people in attendance revved up with their modern death metal.

Next up is Daemon Pyre, who are probably the Number one example of the strength the Sydney metal scene is capable of producing. 2015 has been a good year for the band, with the release of their debut album and numerous support slots, word is quickly spreading that this is a group to keep your eye on. Their set is a monstrous demonstration of melodic death metal with a sense of tightness, energy and drive that belies their relatively recent incarnation. Jumping off the stage, vocalist Sam Rilatt made sure that you knew he was there to entertain and energise you.  Daemon Pyre has the live chops of a band with about 10 more years of experience than they have and thoroughly convinced the audience of this. 

The Seer always manage to put on a good show when they’re in town. The Newcastle natives’ mix of symphonic and technical death metal is a perfect fit for this bill and vocalist/guitarist Ryan Huthnance has skills to spare. Perhaps it is due to the calibre of the bands they’re sharing the stage with, but tonight their performance is especially polished.  Knocking out songs from their debut album, Prologue, as well as new tunes from an as yet untitled follow up effort, the band is really on point tonight.

Easily the most technical and brutal band of the night, Hadal Maw played a good set that for whatever reason didn’t really seem to connect with the audience as much as the other bands as action in the pit dropped off somewhat. Not that you’d know it watching the band play, seeing that kind of intricate material played with almost effortless precision is no easy feat; it had me reminiscing about Gorguts playing this very venue last year. They tore through a set of songs from last year’s Senium album with an almost gravitational force. Special mention must be given to drummer Rob Brens, who is one of the most prolific skin-thumpers in the country right now.

And finally it was time for band of the night, Orpheus Omega, to take the stage. Behind darkened curtains, the band emerged to the opening thrums of I, Architect. There was almost a sense of rejuvenation amongst the band, a desire to reaffirm their strength as a band after the devastating loss of their bassist Adam “Milky” Adams in 2013 and the subsequent channelling of that grief into the fantastic Partum Vita Mortum album. They were firing on all cylinders tonight and the audience responded in kind, generating a small but intense pit to show their appreciation. Not to be upstaged by the crowd, keyboard player, Keswick Gallagher and new bassist Nathan Mesiti took it upon themselves to jump down and join in on the action on more than one occasion. It was a wonder that no instruments wound up damaged. The new songs included in the set were probably the standout parts of the set, with Karma Favours the Weak garnering a particularly strong reaction. For those of us Sydney-siders that were in the know, it was a strong finish for a night of some of the most underrated death metal Australia has to offer.