Live Review: Dead Of Winter Festival 2012

17 July 2012 | 9:52 am | Jake Sun

For yet another year the Jubilee Hotel is overtaken by the vast maelstrom of metal, rock, and punk that is the Dead Of Winter Festival. Eager to get the most out of the long day, the punters pack into the venue and excite the five stages into a state of fevered liveliness by the early afternoon.

Out on the 4ZZZ Stage Midnight Creepers get their zombie-hillbilly-punk game on and reflect the flavours of the day with a generous dose of corpse paint and fake blood. Back at the main stage the fashion may be toned down but the riffs are turned up as Death Valley Nights provide a loud lesson in rock'n'roll. And meanwhile upstairs the Time Off Stage lays it on heavy with a cluster of furious sets by the likes of In Death, D-Nine, and Dead Letter Opener.  

As the night arrives the beer keeps flowing fast and the moshpit madness reaches new heights. The darkness truly descends as local metal legends Astriaal put on a sinister display, with offerings from their latest record Anatomy Of The Infinite reminding everybody just how good Brissie music can be. Segression bring on the nostalgia trip and take us back to their heyday with the weighty Fifth Of The Fifth and a good selection from their classic era. Area 7 send the metal-heads running but for others they keep the good times coming as they run through an infectious set of their fruity blend of ska punk. The Dreamkillers are yet another celebration of the past, but newbies such as Verbal Violence prove they've still got some fight in them. For their first show in Brisbane since 2008, I Nation really deliver the goods, and make many regret their prolonged absence with an electrifying half hour of music that sees a couple of guest vocalists overly eager to join in and make the most of the long-awaited set.

After over 12 hours of musical mayhem the festival comes to a close and sends the rambunctious crowd into the streets to terrorise the unsuspecting Valley public. The sense of community is amazingly strong in Brisbane's heavy music scene, and it is only through the strength of this vibrant collectivity that such a festival is possible. Once again The Dead Of Winter Festival is a raging success, but more importantly it is a grand testament to the communal spirit of heavy music.

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