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Live Review: Fear Factory, Circles

9 June 2016 | 12:29 pm | Gareth Williams

"It was a brutal assault, a wall of sound that whipped the punters into a frenzy."

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"Due to the graphic nature of this program listener discretion is advised."

The harbinger which precedes the brilliant Edgecrusher should probably be played before every Fear Factory show, such is the ferocity of the LA natives' set.

Before Fear Factory destroyed all in their wake, Melbourne locals Circles put on a show worthy of their support slot. The band's progressive grooves and off-kilter time signatures certainly had many punters standing up and taking notice, no mean feat considering Fear Factory fans are infamous for their devotion forsaking all others. Circles didn't so much play their instruments as attack them, with the five-piece's energetic antics barely contained on the reduced stage.

With the stage bathed in blue light, an Australian flag draped over the double kick drums of Mike Heller's kit and the smoke machine on overtime, the introduction seemed to go in forever. Chants of "Fear Factory, Fear Factory" from the restless crowd punched through the ambient noise. As soon as the machine gun drums hit, the punters were restless no more. Fear Factory launched into the title track off 1995's Demanufacture giving raise to screams of "I've got no more goddamn regrets!"

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The bottom end, crunching guitar of the seated Dino Cazeres was unmistakable (seated under doctor's orders after breaking his foot in Melbourne). Broken bones aside, there was no slowing down the riff machine, as Cazeres' left hand moved as a blur, plying his trade. "Are you ready for a shock?!" screamed frontman Burton C. Bell, and ready they were as the band tore into the brutal Shock. The mosh pit became a circle pit then transformed into all out heavy metal warfare, with front of stage no place for the faint of heart. Angels may fear to tread but there were plenty of black T-shirt-clad sweaty bodies willing to dive in and risk life and limb. There was no clever light show, lasers or pyros, just a huge screen with the band's name emblazoned as a backdrop. Fear Factory let the music do the talking, but they more than talked. It was a brutal assault, a wall of sound that whipped the punters into a frenzy. New songs Soul Hacker and Regenerate more than held their own alongside older favourites Powershifter and Resurrection.

Replica was announced as the final song, then with no time to scream for more the lights came up and strains of Never Gonna Give You Up over the PA, it was time to go. That's right, ladies and gents, we got fucking Rickrolled by Fear Factory.