Live Review: Make Them Suffer, After The Burial, Saviour, Gravemind

11 June 2019 | 11:26 am | Rod Whitfield

"There is something to be said for keeping your audience hungry."

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Gravemind have a shit-tonne of potential. And that promise is on display in its full fury this evening. Their music and their live show is pretty techy, a touch progressive, and an ultra-tight display of closely controlled frenzy. The songs are strong and dynamic. The live set is visually energetic. Vocalist Dylan Gillies-Parsons’ hell-born screech is truly scary, drummer Karl Steller is an extremely active and dexterous player and the three seven-stringers are capable of laying out crushing riffs and nimble-fingered fretwork with aplomb. But therein lies a slight problem – the lack of a bass guitar renders the live sound just a smidgeon tinny and thin, lacking some of the weight you would expect from a band such as this, and the mix is a touch too drum- and vocal-heavy. Recruit a bassist, guys, and that potential will begin to bear fruit in a live sense. And then you may find yourselves racing to the top of the heavy heap.


Gravemind. Photos by Clinton Hatfield.

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Saviour smash out groove-based metalcore with one very welcome difference, Shontay Snow's keys and vocals. They offset the aggressive howling of frontman Bryant Best and the bludgeoning heaviness that goes on around them very effectively indeed, and set this band apart from the cookie-cutter crew. Throw in a guest vocalist five or six tunes into the set and their show is a real vocal tour de force. The band split a few years back, but have now put themselves back together. Judging by tonight’s set, it’s damn good that they’ve been saved. 


Saviour. Photos by Clinton Hatfield.

The only non-Aussie band on the bill, Minnesota’s After The Burial sound sharper than a brand new axe. The heavily triggered kick drums may have something to do with this, although just as big a factor is the fact that the single guitar and bass (Trent Hafdahl and Adrian Oropeza) lock in with those kicks with uncanny, almost inhuman precision. The overall effect is like a musical jackhammer. Elsewhere, when the guitar is not locked in watertight sync with drummer Dan Carle’s thundering footwork, the riffs are enjoyable, twisted and off-kilter (especially during Behold The Crown), and it’s great to hear some regular blistering lead work from the band too. Running rampant over the top of all this cacophony is the lung-busting voice of Anthony Notarmaso. The man is a powerhouse, as a vocalist and as a frontman.


After The Burial. Photos by Clinton Hatfield.

Perth phenomenon Make Them Suffer receive a hero’s welcome as their dramatic intro music plays. And why not, they have been crushing all before them, in a musical and profile sense, for several years now. They release new music on a regular basis and tour relentlessly. The only problem is that they don’t play for long enough. Fifty minutes plus a single encore doesn’t feel like quite enough from a band such as this, especially with the illustrious back catalogue they are amassing. 

There is something to be said for keeping your audience hungry and wanting more, however.


Make Them Suffer. Photos by Clinton Hatfield.

And that 50-odd minutes is all quality too, spanning their early, more brutal deathcore days through to their more melodic, progressive, although no less powerful, recent material. Brand new track Hollowed Heart is relentless, while the now classic Uncharted is a celebration. Sitting alongside the blast of earlier tunes Widower and Weeping Wastelands, it all still works perfectly. And the standalone single that bridged the gap between the two eras, Ether, is monumental. It simultaneously soothes the senses and crushes skulls.

This band just gets better and better the longer the set goes on. The songs get better, the stage show gets bigger, and the energy that pours off the stage when they play becomes more and more infectious. And the punters reward them this night with a sold-out venue and an uproarious reception.