Live Review: Northlane, Erra, Sworn In

30 October 2017 | 1:43 pm | Brendan Delavere

"Security were kept busy catching bodies and keeping a lookout for Bridge's grandparents, who were in the mosh looking to 'crowd kill anyone in their way'."

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A couple of years ago you would be hard-pressed to see an international act open for an Australian band. These days it seems as though all major tours by Aussie hardcore bands have an international flavour on the bill, not that this scribe is complaining about getting his money's worth.

Metal core four-piece Sworn In create a sound that is disgustingly dirty, and the crowd was going nuts for it. Circle pits and bodies heaved as frontman Tyler Dennen growled his way through the short, intense set as every breakdown dropped with all the energy of an A-bomb. Closing with Snake Eyes, the pit churned as Dennen's clean vocals cut like a blade, holding that brutal scream 'til the very end.

Americans Erra erred on the cleaner side of metalcore, with more focus on precision and the higher pitched clean vocals. Being their maiden tour of Australia, they relatively unknown entity were given a rousing welcome as the pit continued to run laps for Luminesce. One meathead was called out by main screamer JT Cavey for violently pushing those in the pit to the ground. Said patron was later escorted out by security. The second half of their set was chock full of ripping riffs, perfectly timed breakdowns and high soaring cleans from guitarist Jesse Cash and gruff, mid-tempo screams from the "excited to be here" Cavey.

Being a hometown kind of show for the western Sydney quintet, this show should have been a sell-out, alas there was quite a bit of room to move when Northlane took to the stage. The pit ninjas took their chance and opened it up as the band took aim and fired in opening salvo Colourwave and Worldeater

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Backed by a seizure-inducing lighting rig of machine gun strobes and smoke — so much smoke — the silhouetted Marcus Bridge screamed down on all those in front, just out of reach of their outstretched fingers. Dream Awake and the gut wrenching Citizen kept the pit nice and sweaty as security was kept busy catching bodies and keeping a lookout for Bridge's grandparents, who were in the mosh looking to "crowd kill anyone in their way".

Engineered to precision, the razor-sharp guitar tones from Josh Smith and the masked Jon Deiley cut to the core, while the monstrous bass drops and breakdowns from Alex Milovic devastated all. A final tour de force of Quantum Flux, Obelisk and the crushing Weightless heralded the end of a set that felt like the blink of an eye. 

One final slab of metalcore savagery in Paragon was devoured by the pulsing crowd as the ambient sounds took over. Such a punishing way to start the weekend.