Live Review: The Mark Of Cain, King Of The North

4 December 2014 | 5:29 pm | Jake Sun

Aussie hardcore legends The Mark Of Cain lived up to their legacy at The Zoo.

The guitar and drum duo that is King Of The North seem quite at home on this bill.

Their deep bluesy, rock grooves are tinged with a trace of stoner and are an instant hit with the crowd, which is already packed in rather tight. The support they receive encourages an enthused performance that maintains promise throughout. With a bunch of busy tours under their belt they’ve become quite a solid sounding duo, and it looks likely that their reign will extend in no time if bit by bit they keep hammering away at it like this.

Over the course of their extensive 30-year career The Mark of Cain have become one of the nation’s great heavyweight champions. They continue to receive support from a dedicated fan base, and these healthy numbers tonight are a true testament to the band’s legacy and longevity.

Their sound often evokes comparisons to international luminaries such as Helmet and Tool, but the reality is that John and Kim Scott, the South Australian brothers who are the core of Cain, were at it long before. The inclusion of John Stanier (Battles, Tomahawk, Helmet) in the latter half of their career really strengthened their already mighty sound, but unfortunately the drummer extraordinaire is occupied with other commitments and wunderkind Eli Green rounds out the trio tonight. From the moment Interloper and then Second Hander blast out of the speakers it’s apparent that Green lacks the uncanny machine-like precision of Stanier, but his style is still a fit and doesn’t dilute the Scott brothers’ power.

Though the band is not overly animated, USD, Familiar Territory and (R) Retaliate keep the shots firing and bring the pain. They keep the momentum, serving up a good balance between intermediary classics and newer material, but even at the point that they bust out a close succession of songs from 2012’s Songs Of The Third And Fifth, most still show their enduring support with vigorous fury. There is, however, no substitute for the golden oldies and when they encore with LMA, Tell Me, Battlesick and Point Man, the crowd really loses its collective shit. It’s enlivening to see such passion and spirit enduring far into the voyages of maturity.

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