August Burns Red, Alpha Wolf, Gravemind @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 17/10/2019

A full decade on from August Burns Red breakout album Constellations and the band is back in Australia, celebrating one of the genres greatest defining moments.

It’s been ‘a quick minute’, as frontman Jake Luhrs tells us, since they been here and the band take the handbrake off and go full throttle through this, their last show of the tour, at top breakneck speed.

On the bill with them is Gravemind from Melbourne. Armed with the debut album Conduit, they have heavy pounding riffs that gets a pit forming early that sets in for the night. While they hit like a hammer, the beats swings from pneumatic drill to jazz fusion that creates a distinctly enjoyable headbanging session.

It takes about twenty seconds into Alpha Wolf’s set before arms and legs are flying in the pit. Like an apocalypse arriving, the band are high octane and infectious as the bands loyal followers create a noise worthy of headlining themselves. Alpha Wolf flick between heavy and fast, like a cat playing with a mouse, as heavy grooves follow lightning speed riffs, leaving the audience sweaty and breathless.

For Jake Luhrs and August Burns Red they take to the stage to a packed Lion Arts and go straight into playing ‘Constellations’ in the same running order as the album itself. The pit explodes as surfers climb over the top of kids who want to slam dance and before you realise it, Thirty And Seven, Existence and Ocean Of Apathy have all flown by.

Each song is greeted like an old friend however it is with Rationalist in particular, getting the loudest cheer. The audience claps in unison for Meddler and Crusades is beautifully, and brutally, deployed.

There are people are being kicked out, there is a line of blood towards to the men’s toilets, It is total chaos and everyone is loving it as the band come out for a four-song encore. Ghost and Invisible Enemy cut like a hot knife through butter then the energy, somehow, lifts for Empire and Composure as JB Brubaker solos down in the pit before the band depart the stage and Australia once again.

August Burns Red slayed Adelaide in a seventy minute blast of fury, subtlety and screaming to the heavens metal. If you missed out, then consider yourself truly burnt too.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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