Polaris, Alpha Wolf, Justice For The Damned, Mirrors @ Bridgeway Hotel, Pooraka SA 20/5/2022

The floor resembles the carnage of a hurricane tearing through the building. People who only hours before were the epitome of style and class are now reduced to a sweaty and exhausted mess.

What caused this extreme turnaround in events? A razor sharp Polaris show did. Two years on from their last Adelaide show – on the release day of the epic The Death Of Me album no less – the Sydneysiders are back and it’s epic.

Opening proceedings are Mirrors, who bring a different take to their metal, switching between heavy grooves and softer than butter in the sun vocals as they open the nights first circle pit, a precursor to later events.

Justice For The Damned take it another notch heavier, deeper and doomier. The stank faces, the flailing arms and wall of deaths are standard course for the lads. The room literally shakes with each dropped note , the energy kinetic , as the crowd clap, whistle and generally begin to tear the place down.

Alpha Wolf step up and immediately start with a wall of death, showing their intent to reign chaos throughout a set list of atomic heavy breakdowns. Vocalist Lochie Keogh a whirl of movement as he converges on each part of the stage in a successful attempt to drag you down to the front to the maelstrom of madness his band have created.

The simple guitar intro, the soft beginning getting the hairs on your arm to stand on end , as Jamie Hails begins to sing Pray For Rain. The crowd lifts in anticipation before unleashing in vocal unison back as Polaris illuminate the stage in a explosion of noise.

The band is finely tuned, crunching when needing crunched and breathing when needing a breath. The set list switches through gears, a couple of face burners then a song to glide before another aural blast of songs. It means everyone in the room can catch their breath before the next circle pit pulls everyone in.

During Hypermania the pit is so magnetic it reaches wall to wall around the room as everyone is dragged into this spin cycle of metal.

Your favourites are all here. Vagabond, with snazzy lighted up tambourine, Consume and Casualty mixed with slower numbers, if Polaris have slower songs, Crooked Path and Above My Head. The time zooms by in a haze of crowd surfers, lost shoes and hoarse voices.

Polaris manage to keep finding more energy reserves out of themselves and the audience and none more so than the final bursts of Lucid and The Remedy as even this old fan is compelled to burst into song.

For many, the last two years have been tough, music being an emotional and mental support to get through. Polaris words have always touched those parts of suffering and pain, offering hope. Tonight was salvation for many, lead at the pulpit by Hails. For everyone in the audience, they had found their love and let it kill them.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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