Ocean Sleeper, Thousand Below, Earth Caller, Inertia, 23/19 @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 2/9/2022

They’ve just dropped a stellar new EP Is It Better Feeling Nothing and now Ocean Sleeper are deep into their biggest tour yet, crossing Australia with a supporting cast of the genres fastest movers.

With a line up featuring Thousand Below, Earth Caller, Inertia and 23/19, it’s everything you could want in a post hardcore, metalcore, whatever core world you want.

Adelaide’s’s 23/19 are the equivalent to being punched in the face by an anvil. The heavy riffs and slow breakdowns reverberate throughout the building. It’s dirty, punishing and angry and this reviewer approves.

Making the trip from Sydney are Inertia who are a blend of heavy emotional verses then melodic catchy choruses. They’re a band that are able to not lose their clarity in a live setting between the serene and the loud such as Into The Grey which holds its atmospheric feeling when the groove kicks in.

Finishing with the title track off their new EP Memoria and Parallels the band are a dynamic combination of energy and fire while bathed in honeycomb light.

Melbourne’s Earth Caller bring something different again, and trying to pin down what it is, is like trying to eat soup with a knife. It’s hardcore, but also deathcore and wait that almost sounds like black metal too.

It makes for compulsive digesting as vocalist Josh Collard interacts with band and crowd alike. The mosh pits form as some of most brutal breakdowns you’ll hear this year are busted out during Your Enemy.

Exposed is exactly as it sounds. Collard snarls, gnaws and spits his way through while the band rip though that into the final track Choke which lights up the place. I’ve still no idea whether they are hardcore or black metal or somewhere in between, but it’s a different sauce alright.

Thousand Below bring a touch of smooth to the proceedings. Vocalist James Deberg feels the words he sings on stage, adding to a performance that has delicate and harsh in equal measure.

Tradition gets the nights largest cheer yet while Gone To Me has that contagious sing-a-long hook that everyone in the crowd joins in with.

Face To Face, Chemical and Sinking Me shows the bands full spectrum, of the subtlety in the music, while Deberg charms the audience. Finishing with Vein the first circle pit forms as they drop that atom bomb of a track.

The backdrop screen shows the name Ocean Sleeper however we are being treated to photos of Thousand Below drinking VB, meeting koalas and general tomfoolery with Ocean Sleeper while travelling. It’s a nice touch.

Ocean Sleeper though ignite the stage immediately, vocalist Karl Spiessl reaches to each part of the crowd. Smokin and Drinkin rocks with an illuminated beat while Breaking Free sounds huge with that intense riff and the change ups.

Each song has a relentless groove and the audience love it, a constant mess of bodies smashing against each other belting out the bands words.

Parasite has chaotic breaks which the crowd love even more while Your Love I’ll Never Need has heads bobbing in unison. The camaraderie between the band members is enlightening which adds to the magic in the performance.

To be fair any one of these bands could’ve headlined and it would’ve been an amazing night such is the quality of the songs and the power of the performances. However it’s Ocean Sleeper show and they take the plaudits for not only a great performance themselves, but a great line up to not sleep on.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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