Earth Caller, Cabal, Aviana, APATE, Relapse @ Crown & Anchor, Adelaide 14/4/2023

It was a fat line up of Hardcore Heavyweights both local and International sharing the stage with Earth Caller for their national tour ahead of their upcoming shows in Europe, but they still managed to keep it humble and intimate as Hardcore shows traditionally are. With the artists’ kindly accessible to fans and a small venue, Earth Caller clearly demonstrated that their success hasn’t overtaken their roots in the genre.

Adelaide local outfit Relapse opened the night with one hell of a set, sounding tight and energetic with dapper lead vocalist Ethan Robinson working the slender crowd as hard as he could getting in among the punters nailing some impressive Broadway style 2-step while exhibiting an impressive range of growls and pig squeals. It was a short and sweet set with only six tracks including crowd favourite 2021 single Sabotage, but they left an impression with their unique style of brutal but groovy sound and charmed their way into my regular rotation. Definitely a band I will make a point of seeing again as they continue to gain momentum.

Brisbane lads APATE took the stage to deliver their thumping funky bass-heavy tunes, delivering the goods from their 2021 EP Rage such as Full of Rage and Under my Skin with vocalist Zakk Ludwig at the helm looking far too much like a Hemsworth brother and showing off some mighty lung capacity. The crowd were into it, their sound reminiscent of early Korn with emotive songs paired to gleefully jumpy tracks and thunderous break downs.

The crowd suddenly multiplied in bodies and enthusiasm for Swedish legends Aviana with their special blend of progressive Nu-Metal and Melodic Metalcore, using doomy backing tracks and donning ominous black masks to create an eerie and theatrical vibe. Erupting into their set with Rage the audience went off singing and opening the pit with a circle mosh. Apart from the staunch anonymity of the performatively gloomy masked band members, vocalist Joel Holmqvist interacted with the crowd inciting a wall of death and commanding everyone drop to the ground before jumping up to let loose. They finished with popular track Obsession which was gleefully received by everyone despite actually being an incredibly emotional and depressing song.

Following on, another delightful discovery for me was Danish boys Cabal who’s sharp sounding mix of metalcore with blackened doom and death metal grabbed my attention quick smart. Like their Swedish tour buddies Aviana, they appeared to have a loyal following in attendance specifically for them who lapped up every heart pumping moment. With tracks like Death March, False Light and Exit Wound, things got hectic and enrapturing during their blistering set and left me wondering how Earth Caller were going to even follow that intoxicating treat.

Somehow, they managed. Drawing the audience in with an impeccable transition to a less heightened state with a thick sounding mix of OG Metalcore, ethereal and atmospheric keys by my personal inner fangirl inciting production princess Misstiq, and jumpy joyful breakdowns. It was a total shift in mood and energy and it was everything we needed in that moment. Leading the whole shebang was vocalist and promoter Josh Collard, a natural born entertainer whose stage presence is nothing short of captivating.

The whole six piece outfit blends seamlessly and delivered the most mind blowing set of versatile sound and style which proves they have earnt their stripes in this wave of modern Hardcore. Predictably, most popular banger from 2020 EP Crook, I am no good got a swing and blew up, while Josh took things back to “gangsta shit” with Spit from the same release. Newer tracks from latest EP Renormalization got a lot of love with things speeding up exponentially adding industrial and dark wave elements and putting Misstiq’s mastery of huge sounding synth to good use.

For a Friday night, it was an endurance test with five bands, all very different from each other and showcasing a broad range of styles in the genre. Regardless of my end of week fatigue and the arrival of cold miserable weather, the show was a happy entertaining time that kept the audience enthralled and energised. Earth Caller really delivered on this tour not just with their own set and harrowing new material but also the carefully selected artists they brought along with them. All I can say is that Europe are not going to know what hit them.

Live Review By Bec Scheucher

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