We Came As Romans, Invent Animate, SIGNV/S @ Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide 29/8/2023

‘When my back’s to the wall, I will conquer’ the room screams back in unison at We Came As Romans vocalist Dave Stephens before the place erupts like Vesuvius in a whirl of hand waving, mosh pits and vocals alike during Daggers.

It’s been eight years since the Americans graced our shores and they have wasted no time in catching us up to speed as a packed Lion Arts Factory sways in motion with Stephens hands like a puppeteer.

Lion Arts Factory was packed at doors opening tonight in a show of how stellar this line up is and openers SIGNV/S, always a wonderful display of ferocity, breakdowns and energy, explode on stage to the full room. The band’s unpredictable showmanship means no one is leaving as everyone fixates on the bands feet stomping, head banging riffs and venom spitting vocals.

Invent Animate are up next and the Americans first appearance in Adelaide is fully interactive and immersive. Vocalist Markus Vik vocals range from the depths of hell to the highest of heaven and that’s just the first track Shade Astray.

The circle pit is on a continuous spin cycle as the band drop False Meridian and Labyrinthine. The room shakes and bounces to Elysium while hands are in the air throughout Without A Whisper.

It’s a short seven song all killer no filler set list finishing with the electric Immolation Of Night, as Vik commands the crowd like the moon commands the tides throughout the night. Thoroughly enjoyable.

However, it’s the long overdue and returning heroes We Came As Romans that has the room bristling with excitement. Opening with Darkbloom, the grooves are hitting and the crowd are fired up as they match Stephen’s vocals.

Doublespeak has the head bobbing along as bassist Andy Glass gets the crowd to split for the first of many wall of deaths, which is tantalising held back by the ringmaster himself Stephens cries of ‘Wait! Wait! Wait!’ before the collision is allowed.

Plagued showcases drummer David Puckett as he pounds underneath the frantic chaos of the guitar, Lost In The Moment is another crowd favourite and sung by one and all while One More Day really hits the smooth spot as the band shoot from the pocket.

The vibe is one big party as people are lifted up on shoulders and the cheers keep coming through the aforementioned Daggers and finishing with the powerful Black Hole complete with Stephens literally standing on the crowd, held up and he throws down.

It’s been too long since We Came As Romans shook our stages, its good to have them back, let’s hope it’s not another eight years before we get that blast of energy in our faces again.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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