THRASH, BLAST, GRIND FESTIVAL // Epicentre of the Riffquake

THRASH, BLAST, GRIND FESTIVAL – The Triffid, Brisbane – 11 February, 2017

There’s a heatwave in Brisbane at the moment and at The Triffid, things are even hotter as the inaugural leg of the Thrash, Blast, Grind Festival tour kicks off. There are six bands on the bill tonight including Australian heavyweights Psycroptic and King Parrot and even from the early opening of doors at 7pm a good crowd is already gathering for the opening band, Amicable Treason.

The five piece Brisbane locals take the stage with a huge energy and immediately grab the attention of the growing crowd. Vocalist James Vickery bounces around the stage and begins to whip the crowd into gear for the main event and is well backed by his band, James and Eric Moors on guitar, bassist Blake Lonie and drummer Michael Gee. One of the great things about The Triffid is that it was built by musicians, for musicians, and there is hardly a gig played here where the sound quality is not up to scratch. And the sound is definitely on par tonight as Amicable Treason, already a powerful sounding band, are even tighter and sounding more polished than ever before. These guys are working hard to push themselves further in their musical endeavors and tonight certainly proves that.


Sydney’s Black Rheno are next to take the stage. If the crowd thought Amicable Treason were energetic, they saw a whole new level of energy, amped up by the three piece and their brand of grind metal that borders on thrash, with a little bit of punk thrown in for good measure. Paul ‘Milla’ Miller never stops moving, even after he lands on his head in the crowd, rather than his feet, and the King Parrot influence are clear in their unique sounds as they get the crowd involved. It’s clear that there are already fans in the crowd and as their set draws to a close with the popular No Time For Numb Nuts, it’s safe to say there are a hell of a lot more people digging their sound.


Local man Zac Bergholtz is living the dream at the moment, having been hand-picked to fill in after Storma left the vocalist position in Whoretopsy, and you can tell there are a lot of mates here tonight to see him in action with the Melbourne brutal death metal band. At eighteen he is going to be one to watch. From the minute he steps onstage, he seems ten times larger as his voice rips through The Triffid and anyone who wasn’t looking front and center turned their attention to the stage quickly. Whoretopsy are fast and brutally punishing and the crowd is enjoying every minute of it. There are circle pits at the front of the stage as well as in the AA balcony section of the venue as the band tear through crowd favourites like White Men Can’t Blump and Never Tear Us Apart. It was overheard in the crowd that they were a solid 11 out of 10 and quite frankly, this reviewer agrees.


We have reached the halfway point of the night now with three bands still to take the stage and the crowd continues to grow and the atmosphere throughout The Triffid is one of excited anticipation for the next acts to take the stage. They are the only international band on the bill and it’s been a long time since Revocation were last on our shores, but this is quickly forgiven as the crowd erupts when the thrash and death metallers hit the stage. They have recently arrived from the USA, fresh off the 70,000 tonnes of metal cruise, but you wouldn’t think it to watch as they too bring an energetic performance to the crowd. Everyone pushes forward to witness the technical precision of front man Dave Davidson’s guitar playing ability as he led the Boston band through their set and songs like Monolithic Ignorance and Arbiters of the Apocalypse were definite favourites and the face melting intro and outro of Only The Spineless Survive had the crowd in an absolute frenzy.


We are four bands deep now with two to go and no one shows signs of slowing down or stopping, if anything the excitement levels in the room are even higher as people eagerly face the front awaiting Psycroptic and King Parrot. When the lights dim for the Tasmanian death metal titans the crowd roars and everyone is keen to get moving in the pit as Psycroptic hit the stage. The band are also straight off the 70,000 tonnes cruise and while Jason Peppiatt is sporting an arm brace due a small fracture sustained in the Suffocation pit onboard the ship, this doesn’t hinder him at all and the band are upbeat and show no signs that they have just flown halfway round the world to be here. Blasting through their best like Carriers Of The Plague, Initiate and Cold, Joe Haley, Dave Haley and Todd Stern* prove once again why they are one of the best exports in the Australian metal scene.


Matt Young is one of those enigmatic frontmen that has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the moment he steps foot on the stage and tonight is no exception. King Parrot blast their way through their back catalogue, hurling cups of water and an inflatable doll into the pit as they coax every last ounce of energy out of the raging mosh. Some blood noses are spotted coming out of the crowd, making it quite clear that if you went into the middle of that floor it was every man for himself. But even a few bloodied noses didn’t detract from the set as King Parrot pummelled The Triffid. Slats, Squiz, Ari and Toddy kept the frenetic pace in high gear throughout and Youngy’s banshee howls were as good as ever.


It’s easy to tell that this gig was rave worthy—because it was, completely. I can’t stress enough how great the vibe was in The Triffid throughout the whole night, the adrenaline was pumping and the energy didn’t let up once throughout the six sets, which were almost flawless.

If you were on the fence about getting along to the rest of the tour, then I’d get off that fence and get yourself a ticket. This is one show that is not to be missed.

Tickets available here for the remaining shows.


Edit 1640 AEST: The original article mentioned Cameron Smith as Psycroptic’s bassist. This was corrected to Todd Stern.

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