Words – Clare
Photos – Mitch
The doors are open early for this 10 year anniversary tour for the ‘Make Them Suffer’ album ‘Neverbloom’, it’s 6pm sharp and the fans have hustled to get to 170 Russell on time with one fan coming straight from work still dressed in a suit. The line of keen party goers shuffle into the venue and head down the stairs into the basement to be the first to grab some sweet merch, get a drink and get to a good spot before the performances begin and with this being a sold out show, it’s always a good idea to be the first ones in.
From Gippsland right here in rural Victoria we have ‘Ocean Sleeper’ a four piece band that has been working the metal scene hard since 2016. From the get go they energise the crowd, with lead vocalist Karl Spiessl conducting the crowd to move ‘side to fucking side’ in order to open up the pit for the first of many walls of death for the night. They perform Worthless•No Purpose released in 2017, and from their 2022 album Is It Better Feeling Nothing they play King Of Nothing and Forever Sinking which definitely got the fans pumping. From the sidelines their videographer jumped on in randomly for a guest spot as second vocalist which was a fun surprise, and for another treat they play the track Never The One which was just released about a week ago. They end their set with one of their heavier tracks from the 2022 album, Your Love I’ll Never Need.
Now I’m getting excited, up next is a definite favourite of EM, Fit for an Autopsy ‘the ugly Americans with the funny voices’ as lead vocalist Joe Badolato puts it. So stoked they are on this tour and they know how to put on a good show, especially with the savage intensity of guitarists Pat Sheridan and Tim Howley pulling their best escaped from the mental institution faces at the crowd all night. Highlights of the set are Black Mammoth from their 2017 album release – The Great Collapse, Savages from – Oh What the Future Holds and The Sea of Tragic Beasts released in 2019. We also get treated to their new track Hellions from a split recording – The Aggression Sessions they did along side Malevolence and Thy Art is Murder. The crowd is eating this up savoury delicious meal of metal mayhem, ‘Bang your fucking head’ Joe says, and we comply, ‘horns up mother fucker’ and we comply, ‘Melbourne… tear this fucking place apart!’ We comply. The set ends with track Far From Heaven.
The guests at 170 Russell shuffle around the venue to top up on drinks and stock up at the merch stands, the energy is still coursing through the venue from FFAA. We are ready for the headline set brought to us by our very own Make Them Suffer who are touring to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their 2012 album release Neverbloom which they will play in it’s entirety. The lights go down and the visual delights begin with a mix of LED lights and digital panels displaying slowly falling rose petals. This juxtaposition between frenzy and calm is exactly what we are in for with their balance between the unclean vocals of Sean Harmanis and the harmony of Alex Reade on clean vocals and keyboard.
Fans of the band notice that they are not quite themselves tonight as their drummer Jordan Mather had a family emergency and as Sean states ‘family comes first’. But they (and we) are lucky to have Dan Presland step in who some know as the original drummer for Ne Obliviscaris. The whole set is super atmospheric, it’s not just the visual effects and lighting or the proficiency of every band member on stage, but the audience too, at some point I swear everything was going in slow motion and it felt as if we were all in a moody video clip. After they power through the 2012 album with tracks Elegies, The Well and Weeping Wastelands, they leave the stage as the outro winds the set down. The band returns to not only give a heartfelt thanks to their fans but also to play new tracks Ghost Of Me and Doomswitch which was a little extra treat for the evening. The stage then floods with toxic green light and all we see are the dark silhouettes of each band member as they stand on the raised edge, holding their arms and instruments to the rafters.
Big thanks to the Make Them Suffer, Destroy All Lines and the 170 Russell Street crew for having us and a special thanks to Dallas Does PR for arranging media access.
EVERYDAY METAL – SUPPORT LOCAL HEAVY METAL