Western Front Awards – 17 July 2009

Western Front Awards ’08/’09, Metro City, Perth – 17 July 2009

Review by Warmaster

Firstly, I must extend congratulations to Darren of Western Front for securing such a great venue for this years metal awards. Perth Metro’s is no doubt one of the largest nightclub “hotspot” venues with a great stage, full light show, three bars and plently of standing room for the mad punters.

Arriving unfashionably early, I organised a bourbon in a somewhat empty room wondering what to expect from the local scene some years after being involved in the industry. As the place started to fill up with an assortment of metal heads I noticed a very strange yet delightful difference between the then and the now – the number of lady folk in the crowd. Now I don’t want to come off sounding like some sexist pig with this observation, but “Woohoo!”

Grace for Gallows was the first act up and it was clear as soon as they began their set, you were in for some extremely heavy technical death metal. It’s clear these guys are fairly coformtable on stage delivering a very energitic performance with some syncronized headbanging and great dual guitar harmonies. The sound was great too, which is sometimes hard to achieve with extreme tunage, with each instrument delivering levels of fierce clarity. Definately a nice punch in the face to wake up the neighbourhood announcing “Yeps, it’s Metal at the Metros tonight”.

Metros had filled up quite nicely by the time Lacrymae appeared on stage. A Progressive “Classical” Metal band was going to be a sudden tempo change but what a wonderful change of pace it was indeed. Lacrymae produced a huge commanding sound that could be likened with a voyage of the high seas or an adventure into the wilderness unknown. It was an experience that evoked a journey of sounds from gentle serenity to powerful eruptions. The vocal talents of both the Piscitelli brothers is quite outstanding, harmonizing brilliantly with each other. This band has that epic sound as if the performance is not just a gig, it’s like a theaterical masterpeice. Brillantly done lads.

Next up…Claim the Throne. If you thought the Vikings hadn’t made it to Australia, you’d be wrong. It was clear the ye ol’ warriors of the north had settled on Perth shores long ago and begun their conquest, downunder . Described as “Battle Metal”, Claim the Throne deliver an interesting mix of the extreme moshin’ riffage and ale swingin’ sounds of folk music. It’s hard not to raise a jug, grin maniaclly and let out a war cry as the set moves along, involving an acoustic number that demanded a bon fire be lit and barrels of mead be opened and consumed. It’s clear that Claim the Throne have made an impact before as they have a number of established fans in the audience, including those sporting the nicely designed and printed band t-shirts. I must get myself one.

The Headliners tonight, Pyschonaut, can be hailed as one of the pioneers of the local scene, under the leadership of the charasmastic Mark, since the mid ninities. It’s obvious Pyschonaut are no strangers to writing memoriable tunes and performing them live with exciting energetic professionalism. You can’t pigeon hole thier sound either as a particular “metal genre”. There’s some hard hitting rock n roll grooves, fast and explosive metal riffages, zany meoldies and classic lyrics in various vocal ranges show casing the talent and skill of this band’s abilities. And if you are a fan of the lead solo action, Pyschonaut won’t dissapoint – incredible guitar playing. Totally awesome way to finish up a night of great metal action. “Vader is his name!” 😛

Of course I should mention the fact that this is an awards night. The Western Front “Supreme Commander”  (aka Darren) delivered the vote tallies and handed out the awards to the respective winners. And of course congratulations to each one of the winners on your awards which are truely deserved. On a closing note, well done Perth. The metal scene has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, thanks to the dedication of all involved; from promoters to the bands to the fans. It’s inspiring to see that metal truely has a home here in Western Australia and we aren’t taking it for granted. Bravo!