Area 51, Hardcore Dancers And Not Being In The Yakuza, A Gatecreeper Gig Review; Words by M H Thomson and Pics/brief words by Mark J.


Area 51, Hardcore Dancers And Not Being In The Yakuza, A Gatecreeper Gig Review:

Words by M H Thomson and Pics/Brief Words by Mark J        

St Kilda’s Prince Bandroom is not a venue that I’m intimately familiar with but this show was a phenomenal introduction. The almighty Gatecreeper put together one hell of a gig, the following are my thoughts on the evening's performances:



A fast and thrashy start to the evening's proceedings Gutless are classic grindy death metal to the max and they weren't taking any prisoners. Lots of lightning-fast two-finger power chords and fun picking patterns throughout, their second number even reminded me a little of Suicide Silence's “Bludgeoned to Death”.

The vocalist/guitarist looks like Devin Townsend if he hadn’t put his hair in dreadlocks but sounds more like Dethklok’s Nathan Explosion, and has the commanding presence to match. Owing to the intensity of his performance even though he was singing with his eyes closed for most of the set, it still felt like he was looking at you.

What the vocalist/guitarist lacked in animated movement on stage was made up for in spades by the bass player who was jumping around all over the shop, foot often up on the monitor, bass headstock being thrust out toward the audience, all without missing a note, brilliant. Said bassists' bass tone was also a highlight, a nice scruffy picking technique that gave the bottom end a distinctive edge without being overbearing. I also very much appreciated the lock of bass drum triggers being actually able to hear the difference in skin hit impact intensity really aided the flow and dynamics of certain riffs. The drum kit's tone also suited the band's sound perfectly so props to the drummer on a great and often (due to triggers) slightly unnecessary job of actually properly tuning the drum skins.

Concerning the drummer's actual performance in terms of tightness and complexity of beats, it was clear to hear but not to fully appreciate until I got right up to the front and was able to actually see it, this makes the lack of triggers doubly impressive. An incredible performance.

Overall Gutless had a pretty respectable crowd reaction considering they were the first band on, while most saved their energy sans clapping and raising of the devil horns, quite many hardcore dancers did quite literally kick things off in the mosh pit. Whilst hardcore dancing is decidedly not my cup of tea I can respect the intensity of it provided it's done safely i.e. with room to spare, which at this early stage in the evening, there was plenty of. A great start.

Gutless along with fellow Melbourne legends Bludger are the truest form of old-school metal be it Straight Caveman Death metal or Grind..all the others are trendy and lame. Essential, and crushing.Amazing musicians who are better than most of the dull overseas Death metal we have to endure.

World of Joy:
There isn’t much to say about these guys other than they were fucking amazing. Their slightly one-note style (nothing wrong with that by the way) could only be described as a cross between Rage Against the Machine and Eyehategod, and I bloody love it. An overall groovy nu-metal vibe but with heaps of sludge influence thrown in.

Many of their breakdown riffs sounded like early Eyehategod but without the gain or overbearing feedback. The drummers' Bonham/LaCaze-sized cymbals worked incredibly well laying down the groove as he really laid it into them. Appearance-wise, they really took the old nu-metal/rapcore look to heart.

The vocalist looked not unlike Zach de la Rocha, even going so far as to sport a similar style of short dreadlock hairstyle, whilst one of the guitarists was clearly going for the Eminem aesthetic with the brim of his baseball cap sticking out from the hood of his raincoat. The dickheads in the pit continued their hardcore dancing and whilst moshing of that variety to a band with such a sludgy vibe was not something I’d ever thought I’d see it didn’t feel out of place due to the way the band incorporated some of its faster slammy nu metal elements of their sound. Brutal and thoroughly enjoyable.

I believe the singer previously sang in Endless, whom my previous band had supported at a classic gig at the Toe with Staunch. Endless were the bomb, but this is next level-groovy, fast, intense and gripping hardcore. Engaging and hectic music and they blew me away.
This is a mix of groovy hardcore, slightly Inside Out meets Candy; with the pace of power violence at times.
Stellar band with so much energy.



Another belter of a performance, this time from Japanese death/metalcore masters Kruelty. Their sound had a very typically modern Japanese metalcore vibe to it but with elements of bluesy groove and 80’s thrash metal thrown into the mix. Glitchy breakdowns and noisy guitar solos galore. The lead guitarist's solos sounded like what I’d imagine Kerry King’s solos would sound like if he could actually play articulately.

Some nice, powerful d-beats and plenty of fast fills and tight bass drum triplets coming from the drummer; the consistency provided by the bass drum triggers actually aiding the performance for once. The vocalist’s deep and guttural style very reminiscent of Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth but with an obviously Japanese flair to it. Generally speaking they sounded like a cross between Hanabie and Trivium if you ask me.

Speaking of Hanabie, the very first thing I noticed as they got onstage was just how much the bassist reminds me of Hanabie guitarist Matsuri albeit without the bleached blonde hair. Her stage presence was a real highlight, very much the life of the party, jumping around up there. The frontman on the other hand, adorned with a cut-sleeve shirt, sleeve tattoos and cargo shorts looked a lot tougher than your average suit and tie Yakuza member but you could easily tell by his relaxed attitude and fun sense of humour that he is far less deadly apart from when he’s playing. What a killer performance. Would have been fantastic to see a circle pit for these guys, the perfect genre for it, alas at this point in the show those hardcore dancing pillocks were the only ones properly in the pit. All told a stunning and energetic performance, the only disappointment coming when they announced they had one more song.


First off, I am with Myles on the stupid violent dancing bullshit, give me a moshpit anytime as opposed to this punching mosquitoes bullshit; whilst I get it's a youth-based thing; I detest all this crowd killing and maiming innocent punters nonsense; particularly at a mixed genre gig. Stylistically I think differently than my colleague, I think pretty much Kruelty is OSDM mixed with noisy, raw hardcore I can definitely hear Xibalba, early Carcass, Grave,Bolt Thrower, and even some NYHC. It's solid Death Metal moshcore. I love every release and Kuma is handling the vocals perfectly. Flawless band, love them and they were crushing. 



Finally a real mosh pit, all the bigger guys who up to this point had just been nodding and sinking pints finally got in there to cause some havoc or their own, put some of those halfwit hardcore dancers in their place. Holy fuck did Gatecreeper ever bring the goods this night. A Maelstrom of all that came before it, death metal, metalcore, sludge, the whole nine yards. Elements of Spoil Engine, DevilDriver, Amon Amarth, Candlemass, Corrosion of Conformity and more could all be heard within their sound.

I loved the variety of different styles they drew upon throughout the set while still maintaining their overall bluesy groove feel. With a very late 2000’s groove metal character to most of their songs main riffs, which would then make way for either a very metalcore interlude or a sludgier feeling breakdown although played at a much faster groove tempo. 

The guitar players throwing the odd nod to Slayer’s Jeff Hannemann here, or to Amon Amarth’s Olavi Mikkonen there; all the while playing a lot of these solos in a one-handed legato style, leaving the other arm open for fist pumps to the audience. The headbanging was a thing to behold as well, in prowess and dedication to the art form it certainly rivalled that of the aforementioned Amon Amarth.

The bassist, who looks more like a young Dave Ellefson, following suit to such an extent that he has to use masking tape as fret markers, making the frets easier to make out amongst all the windmilling. The vocalist too had a real presence about him, he looks like a cross between Lemmy Kilmeister and Danny Trejo, although considerably fitter than both. The drummer whilst slightly sloppier in feel than the bloke from Gutless, that is exactly what's required in a band like Gatecreeper foregoing exacting pinpoint accuracy for swing and groove is always the best choice with a band like this and it paid off big time, all of his drumlines flowed beautifully throughout the set.

The largely steady but still frantic atmosphere of their set was a great way to cap off the evening. The little details peppered throughout the show really made it. One such example being the green lighting and gentle use of the smoke machine used in the between track interludes really put me in mind of this alien Area 51 kinda feel, subtle but wicked effective; and befitting of Gatecreeper’s western US desert (Arizona) roots albeit almost definitely unintentional.


As far as gigs go I don’t think you can really do any better than the lineup Gatecreeper curated for this one. What a great night. A great variety of bands (both in genre and place of origin), everything from Aussie Deathgrind to Japanese metalcore and they all fit so well together. A downside if there was one, would be due to the way the lighting setup worked you couldn’t quite see as much of the drummers as I’d have liked for Kruelty and Gatecreeper due to them being right at the back of the stage in the shadows among the guitar amps. But that is only a relatively minor hiccough.

All up though, everyone played brilliantly and in good spirits. Personally, I can’t wait to see what chaos Gatecreeper has lined up for us when they grace our shores once again.

Mark's musings:
Gatecreeper are the finest modern merchants of Death Metal; whilst they are deeply connected to the Hardcore scene, they refuse to peddle that lame Death Metal influenced Hardcore that sucks arse. This is aggressive, emotive extreme metal with deep groove and every track is crushing on record, but this band soared above the clouds with their live performance. Tight as hell and very connected with their audience. I also chatted with both Chase and Matt before the gig; who were friendly as hell, deep into both music and their craft and who took the time to have a decent chat; Eric similarly so post-show. I loved the mix of albums in the set and how damn impressive are the new tracks off the forthcoming album; scintillating songs and this promises to be their best release ever based on the three new tracks. Miss them at your peril!!!.

Incredible gig and much thanks to John from Nuclear Blast, the team at Destroy All Lines and the cool Prince Bandroom security staff. 

Additional Pics:

(Awesome shot with Chase(Gatecreeper) loving the brutality of Gutless.

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