Salt Lake City’s Chelsea Grin has darkened our shores a number of times in the past, but rarely with the same line up. The crushing deathcore four-piece has had 14 members within its ranks over the last 12 years and this tour saw new singer Tom Barber screaming his lungs dry in Australia for the first time.
While Tom is about the only member to make decent use of the small corner stage, they’re tight as hell, with drummer Pedro Viveros’ guttural vocals the perfect foil to Barber’s more razor-like fry screams. About the only downside of the performance is from a select handful of crowd members who wrongly presumed the rest of us wanted to watch them throw their limbs around the middle of the dance floor like epileptics with brain injuries. Sadly, this ridiculous, anti-social nonsense meant a large gulf was left between the front of the stage and the back where most were unwilling to risk a wayward fist or boot.
Illinois natives Born of Osiris have only managed to host nine different guys in the group over the past 16 years, and its core members have all been in it for the long haul for over 10 years. That cohesion clearly shows on stage tonight. It’s a polished display of progressive metal that boasts techy, classical flourishes over the top of bruising, tight riffage and twin vocalists Ronnie Canizaro and Joe Buras bring a real sense of urgency to the performance.
By the time the headliners took to the stage, there were no signs of the flailing-limb idiots and the dance floor was full of enthusiastic punters wanting to see the eclectic metal band perform a comprehensive set list of tracks from across its back catalogue. Guitarist lee McKinney’s axe didn’t quite cut through the mix as well as perhaps it should have, given his technical expertise, but overall the mix was thick and full and the audience lapped up every minute.
Definitely the best way to enjoy Sunday night in Newcastle this week!