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Hell-oween in The Swamp @ The Royal, 27/10/12

30 Oct 2012 // A review by Asmith

The very first Hell-oween in the swamp to be run by Cephalopod's Kyle Kenrick (and his first event overall I believe) went down amazingly, everything was organized well and even the stage was in costume! There was plenty of merch on offer and there was a decent turnout too considering all the other events on the same night! For $10 entry those of you who didn’t make it really missed out!

The first band Grief Giver came onto the stage a very bass heavy “drop F” tuned 4 piece with shredding solos, their guitarist on BV screams laying in the highs to even out the lead singers death growls. There were a few sound issues but probably due to onstage sound (hey we’ve all been there, it’s a fine line between onstage sound and mud especially with metal drummers behind you). Hard to believe it was only their second gig showing that these guys are not just doing the “first band” thing. The last song of the set was definitely the standout with crazy grooving breakdown style riffs that got the crowd in full mosh mode.

Next up was Hydrogore, a 4 piece from Levin, who after a false start due to technical difficulties managed to get a brutal set going. There were times that I found it hard to hear the guitar clearly and I think somebody may have been slightly out of tune but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that noticed as the crowd seemed to love it. They managed to bust out a mean set filled with almost progressive (with the amount of riff/tempo changes) style riffs that got everyone into the spirit of Helloween.

Beneath The Heavens began their set with an instrumental, their singer running onstage to his vocal cue in the second song wearing a pirate hat and covered in green balloons. Heavy melodic riffs complete with harmonies, clean vocals and death growl BV’s from their drummer bringing the metal make a good combo and I was highly impressed. Having watched these boys from their inception I’ve seen just how far they’ve come and it’s good to see some young blood putting in the hard work!

Elephant Of The Ocean were up next and I gotta say I now rank these guys up there as one of my favourite NZ bands, they were just that good! The 3 piece from wellington came out in balaclavas and began their setwith what sounded almost like an outtake from a vintage film which made the jump into their energetic performance and heavy groove prog riffs so much more vicious! The use of midi sequencer/ pre-recorded sounds was refreshing as I might have only seen one other (local) metal band use this in the last few years, maybe I just need to get out more? They even got Elise from Cephalopod onstage to join in for a song!

Finally the headliners Cephalopod came onto the stage, and anyone who has read my reviews or knows me personally knows I love these guys! What can I say that I haven’t already done so in the past? Super energetic performance and insane riffage from the twisted minds of Kyle and the boys, guest appearance of Roscoe from EOTO for colab vocals, shout outs and giveaways to top off the night (best dressed went to a “doll in a box”, was a pretty kick ass costume!). Not only that but they finally had their brand spanking new CD’s on sale on the door!

If you have never been to a Helloween show at The Royal before I sincerely think you should start, I got my money’s worth and then some! And let’s face it, if this years was anything to go by they’re just gonna keep on getting better and better!


Other Reviews By Asmith

Dick Tracy - EP Review: The Red Hand
19 Oct 2015 // by Asmith
Right from the intro track Mahjong, I was instantly transported into party mode. Rockin’, groovin’ hard hitting beats that get your heart pumping and ready to go.
Dead Teach the Living - EP Review: The Crowning
15 Jun 2015 // by Asmith
From the very first track there was one very distinct trait that seemed to stick out for me about Dead Teach The Living's new EP - the ability to seemingly move with ease not only through multiple sub genres of metal (and sometimes influences from other genres entirely), but also to mesh them together in perfect blended harmony. From every single instrument, and as a band, diversity would be the best word to describe this album and there is nothing I like more than artists who can not only diversify but pull it off as well as Dead Teach The Living.
Blacklistt @ Bodega 24/05/2014
17 Jun 2014 // by Asmith
I was quite excited when I got offered this review, it was the first time I had seen Blindspott as their new reincarnation, Blacklistt, and was eager to see if anything had changed since the last time I had seen them, I wasn’t dissapointed. Hell, I think they may have even been BETTER.
Truly Made - For The Summer EP Review
22 May 2014 // by Asmith
Surely an odd title for an Autumn release, but 10 seconds in and I can only assume it was a metophor for the general feel of the album as this release is going to be in my playlist all year round for quite a while. I can’t help but feel this album was more than aptly titled, from track to track you get an air of summer throughout, every bbq, every beach getaway, it’s all in there.
Jake Stokes - Midnight Album Review
26 Feb 2014 // by Asmith
When I first pressed play on this release I was pleasantly surprised to hear some very bluesy sounding riffs blasting at me from my speakers. Now I guess I'm a little bias here but I believe the blues and blues influenced genres are underrated, underplayed, and undersold, especially in New Zealand so when I here something like this it always gets me a little excited.
Blackleaf Gardens - Key To Infinity Album Review
27 Dec 2013 // by Asmith
This is the debut album from West Auckland four piece Blackleaf Gardens, and what a debut it is. All too often I find myself being asked to listen to music and I can't help but hear that one specific musical influence cutting through like a cold shower, this is not one of those albums.
Tomorrow People - One.5 EP Review
06 Dec 2013 // by Asmith
Tomorrow People is one of my favourite kiwi reggae acts. There's something about them that's very genuine, something that (for me at least) really stands out from the sea of other reggae bands (and they're even better live!
House Of Shem - Harmony Album Review
06 Dec 2013 // by Asmith
Upon acquiring the third release from kiwi reggae artists House Of Shem I was filled with anticipation, eager to see what they had in store for me this time, and I wasn't left disappointed! With three part harmonies remaining a heavy base within the music, the switch between vocalists/songwriters is felt throughout the album all while remaining distinctly House Of Shem.
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