28 Nov 2020
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Take Hold - Gig Review: Take Hold @ Whammy, Auckland - 12/12/2019

20 Dec 2019 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

On 12 December, Whammy Backroom set it off with a decent turnout for a late mid-week show. Soaking in a familiar aura, I distinguished an overwhelming sense of nostalgia; there were notable remnants of New Zealand hardcore music and its scene which was prolific in its earlier years from the late 90’s, 00’s to 10’s. Along with the general reminiscence in the room, there was also a contrary feeling, a fresh new take on this type of music that was brought out by Take Hold; a five-piece melodic hardcore band formed in Auckland, performing their final set for 2019.

Lead singer/vocalist Jai Aronsen engagingly positioned himself on ground level to be one with the crowd who were already amped by the titillating set of the heavy opening band. Take Hold kicked off their set with Patience, an emotively compelling song with a spirited and melodic opening riff. It speeds up mid-away as the vocals become increasingly aggressive, raw and sincere. Next they played Bloom, a more upbeat track that showcases the fast, hyperactive and yet solid energy of drummer Levi Wenzlick. A classic sounding breakdown came in at about forty seconds in, bringing a decent bounce to the mosh pit.

The two guitarists, Josh Krissanssen and Tomas Newbury, dovetail well together with Thomas Butler on bass; they all, interestingly, seem to pick up momentum in sections which gives each song growth and structure. Take Hold clearly have a validated stage presence too, which, like most hardcore bands, is best felt live and close.

Though hardcore and its sub-genres can be tough to analyse live as they are often uncontrolled, a sense of balance within Take Hold's song writing was definitely heard. I particularly enjoyed the sound of Diminish, a real headbanger, which brought the best breakdown of the night with a progressive finish. Another favourite, Scatter was also played. This song really has its way with words and “broke my heart” too with its energy and its lyrics overtly dedicated to feelings of grief and sorrow. This song is their most passionate live and won’t be forgotten easy. They then played Bones and another familiar track; Overboard.

Lastly, Take Hold exhibited two new songs Spiral and Mourn which hadn’t been played live yet (their creative digital album release can be found here). These two songs depicted some crucial messages and, perhaps, foreshadowed future work.

All in all, the band sounded tight and well-focused. It was a real pleasure to be in the shadows that night, and it’s uplifting to know music like this still has a voice here. I’ve missed the organic sound of NZ metal/hardcore bands and really look forward to what these boys have in store next! You can check them out on Spotify and Bandcamp. You can also buy their physical merch here.

 

Releases

Disrepair
Year: 2019
Type: EP

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