Despite another big name music festival later this month touring with equally big name artists, the real metal show was happening at Melbourne’s Hifi Bar under the guise of Heathen Earth, with Colorado’s thrash legends Havok headlining what would be an onslaught of thrash and metal.

Don’t be confused by the name, Party Vibez aren’t no Yacht Club DJ’s spin off, their light hearted brand of metal is enjoyable to watch, not least due to vocalist Michael Mitchard’s amusing banter constantly entertaining the crowd between songs. It’s a million miles an hour, but these boys are having the time of their lives.

Fellow Melbournians Desecrator take to the stage with an enthusiastic reception from the audience, with Riley Stong cutting an imposing figure standing front and centre, and with the rows of head-banging faithful showing their appreciation, the feeling is clearly mutual on both sides. Anthems like “Brothers in Arms” and “Down to Hell” pulverise the crowd into submission, and with the buzzing crowd working up a sweat, it’s clear this is a strong performance by a powerful band.

Local favourites King Parrot were up next as main support, and as per usual, it’s a punishing 40 minutes of bruising thrash that has seen grow into a band being recently announced on the SxSW line up as well an upcoming US tour with Cattle Decapitation. Matt Skitz is lethal behind the kit, delivering quick-fire combinations while Matt Young roams the stage like a possessed demon. From the opening salvos of “Dead End Friends” and “Cold Steel Probe”, King Parrot were in ominous form. When he’s not thrashing about the stage, he’s in the face of unsuspecting audience members as he strays out into the crowd, crowd surfing at will and with their dry sense of humour constantly heckle the crowd whilst they catch their breath between songs. With “Bozo” and “Shit On The Liver” being delivered with every bit of venom you would expect, you can see why King Parrot are ruling the roost when it comes to Aussie metal.

In Australia for the very first time, Denver’s thrash legends Havok take to the stage to rapturous applause. Instantly laying waste to all before them, they deliver a set that is equally as slick as it is brutal. Choice cuts such as “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”, “D.O.A” and “I am the State” are delivered with effortless ease, and with vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez providing positive reinforcements to the crowd in between songs, it’s much more than just a band churning out thrash metal. There’s a message there to be absorbed, and it’s a message that is heard loud and clear. Reece Scruggs lead guitar work is blistering throughout, while new addition to bass Mike Leon plays like it’s his childhood band.

A top night of metal put on by the crew at Heathen Skulls, there’s bound to be bigger and better things now waiting for all of the bands on display tonight. Let’s hope it’s not so long before Havok return to our shores.

Dean Forte

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.