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LIVE: MACHINE HEAD & FEAR FACTORY, Perth – 9 March 2024

| 10 March 2024 | Reply

LIVE: MACHINE HEAD & FEAR FACTORY, Perth – 9 March 2024
Astor Theatre, Perth
Review & Photography by Damien Crocker

All This Filth started the night early, but unlike many opening sets where the support act plays as the house starts to fill, the majority of the crowd for this nights sold out show were already present and were rewarded for their punctuality. Given the heavyweight headliners they were opening for, there was no easing into the night for the local favourites, delivering a hard hitting set that showed shades of influence from the two bands that they were opening for and priming the audience for the night ahead.

Fear Factory and Machine Head exploded on to the metal scene in a big way during the prime mid ‘90s Roadrunner era and quickly established themselves as two of the biggest bands of the time. Since this time, they have had varied paths, however both bands have continued to release strong albums and maintain their popularity, so it was no surprise that the majority of this Australia tour has been sold out, including this Perth show.

Prior to their last visit in 2016 Fear Factory had been fairly regular visitors to this part of the world, so the 8-year gap between drinks had left Perth metallers more than a little thirsty. Since their beginning they have had a number of lineup changes, with members of the original Demanufacture-era cycling in and out (or just out) of the band in the almost 30 years since its release. Through all of the years and change their one constant has been lead singer Burton C Bell, so his departure from the band in 2020 was a shock to the system.

The 2024 Australian tour band featured lead guitarist and original member Dino Cazares, Tony Campos (whose impressive resume includes Static-X and a crossover with Cazares in Brujeria) on bass, seasoned drummer Pete Webber, and relative unknown Italian Milos Silvestro taking on the none-too-small task of filling Bell’s role on lead vocals.

There was much expectation about this new frontman and whether the wildcard would be able to deliver Bell’s distinct, trademark guttural vocals and haunting choruses, and if you were coming in late and watching from the back of the house you’d be forgiven for thinking that Bell was back out front, with Silvestro even sporting a very similar look to the former frontman. But ultimately what counted was what happened when he opened his mouth, and it was immediately obvious why he had been selected from the 300 or so vocalists the band had considered.

With Cazares delivering his machine gun-like riff assault and Campos and Webber laying down a rhythm barrage, Silvestro was clearly revelling in his role out front, taking up the slot with confidence and engaging the audience as Fear Factory worked through tracks from across most of their 10-album catalogue including Shock, Linchpin, What Will Become, and Replica, before closing with the haunting Resurrection.

Fully primed, anticipation peaked as the lights went down heralding the arrival of Machine Head. Like Fear Factory, Machine Head have had a number of member changes, but unlike their contemporaries, frontman and founder Rob Flynn has been at the helm for the whole journey. It has to be said that Flynn is one of the great metal front men, with a presence and power that demand attention, wielding his guitar like a weapon and delivering his blend of clean and guttural vocals.

Sharing the guitar limelight with Flynn was relative newcomer Reece Alan Scruggs who proved more than deserving of the position, Matt Alton pounding the skins, and seasoned band member, bass player Jared MacEachern delivering the heavy bottom end.

Their 2022 release Of Kingdom and Crown featured strongly, with Choke on the Ashes, No Gods and tour title Slaughter the Martyr all getting a hammering. Crowd favourites included Old and Davidian from 1994 debut Burn My Eyes, which got the circle pit going, as did the cross section of tracks from their 30 years including Blood Sweat and From This Day from The Burning Red, Asthetics of Hate and Halo from The Blackening and Supercharger’s Bulldozer.

By the end of the night thirsts had well and truly been quenched, but it was also clear that Perth won’t need such a long break until we are ready for our next round.

Fear Factory Set List:

Shock
Edgecrusher
Power shifter
Fuel injected
Linchpin
What will become
Slave labor
Archetype
Demanufacture
Zero Signal
Replica
Resurrection

Machine Head Set List:

Shock
Edgecrusher
Power shifter
Fuel injected
Linchpin
What will become
Slave labor
Archetype
Demanufacture
Zero Sugnal
Replica
Resurrection

 

 

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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