Darkcell Live – 17th May, Solbar, Sunshine Coast

Darkcell with Flesh Torrent, Moose Knuckle and New Clear Vision

17th May, Solbar, Sunshine Coast.

It’s the morning of the Federal election and I’m dreading going out. I’m hoarse, every muscle aches and I think a dragon used my mouth as a toilet.

These are the physical artefacts of attending a Darkcell gig.

We had a grand night out last night at Solbar in Maroochydore in Queensland.

Darkcell puts together gigs that enable other bands to perform. Supported by three other artists this time, all had the opportunity to showcase their music. Every year Darkcell also puts together the Psycho Circus, a multi-city event that usually kicks off at 3:00pm and wraps up in the small hours, giving about 8 bands the opportunity to perform. This is evidence of Darkcell’s desire to give back to and deepen the music industry.

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Flesh Torrent from Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast kicked off proceedings, bringing their raw and entertaining brand of heavy metal to the crowd. Composed of three members, their sound was like a wall, the likes of which you’d see in the Game of Thrones. These enthusiastic folks served up a diet of tasty riffs that got the crowd rowdy. Their style is short and sharp, with an often staccato rhythm that rocked the house.

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Moose Knuckle followed on, with work often characterised by tribal drum lines and expansive guitar. They were three blokes on a mission that we happily chose to accept. Their style is punk, but melodic metal often emerged, with a rhythm that really got the crowd pumping. The vocals were crystal clear and cogent and in between tracks they showed a sense of humour that really engaged the crowd. The three artists meshed brilliantly and the sound was intense. It was honest, working class metal at its best.

But there was no rest for the wicked… New Clear Vision took over, opening in torn and bloody Hazmat suits, accompanied by a recorded warning of dark times. These folks had a bold stage presence and their brand of nu-metal also included rap-like segments and some stellar guitar work. They built steadfastly through their set and the vocalist often revealed a significant vocal range. They had me feeling Slipknot and Red Hot Chilli Peppers during their time on stage.

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Darkcell closed out the evening, treating us to a gourmet selection of their considerable body of work. They played with a backing track, which when added to their live sound, resulted in music that had me moshing with folks from all walks of life, connected by our love of live music.

During their performance, the sound was professional and of high quality. Jesse Dracman (vocals, shenanigans) unleashed his robust voice with its impressive vocal range to penetrate the room. Jay Macabre’s drumming was amazing. I have no idea how he can produce such frantic and complex beats. Rit Derelict (bass) weaved artful anchors throughout each song. Matt Shorter (guitar) effortlessly shredded and wailed all performance. They loved what they did and the synergy between them was obvious. Together, they are what we all love about metal.

Their songs are about being resilient, about believing in yourself and probably most importantly – that you’re not alone – that there’s other black sheep marching to their own beat. Darkcell have built a following of folks who enjoy being a part of this juggernaut, where diversity is celebrated and being together is paramount. Darkcell give hail to the freaks.

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The work of these four artists somewhat defies description. Yes, it’s metal, but it also rocks and grooves. I once heard Jesse say that the Australian music industry doesn’t know where to pigeonhole their music. This is apt. The four bandmates site a wide variety of artistic influences and this means that their music is rich in scope.

All too soon this gig was done.

The band were on hand after the show and connected with the folks who stayed on. They were appreciative, thankful and gracious.

Yes, we have to vote today. But if I ever want a great night out, I vote Darkcell.

HAIL!

Words and images by Greg Noble

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