Brisbane got its dose of metal on Thursday night when local lads Dead Letter Opener unleashed their monstrous music upon the crowd at The Zoo. Accompanied by fellow Brisbane rock/metal bands such as Interim, Dead Letter Opener made sure that everyone’s ears were ringing and chests were pounding by the end of the night.
Kicking the night off with a slow and eerie guitar intro, Interim took to the stage at 8pm to deliver their thirty minutes of rock…and deliver they did. The four-piece got off to a fantastic start with singer Alec Snows’ voice bellowing over the top of the drums and bass. As everything picked up, Snows’ voice got some grunt in it and the band smashed into a high-energy set that had all the band members thrashing around on stage like they were possessed. The band’s first time at the Zoo saw them not only selling their merch but also offering free condoms with the EPs whilst also singing songs about foxes losing their tales…don’t ask. Snows’ voice was brilliant on the clean notes and when he hit those grungier lyrics it just took off. Guitarist James Bassnett also showed his skills with some rocking guitar licks, whilst the band as a whole just worked really well together to provide a rocking first set for the punters.
Next on the stage was Caligula’s Horse, who get off to a slightly slower start but soon broke off into a very intense yet messy opening number. The transition from the slow verses to the heavy metal choruses wasn’t all that smooth and just seemed out of place. The vocals also seemed to be lacking a bit and were hardly able to be heard at some points over the heavy metal licks, which came in thick and fast. It was a set filled with some brilliant guitar solos and much head-banging enthusiasm from the crowd, but it fell a bit flat on this reviewer as they just didn’t offer anything overly special.
Therein hit the stage just before 10pm to lift the night back up again with a huge heavy ear-pounding start to their set. Armed with a voice like a demon, frontman Jazzy Jeff lead the band into a very interesting forty-minute set that saw him on everything from mandolin to megaphone just to mix things up, and when some dirty rock riffs got chucked in there, the boys delivered a set that was hard to argue with.
A false start saw Dead Letter Opener frontman Mick Millard exclaim that the other bands were just so fucking awesome that they didn’t wanna play anymore. However, Dead Letter Opener did rip into their set at about 10.45pm with a ferocious growl from Millard and some superb hard drumming from Richie Young. Hitting an instrumental breakdown quite early, the three-piece band all showed their incredible instrumental skills with the solid riffing from Chris Lait to the drums that just went off like a machine gun! It was a big start to their set and the crowd absolutely loved it. Brutal Vengeance got the crowd head banging as one and Millard was very thankful to such an enthusiastic crowd. Urging the crowd to keep drinking, the boys ripped through a ball-tearing set filled with plenty of great songs, including one that Millard believed might be too ‘gay’. Millards’ voice stayed strong throughout the entire set whilst the guitars and drums just did not let up, and were constantly hitting you in the chest with fierce ferocity.
Finally, after a few hours onslaught of metal, the punters left the Zoo very satisfied and eager to see Dead Letter Opener again.