Subtract, Blackleaf Gardens, Primacy and Average Mars Experience
Friday June 5, 2015 - The Kings Arms, Auckland
Average Mars Experience
I've always found it an interesting experience seeing a band's first public outing - interesting for many reasons, the excitement of hearing something new, the excitement of the band members as they shift from nervous wrecks to rock stars, the excitement from... MARTIANS! If my first meeting with those of the red planet was anything to go by - things there are anything BUT average! In my mind I'm going to say they remind me of a more subdued Heavy Metal Ninjas - where the Ninjas are rather frenetic AME come across as a more groove oriented group - approaching but not quite crossing into full djent ( and this is a very good thing ).
As well as the excitement of seeing an artist for either their first time, or my own; there is that followup experience when you see them again. Back in February I caught Primacy's first outing as a group together and remember being impressed; since then they've had several more shows but it's only now that I've managed to catch them again. Needless to say this is a group of musicians who now feel very much at home with each other ( this is not to say however that they felt awkward earlier ) - but now I'm hearing a group that really know what they're aiming for, and how to deliver. Together we've got a solid power groove metal thing going down - strong clean vocals that reminded me of Maynard James Keenen in parts that smoothly flow into a gravelly throaty roar to match pounding riffs and grooves.
Black Leaf Gardens
As with Primacy - this was the second time I'd seen Black Leaf Gardens perform - with that first outing they set themselves an extremely high bar for themselves in my mind, and this time - they far FAR surpassed it.
Stylistically I'm putting these guys down as the result of putting Mastodon and System Of A Down inside a Blendtec blender and playing Will It Blend? - the answer is a full resounding YES. Where Average Mars Experience were rather subdued, Black Leaf Gardens were insanely chaotic from the outset - I hope the photos here speak for themselves, but if they don't - just go see these guys if you ever seen them on a lineup!
Words... Fail... Me. Subtract however - never do....
Nope - the words still fail me. One of Auckland's premier death/thrash bands - at the top of their game.