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Words by James Lavel

Photography by Tam Schilling | @tamcamimages_


A sold-out Eaton’s Hill was a sea of black shirts, cargo shorts and bald heads last night. Every 90s metal fan turned up to see two of the most influential metal bands of the early 90s in one room, the mighty Machine Head and Fear Factory

It was early on a Tuesday, but the venue was packed early. Opening the show was Brisbane locals We the Hollow. These guys have been working hard to cement their place in the Australian metal scene and their hard work paid off last night seeing them join metal royalty. These guys have a carefully curated look on stage and are professionals through and through.

The stage was drenched in red. The boys took the stage in their signature white jumpsuits and masks. They open the night with The Dark in Me as they struggle for room with a stage so packed with gear that there is almost nowhere to stand. The mix was great; the guys sounded huge. Reece’s clear vocal mix punched hard, Cody and Scotty’s guitars sounded as heavy as anvils supported by Ant and Dug’s thumping rhythm section. Opening for a show like this (especially the biggest show you have ever played as a band) is nerve-racking to say the least, but if there were nerves, the lads used it to put on a killer show and owned the stage.  It was awesome to see so many people show up early to support the ‘little guy’. Not that you would pick these guys as locals, they absolutely worked the stage through their performance and had the crowd moving and clapping along. They played tracks Lie To Me, Born to Hate, Vendetta and Hypocrite. The lads even managed a massive circle pit before finishing their set on Spineless. I’m very proud of these guys; if you haven’t checked out We the Hollow, get on it!

Not long after We the Hollow wrapped up their set, the lights drop, and the terminator theme plays out across the room – a fitting opening track for Fear Factory. Dino Cazares, Tony Campos and newest members Pete Webber (Havok) and Milo Silvestro took the stage:

“Welcome to the new era of Fear Factory!”

Tony and Dino marched back and forward across the stage to the opening of Shock. Milo took over the vocal duties in February 2023, replacing founding member Burton C. Bell, and this was his first tour of Australia with Fear FactoryMilo’s stage presence was on point, you would be forgiven for thinking he had been playing with the big boys their whole career. The first chorus injects heavy vocal effects embodying the spirit of Burton. Fear Factory have never been afraid of electronic support and it’s something they do very well. They played Edge Crusher and It was the first moment you could see the divide in the crowd. It was clear who was here for Fear Factory and who was waiting for Machine Head.

There is no denying Fear Factory knows how to get a party started. As they played Dielectric and Powershifter the room was a vibe. Buckets of energy from Milo and a supporting light show took the stage show to the next level. “I hate everything” reverberated around the room during the chorus to Fuel Injected Suicide Machine helping cement that 90s vibe for the night. The room was moving as one when Dino hit the telltale opening riff of Linchpin. Milo continued to demonstrate why he is a deserving frontman for the monster that is Fear Factory. Again, the mix is on point for Fear Factory no matter where you were in the room. Dino and Tony continued to march from one side of the stage to the other throughout the set, sharing backing vocals as they played What Will Become, Slave Labor and Archetype. Dino calls for an old-school circle pit as they play Demanufacture and Zero Signal, whipping the room into a frenzy. Dino addressed the crowd and thanked Brisbane for making it a sell-out show. He got the room chanting “I don’t want to live that way” before taking us back to 1995 with the hit Replica. They finished on Resurrection and a room of screams before taking a selfie with the crowd. 

It’s not long before “Machine Fucking Head” echoes through the room. Rob Flynn takes his place on his podium fists in the air and addresses the masses. Church is in session. 

There are metal bands and there are Machine Head. “Do you want heavy?” the start of imperium begins, empowering a room drenched in sweat to throw their fists in the air.  The kick drum rattled my vertebrae and pounded my chest. Primal energy took over the room. Rob is the embodiment of what a metal front man should be – brutal vocals effortless leads and crowd control. Jared MacEachern on bass stares the room down with menacing eyes as they push the air into us with Ten Ton Hammer and Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate.  “Machine Fucking Head” echoes once again Rob Flynn smiled ear to ear, “We got some rowdy mother fuckers in here tonight”.

Onslaught seems apt when describing their set. The room grew so hot there was no escape, and the only option was to succumb. They played Aesthetics of Hate and Old early, firing up the pit. Reece Scruggs of Havok has been touring with the band since early this year, bringing some extra meat and potatoes to the sound. He and Rob share moments of dueling solos and whipping hair. Matt Alston is an absolute beast behind the kit; his double kicks were shaking the walls as they play Locust, Blood Sweat and No Gods. Rob, bathed in light, started Slaughter the Martyr, deceivingly bringing things down before launching another boot to the face. Rob and Reece shared more face-melting solos. The lighting was fantastic all night, the stage fell dark in between what felt like sections of the set, each bringing a mood to the show. The entire night was a masterclass in metal. 

They play Bulldozer and From this Day before Davidian let freedom ring with a shotgun blast! “Brisbane do you feel free!?” Davidian is Arguably the toughest song ever written and the room went mental when it began. A brief reprieve before they play their encore Halo and a few riffs from Game Over (if you know you know).  Another dueling solo with Rob & Reece has the crowd losing their mind. They also thanked Brisbane for partying with them and took a selfie with the sold-out room. Machine Head and Fear Factory turned the armpit that is Tuesday into a Friday night party. 

This was only night two of their Australian tour and a few shows still haven’t sold out, so snap up a ticket quick and experience these two pioneering powerhouses in fantastic form! 

Thanks to Metropolis Touring

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