What better way to end the working week than to head in to the Enigma Bar to take in a bunch of local riff mongers of various hues along with Melbourne’ Holy Serpent. And all for the princely sum of ten bucks!

One of life’s little pleasures is when you walk up the stairs at Enigma, open the door to cop a blast of fetid hot air and be almost knocked off your feet by the volume of a band already in full swing.  Unfortunately that means you have already missed something, and so apologies to Thirteen Black for missing the first few minutes of their set.

It didn’t take long to catch up though. These guys are an awesome blend of Southern sludge’n’metal (the likes of Goatsnake, Crowbar and Down spring readily to mind) with just a hint of the deep, woozy grooves of Alice in Chains circa ‘Dirt’. Loose limbed but tight (if that makes any sense at all), they displayed a gift for melody to balance out their thunderous riffage. A debut album is in the works but in the meantime you can next catch Thirteen Black at the Crown & Anchor on Friday 18 November along with Psycho Green and Dirty Pagans.

After a short interval, Kitchen Witch took charge of proceedings to play songs from their splendid new EP ‘Back to the Mud’ (available locally at Clarity Records or at https://kitchenwitch.bandcamp.com/ ) which is chock full of bluesy, trippy heavy rock. Front-lady Georgie Cosson’s soulful and gritty vocals were, as always, a highlight while the rest of the band was also in red hot form, with molten solos and tasty stoner grooves in abundance. Their next gig is on Saturday 19 November at the Grace Emily in the company of the also very worthy Druid Fluids.

Lucifer’s Fall were next up, laying waste to all and sundry with their fearsome traditional doom metal assault. Make no mistake, these guys and girl are totally committed to the true metal cause. All the best bits of Reverend Bizarre, Count Raven, Candlemass, Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest and more are thrown into the mix, while the eponymous F*#@ You, We’re Lucifer’s Fall is quite possibly the best song Venom never wrote. New album ‘Cursed and Damned’ is apparently not far away, and you are also well advised to inspect their unholy back catalogue at http://lucifersfall.bandcamp.com/

With the crowd by now well primed, headliners Holy Serpent took the stage and did not disappoint, delivering an atmospheric, trippy and monumentally heavy set showcasing their new album ‘Temples’. (https://holyserpentband.bandcamp.com/) A relentless ebb and flow of huge waves of momentous riffs was the order of the night, offset by an occasional (and in my view, all too brief) searing guitar solo. The vocals were somewhat buried in the mix but that didn’t really detract from what was a most impressive and powerful performance.

So all in all a fine way to spend a Friday evening, and made all the more enjoyable I might add by the ready availability of ice cold Coopers Sparkling Ales…so kudos also to Enigma bar staff!


Jimmy Mac