The Ocean, Cave In & LLNN @ The Triffid [Live Review]

Review: Benjamin Coe
Photography: Luke Petty 

The Triffid is teeming with excitement and the fact that it’s a school night is not dampening anyone’s spirits as the crowd flocks to the venue to witness one of Germany’s most exciting musical exports, The Ocean.

First up on the bill tonight is Denmark doom metallers LLNN. As a heavy synth rings out over the darkened room, the lone, shadowy figure of singer/guitarist Viktor Kaas takes the stage, bellowing into the microphone before being joined by his bandmates, bassist Rasmus Furbo, keyboardist Ketil Sejersen and his brother, drummer Rasmus Sejersen.

“We are LLNN!” declares Viktor Kaas as the band get things underway with latest single The HorrorFurbo’s sludgy bass tones shake the room while the band all twist and bend in unison, the crowd watching on in awe. Their set is comprised mostly of material from their most recent full length album, 2021’s Unmaker, with tracks like Desecrator Scion leaving the eager fans wanting more. The band even throw in a glimpse at some unreleased material halfway through the set as they debut an as-yet-untitled new track, making the most of their maiden voyage to Australian stages.

Next up is a group who have taken their sweet time getting over to our country for some shows, the ever-influential American metal powerhouse, Cave In. The crowd is slowly starting to build as they enter the room, grinning ear-to-ear. The boys from Massachusetts waste no time, launching straight into a flurry of songs off last years Heavy Pendulum album. Opening with New Reality, the uninitiated amongst the crowd are quickly drawn in by vocalist Stephen Brodsky’s unique vocal style accompanied by the guttural roar of bassist Nate Newton (also of mathcore legends Converge).

“Are you ready for some old shit?” Brodsky addresses the crowd to which they whole-heartedly respond while the band deliver an absolutely crushing rendition of Halo of Flies from their 1998 breakthrough album Until Your Heart Stops. The group are in fine form for their first visit to our shores and hopefully it won’t be their last!

There’s not much time to wait between sets tonight and the whole show rolls on like a well-oiled machine. The lights go down and the crowd erupts as the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. The opening synth of Preboreal rings out through the PA as the lads from The Ocean take their place against a backdrop of atmospheric lights.

The first half of the set is taken from last years Holocene album, beginning with Preboreal, closing out with Subboreal and featuring a gut wrenching version of epic track Atlantic in between, amongst others. But the crowd involvement goes up a notch when they begin to play Bathyalpelagic III: Disequillibrated from 2013’s classic Pelagial album.

Frontman Loic Rossetti can’t keep himself from jumping down to interact with the eager fans, his first foray seeing him jump on top of the crowd and handing the microphone down below for some impromptu guest vocals from the punters holding him aloft. Guitarist Robin Staps addresses the crowd between songs, declaring his gratitude for everyone coming out to see them when they were here not so long ago in support of Aussie prog metal titans Ne Obliviscaris.

The light show is a sight to behold tonight, with the more atmospheric and ambient moments being shrouded by backlight whilst the more chaotic eruptions are accentuated by blinding strobes. Staps apologises at one point for being sloppy, blaming an exhausting tour of Asia and New Zealand and still being on European time, but if this is The Ocean’s version of sloppy then their tight sets must be on a whole other level!

The main set closes out with mass crowd participation during Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence which sees Loic down in the crowd once more, handing over the microphone for anyone who wants to have a go and as the band exit the stage the chants begin, luring them back for an epic encore of Triassic followed by Jurassic/Cretaceous from 2020’s acclaimed Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic/Cenozoic album.

The musicianship on show here tonight is something else entirely an it’s clear that heavy metal is alive and well in the world. Until next time my friends, take care and stay heavy!

The Ocean
Australian Tour 2024
With Special Guests
Cave In (USA)

Tour Dates:

Thursday 6 June 2024 – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle

Friday 7 June 2024 – The Basement, Canberra

Saturday 8 June 2024 – The Factory Theatre, Sydney

Sunday 9 June 2024 – The Rosemount, Perth*

Friday 14 June 2024 – 170 Russell, Melbourne

Sunday 16 June 2024 – Lion Arts, Adelaide

*No Cave In Or Llnn