Unify Gathering is a one-of-a-kind heavy music festival held in Victoria, Australia. Over three days, music fans can literally live and breathe music, setting up camp on festival grounds. With the announcement of the Unify Gathering 2019 lineup on August 9, we dove head first into the 32 bands that will shake the paddocks of South Gippsland on January 11th, 12th and 13th.
Day 1 – Friday, January 11
Underoath are a huge win for Unify. The Floridians will close the first night with what we’re hoping will be a healthy dose of old and new music. Founded in 1997, the ‘dads of hardcore’ have had strong success with albums like Define the Great Line, They’re Only Chasing Safety. Most recently hitting our ears with drought-breaking album, Erase Me, Underoath have proven they’re still very much relevant, and we can’t wait to see them in action. Catch us in the pit for “On My Teeth”.
With their influence spawning a long list of bands worldwide, the name Karnivool is synonymous with sonic artistry and innovation in music. The appearance of the Perth based band at Unify is an exciting one, and will be the first show for the band in 18 months. The quintet are set to prove to the crowd at Unify Gathering 2019 exactly why they’ve been a mainstay of progressive rock since their formation in 1997.
In Hearts Wake
In Hearts Wake have been on board since the very first Unify. From first album Divination to Earthwalker//Skydancer and then Ark, they’ve had a great run and made a name for themselves as a compassionate force in heavy music. The Byron Bay five piece have have become a staple of Australian metalcore, touring the country and the world multiple times. After a few years away, In Hearts Wake are back at Unify, back home, and ready to put on a show. Earthwalkers will never die.
As a late but very welcome addition to the lineup, Sydney’s very own Hellions are playing back-to-back Unify Gatherings. After their tear-inducing and connection inspiring set at Unify ’18, we’re expecting/hoping they’ll be one-upping themselves with new material from Rue. This band honestly just keeps getting better and better, releasing killer songs this year such as “X (Mwah)” and “Smile”, with choruses seemingly designed for singing along with. Anticipation couldn’t be higher, and all of us at Depth are stoked they are on the lineup.
Will new Ocean Grove music be out by January 2019? We have our fingers crossed that something new will come, along with favourites from the well-worn The Rhapsody Tapes album. No strangers to Unify, Ocean Grove pulled off a high energy set at the 2017 iteration of the festival, and also showed they know how to bring festival vibes at Download Festival 2018. To say we’re keen to see the Odd World gang tear up South Gippsland is an understatement! Come as you truly are to this set.
While She Sleeps
Still riding high on the hype of their 2017 release You Are We, Sheffield based While She Sleeps will play an exclusive set to Unify punters. As their only Australian show on this run, the five piece will bring their full energy to South Gippsland. Notorious for his crowd antics, we can’t wait to see what frontman Loz Taylor does with the Unify crowd!
Coming all the way from Osaka, Japan, Crossfaith are playing an exclusive set at Unify Gathering 2019. Fresh off the release of album Ex-Machina, Crossfaith’s reputation for impressive live shows has them on our list as a must-witness experience. Especially given that it’s the band’s only Australian show on this run. Our photographers are hoping for massive production during the Crossfaith set!
Dream On Dreamer
Melbourne based Dream On Dreamer are a longstanding source of inspirational music; forming in 2009 and releasing albums in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Going on a brief hiatus due in part to vocalist Marcel Gadacz’ cancer diagnosis, the band have found their footing again in 2018, releasing new album It Comes and Goes coupled with stunning visual representations via their music videos. Proving their strength, Dream On Dreamer sold out almost every show on their recent album tour, and now have secured a coveted spot at Unify ’19; their first appearance at the festival since 2016.
The Plot In You
Ohio based The Plot In You were only just recently on our shores, supporting Polaris on their completely sold out tour for The Mortal Coil. They’ll be back in January, riding high on the success of album Dispose and its massive singles, such as “FEEL NOTHING” which currently has over 6 million Spotify streams and over 3.5 million views on YouTube. Though their sound has shifted somewhat with the new release, The Plot’s set is likely to please longstanding fans by including older favourites like “My Old Ways” and “Take Me Away”. We look forward to a huge set from the four piece at Unify!
Hand Of Mercy
Sydney hard-hitters Hand of Mercy are back! They originally called time and announced the end of the band in 2015, before heading out on a final tour alongside Buried In Verona, Void of Vision, and Polaris. They played their final ever show in 2016 – at least that’s what we all thought. Now Hand Of Mercy are back for a one time only reunion performance at Unify ’19, and will hopefully bring some old fans out of the woodwork, as well as making some new ones in the process. Looking forward to them bringing the heavy, it will be great to see them back on stage doing their thing.
Alt-rock South Wales based Dream State made themselves known with their recently released EP, Recovery. Touching candidly and personally on addiction, the release proved a powerful introduction to the relatively new five piece, who are freshly signed with UNFD. It’ll be their first trip to our shores, and we’re keen to see what they can do in a live setting!
Drown This City
Fresh from the release of their hard hitting and confrontational (yet also compassionate) single “Third Law”, Drown This City will be a treat to see in action at Unify. No stranger to the festival, the Melbourne collective rocked the South Gippsland crowd of Unify 2017 with an energetic set. We’re keen to see what hard rock hugeness the hardworking band brings in 2019.
Gippsland boys Ocean Sleeper are back. After playing a difficult set at Unify ’17 ravaged by technical difficulties, and spending the last year touring with bands such as Void Of Vision and Dream On Dreamer, they’ve found themselves back on the bill. With their Six Feet Down EP in the bank and a hopeful album on the horizon, Ocean Sleeper will be looking to tear up the festival on the Friday afternoon.
Releasing their debut EP Maybe I Was Wrong this year, Melbourne based Better Half are hitting a strong stride. Their presence on the Unify ’19 line-up is evidence of this. Their genuine and emotive takes on life have propelled them forward with a list of accomplishments, including signing to Resist Records, supporting Movements on their first Australian tour, and also playing at the biggest Plastic event of the year on Grand Final Day Eve. Their punk alternative sound will be a somewhat unique one on this Unify lineup. Show up to get the festival started in a big way, bringing the feels early.
Day 2 – Saturday, January 12
Taking Back Sunday
US Punk/Rock legends Taking Back Sunday are set to put on a huge show at Unify 19, playing their hit album Tell All Your Friends in full. Dragging all of the punk and emo kids back out of their adult lives, and taking them on an emotional and fulfilling nostalgic trip, Taking Back Sunday will be playing the songs we grew up with. We’re keen to watch punters climb all over each other trying to get a good spot for singing along with their faves.
Every Time I Die
What a huge win! Adding massive US act Every Time I Die to the bill a week or two after original announcements is a crazy achievement, and the Unify team must have been working their arses off to make this happen. This lineup may not satisfy everyone, but for many, Every Time I Die’s addition was the final puzzle piece needed to lock them in to attend the festival. The New York based five piece played the festival in 2017 to a huge crowd, and will be hoping to expand on that and put on an even bigger show in 2019.
With a steady stream of glowing reviews for fresh album The American Dream, and ongoing adoration of Chemical Miracle, Trophy Eyes‘ set at Unify Gathering 2019 promises to be one massive singalong. The band’s new album turned up the anthemic vibes considerably, while still leaving room for moshing and bellowing “I’ve got a soft spot! For being fucked up!” along with frontman John Floreani. The guys have recently farewelled their early releases in intimate shows, pulling their focus away from aggressive hardcore and toward more melodic observations of life. We’re big Trophy Eyes fankids at Depth, so ‘keen’ is an understatement.
State Champs last played Unify in 2016. After releasing their recent album Living Proof, they will return to the stage to grace everyone with some fast paced pop punk goodness. We’re expecting a high energy, punk jump laden set!
Turnstile at Unify ’19 already promises to be all-out chaos. Catching the US hardcore act earlier this year, our review of the gig used words like ‘intensity’, ‘face-punch instrumental sections’, ‘sexy bass grooves’, ‘frenetic energy’, and ‘rough mosh’. Unify punters should come to this set fully warmed up and ready to get wild with Turnstile, likely giving some love to tracks from their Time & Space album.
Transient souls of Unify Gathering must find their way to the stage when Citizen present their set. Just nowhere near me (Kel) because I’m likely to be crying my eyes out, getting to experience the Depth Magazine Album of the Year 2017 songs in the flesh. As You Please was metaphorical icing on the discography cake for Citizen, adding to the band’s long held reputation of releasing impressive music that emotionally moves and stays with you. I’m ready for a memorable set from the five piece, who last toured Australia in 2016.
Hailing from Brisbane, WAAX have been making waves in 2018. Their killer single “Labrador” and a massive Australian tour have carved a path toward their addition to the Unify ’19 line-up, and it couldn’t be any more deserved. WAAX will also be appearing at Good Things in December, and punters of both festivals can expect grueling grungy alt-punk goodness to overwhelm them witnessing the five piece in the flesh.
Melbourne based heavies Clowns were recently on an Australian tour in honour of their single “Freezing In The Sun”. They’ve have spent 2018 largely headlining multiple tours, as well as finding themselves in killer support slots with DZ Deathrays, Foo Fighters, and Bad Dreems. Their solid live presence and the blistering single “I Shaved My Legs For You” makes for an intriguing set in Unify ’19. Though we’re relatively unfamiliar with the band, we look forward to seeing what they will bring to the table.
As well as being ridiculously talented, Sydney’s Endless Heights are so very kind, generous, and humble. “Let me know if there’s anything you need”, frontman Joel Martorana said to Josh and Kel as we arrived at Northcote Social for their show, as if he was there for us, and not the other way around. Later that night, the band pulled off a breathlessly brilliant set where an electric crowd joined the five piece as one in celebration of Vicious Pleasure; Endless Heights’ raw and tender album released in February. Unify 2018 goers will have seen guitarist Jem Siow in action on stage with Hellions. Jem rocked it hard, and we are beyond keen to see the whole band do the same in January.
Harms Way are objectively the heaviest and meanest band on the bill, and will be bringing their brutally hardcore music all the way from Chicago for Unify ’19. Riding off the high of their 2018 album Posthuman, they appeared at the final Vans Warped Tour, and completed their own USA headline tour in August and September. Make sure to stretch and apply knee and elbow pads before entering the pit. This is going to get wild.
Perth based melodic hardcore act Saviour were another late addition to the lineup. Fresh off their Never Sleep Tour of Australia with Deadlights and Pridelands, Saviour have continued to release new music since their 2017 album Let Me Leave. The slamming “Never Sleep” leaves room for a rough mosh or swaying to haunting ethereal dreaminess expressed by Shontay Snow – something for everyone. Welcome to the lineup, Saviour!
With new track “Lavender Bones”, Stand Atlantic have been described by one of our team members as ‘a delectable concoction of tasty guitar riffs, succulent bass lines and mesmerising drumming’. The Sydney based pop punk trio virtually promise an energetic face-paced set with heart, and we’re very keen to see this go down! The Hopeless Records signees will have released Skinny Dipping album by then, whose tracks are likely to show up in the set.
<Insert ‘Horny for Thorny’ joke here> But in all honesty, we are beyond excited that the Melbourne band will be part of Unify 2019. A firm favourite of the Depth team, we’ve all thoroughly thrashed the quintet’s Butterfly EP, and singles “Temperer” and “Limbo”, loving every element of this ensemble, from guitar intricacy to sky high vocals and everything in between. I am fully prepared for a rush of tweets and posts about how incredible Thornhill are from the scene at large. The band have already garnered a strong following, and appeared on line-ups with bands like Ocean Grove, In Hearts Wake, Make Them Suffer, and Silent Planet. They’ll also join Polaris on tour in November.
If you like your metal seared and blackened, you’ll want to be there as Pagan likely tear Unify a new one. Tracks from Black Wash album will show up in the Melbourne band’s set, presented with vicious passion from vocalist Nikki Brumen. Cult members new and old should come prepared to worship to this thrashing and vibrant ‘death-disco’ band.
A Gravemind set is something to behold! The Melbourne band bring their own sense of controlled atmosphere with them in an equally ethereal and moshable experience. Get swept away with this set when it hits Tarwin Lower. Brush up on the band’s sound of punishing complexity before January, including most recently released single “Lifelike”.
Learn the words to You Wish This Was About You NOW so you can sing along with After Touch when they grace the stage at Unify. With their new identity (formerly Easy Life), the Shellharbour five piece have taken their hardcore grit and added polish and effort in production. The result is something stunning, and it was a very good time when we caught the band on their EP tour. Don’t miss it!
Adelaide’s FALCIFER are a more recent addition to the lineup, and are riding the high of their killer 2017 EP, Theta. They appear to have been a bit quiet this year, but have an upcoming appearance at Halloween Hysteria. We’re preparing ourselves for a booming and dark vibing set at Unify ’19 as we get to know FALCIFER a bit better.
Sydney based pop punk newcomers Yours Truly will be opening up the proceedings on Saturday, in what is a huge step for them as a band. They have an upcoming tour with Between You And Me, and have enjoyed recent success with their EP Too Late For Apologies. Also, their 2018 single “High Hopes” has gone off, amassing 1.7 million views on Youtube, as well as nearly 600 thousand streams on spotify. They are fully deserving of their spot on the lineup, and will no doubt put on a great set at Unify 19.
This is a substantially awesome line-up that you’d be silly to miss! Get your ticket for Unify Gathering 2019 (and learn more about camping and transport) here: https://unifygathering.com/
You can also hit the official Unify Gathering 2019 Spotify playlist: