Live Music: Karnivool @ Metro Theatre, Sydney – Dec 29, 2012

09 Jan

Lifemusicmedia recently published our live images and review of Karnivool’s Sydney show at the Metro Theatre on Saturday December 29, 2012. You can now read the review below and simply click on the thumbnails or CLICK HERE to go view all 37 images of Karnivool and their support act, High Tension.

Karnivool @ Metro Theatre, Sydney - Dec 29, 2012     Karnivool @ Metro Theatre - Dec 29, 2012

Karnivool @ Metro Theatre - Dec 29, 2012     Karnivool @ Metro Theatre - Dec 29, 2012

There’s little disputing Karnivool‘s place among the top echelon of Australian music. Their unique brand of progressive rock/metal has won them fans all over the world, including international music critics and renowned musicians alike.

However, the tardy Sydney crowd had this reviewer more than a little worried when four-piece support act High Tension took to the stage to a half-full Metro Theatre. Had Sydneysiders let one of Australia’s best bands down? Had we all fled the city for the Xmas holidays?

Thankfully it was not the case and as High Tension, led by their Eva Spence-style screaming front woman, ripped through their high-energy, fuzz-bomb of a set (only their third gig, apparently), the room continued to fill with eager punters. It’ll be good to watch this band continue to get more stage time together as their incendiary riffage will benefit from an even greater stage presence.

By the time Perth’s Karnivool take to the stage, the Metro is full to the back bar with enthusiastic fans. It’s truly heartening to see the venue packed for an Aussie band and the mood is largely happy and light-hearted with people clearly here to witness something special. Karnivool don’t disappoint, either.

Without any pomp or ceremony, the stage darkens and the band walk on, kicking right into a set that covers their catalogue and delights everyone in the room no matter if your favourite album is ‘Themata’ or ‘Sound Awake’. It isn’t until the third song of the set, ‘Goliath’, that singer Ian Kenny takes the time to say hello, instead choosing to maintain the aura of dark mystery their lighting, stage presence and music help to convey.

The band’s level of musicianship is outstanding, faultlessly recreating the rich tapestries found on their recorded releases to date and it remains crystal clear throughout the set, despite the depth and breadth of Mark Hosking and Drew Goddard’s extensive use of delay and looping. Add to that Karnivool’s song writing chops and tonight’s performance has the room captivated and singing along for almost the entirety of the night.

Tonight’s show is their last before entering the studio to start recording what will be Karnivool’s third and highly anticipated album. Perhaps this sense of ending one part of the band’s history and entering a new phase is what makes tonight seemingly so special for the punters in the room. Regardless, you get the impression that you’re witnessing a band at the height of their powers and that’s certainly not something lost on this mass of writhing bodies dancing to every beat and singing along to every word. In fact, ‘New Day’ sounds like some prog-metal camp fire sing-along; Ian Kenny’s voice almost drowned out by the fans.

An hour and a half later, including a two-song encore of ‘Roquerfort’ and ‘Themata’, the crowd empties onto Sydney’s George Street. People everywhere are smiling, patting one another on the back and obviously stoked with that they’ve just witnessed. You can bet each and every one of them will be there to witness the Karnivool spectacle again when they begin touring their new album in 2013.

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