Katatonia – Gig Review 11th December @ Capitol, Perth WA

KATATONIA
Capitol, Perth WA
December 11th, 2016
Supports – Voyager & Chaos Divine

Over the past year or two, Australia has certainly been treated to a smorgasbord of Scandinavian metal, with the final highlight of the year as no other than Sweden’s Katatonia. The band are no strangers to Aussie shores though, having supported their mates in Opeth, and even playing that one and only festival called No Sleep ‘Til all those years ago. Remember that one? Interesting lineup.

Well, Katatonia brought some of Perth’s finest with them, namely Voyager and Chaos Divine. Both bands have been on the scene for quite a few years now and have travelled far and wide, touching all corners of the globe with their unique musicianship.

Chaos Divine have matured their musical style over the past few years, and started off their set with the growlier tunes, and more recently channelling their technical and progressive inner core. A distinguishing feature of the evening’s trio of bands, was the well-crafted orchestration of incremental pace, to the point where the crescendo surprises you, but yet couldn’t be at a better time – difficult to describe, but great to experience first-hand. Chaos Divine sported their favourite band shirts and played to a packed crowd who had a decent head-bang to the heavier riffs, particularly their closing track’s last ten seconds; which was ultimately a breakdown haven.

Following the Perth’s top proggers were, well uh, Perth’s other top proggers, really. Voyager have delivered a consistently crisp sound over the years, with deeply considered construction to their chords. Having toured the world and supported some of the best melodic death and prog metalers out there, the band are always super energetic at local shows. It’s always a treat when vocalist Daniel Estrin pops the key-tar out, even if only for a few seconds. Alike Chaos Divine, Voyager coordinated some drawn out sections that eventually reached a bass-kicking break-down. Having both of these Perth locals support Katatonia was really well organised. It was abundantly clear that punters were thriving in a night filled with mastery of the genre.

Of course, all of these sweaty metal-heads were boozing up for the headliners of the evening. With a striking balance of humility and excitement, Katatonia graced the stage, launching straight into ‘Last Song before the Fade’, the first of many tracks from their masterpiece of a new record, ‘The Fall of Hearts’. Jonas Renkse’s vocal chords were well-primed from his first lyric. With long black hair covering his face, Renkse emulated his sweet Nordic sound, just like from the band’s recordings. The band were instrumentally calculated with each and every riff.

The Swedes played gems from their back catalogue, spanning over twenty years, and fans were losing their minds. It’s quite a picture to watch fans scream with excitement to the soft opening chord to a song that begins so minutely different to the last – some serious passion. Engaging with fans, Renkse told Perth how amazing they’d been, and how great the whole tour has been; of course not without a joke about our hot temperatures – quite a contrast from a cold Swedish winter I suppose.

Highlights of the evening were definitely crescendos in songs like ‘Dead Letters’ and ‘Teargas’ – so carefully crafted and delivered. It’s quite interesting how such peaceful songs can engage aggressive metal-heads to raise their fists and bang their heads, but it simply works.

After playing for an impressive ninety minutes, the band walked off the stage only for the crowd to be screaming their name before they even put their instruments down. With a huge three-song encore, Katatonia played hits ‘My Twin’ and ‘July’ from their highlight album ‘The Great Cold Distance’; hugely cathartic tracks.

Considering the gig was on a Sunday, the headcount was pretty damn high for Perth.  And although the sub-genres are completely diverse, let’s not forget that A Day to Remember were playing in Fremantle on the same night, with another show next door as well – good stuff WA!

Ricky Aarons

Katatonia Setlist

Last Song before the Fade
Deliberation
Serein
Dead Letters
Day and Then the Shade
Serac
Teargas
Ghost of the Sun
Evidence
The Night Subscriber
Soil’s Song
Old Heart Falls
For My Demons
Leaders
In the White

Encore:

My Twin
Lethean
July

Check out the photo gallery by Emanuel Rudnicki here:

Chaos Divine

Voyager

Katatonia

capitol

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