The Brightside, Brisbane QLD
November 4th, 2017
Supports: Claim The Throne and Orpheus Omega
If there’s one thing to be said about the show tonight. It’s the distinct amount of diversity on display here to see the main act. Everything from entire families of all ages, alongside the more typical metal crowd make this a rather interesting evening to be had by all and rather exemplifies the uniting qualities of heavy metal.
The opening act Claim The Throne are a rollicking train in the desert that is The Brightside – their performance a barrage of heavy riffs interwoven with folk metal theatrics. Frontman Brendon Capriotti and his cohort Jesse Millea trade off each other with clean and harsh vocals which are a counterpoint to the head bang inducing riffs being created onstage. The crowd respond with equal enthusiasm, even if the venue threatens to derail everything with their “not for people with epilepsy” inspired lighting. Whatever the case, it’s clear from their performance their new album is the real winner here and is (probably) worth checking out if you enjoy Australians doing viking/folk inspired metal and not being terrible at it.
Subsequently Orpheus Omega are less folk inspired and more akin to classic european metal sound. Each band member attacks their instruments with tactical precision, even if their keytarist Keswick Gallagher almost threatens to derail everything with his affinity for instruments that belong in 80’s prog bands and nowhere else. Their music sends waves of banging heads through their set, despite the extra cheese factor which tonight works mostly in their favour. Other members of the band are not to be outdone as they solo with their instruments held behind their back, bordering the wall between brilliant and lame.
The next band needs no introduction. But I’ll give them one anyway. Heralding from their personal sauna in Finland and no doubt feeling at home in the sweltering venue, the gloriously epic Wintersun have graced our Australian shores for the first time. The band appear onstage while the opening notes of the epic ‘Awaken From The Dark Slumber (Spring)’ ring out into the crowd. Frontman Jari Mäenpää quickly appears on the stage, his enthusiasm evident as the crowd launches themselves directly into battle in response to his appearance.
Things only get better from here as ‘Winter Madness’ from their debut, alongside a few other tracks from the indisputable classic are aired out to rapturous approval as each song causes the crowd to sing, dance and intensify the feeling of being lost at sea with your viking brethren. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it seems like every song with a reference to winter is the winner here tonight as the undeniably brilliant ‘Sons of Winter and Stars’ attains new levels of grandeur, crowd surfing and circle pits abound as the band stalk the stage, intent on giving everybody their night of their lives.
It’s at about this point where the heat seems to win out over the crowd who can only respond half-heartedly to Mäenpää’s teasing of ‘ten more songs’ which thankfully for everyone involved didn’t happen. Three more seems to be the final number, giving the crowd an early cut before launching into the heaviest track of their career, the death metal anthem ‘Eternal Darkness (Autumn)’ before the obligatory encore of the amazing ‘Time’ which sees the crowd rally their energy for one final expenditure of arcane destruction on their bodies.
Make no mistake, Wintersun are flawless this evening, their pomp and musicianship place them firmly at the forefront of a genre they helped created and tonight is hopefully the first of many visits they’ll make to this shore. The crowd loved every second of it
Here’s hoping the next time they come, they play at a better venue.
Reviewed by Kaydan Howison