Capitol, Perth WA
September 10th, 2018
Supports: Circles, Chaos Divine
The djent is strong in this one.
The first show of the UK’s progressive metal legends, Tesseract slammed into Perth overnight, with the five piece joined by Melbourne’s Circles and Perth’s own, Chaos Divine. It was a smorgasbord of technical wizardry, with structures upon structures of deep lyrical content, ambience and of course those patent killer breakdowns.
First up was Perth’s Chaos Divine, who had been relatively quiet for the past 12 months as they put the finishing touches to their fourth album, set to drop later this year. The band tight as ever, forgetting the few microphone mishaps early on in their set with the early punters lucky enough to wrap their ears around some new Chaos Divine tracks from their forthcoming album, and let me tell you – they are heavy! Always known for their melody intertwined with heavy guitar work, the new album may just be their heaviest yet. We shall see. But either way, as soon as a pre-order drops, I’ll be hopping on board!
Melbourne’s Circles were next, now a four piece with guitarist, Ben Rechter taking over lead vocal responsibilities from the towering Perry Kakridas. I last time saw this band opening for Fear Factory and was blown away by their technical prowess and Perry’s incredible vocal range coupled with the interesting melodic and guttural overtures from his band mates. It was a mix that worked and I was taken a back when the band stated Perry was leaving last year. Fast forward 12 months and Circles fans can be rest assured that it is business as usual. Their new album, The Last One, released just a fortnight ago is stunning and Rechter’s vocal range is equally impressive as Perry’s was. There is still that vocal harmony, still those killer breakdowns and dare I say “djent goodness”, but the band seem more relaxed now in their abilities and ready to take the next step into a bigger band in this country. A lot of Karnivool-type structures to Circles songs on this new album, which can only be a good thing. More ambience, more subtle build ups and whether or not that was conscious thing, who the fuck cares; it works.
Tesseract. Say the word in the music industry and automatically people are thinking technical musicianship, djent breakdowns, floorless stage show. Well, you’d be right. Tesseract are everything I’ve ever been told. This was my virgin Tesseract experience and I couldn’t of picked a better time to see the band, as they toured their new album, Sonder, which itself, is nothing short of sensational. Read our review here. The band enter the stage to an intimate background intro before plowing into the track, ‘Luminary’ with all its groove bass, djenty extensions and vocalist, Daniel Tompkins falsetto highlights. A stellar beginning. Into ‘Of Mind – Nocturne’, one of the highlights from the band’s Altered State album, a time when the band featured Ashe O’Hare as leading vocalist. Suffice to say, Tompkins carried the vocals off from that album seamlessly, even showing his appreciation to O’Hare’s time in the band following the track.
Guitarists, Alec Kahney and James Monteith are simply magicians with their instruments. Close your eyes and besides the cheering from the appreciative crowd, it was as if you were listening to the album with headphones. Centre of the stage, bassist, Amos Williams plucks away pulverizing the strings on his bass, reverberating his sound around the venue. As the band kick into ‘Concealing Fate, Part; Decption and Part 3: The Impossible’, the crowd lunge forward reaching into the air with every word Tompkins either screeches or soulfully expels into the microphone.
Deeper into the set the band feature some tracks from there more diverse album, Polaris including, ‘Survival’, ‘Dystopia’, ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Hexes’. More electronic elements abound, though Tompkins high range again is a highlight amongst the technical creativity.
All the band follow the Sonder theme, dressed in black but it was not a sombre outing, a happy crowd with the highlight coming from the track ‘King’ from this album as Tompkins jumped into the first few rows bellowing out, “They’re taking away the freedom to be just you”. The raucous Perth crowd savouring the interaction. Concluding with ‘Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance’ with all of its spacious guitar work, intricate drum work and the bands ability to meld the technical with the smooth.
Review by James Birkin (Twitter @KeepnTabs73)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Matt Gedling if you use published photos.
Of Mind – Nocturne
Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
Concealing Fate, Part 3: The Impossible
Of Matter – Proxy
Of Matter – Retrospect
Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance