Orpheus Omega – Gig Review 6th May @ The Evelyn Hotel, Melb VIC
The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
May 5th, 2023
Supports: Naberus, IMMORIUM, Primitive, and In Eden Slain
After releasing the exemplary EP Portraits where each band member took individual creative control of each track, Orpheus Omega celebrated this launch with a stellar lineup of metal alongside promises of a full EP playthrough, and some old bangers making their reappearance on stage. The headliners were accompanied by Naberus, IMMORIUM, Primitive, and In Eden Slain. I was keen to enjoy this night of familiar and new bands, in a lovely intimate venue with good company and good tunes.
In Eden Slain is a seven-piece melodic and death/doom metal band from Melbourne, that brought interpretations of fairy tales and folklore into a live music environment. I loved the combination of death metal growls and operatic highs, it felt like I was watching a live Lord of The Rings metal band. Each song told a story and felt like a journey across the land, with so many elements combined to create a unique and powerful sound. We were treated to a live debut of ‘Red Shoes‘, from their upcoming debut EP. I’m stoked to follow where this band goes, and I felt blessed to see such a unique band open the evening.
Primitive brought their relentless energy to the stage, showcasing their prowess in shredding their latest EP With The Rats and Snakes. Some insanely cool and thrashy lead solos and heavy basslines were highlights of these guys, alongside blistering drums and constant stage movement. Primitive understands how to get a crowd going and how to keep the pace up.
IMMORIUM is a Canberra-based melodic death metal band, that gave us but a taste of the noise we can expect from the headliners. Having played with Orpheus Omega and other legends in the scene in the past, IMMORIUM does a fantastic job of distinguishing themselves by incorporating blackened elements into their music. An example of this is the varying vocal styles utilized by the band, using a darker and gothic-sounding style alongside your expected growls.
Naberus made a triumphant return to the stage after a live absence since November 2021. After last catching them in 2018 I was excited to hear some bangers live once more, including one of my favorite metal instrumentals ‘Dirge of Sanity‘. I’m stoked to say that Naberus delivered an epic return set that featured a circle pit surrounding the bassist mid-performance. Featuring more favorites including ‘Hollow‘ and ‘Touch the Sky‘, the live return of Naberus has left me feeling hopeful for their future.
Orpheus Omega began their set by delivering on their promise of playing through Portraits in its entirety. This was a guest-filled EP, featuring the likes of Andy Gillion, and Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid of Soilwork to name a few. Whilst these big names couldn’t be on stage, production efforts and cut-ins of music videos allowed these guest appearances to be respected and represented during the live debut of the tracks. Each track has something different going for it, with a different member directing the creative process for each track. That translated well to stage as well, as you could see the excitement in the faces of each band member before “their track” was played. The audience reflected this energy and the sing-alongs were present. Keyboardist and vocalist Olive Keswick Gallagher’s track ‘O, Dissimilate Destruct was a particular treat live, as she took control of lead vocals with moody whispers/cleans and harsh screams. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Themelco and guitarist Luke Ashley shredded through the set with precision, and the joy on stage was apparent. Drummer Matt Themelco kept up the groove alongside bassist Leon Monaco. At least, until Leon stepped down during a guest performance on bass from Naberus guitarist Dann Ralph. ‘Reillusion‘ was performed live with Dann for the first time since 2015, and it was sensational to experience the lineup of this era for the first time. Orpheus Omega closed out the evening with my favorite song from their latest album, ‘In Time‘ from Wear Your Sins. Crowd chanting was as eminent as was the pits that followed, creating a spectacular finale to a terrific evening.
Orpheus Omega debuted Portraits in style. Some of these Portraits tracks may not be played live again, and this show was a celebration of the band’s career so far. Orpheus Omega are masters of the stage and this gig will for so many reasons be memorable for years to come.
Written by Tyler Lubke.