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LIVE: KARNIVOOL, Themata 10th Anniversary Tour – Perth, 22 May, 2015

| 27 May 2015 | Reply

LIVE: KARNIVOOL, Themata 10th Anniversary Tour – Perth, 22 May, 2015
Karnivool, with Cairo Knife Fight
Metro City, Perth, Western Australia
Friday 22nd May 2015
Reviewed by Jarrod Henry
Photography by Stuart McKay

When Karnivool released their debut album Themata in 2005, it was a game changer for progressive heavy rock bands everywhere. Their tight arrangements, intricate guitar work, original time signatures and atmospheric segues, capped off by the soaring sounds of one of rocks most talented frontmen saw the Perth quintet gain new ground and a legion of fans across the globe. They’ve gone from strength to strength with subsequent releases, but it is still Themata that seems to strike a universal chord, with the songs from the album being reserved the most enthusiastic responses at their live shows.

Karnivool live in Perth 22 May 2015 by Stuart McKay (2)

When the band announced that they would be celebrating the albums 10th anniversary with an Australian tour featuring it played in its entirety, the reaction from fans was absolutely ballistic and a majority of the shows sold out so quickly that extra shows were added to cope with the demand.

Last Friday saw the hometown heroes bring the show to a jam packed crowd at Metropolis Perth, and everyone in attendance knew they would be in for one of the most memorable shows of the year.

After Kiwi duo Cairo Knife Fight warmed the crowd up with some sludgy fuzzed-out riffs and looped drum beats, the stage went dark and Karnivool hit the stage to the strains of COG’s Anarchy OK and launched straight into C.O.T.E. Vocalist Ian Kenny instantly had the massive crowd in the palm of his hand, the crystal clear mix allowing his voice to soar above the duelling guitars of Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking. It was clear that Kenny’s voice has only improved with age, his tonality and control are masterful and he strikes an imposing figure at stage front.

Playing the title track of the album second song in, one that is usually reserved as an encore, only raised the energy of the crowd to fever pitch as Kenny, arms outstretched, incited the crowd into singing the chorus with him. “This is a celebration” he informed the masses as the frenetic intro to Shutterspeed caused a near riot. As with any ‘album tour’ scenario the only thing that detracts from the performance is knowing which songs come next, but this didn’t stop the faithful from greeting the likes of Roquefort and Fear of the Sky with fresh enthusiasm. Instrumental interlude Scarabs was an absolute highlight of the set, complete with Goddard’s unholy screams

The whole band was truly in top form, bassist John Stockman and drummer Steve Judd providing a massive wall of bottom end that pummelled every pair of ears present into submission. The acoustic guitars came out for a brief respite from the bone crushing riffs as they played an incredible version of Sewn and Silent before the electro build-up of Synops split the air, the almost Eastern-like melodies as dark and dramatic as when they were first aired a decade ago.

After a brief break the band returned to the stage to a thunderous ovation for Change (Part 1) – the final song proper on Themata – and segued it straight into its closing companion piece Change from their follow-up Sound Awake and the five piece put every ounce of energy into the 10-minute opus, the changes sharp as razor wire and Kenny again intoning the verses with the passion and intensity we’ve come to expect from him. Album opener Simple Boy followed in quick succession, again showcasing their innate skills at off-beat timings and absolutely monstrous riffs. The mid-section drumming recalled When the Levee Breaks and Goddard’s delay-soaked soloing washed over a sea of faces etched in total rapture. After We Are, the only offering from 2013’s Asymmetry album, new song Aozora showed the band’s song writing skills have only matured before New Day bought proceedings to a close with another huge crowd sing along.

And with that we were ushered out into the night, ears ringing and completely satiated with the experience we had just witnessed; a masterclass performance from one of Australia’s best, and a band we West Aussies are still very proud to call our own.

Set List:
Fear of the Sky
Sewn and Silent
Omitted for Clarity
Change (Part 1)
Simple Boy
We Are
New Day

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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