Show Review: Karnivool 11.08.13

Published in The Music (WA) | 14.08.13 | Issue # 1

Pic by Daniel Cribb (Not Published in The Music)

Pic by Daniel Cribb (Not Published in The Music)



11 August, 2013

It wouldn’t be surprising if Metro City stuck up noise level warnings at their entrance just for Northlane. Quickly admitting they were an unorthodox support for the tour, frontman Adrian Fitipaldes showed a new sense of energy since the last time the band ventured west. Unfortunately, for most of the set, the rest of the band remained too reserved, and as a post-hardcore band, that’s the one thing they really couldn’t afford to skimp out on.

Ending with Dream Awake, a number that allowed Fitipaldes to showcase his melodic vocals, the Sydney five-piece pleased a select few fans with a tight, six-song performance, but didn’t win any new ones over.

As the lights went down for the main attraction, it was clear that people had been eagerly awaiting the last stop onKarnivool’s Asymmetry album tour for months. A faint, reverb-drenched loop of vocalist Ian Kenny pushed its way through the darkness, as guitarist Drew Goddard snuck out and began tamping with his pedals, transforming the loop into a pulsating ambience that quickly melded with the screams of a sold-out venue as the houselights went on for A.M. War.

The band unleashed on their respective instruments, and Kenny’s energy was vented through a series of dance moves that met somewhere between a praying mantis casually jiving and a dad dancing to cheesy ‘80s hits. It was perfect.

Being hypnotised by the post-rock madness at hand, it was easy to forget how long their songs went for. By the time tune six rolled around, Eidolon, it was clear everyone was in for the long haul. It seemed some thought that was it, as the crowd preemptively began chanting the lyrics to Fade – a song you’d expect to close the set. Through a grin, Kenny invited everyone on tour before the band congregated around the drums for a last-minute set change and resumed withFade.

The only thing that sounded bigger than the entire room yelling the hit were the six guitar cabs occupying the stage. Some might say it was overkill, but Goddard and Mark Hosking’s blaring wall of noise was the anchor that held everything together. Through effects and modulation, half the time it didn’t even sound like guitars pumping through the speakers.

Apart from yanking at his bass strings in what looked like an attempt to snap the neck, bassist Jon Stockman has an incredible screaming voice. Unfortunately, it was only as the set began winding down did he really get to unleash it during The Refusal.

Almost two hours of non-stop rock, and the band showed little sign of fatigue. Karnivool paved the way for Perth prog rock, and in front of a sold-out home crowd, they proved they’re still laying down the foundations for what will hopefully be a long time to come.

Written by Daniel Cribb