Friday May 10th at 170 Russell in Melbourne can only be described as a Sold Out Heavenly Progressive Tech Death Extravaganza.
It was far more than an evening of heavy entertainment hosting some of our country’s and the world’s greatest metal musicians and bands in one venue on one special night for one special tour. It was chaos, it was armageddon, it was heaven and the evening can best be summed up as being brutally soothing.
Whilst granted this was Ne Obliviscaris’ evening and indeed their headline tour, it would be wrong of me to say that any of the bands performing last night were a support!
From the second the doors opened, 170 Russell was packed. Every Brutal Brother and Sinister Sister with a ticket or pass, it seemed, weren’t willing to miss one minute of all the night had to offer.
Kicking off the evening were the Rivers Of Nihil, who released my number one album of last year in Where Owls Know My Name. Hypnotically pulsating the audience to and fro thanks to their captivating songwriting and live interpretation of their music finally getting the chance to experience Rivers Of Nihil perform was beyond and honor and privilege. They fucking rule and their gig ruled as equally!
Allegaeon followed Rivers Of Nihil, and clearly they were elated at having the honor of touring and performing in Australia for the first time. Hearing and watching Allegaeon play before their Melbourne crowd was like watching Dethklok perform at the pinnacle of their absolute malevolent best. Part techdeath, part deathgrind, Allegaeon brought Melbourne to life and sonically blasted us towards the weekend. By the looks on all the faces of the band it was clearly obvious that it was Allegaeons intent to make sure that the entire crowd moved with reckless abandon and enjoyed their performance as much as they loved playing for their fans for the time.
So where Allegaeon seemed to be performing like Dethklok on steroids, next to grace the stage were Beyond Creation who it would appear from their unbelievably blissful and hypnotic live performance and musicianship attended and graduated with a doctorate from Skwisgaar Skwigelf’s ‘Advanced Fast Hand Finger Wizard Master Class’! Watching Beyond Creation perform was just another level of WOW.
As readers may or may not comprehend, being present at this illustrious The Painted Progression Melbourne event is almost categorically impossible to put into words. Rivers Of Nihil, Allegaeon and Beyond Creation are three bands that were easily worth the price of admission alone. And here we were, a mere three fifths done.
And so, with all of the technically impossible perfection that was laid behind the audience, what better and more poignant way to subdue and calm the crowd to a degree than presenting none other than Caligula’s Horse. My thoughts and love for Caligula’s are very well documented and I don’t think that there could of been any band that were more perfectly suited to follow the bands before them, yet introduce Ne Obliviscaris. Caligula’s Horse summoned an inner beauty and passion in the crowd (as if there was any lacking) performing tracks from their albums Bloom and latest In Contact that could of so easily made this a night to own as their own. But OH NO!
There was one more band to come. NeO.
I will be the first to admit, that I have been a harsh critic of NeO’s in the past, but their performance pretty much left me lost for words. Truth be told, I didn’t mind their latest album Urn but seeing Ne Obliviscaris summon and gift what could of been the best performance of their career for their hometown crowd, made me somewhat question my past opinions of NeO.
Simply put, their set was fucking incredible. 170 Russell last night belonged to NeO, but was properly and perfectly bound together by the sum of the supports of the foundations before them and their hometown crowd in front of them. They clearly exemplified how beautifully brutal an example they are of how many facets and fans of extreme music can come together and unify in a collective bond.
The Painted Progression Melbourne Leg was without question a magnificent gig. The words, descriptives and adjectives are hard to use to properly and adequately summarise the five bands that made it such a memorable evening.
Rivers Of Nihil, Allegaeon, Beyond Creation, Caligula’s Horse and of course Ne Obliviscaris all commanded and captivated the attention of their Melbourne audience for a mere five fleeting but special hours of our lives.