Walking into the Triffid I knew very little about Melbourne band Circles and tonight was to be a fantastic introduction into what is a great band. The vocal abilities contained within the band are excellent with lead singer and guitarist Ben Rechter possessing great range and clarity to his voice. Excellent harmonies are provided by fellow guitarist Ted Furuhashi and give the band a full melodic sound. Bass player Drew Patton adds contrast to the clean vocals with his energetic screaming and stalked his side of the stage with an almost manic fury. The band was able to lay down a heavy melodic groove anchored by the precise drumming of Dave Hunter making movement compulsory. The soloing of Ted showed his proficiency on his instrument as he made complicated seem effortless. The band played some tracks off the yet to be released a new album which was greeted enthusiastically by the Brisbane crowd. Melodic vocals coupled with great songs and energetic stage presence make Circles a pleasure to watch.
Ne Obiviscaris took the stage and opened with “Libera, Pt1 (Saturnine Spheres)” the melodic start to the song soon replaced by the rapid fire of the two bass drums of Dan Presland. Tim Charles the clean vocalist of the band steps up first and shows the power and quality of his voice. He is joined by Xen who proceeds to stalk around the stage like a caged wild animal stepping to the front of the stage deliver his unearthly growl. Tim then shows us there is a place in extreme metal for a classical instrument such as the violin as it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the band. While both vocalists are excellent in their own right the highlights of the night for me is when they sing together the contrast of the two balancing each other perfectly.
“And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope” showcased the many sides of Ne Obliviscaris with haunting violin being joined by the guitars of Matt Clavins and Benjamin Baret and the flowing bass lines provided by Martino Garattoni. The bands’ ability to navigate the complex arrangements of the songs is a testament to the talent involved and reflects the high quality of their live performance. The band launched into “Intra Venus” which bought the Brisbane crowd to life and was followed by “Painters Of The Tempest.”
The highlight of the night was “Eyrie”. With all the best elements of the band contained within this song, it was a favourite with the crowd. Continuing on “Urn Pt2 (As Embers Dance In Our Eyes)”. Xen continued his menacing vocal performance prowling the stage at times windmilling his head so fast I expected to see it detach from his neck and go flying across the stage. Devour Me Colossus Pt1 (Blackholes) from the Citadel album was a triumphant way for the band to finish.
Australia is blessed with a wealth of metal talent and tonight’s show proves Ne Obliviscaris are riding at the top of the heap with Circles quickly on the rise. If either of these two bands are coming to your town make sure you get down to see them you won’t be disappointed.