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RUSSIAN CIRCLES, WE LOST THE SEA and LAST DAYS OF KAIL at The Gov, Adelaide on 23/4/2019

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Shows of this nature are often challenging to review as the experience is to a degree, describing the immersive state the observers are transported to via the musical interaction, not necessarily the engagement of the band performing with their audience. For local post-rock three-piece Last Days Of Kali their ornate yet ravaging musical formula engulfed the growing crowd and transferred them to another atmosphere. The three instruments which make up the trio’s sound became separate elements in what felt like a journey through the echelons of the ocean. At the surface, where the real movement takes place, drummer Luke Fazakerley provided the soundtrack. His pummeling then tender high-hitting variations acted as the waves and tidal movements; flowing and crashing and consequently lifting or sinking anything in existence at that level – a controlling but enthralling element. Guitarist Kim Roberts represented the creatures which survive this greatly unknown universe, some that carefully and delicately survive, intricately navigating their way through the environment. She was also able to switch from the more subtle moments to near doom destruction, which could represent the predators who feed violently on their prey, the alterations were rather superlative. Finally, synth player Liam Schulz symbolised the unexplored depths, the murky and hidden zone which has both an unsettling eeriness and a peculiar beauty. The coalescence of these sounds and what LDOK create are truthfully beyond refined – in all sincerity, they are a criminally under-appreciated outfit and require the world’s attention as soon as possible.

Sydney’s progressive post-rock We Lost The Sea are a band with an emotive yet courageous story. Having lost their vocalist Chris Torpy tragically to suicide in 2013; it almost appeared as saddening but understandable conclusion for the outfit. This tragedy would be a chapter in their story but not their finishing; the band returned with their finest moment yet in their third LP Departure Songs – a restructuring for WLTS in sound and direction. Transforming to an intricate instrumental group along the lines of Mogwai and This Will Destroy You, the world took notice and anytime the six men take to the stage it is an absolute privilege to witness. This was certainly the scenario on this night for Adelaide, the sextet were here to hypnotise their fans and South Australia happily obliged and surrendered to their talent. A formula which begins with ingenious and frail flutterings of sound then builds to a new stratosphere of sound-scapes becoming almost earth moving – it is a journey that mesmerises interested witnesses and this event had all of this and more. With a highly anticipated new record on the horizon, this next step for We Lost The Sea could be the most fascinating and enjoyable yet.

Chicago’s Russian Circles faced obstacles well before they set foot in Australia for their returning tour; American Airlines somehow neglected to transport the three-piece’s equipment with the band and they were left lost and empty handed. Fortunately, thanks to the generous hearts of local musicians, the trio were capable of playing select songs from their impressive discography and continue their passion of performing live music. This impediment was a difficult hindrance to navigate undoubtedly, but guitarist Mike Sullivan, bassist Brian Cook and drummer Dave Turncrantz were not to be defeated and when they hit full flight, they were astronomical. Their angular, disjointed, brutal, pulsating and refined instrumental post-metal is one of a kind. For three men, it is more than a wall of noise they create; it is a constant avalanche that continues to disrupt and devastate anything in its path. Dave Turncrantz is more machine than man; his genius in percussion is arguably unmatched and the astounding effect he has on both his art and his audience is something that is necessary to witness. The skill set of Brian Cook to maintain rhythm but contribute a ravaging and heavy bass crunch to RC comes from his years of service, notably with beloved mathcore veterans Botch. Finally, Mike Sullivan who acts as not only a wizard to weave between complex and beautiful sophistication to deafening post-metal, but also the strongest bond between the three musicians; it was not to be his night. The equipment was not co-operating and sadly it appeared as though he thought he was letting the crowd down; in all honesty, the opposite was the case, Russian Circles were once again poetic and unforgettable. With a new album set to be released in the coming months, hopefully their return to Australia will be much sooner than expected.

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