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TESSERACT & CIRCLES at Capitol, Perth on 11/9/18

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It’s apparent that an unsuspecting Tuesday night will not stop Perthians from relishing in the musical mastery of progressive Metal. UK prog legends TESSERACT, supported by Melbourne powerhouse CIRCLES and Perth’s very own CHAOS DIVINE, put on one hell of a show at Capitol, Perth, on Tuesday the 11th of September. By virtue of the reputation their names hold alone, it’s not hard to understand why crowds amassed at the door long before they were due to open. I am proud to say that I was amongst them.

Perth based progressive heavy rock band CHAOS DIVINE gave a fierce opening performance, showcasing the musicality and craftsmanship that has earnt them their name in the industry. From soaring melodies to crushing guitar riffs, their performance demonstrated the uncompromising arrangement that CHAOS DIVINE proudly adorn as part of their musical identity, an identity Perth progressive metals fans are right to admire. Stylistically, their set was a classic example of progressive rock, with the added twist of alternative metal accompanied by the occasional pop-like inflection. Beginning with their rock-like build up, David Anterton stole the limelight with his soaring vocals, showcasing the kind of talent that Australia is proud to call its own.

CHAOS DIVINE were soon followed by CIRCLES, the Melbourne powerhouses whose energy on stage can only be described as electrifying. With inspiration drawn from bands like PERIPHERY and TEXTURES, their technical mindedness shone through their performance, with killer guitar work and entrancing rhythms that truly demonstrated their advanced skill. Alongside their cheeky stage presence, it’s no wonder that CIRCLES have emerged as their own entity within the progressive space. Not only did the sea of bobbing head stand testament to this, but it was clear that they were enjoying performing as much as we were enjoying their performance.

Then came the part of the night that we had all been waiting for. With the lights dimmed and the crowd chanting their name, TESSERACT emerged from a sea of fog and darkness. I can tell you now that the excitement from the audience was uncontainable. The absolute roar was deafening, but was only a welcome worthy of the metal giants. My only complaint was that the transition between the previous set and their dramatic entrance was rather long. Whilst I don’t doubt it added to the anticipation and mysticism that TESSERACT were clearly playing into, it lost its charm towards the end as people became more impatient than excited. As soon as they started playing, however, none of that mattered as they absolutely shredded the stage.

I can only describe it as electrifying, as no other word could truly capture the ecstasy that followed. With immediacy, they delved straight into the kind of audacious sound that garnered them their following.  With an incredible energy, Daniel Tompkins took the floor, showcasing his wistful vocals complete with an enviable range. Betwixt polyrhythmic riffs, constantly interchanging time signatures, clean melodic passages possessing a heavy ambient vibe and distorted guitar tone, their sound was one to behold.

Watching each musician delve into their on-stage personas, the audience followed in suit. A sea of bobbing heads soon became a thrashing maelstrom, the energy of which was contagious. It wasn’t long before the entire crowd was jumping in unison, which in itself stands testament to the craftsmanship that TESSERACT projects on stage.

Being caught between the entrancing melodies and electrifying guitar riffs, TESSERACT gave an incredible performance that I am ecstatic to have been a part of. My only hope is that we don’t have to wait another three years before TESSERACT returns.

Chaos Divine



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