The worldwide pandemic was devastating in so many ways with the obvious and significant loss of life but also how it curtailed the music industry. One such casualty was Australian alternative metal or progressive rockers Karnivool. The band were ready to head out to Europe for the first time since 2015 when the tour was delayed until September / October 2021 which then got delayed to April / May 2022. Again, further postponements happened and now finally the band are here playing their Regeneration Tour shows across Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands and concluding in the UK. This quintet formed in Perth in 1997 and currently consist of Ian Kenny on vocals, Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking on guitar, Jon Stockman on bass, and Steve Judd on drums.
German progressive metallers The Ocean or The Ocean Collective are the touring support across Europe, arrive on stage and are glimpsed at times during minimal mood lighting and open with `Triassi` which builds quietly before letting rip with searing guitar riffs and aggressively screamed or growled vocals. This pattern was repeated on most of the numbers in the band`s fifty minute set tonight which was culled mainly from their last release `Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic / Cenozoic`
Towards the end of their performance the group shared the track `Holocene` which lacked the growled vocals and to me sounded better for it as this introspective number seemed to mesmerise this sold out audience. The band closed out with
`Jurassic | Cretaceou` which was full of power chords and vocals that ebbed and flowed throughout. The band have a new studio album due out in May called Holocene` which they have shared “adds a closing chapter to our palaeontology-inspired album series”. I have to admit that i`m still digesting The Ocean`s performance twelve hours on from their show, which is maybe a marker as to what a unique outfit they are.
Tonight`s headliners Karnivool arrive in a similar fashion through really negligible lighting and kick off with `C.O.T.E. ` which seems to equate to the centre of the earth and a person possibly at the centre of singers world. It`s a delicate balance of gentleness and disquiet as it builds with a passion that I`ve come to expect of band`s like A Perfect Circle. `All It Takes` is a newish track and was the group`s first studio release since `Asymmetry` in 2013 and seems to be a warning or cautionary tale. There`s a delightfully huge sound to this track. We enjoy some intricate guitar chord riffs as `Shutterspeed` a number that may refer to a breakdown of a relationship sways along. There are debates as to what songs mean and to me they suggest different things for different people but if music is good who cares if it`s trendy or unfashionable, great music is great music regardless of our lyrical interpretations.
We dip into the `Sound Awake` album for the next twenty odd minutes with cuts like the mesmeric `Goliath`, fairly dreamy `Simple Boy`, delicate `Umbra` and to me the most melodic and instantly accessible number tonight `All I Know`.
`Deadman` has this spellbound audience singing along before `Themata` really sent this crowd wild and the place erupted. I`m sure it was `Roquefort` that closed out this enthralling seventy minute set.
It doesn`t take long before the fellas return and share `Alpha Omega` before singer Ian Kenny apologises if we`ve missed our last bus home and closes out tonight’s event with the quite stunning `New Day`. Karnivool are a really interesting band and share music that has a number of subtle nuances along with some thought provoking lyrical content. They can certainly deliver their songs in a live setting and we can only hope that this venture into Europe inspires the band to create some new sounds for us all to enjoy.