SOUND: ALTERNATIVE/HARD ROCK
The band emerged on stage bathed in red light to a twitchy electronica sample from their latest album, before launching into sensational new track 'A.M. War'. The recent inclusion of more experimental electronic stylings into their blend of soaring math metal seems hardly a confusing move considering the sonic boundaries being pushed on previous releases. To be sure, no one in the room seemed to be minding. Following with the title track of their 2005 debut, 'Themata' (the only old track given an airing at this show), the band dipped heavily into the challenging work of their fresh LP 'Asyemmetry', released last week. 2009's 'Sound Awake' was also represented strongly via crushing singles 'All I Know' and 'Set Fire To The Hive', among numerous other highlights. The band's masterpiece, 'New Day', was as spectacular as ever.
These older tracks were greeted with a greater physical shift from the crowd, who remained rather placid for the new material. Rather than disinterest, this stillness marked an utter engagement in deciphering the impressive arrangements that were still relatively unknown to fans. This was a different kind of enjoyment between bursts of the familiar, when then heads began to knock and hips began to shake. The pair of pre-released singles, 'We Are' and 'The Refusal', were also met with eager ears and enthusiastic heads.
Ian Kenny, arguably one of the most captivating frontmen in the Australian live music scene, held court over the evening. Feeling every beat of the 90-minute affair, Kenny's antics had him appear buffeted around the space by the sonic maelstrom concocted by his bandmates. He appears onstage like a strange bird, smoothly swaying in the way that Frankenstein's monster might try and dance to 'Get Lucky'. He also has the voice of an angel. The rest of the band plug away dutifully and are highly engaging in the own right through their dedicated performance of the complex mathematical arrangements.
Karnivool's Melbourne Town Hall appearance on their only tour for the year was a heavy, heady experience that cements their reputation as one of the boldest and most interesting bands in the Australian alternative scene. Pick up the new record and let it sink in before they grace us again next year - and get ready to feel your brain running down the back of your head (in a good way, of course).