There are few things in life that compare to the excitement of rugging up in your most obscure band hoodie and hitting the town to enjoy the fruits of your hard working music scene. Needless to say, the launch of Icarus Lives’ highly anticipated release “Vantablack” at Amplifier Bar over the weekend was a fine example of Perth’s year round entertainment and another great reason to get out more and experience some premium live entertainment. Supported by Metal Acts Agnesis, The Arcadian and headlined by the mighty Silent Knight, this intriguing line-up was set to deliver a chaotic volley of noise upon my eagerly awaiting ears.
Shortly after arrival, I was lured to the stage by the call of heavy melodies and a harmonious ballad of mixed gender vocals and I immediately recognised that it could be none other than the upcoming Progressive Rock/Metal Band – Agnesis. As I gazed in awe, their newest synth player Jenny complimented the songs with a layer of fierce chords and heavenly ambience while the drummer kept a solid pace, occasionally mixing things up with fast fills and cool off-time beats. The audience loved the ‘heartbeat’ of the constant kick drums and several punters started stomping their feet as the drummer stood up from his mighty throne and encouraged the energy of the crowd. Bassist/vocalist Josie was effortlessly mastering a 5 string axe while sharing vocal duties in perfect key throughout the entire set. Leading the charge on guitars was Daniel who’s inspiring vocals and punchy progressive riffs completed the overall picture of this authentic and upcoming band. I particularly liked how each band member seemed to bring their own unique ideas to the table and incorporated them perfectly into one musical unit. However, as quickly as they had appeared, Agnesis wrapped things up with a well received applause and I was left with a sense of wanting more of the apocalyptic gloom which seemed to resonate from their style.
Next up was The Arcadian, a name I was familiar with but had not yet seen them live. As a big fan of Melodic Death Metal, I was naturally excited to hear the fusion of progressive-hardcore that these guys had on offer. The venue was beginning to fill and the band didn’t hesitate to let fly with such fury that my pint glass nearly slipped from my fingers! After the first wave of devastating bass bombs, I felt like a deer caught in a headlight as the crowd were hit with a relentless volley of hooky grooves, fitting cymbal work, overpowering growls and mosh-worthy break downs. The guitar tone was a clear stand out for me, a crunchy deep tuning of Drop G and F throughout their set simply melted my mind. I just love how Metal bands spend so much time perfecting their ultimate tone. Between songs we were hurled through a journey of trippy industrial samples and I could hear the ringing in my ears as I tried to pull my brain together. Then, without warning, a hellfire of snare fills erupted and the band continued its merciless attack, throwing sweet harmonies into the mix now and then just to remind listeners of their melodic roots. Finally, the lads announced their last song “Don’t Be A Bead-Beat Dad” and the room seemed to fill with emotion as the intro began. Their vocalist chuckled “This may make you want to hug your friends… or punch them”. He seemed to pace back and forth as the song gathered momentum and you could feel the hate building up behind those sharp death growls. Before I could comprehend anything, I found myself head banging to an enormous breakdown and after a relentless barrage of brutal heaviness, The Arcadian ended their set with massive appreciation and applause by the warmed-up crowd. A brutal performance and definitely a band to check out.
Reflecting upon the evening so far, the first thing that came to mind was the world-class sound produced at Amplifier Bar. We can be grateful for the skills of Ian and crew who cannot be beaten at perfecting heavy/alternative bands. After refilling my drink and chatting to the friendly bar staff, I was at last excited to hear that Icarus Lives were about to fire-up and I hurried to secure a spot amongst the swelling masses. The lighting dimmed and the band slowly emerged onto the sacred stage to take up their positions like some kind of appeasement ritual for the hungry crowd. The applause could be heard throughout the venue and all eyes were fixed on the stage as everyone cheerfully greeted the band. Our applauses were slowly drowned out by a soothing piano intro and suddenly the band kicked into gear with their first song “Disease”. Jumping around on stage comes naturally to Icarus Lives and the synchronised windmilling of each band member set a fine example to the crowd who were quick to respond with devil horns and relentless moshing. Icarus Lives are a real treat for the ears and you can also see just how much energy is behind these masters of Heavy Metal. By the time they played their next song “Memoirs”, we were bouncing around to the orgasmic shredding of thrashy guitar riffs topped with nicely structured solos and sweeps throughout their songs. The vocals were quite fitting for this style of Metal and I was truly impressed by Sara’s voice which seemed to shine during the melodic segment of their song “the haunting”. This band is big on hooky lyrics and when the song “Last one left” started playing, we found ourselves chanting along with the band while banging our heads relentlessly as a sign of approval. Kevin worked the lighting like a champ and at one point I was dazzled by the reflection of light on Cameron’s guitar as he jumped on the drum rise and lifted his axe above the cheering crowd. True to the song name, their set ended with their song “Never Enough” and I felt slightly disappointed that things had to finish so soon. Luckily, their new album was available at the merch desk and I noticed a few people heading there after the stunning performance. In summary, Icarus Lives has a little bit of everything to offer but you’d want to see them live to get the full experience.
The night unfolded brilliantly and as we approached the end of an awesome evening, many non-metal regulars began to mix into the venue. The energetic atmosphere held steadfast and the anticipation of the headlining band kept the punters mingling happily inside the venue. I must add at this point that headlining Act – Silent Knight, have reached huge milestones over the last few years and have proudly represented our Local Scene on both a national and international scale. I am honoured to have seen this well-oiled thrash machine live on many occasions and every time I see them they seem to improve ten-fold. I was slightly curious to see how the growing crowd of non-metal punters would receive such underground talent and I wondered whether they could be truly won over by even the best of alternative music. My thoughts quickly dissolved into excitement as guitarist Stu McGill jumped on the Mic and introduced the band with their first song “Command and Conquer” commencing the onslaught. All hell seemed to brake loose as the unsuspecting mixed crowd was thrown into a state of chaos and for a moment the entire venue seemed to unite under the everlasting banner of Metal. The overall sound was astonishing and every member of this band played their instruments with a level of skill that places them amongst the Legends of our genre. The mood was lifted beyond breaking point and several mosh pits erupted as Cam shredded his axe like a King and Dan’s double kicks cut through the sound with every thud and tom roll like butter. The band was in their element and it was obvious that the crowd was enjoying it even more. I do have to mention the excellent control of Jesse’s voice, he can hold those hair raising, high-end power metal vocals with ease and the entire performance sounded just like the CDs. Much to our delight, a few more favourites were played including Masterplan and Power Metal Supreme and you can’t help but observe the way Silent Knight hold it all together with their laughs, banter and epic breakdowns between each song. By the time they announced their last one for the night, the audience quickly responded with chants for an encore and it seemed like a riot would erupt if the lads refused. However, like true professionals, Silent Knight were quick to deliver the goods and smashed out a beauty that has gained them attention all over the world… A unique Power Metal version of Final Countdown by Europe! The diverse crowd moshed it out like there was no tomorrow right up until the end of the song . The room filled with applause and as the night cane to an end it was safe to assume that, judging by the reactions of their newest fans, Silent Knight had won the challenge I had set in my mind.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening that will last for a long time in my memory and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the performers, venue and the punters for another great night of Local Metal!