Roundhouse, Camden, London
March 28 2015
Review by Ashlinn Nash. Photos by Jo Moolenschot
The wind is howling outside, the rain is bashing the railway bridges of North London’s music capital, it’s safe to say that the spring weather isn’t exactly brilliant; yet the excitement for tonight’s sun dripped Australian heavy progsters Karnivool is certainly in favour.
Monuments [4/5] are up first, opening with an ethereal piece which livens the heartbeats of adrenaline in the crowd. The band who have been on tour for last few months show no signs of slowing down their momentum of success. The chosen venue tonight of the Roundhouse is a superb one, it’s intimate yet has a certain grandeur that makes it a very special venue to be in.
The range of musicianship found within this band is awe striking and a pleasure to watch as they made their way through delightful tracks that seemed to be effortless in delivery. The band consisting of Chris Barretto on Vocals & Saxophone, Guitarists John Browne and Olly Steele, Adam Swan on Bass and Mike Malyan on Drums & Samples all Make light work of their thundering back catalogue.
There are moments throughout the set where it was easy to picture this band playing much larger venues, whether is was the frontman’s use of engaging the crowd, a willingness to be submerged within them or just the band’s down right classic blend of talent, this Djent outfit work every piece of ammunition they have, to their benefit. Ending how they started; in a flurry of excitement, crunching beats and stylish grooves, with the well-chosen track “Atlas”.
A song which gave the frontman the finite opportunity to demand everyone one to get on the floor and on his count make the biggest pit the Roundhouse had ever seen, it was a true sight to be seen! They are band you most definitely need to see live, if nothing else for the pure energy lift they provide.
The time is near for Karnivool’s [5/5] arrival as the signature watery off beats of “C.O.T.E” fills the air with its solid progressive welcome that follows on nicely from the support band’s sound. Not complete without the styling of Ian Kelly’s snake like movements and comfortableness on stage; oh and not forgetting his signature soaring voice, making him one of those marvelous frontmen that make you wish you’d tried harder during music lessons.
The band were rumoured to be playing a few songs from each album to give the crowd something a bit different and they have done so far with the next number also being from the band’s first album “Themata”; “Shutterspeed” instantly gets the crowd up and roaring to move, some finding themselves in pockets of mosh pits that opened up across the Roundhouse floor.
The crowd offered up their voices to sing along with the tracks tag lyrics “I see more than you And I feel more than you”, Ian Kelly even threw in a classic front man move of holding the mic out to the crowd to join in. Third slice from the album “Roquefort’s” playthrough was stepped up a beat with the addition of Chris Barretto from monuments showing off his ability to be the John Coltrane of Djent.
Along with the final addition of the self-titled track from the album to close that section off. A man of few words and more pleased to allow the music to do the talking the band carried on into the new chapter, the more commercially known album “Sound awake”. As soon as the first few notes of “Goliath” pinched the air, the crowd livened up again. There is something brilliant about the way the band formulated this set list, appealing to every era of Karnivool’s listeners. “Set fire to the Hive” punched its way into the set with stunning bass lines and that signature strange vocal effect that moved the set into something of a spiritual set.
Helped of course by the choice to play “All I know” which is something of a unintentional tear jerker, completed by a symphony of crowd claps and the standard cries of excitement encased by the atmospherics , and a more than necessary cowbell, Saturday night live eat your heart out!
With a hushed tone the opening lines of “new day” found themselves being repeated back to the band, as the band seemed to be shocked by the crowd’s enthusiasm for their creations. Ending the segment on a personal favourite, not being too familiar with the band’s latest album it was nice to get the live experience of the tracks. So when the band returned after a short interval the crowd found themselves in the midst of the third part of the evening’s entertainment ; four tracks from latest offering “Asymmetry” Kick-starting the adventure with “Alpha Omega” whose sound is dramatically different from the last two albums, possibly to the point of almost getting confused as a Steven Wilson song.
It’s within this song and second cut from the “Asymmetry” album; “We are” that they were able to explore the boundaries of their own musicianship both on record and on CD. With rich flourishes of drum work and high energy demanding pounds of guitar strikes, electric bass lines and the mesmerising ability to blend them all. Second to last track “The Refusal” broke another boundary within their new sound to an audience that seemed to enjoy it but almost missed the old material.
Still it was sing-along worthy, as “aeons” closed the set with its uplifting and punching prog, made for a great ending, with its mix of old styles and new synthesised. The evening ending in high spirits, the crowd awash and in the wake of progressive master pieces that were delivered in a Djent and full on jam session of delight. The perfect duo bands, made it clear that they enjoyed performing it as much as the fans did hearing it all the while giving us all a lesson in how modern prog should be done.