TesseracT, Circles, Dyssidia @ The Gov, Adelaide 13/9/2018

Prog Rock, Djent music, whatever you may call it, has a unique audience. Not for the casual listener, this music is normally best suited to those who know music best; other musicians. The technical wizardry of the guitarist, the radical rhythms of the bass and storytelling diversity of the vocals, the one thing it isn’t, is disposable pop music. So tonight, at The Gov, we have three excellent bands to blow us away, all from this genre. Or is that dgenre?

Dyssidia are almost Adelaide royalty, they have extensively toured their 2016 EP Of Delight & Despair and are back home before hitting the studio for their new album. Their set list tonight consists of one new number; a jagged, eccentric piece that stretches the band 5 different ways at once while the crowd head bang away; interspersing their bands more familiar numbers. There is a decent crowd for the guys and the band deliver with Mitch’s vocals ranging from demon growl to banshee wail, all complimenting Corey’s guitar work.

Next up is Melbourne’s Circles, recently downsized to a four piece, as well recently released the epic album The Last One, they have streamlined what they’re about and have pushed forward accordingly.

They hit the ground running with a blend of soft vocal melodies led by Ben Rechter, contrasting with headbanging, ground shaking riffs. It almost shouldn’t work however it does. These guys creating the right sound and dynamics that leaves an indelible mark on the psyche.

You’d almost be forgiven for thinking they don’t fit under the prog banner, however they are more than that. Having stripped away parts of music that are not needed, they’ve become more powerful, dynamic and given themselves the ability to stretch further. Songs like Dreamscape being a perfectly illustration of where the band is it. A great performance.

Headliners TesseracT are from the UK and have a splendid new album in Sonder out. Singer Daniel Tompkins is the ringmaster tonight, and he leads his merry men on a light and sound spectacular. Tompkins vocals are nothing short of mesmerising while the band, with a few backing tape glitches aside, are on point.

A couple of quick early blasts of songs leads us into the epic Concealing Fate Part 2: Deception and Concealing Fate Part 3: The Impossible. Jay Postones drums are impossibly heavy, the bass from Amos Williams grooves with the guitar work from both James Monteith and Acle Kahney are quite frankly indescribable.

Survival, Dystopia and Hexes showcase the band in all its glory supported by a great light show, in fact the sound was the epic I’m pretty sure some of the light fixtures were wobbling throughout the set. The packed Gov crowd throwing their energy right back at the band.

Smile from new album Sonder is a little different from the bands usual stuff however is warmly greeted like an old friend before the final stretch which also features King from the aforementioned album.

All that’s left if the final belter Concealing Fate Part 1: Acceptance before the band depart into the brisk September evening.

While the venue may well have been filled with many technically minded and gifted musicians watching three masters at work, the bands themselves are a bit more than that just technical genius. They are, underneath it all, great metal bands who want you to bang your head to as well as have your jaw drop. Tonight, they all succeeded.

Live Review by Iain McCallum

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