Nakatomi Plaza, Temtris, Shadow Realm, The Loving Tongue @ The Gibson Room, The Gov, Adelaide 29/4/2023
Saturday night had me seeing out my week of girl power gigs with Sydney Metal female fronted powerhouse Temtris unleashing their new album Khaos Divine on their national tour. Just next door to where about 400 indie loving punters were rocking out to British India, Temtris and local supports attempted to condense their huge sound into the Gibson Room at The Gov, a charming and cosy candlelit space complete with open fireplace. With a robust offering of heavy acts sounding like they belong on an open-air stage in Europe somewhere, cramming all that chaos into such a small venue, is a rare sight. While the attendance was slimmer than what we would expect for an act as remarkable as Temtris, the crowd were eager to see them again for the first time in two years.
The night was kicked off by local legends The Loving Tongue who have been doing their thing for nearly thirty years with their raw and rough classic hard rock. Just a short set to whet the appetite, of course their best known track Lady in Black got a spin, it’s fast riffy madness getting things rolling nicely. Shadow Realm had the pleasure of getting people to the front and moving, playing their first (and maybe only) gig for the year before they knuckle down to write some new material. There were plenty of fans there solely for them and Shadow Realm brought the goods. One of those incredibly hard to define acts, there is a bit of everything from power prog, old school thrash and a mix of operatic clean vocals with incredibly sharp tones, blackened death growls plus some mind-blowing jazz keys for good measure. Paired with dramatic harmonic tension and some hectic tempo changes mid track, these guys are nothing short of entertaining but also boasting stunning musicianship. My only complaint is they desperately need a bigger stage for the audience to really appreciate their dynamic and everything that is going on. Nonetheless they pushed on and sweated it out mercilessly, the Gibson Room filled up for their set and they gave one hell of a performance peaking at the finale with Shadows from Within and that epic guitar solo over piano ballad leading out.
Continuing with the high drama, Temtris started their set with a voice over recording not unlike an airline safety announcement stating “welcome to eternity” before playing the entire new album from start to finish, as concept albums should be performed. Keeping things fresh and moving their impeccable sound into new territory, Khaos Divine is the most logical step forward for this group, who have always leaned into those European inspired theatrics throughout their work. Opening instrumental track, The Grand Design, was performed with precision and high energy- setting the tone for the rest of the set as a bleak but raging insight into a dystopian future under an ominous and oppressive regime.
Lead vocalist Gen Rodda then comes on stage in her impressively shiny battle gear (it’s heavy metal- we are talking PVC here) and dark shades to deliver her distinctive powerful bellowing low range voice over title track Khaos Divine to a gobsmacked audience. They kept firing out bangers- sharing the very small stage between Superstar Queen of Khaos Gen, and guitar maestros Nadi and Anthony backed by bassist Vane and drummer Nick. Despite the tiny venue and questionable sound tech, Temtris still blew the place apart and you just can’t fault their live sound which is world class.
Every single member is master of their instrument which is obvious with the band’s fluid and collegial dynamic and collaboration. They boast incredible versatility in style from catchy groove elements in Eternal Death Machine matched with some seriously god-like shredding to riff-heavy progressive sounding Lies Become The Truth. Moving through proggy harmonic belter Revenge to another catchy track bleakly titled Evolution of Hate, Gen announces the final track for the album Ground Zero where apparently everyone dies. A thrashy banger with dual shredding and high pitched wails- if this is how we all go out, I might be ok with it. The audience yell for one more song to which they oblige playing bass slapping smasher One for All from Ritual Warfare and leaving the night on a less pessimistic note (maybe) There was no doubt in my mind that Temtris were going to absolutely deliver on this show and they did.
Finishing the night and taking the good old ‘party band’ slot was none other than home turf faves and Boxing Day surprise boys, the appropriately named Nakatomi Plaza. Playing their third ever gig (second if we don’t count their debut surprise show) they already sound top of their game, which is no surprise considering they are longstanding local musicians that have been playing covers together under various other names for years. Nakatomi Plaza already have some notable originals that sound markedly like future classic pub faves, and have already been in the recording studio. While this is all very serious business sounding, lead vocalist and bassist Jason Sym Choon proclaimed that this band is “where our hearts are now, it’s what we wanna do” while his little family/merch pushers watched on and danced to catchy bangers such as Bloodlines and Voices. Unleashing brand-new track Burn It Down and finishing with the rolling riffs and sexy licks of Satellites, I think it is safe to say these guys have found their groove and the passion and love in their music is radiating through.
It’s hard to fit so many great acts into one tiny venue let alone one short review but that is just the nature of the beast here. Temtris have been long overdue for an Adelaide gig, and along with their full plate of local supports they brought one hell of a show contrasting with the comfort of a small and quaint front bar venue. A quiet wind down Saturday evening against a backdrop of some fast and loud heavy metal to candlelight isn’t what I had in mind, but it was just what I needed.
Live Review By Bec Scheucher