Melbourne's Progressive Metal heavyweights Circles made their final stop on the current "The Egression Tour" last night at a moderately packed Bald Faced Stag. Coming hot off the heals from their support slot with Fear Factory, Circles made a very welcome return as headliner in what was one of the best prog lineups the Stag has seen in ages.
Opening for a band like Circles is never an easy task, however the newly re-named Sevsons (formerly Seasons)
got the energy of the room pumping straight off the bat with their no nonsense prog rock.
The powerful, yet simple drumming by the talented Ethan Mestroni was the backbone of the transient sounds that were produced by the twin guitar attack of Hugh Blackall and Christian Doyle, and the catchy bass of Harrison Zatschler . The musicianship that these guys had was mesmerizing. It was if they were all talking to each other via their instruments.
The vocal harmonies with a triple threat of vocals, headed by Rhys Weeks, also added another dimension to their sound.
Definitely worth catching these local lads next time they are playing.
Orsome Welles are a band that I needed no introduction to.
The Melbourne natives have to hold the crown of being the most versatile prog band of the land.
One minute there is a nice healthy dose of old school thrash, the next an almost theatrical style show tune.
Lead by the charismatic and very animated Michael Stowers, who's vocals are a perfect blend of 1950's crooner and Les Claypool, Orsome Welles brought a stage show to the Stag.
Their very bass driven and energetic set was short, but memorable. They are sure to have a few new fans north of the border after their performance.
Guitar virtuoso James Norbert Ivanyi brought along a full live band (Stephen Taranto, Liam Horgan and Liam Weedall) along for his set tonight and I will guarantee that they blew every single mind in the room.
Known for his multi instrumental solo work, Ivanyi brought along his stellar group of uber talented musicians for the tour and they complimented his work perfectly. The 5 string bass was bold, but not overpowering, providing the catalyst for a flawless set that felt way too short, even though they played for the full 40 minute allotted time. The highlight was definitely Avarice Curse, an old track that has never seen the live stage before. WOW!
Ivanyi has a very technical style that brings the prog style of Opeth and Katatonia together with the complexity of Dream Theatre. Throw in the talent and composition of Angel Vivaldi and you can get an idea of how good this young man is. He could very easily go down as one of our all time greatest guitarists. I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I saw the FOXHOUND shirt that he was wearing!
The hard work that Circles have been putting in over the past few years has paid of in spades.
The deserved headliners brought their blend of brutal, yet melodic brand of prog to a very eager crowd who were getting as energetic as bass player extraordinaire Drew Patton is on stage. And man can that dude slap! It was played so hard, that at times the whole room shook. Unbelievable.
The stage presence that these guys have is second to none. They owned the venue from the moment the first chord was played.
One of the highlights of any Circles set is the versatility of front man Perry Kakridas' vocal range. From harmonies to deep growls and every thing in between, there is not much that Perry did not bring to the table last night.
The chemistry between all members of the Melbourne quintet is up there with the best that I have seen.
They feed of each others energy. It is amazing to watch.
Playing a full one hour, career spanning set, which included some new tracks, Circles left no stone un-turned to ensure that everyone in the crowd left fully satisfied. All those in attendance have just witnessed a masterclass by the arguably best prog bands we have to offer.
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