Adelaide band Voros were first up on tonight's lineup, they played a brutal brand of metal with the double kick drum working overtime, brutal riffing and extreme vocals. Although in terms of style they are the black sheep of tonight's proceedings they managed to illicit a warm response from the early arrivals.
Local progressive metal act Dyssidia are next up on the lineup, style wise they have more in common with the headliners tonight. Vocalist Mitch Brackman seamlessly transitions between clean and harsh metalcore vocals, while his bandmates weave an intricate tapestry upon which it is all overlaid. A multitude of styles fuse together while still retaining a sense of cohesion. If you are a fan of complex arrangements, tight musicianship and a plethora of timing changes you need to look no further than Adelaide’s Dyssidia.
Brisbane's Caligula's Horse who have supported Voyager throughout this tour are next to take the stage. Right from the outset you can feel that the intensity has shifted up another gear, this is a band at the top of their game. The musicianship is first class, at times brash and abrasive and in the next moment pristine and pure. There are moments where the band border on commercial territory but they are quickly vanquished under a layer of double bass drums and screaming guitar. The Enigma bar stage can scarcely contain this band as they stalk the stage like caged beasts looking for an avenue of escape. This is a band seriously poised on the verge of having a huge impact on the music scene, do yourself a favour and check these guys out.
Voyager are the real deal, it is impossible to make comparisons to others because this is a band that has rewritten all the rules. Combining elements of progressive metal with 80's synth pop sensibility gives it a sense that it is nothing like anything that has come before it. Having appreciated their albums for some time still did not prepare me for the monster that is Voyager live, songs that are great through the stereo transcend into another realm in the live arena. The vibe Voyager gives off as a band as they feed off of each other’s energy is one of intensity, comradeship and most importantly fun. The music is powerful, intense, yet melodic and catchy as hell, played by musicians who understand the most important thing about playing live is entertainment. One of the highlights of the night was an impressive medley of some very non-metal songs by Starship/Backstreet Boys/Young Ones/Meat Loaf/AC-DC/John Farnham that were all combined and given a Voyager make over which had the crowd singing along enthusiastically.
Waking up the following morning with the Voyager song ‘Lost” still playing in my head I knew I was privileged to have witnessed a special performance from one of the big guns of Australian metal.
Review by Mike Trandafil.
Photos by Tanya Begg. You can check out the full gallery here.