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Live Review: Haken, Chaos Divine, Nucleust

5 October 2017 | 12:49 pm | Simon Holland

"Hailing geographically from Ole' Blighty and sonically from Jupiter, UK prog legends Haken drifted down for the tail-end of their Affinitour."

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Progressive rock has been transformed in recent years, fusing jazz, metal and synth to great the timeless music of the '70s with lashings of every genre since.

A transformative prog-metal experience awaited a crowd of dedicated fans at Amplifier Bar on Sunday night - an impressive turnout in the wake of a big weekend of footy. Local lads Nucleust kicked off proceedings as the mean-average heaviest act of the night with extreme metal tones and riffage and severe growls in the overlay. Though relatively new on the scene they performed an intense set with Of King And Tree getting the loudest roar from the fans.

Chaos Divine represented the old guard of Perth prog, and are arguably one of city's standout acts of any genre. The quintet played a set for the ages in the wake of news of longstanding drum savant Ben Mazzarol leaving the band. Forming the engine room for the collection of talent on that stage, Mazzarol's replacement will have incredibly big shoes to fill. Here's hoping he's leaving to revive Noctis. With a number of full-lengths under their belt, Chaos could cherry pick the strongest for this set and that's exactly what they delivered. A crushing rendition of Soldiers kicked open the set and One Door slammed it closed to usher in the next chapter of this incredible band.

Hailing geographically from Ole' Blighty and sonically from Jupiter UK prog legends Haken drifted down for the tail-end of their Affinitour in the wake of their incredible 2016 release Affinity. They wasted no time delivering the goods with Initiate and masterpiece (and personal Song of the Year 2016) 1985. After listening to the complex and difficult recording, it was mesmerising to see it performed live, which gives some indication to the quality of musicianship. Riffs that sounded only possible on a keyboard were doubled up in twin-guitar harmony goodness, with synth layered on top. Odd time signatures were hammered out on the drums and it all came together in a glorious cacophony. Crowd-favourite Cockroach King showed how extreme the leaps between sounds could get before closing with the sprawling soundscapes of The Endless Knot.

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