Live Review: Karnivool, Redcoats, Sleepmakeswaves

2 August 2012 | 9:00 am | Luke Butcher

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As they have done for the last three weeks, Sleepmakeswaves were handed the challenge of opening to a full Karnivool crowd. Sounding huge from the first tremolo'ed guitar opening of to you they are birds, to me they are voices in the forest, from last year's amazing debut album, ...and so we destroyed everything, a balanced mix of older and recent tracks captured the crowd and refused to release them for the entire half-hour set. Some immaculate tones and bullshit-tight performance ensured the Sydneysiders perfectly recreated their recorded tracks with an aggressive, passion-filled show that set a very lofty precedence.

Following a very hard to follow set, Redcoats hit the stage and it must be said, with hair that would make Stonefield jealous, restrained drumming, fuzzed-out grooves and somewhat buried guitars, the band earned a fairly cold reception. Considering their notoriously blinkered fanbase, it was a courageous move from the headliners to take along a main support with a '70s Sabbath/Zeppelin sound. However, as the set progressed, the move paid dividends as the swagger of the band took over with the introduction of some seriously headbanging grooves and sex-faces punctuating a pleasurable and eventually well-received set, before closing with familiar single, Dreamshaker.

As Karnivool took to the stage for the first of their three sell-out shows at the Rosemount (yeh, wow!), the devoted crowd were uncontainable. Getting straight into proceedings with Fade and backing it up with Goliath, the brutally-tight distorted guitar and bass of the band remained the centrepiece within the surrounding melody and punishing grooves. Having come out of the shadows of nu-metal and endured the shit-storm of contemporary metal trends to become, and remain, an extremely relevant act on both a national and international level, the locals have plenty to be proud of. Previewing the first of four new songs, the first pointing towards a thrashier direction, the second a more dissonant angle, the five-piece spread the set across new and old. With little time for talking during the 90+ minute set, being in possession of such a plethora of well-known songs (to even the casual observer), Simple Boy, COTE and the stunning Set Fire To The Hive exemplified the world-class vocal execution and undeniable choruses shared amongst some pretty darn progressive arrangements and riffs, riffs, riffs. With oldies, Roquefort, illustrating some supremely placed backing vocals and Themata closing the main set, through a three-song encore consisting of another newy and closing with the sensationally epic New Day, the band confirmed there is no force more powerful than exceptional music.