Live Review: Leprous, Voyager, Chaos Divine

2 February 2016 | 12:40 pm | Simon Holland

"Leprous came from the furthest reaches of the planet to put on a show for the ages."

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As a promoter charged with hand-picking the very best prodigal prog bands for a line-up you would be left with precisely three choices, and the shiny new label Beardfoot nailed all three. Local heroes Chaos Divine have historically mopped up WAMIs as if they were Logies and demonstrated precisely why with a weaving set of power, grace and beauty. Frontman Dave Anderton soared from emotional crescendos to raw despair in the magnificently crafted One Door. The new track Soldiers was also a highlight.

The magnificently talented Voyager were once again in supreme form — conditioned from their national tour — and were granted an extended set to treat their home crowd. They opened with the crushing chords of Momentary Lapse Of Pain back to back with the melodic shred of The Meaning Of I from their ground-breaking 2011 album of the same name. They carry some of the longest standing fans in town, whose grizzled old faces mixed with the new as the crowd roared their delight at the heavy You The Shallow.

A crowd-judged medley contest was won by guitarist Scott Kay in an superb effort to presumably troll his fellow band members with a mix of '90s nu-metal and dance. The sheer musicianship of Voyager won out in the end with strong performances of Got The Life, Down With The Sickness and the ultimate '90s anthem Sandstorm. The show would close out with fan fave Lost and deep cut A Beautiful Mistake.

Norwegian geniuses Leprous may look like a fresh-faced boy band when they walk on stage, but they sport the musical prowess and showmanship to rival the titans of the genre. The versatile and musically gifted quintet began with the haunting disharmonic chords of The Flood from 2015's The Congregation, instantly erupting with Einar Solberg's trademark soaring vocals before reverting into a reflective pause. It's a testament to the ability of the band that they can reach down into the crowd and bewitch the listener into a catatonic trance of sheer awe and emotional reaction.

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Third Law linked with Rewind as the opening trifecta from The Congregation. The Cloak deviated from a full album play through delving into Coal for the first time and finished with The Valley. It was the drumming of former child prodigy Baard Kolstad that won the day for listeners during these tracks; intense tribal toms and snare work built up and released in a flood of emotion that left jaws agape. Leprous came from the furthest reaches of the planet to put on a show for the ages.