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Live Review: Lord, Troldhaugen, Electrik Dynamite, Temtris

17 September 2012 | 2:19 pm | Brendan Crabb

More Lord More Lord

It'd been several years since this reviewer last caught Temtris and the Nowra crew have improved. However, despite vocalist Genevieve Rodda's sizeable presence, their trad-metal/black/goth fusion's lack of songs meant what began as curiosity descended into tedium throughout 40 minutes. Mötley Crüe and their brethren were often dubbed “party metal” in the '80s and fun-loving Melbournians Electrik Dynamite proudly flew the flag for those whose idea of a balanced meal on a night out is a beer in each hand. Despite wearing a tad thin towards the end of proceedings, their groove, swagger and Sarah “Cougar” Lim's adept keytar clearly won new converts.

Folk metal has become a major drawcard recently, so it was brave of Troldhaugen to not play it safe on debut LP Ramshackle. While retaining Finntroll and Vintersorg-esque elements, the sharply dressed, mandolin-bashing Wollongong mob has expanded their musical palette. This was a unique proposition that somehow worked – think a resurrected Frank Zappa joining a reformed Mr. Bungle, then enlisting Devin Townsend and Shagrath to co-produce after bonding over a mutual adoration of swing records. Although visibly perturbed by muddy sound that nagged at all bands, they had numerous hometown patrons dancing like nobody was watching.

Perhaps perceiving they were over-exposed within Australian metal's often inconsistently attended touring circuit or just required a hiatus so audiences could realise how much they missed them, bar a few high-profile gigs LORD has vanished from the live scene for the best part of two years. This kicked off a new tour for the Wollongong/Sydney metallers and what was readily apparent during opening new track Betrayal Blind (akin to previous incarnation Dungeon on steroids) was not much had changed. They still play fast, taut and melodic songs more infectious than Bieber fever. Frontman Lord Tim and fellow axeman Mark Furtner continue to have undeniable chemistry and bassist Andy Dowling has a few new rock moves in his arsenal. New album Digital Lies remaining unreleased meant punters were unfamiliar with the other fresh cut aired (Final Seconds), but still approved. Not as much as they did Dungeon material (Resurrection, regular crowd-pleaser I Am Death) and LORD favourites (Eternal Storm's Euro-power metal, widespread singalong Through The Fire) though, or the blistering, yet personable closing take on Metallica's Creeping Death. Experienced hands at engaging an audience, punters left with grins so large you'd have needed a sandblaster to remove them. Welcome back, lads.