‘Cord and Chaos – Christmas Carnage, Amplifier Bar, Perth – 19 December 2008
Chaos Divine, Dyscord, Claim The Throne and Arturo Chaos
Review by Teeman, Photography by Dan Laidlow
It’s a time synonymous throughout history as one of celebration with friends and family, exchange of gifts and pleasantries, and a precursor to reflection of another year gone by. What better location for these festivities to occur than at a local gig with friendships to strengthen, merchandise to buy and fond reminiscing about some the year’s greatest gigs. Perth promotional monolith, SOUNDWORKS, have organised an aural smorgasbord in commemoration of this special time of year, so without further delay let’s tuck in our bibs, whip off our belts and steel ourselves for the gorging.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to sample the first serving of the evening, ARTURO CHAOS. But with the buzz already emanating within the venue at a high, and talk of a solid performance from early-adopters, it appears they provided just what was needed to invoke interest for the night of metal ahead.
If there was one band on the bill that I knew would embrace the theme of the night and whip the crowd into a writhing mass of festive joy, ale and jigs, CLAIM THE THRONE would undoubtedly be the primary candidate. Their musical themes may lean on the old ways of battle and speak of the “Bringers of sorrow, murder and tears” but the translation of their melody and charisma on-stage invokes a much more positive and up-lifting experience, inclining you more to drink and be merry than to sack and burn a small village for the spoils of war.
Whether they were Set[ting] Sail On Ale or Demanding Mead and [certain other illicit substances], the real standout impression given to the crowd was the excellent rapport the band members shared with each other. Even with the unfortunately absence of the entertaining and exceptional bassist Lord Jim, the void was filled amicably by Sir Dysalot and their typical onstage shenanigans continued unabated. From accusing that their Valkyrie keyboardist had eaten too many Christmas puddings, to defiling stage staples by intentionally starting a crowd clap out of time, there was nary a tedious moment in between their soaring choruses screaming for the destruction of their enemies.
They certainly did an amazing job in warming the crowd up for the dual-headliners and proved again that the powerful Words Of The Great Oak are ones that resonate loudly within this scene.
The first of the headliners to enter the stage was DYSCORD and by my calculations, the amount of energy dispersed in the initial portion of the set was approximately one third of the amount generated from the result of a thermal nuclear explosion.
I was a quite distressed at the immediate physical condition of their guitarist Matt, because his symptoms were remarkably similar to the affliction boneouseruptous, where the skeleton tries to leap out the mouth an escape the body. What made his performance doubly impressive was that he was able to complete complex sections amidst his violent thrashings very cleanly, much to the benefit to the rest of the band that was unfortunately hampered by also missing their bassist. Without a replacement, the bottom end that is the foundation of their numerable breakdowns was sorely missed.
While their set soldiered on, I did find that their songs lacked a degree of progression and variation to keep it engaging. Together, with the lack of bass and a notable dip in the onstage intensity, they became blurred and bedimmed their lasting impact.
However one only had to keep an eye on the thriving pit to see that this was of little concern for the active fans, who looked both satisfied and exhausted at the close.
I hope for a speedy recovery for bassist Raffe, I’m sure the band is already warming up for your return show.
The final band to grace the stage of the Amplifier Bar took a leaf out of CLAIM THE THRONE’s book and entered under the ominous and suitably epic score from the Conan series, in an effort to evoke Crom to bestow them strength in their weapons and fire in their hearts to deliver the crowd a performance worthy of his attention.
CHAOS DIVINE certainly didn’t waste a single moment by tearing into proceedings via Our Delusion; with its initial eye-watering pace transitioning smoothly into a passage dominated by Dave’s harsh, barking vocals and back once more is a seemingly effortless showcase of the quality song writing ability and technical proficiency fans have come to know and respect.
The character of the band isn’t limited to the aforementioned. It’s very plain to see the individual talent of the members shine through, with both guitarists sharing the solo duties, a distinct vocalist range and a solid bass tone complimented by exceptionally tight drumming. The passages of clear vocals in songs the Avalon and Narcosis have noticeably improved since their development and release of their debut album and have allowed the band to branch into this lucrative direction from their successful initial release, Ratio.
Overall, the show put on was one of a very high calibre and personally I’m foaming at the mouth waiting to see what they have in store for the future.
As the final set drew to a close, it was immediate to all who was in attendance that the gig was a great success. The combination of festive, violent and technically adept onstage performances has proved to be an unusual winning formula for ringing in the holiday season typically reserved for sappy carolling.
I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and I’m already looking forward to what next year will bring to us all.