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Live Reviews : Alarum (Melbourne) – 23/05/2009

By on May 26, 2009


w/ Ne Obliviscaris, Aeon of Horus and Mushroom Giant

The Arthouse – Melbourne, 23rd May 2009.

***Click here to view more photos!***

The return of jazz metal fusionist’s Alarum to the Melbourne live scene after an extended absence lead to many wagging tongues when the gig was first announced a few months ago. And after what seemed an eternity between announcement and event night finally passed, I made my way into the iconic Melbourne venue The Espy, and through to the perhaps more famous ‘Gershwin Room’.

Mushroom Giant were taking the stage as I made my presence at the merch desk felt to those in the near vicinity, and unfortunately after the trip back to the car to save an overheating hoodie, I missed a large chunk of the post rockers’ set. What I did hear however was quite impressive, seeming to meld what I’d describe to myself as a mix of Sigur Ros and Solstafir, interestingly both Icelandic bands…

Making their way down the highway from Canberra, a band I was eager to see for the first time were up next. Infusing progressive elements into death metal, Aeon of Horus impressed the Melbourne crowd, most of whom hadn’t heard the band prior. Playing around 40 minutes of music, what impressed me the most was the massive sound that the band got out of just one guitarist, a bass and drums. Keyboards were also used sporadically during songs, although the mix (at least were I was standing) did allow my ears too notice much.

Ne Obliviscaris – a band capable of taking the world by storm, played next in a gig that concluded their Australian tour. It was also the final gig for the band before they hit the studio to record the follow up to their much acclaimed debut release ‘The Aurora Veil from 2007. And it was into the future that we got another glimpse, with the band playing new tracks ‘Xenoflux’, ‘Of The Leper Butterflies’ and ‘As Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope’, along with their better know tracks ‘Tapestry of the Starless Abstract’ and ‘As Icicles Fall’ from The Aurora Veil. A good a response as your expect from the partisan crowd, and now much anticipation to their upcoming release hopefully due out before the end of the year.

And so it had come, Alarum in their progressive fusion glory hit the stage with a slightly changed line-up on guitars. Playing songs from their previous albums, Alarum blew the crowd away with 3 or 4 new songs set to be released on ‘Natural Causes’, which is sounding like yet another fantastic record from the snippet we received. Personal favourites ‘Subject to Change’, ‘Velocity’ and the ever popular ‘Remote Viewing’ were my highlight’s of the set, however perhaps the biggest highlight of the entire night was the very healthy crowd brought I by the quality line-up promoted by Welkin Entertainment.

Reviewed by Brendan Amos
Photos by Jess Day