REVIEW: The Contortionist + Sikth + Alithia + Kodiak Empire | The Zoo Brisbane 02/05/18

Brisbane’s own quintet Kodiak Empire take the stage first up for the night with their unique blend of spacey prog rock, catchy riffs and killer beats. They are tight and do a great job of pulling the audience in to attention setting the night up nicely for some killer live music. There’s something special and unique about Melbourne’s psychedelic, Astral-Space Core outfit Alithia creating a sound that is their own, immersive with a powerful energy that truly sends you off into the chaotic cosmos. Washing the Zoo with a colourful sonic paintbrush of mind expanding rock that is well received. You can feel the energy within the walls of The Zoo pulsating as Sikth take to the stage. We’ve waited a long time for this moment (18 years to be precise) and the roar of the sweaty bodies in the room is testament as the band explode into “Philistine Philosophies“. Mikee Goodman’s dreads adorn the stage like the beautiful mane of a powerful lion, and tonight, he is the king of the Brisbane Jungle. Joe Rosser follows like a militant soldier, the dynamic duo singing their lungs out to exhaustion, panning the stage with ferocious intensity. For Sikth’s first show in Australia, ever, their live experience does not disappoint, decimating the audience with old favourites such as “Flogging the Horses” “Sanguine Seas of Bigotry” and “Bland Street Bloom”. Dan Foord smashing the drums from his throne, demanding the obedience of his loyal subjects. What an incredible performance, Dan Weller and James Leach absolutely strangling their guitar necks with technical prowess, tapping, thumping, slapping, shredding… This will be a night to remember that surely solidifies Sikth’s well-deserved place as pioneers in metal. The anticipation builds to the final crescendo as Brisbane beckons The Contortionist to take the alter. The stage floods with organ and synth whilst washed with a calm sea of blue and green. The band stands poised before erupting into “Clairvoyant” - the title track to their latest release. Michael Lessard rises on the fold-back, pulling the crowd inside the beautiful soundscape that reverberates the confines of the Zoo. His vocals blending surreal clean tones with brutality seamlessly as the wall of sound pummels the audience with an intense invigorating energy. Jordan Eberhardt takes the wheel driving the start of “Reimagined” as we continue on this epic journey. Keyboard master Eric Guenther sets the scene much like being led through the score of a mesmerizing movie. Cameron Maynard and Robby Baca both executing beautiful guitar lines with precision and finesse, leads soaring over the mix dripping musical honey into the listener’s ear whilst drummer Joey Baca keeps everything in check, the glue holding together this perfectly executed masterpiece. Midway the band takes a trip back with “Oscillator” giving the crowd a taste of the brutal side to this multi-headed beast before Brisbane is treated to a beautiful rendition of “Language I & II”. This band has delivered a truly inspiring performance: breathtaking. The Zoo sounding rich and lush tonight thank you to master audio engineer Dylan Mitrovich and the crew, an incredible night for metal and progressive music.

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