Karnivool & TesseracT @ KoKo , London

21st November 2013
Review by by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Inty Malcolm

Karnivool are one of the most noted progressive rock bands to hail from Australia and are respected for their highly intense and musically striking live shows.

After over 4 years since the release of their very successful and critically acclaimed album Sound Awake, Karnivool released a new record Asymmetry on the 22nd of July, 2013, just after performing at “Download” Festival 2013.

With that, they also announced that they will be touring across the UK alongside TesseracT and stopping by at London’s legendary KOKO to play a sold out show for their 1500 closest friends. The Independent Vice team was there to report.

First band to take the stage are the UK’s masters of progressive metal and djent – TesseracT

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Opening with “Of Matter – Proxy” off their latest album Altered State, TesseracT start the show with an intro that introduces the incredibly melodic vocals of Ashe O’Hara and Amos William’s extremely heavy bass playing that’s so loud, it actually and quite literally make the ground shake underneath everyone’s feet.

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Needless to say, that the audience sporting TesseracT t-shirts seem to love every second of it.

With an undoubtedly powerful sound and support from the crowd, TesseracT put on a performance that’s incredibly heavy and moving. Within the first minutes of their set, TesseracT pretty much own the audience with their unmistakable signature sound of delicate melodies presented alongside rhythmically complex and progressive drumming and out-of-space heavy riffs and bass lines.

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“Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception” gets the already responsive crowd moving around and once again lets Ashe O’Hara to demonstrate spectacular vocal skills.

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Acle Kahney and James Monteith both focus on delivering the sharpest riffs on “Of Mind – Nocturne” that accompanied by epic light show make tonight’s performance a lot more dynamic and explosive. “Of Mind – Nocturne” manages to build great tension as a composition and get the heads banging across the room.

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TesseracT close their set with one of their most powerful song “Acceptance” and see the crowd go absolutely nuts.

The way TesseracT arrange delicate melodies with heaviest of bass lines, guitar riffs and technical drumming makes them and make the crowd go absolutely nuts.stand out as one of the greatest progressive metal/djent bands to come out of the UK.
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They deliver a show that’s so intense and full-on, it is hard to imagine what Karnivool will offer to live up to such insane performance.

TesseracT setlist:

Of Matter – Proxy
Of Matter – Retrospect
Concealing Fate, Part 2: Deception
Concealing Fate, Part 3: The Impossible
Of Mind – Nocturne
Of Energy – Singularity
Concealing Fate, Part 1: Acceptance

Karnivool lads storm the stage and kick off their performance by presenting some of their latest material off Asymmetry.
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Notably present at their show are big grooves, bigger melodies and extremely technical approach to both of those. First songs, like „The Last Few” and „AM War” both go down brilliantly well as the very responsive crowd seem enthusiastic and rather excited about tonight’s performance.

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Both Karnivool guitarists Andrew Goddard and Mark Hosking show their unique skills and endless guitar tricks from the very first song, while Ian Kenny fascinates the crowd with his charismatic stage presence and melodic singing.

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Seemingly not as heavy and ‘djent’ as TesseracT, but Karnivool still manage to rise the excitement in the room by throwing in some of their classics, like “Themata” to instantly set the crowd on fire.

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The musical talent within the band is undeniable, yet Karnivool guitarist Mark Hosking makes sure to take it to a different level by taking over xylophone during the performances of “Simple Boy” and their latest masterpiece “Eidolon”.
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Not only focusing on delivering musically solid show, Karnivool show a great gesture by inviting TesseracT’s drummer Jay Postones to join them during “Sky Machine” and make it into one of the loudest and rhythmically most intense songs of the night. Two drum kits on one stage at a Karnivool show? Yeah, go on then..!

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Cleverly mixing new material with some classics, Karnivool make sure that tonight’s setlist pleases each and every person in the crowd. “We Are” off Asymmetry gets the crowd singing along, while “The Refusal” sees bass guitarist Jon Stockman throw in some screams and is the perfect example of just how contrast Karnivool songs can get when they’re mixing dirty bass lines and heavy riffs with storytelling vocals and atmospheric melodies.

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Finishing with “Aeons” off Asymmetry, Karnivool manage to absolutely own the crowd with their hypnotic and atmospheric melodies and emotionally charged lyrics, and once they’ve left the stage, the crowd is left wanting more.
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Karnivool return for an encore of “Alpha Omega” and “New Day” – the ultimate classic that gets the crowd singing along and puts an end to what’s been an enjoyable, emotionally intense and energetic performance.

Karnivool setlist:
The Last Few
AM War
Simple Boy
All I Know
Sky Machine
(with Jay from TesseracT)
We Are
The Refusal
Set Fire to the Hive
Alpha Omega
New Day