The Opera House was filled with a cornucopia of soundscapes, both vibrant and colourful, as the crisp autumn leaves riding a gentle breeze that red September night.
First to hit the stage were British djent pioneers Tesseract debuting tracks from their celestial masterpiece “Altered State”. Listeners drawn through a longing realm of droning rhythms, and ambient tones could leave behind their earthly woes floating through time and space. The new vocalist Ashe, both engaging and talented, was smoothly shifting from harsh growls to clean high notes, as the set came to an end he climbed into the pit and walked along the barrier slapping hands with the ecstatic audience.
Next a dazzling swirl of blue, red and green strobe lights danced into the atmosphere with the surreal chaotic dark matter of Intronaut. These Los Angeles progressive metallers play a layered experimental mish-mash of technical material, which is difficult to describe, but intense nevertheless creating atmospheres ranging from blissful mania to venting rage, leaving the crowd mesmerized.
If the audience did not have enough of being shuttled through astral planes and uncanny empyreal dimensions, then Swedish avant-garde rockers Cult of Luna emerged to storm the voyage. Vivid fog and flashing strobes accompanied the multi-guitar, synth-layered conglomeration of progressive sludge with an ambient jazz element whirlpool creating a terrifying journey into the darkest realms of the human psyche.
Alas, the moment everyone was impatiently screaming for, the ascending melancholy foreshadowed by a forsaken kingdom of ravens scribed on the banner, Sweden’s Katatonia materialized with the despair of “Ashen” from their 2006 release “Night is the New Day”. The hour grew long and harrowing with the mournful melodies of Katatonia’s latter half-decade discography with occasional older gems including “Ghost of the Sun”, nevertheless energy was immense and long luxurious locks flew with banging heads.
Tours featuring talent as unique as Katatonia with Cult of Luna, Tesseract, and Intronaut are rare as shooting stars. One could only hope such potpourri of avant-garde styles creating unforgettable atmospheres, and intense experiences would spring forth more often.