Karnivool and Voyager, live in Melbourne

Deftones, Karnivool and Voyager are a match made in heavy music heaven

Karnivool on stage in Melbourne
(Image: © Kane Hibberd)

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Australia may be one of the most isolated rock-loving nations on the planet, but they still get some ripping line-ups touring, especially when they produce such illustrious rock talent themselves. A bill consisting of Deftones, Karnivool and Voyager sounds like a match made in heavy music heaven: an array of talent blessed with rich diversity and broad appeal.

Perth legends Voyager have carved out a wonderful career for themselves over the last 17 years, a career that has gone through a renaissance period since the release of their stunning fifth album V in 2014. As if in celebration, they open with the key single from V, Hyperventilating, followed by recently released single, Misery Is Only Company. The sound is crisp and powerful, and this band, who create arena-ready anthems, fill the massive stage and the cavernous hall with their sound and their personalities, especially buoyant frontman Daniel Estrin and the propulsive madman on the skins Ash Doodkorte. And who doesn’t love a keytar? Especially when it plays blistering trade-off melodic leads with the guitars.

The west’s other favourite prog sons Karnivool explode onto the stage with a volley of shots from 2009’s Sound Awake album: Simple Boy builds tension beautifully, leading up to the cataclysmic payoff: Goliath is a convulsive, soaring adrenaline surge and Deadman is immense.

Voyager’s Simone Dow

Voyager’s Simone Dow (Image credit: Kane Hibberd)

The band treat the capacity crowd to one brand new tune, entitled All It Takes, which is a real rumbling stomper and builds much anticipation for album number four, to be released some time in 2017.

This ensemble of wily veterans play so tightly together, there’s nary a note out of place for the entire set, with frontman Ian Kenny’s magical voice soaring over the top of the music, and his rangy, snake‑like gyrations providing entertainment. It’s back to Sound Awake for the closer, the captivating emotional journey that is New Day, and they’re gone way too quickly. That’s our only complaint: 45 minutes is too short for a Karnivool set.

Deftones: an enigma that have influenced so many bands since their inception, including Voyager and Karnivool, and tonight they show exactly why. Their set is 90 minutes of funk metal mastery and stunning visuals, all led by the force of nature known as Chino Moreno, who is in the crowd for much of the night. Their show is a smorgasbord of classic tracks from their exalted back catalogue, including Diamond Eyes, Digital Bath and Swerve City, and the awesome title track from latest album Gore is played as the massive, heaving crowd lather themselves into a frenzy.

A compelling evening of high voltage rock and prog in the land Down Under.