GIG REVIEW: BE’LAKOR, CHRONOLYTH, KYZER SOZE & VALHALORE Live at Crowbar, Brisbane
The Australian metal scene is alive and booming at the moment. So many great bands are releasing stellar albums and are really setting the bar high, providing the perfect melting pot for the heavy scene in Australia. With that being said, turnouts at shows are always patchy at best, so hearing that Be’lakor’s Brisbane show of their Vessels tour had sold out highlighted just how big this night was going to be.
Opening the night was Folk Metal act Valhalore, a band that has only been performing on the live circuit for under a year, but one that gives the impression that they have been on stage for with several years of experience behind them. Their performance reinforced my belief that this band is one that everyone needs on their radar, as the world class musicianship and imagery of the band is second to none. Opening the night is never easy, but having half the venue filled 15 minutes after doors opened is a true testament to the pull of Valhalore. Their folk metal hits hard, but is catchy as all hell. Even having a few fill in members didn’t hamper the experience with the crowd easily embracing the fantasy of Valhalore’s world.
Kyzer Soze followed for a crushing death metal segue way for the night. While the band hasn’t been as active as I would have liked them to be in recent memory, the brutality of their sound can’t be denied and having them on a bill is always a reason to get out. The crushing triple vocal assault layered over their beautifully crafted death metal styling’s grabbed the attention of all present, and the ensuing onslaught was one that had the crowd pumping. Penultimate act Chronolyth is certainly no strangers to the Crowbar stage and from the moment they took the stage that was apparent. Wasting little time in getting the crowd moving, the band combined the perfect blending of intensity, melody and groove to enlighten the crowd. With walls of death, a frenetic mosh pit and crowd surfing vocalist, their set was one of the tightest that the band has ever put on, and a true testament to the momentum that they are building. If you haven’t heard of these guys, then put them on your radar now.
Playing Brisbane for the first time since 2014, Be’lakor walked out to a packed Crowbar. This was the largest turnout for a Be’lakor show I have seen in Brisbane, and just goes to show how far the band has boosted their profile in Australia. Playing a combination of songs across their albums (with only The Frail Tide being absent), the band performed something for long time and newer fans alike, and although there were only seven songs in total (including encore) it felt like it was one of their longest sets yet. I’ve had the privilege of watching Be’lakor play on many stages across Australia, and around the world, and can comfortably say that they seemed in another element tonight. The absence of the bands regular lead guitarist was hardly noticeable with stand in guitarist Matthew Dodds nailing every single note on some of the more complex riffs, and effortlessly running through some of the bands new tracks off Vessels
Proving again why this band is revered worldwide, was a moment where frontman George Kosmos had some difficulty with some of his gear in between songs. Being ever the statesman, and exhibiting a professionalism not often seen, George not only notified the crowd that there were technical difficulties, but after rectifying the problem within a minute, thanked the crowd for their patience afterwards. It’s these small acts that make a massive impression and just reinforce how humble the band is with their success.
Closing out with their choice closer “Countless Skies” gave the band one final phenomenal crowd reaction to close out the night. Be’lakor are often touted as one of the premiere melodic death metal acts in the world, and following their performance at Crowbar, this is definitely an appropriate label.