Wild Thing Presents have brought to us the James Norbert Ivanyi ‘Denalvis Tour’ across Australia this month in light of the Sydney guitarists new ‘Denalvis’ EP release, which came out on the 1st of June. Ivanyi has been working relentlessly making his mark on the progressive rock/metal scene since 2013 with his solo instrumental project; touring internationally to play the likes of the United States Suhr Factory NAMM party, The Guitar Collective 2017 showcase in Los Angeles and UK TECH-FEST. After having first stopped by Brisbane and Adelaide, this Saturday Ivanyi and his band paid a visit to Fitzroy’s The Worker’s Club; with a final show set to be held in Sydney on the 26th.
Wasting no time, Melbourne’s experimental proggers The Omnific took the stage at 8:10pm; a mere 10 minutes after The Worker’s Club opened its band room doors. The three-piece captured the attention of early-bird punters with a humble offering of instrumental works consisting of dual harmonics from bassists Matthew Fackrell and Toby Peterson-Stewart alongside drummer Jerome Lematua. Having not previously been exposed to their music myself, their sound was truly a delight of a discovery; the minimalistic yet rich nature of their musicianship left an instant and lasting impression. It’s not often you see a band opt to exclude guitar, and after having experienced The Omnific’s unique performing style, I found myself once again in awe of the hidden talent we have lurking in this diverse country. The lack of guitar left nothing to be missed, in fact quite the opposite; the beauty and elegance a bass can offer was really magnified upon. This is a band who really knows how to do their instruments justice, exploring through shifts in technique, melody and pace; all the while fascinating to watch the delivery of each note. The tranquil nature provided by their choice of tones provided a meditative essence in atmosphere (bringing to mind visuals of wind chimes), and though their set lasted 30 minutes, it was the kind one could easily become swept away by for hours.
Next up at 9:00pm were Logic Defies Logic; a Melbourne based four-piece psychedelic prog-metal band originating out of New Zealand. These guys are nothing short of exuberant with their charismatic stage presence, funky grooves and an underlying hint of southern rock. The audience became energized; swaying, dancing and rocking out along to the tunes, with smiles all round between the stage and crowd alike. Vocalist Tarquin Keys worked the crowd with ease, sparking the first round of clap chanting and cheering for the night. He sported a pair of black aviator sunglasses during their set in true rockstar fashion, possessing a demeanour of cool vibes and good times; toasting to the crowd at one point. Adding to this were the lively playing styles of guitarist Ollie Wright and bassist Matt Hewlett who exercise the benefits of crowd interaction; jumping between silly facial expressions and gestures to members of the audience, as well as jumping, spinning and headbanging in full utilization of the stage space. Their set included tracks such as “HollyWood” and “Gatecrasher” from their ‘Magic & Science’ album, as well as “The Void” from their ‘Anatomical Design’ EP.
Following on were guest supporters of the night Dyssidia at 9:50pm, bringing with them a full-throttle force of intensity which the crowd revelled in. Their fiery hard-hitting sound was enriched by contrasting melodic values across each of their instruments, which include keyboard and a 6-string bass. The Adelaide melodic prog-metallers embody a large emotive essence and impactful theatrical stage presence which gripped the attention and enthusiasm of the crowd with absolution. Vocalist Mitch Brackman was eccentric from start to end; shifting through his vocal range of soaring high melodics danced around sinister growls which repeatedly transcend into undertones of high pitched screams. The effortless duality in his tonal skillset, and the overall talent within the entire band, is of substance destined for larger stages. Brackman’s stage antics shifted erratically in accordance with the sectional transitions as he moved between violent seizure-like trembling, slow slumped headbangs, crouching around the floor, as well as swift punctuating hand gestures toward the crowd. During the track “Dead Smoke” from their latest record release ‘Of Delight and Despair’(2016) he pointed aggressively around the crowd in a sniper-like manner. At one point he injured his eyebrow, causing blood to drip down the side of his face. Carrying on with the performance upon this discovery, the theatrical aspect was further heightened by hand tremors, blood smearing and expressive facial reactions; making the most out of the impromptu situation. The crowd were informed between songs that if they were thinking it were fake blood and part of the act, they were mistaken. Their rich sound is completed by layered harmonies and complex rhythms.
Finally it was time for man of the hour James Norbert Ivanyi to claim his place onstage at 10:50pm to grace the crowd with his technical prowess and sonic ambience. Ivanyi, alongside Liam Horgan and Liam Weedall , entranced the crowd with a whimsical journey through soulful riffs and velvet shredding enmeshed with grooves and upbeat drum rhythms. Their sounds foundation is built upon a skilfully engineered amalgamation between modern technical metal and old school progressive rock, making for equally fresh and timeless works that leaves a door open to invite listeners across an array of tastes and fan-bases. Ivanyi brings to mind the likes of Steve Vai, Buckethead and even hints of Carlos Santana here and there (proving big things can be expected for Ivanyi’s career), and he delivers his craft with ease; making such intricate pieces of music appear effortless amidst his relaxed and friendly stage presence. Shining the spotlight on Denalvis, fans were delighted to experience the new masterpieces in all of their glory. There was a throwback to “what started the project in 2013” with a performance of” Reawakened” from the ‘Aphasia’ EP, as well as the previous works “Avarice Curse” from 2016’s release ‘The Usurper’ and “Precarious Passage” from 2015’s ‘The Matter Circumvention’. Prior to the event the set times had listed that Ivanyi’s set would be an hour long, due to finish at 11:50pm, however due to drummer Liam Weedall having been playing double-time for the duration of the tour for both Dyssidia and Ivanyi, the set was cut short. Fans responded to this with gratitude, respect, and enthusiasm for the performance they had just experienced, which was a breath of fresh air in comparison to crowd reactions other artists have received for such occurrences.
“Progressive” is such a broad term that it expands the playing field in such a way that borders between genres can easily blur or dissipate entirely; allowing creativity and originality to thrive. This line-up was an ode to that; a showcase of 4 different half-hour sets that left me feeling enriched upon departure. I dare say I’m not the only one.
GRAB YOUR TICKETS FOR THE SYDNEY SHOW HERE!!
(Trust us you wouldn’t want to miss it)