Melbourne’s intimate Workers’ Club was filling up early on Thursday, and the crowd stayed loud and proud throughout the night as former Brisbanites Flynn Effect officially celebrated their move to Melbourne. While no strangers to Melbourne stages, having recently supported Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle of Filth) at her solo show at Forge Live Metal Nightclub, this is the first time Flynn Effect have headlined in Melbourne since moving there six months ago.

Opening the night however are Die in a Dream, having recently announced the pre-orders for their self-titled debut full-length album. The first thing to stand out about Die in a Dream is the clarity of Tim Grey’s vocals, soaring above the melodic Alt-Metal instrumentation that raises a hint of nostalgia for the summers of the Soundwave Festival. Also noteworthy is the tight exchange between dual guitarists Kane Roelofs and Lee Chatterton, and bassist Alex Davis. The synchronicity between the three stringsmen is impressive to behold, and backed by the formidable energy of drummer Aaron Grey. In all, Die in a Dream do a fantastic job of warming up the crowd for what’s to come.

The energy doesn’t drop a beat as Colour & Shade hit the stage, and while they deliver another powerful slab of Alt rock / Metal, overall their live show doesn’t have quite the cohesion of Die in a Dream. Tim Greenwood’s lead vocals tend to get a little bit lost amongst the instrumentation, though guitarist Zak Knight’s occasional harsh interjections do provide a nice counterpoint. Perhaps it’s just a matter of settling into the groove, as the two final numbers of the set – Skeletons and The Path – are certainly the strongest, with Greenwood and Knight leaping off the stage to play amongst the crowd for the final song.

Spooky horror punk rockers Coffin Carousel provide quite the change in tone, with a sound that summons up the spirits of the Goth and Deathrock of old. Veteran Howard “Howsie” Von Noise particularly embodies this in his vocal style, which is perhaps most reminiscent at times of Sam Missile, of classic British horror punks Screaming Dead. The real stand-out of the band however is drumming powerhouse Dr Doug Graves, whose seismic style adds a depth of heaviness to a genre that, even in the words of the band’s bio, is often “not brutal enough for Metal.”

It’s then time for headliners Flynn Effect to hit the stage, with their first visual impression a powerful one filled with brilliant blue LEDs and transparent guitars. After setting the tone with an ominous intro, Flynn Effect immediately raise the roof with one of their flagship songs, All for Love. Vocalist Tomina Vincent is undoubtedly in top form, with her gorgeous voice absolutely filling the room. The smiles and passion of the band, right from the very first song, drive home the fact that Flynn Effect are meant to be here, and have truly found a home in Melbourne.

While it’s almost impossible to tear one’s attention away from Vincent’s captivating performance, bassist Besta Bester must be noted as truly showing what a bassist can bring to the mix. The oft-neglected bottom end is given pride of place in many of Flynn Effect’s compositions, and it’s a position Bester embraces with aplomb. This is to detract nothing from the performance of guitarist Jesse Higginson, placing his slide licks with precision.

Flynn Effect’s set is a well-paced tour through all three of their releases, with the first ever live performance of the hauntingly mournful Metanoia a real treat for fans. Other standouts of the set include the much-loved cover of Coldplay’s Talk, because as Vincent says, “That’s what we do. We improve things;” and Flynn Effect’s “Western” song, Eastwood Blues – one of their strongest in its unique and at times foreboding style. The heaviness of Colossus is a very fitting way to close their set, with its power reverberating through the crowd long after the final notes are struck.

It has to be said that in Flynn Effect, Brisbane’s loss is most certainly Melbourne’s gain. Flynn Effect easily find their place here with their unique blend of Gothic and Symphonic Metal, along with infusions of diverse sounds from electro to Blues. And with the hint of a new album to be released in 2019, it can be hoped that Melbourne will be the source of a great deal of inspiration. If you missed this show however, don’t fret; you can catch Flynn Effect supporting LUNG, along with Cirrus Crown and Little Rituals, at the Bendigo Hotel next month!