Gig Review: Viktoberfest - Valhalore + As Paradise Falls + Dragonsmead + Flynn Effect + Darklore

Event: Viktoberfest

Bands: Valhalore, As Paradise Falls, Dragonsmead, Flynn Effect, Darklore. Venue: Club Greenslopes, Brisbane.

Date: October 20th, 2017.

Words: Jeremy Edwards + Tomina Vincent

Photos: Brandon Shields Photography

The third port for the Viktoberfest mini-festival was at Club Greenslopes, just south of Brisbane last Friday night. This was an all-ages show and it was great to see a decent number of kids there, given the genres of bands involved. Get your kids into metal early people; it’s the right thing to do!

The honor of opening the evening was given to Darklore, Brisbane locals who classify themselves as Melodic Blackened Death Thrash Epic Symphonic Nerd Metal, and they’re definitely the kings of that specific genre! Quite a theatrical act, they held the early crowds attention with their fantastic costuming and unique style of metal. With dual vocalists providing both guttural vocals from the rhythm guitarist as well as the demon-scream of the keyboardist, Darklore lead the inanimate but appreciative crowd through half an hour of fantasy-laden music and lyrics, which would certainly have had a place on the soundtrack of Game Of Thrones or The Lords Of The Rings series’. These guys have been around for a while now, and they clearly have a small cult following. They’re certainly a ‘must-have’ act on the bill of any fantasy/pirate/folk metal line-up.

Next to take the stage were Brisbane’s finest Gothic Alt Rock band Flynn Effect. The room was over half full by this point and although the crowd were not of the dancey-movey persuasion, they were very vocal between songs with increasing support as the set continued. There was a lot more banter with the crowd from this band, which compelled the throng to soften, a treacherous choice of word given some of the Knights, Knightresses, Vikings and Zombies in attendance, and start to outwardly enjoy the night. The Flynn Effect played songs from their debut album as well as their new release, including a ballad, introduced by vocalist Tomina Vincent by saying “We’re probably the only band with a ballad, but we’ll get through”. It was received quite well and the crowd certainly enjoyed every second of the performance. The general consensus was that the set was over before the crowd was ready to let them off the stage.

The centre point of the show was filled superbly by Dragonsmead, a Pirate metal band whose seven members fill the small stage to the brim. If you’ve not seen the spectacle that is Dragonsmead before, I’ll let you in on a secret: They don’t mind a beer or forty-nine. The inclusion of a violin in their mix really makes it feel proper ‘ye olde’, you pretty much have to have a beer in hand while you watch Dragonsmead it just feels correct. While they certainly bring the heavy, there’s such a party-vibe about a band like this, it was awesome to see kids loving it, as much as they loved the stage-diving. The highlight of their set always is their closer ‘Battle Drunk”. It’s a firm guarantee that after the first time you hear this song it will stay in your head for days, even more so when seen live at around 100db. Dragonsmead have a few shows coming up including the support for Anvil. You have to experience these guys at least once in your life!

The penultimate slot belonged to metalcore masters As Paradise Falls. They experienced some technical difficulty but after sorting through the issues they played a short but very entertaining set. Their take on melodic metalcore is refreshing and quite varied, much to the crowd’s appreciation. They were certainly the heaviest band on the bill and had an obvious fan base on the floor. Their stellar set finishes with their ambitious and very successful single ‘Starblind’ with their fans rocking out and singing along. These guys are certainly well on their way to greatness.

After a brooding spoken word intro, headliners Valhalore transport us to 800 AD and what ensues is a wild party. The band is on top of their game, and they’re having so much fun on stage that it’s infectious and not a single person in the room can stand still. I love to whole gimmick behind what they do and I’m once again reminded how exciting it is to have bands like this around, and I instantly wish there were more of them. Valhalore are extremely entertaining and have a might transfixing presence. From the constant antics to the magical allure of the tin-whistle, they hold the crowd in the palm of their hand with the crowd moshing, dancing and crowd-surfing on command. The front of the stage is tightly packed and everyone here seems to be a Valhalore fan with people singing every word of their songs. I certainly felt transported and incredibly inspired by their set, a showcase of superb musicianship and a pure passion for theater and all things metal. An absolute triumph!

Viktoberfest was a huge success for everyone involved and proved that all ages shows really are a necessity. Many young people were in attendance and the event was even more exciting with all this pure enthusiasm for music and the awesome energy shown by a younger crowd. I certainly hope Viktoberfest will become an annual event.

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