GIG REVIEW: Victoria K – Canberra, November 29th 2021

November 29th 2021 - The Basement, Canberra

Symphonic metallers Victoria K along with friends CARMERIA, SVALEM, and local prog masters Taliesin hit The Basement Canberra on a Monday night for a night of live music.  I went along to see what they had to offer for Metal Roos.

Thanks to Michael at Black Roos Entertainment for making this happen, as with all the struggles in this confused COVID world it is a hard slog trying to get interstate bands touring at present.  But tour they did, and after a mammoth weekend of playing they turned up in the nation’s capital to bring joy and live music to the Monday night rockers. 

First up is SVLEM, the Sydney based alternative metal band.  All members of the 5 piece band are sporting black paint on their bodies, head, necks, arms giving them a very gothic look.  The band plays a good set of their own material along with a pretty darn good cover of Paranoid.  They build up a nice following, encouraging the crowd to come up front and rock along with them.  Their stage presence is a mix of upbeat energy from members and theatrical stylings from Cecile. They are tight and provide good energy for the bands coming behind them.

Next up are local prog metallers Taliesin. I’ve seen these guys several times recently, but it’s often been as their alter ego Silentia or playing for Shananigans Entertainment doing some amazing covers of Pink Floyd or Queensrÿche.  So, it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them do their original material.  They run through a set of 30 -40 minutes doing some of their best work.  The band has a very dark sound that adds a slightly different flavor to the bill. A twin guitar attack, with a driving rhythm section topped by the gritty and soulful vocals.

This brings us to Victoria K, a symphonic power metal-sounding band with the amazing vocals of Victoria Knight.  Playing a number of songs from their debut album Essentia, the band had the crowd in raptures as they ripped through their set.  Dirty vocals are provided by bass player Charlie Curnow and they provide a stunning counterpoint to the soaring and operatic voice of Victoria.  A few people I was talking to were predicting some big things for this band, particularly if we can get past the uncertainty of COVID and the band gets to Europe.  Others were saying how they reminded them of Avantasia.  The band in full comprises of Victoria, Charlie, Julia Mammone (guitar) and James Davies on drums.  You could tell how much fun they were having on stage during the set and that flowed out into the crowd.

Last, but certainly not least, for the night was CARMERIA.  Another Symphonic metal band from Sydney, CARMERIA is fronted by the charismatic Jordan Von Grae.  The band is a tight unit, playing a great set of original music.  The rhythm section drove the sound all set like a well-oiled machine, with the keys and guitar providing melancholy melody alongside some great heavy riffing.  Jordan sounds like a cross between Michael Kiske (Helloween) and Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) adding in some dirty vocals along the way.  The band promotes the atmospheric sound of their music with their stage gear as well but they are way more than just an image.  Their sound is huge, and everyone there is rocking along with them, having a great time just like those on stage.  You can see how much fun they are having, and it is contagious for the crowd.  So much so, that when they play their last song the crowd demands more.  The band gives the crowd what they want and finishes with a ballad where Victoria joins Jordan on stage and provides a magic harmony.

So as I pack up my gear and head off, I’m thinking to myself that I’ve witnessed some very good bands here and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a big future in store.  A great night and thanks to Black Roos Entertainment for getting a great group of bands to The Basement.

Review by Paul Kerr

Photos by Hold Still Photography