Screaming Symphony Benefit Gig

If you're into quality Progressive and Power Metal, you couldn't have found a better line-up than that offered at the Screaming Symphony Benefit on Saturday 3rd of September 2005, at the Corner Hotel in Richmond. The night featured premier Melodic Power Metal bands Black Majesty and Vanishing Point, and on the Prog side of things we had EYEFEAR, Voyager and Template. For those who went and were a little perplexed about the arrangement of bands on the night, it was due to not wanting to have similar bands one after the other (ie: to alternate between the more traditional and the more progressive). Another consideration was giving Voyager a later slot since they had come from Western Australia at great expense to themselves to play this gig. Also, it was rid the night of the "main" and "support" band mentality, especially since all bands were of such a high calibre.

The idea of the night was not only to raise funds for Melbourne's 3PBS (106.7 FM), the home of Screaming Symphony (probably the world's best weekly 2-hour Prog/Power show), but to celebrate the coming of age of Australian metal. After all, we have Vanishing Point once again blowing the world away, with their new album "Embrace The Silence"... Black Majesty have recently returned from promoting their second album "Silent Company" in Europe... EYEFEAR are getting major recognition in Europe for "9 Elements Of Inner Vision"... we have reason to celebrate, methinks.


EYEFEAR were on first, so it was a good thing most heeded the call to get there early (and the warning that the order of bands was not as one would expect). While the band was ready to play to a handful of people if need be, most of the night's crowd was there within 3 songs, so most fans didn't miss out. The guys played a brilliant set, as usual, with a couple of songs from their forthcoming album "A World Full Of Grey" (including the debut of "Whispers Of The Soul"). They ended their set with Gio from Black Majesty joining them on the crowd favourite, "Beyond The Twilight".


As soon as EYEFEAR finished, Template burst into their first set of three from the second stage. It was a great idea to have these guys play during change-overs on the main stage, not only because it was refreshing to have continuous live music for a change, but because not enough metalheads have seen this band. While their music is best described as groove-oriented Prog Rock, their roots lie in the roots of Metal, with influences ranging from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and even Frank Zappa. I saw a lot of amazed looks each time they came on after bands, because of the technical ability and sheer energy of this unique 3-piece band.


Black Majesty were up next, and as you can imagine, the place went off. Since the release of "Silent Company", this band has been steadily expanding its fan base, so there were some new fans there eager to see them perform live. Silvio (Vanishing Point) joined them for "Colliding Worlds", and of course they ended their set with Danny (EYEFEAR) duetting with Gio on "Guardian". Yet another stellar performance from one of Australia's best!


All the way from WA we had the unique talent known as Voyager play next. For many, this band was definitely the surprise of the night, since most probably hadn't managed to catch a track or two on Screaming Symphony. And while the technical brilliance of their album "Element V" is one thing, seeing them live is another! Combining not only the Neo-classic and more ambient/futuristic elements of Progressive Metal, but also bits of Black, Melodic Death, and Gothic Metals, as well as a whole heap of energy, this is certainly a band to keep an eye out for!


Vanishing Point ended the night with an awesome set, playing old favourites and new songs from their new "Embrace The Silence" CD. These guys are always impressive to see live, and that night was no exception. They did do something special for the night, though, and that was invite Danny (EYEFEAR), Gio (Black Majesty), and Daniel (Voyager) up to sing with Silvio on a powerful tribute to Europe's hit "The Final Countdown"!


Without a doubt, the Screaming Symphony Benefit Gig was an event not to be missed. If you did miss it, don't be a fool and miss the next one! Whether you went or not, you can check out pics of the night from the thumbnails above. And don't forget to listen to Screaming Symphony each Tuesday night (10pm-12am) on 106.7 3PBS-FM!

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(12 Sept 2005)

Hellbound Heart Enterprises