Melbourne Progressive Metal quintet Sentia recently released their captivating new music video for the song Bruisin’, and headed out on a very brief tour for its debut. The tour culminated at Melbourne’s intimate Whole Lotta Love bar in Brunswick, where bands of three distinctive stripes played their music against the looming backdrop of the destruction of the zeppelin Hindenberg.

Medicine Dog kicked off the night with some old school grooves, with their bass-driven sound harking back to the earliest progenitors of Metal in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Indeed, frontman Glen’s unkempt look belied the low, seductive quality of his voice, very much reminiscent of David Coverdale. Not only that, it was when Glen’s first solo leapt off the stage during My Parasite that his artistry really came to the fore. This is to take nothing away from his compatriot Heath of course, who provided similarly powerful guitars, nor bassist Matty who was often the vanguard of the sound. Despite a couple of moments where the band seemed to lose cohesion, most notably as they found their feet in opening song Medicine Dog, they overall provided a solid set that reinvigorated the groove of the 70s with modern panache.

Next up were Prog rockers Lanota, led by the powerful and near flawless vocals of Alex Latham. Latham’s voice weaves a sweet spell that nevertheless packs an emotive punch, and her singing can be most readily compared with Morgan Leigh-Brown of Acolyte or Rachael Graham of Enlight. Indeed, the band’s Progressive sound would sit quite well on a bill with Enlight, particularly with the innovative drumming blasted forth by Ben Nickel. Unfortunately, and as the band self-consciously noted themselves, there was a fair bit of dead time as guitarists Edward Mountain and Matt Ivancic retuned between songs, which detracted from the overall energy of the set. Banter between Mountain and bassist Dylan Smith did help move things along later in the set, and to tighten these moments would be an easy win for future live shows. That being said, it was certainly deeper in the set where the band really shone, when they brought it down to slower, darker songs that built an intense atmosphere to support Latham’s siren call, and the shredding of Mountain and Ivancic.

From the moment Sentia hit the stage however, it was clear frontman Amos Phillips would steal the show. Unbridled passion and endless charisma shine through every intonation, motion of his hands, and spontaneous leap into the air. On top of the sheer energy of his performance, Phillips’ voice is simply enchanting, from the dulcet tones of his storytelling, to unbelievably sustained notes, to the occasional powerful and judiciously applied harsh growl.

Following the intro Origins, the energy was already high with Satellites, and only got bigger. As with Lanota before them, Sentia really hit their strength with the darker, melancholy Midnight, and it was from there that an already voracious crowd was truly hooked, with more than a few punters continually screaming Phillips’ name. Of course, Phillips didn’t carry the show alone; the absolutely incredible guitar harmonies of Jason King and Pete Kyvelos were a wonder to behold, while bassist Daniel King kept the low end humming and Chris Brodin’s drums set an ever-changing beat to hold the rest of the band to accord.

The crowd were also treated to the first ever performance of new song Gregory, a rocking number that proved to be another highlight of the night. As the night drew towards a close with the performance of Bruisin’, it was unfortunate that the visuals weren’t able to be displayed as the backdrop due to technical difficulties, as director Jesse O’Brien has created a truly mesmerising piece that enables Phillips to show off his acting chops, as well. Nevertheless, the band accepted the situation with good grace, and showed off the downbeat groove of Bruisin’ without a further hitch.

Of course, Sentia kicked the energy right back up as they ended their set with The Fire, rousing the crowd to rapture within the confines of the Brunswick bar. The elation of the sweat-soaked band at the end of the show was clear to see, and well should they be proud of what they achieved with both the video and the show. Sentia may be somewhat of a hidden gem on the Melbourne Prog scene at the moment, but with performances like this, they’re sure to grow rapidly in acclaim.

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