Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Runespell - Order of Vengeance

Australian black metallers Runespell don’t fuck around, with less than a year since their debut full length ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ came out we have a new full length, ‘Order of Vengeance’. It is out at the start of July through Iron Bonehead Productions, and it never fails to amaze that this is the work of one man.

‘Retribution in Iron’ builds slowly into a cacophonous, cavernous black metal landscape; vast and bleak. The production is dense and murky, adding a sense of morbid ferocity to the miasmic evil within. Ghostly acoustics plague the instrumental ‘Night’s Gate’, while the crawling monstrosity of ‘Wolf.Axis’ is pure, churning darkness. Runespell also layer their darkness with a smothering melancholy, embodying each track with a haunting misery. Their approach is mesmerising, the music is nuanced, layered expertly to build a multi faceted album.

This is black metal that burns with a oily, choking nastiness, and leaves you feeling emotionally drained. ‘Order of Vengeance’ is a record that enschews the more tinpot, icy clatter of many black metal records, and smears each riff with a filthy, murky atmosphere. The sickly yellow moon is in the sky, the claws of fate have us, and Runespell are only here to guide us to our abysmal end in the voids.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

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With a name like Greystone Canyon, and an album cover like that, you’d be forgiven for expecting ‘While the Wheels Still Turn’ to be a country rock album. And while there is definitely a soulful southern twang throughout, there’s plenty of chunky slabs of classic heavy metal throughout. Released in March through Rockshot Records, it is a good change of pace from all the black/death I have been listening to recently.

‘Astral Plane’ is the kind of modern heavy metal/hard rock you can expect through. The theme is, obviously, the band’s love of the Old West, and so the additions of the kind of Western movies twangs makes them stand out immediately. The music is actually pretty solid, with a couple of soulful gems (‘Path We Stray’ and the smooth closer ‘The Sun Sets’ in particular) and the likes of ‘In These Shoes’ has a killer solo too. This isn’t just your radio friendly rock and roll; there’s enough of an edge for modern metal fans to get a kick out of it. ‘Take Us All’ is a pretty badass metal song, and despite the odd softer rock misstep (‘River of Fire’ just isn’t for me), ‘While the Wheel Still Turns’ is pretty good hard rock.

Sometimes us metalheads needs something a little softer, a little more ear friendly, and Greystone Canyon are just that. The Western theme gives them a unique hook, and their songs have enough of a heaviness to them that it isn’t simply the ‘new Nickelback’ kind of shit. ‘While the Wheels Still Turn’ has a soulful groove and some nice soloing to give it that heavy metal cred, and is worth a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/greystonecanyon

http://www.rockshots.eu/

Depravity are Australian, so sadly it isn’t the much awaited return of the ghostly Finnish legends BUT that is no bad thing, as these toxic Australians are bringing death metal to new realms of savagery, punishing us all with their debut full length ‘Evil Upheaval’. Due out at the end of April on Transcending Obscurity, this is another gem of a record unearthed from Down Under.

Is Australia so hot because it’s closer to Hell? Because this goddamn album comes roaring from the underworld with precision, insane riffing frenetics and some absolutely beastly vocals. Opening tracks ‘Manic Onslaught’ and particularly the crushing ‘Insanity Reality’ smash forth with unholy fire and murderous intent. Imagine if Morbid Angel had dropped ‘Altars of Madness’ today, and you’d be on the way to imagining the serpentine brutality of Depravity. Maddening solos stab outward from hurricanes of blastbeats, while swirling dark melodies wreathe dense growls in atmospheric glee. The malignant loom of ‘Repugnant’ is monstrous, while the chaotic sensibilities of ‘The Great Divide’ provides the merest hint that this record could descend further into madness if provoked. Depravity channel the greats of modern death metal like Hour of Penance while also conjuring the uneasy atmosphere of the likes of Immolation.

Not often can a death metal band capture both the essences of old school and modern death metal in one record. ‘Evil Upheaval’ is a new benchmark in soul destroying death metal this year. It is so heavy, so brutal and yet so accessible. Instantly gratifying and unrelenting, labyrinthine song structures begin to unfold with multiple listens, while it never loses any of its hard hitting impact. You’d struggle to top this for pure death metal fury this year.

https://www.facebook.com/Depravitydestroy/

https://tometal.com/

https://depravityaustralia.bandcamp.com/

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Australian funeral doom legends (yeah, I said it, LEGENDS!) Mournful Congregation are here to present their latest full length record, almost 6 years since the staggering ‘Book of Kings’. ‘The Incubus of Karma’ is yet another pillar on their majestic palace of misery and crushing depression, and reasserts them as the kings of funereal doom and sadness. It is out on the 23rd March through Osmose Productions.

I’ve never really been sure what pushes Mournful Congregation out in front when it comes to this genre. Yeah of course they have the massive riffs, dirging melodies and throat destroying growls. They also can handle acoustic sombreness, as the title track to their new record attests. But they have this intangible something that makes them so special. Shivers will run through you during the cyclopean ‘Whispering Spiritscapes’, which oozes with classic My Dying Bride-isms, while the ‘oncoming storm’ feeling of the titanic ‘Scripture of Exaltation and Punishment’ is both exhilarating and terrifying. Mournful Congregation have perfected the art of truly massive music; each riff is glacial in its icy vastness, each roar is voidspeak, each song is a journey.

At an hour and twenty minutes, this is not a record that flits past quickly. This is monstrous, addictive and utterly spellbinding. Mournful Congregation continue to build upon a legacy of essential albums; a gloomy shadow that covers all bands who seek to follow. They will forever remain atop this mountain, for they are the deathless kings of funeral doom.

https://www.facebook.com/mournfulcongregation/

https://osmoseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-incubus-of-karma

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I’m not sure what Australia has done to black metal bands, but so many seem to have gone off the deep end when it comes to their interpretations of the genre. The latest in a long line of seriously good Australian black metal is Arkheth, and you can tell by the artwork to ’12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew’ that this isn’t going to go the way you’d expect. Transcending Obscurity are dropping this in February.

Opener ‘Trismegistus’ immediately strikes you with dissonant weirdness, with atonal riffing shrieking through a warped cosmos of black metal. Based on the teachings of Hermeticism, you can feel the otherwordly forces at work here; each riff and impassioned rasp is informed with magicks and voices from beyond our realm. ‘Dark Energy Equilibrium’ oozes with a quiet menace; layers of Deathspell Omega-esque work cascade between calm yet dangerous moments. ‘Where Nameless Ghouls Weep’ is like a horrendous psychedelic trip gone wrong, with queasy guitar tones stabbing through the folds of reality. Imagine White Zombie crossed with Blut Aus Nord. Isn’t that wrong? Yes, but Arkheth makes it seem almost right.

This is Arkheth’s third record, but their journey feels like it can only just be beginning. This duo have found a way to cross into other dimensions with ’12 Winter Moons…’ and it feels like the sound they bring back is only the start. The kind of madness one can weave with this talent is tantalising, frightening and addictive all at once. Wildly experimental, yet somehow cohesive and enthralling, Arkheth are disappearing into their own universe, and dragging us with them.

https://arkheth.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/arkheth/

https://tometal.com/

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Australian black metallers Greytomb have completed work on their masterful new record, ‘Monumental Microcosm’, where they have begun to add new and more dissonant layers upon the already healthy and fire breathing Australian black metal scene. Sharing a drummer with label mates Somnium Nox and Norse certainly adds a sense of comradeship with those bands, who approach black metal a little differently from most. It is out on Transcending Obscurity in December.

Opener ‘Null’ is a mindbending journey through clanging dissonant notes, blizzarding blastbeats and snarling, groaning vocal emanations that bring to mind Atilla Csihar’s performance on ‘Ordo ad Chao’. Intense, twisted and eerie are probably the most apt descriptors to a record that seems to peer from beyond space time from a place of insanity incarnate. Like the dying scream of distant planets, Greytomb feel both terrifying fragile and yet mighty in their wrath.

‘Antimeta’ strides forth from these dark plains of existence wielding riffs of fire and a tortured howl; pausing briefly for toxic air before the storm of blasting returns. ‘Monumental Microcosm’ is an album of dizzying highs and terrifying lows, where unholy melody plays with unchecked brutality in a maddening theatre of cosmic destruction. As ‘Force Majeure’ brings us to a cloying, suffocating end we should be thankful for everything Greytomb showed us before our universe collapses around us.

https://www.facebook.com/Tombofthegrey/

https://tometal.com/

https://greytomb.bandcamp.com/album/monumental-microcosm-atmospheric-black-metal

Image result for mother slug electric dunes of titan

I feel like judging Mother Slug by their album title may be unfair, but if there isn’t some serious epic space doom lurking on this record somewhere I’ll be a little disappointed. These Australians are giving us their debut full length after some excellent EPs, and you can expect some awesome Kyuss worship to emanate from your stereos on ‘The Electric Dunes of Titan’…

God I was so right, as the titanic rumblings of the title track loom from the speakers and lonely melodies lurk within mountains of fuzz. Massive, tripped out doom is what these guys are all about, and the soulful ‘Downriver’ wields huge Josh Homme riffs amid psychedelic freakouts. There’s powerful Electric Wizard vibes on the brutal ‘Followers of the Sun’, while the howling, evocative desert rock guitar work is gloriously scorching throughout. Expect the earthy, dryness of Kyuss to merge with the slight oddness of Reverend Bizarre and the psychedelic potency of Cathedral to create something quite special.

Closing with the omnipotent gloom of ‘Cave of the Last God’, Motherslug have become as transcendent as the ghostly dunes of Titan; vast and lonely among the infinite deserts of space. This is a fantastic record, a place with riffs and spacetime can meet in an avalanche of glorious doom.

https://www.facebook.com/Motherslugband/

https://motherslug.bandcamp.com/album/the-electric-dunes-of-titan