Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

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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

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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

Australia’s Runespell are dropping their eagerly anticipated debut full length record ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ through Iron Bonehead Productions this year, and if you are looking for something that is deeply submerged in 90s black metal classicism then this is likely to be for you. A one man project, Runespell is the work of Nightwolf who also features in Eternum and Blood Stronghold, more profilic members of the fiery Australian black metal world.

‘Oblivion Winds’ builds into a crashing, blastbeat marathon with rasped vocals and murky production values that enhance the mystical connection between music and listener. While violent and abrasive, there is a certain black magic lurking within this slice of vintage black metal. Whether it is the cavernous ‘Heaven in Blood’, the pastoral acoustics of ‘And Wolves Guide Me Home’ or the spellbinding ‘All Thrones Perish’, Runespell really channel the feel of Norwegian black metal circa 1992.

When olden rituals are performed, spells cast and black magicks released, albums like ‘Unhallowed Blood Oath’ are the result. A gloriously dark record that pulses with a vintage menace, capturing not only the sound of old school black metal but the FEEL of it too. Runespell feel like a lost legend, resurfacing once more from depths unknown. The majestic ‘White Death’s Wings’ is a centrepiece of an album with no bad tracks. Get it!

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

What is it about Australia and black metal? It seems so strange that a place that seems the polar opposite of the traditional, northern icy home of the genre has become such a hotbed. But then, Australian black metal tends to be more aggressive and fiery so perhaps conditions in the dangerous and suffocating heat of the outback are perfect. Nocturnes Mist have been around for almost 20 years, yet ‘Diabolical Baptism’ marks only their third full length. It’s out on September 15th through Seance Records.

A raw, deeply traditional ode to the majesty of Satan himself, and inspired by the soundtrack to The Omen, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ is brutal in its simplicity. Opener ‘Hammers of Hatred’ is an unstoppable force of Marduk inspired bludgeoning, that invokes occult hails to the Dark Lord. Nocturnes Mist plough a pure, second wave worshipping furrow on this record, and while it may seem like just another black metal album, ‘Diabolical Baptism’ draws you in deeper with their orthodoxy and their execution. ‘Barbs of Sadism’ is a fire breather, while the more midpaced ‘Pale Face Cold Heart’ ramps up the atmosphere and even adds dashes of keyboard.

Like the esoteric Witches Sabbath drawings that grace the cover of ‘Diabolical Baptism’, this record is an embodiment of arcane ritual and Satanic fervour. Savage, relentless and dripping with menace, Nocturnes Mist are traditionalist but still stunningly relevant.

https://www.facebook.com/nocturnesmistAU/

http://www.seancerecords.com/

https://seancerecords.bandcamp.com/

Scars of Sodom - Retribution of the Wicked

Australia is somewhat of a hotspot for some truly fiery and fearsome extreme metal, and blackened death metallers Scars of Sodom are no different. Their 2014 record, ‘Retribution for the Wicked’, has been released by my good friend Luke at the always excellent Carvetii Productions on cassette, and it hopefully allows a whole new group of people to experience this carnage.

Scars of Sodom are consistently visceral and savage, and opener ‘A Pale Horse’ looms from the darkness before arseholes are torn asunder by barbed riffing and killer blasting. Drawing influences from the likes of Dissection, Sodom and Bathory, tracks like ‘Bound by Death’s Chains’ or the howling ‘Demon Nemesis’ are possessed with rich veins of riffing magic but never come across as more one dimensional averageness. In fact, the brutal ‘Eyes of the Dead’ is a rumbling monster of a track that could take on some of the best more traditional death metal bands.

‘Retribution of the Wicked’ is a revelation, sounding even more nasty on cassette. Scars of Sodom are one of these gems from the underground that you need to keep an eye on, because if they can follow this up with something even half as good, it’ll be a cracker.

https://www.facebook.com/SCARS-OF-SODOM-212028342160392/

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/product/cp006-scars-of-sodom-retribution-of-the-wicked-cassette

Contaminated - Final Man

The twisted, Lovecraftian nightmare that graces the cover of the debut record by sickening Australian death metallers Contaminated pretty much sums up the music to be found within. Contaminated have been a force on the Australian underground for a few years now, with some brutal demo tapes appearing but Blood Harvest have brought us the culmination of those early efforts, ‘Final Man’, out in June.
Opening with a wall of death metal fury that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Suffocation album, ‘Squalid Survival’ sets the stage nicely for the carnage to come. The guitar tone is dense, the riffs hard, sludgy and non technical and the vocals are the belchings of the void. ‘No Time to Rot’ channels the ancient, dying spirits of 90s Finland, and ‘Boneless Mass’ slays with ragged weaponry. Contaminated play to all the strengths of old school death metal, and avoid the pitfalls of repetitiveness. ‘Co-opted into Worthless Sludge’ is one of the nastiest, heaviest things I’ve heard all year.
It isn’t difficult to find bands that play this kind of death metal these days, but it is difficult to sort through the sludge to find the good ones. Contaminated are dynamic, vibrant in their execution and downright ugly in their tone. ‘Final Man’ is an energetic, riff filled monster that chews most bands up in its wake, standing high atop the mangled corpse to reign supreme.

The delightfully dissonant ‘Pest’ was a highlight of 2015 in black metal, and Norse’s new full length has been a release I’ve been looking forward to for a while. ‘The Divine Light of a New Sun’ is due out at the end of May, and looks to continue the burgeoning reputation of these Australians in the bleak world of black metal.

Opener ‘Supreme Vertical Ascent’ throbs with otherworldly menace, with bursts of double bass meshing into atonal riffs and snarling vocals. Imagine the hurricane of sound that you get from Portal, but strip it down to a less distorted form, losing none of the fear instilled within. ‘Drowned by Hope’ flails wildly, and the crawling menace of ‘Telum Vitae’ is my personal highlight. You would be pushed to find another band on the planet that is taking black metal to such unique, twisted and dark places. ‘The Divine Light of a New Sun’ is some revolutionary stuff.

The storm of ‘Exitus’ tears through the labyrinthine darkness that Norse find themselves mired within. They are ugly, dissonant and thoroughly brutal, when atonal death metal riffs impose themselves throughout ‘Synapses Spun as Silk’. ‘The Divine Light of a New Sun’ looks to be one of this year’s most interesting and most challenging records. Norse have written something inhuman, suffocating and rabd here, and it is simply stunning.

https://norsemetal.bandcamp.com/album/the-divine-light-of-a-new-sun-dissonant-black-metal

https://www.facebook.com/norse.official/

http://tometal.com