The following Scene Report was written by guest contributor Michelle O'Rance of the Australian radio show, The Doc and The Metal Maiden. Scene Report is a new feature where we focus on a specific region or country and expose all the different bands out of that region. View previous entries here.
What the world may not know, is that when it comes to producing first rate metal bands, Australia is quietly growing some of the best in the business. Today, the music coming from this sunburnt land is proving we are a force to be reckoned with, as a plethora of bands are following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Damaged, Destroyer 666, Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, Psycroptic and King Parrot.
Below are some of the best up and coming bands, who are doing great things, releasing amazing albums and destroying stages in the Australian scene today, on their quests for world domination. Check ‘em out mate.
Black Rheno are breaking all the rules and easily getting away with it. The Sydney three-piece are hellbent on touring their arses off and working hard to get their name out there, and it’s working. They recently wowed crowds on a tour with Australian heavyweights Psycroptic and King Parrot and their debut Album Let’s Start A Cult has had rave reviews.
Sydney death metal band Daemon Pyre caused quite a stir with their debut album, the self titled Daemon Pyre in 2015 and since the release they have been in hot demand. Their brand of ferocious, old school death metal contains epic riffage combined with face-melting blast beats and vocalist Sam Rilatt is a monster as he struts around stages, getting up into people’s faces as they headbang along. They’ve had a big 2016 with a slew of tours and festival spots and this year will see them do a lot more of the same, with hopefully a new album on the way very soon. Have a listen to Misanthropic Parallels below.
Though they have been around since 2011, it is only recently that Tasmanian post-black metal extremists Départe (pronounced depart) have appeared on people’s radars. Stylised as ØRANNIS before their name change in 2014, the band have always experimented in the dark and brooding side of metal and ensured their live show was always an intense and hypnotic experience. These live shows quickly got them noticed and they were soon sharing stages with bands such as Portal, The Amenta, Gorguts and Absu, among others. The release of their demo MMXIV also got them noticed by Season Of Mist and the band were signed in June 2015.
Their debut album Failure/Subside was released late in 2016 to rave reviews and their live shows seemed to intensify with the hype surrounding them. This is not a bad thing and if you are a fan of your post-black, atmospheric tunes, Départe are certainly one band to check out.
Drown This City
Once imagined as an EDM project, Drown This City have evolved into a post-hardcore monster, led by passionate front-woman Alex Reade and this made them one band to watch in 2016. It’s the band’s beginnings and the skillful way they have intertwined EDM and post-hardcore that make them stand out from the crowd and they are currently wowing audiences around Australia off the back of their debut EP False Idols with their energetic live performances. Keep an eye on these guys and gal to see what they get up to in 2017 because, from all accounts, it’s going to be a big one.
Hadal Maw have just unleashed their sophomore record Olm and it’s an absolute corker of an album. Their debut Senium showed promise when released in 2014 but with a change in vocalist and some new influences shining through, Olm is a more technically based and an intensely brutal beast. And now, having had the chance to hone their live show over the last few years, when the band takes the stage they command the attention of every person in the room, especially when vocalist Sam Dillon lets loose with his powerful and almost demonic vocals.
Grab a copy of Olm today, out on EVP Records and see what the fuss is about.
You know you have a lot of hype to live up to when, as a newly formed band, you land the local support on an international tour as your first booked gig. Hollow World are that band and they are definitely living up to the high expectations. They wowed industry folk from all over the world at the Bigsound conference in Australia last year, with their energetic live shows and are on the cusp of releasing their debut album Exanimate in March. Hailed as Australia’s answer to The Black Dahlia Murder, Hollow World’s brand of melo-death is crushing, brutal and technical and as they continue on this relentless path to world domination you better get behind them, or get out of the way.
If there was ever a party band to rule all party bands in Australia (and possibly the world), then that band would be the loveable pirates in Lagerstein.
Lagerstein are setting the standards high for folk, viking, pirate, drinking metal bands in Australia and have amassed a huge following, all the while being the reason this particular genre and brand of metal is taking off in Australia as they have had several bands form in an attempt to emulate them and what they are doing. They are once again, about to set sail for Europe aboard the SS Plunderberg (not a real ship) after the smash success of their second release All For Rum and Rum For All to see where the wind blows them.
Ocean Grove have just released their debut album The Rhapsody Tapes through UNFD and already it’s a contender for album of the year for a lot of fans.
The Victorian band are certainly creating high expectations in the heavy scene with their brand of ‘Odd World Music’, combining industrial, deep dance beats, 90s influences and hardcore into a form of metalcore that you just have to hear to believe. What makes Ocean Grove so special, you might ask? Their two secret weapons, electronic producer Running Touch, who is officially the sixth member of the band, but due to his own career, does not tour with them. Their other weapon is their drummer who recorded the album entirely in his bedroom.
Yep, that’s right. A nineteen year old prodigy recorded what could well be the album of the year to come out of the heavy scene in Australia. From this and their killer live sets, it’s no wonder UNFD picked them up quicksmart.
Sydney metalcore band Polaris are certainly not colouring between the lines and playing it safe and that is one of the reasons why they are a growing name in the Australian scene.
Their sophomore EP The Guilt and the Grief got them noticed big time as they debuted at #34 in the Australian charts, signed a management deal and toured Australia with bands like Parkway Drive and Northlane. 2017 shows no signs of them slowing down as they have just finished a tour with Periphery and have been picked up by Resist Records. Now, as they are working on their first full length, the anticipation to hear the music and to see how they have evolved and progressed is palpable. Check them out and see why metalcore is not the dirty word you thought it was.
Hailing from Perth, Western Australia are the heavy hitting Sanzu. It’s always been said there is something in the water over on that side of the country as some truly exceptional acts have come out of the state over the years.
Sanzu are certainly no exception to this rule with their brand of ferociously savage death metal. Heavy Over The Home, their debut full length, has been critically acclaimed worldwide as one of the heaviest releases of 2015 and their crushing live shows back that up completely. Sanzu are taking some time to write their follow up album this year, and personally, I can’t wait to hear it.
One of the most distinctive bands on the Australian circuit at the moment are the devastatingly heavy Whoretopsy. They’ve been around since 2011 but recently they have really burst onto people’s radars in Australia and around the world as they toured relentlessly in 2016 in support of their sophomore release Never Tear Us Apart.
In between taking hilarious cross-dressing photos and being banned from venues for some of their song titles and lyrical content, the Melbourne lads are putting a unique spin on slamming death metal and they are really beginning to cement their name as an Australian heavyweight. They have kicked off 2017 with a bang and they definitely don’t look like slowing down.
We are looking for suggestions for the next Scene Report. Does your region have a great scene that people should know about? Email us at hatemail [at] metalinjection [dot] net with your pitch.
View previous Scene Reports here.