There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’sHardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric MagusOlympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.
I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading →
Beastwars. Every now and then a band comes up with more than just a name, but something that more than aptly describes them as well. This outfit is one of those bands. The first time I caught them live, their hellish power just absolutely blew my fucking head off. Often described as sludge-metal, but to my ears there’s also some heavy doses of Am-rep noise-rock in there. The dissonant feedback drenched guitar brings to mind bands like The Laughing Hyena’s and Unsane, as well as the way in which they use dynamics. Matt Hyde’s huge voicebox also, cannot be denied. These elements are driven forward by a potent and totally unstoppable engine-room.
The Death Of All Things is the newest LP from Beastwars, following up the epic Blood Becomes Fire and is no doubt very eagerly awaited by their fans. With the lumbering ‘Call To The Mountains’, they lay their cards on the table, and dare us to stay for the ride. ‘Devils Of Last Night’ showcases the monstrously fuzzed out bass rumble. Continue reading →
On the morning of festivals Melbourne often likes to act all dramatic. Early on Sunday it was cold, wet and overcast and looking like this years Cherry Rock was going to be a soggy mess. To be honest the only difference it made to my attire for the day was to throw a couple of sealable lunch bags into my pocket to save my phones life in the event of a flood. Nothing though was going to stop the punters this year with international headliners Red Fang (US), The Shrine (US) and Beastwars (NZ) as well as a strong local contingent featuring Warped, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Horsehunter, My Left Boot, Clowns, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus, and interstaters HITS (Brisbane) and Los Hombres Del Diablo (Sydney).
The rain had already subsided as punters started to roll up at midday. The dual-stage fest kicked off with Dr Colossus on the AC/DC Lane stage and sounded incredible. It was such a great mix for the two-piece whose style of rockin doom only includes lyrics about The Simpsons. Perfect. Singer / guitarist Dr. Jon’s vocals were up higher than I’ve previously heard in the mix and shot out and up the lane way giving their sound extra depth and strength. Best I’ve heard them.
Cherry Rock Festival not only warms the cockles of our loins with its beer soaked AC/DC Laned magnificence, it also bares host to an impressive round of Cherry side shows. A lot of people I met at this show had travelled up from Adelaide for a full Cherry weekend experience. It is moments like this when you realise how lucky we are to have this fucking amazing music scene on our doorstep. Tonight’s show at Yah Yah’s featured a very impressively sludgey line up featuring the cream of the scene.
System of Venus were the first cab off the rank. This threepiece sounds more than sum of its parts. Heavy as hell riffs that not only groove but aren’t afraid to sit down on it and let it chug. Fatima’s vocals compliment the heavy grooves perfectly.
I like the doom scene. For a guy who has spent most of his musical career surrounded by intense thrash and death metal bands going to a doom show is such a relief. What I find to be the biggest point of difference is that thrash bands spend all their time crafting intricate and incredibly fast riffage, while doom bands spend all their time trying to get the most devastating guitar tone imaginable. And boy was that on display on this fine Sunday afternoon. I got there a little late so I missed the first band (Sumeru) unfortunately, but many good things were muttered about them in the front bar, the most notable being that the front man was doing his best Phil Anselmo impression and doing quite a good job of it. That gets two thumbs up from me straight away. Continue reading →
Doomsday promised an impeccable night, boasting a killer line up and pulling out all the stops to give Melbourne’s community of doom and sludge enthusiasts a night of pure bliss. It showcased some of Melbourne’s best local talent, teamed with international heavy weight headliners Windhand and Beastwars. The spirit was high and the excitement grew over the course of the evening, especially in regards to this being Windhand’s first tour of Australia. There was no doubt this five piece from Richmond, Virginia had struck a chord in the hearts of Melbournians with their fusion of metal and psychedelic rock.
Motherslug opened the evening and set the tone of what was to come. Shrouded in green light, their set was incredibly atmospheric and stoked the fires of early punters. Horsehunter followed, taking the stakes even higher with their thunderous, fortifying sound, rich with melodic constructs and progressions. They seem so beyond their years. DEAD were another band that blew me way. Having been my first time witnessing this band, I hadn’t seen such ferocity from a two piece since San Franciscan sludge / doom outfit Black Cobra. They proved themselves to be just as intense as those that preceded them, proving that a band doesn’t need an epic set up and an army of members to conjure and project a sound with such force. Continue reading →
The below 10 –> 1 list is from my HEAVY Magazine Staff Top 10 Albums for 2013 List, under that I had to add some more as it’s just so hard to narrow things down! Check out the HEAVY link for some more kick arse lists. Some amazing releases amongst them!