BLACK RHENO – Let’s Start A Cult EP.

Words Adam Cooper.

Hard working Sydney 3 piece and groove metal exponents, Black Rheno caught my attention of late, by literally being everywhere! They seem to be like Salt and Pepper at the moment, (in everything). So when the opportunity came to review the lads new offering, their Let’s Start A Cult EP, I jumped at the chance.

Firstly the title of this EP is pure gold and warmed the cockles of my heart before the first riff was ruffed. Speaking of riffs… this little number is riddled with ‘em. The sometimes groovy, sometimes thrashy, sometimes punky guitar stylings of Nano, led me to believe that these guys could share the bill with anyone from Clowns to High Tension and back again. My mind even wandered to the late ’80s, early ’90s, a time before time, when the groove of Pantera, Mordred and Prong were frequenting my Corolla’s tape deck. Smashin’ it old school. Continue reading

REFUSED, Sick Of It All, High Tension. Prince Bandroom, Melbourne. 25-01-2017.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

Trembling inside the darkened walls are the rumbling amplifiers that ricochet Melbourne’s High Tension once they’ve taken to the stage. Front woman Karina Utomo growls into the heavily beaten drum patterns, sometimes bellowing high pitched screams into the mic. The guitar riffs raise tensions of their own, fiercely backed by the heavy bass lines. At times singing, but mostly screaming, the crowds conversation turns to muffled pauses of awe as Utomo owns their set, ensuring that the evenings line up is going to be memorable.

Sick Of It All bring the NYCH ruckus onto the stage with them as they power straight into their set with such high energy and intensity that the crowd takes a moment to ease into their anthems. With a bit of warning, they play “The first song we ever wrote”, ‘My Life’, and unplugged ears cop an absolute beating. Front man Lou Koller gives more of a considerate warning: “Don’t get scared, cause it ain’t pretty.” Each of them are obviously in their elements as they run an engaging muck on stage, engrossing punters into the brewing pit with ‘Black Venom’, Koller eagerly tells us to “Get down to this shit!” Continue reading

HIGH ON FIRE, Batpiss, YLVA, Big Bread. Max Watt’s, Melbourne. 20-02-2016

Words Callum Doig.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

© 2016 Sally Townsend Photography.High On Fire have always been one of those incredible bands that everyone’s heard of, yet hardly anyone realises the strength that lies in their music. For nearly two decades, they’ve thrived on belting out the heaviest and sludgiest tunes metal could ever birth with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the scene. With the release of their highly acclaimed seventh LP Luminiferous, the trio returned to Australia for an all new headline tour in support of the new record. Joining them on their Melbourne show at Max Watts were locals Big Bread, YLVA and Batpiss.

The thirty to forty-five minute wait that you have to sit through for gigs are a pain when you set foot into the venue. Only ten minutes though after doors, Big Bread took the spotlight as the opener. There weren’t many patrons at the time they came on and performed, but there were a handful of those that were appreciative of what Big Bread gave to the audience. Generally, there wasn’t much they had to offer in their presence, but they made up for that with a great sound and show onstage.

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HIGH TENSION ‘Bully’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Raw, scary bands are few and far between these days. Australia once had a veritable stranglehold on that market. Venom P String, Grong Grong, The Birthday Party to name a few. All that ugly noise, and a blatant disregard for life, limb, mike stands, hearing, the future.

Melbourne’s High Tension don’t exactly sound like any of those bands, but the random, anarchic noise-rock they assault us with has the same outta control “fuck you all” vibe, and couples it with a raging nightmare of emotionally saturated screams and bestial rock riffs. Not that EVERYTHING is off the leash. Just most of it.

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KING PARROT ‘Dead Set’ Album Launch with High Tension, Colossvs. The Corner Hotel, Melbourne. 16-05-2015.

Photos Daniel Oh – Criminal Indifference.

King Parrot – ‘Dead Set‘ Australian Album Launch Tour.
May & June 2015
With special guests High Tension and Colossvs.
Tickets selling fast!
Album Pre-Order Bundles with tickets available here:

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High On Fire, High Tension, Horsehunter. The Hi-Fi, Melbourne. 19-07-2014.

Words Alexandra Ferrier
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia

Since their last tour with Soundwave in 2012, High on Fire once again set ablaze their path across the nation with a string of recent shows. It’s something of a privilege to witness this band in an intimate setting. The Hi-Fi; a lovely, dark petrie dish of warm, moist air, cold beer and acoustics, fit for a night of doom, sludge and punk.

First on the bill were Horsehunter and their ferocity was undeniable. The Melbourne doom band continue to gain momentum and have established themselves as a ‘band you must see live’, and favourites in the local metal scene. This was clearly conveyed with the early turn out of punters and music admirers; a heart-warming scenario to witness.

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DESERT HIGHWAYS TOP 10 Releases for 2013 & more…

First of all, a massive thanx to all who have supported Desert Highways and to all the bands I have worked with especially The Hidden Venture, Drifter, Don Fernando, Seedy Jeezus and TTTDC. 2013 has been a massive year including the release of the debut Desert Highways 7″ with friends all being a part of its release, Chainsaw Hookers, Electric Frankenstein, Ben Brown and Mr Frumpy.

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!

Top 10 Releases for 2013. Continue reading

HIGH TENSION ‘Death Beat’ Album Launch. The Tote. Fri 15-11-2013.

Welcome to the first post on our blog. We will be posting about things of course related to the Desert Highways label, roster and store but also gigs that we go to, releases that impress us and news that we just have to share.

The first review is of an album launch we attended a few weeks back now but the line up was just so damn good we had to share.

High Tension Death Beat Album Launch posterHigh Tension ‘Death Beat’ Album Launch.
Fri 15th Nov, 2013. The Tote.

Words Anthony Moore
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

High Tension, Hoodlum Shouts, A-Gender, Captives.

Whether intended or not, it was genius to have High Tension’s album launch at The Tote on the same weekend as the Face The Music conference. It was hard not to run into people who were there including members of other bands, media, PR and more.

It’d been suggested to check out Tassie band Captives and everyone who was there were stoked they did. Captives opened up with a blazing set of early Glassjaw style post-hardcore. Emotion with attitude, solid hooks and absolutely loads of guts.  These guys have only played around eight to ten gigs so far and are already a force to be reckoned with. The job for any opener is to play such a massive set that they’re hard to follow and every punter leaves the gig talking about them. That’s exactly what happened. Continue reading