Australian Metal

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

Teramaze – And the Beauty They Perceive Review

“One country whose output always perks my ears up is Australia. It seems like the Aussies just know how to craft strong albums, whether it’s the catchy hard rock of Butterfly or the avant-garde insanity of Portal, music from Down Under never fails to entertain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the country’s progressive metal scene, which features such bands as Karnivool, Voyager, Dead Letter Circus, and current kings of the mountain Caligula’s Horse. All of these bands craft terrific songs featuring strong musicians, but more importantly stellar vocalists. Let’s go ahead and add Teramaze to this list now.” Hit the Tera button.

Norse – Ascetic Review

Norse – Ascetic Review

“A month ago in the low coast range hills, I found Hellinsia homodactylus folded beneath the lamplight – the modestly named plain plume moth. Mute white in the shape of a Beksiński cross, the insect appears impossible when still, betraying the feathery wings that gasp in the still pockets between oak leaves and wisp in the pupil of the ash-yellowed moon. Theirs is a gaunt beauty, beauty which Norse have both embodied and spurned in their last seven years of stark and intimate black metal.” Nature vs science.

The Slow Death – Siege Review

The Slow Death – Siege Review

“Transcending Obscurity always makes a concerted effort to deliver quality releases throughout each year of operation. I’d think most labels, especially ones focused on metal music, share the same ethic. However, what sets Transcending Obscurity apart for me is the sheer variety of extreme metal artists they recruit. Sure, there’s plenty of brutality on board, not to mention about seven thousand active Rogga projects. But then you get things like The Slow Death, a funeral death doom outfit from Australia who stand poised to deliver their fourth LP, Siege.” Siege perilous.

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

“Hailing from the same death metal scene as Depravity, Perth Australia’s Crypt Crawler are another interesting act seeking worldwide exposure. Their 2019 To the Grave debut was a simplistic, raw affair and offered some good, deathy fun. Future Usurper sees more polish and progressive tendencies worming into focus, blending  the early days of Death‘s proggy experimentation and more straight forward 90s death/thrash acts like Cancer and Malevolent Creation with modern sensibilities. Such an endeavor requires a significant talent pool and luckily, the members of Crypt Crawler have the requisite chops.” Crawlers in the throne room.

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

Domination Campaign – Onward to Glory Review

“From the ashes of Australia’s Psycroptic rises a new band to take its place in the sun: Domination Campaign. Except that’s not a great metaphor for the situation, because Psycroptic is fine and still doing its usual musician thing, but I wanted to write a dramatic intro to pique your interest. You see, Domination Campaign and their debut full-length, Onward to Glory was originally a solo project by Jason Peppiatt, who is the lead vocalist in Psycroptic.” Death, taxes, and yellow journalism.

Seance Of – The Colour of Magick Review

Seance Of – The Colour of Magick Review

“On more than a couple of occasions, I’ve mused on decisions made by artists that one might label … pretentious. My musings have not, of course, led to anything useful but why should that stop me? Perth, Australia’s curiously-named, one-man project Seance Of is ready to unleash The Colour of Magick. The last – chronologically speaking – of three records written by mainman AR (also of Grave Worship), this is the project’s debut, with the other two to follow at some unspecified future time. Magnanimously, Seance Of has also decided not to name any of the tracks on this record, instead encouraging “listeners to create their own titles for each of these eight tracks: indeed, this unorthodox freedom is his intent.” Having initially written this off as a pretentious gimmick, it took the ever-wise GardensTale to point out that I was missing a trick here.” Boaty McBoatface metal.

Portal – Avow Review

Portal – Avow Review

“Before Ion, we thought we had Portal figured out. The kings of murk would release another album of slogging dissonance, just like Swarth or Vexovoid. However, taking the path of least resistance or going with ol’ reliable has never been the esoteric Australian collective’s way, and we were greeted with Ion, a big obscure middle finger to the masses in their abruptly clearest and most pristine listen. In spite of the almost complete abandonment of murk, Ion adhered to their signature impenetrability, creating one of the most challenging listens in recent memory and showcasing that they weren’t just some disso-death one-trick pony. Avow reminds us that Portal is still king.” There will be cake.

Portal – Hagbulbia Review

Portal – Hagbulbia Review

“There are a number of cool things about Hagbulbia, but on my first listen, I figured the coolest was that Portal won’t ever have to make it again. By my fifth, I was convinced that they should. After two decades muddling death metal and noise, the release of thirty-eight minutes heavily skewed towards the latter is not just obvious; it’s almost required. As such, Hagbulbia is a burning distillation of Portal’s less musical humors, but the band have chosen a canny strategy for its release. As an unannounced companion to the more traditional Avow, it can be at worst a novelty rather than nuisance for fans, who may be far more receptive to the cocktail than a shot.” There may be cake.

The Plague – Within Death Review

The Plague – Within Death Review

“I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve been spinning Black Breath‘s Sentenced to Life a lot recently. Maybe it was the epic face-kicking that I received from the recent Enforced release, but something made me seek out even more crossover bludgeonry by which to flagellate myself. Sentenced to Life saw the Seattle band blending crossover thrash with the rumbling HM-2 Swedish death metal of Entombed and Dismember, and the results were pretty glorious, earning the coveted 5.0 from my predecessor in unbridled optimism, Happy Metal Guy himself. Well, between this preparation and my recent Entombed kick following the passing of L.G. Petrov, I was primed to reach for the next buzzsaw promo I found. It sounds distasteful to say at a time like this, but bring on The Plague!” Get down with it.

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium – Towers of Silence Review

Plasmodium is described by Metal Archives as “psychedelic black/death metal,” and that is definitely appropriate. Formed in 2016, the Melbourne, Australia, sextet features veteran blood, particularly drummer Matt “Skitz” Sanders of Damaged fame, and Aretstikapha of Mazikeen. Releasing Entheognosis in 2016 to underground interest, it introduced this highly atmospheric breed that doesn’t quite land in death metal or black metal, but somehow fills the dead air between. Featuring blackened vocals and drumming, sophomore effort Towers of Silence features some of the strangest soundscapes of 2021 thanks to its deranged string attack and cosmic ambiance.” Enjoy for silence.