Australian Metal

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

Psycroptic – Divine Council Review

“Though they arrived too late to take part in the birth of tech-death in the 1990s, Tasmania’s Psycroptic made a big mark on the genre just after the turn of the century, and by now they’re something of a legacy act. Eight albums in, Psycroptic have managed to retain their core sound, wrapped around Joe Haley’s long, eclectic riffs, for more than 20 years. The band augmented that thrashy tech death with gospel choirs for their most recent record, As the Kingdom Drowns, nearly escaping the debt of expectation set by the classic The Scepter of the Ancients back in 2003. Four years later, Divine Council nods towards the Kingdom, but doesn’t rely on past successes to make its mark.” Psy-ops.

Nicolas Cage Fighter – The Bones That Grew from Pain Review

Nicolas Cage Fighter – The Bones That Grew from Pain Review

“If you’re going to name your band Nicolas Cage Fighter, it means one of two things: 1. You’re a comedy metal act that doesn’t take itself too seriously or 2. You’re so badass that you own this name completely. Surprisingly, these Aussies are the latter. They take their moniker as seriously as Dr. An. Grier takes his, and the band wastes no time getting down to the business of pummeling their listener’s ears.” National treasure or Gone in 60 seconds?

Battlegrave – Cavernous Depths Review

Battlegrave – Cavernous Depths Review

“Perhaps the most awesome thing about Battlegrave is the way that they combine their genre influences together. Many bands blend genres in such a way as to make it difficult to pinpoint where one ends and another begins. Not so with Battlegrave. Cavernous Depths sounds like Morbid Saint, Demolition Hammer, and Oxygen Destroyer were each run across a table saw and had their constituent parts randomly and brutally sewn together.” Snitches and death thrash fans get stitches.

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

Altars – Ascetic Reflection Review

“Beyond its cover’s deceptively pastoral mountain scene, Altars offers something lurking underneath. On paper, the trio deals in a collision of dissonant death metal name-drops we’ve come to expect, and it would be easy to stop there. But we won’t, because there’s something else. Ascetic Reflection‘s unique take settles in the negative spaces between lurching and punishing with clarity and nimbleness, allowing its meditative lurch to burrow into listeners’ skin. Holding mirrors of the self and the divine and the futility therein, the aptly named Ascetic Reflection deals in shredding pain.” Altars of radness.

Werewolves – From the Cave to the Grave Review

Werewolves – From the Cave to the Grave Review

“I’m surprised we never covered Werewolves before on this blog. Their debut record, The Dead are Screaming—picked up by Prosthetic Records one month into the pandemic in 2020—fucking rulez. To my surprise, I somehow missed the follow-up they dropped less than a year later. Thankfully, I had my eye trained closely enough on this band to catch third outing, From the Cave to the Grave, before Werewolves slipped by undetected once more.” Pack attack.

DeathFuckingCunt – Decadent Perversity Review

DeathFuckingCunt – Decadent Perversity Review

“With a name like DeathFuckingCunt, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a well-done platter of slam was heading to your table. Surprisingly, the band is more subtle and nuanced (by death metal standards) than that. Decadent Perversity combines brutal death with technical death to form brutal-technical death metal. The difference between these guys and many contemporaries is that a delightful layer of grime lingers over their work.” Banned in the U.S.A.

Into the Obscure: Sacriphyx – The Western Front

Into the Obscure: Sacriphyx – The Western Front

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure, appreciation or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” War is Hell.

Sensory Amusia – Breed Death Review

Sensory Amusia – Breed Death Review

Sensory Amusia are an interesting and, I’d contend, somewhat enigmatic band. They released their debut album in 2013 and then basically went dark. They popped up again six years later with an EP, quickly followed by another the following year. Now, two years after that last sojourn, Sensory Amusia have resurfaced again, this time with their first full-length in almost a decade. In many ways, Breed Death marks a departure from their 2013 debut, but even the most Vogonesque bands among us tend to evolve and grow. Whether that growth pulled the band in a more positive direction musically is another question.” Selective breeding.

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

Mournful Congregation – The Exuviae of Gods – Part I Review

“Every now and then, while minding my little ol’ business as I knock shit off my dresser like a good cat, the random thought of “Hey, whatever happened to such-and-such band” will pop into my furry cranium and, like clockwork, that band will release something new almost immediately afterward. In this case, said band is Australian funeral powerhouse Mournful Congregation, a band that doesn’t always drop new things at a constant rate, but when they do drop those new things, they’re always heavy, reflective, and… well, mournful.” Short mourning.

Beyond Mortal Dreams – Abomination of the Flames Review

Beyond Mortal Dreams – Abomination of the Flames Review

“Two albums in thirty years does not a prolific act make. But that’s exactly how Beyond Mortal Dreams‘ story begins. 1992 saw the youthful Australian death metallers spawn upon this mortal plane, under the moniker Suffering. After changing their name to Beyond Mortal Dreams in ’95, the band…. well, disbanded until 2003. Upon reforming, Beyond Mortal Dreams extracted enough evil and grotesquery from the depths of hell to concoct their debut record, From Hell, in 2008. Now, fourteen years later, these hellish imps prepare to unleash their second tome, entitled Abomination of the Flames, accompanied by this wonderfully infernal visage beside this introduction.” Olden demons, scarcely known.