Australian Metal

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

“As I mentioned when I wrote 2017’s Extinction review, Harlott isn’t afraid to show love to their influences. Some might say Harlott isn’t afraid of reaching into that box of thrash classics and taking what they like, as well. At any given time, the riffs transition from Exodus to Slayer to Testament, and the vocals mimic Araya, Petrozza, and Dukes/Souza. The guitars can be acoustic at times but prefer to be heavy. The drums blast and fill with no regard for concrete floors, and the bass rattles hardware off the garage door. Harlott may not have a whole lot in the way of originality, but that doesn’t make their fourth album, Detritus of the Final Age, any less solid and nothing short of nostalgic.” Ramming speed.

Kimono Drag Queens – Songs of Worship Review

Kimono Drag Queens – Songs of Worship Review

“I was promised sludge. That’s not what I got. Not that I love sludge or anything, but I definitely wanted to know what sludge sounded like coming from a band named Kimono Drag Queens. But no. Copper Feast Records duped me. The shade of it all. Anyway, septet Kimono Drag Queens strut onto the AMG runway regardless, hailing from Sydney and slinging some hella psychedelic blues rock.” Kimono worship.

Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium Review

Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium Review

“It looks like Olde Man Huck and I are carrying the entire prog-power burden on our creaky, arthritic shoulders these days. With Awake by Design and Assignment already offloaded, I’m lugging the new Vanishing Point opus to the finish line all by my aged lonesome. This long-running Aussie prog act has been silent since releasing Distant is the Sun way back in 2014 and I’d given them up for dead, but here they are with their sixth album Dead Elysium and a new drummer and bassist in tow.” Unvanished.

Cancer – Opioid Review

Cancer – Opioid Review

“It’s not often that depressive black metal comes across my desk, but when it does, I relish the opportunity to sink my teeth into it. The primality of black metal lends itself really well to the expression of misery in a way that other genres of music just don’t. So news of Cancer’s second full-length release, Opioid made me, paradoxically, happy.” Misery loves Cancer.

Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation Review

“Readers of this site will not find it surprising when I say that I love blackened death metal of the chaotic and brutal variety, with groups like Impiety, Archgoat, and Angelcorpse being some of my favorites. In the last decade, however, a new strain of blackened death metal came to prominence that seemed to prioritize atmosphere and uneasiness above all else. Some of the more notable bands in this category are Portal, Abyssal, and Teitanblood—groups whose work I respect, even if it doesn’t resonate with me as deeply. When I grabbed Pillars of Damnation, the fourth album by Australia’s Temple Nightside, I had no idea what strain of blackened death metal it would be.” Cavern kegger.

Faceless Burial – Speciation Review

Faceless Burial – Speciation Review

“Sometimes you know within seconds that an album is going to absolutely rule. I knew it when I heard the chimes in Desolate Endscape. I knew it when I heard the first riff of “Cognitive Sedation Butchery.” This time I knew it when I heard three notes – guitar, bass, and snare – and fell into a tetanic stupor, fists clenched in ecstasy, tongue projected out to the state line. Faceless Burial just made a modern classic in old school death metal.” Endangering species.

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

Blood Stronghold – Spectres of Bloodshed Review

“Collaborations in music (and metal) have been around since you were a tyke on your grandpappy’s arthritic knee. When they work, differing artists can bring out the best in each other, highlighting each other’s strengths, and masking their weaknesses. Blood Stronghold follows in this grand tradition: an international amalgamation of Australia’s Nightwolf (from Runespell) and veteran Polish drummer Krew (from numerous projects I honestly haven’t of).” Blood is thicker than…forts.