These posts are written by: Joshua Bulleid

Audrey Horne – Blackout

“What happened to Audrey Horne?” It was a question that permeated much of last year’s Twin Peaks revival, and one which lingers long after its close. Yet, while the cult TV series’ timely return has brought such bygone contemplation to the forefront of contemporary pop culture, that very same question has been pressing upon my mind with regard to the musical sphere for some time now. Having peaked with their eponymous third album in 2010, this once lively group of Norwegians (who take their name from a prominent character in David Lynch and Mark Frost’s cult television series, in case that introduction made absolutely no sense to you) seemed to degenerate—much like Twin Peaks itself—from underappreciated semi-cult act to middling pastiche with their two subsequent records. However—again, much like the origin of their namesake—Blackout sees this bunch of retro-rock worshiping ragtags return with their strongest offering in years.

Cavalera Conspiracy – Psychosis

Psychosis has come out during a period when it seems the Cavalera name is more visible and relevant to the metal world than it has been in a long time. The iconic Max Cavalera appeared to have hit his post-Sepultura peak with the back-to-back release of Dark Ages (2005) and Inflikted (2008)—the later of which saw him reuniting with estranged brother Igor and the establishment of the Cavalera Conspiracy. From there, however, it seemed Cavalera senior was content to churn out a steady flow of serviceable yet largely unremarkable Soulfly records, while each of Cavalera Conspiracy’s subsequent releases—though certainly each embedded with their own distinct personality—failed to excite in the same manner as their masterful debut. Yet, beginning with 2014’s superb supergroup collaboration, Killer Be Killed, Max’s career looks to be, once again, on the upswing, and Psychosis only further supports such speculation.

Polaris – The Mortal Coil

Australian metalcore scene has been in a bit of a sorry state these last couple of years. The once burgeoning scene that gave us the likes of Parkway Drive, I Killed the Prom Queen and The Amity Affliction (when they were still good), has produced markedly less world class acts over the past half-decade or so. Maybe it’s just because I got older, but contemporary pack-leaders Northlane and In Hearts Wake—while fine for what they are—seem to lack the spark and excitement of those bands who emerged in the genre’s heyday during the mid-to-late 2000s. Maybe it’s also because the local scene has seen a pivot toward the more extreme realms of deathcore, with bands like Thy Art is Murder and Aversions Crown proving the country’s most remarkable exports of the modern era. Yet The Mortal Coil only goes to show that there’s still plenty of mileage left in the supposedly well-worn Aussie metalcore tank.