As I have mentioned previously, you’d be hard pressed to find a more tireless advocate for Australian metal and heavy music than the Welkin Entertainment Group, which is headed by Ne Obliviscaris‘ violinist, Tim Charles. In 2012, one of their many initiatives was to produce three compilation albums which featured up and coming Australian bands and were handed out for free at various festivals and gigs. The the first of these albums was the Progfest 2012 Compilation, which included tracks from Branch Arterial, Glass Empire, Breaking Orbit and a host of other progressive rock and metal bands, while the second compilation was the metal-focused Euphony Fusion VI , which included tracks by, amongst others Be’lakor, Gods of Eden and, of course, Ne Obliviscaris. As if giving away free CDs wasn’t enough, Welkin now has both compilations available for free download at the following Facebook pages:
According to Welkin, the download link for Euphony Fusion VI will be disappearing on Friday, so you’ll need to act quickly should you be interested in acquiring this feast of up and coming Australian metal. While you’re at it, why not ‘like’ the Welkin Facebook page, and keep your eyes peeled for The Time Is Now, a compilation of Australian hardcore that Welkin should also have available for free download shortly.
What a year. Here is a summary of my most pleasurable listening experiences. Quick shout outs to Gaza, Eldrimner, Acrania (Mexico), DisfiguringtheGoddess, GodsofEden, TrashTalk,Xibalba and TesseracT who just barely missed the cut. Sorry guys.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy my list. I didn’t mess around. Just meat and potatoes. Also, I’d love it if you left a comment validating my list or insulting me for terrible taste! Either way, happy doomsday!
The first thing I want to say, as the newest addition to the Heavy Blog team, is what a privilege it has been to write with these guys over the past few months and to have the opportunity to perhaps expose more great Australian progressive rock and metal to the world.
Gushing aside, though, two things have struck me about 2012, the first of which has been the breadth and the quality of the releases by Australian bands, some of which appear on my list below. Of those releases that didn’t quite make the cut, I was particularly impressed with, amongst others, Elysian‘s Wires of Creation, Okera‘s A Beautiful Dystopia, and Avadante by Kettlespider. Promising EPs were also released by Gods of Eden and In Trenches, all of which bodes well for the future of music in this country.
The other thing that stands out to me, as I look down the list of albums that really captured my interest this year, is that 2012 has been a year dominated by mood, atmosphere and emotion. Now, to be fair, I am generally drawn to vibe heavy music, but never before have I listened to so many doom influenced bands!
At the end of the day, however, I was in no doubt as to which three albums would vie for top spot, each one stylistically, technically and structurally progressive, yet still emotionally accessible, and I am sure that all three will remain stalwarts of my collection for many years to come.
Hot on the heels of its immensely successful Progfest tour, which showcased many of Australia’s best up and coming progressive rock and metal bands, Welkin Entertainment returns with the Sonic Forge Festival, which will be held across three stages at Melbourne’s Esplanade Hotel on 15 December 2012. Welkin Entertainment is the brain-child of Ne Obliviscaris violinist, Tim Charles, and, well, the line-up he has compiled for Sonic Forge speaks for itself. Co-headlined by Ne Obliviscaris and Be’lakor, Sonic Forge is set to also unleash the likes of Dreadnaught, Alarum, The Schoenberg Automaton, A Million Dead Birds Laughing and recent Heavy Blog favourites, Gods of Eden, in what promises to be nothing less than an onslaught of awesome Australian metal.
The full list of bands that will be tearing the Espy apart on the 15th is as follows:
A Million Dead Birds Laughing
The Levitation Hex
Gods Of Eden
Hours In Exile
EnvenomedThe Schoenberg Automaton
Eye of the Enemy
The Plague Black
2012 has been a standout year for Australian metal, with the release of stellar albums from the likes of Melbourne bands Ne Obliviscaris, Be’lakor, Elysian and Okera, and the emergence of, amongst others, Sydney’s Gods of Eden, whose EP was praised here at Heavy Blog by Nayon just a few weeks ago. As if that wasn’t feast enough, another band that is starting to make its presence known is Melbourne tech-death metellers Hadal Maw, who have recently released a promotional film clip to their song, ‘Shadow Caste’, and a guitar play through video to their song ‘Merchant of Aeonian Pulse’, both of which you can take a look at below. Featuring members of a number of other well established bands, including Alarum‘s drummer Rob Brens, and guitarist Ben Boyle from A Million Dead Birds Laughing, it’s obvious from these two tracks that despite not yet playing a live show, Hadal Maw are poised to make some massive waves, what with their polished mix of Gojira-like groove, a riffing style reminiscent of the great Vogg, and tastefully technical flourishes, all performed with a supreme level of confidence and skill. Certainly, a band to keep an eye on for the future, but in the mean time, satiate your appetite by downloading ‘Shadow Caste’ and ‘Merchant of Aeonian Pulse’ from Bandcamp, and heading over to ‘like’ them on Facebook.
TheMadIsraeli of No Clean Singing pointed me towards this little gem of a band called Gods of Eden. When I clicked “play” on their Bandcamp player, I was immediately impressed. It sounded like technical death metal done well. But then I kept listening. There was thrash metal. There was prog metal-esque clean singing. There was a flamenco section. There was a choir, an orchestra, pianos — everything. I know you’re just going to say this sounds like a trainwreck, but it’s not. It works. I even tend to be critical of Between the Buried and Me for their genre-bending elements, but here I was just blown away. It works because none of the elements are half baked. The tech death is Gorod-level. The progressive metal is as good as old Pain of Salvation. The death metal is reminiscent of Lost Soul. And each song they pull out new tricks from their sleeves, the awesomeness never ends. If I’m going to fully endorse one EP this year, it is this EP. You can listen to it right here: