Acting in charity to raise money for Autism Queensland, a selection of some of the finest metal that Australia has to offer united at Bloodline Festival this month, featuring headliners Psycroptic and Ne Obliviscaris. Resident Aussie photographer William France attended the show to document the evening, and came back with photos from the sets of the fest’s headliners as well as The Schoenberg Automaton, Lynchmada, As Silence Breaks, and Down Royale. Check out the photos below!
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.
If I had my say, there would be a top one hundred list, because I enjoyed so many different albums this year. I’ve changed this list fifty seven times over the past week, so this list is me finally making a decision. It’s honestly been harder choosing this list than it has been choosing classes for next semester. I must say that 2012 has shown that music has not totally gone down the drain, because there are still so many amazing bands I’m just now hearing about, and so many great albums to listen to. So, without further ado, here are the twenty best albums to come out in 2012, and the six best albums that would be twenty one through twenty six that just didn’t make the cut.
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.
Despite boasting a line up of some of the more prominent up and coming acts in the Australian progressive rock and metal scene, including Chaos Divine, Circles and Ne Obliviscaris, one of the more surprisingly memorable performances at the recent Melbourne leg of the Progfest tour was given by a young band by the name of Kettlespider. Considering their somewhat silly name, which wouldn’t be out of place on an early 90s grunge band, it would have been easy to overlook them. However, what they delivered was an entirely refreshing set of instrumental prog which, while heavy, created a captivating mood of hope and optimism, a mood which pervades their debut album, Avadante, released earlier this year.
01. Tapestry Of The Starless Abstract
03. Of The Leper Butterflies
04. Forget Not
05. And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope
06. As Icicles Fall
07. Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise
[Code 666 Records]
Black metal is quickly evolving from a one-off listen to a personal favorite of mine. There is just something about its music that entrances me, something other-worldly. I also happen to like its distant nature, by which I mean its ability to still sound heavy without downtuning a guitar. Take the first Mayhem record; standard tuning, but some of the heaviest songs I have ever heard. I also really enjoy some more relaxing non-metal acts, such as The Mars Volta and even (yes, true story) Dave Matthews Band. Part of what attracts me to both is not only their versatility, but their sometimes shocking surprises.
Alright, most of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Ne Obliviscaris are a progressive blackened/melodic death metal band from Melbourne. They released an EP called The Aurora Veil in 2007, and it’s excellent, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
They’re coming out with a full length album soon, and you should get really, really excited about it. Don’t believe me? Here you go:
Eleven and a half minutes of progressive, melodic ear feasting. There’s so much going on in this song that I’m wondering what else will they come up with for their full album. Violins, salsa style guitars, a very distinctly audible bass, blackened riffs, clean vocals; this is pure amazing. If you like Opeth, Wintersun, Dark Tranquillity, Quo Vadis, Obscura, Insomnium or anything that’s remotely good at progressive or melodic metal, this’ll be just your thing. If you think the list I cited is insane, just listen to the song. Portal of I, their debut full-length, is set for an early 2012 release date, and I can easily say that it will end up in my top 10 list for 2012 if this song is any indication.
In the meantime, you can listen to tracks from their EP; they’re not a great indication of the new direction the band is taking, but they’re awesome nevertheless.