I think we all agree now that 2012 was an awesome year for Australian heavy music, featuring an unprecedented number of quality releases, mainly from new and emerging bands. However, with the likely return in 2013 of some of the bigger and more established Australian names, this year is set to be even better!
Karnivool – TBA (Sony Music)
Anyone paying a bit of attention over the last few months might have noticed that Karnivool‘s 2009 sophomore album, Sound Awake, is considered by a number of Heavy Blog contributors to be among their favourite albums of all time, and so to say that the Perth quintet’s next album is eagerly awaited would be a gross understatement indeed! Thankfully, we can now say with confidence that 2013 will be the year, as on 16 October 2012, guitarist Mark Hosking stated on the band’s Facebook page that they were currently writing material for the album, and then on 20 November 2012, the band announced that from 1 January 2013, they would be spending six weeks recording. In accordance with some of the early speculation, photos already posted by the band have confirmed that they are at Studio 301 in Byron Bay, although so far, other than a few song names and string tunings, there have been no hints from the band as to what we can expect to hear when the album is finally released.
Nevertheless, despite the undoubted quality of their debut album, Themata, Sound Awake marked a quantum leap forward for Karnivool, their transition to a template of progressive rock resulting in compositions of considerably more depth and complexity than what they had previously produced, and should the new album continue this developmental trajectory, one can only quiver in expectation as to what the outcome might be. Quite helpfully, the band is posting photos and updates regularly, so if you are as excited about this as we are, follow their progress by heading over to give them a ‘like’ on Facebook.
Dead Letter Circus – TBA (Sumerian Records)
Since releasing their debut album, This Is The Warning, in 2010, Dead Letter Circus have been anything but idle; supporting Muse and Linkin Park, touring the US on a number of occasions including with Fair to Midland and Animals As Leaders, touring the UK and India, and signing, somewhat surprisingly, with Sumerian Records. Furthermore, in a post on the band’s Facebook page earlier this month, it was announced by founding guitarist, Rob Maric, who had been absent from the band for much of 2012 for “personal reasons”, that he will not be returning to the band. Since then, the band has confirmed that Maric’s official replacement will be Melodyssey‘s Clint Vincent, who has been the band’s tour manager for some time, and has been filling in for Maric since March 2012.
Despite this upheaval, the band has also been busy recording material for their new album, and according to vocalist Kim Benzie, who recently spoke with Loud, they will probably start releasing singles in February 2013, even though they will be returning to the studio in late January to complete the recording process. Noted for their euphoric alt/prog electro-rock sound, Benzie has also stated that the forthcoming album is likely to be somewhat heavier and more technically challenging than their earlier work, having been influenced not only by the bands they’ve been playing with on tour, but also by their own growing sense of disenchantment with the world’s political and economic structures. Furthermore, while not confirmed, it can only be assumed that the album will feature Vincent, and it is of course unknown what the effect of his inclusion will be, as Maric’s tone and playing style certainly seemed integral to the signature Dead Letter Circus sound. Released last year, the single ‘Wake Up’, which is still available for free download, is arguably a bit slower and heavier than the some of their earlier work, but presumably recorded with Maric, provides few clues as to just how the band’s sound might otherwise have evolved. At this stage, it is unclear whether this song is slated for inclusion on the album, although with February already just around the corner, we don’t have long to wait to find out!
Circles – TBA (Basick Records)
The Compass EP by Circles was one of the more surprising releases of 2011, the band’s infectious mix of djenty groove and melodic accessibility proving quite a turn on for metal fans of varied persuasions, and resulted in the EP figuring on some fairly prominent year end lists across the globe, including those of a number of Heavy Blog contributors. Such recognition, though, means that Circles must now contend with the heavy weight of expectation, and deliver in 2013 a debut album worthy of their obvious potential. However, if the band is feeling any pressure they certainly aren’t showing it, and have ensured they remain front and centre by posting two studio updates in September and October 2012 respectively, followed by the release in December of the first single from the forthcoming album. Entitled ‘Another Me’, the song picks up right where The Compass left off, albeit with a noticeably darker mood, and is accompanied by a video which, in true Circles style, was conceived and produced entirely by drummer Dave Hunter. Interestingly, however, Hunter has also suggested in a recent interview with Sludge Factory that ‘Another Me’ might not be a strict indicator as to what we might hear on the balance of the album when it finally drops later in the year. Exactly what this means is anyone’s guess, but in the mean time, check out the very polished video below to ‘Another Me’, and why not download the song for free why you’re at it!