Australia is no stranger to great music, especially not over the past decade or so. Bands like Dead Letter Circus, Karnivool, and The Butterfly Effect have all made their way over to the states in some way, shape, or form, and have captivated countless people with their beautiful music. However, rarely do we hear about a band that is known for being super heavy from down under. While there are a few bands, Australia is more known for their alternative and prog rock than their sludge or post-metal. Back in 2011, however, The Matador released their EP Descent Into The Maelstrom, and it blew a lot of the Heavy Blog staff away. Now, three years later, the band are ready to show us what they’ve been up to in the form of Destroyer, and album as true to its title if there ever was one.
While still a relatively ‘light’ release (the album has seven songs and a total run time of around 30 minutes), it’s definitely not one to just let fall by the wayside. The band have really improved upon their EP in more ways than one, particularly with vocals. The new album boasts some stunning cleans on the title track, as well as some beautiful harsh vocals throughout the entirety of the record. There are also tons of disgusting riffs on this album, the kinds that make you feel as if you’re rooting around in dirt and manure and sand and just pouring it all over yourself. The album’s closer, ‘Pangaea’, is definitely a perfect way to close out the record, and shines brighter than the other tracks on this album.
It seems that this time around the bands really focused on making more tight songs, rather than long ones. The longest track is under six minutes, and most of the tracks are average in length, clocking in at around four and a half minutes long. It’s something really different for most bands associated with sludge / post-metal to do, since most of the genre is filled with seven and eight minute long tracks. However, this is a strategic move for the band, as it enables their songs to be played, uncut, on radio stations all across Australia, including Triple J, and helps build a larger audience abroad with increased radio play, since most major stations don’t like excessively long songs.
The only qualm with this record is that it’s so brief. minus the two ‘intro’ tracks, the album is only about 25 minutes long. It would have been nice to have a couple more songs, perhaps even a long, epic song like they had on their EP. However, a number of different factors surely influenced the decision to make less songs, but stronger songs, rather than having an abundance of tracks or a few really long tracks that just meandered on aimlessly forever, leaving the listening just waiting for it to end. EDIT: Apparently one of those decisions was because the band are planning releasing a ‘part two’ of sorts with a second album called Creator, which is due out some time early next year, so that explains a lot.
The Matador made us wait a long time, but it was worth it. Destroyer, while brief, is still a fantastic record, and one that should rightfully make many year-end lists. These five Aussies are definitely on to something, and are still very early into their careers, so there’s only room to grow from here, and hopefully they’ll continue to release great music for years to come.
The Matador’s Destroyer gets…