Groove metal classics are still very much in play, but lying beneath Triple Kill’s surface you'll also find prog-folk story-telling, smooth soul and an unadulterated admiration for the greatest 3D platformer of all time.

10 months ago

They might be known for their irreverent clownishness but, when it comes to music itself, Triple Kill don't fuck around. True to its promise, the band's recently released second effort, Blackened Dawn, is packed to the brim with castratingly explosive riffs and skin-stripping wails that firmly evidence their commitment to the coolest of all genres: pure, unadulterated heavy metal. As the below anatomy also evidences, however, there is some "no" underlying their apparantly "all yes" approach to the genre. Groove metal classics are still very much in play, but lying beneath the band's surface you'll also find esoteric prog-folk story-telling, some smooth soul and an unadulterated admiration for the soundtract to the all-time greatest 3D platformer of all time.

Anthony Commane (Guitar)

Aether Realm – Tarot (2017)

In my anatomy picks, I won’t be selecting albums I’ve loved forever or shaped me as a guitarist. Instead, I’m picking albums that opened my eyes to just how much I need to develop emotionally as a human. Aether Realm’s Tarot came with that valuable lesson, a hard-learned lesson that gave me night after night on the floor in a vulnerable mess. I was asking myself while following the music, "What is the point of existing and why have I done it this way?". It triggered such a big response emotionally but also forced a large development in my song writing. This may be the album that gave my emotions an outlet of expression, as I related a lot to how Aether Realm had managed it, and it made more than enough sense for me to learn from. So all of the hidden messages, trials, and struggles that fall under Blackened Dawn that are connected to my name in some way are thanks to this development.

All of the best examples come from "The Sun, The Moon, The Star" as it makes me think of my own family, and my sister Sophie who lives her life on the opposite side of the world. It makes me think about how I dedicated my life so hard to this passion of music, and it makes me hope I’ve slowed enough to spend time with my family along the way. The line, “I never knew sorrow 'til you asked me to follow my heart”, is always where I find myself with a frog in my throat, feeling regret for all those times I wanted to throw it all away, yet deep inside knowing that all that I have ahead of me is songs to write. I hope that in the time I spend on Earth, I share my experience and teach that same development through music, hopefully through Blackened Dawn, if not the next album.

Khemmis – Deceiver (2021)

While I want to list every Khemmis album on here, their 2021 release Deceiver was the most influential on my writing. Not because of the guitar yet again (although the use of chord progressions, just wow) but how they convey the emotions that build the songs. Khemmis brought to my table this idea of creating a dark fantasy world that shrouds the reality of the emotions behind the music. I feel they do this instrumentally with crushing chords that emphasise confidence and thin harmonies that wear thoughtfulness or uncertainty. Pair that with lyrics that beg you to imagine the context the song is creating: “Golden fire that gleams through the haze”, “I’m drowning in a mind that’s always caving in”, “I see the machinations of torment glowing beneath the moon” and my favourite “These faded lives are all we have to find our way through shadowed lands. We stumble on, with broken backs, holding hearts in calloused hands”. There’s something of a Dio fantasy quality and so much truth and experience within the words. I knew after getting into Khemmis that if I share my own experience, it needs to be layered deep within a fantasy in an inspired way. Khemmis, you rule! ..come to Australia.

Rodney Goolagong (Vocals)

Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection (2002)

The first album I can remember singing along to in the car as a kid was Stevie Wonder's Definitive Collection, I’d love to (or at least try to) mimic and sing along with Stevie on tracks like “Isn’t She Lovely”, “Master Blaster” and “Living for the City”, as well as “Superstition” of course. I always loved how soulful and free his singing felt to me, and it always seemed like he was having a lot of fun with it, which I wanted to emulate as much as possible with my singing and to bring that same energy and vibe to our songs, especially with live performances.

System of a Down

System of a Down have always been a favourite of mine, I love how they can have quirky songs that seemingly make no sense, like “Vicinity of Obscenity” but then also have songs that are just beautiful like “Lost in Hollywood” and I’ve always loved the way that Serj and Daron’s voices harmonise and bounce off each other. The combination of silly with the serious has always been something I’ve striven for with my singing, as I feel the way System has done it has made them quite unique.

Daniel Mackie (Guitar)

Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power (1992)

Man this album slaps from start to finish, the first time i heard it as a 14 year old kid, it blew my fucken' balls off. Walk still makes me want to launch a bus into the sun all these years later. Every single riff on that album fits exactly as it should with the rest of the band and every song comes together perfectly to create one of the toughest/grooviest and soul-filled albums I’ve ever heard. The minute "A New Level" kicks in, you just want to find every bully you’ve ever known and kick the shit out of them. This album not only heavily contributed to the way I write and view music/riffs/solos; it also taught me a lot of life lessons and values and i hold it very close to my heart. As the man of the house at a very young age, I quickly learned through Phil’s lyrics and Dime’s riffs that this world was going to be a nasty place and that I needed to learn how to protect my family, myself and those who i loved. The lyric “so many times you practice in the mirror to be just like me but you just can’t see, you ain’t got the balls son” is a lyric that always stuck and one that i still keep in the back of my mind whenever I need to attack a new goal or write some cool riffs!

Whenever approaching a song I try to make it as tough/groovy as possible because i remember being 14 and hearing this record and losing my shit at the fact that is was a steel train heading to hammer town. The way the drums lock into the riffs and the bass fills the room while Dime solos is just incredible and so well though out. The solos on this record are so tasty and come to life and tell and story, I’ve always tried to do the same. I want my leads to take people on a journey and i want the slow solos (like “This Love”) to hit people in the heart strings and to translate what I’m feeling into their soul. Dimebag is still and forever will be the greatest guitarist to have ever graced this earth. He changed metal in the 90’s and helped sculpt it into what it is today. He’s my hero and so is Phil, Rex and Vinnie. Those boys have held my hand when no-one else would and they’ve helped me grow as a musician and song writer my whole life. This album rules, metal rules. Getcha pull.

Connor O'keane (Drums)

Lamb of God – Wrath (2009)

Lamb of God were pivotal for me and this was the first record in their discography that I was in on the ground floor for. Chris Adler is my favourite drummer of all time and has had an immeasurable influence on my playing, but it was the experience around this album when it came out that made it a truly formative record in my journey as a metalhead and musician. I bought it the day of release (after negotiating an advance on my pocket money) and the rush I felt the moment "In Your Words" kicked in and started the album proper was nothing short of revelatory. The one-two punch of "Set To Fail" and "Contractor" had my heart racing and the hairs on the back of my neck standing up and, unrelenting as the record is, this was just the start. The earth shaking groove on "Broken Hands", the chorus of "Choke Sermon" spat with such venom, and the sheer despairing weight of swansong "Reclamation" all left me speechless and determined to spin this thing until it was etched in the amber of my consciousness. Later that year I got to see the bulk of this album performed live at my first concert on my 16th birthday. It was the experience of hearing this material performed with such urgency and vitality, and the sheer joy that this gave a room full of punters that made me want to do the same. Just shy of 15 years on and that motivation hasn't left me, thanks in no small part to this record.

Ethan White (Bass)

Grant Kirkhope

For me, it’s video game composers. Grant Kirkhope, Koji Kondo and Nobuo Uematsu shaped me into the musician I am today. Growing up I focussed more on playing video games, than I did studying, where my only break from gaming was practicing the cello. I still to this day play through Banjo Kazooie (1998), the Final Fantasy games and The Legend of Zelda, and there are times where I’ll just be listening to their soundtracks, you just lay down and imagine the adventure that the music will take you on. For Grant Kirkhope, his style of bouncy rhythm would be stuck in your head forever and that he could add a single instrument to a tune, and it would change the season of the world you’re in!

Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo was able to give you uplifting bright tune of the Kokiri Forest, or Gerudo Desert, and you knew the type of environment you were in, whether it be the forest, the desert or even just a simple ranch.

Nobuo Uematsu

I mean what is there to say, Final Fantasy VII (1997) has taken up more time than any other game out there. To have the pleasant opening prelude and then it gets you right into the thick of it with the bombing mission, he new exactly how to pull you into the emotion of what the game was trying to tell you, and you wouldn’t get that from the game without the soundtrack. This idea of having music guide your story is what developed my writing, and I took that into my own projects through high school and all the way to today. When I listen back to what we have wrote in Triple Kill, I can still close my eyes and see what it is we are writing about, and to be able to continue down that path for the future of Triple Kill, who knows what we’ll release next.

Joshua Bulleid

Published 10 months ago