Butterfly’s full-length debut isn’t the least bit shy about its Seventies Rock inspirations. That is made immediately apparent with the cover art contrasting Vikings and a mystical title with an innocuous band name, but the music plays out like a grab-bag of Montrose, Uriah Heep, and Budgie among others. Its free-spirited attitude is comparable to their contemporaries in Freeways and one can occasionally detect hints of otherworldly haziness in line with Tanith and Brimstone Coven. Continue reading
If you clicked the link to read this review is because somehow you have heard about King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, or because the name was too odd for you to pass on discovering what the hell Is a band called liked that being covered in a Metal magazine, well let me first tell you that this band with the weird name released the critically acclaimed Thrash Metal album Infest the Rats’ Nest (Flightless Records) in 2019 which added a new genre in their vast catalog of albums that include a wide range of genres that go from psychedelic to garage, to progressive rock, among others. On the other hand, if you have heard King Gizz, you know exactly what I’m talking about and you probably agree with me that this band is one of the most creative musical acts in the world at this moment. Continue reading
Due to allegations of sexual harassment and verbal and physical abuse made against the tour’s promoter, Sleep have decided to cancel their upcoming dates in New Zealand and Australia. Continue reading
AC/DC‘s Malcolm Young was remembered at a private ceremony earlier today at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. Continue reading
The two most overused words in the Black Metal lexicon: “cold” and “atmospheric”, but it is these two words that rather fittingly describe Vaiya‘s Remnant Light (Nordvis/Bindrune), a 2017 re-release of a three-year-old album self-produced by Vaiya mastermind Rob Allen. And if you didn’t know that Vaiya is a one-man project from the decidedly un-cold and un-atmospheric Melbourne, Australia, you would be forgiven for thinking this album was born in some Scandinavian forest. Continue reading
Every year we see amazing Christmas light shows set to music, but one from Australia just went viral, and it’s a must see. Continue reading
The Encyclopedia of Australian Heavy Metal (Dark Star) is a thorough listing of most, if not all, of the bands to have been born in the land down under. This is the third revised edition of the encyclopedia lovingly compiled by long time fan Brian Giffin. In his opening he shows the reader just how many people and how much work goes into creating a book of this depth and length. The worldliness of metal is also emphasized. It is clear that Giffin takes Australia’s role on that world stage very serious.
Giffin’s desire to highlight Australia’s presence in global metal is not misplaced. The only Australian band most average music listeners can name is AC/DC. Even then, many mistakenly believe they are from the United Kingdom. Interestingly the encyclopedia seems to confirm that AC/DC are the biggest band to come out of the country. The entry on them is one of the longest in the entire book. One third of the book based resources in the References section are solely written about them. While it is good to acknowledge this part of Australia’s history it also makes the reader wince since the goal of this encyclopedia is to introduce people to all the country’s metal offerings.
This encyclopedia is one of the most in-depth there is out there when it comes to sheer length and number of bands mentioned. Although this is a testament to Giffin’s thoroughness and love for Australian metal it can present itself as a setback. Many of the mentioned acts only have a single sentence to describe them. A good chunk of others read like a “Where Are They Now?” article since there is so much overlap with band members and the formation of new bands out of defunct ones. This is where one wonders if being a completest has been given favor over accessibility. The book may have been more clear and engaging if important bands in certain sub-genres were highlighted and defunct ones were mentioned in the biographies of newly formed bands where appropriate. In defense of the smaller bands being included, there are some interesting entries one may not have heard of otherwise. One such case is the description of Circadian which reads, “Circadian is an enviro-centric one-man doom band…” It makes the reader wonder just how specific one can get with their music approach.
While the encyclopedia is a great example of how passionate metal fans are, it is likely not something casual listeners will be interested in. It is easy for the entries to seem never-ending as the whole work could use more visuals. The wiki version that Giffin mentions in the opening is better for those who just want to look into a few bands from this part of the world. Credit must be given to the man for opening readers’ eyes to just how much music there is to be discovered; especially considering all 342 pages of the encyclopedia is just on metal.
The Encyclopaedia is available now via
Jackson Firebird are an Australian hard-rocking duo who crashed onto the scene in 2012 with their debut album Cock Rockin’. Now they are ready to misplace our socks again with their second album Shake the Breakdown (both Napalm Records).
Although the album opener ‘Mohawk Bang!’ seems to lodge this album in the Stoner genre, with its heavy, dirty riffs and slightly distorted vocals over a small range, by the fourth song, ‘High Love’, Jackson Firebird shows their true colours combining the best of both worlds with the cheer and riffs of Rock n’ Roll and the hard crunchiness of Hard Rock in a combination that you can either dance or bang your head to. While it may not have quite the raw swing of, say, Cold Chisel’s ‘Yakuza Girls’, Jackson Firebird throw a whole lot of modern sound into the mix.
Vocally the styles range from stoner, through a lot of Rage against the Machine in songs like ‘Sick n Tired’, to a style I normally associate with bands like The Black Crowes in the verse of ‘Shake the Breakdown’.
The album also contains two splendid covers, the first being a somewhat Stoner version Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’, the second a really fast paced and swinging cover of ‘The Clapping Song’, originally by Shirley Ellis in 1965. In both cases the songs are arranged and performed in a way that makes it sounds exactly right for this band; adaptations rather than covers.
This is a very strong album where the sound is excellent, the songs are great fun, danceable, and well composed. Australia has a vibrant music scene and bands like Jackson Firebird, and Airbourne before them, prove that the Aussie combination of Rock n’ Roll with something harder is definitely alive and worth spreading.