Metal Obsession is an Australian-based website that promotes whatever is happening within the Aussie metal scene. We are building up a nice collection of reviews and interviews of both international and Australian artists, as well as a comprehensive gig guide and constant flow of news from bands of all sizes.
Sometimes when a band has been on a break from recording and touring for a while, a new tour can be a reunion of band mates of sorts. Such is the case with American progressive heavy act Born of Osiris. The band is about to hit our shores for a tour with fellow American heavy hitters Chelsea Grin, and especially since the band members are scattered literally to the four winds across America these days, keysman Joe Buras is looking forward to catching up with the other members as much as he is to touring Australia.
“I’m excited to see my band mates,” Buras states, “we used
to all live in Chicago together, but now we’re separated between Chicago,
Texas, California and Arizona, so I’m excited to see the boys. We’ve been off
tour for three months, and that’s a pretty long break for our band.
“It’s crazy because we’re all flying in to Australia from
those places, so we’re just going to meet up and hopefully get a really long
soundcheck to get everything working. We’re playing the same set as from our US
tour in February and March.”
With more than ten years and five full length records behind
them now, that setlist promises to be a crowd-pleasing and career-spanning one
for their Aussie fans. “Most tours we play a lot of the first album, The New
Reign,” he recalls, “and so we’ll be playing a lot of that as usual, and
playing something from every record besides that, and then obviously The
Simulation, the new one.”
This will be the band’s third time Down Under, and not only
are they coming with Chelsea Grin, their long time friends and a band that they
have shared stages with many times over the years, Buras feels the first couple
of times they were things were not managed as well as they possibly could have
been. This time it is feeling far more complete and together.
“We just got off tour with Chelsea earlier this year,” he
says, “so it’ll be nice to come Australia with them. We’re psyched because the
first two times we came, we felt that the company we came with wasn’t the most
legit. Not that it wasn’t fun, but this time it just feels a little more well
put together as far as the scheduling, the itinerary, the tour manager, it just
feels a little more legit this time.”
The seeds of this Aussie tour were apparently sewn on that
US tour earlier in the year. “We were on tour with them and the idea got
brought up,” he remembers, “we weren’t sure, and we went back and forth, so
then we talked to them and they said they really wanted to do it, and we said ‘okay,
let’s do it!’ That tour across the States was going really well so we thought ‘why
not!’ Overall, it just made a lot of sense.”
Well over a decade into the band’s career, Buras is a little
caught between feeling the years and the mileage, whilst still getting a kick
out of hanging with the younger bands they tour with and recalling the days
when Born of Osiris were just starting out. “Sometimes I feel it!” He laughs, “it’s
interesting, sometimes we tour with some smaller, younger bands and they’re
doing their second or third tour ever. You look at them and you can see some of
yourself. I remember our second tour ever, it was with Misery Signals, and I
was like ‘oh my gosh!’, I was freaking out, I was nervous and really excited
and it’s just this whole moment.
“to be at the other end of it, and talk to younger people
that get to tour when we headline, it makes me feel established, but It also
gets back to that kind of feeling as well.”
Despite the heavily dispersed geography of the band members
in 2019, and despite only recently having released a new record, Born of Osiris
are a band that likes to remain constantly creative, always exchanging ideas
with each other via email and phone, and fans won’t have too long to wait
before album number six hits the stores, the airwaves and the interwebs.
“We’ve got a ton of new material now that we’re working on,”
Buras reveals, “so we’re just trying to figure out the best time to hit the
studio again. We’re going to do Australia obviously and then the US again
straight after that. Then I think we’re going to do Europe in the Fall. I think
we’re going to try to hit the studio between the US and Europe, or maybe we’ll
possibly wait until after Europe and do some recording in the winter.
“We haven’t decided yet, but it’s not too far away.”
Candlemass, a band at the very origin of the darkened storm that is doom metal took the stage at the Odeon Theatre in Hobart as part of the Dark Mofo arts festival. Formed in Sweden in 1984, Candlemass is one of the most definitive bands of doom metal, and in particular that celestial corner of it know as ‘epic doom metal’. Drawing from a vast catalogue containing some of the most identifiable songs in the soundtrack of darkness, the set transcended the tempests of time, from the hallowed era of the mid-1980s to the most recent of Candlemass offerings. This was indeed my first live experience of Candlemass and it opened a whole new dimension to appreciating their iconic sound.
The solemn strains of Marche Funebre heralded the arrival of the band onstage, the audience enthusiastically welcoming the reappearance of vocalist Johan Längquist. From the first lines of the dark thundering song The Well Of Souls, Längquist’s vocals sung straight into the soul, gripping the audience by the heartstrings. The sound was huge, rumbling and deep, almost velvety, through a series of earlier songs such as the addictively bleak rolling pulse of Mirror Mirror, which had the crowd singing along, fists in the air. Candlemass’ most recent album The Doors To Doom marked a triumphant return to the studio for Längquist and one of the most turbulent songs from this release that the audience at the Odeon was treated to was Astrolus – The Great Octopus.
The primal rhythmic intro ushered in the luridly chilling riff, with Längquist bringing a deeper, more operatic sound to this live rendition than the epic dimensions of the recording. Delivered with all its latent violence and rich sombre tones, and indeed mimicking the shy monster, the song pulled right before guitarist Lars Johansson let fly on a screamer of an extended solo. This slightly quirky, hypnotic song is undoubtedly one of the great modern gothic grotesques and evidence that Candlemass is still spawning doom metal mainstays over three decades after their first, now classic, release. Returning to the territory of essential earlier Candlemass songs, Bewitched rang through the entranced audience. To hear this song, that familiar, sinister groove, in such a different context than the seminal version recorded in ’87 by Messiah Marcolin, renowned for its beloved cult-status music video, was enlightening.
Splitting hairs between titans, Längquist’s performance of this massive Candlemass hit did grant it more austerity, while Johansson lured us in with the kind of solo that feels like it’s telling you a story. No Candlemass set would be complete without Bewitched and this was a very robust live performance of it. Then arrived a moment to behold. The harrowing, otherworldly melodic opening sequence of The Sorcerer’s Pledge pierced the energy of the night with nothing short of profound beauty before a frightening scream launched into the thick, tempestuous riffs of this early crowd favourite. The audience willingly surrendered to the great Candlemass ritual of chanting that iconic melody to the guiding pulse of the drum in an ethereal gathering before a huge finale ostensibly ended the set.
The night was, however, not over. As guitarist Mats Björkman launched into the distinctly doom-laden riffs of Black Trinity, Candlemass returned to lay out an epic encore. Jan Lindh treated us to a cameo on the drums that seemed to beat into our sternums before the dark melodic guitars and haunting vocal lines of the stately and magnificent song Solitude seeped into our veins. As Längquist released those resonant lyrics into the smoke-swirling air, every heart opened, and every heart bled, and the set once again masqueraded as over. Yet, at the behest of bassist Leif Edling, Candlemass’ long journey to Hobart warranted but one more song, which came in the form of the hectic pace and playful solos of Crystal Ball to incite a manic moshpit, as Candlemass bid us farewell. As the night faded to a whisper, there is no denying that it was a remarkable event, showcasing this majestic band on an almighty pedestal. And rightly so, Candlemass may be formative of a genre but is ultimately in a realm of its own.
Aggressive yet immersive, jarring yet relentless: these are the hallmarks of blackened death metal. At this complex nexus of enraged fire and dissonant nihilism, one finds Heresiarch. Hailing from New Zealand, this four-piece has become renowned for its dark and brutal form of blackened death metal since forming in 2008. In a perfect storm of confrontation and darkness, Heresiarch is bound for Tasmania to perform at the annual Dark Mofo ritual, Hymns To The Dead.
“The music should be harsh, violent and dark,” states Heresiarch’s vocalist N.H. on what defines their intense approach to blackened death metal. War metal, as this is sometimes known, is the theatre in which some of the gravest concepts are given the spotlight, and Heresiarch is unafraid to delve into the darkest reaches of what is possible, as N.H. explains, their “early material covers mass annihilation of mankind from inhuman forces. The murder of gods and the rejection of belief, hope and fate are central themes.”
More recently, Heresiarch has painted a desolate image of humanity’s future, “Our 2017 album [Death Ordinance] covers the fallout of apocalyptic war”, N.H. recounts, “resulting in societal and moral collapse, the malformed remnants of humanity fight for resource and survival with no higher purpose.”
This June, Heresiarch will perform at Hymns To The Dead as part of Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart, alongside Brazilian grandmasters of blackened satanic fury Mystifier, which promises to be a night of sonic intensity like no other. “The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here by Mystifier is a classic for me and had some influence on earlier material,” N.H. recalls as he reflects upon this massive lineup, “I purchased Funebrarum’s first album on LP when it came out. … We are looking forward to experiencing Hymns to the Dead.”
“It doesn’t change our approach,” N.H. resiliently states, regarding performance in the wider context of the Dark Mofo arts festival, for Heresiarch is unwavering in their musical mission, “we will perform our onslaught as we always do.”
So, how does N.H think an audience unfamiliar with Heresiarch will react to their intense, aggressive sound? N.H. enigmatically offers but one suggestive line, “We will see.”
On what we can expect from Heresiarch’s set at Hymns To The Dead, N.H. indicates that we are in for a chaotic ride through Heresiarch’s catalogue. He informs us, “The majority of our set will be Death Ordinance material with some songs from Wælwulf  and Hammer of Intransigence .”
Heresiarch - Harbinger - YouTube
Heresiarch has recently released a new single titled Dread Prophecy. Is this a sign of another album forthcoming? “Yes,” N.H. confirms, “we have been active with shows since Death Ordinance, touring the US twice as well as shows in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Following Hymns to the Dead we have no further scheduled shows for the immediate future. We will be recording another release in late June and we will continue writing our second album following this.”
Dread Prophecy will feature on
Scorn Coalescence, a forthcoming four-way split with Serpents
Athirst, Genocide Shrines and Trepanation, and is Heresiarch’s
first new release since 2017’s Death Ordinance. How do you
feel that your style has developed since then? “Our
sound is further solidified, new material will continue to evolve and
regress simultaneously,” N.H. reflects, and it seems that what is
to come is even more dire, as he continues, “thematically we
are continuing on from Death Ordinance but will amplify it with a
more violent, bleak and darker direction.”
Hymns To The Dead tickets available here. For more details on Dark Mofo click here.
Australia’s premier pirate metal ensemble Lagerstein have been hard at work on their new music video ‘Dig, Bury, Drink!’ which will coincide with the release of their upcoming new album 25/7 which will be released worldwide on August 23rd via Kegstand Records. Pre-orders are available here.
Having hit the studio earlier this year to record in Sweden with world famous producer Fredrik Nordström(Bring Me The Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Soilwork), Lagerstein’s upcoming album will be sliding into port on Friday 23rd August 2019 via Kegstand Records. ‘25/7’ boasts traditionally seaworthy instrumentation, scored with modern, distorted guitar work and coarse vocal outbursts that continues the seven-piece act’s legacy as one of the greatest “party bands” of modern metal. Take it from them, they Party All The Time.
‘Dig, Bury, Drink!, the first single from the band’s third studio album has Captain Gregarggh singing, “Rum on every island, our best idea yet / No matter where we sail, the party is set”. Listen in to triple j’s The Racket tonight from eight bells (Tuesday, 11th June at 10pm) as they spin the new single live on air.
“Dig, Bury, Drink” is currently available for stream and purchase through all major online outlets and streaming platforms. ’25/7′ pre-orders live now at www.lagerstein.com/lagershop. Clues and Treasure can be found at partytimesahoy.com from 4pm AEST Wednesday 12 June.
In addition to the new single, Lagerstein will venture across Europe for a monstrous tour to promote the upcoming new album. For more details head to the official Lagerstein Facebook page.
Captain Gregarggh, The Majestic Beast, Neil Rummy Rackers, Mother Junkst, Jacob, The Fiercest Pirate in all the Caribbean, Lucky The Great and Rusty Timbers make up Lagerstein, and this fearsome band of buccaneers unveil their new single just in time to unleash it on the crowds of Europe’s renowned Sabaton Open Air and Wacken Open Air festivals.
Earlier this year Melbourne melodic thrash quartet, Envenomed signed a deal with El Puerto Records, a label based out of Gerstetten, Germany. This will give the band a much-needed push in the European market as they have already dominated the Australian market for many years supporting top tier local and international touring artists, including Japan’s Loudness, The Iron Maidens and Dragonland.
The band’s previous European label Punishment 18 Records helped the band get a foothold of Europe, releasing their debut album Evil Unseen and two EPs.
The band’s current roster consists of Anthony Mavrikis on vocals and guitars, Tom Nugara on bass, Brendan Farrugia on lead guitars and newcomer, John Price on drums. On a side note, John Price is the new drummer for Envenomed yet, Dan Presland from Ne Obliviscaris holds this position on the album.
Envenomed have released the artwork for their latest release The Walking Shred. The album artwork was created by Melbourne based designer ThrashWolf, whose works include Taberah, Elm Street, Psycroptic and a slew of international artists.
The band have released a new metal anthem ‘Metal United’ (which is actually a bonus track on the new album) to promote the Metal United World Wide organisation.
ENVENOMED - Metal United (2019) // official Clip // El-Puerto-Records - YouTube
Envenomed will be performing in Melbourne on Saturday, June 15th at the Bendigo Hotel for Metal United World Wide alongside Dreadnaught, The Ascended, Lethal Vendetta and many more. Click here and smash that “going” button to let everyone know you’ll be there.
In addition, Envenomed will be jetting off to Europe this July to perform in Italy, Germany and France among other territories. Head to the official Envenomed Facebook page for full details.
Melbourne’s long-running metal cruise, Hell on the Bay is back for another year, presented by Brimstone Bookings. This year celebrating its seventh anniversary on the Victoria Star cruise ship in Melbourne, Australia. The first announcement of Hell on the Bay VII was made public in early April this year with Japanese heavy metallers Hell Dump, and most recently added Deadspace.
Hell Dump hail from Tskuba City, Ibaraki in Japan, carrying influences of GWAR, Zimmer’s Hole and Carnivore. The band released their second full-length album 201X last year through Slumber Records and are currently promoting their new single ‘Hey!Say!DUMP!’.
HELL DUMP 2nd FULL HELLBUM 「201X」ALL SONGS PREVIEW - YouTube
The latest addition to Hell on the Bay VII is one of Australia’s prominent extreme metal bands, Deadspace(not to be confused with the video game series). Hailing from Perth, Australia, the black metal ensemble has been steadily climbing the ranks of the metal world over the last couple of years, supporting a slew of local shows, plus Norwegian black metal kings Satyricon last year on their national tour dates.
Deadspace is currently promoting their fourth studio album Dirge, out now via Talheim Records.
Deadspace - Rapture [Official Video] - YouTube
Hell on the Bay VII will take place on Friday, 6th September 2019 on the Victoria Star cruise ship in Melbourne. Tickets for Hell on the Bay VII are currently on sale now here.
Soundworks Direct, the touring company behind the upcoming Disentomb national tour kicking off in July have confirmed the tour supports for all shows, including national supports Whoretopsy.
DISENTOMB, Whoretopsy + supports performing at:
July 12th – Melbourne / Northcote Social Club w/ Odiusembowel, Convulsing + Zeolite July 13th – Brisbane / The Tivoli (Dead Of Winter Festival)* July 20th – Sydney / Crowbar w/ Resist The Thought + Alchemy July 26th – Adelaide / Enigma Bar w/ Tzun Tzu + Putrescent Seepage July 27th – Hobart / The Brisbane Hotel w/ Mephistopheles + Zeolite *Whoretopsy not appearing
Tickets are currently on sale now via the following links.
Ben Rechter, the relatively new frontman and guitarist from Melbourne progressive metallers Circles, is a man who has music flowing through his veins and veritably flowing out of him like a tap. Formerly lead vocalist for his own band, the excellent but highly underrated Glass Empire, he also currently plays in another band called Cityhalls, produces other peoples’ music, plays multiple different instruments and generally lives to write, play and release music. In a recent chat, he confirms that he is the type of musician who constantly creates, doesn’t take breaks from writing, and finds that he has so many ideas they actually begin to encroach on his day to day life.
“Yeah, I can’t help it really,” he laughs, “when I come home
I’ll always be sitting down with a guitar in my hand, or even when I’m out and
about I’ll have ideas pop into my head and I just have to quickly run away for
a second and hum it into my phone so I can remember to make it into a song
later.” And it just so happens that the other three members of Circles are
exactly the same. “Ted’s much the same way,” he continues, speaking of the band’s
other guitarist, as well as backing vocalist and co-founding member Ted
Furuhashi, “he’s got a massive library of riffs, so between the two of us there’s
a fair few ideas. Even (drummer) Dave and (bassist and backing vocalist) Drew
have thrown in ideas. Dave will come up with beats and send them to us and we’ll
try and write something off of that. It’s good, everyone gets involved.
“So there’s always ideas floating around. Whether or not they’re good ideas or not is a different matter,” he laughs again.
Circles - Tether (official music video) - YouTube
As far as lyrical ideas are concerned, Rechter definitely has something to say about life and the world, although it may not be spelt out or spoon-fed for easy, lowest common denominator consumption. “As far as lyric writing goes, I think I come from the Ian Kenny, Kim Benzie world of lyric writing, where, if you read it you can certainly get some meaning out of it but it’s layered in a way that’s maybe not too obvious.”
For the uninitiated, Rechter joined the band some years ago as guitarist and backing vocalist. A year and a half to two years later he took over lead vocal duties from much-loved former frontman Perry Kakridas. Taking over from a well-known singer is always a daunting prospect, especially when the voice and presence of the two artists in question are so profoundly different, however, after some initial trepidation about it all, it is now locked in and is ticking over beautifully. “Now it just feels like it’s been forever,” he admits.
“It was definitely kind of uncertain, we weren’t sure exactly what was going to happen, I wasn’t sure if my voice was the right one for the band. But everyone came together to make it work. Drew took over all of the screaming, which is good because I can’t scream for shit any more! And Ted came in and started doing some more vocals as well, everyone is just more involved. So we got through that period and came out the other side tighter as a unit because we all work hard together to make it work.
“So, tricky in the moment, but I think it’s ended up being a pretty positive thing.”
Circles - Breaker (official premiere) - YouTube
Of course, the biggest litmus test of such a change is how the often fickle, ‘stuck in the ways’ fans react to it all, and while there have been a few rumblings of dissatisfaction here and there from a vocal minority, the overwhelming vibe has been that of openness and positivity towards it. “I’ve found it incredibly positive,” he states, “the same thing when we were figuring out how it was going to work, I was pretty nervous about if I was going to suit, about how older fans were going to react to ‘who the hell’s this dude? Where’s what I’ve gotten used to?’
“But they ended up being super-supportive, they would come
up at shows and just be really loving and supportive of me singing, saying they
knew it was hard to lose a lead singer, but then everyone came together to make
it work, they seemed appreciative that we’d made it work. And we were really
damn appreciative back that they accepted it.”
Now, well into 2019, things are turning over like a well-oiled,
beautifully maintained machine, and mid-year finds the band on the road across
Australia with Kiwis City of Souls and very promising Ballarat band Ebonivory.
While the ‘Winter Tour’ may not be the most imaginative name for a tour in
Australia in July, there is a deeper meaning to it as well. “Yeah look, we
know,” he admits, laughing, “but it is also based around our song Winter too, so it’s multi-layered. We’re
much deeper than we seem.
“We’ve been rehearsing the set for a few weeks now, and it’s all coming together pretty good. We hope to see a bunch of friends out there, and make a bunch of new ones and have some good times.”
Catch Circles on their upcoming winter national tour with special guests City of Souls and Ebonivory. Click here to secure your tickets through Wild Thing Presents. To find out more, head to the band’s official Facebook page.
Melbourne’s premier power metal ensemble, Black Majesty, has officially confirmed the band’s newest member, Clinton Bidie. The band recently parted ways with longtime guitarist, Steve Janevski, who played a pivotal role in the evolution of the band since 2002.
Clinton Bidie, whose influences include Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore and Eddie Van Halen, was formally welcomed via social media on the band’s official Facebook page with the following message from Clinton Bidie.
I have been a fan of Black Majesty for years. I’ve been to many gigs, standing up front, screaming my head off to the lyrics and have always been blown away by the energy of the band’s performance. Most of all, I have always admired the songwriting and superb musicianship.
As a special treat, Black Majesty will be performing in Melbourne on Sunday, 13th October in support of the upcoming Turilli / Lione Rhapsody event in conjunction with the Southern Gathering, presented by Overdrive Touring. Click here to secure your tickets today!
It is obvious thought has been put into the creation of this bill, it is about as varied as can be imagined for a local rock night of this nature at a small venue, whilst still remaining highly enjoyable and palatable for the very solid throng of punters who have come out on this cool late-Autumn Melbourne evening. It is The Omnific’s night, but we are in for a real journey before we get to this evening’s headliner.
On paper, to a purist, Abbey
Rose probably doesn’t belong on this bill. But to the more open-minded
music aficionado, that’s just pigeonholing bullshit. She opens proceedings in
about the most fun and different way possible, her jazzy pop-rock an absolute delight.
For a moment some punters may have thought they had strayed into the Nightcat,
a jazz venue at the other end of Brunswick Street, by mistake, but she wins us
over quickly with her simultaneously sassy and understated presence, her smoky,
infectious voice and witty between-song banter. The band behind her, two of
whom interestingly play with sheet music on a stand in front of them, lock in
in a tight and jammy manner behind her, and her 30 minute opening set puts a
smile on the dial of every last punter. She even gets many a black-clad rocker
movin’ and a-groovin’ along to the bluesy tunes, especially the vibey last two
Time to take an even greater step out into left field. Melbourne
three-piece Malcura is an oddity, although
a highly enjoyable one. Two acoustic guitarists and a drummer throwing flamenco
music into a pot with a pinch of spicy rock ‘n’ roll and seeing what comes out.
And what comes out is a highly eclectic and entertaining all-instrumental show
(although there are the odd vocal moments here and there). Their set is percussive,
it is propulsive, and it is progressive and again the crowd laps it up like the
kitty who got the cream (the relentless cries of “you’re a bunch of sick c*nts”
are testament to this). Their own highly unique instrumental take on The
Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black is a
Toehider are a phenomenon, albeit a highly underrated one. A truly unique presence in the Aussie progressive rock landscape, they are as heavily influenced by Van Halen and Queen as they are by Tool, combining blindingly dextrous musicianship with soaring, 80s-esque vocals. Tonight as first support they get a full hour to wind out and show us what they can do. Main man Mike Mills dazzles with his blistering fretboard abilities, often matching that with his multi-octave voice, and the band behind him are just as skilled on their individual instruments. But the highlights of a Toehider show are the quirky but exhilarating songs, such as This Conversation is Over, Millions of Musketeers and How do Ghosts Work?, and the effortless, extroverted showmanship, and tonight is not an exception.
And those grins just keep coming as The Omnific take the stage. It is an exciting time for this
relatively new band, a band that has come a long way in a short time: tonight
is their hometown EP launch and tomorrow they jet off for their very first overseas
The diverse nature of this evening’s bill is emphasised
right down to the last moment. This band’s twin-bass, progressive instrumental wizardry
is a joy to behold. In fact, their show is not just a bass guitar tour de
force, every show this band does is actually like a professional bass guitar lesson. And not just a lesson in
how to smoothly and dexterously get your way around a bass’s fretboard, but
also how to lock into the pocket with other players while you blind people with
Tonight the band bring in extra laser lighting, which is
highly effective and adds an aura to the show, although it is blinding when it
hits you right in the retina. They give the crowd a solid 50 minutes of bass
histrionics in the context of their compelling instrumental compositions,
mainly garnered from the EP they are launching, The Mind’s Eye, plus a heavily
demanded encore, and they send the crowd home happy that they, and the bill
they’ve provided this evening, have given them a wild musical ride.
The Omnific. We must be thankful that such an enjoyable anomaly
exists. At all, let alone in our country, and city.