Northlane are a chart topping, award-winning metal band from Sydney, Australia. Through fearless evolution and unmatched innovation, Northlane are vanguards of heavy music across the globe. The band’s critically acclaimed sixth record, Obsidian (2022), debuted at #1 on the ARIA Album Chart – their second #1 and fourth Top #3 album overall. They have also won three consecutive ARIA Awards for Best Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Album as well as an AIR Award for Best Independent Heavy Album.
Thy Art Is Murder
Thy Art Is Murder
Privatized prisons enforce police states, where nonviolent offenders languish for decades. Pharmaceuticals numb the mind. Social media distracts the spirit. All while the very planet lurches toward an inevitable climate disaster that will extinguish humanity. The Nightmare of Human Organ Harvesting? That’s not a gruesome song title from some forgotten old-school death metal record. It’s a headline from the Wall Street Journal.
Against this backdrop of postmodern dystopia, chaos, and confusion, arrives Human Target, the earth-scorching fifth album from extreme metal titans THY ART IS MURDER.
Australia’s most brutally alarming cultural export since George Miller’s Mad Max franchise makes music that serves as a loud last gasp against the ever-encroaching void. It’s a blazing light of nihilistic despondency before the final darkness. Fusing authentic crushing death metal with blackened fury and flashes of knuckle-dragging stomp, THY ART IS MURDER exorcise the pangs of mortality and the pains of socio-political trauma.
It’s a reinvigoration and redefinition of a thriving subculture that has earned them a place in the Top 50 Most Popular Metal Bands Right Now, According to the Internet, a list compiled by a popular metal blog (based on worldwide page views) that puts THY ART IS MURDER among Metallica, Slipknot, Slayer, Megadeth, Ghost, and Iron Maiden.
THY ART IS MURDER’s thinking-person’s blackened death metal has challenged and inspired audiences around the globe, from top-tier genre festivals like Download, Graspop, Hellfest, and Summer Breeze; to high-profile tours supporting Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Architects; to multiple headlining and co-headlining shows. In their native country, they’ve charted higher than any other homegrown extreme metal band. They even toured North America with Slayer as part of Rockstar Mayhem.
Guitarist/cofounder Sean Delander, guitarist/lyricist Andy Marsh, singer Chris “CJ” McMahon, and bassist Kevin Butler officially welcome drummer Jesse Beahler (Jungle Rot, Black Crown Initiate, Rings Of Saturn) into the fold with Human Target, who brought a groovy yet technical approach to the proceedings. Marsh and Delander wrote the songs in just a few short weeks, with producer Will Putney once again at the helm.
THY ART IS MURDER continues to rail against the anti-intellectualism and fear of mortality at the heart of some of the worst of public policy. In contrast with their impressive back catalog, no song on Human Target singles out organized religion or the concept of God specifically. The title track is about the practice of organ harvesting in China, where the World Heath Organization found a huge discrepancy in the number of organs volunteered by donors and the number of organs transplanted into the wealthy.
“Make America Hate Again” isn’t intended to alienate any of the leftist band’s more right leaning audience members; it’s an attack against the entire political system, satirizing the expectation that any government will make things “great” for the masses.
“New Gods” is about the role of social media in the mental health epidemic. “Death Squad Anthem” champions the youth who are fed up with the current system. “Atonement” is both a brutal examination concerning the truth of sexual violence, most of which goes unreported, and a literal atonement of sorts for some of the band’s less thoughtful lyrics, around the time of the original lineup’s formation a dozen years ago.
“Welcome Oblivion,” inspired by a line from the late Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality, likens humankind to a “cancer” upon the planet. “Eye for an Eye” subversively ascribes a patient vengeance to the earth, an earth that will survive the “cancer” of humanity. “Voyeurs into Death” attacks the surveillance state and for-profit-prisons. “Chemical Christ” is about the religion of addiction, from pharmaceuticals to “smart” phones.
Standing on the mountain top of a breakout debut album effort, 2021 finds Thornhill travelling at breakneck speed towards global heavy domination. The band – comprising vocalist Jacob Charlton, guitarists Ethan McCann and Matt Van Duppen, bassist Nick Sjogren and drummer Ben Maida – have media, industry and heavy faithfuls pining for another lick of Thornhill.
From their hometown in Melbourne, the five-piece l broke out of the local scene with a pair of EPs in ’13’ (2016) and ‘Butterfly’ (2018) – spawning support slots alongside scene heroes including Northlane, Architects, Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, Beartooth, Make Them Suffer and The Plot In You, before their full-length assault, ‘The Dark Pool’ arrived a year later.
Presenting commanding singles including ‘Nurture’ and ‘Coven’, dynamic soundscapes like ‘Where We Go When We Die’ and gripping themes on humanity, anxiety and loss, ‘The Dark Poo’l was a winning full-length debut effort. Awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album and additions countless Best Of The Year lists, the release also saw Thornhill awarded nominations including Best International Breakthrough Artist at the 2020 Heavy Music Awards, and Best Independent Heavy Album/EP at the 2020 AIR Awards.
Possessing a sonic character and resolve few young bands can claim to grasp, Thornhill are set to take the world of modern heavy over once and for all.
After taking out the triple j unearthed high crown in 2020, the Adelaide two-piece have not slowed down – in the last 18 months the self proclaimed “Juice-box punk-pop” girls have taken out #87 in the 2020 H100, #84 in the 2021 H100, released their debut EP ‘Taste Of Me’ and won a record breaking 7 Awards at the 2021 SAM Awards including awards for ‘Best New Artist’, ‘Best Live Performance’ and ‘Best Release’.
Going from strength to strength, Teenage Joans spent 2022 on tour with (now lifelong friends) Ball Park Music, Violent Soho The Chats, Bugs, Sly Withers as well as played arenas around the country supporting Amy Shark before heading on their debut sold out national tour. They were also invited to perform at festivals such as Spin Off, Full Tilt, Summer Sounds, Yours & Owls, NYE On the Hill, Unify, Land Of Plenty & many more to come and were due to support the Foo Fighters nationally on their now-cancelled tour for late 2022.
Make Them Suffer
Make Them Suffer
Make Them Suffer formed out of the local metal and hardcore scene in Perth, Western Australia in 2008. The local music scene would serve to develop the band in their formative years before touring nationally and internationally in years to follow. Birthed from symphonic elements, Make Them Suffer embrace classical and modern digital virtual instruments and samples, with nods to the likes of Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Halestorm, Jinjer and Spiritbox driving their adaptation on the metalcore genre. Recently adding new vocalist and keyboardist Alex Reade into the role of “The Fifth Member” for Make Them Suffer, Reade‘s first encounter with the band simultaneously was when she stepped off a flight landing in Brisbane for the production of the group’s Doomswitch video.
In Hearts Wake
In Hearts Wake
Australia’s In Hearts Wake are a band on an urgent mission. The power and purpose behind their fifth album KALIYUGA is evident in every facet of its making.
Besides their recording and manufacturing process — which the band have totally carbon offset and have planted a tree in India for every physical copy sold — In Hearts Wake break boundaries sonically, by braiding diverse styles together in service to a wide-ranging scope of songs and performances. KALIYUGA is at once a bigger-picture album, but an intimate and autobiographical one too. Combining massive thundering hellfire with personal transparency, infectious hooks with chainsaw riffs and primal rhythms, IHW sharpen and blend the edges between captivating melody and merciless heaviness.
KALIYUGA is geared for inciting widespread positive action and breaking new ground in order to tackle the most pressing crises on the planet today. This is infectious and inspiring conscious heavy music for these times.
Since their formation in Hearts Wake had devoted themselves to intense and relentless touring, looping the globe and Australia repeatedly until 2017, with multiple tours of the US, Europe, and Asia. During this time, the band became an international bright light in the heavy music scene and one of Australia’s leading heavy music acts.
To become the head of the pack, it takes heart, guts, and determination. Over the last 24 months, Melbourne metalcore juggernauts Alpha Wolf have proven they have all three in abundance. 2020 saw the release of their Sophomore album ‘a quiet place to die’, which was the culmination of every lesson learnt, every hit taken, and every loss felt; and it lead the band to a #6 charting spot on the ARIA charts and nomination for Best Heavy Album at the ARIA awards. ‘a quiet place to die’ is the end result of five individuals who have faced the fire and refuse to flinch, pouring their everything into making something they are truly proud of. Through all the chaos these last few years have been able to throw at the band, they’ve still managed to play multiple headlining runs of sold out shows, secured places on some of the biggest festivals in Australia, and have their eyes securely set on the international scene. Alpha Wolf have shown that nothing this world can throw at them is going to stop them from tearing apart the metalcore scene.
Australia’s Yours Truly are 2021’s must-watch in the alternative scene. Huge international touring credits, media and radio trailblazing and a burgeoning brood of fans are just some of the successes that back this band, but it’s the knack for punchy songwriting and performance deep in their DNA that makes this four-piece really tick.
From their hometown in Sydney, Yours Truly first broke out with their 2019 EP ‘Afterglow’ and went on to spend the rest of the year gracing stages including Download UK, Riot Fest and Good Things and supporting rock heroes including Sum 41 and State Champs on their international quests. In 2020 the band followed with their full-length ‘Self Care’, which saw the band awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album and Tone Deaf’s Record Of The Week, alongside band nominations for Rolling Stone’s Best New Artist and Best International Breakthrough Band at the UK Heavy Awards. If that wasn’t enough, their pulsing, urgent and frustration-filled 2021 single ‘Walk Over My Grave’ arrived to a tidal wave of local and international success.
Possessing a power and poise few young bands can claim to grasp, it’s this vision and resolve that will see Yours Truly take the world over.
Aussie oddballs Ocean Grove freely fuse rock, metal, grunge, hip-hop & Brit-pop influences, pioneering what can only be described as 𝗢𝗱𝗱𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗰™️. The eclectic Melbourne-bred trio have released three technicolored LPs, most recently ‘Flip Phone Fantasy’ (2020) and ‘Up In The Air Forever’ (2022). A full-hearted mix of big-sky melodies and some of the most unique storytelling ever to come from a three-piece rock band, Ocean Grove’s third LP expands on many of the things that made ‘Flip Phone Fantasy’ such a hit – huge choruses, irresistible riffs and catchy sloganeering lyrics – but now rendered with a new sense of scope and scale. Hazy, nostalgic guitars wrap themselves around swaggering pop savvy, the trio’s ambition evident on every layer, from meticulous song crafting to head-spinning concepts. A record that looks as far forward into an alternate future as it does take heed from the classics of the past, ‘Up In The Air Forever’ traverses from genre to genre, taking in guest appearances from international chart-toppers Dune Rats (Aus) and Lizzo / Travis Barker collaborator Lil Aaron (USA).
Void Of Vision
Void Of Vision
Since their burst onto the metal scene ten years ago, Australia’s Void Of Vision have consolidated their position as one of the most innovative bands in heavy music today. Now, on the heels of their most sonically striking and visually elaborate release to date, the CHRONICLES series, the group are poised to dominate the global stage.
From the heaving four tracks pulsing on LUST, to the towering soundscapes of HEAVEN and the futuristic, industrial flavours of UNDERWORLD, CHRONICLES as a whole entity traverses the past, present and scintillating future of the relentlessly inventive Void Of Vision sonic DNA.
2023 sees Void Of Vision share stages with global heavyweights such as Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Polaris, Holding Absence and more, plus a recent collaboration with PhaseOne sees the band grow more roots into the electronic music scene with the ambitious crossover track ‘Eyes Wide Shut’.
You won’t want your eyes to be shut when Void Of Vision take to the stage at UNIFY Off The Record, with even more news to be unveiled later in 2023.
Emerging from the ashes of past local projects in the inner suburbs of Brisbane, Young Lions serve their listeners up anthemic alt-rock reminiscent of 2000’s era 30 Seconds to Mars and Coldplay. The four piece has spent the last couple of years honing their signature sound on the road with bands like Taking Back Sunday, Shihad, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Silverstein, The Dead Love, Dream on Dreamer, and Hands Like Houses which all gained traction after the release of their concept album ‘Mr. Spaceman.’ Having evolved their style into something truly unique and powerful, Young Lions’ have just released their much anticipated 4th studio album “Make a Rainbow and Put it in the Sky” and are stronger than ever.
Wildheart have stormed onto the Australian hardcore scene, solidifying themselves as a heavy, emotional outfit. Demanding the attention of punters through their relentless live performances, Wildheart passionately advocate for open conversation and action surrounding mental health, social injustice, and discrimination through their lyrics that tackle topics such as Indigenous land rights, deaths in custody, and political neutrality in times of crisis. Fronted by Proud Yugambeh man, vocalist Axel Best strikes home their social justice message with authority and a savage lyrical delivery on their debut album ‘Global Crisis’, released in November 2021.
Off the back of the release of their debut album Global Crisis, Wildheart have played several successful festival slots including Unify Gathering, Halloween Hysteria, and Bigsound, sold out shows across a multitude of Queensland venues, and performed alongside heavyweight acts including Holding Absence (UK), Northlane, Alpha Wolf, & Void of Vision. Their album Global Crisis was named as Release of the Year at the 2022 Gold Coast Music Awards, and saw the band nominated as finalists in a number of categories at both the Gold Coast Music Awards and the Queensland Music Awards in 2022.
Wildheart are taking on an incredibly important role in speaking up on the issues affecting the communities and people around them, and are truly a band to watch out for.
Fit For An Autopsy
Fit For An Autopsy
Survival depends on evolution. As conditions change and tides turn, we must change with them in order to stay one step ahead of the coming challenges. It’s clear that Fit For An Autopsy have embraced that mantra as they continue to perpetually evolve with each subsequent body of work. Not just blurring, but eradicating the lines between technical metal virtuosity, death metal menace, hardcore intensity, melodic insidiousness, and abstract approaches, the New Jersey band embody an uncompromising vision of their own.
The six-piece—Joseph Badolato [vocals], Patrick Sheridan [guitar], Timothy Howley [guitar], Will Putney [guitar], Peter Blue Spinazola [bass], and Josean Orta Martinez [drums]—perfect this approach on their sixth full-length offering, Oh What The Future Holds [Nuclear Blast Records].
“It’s clear we don’t sound like we did when we started the band,” observes founding guitarist and main songwriter Putney. “Obviously, we’re taking the music in different directions. We’ve drifted into other styles, and our tastes have changed. So, it’s natural. But we’re definitely the most satisfied we’ve ever been with our music. If you were there from the beginning, there will always be something for you. However, it’s moving forward.”
Fit For An Autopsy have never stopped moving forward though. Following their caustic 2011 debut The Process of Human Extermination, the group quietly carved out a place among extreme metal’s modern vanguard with their second LP Hellbound. Revolver cited 2015’s Absolute Hope Absolute Hell among “15 Essential Deathcore Albums.” And In the wake of The Great Collapse two years later, the band had truly created their own space in the realm of what could be described as “post-deathcore”. This ascent reached another level on the 2019 opus The Sea of Tragic Beasts. Widespread praise from the fans and press alike is all but too common for their refreshing approach to modern aggressive music both on record and in concert.
When the Global Pandemic changed everyone’s tour plans, Fit For An Autopsy dove into writing in spring 2020 and made the most of their time off the road.
“We had no real timeline, so we didn’t feel much pressure,” says Putney. “Once we realized touring wasn’t opening up, we decided to have fun with the process. I got to spend more time than I usually do on records. We definitely took some of the songs into new places because of that. It’s our longest album. We composed more than we ever have and it was a rewarding feeling to put real work into all these ideas.”
In early 2021, Fit For An Autopsy congregated in-person at Putney’s Graphic Nature Audio and recorded Oh What The Future Holds. Now, they introduce the album with the single “Far From Heaven.” Swirling as a perfect storm, airy guitar cuts through a pummeling percussive groove as melodic vocals slip into a guttural groan offset by neck-snapping riffs and powerful dynamics.
“The world we exist in is clearly “far from heaven”. Institutions are exploited, and people are taken advantage of. There’s a power struggle between those in control and those who aren’t. This is a fairly literal reflection on the world today.”
“I always like it when aggressive music makes people think,” he leaves off. “Having a message is important to us. Maybe you’ll reflect on what we’re saying, see how it applies to you, and question some things. Or…maybe it’s just soundtrack to let some anger out. I’m fine with that too.”
In the end, Fit For An Autopsy haven’t just personally evolved on Oh What The Future Holds; they’ve brought heavy music with them.
Combining melodic and fierce instrumentation with emotive lyrics and impassioned vocals has always been a recipe for success in the Melodic Hardcore genre, and is something that Bloom pride themselves on their ability to achieve.
Forming in 2017, Bloom has always strived to put their heart and soul into every single release, exploring themes from broken relationships to grieving the loss of a family member. Their capability to convey deep emotion through surging and soaring songwriting with memorable hooks and choruses are second to none. Their last release “In Passing” follows the narrative of loss & grief and showcases Blooms’ aptitude to embrace the things that can be hard to talk about. The energy they put into their releases is amplified through their live performances, channeling raw passion and precision into every show they play.
In Passing saw the band burst into the wider Aus music scene, touring with the likes of Thornhill, Void of Vision, Holding Absence as well as festivals such as Unify Gathering & Cvlt Fest.
The first lyrics put to paper for Banks Arcade were “I always wanted to make history” and through every step of the way we have tried to live by that motto. The band was formed on the sentiment of “wanting more” and from the get go BA tried to push any boundaries as far as they could go. Theres always been an intensity to the way we work. Every project is worked on with this fire and we always manage to thrive in chaos. We aren’t afraid to risk everything we have to create something extraordinary and no matter how much success we have we will always find a way to come back and connect with that element of risk and excitement in our process. Combining our shared love of music with a modern aesthetic, the boys established their sound and, in 2020 independently released their sophomore EP “Fever Dreams” which amassed over a million streams. Banks arcade is made up of characters with vastly different personalities and we are all crazy in our own right, but we have such a tight connection. Most of the time spent together is exciting and we love every second of it. “We make modern music that is meant for big stages, we want to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves, and we want to have a good f***** time while we’re at it. That’s about all we live for.”
Already a burgeoning force to be reckoned with in the modern Australian musical landscape, Sydney alternative maestros Reliqa are taking no prisoners in 2022, with a string of high profile live shows already under their belts this year as well as the release of their latest EP I Don’t Know What I Am.
A relentless, polished and explosive endeavour across the space of six tracks, I Don’t Know What I Am furthers Reliqa’s stronghold as one of the most affluent alternative acts in the modern scene, with sharp riffage, brisk drumwork, djenty interludes and the steadfast stylings of vocalist Monique Pym lying in wait on the group’s follow up to 2018’s Eventide EP.
To accompany the announcement of I Don’t Know What I Am today, Reliqa have also released a brand new single and music video for the EP’s midway hard-hitter Safety, which also wields a ferocious feature courtesy of Make Them Suffer’s Sean Harmanis.
Five piece metalcore group Alienist are flying the flag for Wollongong, Australia! Moving the same circles as Wage War, Gideon and Polaris when it comes to the energy burning on record. Their songs fkn go in. Triple J Unearthed Winners. Featured on Triple J and other radio stations across the world.
Raised As Wolves
Raised As Wolves
Formed in 2012, Raised as wolves are a 3 piece melodic punk band Wollongong/Sydney NSW. Brought up and heavily influenced by the melodic edge and energy of 90’s pop punk; Raised as Wolves present a very musical brand of punk rock full of loud guitars, raucous drums and catchy choruses.
The Beautiful Monument
The Beautiful Monument
A high energy, hard hitting and attention grabbing stage presence seamlessly flowing into raw, vulnerable and often confronting lyrics. Hooking into emotions and fears felt by everyone in the room and offering fans a moment of catharsis and reflection without being alone.
Its okay not to be okay, a theme that The Beautiful Monument has carried through their debut and sophomore albums and that seems more poignant now than ever before.
“Very rarely does one come across a band that hits as heavy and magnificently as the Beautiful Monument. Boasting an arsenal of genuinely memorable songs and strong, energetic stage presence, these ladies are ready to take on the world” – Alternative Press
Abeyance: a state of temporary disuse or inactivity.
More accurately, the polar opposite to Adelaide rockers alt.’s modus operandi, emerging from a turbulent few years armed with rejuvenated focus and ferocity, as well as their debut full-length album Abeyance ready to stupefy the senses and catapult one of the city of churches’ brightest stars further into the spotlight.
Set to release their debut album via Resist Records and SharpTone Records, 2022 culminates the swift years alt. have spent honing their signature brand of punk, pop, electronic and alternative rock since first erupting onto the scene back in 2019. An amalgamation of the sharp light and shade of Bring Me The Horizon, the dark pop magic of Billie Eilish, the lush flow of Post Malone and the emphatic gloss and the affable grit of Don Broco, alt.’s expansive journey stems back to their debut single insubordinate, with the accompanying video dropping on the Dreambound YouTube channel in 2019, and subsequent music videos for tracks Chasing Safety, Nothingwithoutyou and Pariah collectively snapping up over 200,000 views and counting.
Releasing their hotly anticipated debut EP dysfunctional in 2020, alt. further established their status as rising heavyweights, with critics resoundingly praising the EP’s versatility, instrumentation, energy and sparkling production. Working with the likes of Trenton Woodley (Hands Like Houses), Jimmy Alexander and Luke McKenzie (Awaken I Am), Zachary Britt (Young Lions, Dream On, Dreamer), Chris Lalic (Windwaker) and producer Callan Orr (Dream On, Dreamer, Young Lions, Bad/Love) on dysfunctional to bring the enthralling and eclectic seven tracks to life, dysfunctional has since gone on to clock over two million streams since its release.
Translating their modern sonic nostalgia into unforgettable live experiences along the way, 2020 offered alt. the chance to perform their debut EP for fans in their hometown, with the band going on to join the likes of Belle Haven and Bad/Love on their respective national tours in 2021. But it’s in 2022 that alt. have ramped up their legendary live shows to towering new heights, accompanying Northlane in June for the group’s national Australian tour alongside Plini and Sleep Token, as well as joining Aussie icons Karnivool, Cog and sleepmakeswaves for an unforgettable evening at Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide in August. With an ever-growing fanbase and a knack for crafting bold and infectious creations, alt. are already household names to many, with 2022 set to take the burgeoning alt. legacy to unimaginable new heights courtesy of their debut album Abeyance; but this impending new album itself stems back to extremely early days for the band.
“We actually started writing songs for Abeyance just before dysfunctional came out,” says alt. vocalist Dan Richards of the new album’s conception. “Two of the songs that are on Abeyance were being written just before dysfunctional was released. The ideas for this record have been around pretty much since before people even really knew we were a band”.
With ten tracks lying in wait on Abeyance, alt. run the gamut of the human experience and sonic flexibility, from the electronic bounce of the introductory PARASITE to the glistening menace of A.D.D, oscillating rock and sparse pop-fuelled hip hop on THE ONLY GOOD THINGS and the soaring emotives of BETTER OFF LEAVING. Equal parts multifaceted, confident and dynamically cohesive, Abeyance ultimately also finds alt. unequivocally exploding beyond their comfort zones, with one key track proving to be the integral key to unlocking this latest sonic chapter.
“We didn’t really know what Abeyance was going to sound like initially,” Richards reveals of the album’s early days. “The first two songs that we had for Abeyance were polar opposites from each other, they were WRAITH and BETTER OFF LEAVING, the former being pretty much the first proper track and the latter being the last song on the album. We started off trying to fill in the gaps between those at first, but a few songs after that we really found what we wanted the sound to be – and it all really started with A.D.D, that was the first song we wrote that we were like: ‘Yep, this is the sound of Abeyance!’”.
Initially recording seven songs designed to release as a follow up EP to dysfunctional, the ultimate Abeyance end product saw alt. team up once again with some of their previous collaborators, including significantly levelling up pre-production with returning Melbourne-based producer Callan Orr.
“We were just going to do a second EP – then we got told to do an album,” reveals Richards. “So we wrote three more songs, including PARASITE, and went back and recorded those songs. We worked with Callan Orr in Melbourne for the whole release again, but this time we did more pre-production with him. With dysfunctional we did pre-production with other people and then recorded with Callan; this time we did most of that with Callan.
“We also worked on a couple of songs with Marcus Bridge of Northlane, Landon Tewers from The Plot In You, Zach Britt from Dream On, Dreamer and Trenton from Hands Like Houses. Outside of that, it was mostly in-house, we beefed up songs with Cal and he recorded, mixed and mastered everything”.
Wielding songs capable of breaking hearts, shattering speakers and bewitching ears at every twist and turn, Abeyance expertly flexes alt.’s staggering technicality and flourishing grasp on vivid modernity amongst moments of sentimental flair. And while lyrics like “I just wanna feel right / Truth is that I’m broken” or “I cannot see without you and me” dole out plenty of the alt. sentimentality witnessed on earlier releases, Abeyance marches defiantly into the dark, emerging with cathartic vigour and unwavering relatability.
“There was a big focus on having the variation within the sounds on the album because that’s always something that we want to do,” says Richards of the oscillating styles throughout Abeyance. “We don’t want every song to sound the same. Lyrically on a personal level, Abeyance is very open for interpretation, but the songs do have a meaning and the whole album has a meaning as a whole: it’s like being stuck between not really loving the world that we live in, but then also having a fear of death. It’s like: ‘I don’t love this, but I don’t want that either’. It’s just being stuck in a tricky situation, and I feel like people will relate to a lot of these songs”.
A band firmly blazing the trail for the newest generation in the heavier melodic scene, alt. are primed to once again affirm their status as gripping genre-defiant experts of the highest order; and Abeyance is the irresistible fruition of a group entirely in tune with who they are at their core.
“We are probably more excited than we’ve ever been about Abeyance just because I feel like we’ve got some good support behind us,” shares Richards. “We feel confident about this release and that shows in the tracks. I feel like something that dysfunctional didn’t have was that confidence. And I feel like this whole album isn’t us wondering what we sound like. Instead, it’s us declaring: ‘We know this is our sound, and this is it’. And we are hitting it all guns blazing”.
“It’s always daunting, putting this thing that you’ve spent two and a bit years working on,” Richards concludes. “I just hope that people enjoy the journey of it and enjoy what it’s all about. And hopefully it helps some people who can take something away from it and what they need of it in their own lives”.
Abeyance is out June 16 via Resist Records and SharpTone Records.
Dan Richards Vocals
Simon Aistrope Guitar
Daniel Wells-Smith Guitar
James Declan Drums
Oscar Harding Bass
The Last Martyr
The Last Martyr
Melbourne-based heavy outfit The Last Martyr have returned in 2021 with a new single, ‘Hindsight,’ a fierce tune with bounce that almost makes you forget that you allowed yourself to be manipulated.
Produced by Windwaker’s, Chris Lalic,’ the first demo of ‘Hindsight’ was written by newcomer to the band, Ricky Andres (bass), bringing a modern electronic and nu-metal influence to TLM’s heavy rock sound. The lyrics were downloaded straight to paper in the studio amidst vocalist, Monica, processing a friendship breakdown.
A VHS-inspired music video was released 10 days after the audio directed by Her Name is Murder Productions (Sepultura, Ocean Grove, Redhook) and draws on late-90s influences like Coal Chamber and Korn. The chaotic visuals have been described as something you’d see on Rage at 3am and were premiered through Maniacs.
The song landed national and international radio play including Triple J Rotation and the converted Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist in the week beginning 28 June.
The band are set to drop their second single, ‘Afterglow’ late-August followed by a small run of shows with Adelaide’s Heartline in September and appearance at Halloween Hysteria Festival in October.
With a new EP, ‘Purgatory,’ coming out this November, TLM are just getting started in showing why they’re a band to keep an eye on.
Sydney alternative rock mutants RedHook officially spawned in 2018 with the arrival of their debut singles ‘Minute On Fire’ and ‘Turn Up The Stereotype’, which clocked up over 2 million streams across YouTube (largely through fan-generated content) and earned rave media reviews, including two coveted 5 star triple j Unearthed reviews from ‘Good Nights’ presenter Bridget Hustwaite and ‘Short.fast.loud’ host Josh Merriel.
The strength of these first two releases was also enough to attract the attention of the promoter of one of the biggest rock & metal festivals on earth, Download UK, who swiftly booked RedHook to play the 2019 instalment of the festival.
Featuring the core songwriting duo of Emmy Mack and Craig Wilkinson, two strangers from opposite ends of regional NSW whose paths collided after moving to Sydney in 2017 and bonding over the role that music has played in both of their lives, RedHook combine with young gun drummer Alex Powys to create experimental, heartfelt and attitude-filled alternative music with a powerful message that consistently defies classification. They’ve been dubbed everything from pop-punk to death metal and that’s just the way they like it, with a forward-thinking and elastic approach to their craft that revolves around each individual song as a piece of art, in defiance of antiquated genre constraints.
The RedHook whirlwind continued across 2019, with the band named triple j Unearthed Feature Artist and Kerrang! Radio Feature Artist before winning the triple J Unearthed competition to open Download Festival’s inaugural Sydney event. RedHook released three more singles – ‘Paralysed’, ‘Only Bones’ and ‘Fake’, all of which were added to full rotation on triple j. Behind the scenes, they signed on with the Hen House Management (worldwide) and inked booking deals with New World Artists (AUS) and Paradigm (UK/EU), while in the live arena they played the debut instalments of Sydney’s two brand new rock festivals (Good Things and Download), completed their debut international tour (supporting metal titans Three Days Grace across the UK & Europe), made their Download UK festival debut, launched their own gender diversity-inspired alternative festival in Sydney – ‘UsFest’, showcased at BIGSOUND 2019 and undertook four complete Australian tours (supporting the likes of Hands Like Houses, Ocean Grove and US rock legends Sevendust before selling out the Melbourne and Sydney legs of their own debut headline tour in September).
RedHook were set sharing the stage with emo legends My Chemical Romance on the bill for Download Festival 2020 before returning to Europe to perform at Reading & Leeds festival before the global pandemic wiped out all touring.
However, RedHook have stayed active throughout the COVID era, releasing more music, performing as part of Rock Sound UK’s Summer Show and ticking off a bucket list gig hosting ABC’s rage.
2021 has seen them release their long-awaited debut EP ‘Bad Decisions’, which has already racked up more than 2 million streams on Spotify, as well as selling out their biggest national headline tour to date, including double headers in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
RedHook have consistently been one of the most-played artist on Triple J Unearthed across 2019, 2020 and 2021, with more music coming very soon.
Characterised by their signature dynamic guitar parts and aggressive yet melodic vocals, Offset Vision pushes the boundaries of the definition of pop punk.
Metal-core upstarts Ocean Sleeper are no strangers to redefining convention. From humble beginnings in regional Victoria, to sold out shows across the country, sharing stages with the best in the heavy music and chart smashing singles.
Six months on from their first shows in their hometowns, Unify 2017’s callout for a local band met the legion of new Ocean Sleeper fans. Despite only having one song out at the time, the band quickly pulled together an EP’s worth of material and dropped their debut moments before walking on their first festival stage.
The EP’s success turned into sold out shows and offers for national supports alongside heavy music legends; Atreyu, Killswitch Engage, Dream on Dreamer and The Getaway Plan. In early 2018 their next phase kicked in, the band settled into the legendary Portland studios under the watchful eye of Kris Crummet (Issues, Dance Gavin Dance, Sleeping With Sirens) to start their debut LP Don’t Leave Me This Way.
Lead single ‘Save Me’ showcased a young talent finding their feet and the results were astounding. Rave reviews from Triple J, praise from fans and critics alike. Don’t Leave Me This Way barrelled into chart positions across the board, sold out shows and a cemented their place among Australian heavy music’s elite.
2020 saw the band locked down and split up across the country, what should have been a year of touring became an introspective period for the band. Revisiting old material had the band re-imagine their debut single Six Feet Down. A softer take of the song saw the band revisit their inception and from there, the next phase of Ocean Sleeper took form.
As 2021 rolled in, whilst the rest of the world started moving, Ocean Sleeper’s world almost collapsed. With mental health at an all time low across the community, a near tragedy kickstarted the band into writing. New hurdles of lockdowns and the band completely separated saw guitarist and singer Ionei Heckenberg seated in the producer role, with
mastering handled by Jeff Dunne (Chelsea Grin, Motionless In White and Crystal Lake) for the release of the formidable Forever Sinking.
2022 saw Ocean Sleeper kick into a new gear, with a ferocious EP ‘Is It Better Feeling Nothing’ ready to land in July, Ocean Sleeper hit the road harder than ever before. Ten dates throughtout regional Australia, as well as every capital city they could get to. Ocean Sleeper took their renewed vigor to as many fans as possible. The culmination of course was their headline run in August, bringing over their California based friends in Thousand Below for a blistering run across Australia’s premier stages to solidify their place, not only on the
big stages, but among the top of the next wave of Australian metalcore.
The story of Mirrors since their formation in 2016 has been one of fast tracked stylistic evolution and the cultivation of unparalleled execution in live performance.
From humble beginnings in their native Gippsland dabbling in djent, to producing their acclaimed metalcore EP “Cold Sanctuary”, to finally unveiling their genre busting tour de force “the Ego’s Weight” in 2021 via Resist Records, Mirrors have cemented themselves as a mainstay on the Australian touring circuit, sharing the stage with contemporaries such as Loathe, Polaris, While She Sleeps, Alpha Wolf, Thornhill and many more.
Set against an atmospheric backdrop of subtle and sparse grooves, heart wrenching ballads, gigantic grooves and frenetic heavy compositions, this chapter of the Mirrors story truly is a journey for any lover of music and is a display of a group as a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
“I was scared to write these songs, because a lot of the topics are challenging,” starts Chasing Ghosts founder, frontman and chief songwriter Jimmy Kyle. “But that’s how I knew I was onto something. It made me feel nervous.”
On one level, those topics draw on the harsh realities of life that can impact anyone. “Busted Lung”, for example, was inspired by the resilient and stoic survival of one of Kyle’s friends, who was bashed in a sickening hate-crime; the suicide of a mate who returned home after fighting in Afghanistan lies at the heart of “Wear My Medals”; and the emotional wreckage caused by young parents splitting informs “Kids Raise Kids”.
Tracks such as “Dig”, “Summer” and “Hometown Strangers in An Urban Dreaming”, however, are delivered from a uniquely Indigenous perspective. It’s through these songs that Kyle, a proud Koori who grew up on the Thungutti traditional lands on the mid-north coast of Australia, confronts the past, present and future challenges that face Australia’s First Nations people. And while he acknowledges the incendiary nature of such topics, Kyle approaches them in the hope of facilitating reconciliation.
“I wanted to deliver them in a way that asked more questions and wasn’t a slight on people, a personal attack on White Australia, but is a way to confront stuff that either people are not aware of or have not been educated about,” Kyle explains.
To that point, “Dig” tackles white Australia’s ignorance about Aboriginal affairs and heritage, Kyle fighting against assumed opinions and ill-informed judgments. “Only having a little knowledge is dangerous,” he says.
“Summer”, meanwhile, finds Kyle singing in English and, for the first time ever, his native tongue as he explores the horrors of the 1856 Towel Creek massacre. The singer-guitarist delivers the song through the eyes of a grieving Aboriginal Elder who, as a baby, was the lone survivor of the tragedy – incredibly, through a schoolyard incident when he was younger Kyle learned of a close family link to that Elder.
“The song explores white nationalism, colonisation, assimilation and ultimately reconciliation,” offers Kyle. “It asks the question of white Australia to come and reconcile the true history of the country and invites non-Indigenous Australians to see themselves as an extension of Aboriginal people.”
Mid-paced rocker “Hometown Strangers in An Urban Dreaming” tells the story of two childhood friends growing up in a rural town, one non-Indigenous and the other Koori. “Their lives are going on very different paths until a chance encounter in Collingwood near the Grace Darling Hotel,” says Kyle. “This personal account is used as a metaphor for the gap in knowledge and true understanding of Aboriginal Australia.”
Key to Kyle’s delivery is his talent for storytelling, a central tenet of Chasing Ghosts ever since the former metalcore musician founded it as an acoustic solo project in 2011.
“I was really into the idea of trying to find really good stories, and not having an agenda other than to do really good storytelling,” he explains. “Back then I was probably embracing metaphors, and I’m being more literal now.”
Chasing Ghosts’ debut LP, 2011’s Confessions From a Phone Booth, was a bare-bones acoustic outing that Kyle toured throughout New Zealand, South East Asia, the UK and Europe. (He chuckles when recalling the time he was walking along a street in Indonesia and a local called out, “Hey! Mr Chasing Ghosts!”) Its 2017 follow-up, I Am Jimmy Kyle, was a more full-blooded affair, with Chasing Ghosts having swollen to a six-piece. When it came time to write these new songs, Kyle found himself at something of a crossroads – would they, he wondered, have to represent a similar sonic leap?
“It was like, I’ve backed myself into a corner here,” he says. “What can I offer in a new way?”
To find the answer he lent on his bandmates: Josh Burgan (guitar/vocals), Aaron Schultz (guitar/vocals), Jake Dargaville (drums), Chris O’Neill (keys/vocals) and Rohan Welsh (bass). Together they breathed weight and volume into Kyle’s compositions, staying true to the core organic elements that define Chasing Ghosts – no autotune, only real instruments – while willingly following their chief songwriter into new musical territory.
“I decided there were no rules I was going to follow on this,” says Kyle, pointing to the fact that “Dig” and “Kids Raise Kids” approach the six-minute mark. “I’ve never written songs like that in my life! Who do I think I am? Queen?”
Kyle challenged his bandmates to pinpoint the elements of Chasing Ghosts they liked most, and together they focused on creating more of those moments. It explains why the album is rich in bluesy guitar licks, vocal harmonies and lavish Hammond B3, all presented in a package that stays true to each member’s punk rock roots. At times rousing (the Replacements-esque rock’n’roll of “Busted Lung”), contemplative (“Dig”), urgent (“Summer”), sombre (“Wear My Medals”) and laced with regret (“Kids Raise Kids”), this is a collection of music that traverses myriad moods but is unmistakably the work of one band. And it’s work that Kyle stands proudly behind, both musically and lyrically.
“I know people are going to come after me with some of these songs,” he says. “But I know in my heart that telling these stories is right and telling them in the way I do is the right thing to do. I know my audience is predominantly non-Indigenous, so I have to engage them in a way that engages their heart. Because that way they’re not going to be judged, but they can put themselves in an empathetic position to go on the journey.
“At the same time,” he adds, “when I have kids I want them to see that I confronted the things that were challenging and did it in a way that never broke my integrity. That’s what it’s all about.”
Melbourne quintet Future Static create an exhilarating synthesis of alternative, melodic, and progressive to shape a unique brand of emotional heavy music which is unlike any other. Now one of Australia’s most talked about breakthrough acts, the band’s live show leaves audiences stunned and wanting more.
Led by charismatic and energetic frontwoman Amariah Cook, Future Static’s debut festival performance at Knight & Day Festival had prominent podcast ‘What We Did On The Weekend’ declaring they were “the highlight of the festival…they were made for the big festival stage”. Future Static further cemented their status with an impressive performance at the 2022 edition of Unify Forever Festival, following winning the much coveted Triple J Unearthed Unify slot. The group then carried out an extensive national touring regime, including sharing the stage with RedHook, Caligula’s Horse, Pridelands, Bloom, Circles and Stories. With a 2023 debut album release on the horizon, Future Static are primed to make a lasting impression on the global stage, bringing its visceral fusion of heavy and alternative sub-genres to the world at large.