The Australian metal scene has experienced growing international recognition in recent years. A host of Aussie bands seem to be touring more widely and more often, with some of the larger labels taking notice of what Australia has to offer.
The scene within Australia is also as strong as ever. Take talented Aussie bands who are now able to affordably record well-produced albums, and then throw in strong (often DIY) promotion that is easily powered by social media, you have fertile ground for a flourishing heavy music scene. The steady resurgence of supportive and passionate live venues has also helped the cause.
BE’LAKOR’s 2016 ‘Vessels’ Australian tour kicks off this weekend. With over 15 support bands playing across six Aussie cities, the tour gives a good snapshot of the breadth and depth of talent that Australia boasts. We caught up with some of the bands on the tour to get their thoughts.
SYDNEY (July 8 – The Factory Theatre) & CANBERRA (July 9 – Metal Fiesta 10 – The Basement)
Darker Half: Having just returned from their first full run of European shows, the band is primed. “Playing [in Europe] with so many bands that we’re fans of ourselves has been amazing… And now that we’re back home, we’re looking forward to playing with Be’lakor again – our paths have crossed a few times now and it’s always a killer show.”
Anno Domini: Launching their new album (making the Sydney show a double album launch), the band comments, “After three years of absence from the live scene, fans can expect to see a rejuvenated Anno Domini returning to the stage with a new line up and a new album. We could not be happier to be involved in this tour.”
Rise of Avernus completes a powerful line-up, adding sweeping epic overtones to the show. The band expects “A massive evening of metal” as they let loose their Orchestral Progressive Doom.
The July 9 Canberra event, Metal Fiesta 10, is headlined by Be’lakor and features Anno Domini and Rise of Avernus alongside Mytile Vey Lorth, And Then Silence, Claret Ash, Immorium, Is Dead and From Hell’s Heart.
Chronolyth: Fast becoming a force, Chronolyth fans can expect a diverse set list, comprised of old and new favourites from Sovereign (2013) and Atrophy (2016) alike. “We’re fresh off a National tour, promoting our newly released album “Atrophy” – The fact that we’re returning to play a hometown show with Australian Heavyweights Be’lakor makes everything that much sweeter!”
Kyzer Soze: Expect intensity from Kyzer Soze. “We’re moving into a different phase as a band, so anyone who has seen us previously may be surprised that we won’t be playing any old material. We feel the new stuff is the best bunch of song we’ve written & we want to showcase them.”
Valhalore: Brisbane fans know that Valhalore brings a distinctly European flair. They comment: “The Australian metal scene is an incredibly vibrant and ever-growing scene. Both the bands and fans are all die-hards. Fans will be in for a night of jig pits, banging heads and raised fists, as we celebrate what it is to be both folk and metal.”
MELBOURNE (July 23 – The Corner Hotel)
Hybrid Nightmares: Fresh off a tour of Japan with Finntroll, Hybrid Nightmares are a great example of an Australian band that’s pushing into international territory: “We’ll bring an energetic live show with full costume and lasers. The music is weaponised to destroy any inhibitions in your brain, and will not disappoint fans.”
Eye of the Enemy: EOTE are another Aussie band to have recently toured overseas, supporting Fleshgod Apocalypse in Asia. “We feel extremely honoured to be part of the Melbourne show. If we were not playing it, we would be there anyway not only as fans, but as supporters. When it comes to our set, expect to see some very enthusiastic lads playing some very energetic music!”
Hadal Maw: Brooding, seething, crushing, mind-bending. These words describe Hadal Maw. They round out the line-up of the Melbourne leg of Be’lakor’s tour in fine style: “Hopefully fans will hear something a bit out of the ordinary, delivered with as much aggression as we can muster. We’re especially proud of the material we’ve come up with for our next release, some of which we’ll be playing at the show.”
ADELAIDE (July 30 – Fowlers Live)
Dyssidia: Adelaide’s rising progressive metal act Dyssidia, who recently supported Trivium, say that fans should expect “raw aggression and haunting melodies… arrangements and rhythms that are complex yet still flowing and organic sounding.” Without doubt, anyone who likes progressive and technical metal will want to check out Dyssidia.
Voros: The band comments: “Expect a mixture of death, thrash and prog peppered throughout our show. We are stoked to finally play with Be’lakor as we’ve been fans for a fair while now. Since Be’lakor don’t play in Adelaide very often, this show should be extra special!”
Sun of Gaia: These guys have made a significant mark in a very short time, having only recently debuted on the live scene. “As a band we’ve been incredibly humbled by the positive reception and support in the scene that we’ve received, given the fact that we’re a fairly new band… we hope that [fans] will walk away on the night with an experience that was positive and memorable.”
PERTH (August 6 – The Rosemount Hotel)
Earth Rot: These guys command respect simply through their stage presence and powerful sound. Earth Rot, who class themselves as unrelenting blackened death metal, reckon the Aussie scene is so strong because of the “tenacity and work ethic” of its bands, saying that there are “no half measures with Australian bands.” Brace yourselves for a brutal set.
Wrath of Fenrir promises to turn the stage “into an ancient battlefield, with swords, shields axes and chainmail.” The music is just as epic – just don’t get too close or you might get hurt!
Remission: Rounding out the Perth line-up is Remission – a band whose professionalism and assuredness stands out for a still relatively new act. The guys promise “an unrelenting slab of melodic thrash metal,” commenting that the Aussie scene is “internationally recognisable [but at the same time] thriving locally.” No doubt the bands on this line-up are proof of that.
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