ABLAZE at Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice 15/06/2019

If like me, you grew up in the eighties, your first foray into heavy music may well have been via the hard rock bands of that era. While individual tastes change over time, and heavy music continues to evolve and push boundaries, sometimes it is excellent to re-visit those hard rock roots, and tonight, I’m […]

KARNIVOOL at The Roundhouse, Sydney, on 31/05/2019

When some people hear the word “Roundhouse”, they think of Bruce Lee. When I hear it, I immediately think of the iconic music venue on the UNSW campus. This joint has been hosting live music for over fifty years and has seen the likes of INXS, Green Day and Foo Fighters grace her stage. Tonight, […]

SHE CRIES WOLF at The Factory Floor, Sydney on 25/05/2019

Brisbane’s melodic hardcore quartet She Cries Wolf took the Australian heavy music scene by surprise late in February with the surprise release of their third full-length Liar. Deep, dark and vicious, the album has received strong reviews, and the band are hitting the road for a string of shows around the country with some impressive […]

OMNIUM GATHERUM and ORPHEUS OMEGA at Crowbar, Sydney on 12/04/2019

Finland has produced some great metal bands, such as Children Of Bodom and Nightwish. Omnium Gatherum has been mainstays of Finnish melodic death metal since forming in 1996, but, until this week, they have never been to Australia. Tonight, the band are in Sydney to repay their loyal fans, and perhaps win over some new […]

1000MODS and THE NEPTUNE POWER FEDERATION at The Factory Floor, Sydney on 04/04/2019

When I think of Greece, images of ancient ruins, stories from Greek mythology, and the idyllic holiday destinations of the Greek Islands come to mind. The furthest thing from my mind is stoner rock. But, great riffs know no boundaries, and hailing from the Greek village of Chiliomodi, stoner rockers 1000mods have been cranking out […]

ZEAL & ARDOR at Crowbar, Sydney on 27/02/2019

When I first heard Zeal & Ardor’s Stranger Fruit album, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. But with each listen, the album grew on me and was one of my favourite albums of 2018. I’ve often wondered what the band would sound like live, and tonight, I got the chance to find […]

TURNSTILE at The Factory Theatre, Sydney 16/01/2019

What better way to unwind after a stinking hot day, than down a couple of cold ones at a punk rock show. Tonight, the adrenaline is pumping, because I’m taking in Baltimore hardcore outfit Turnstile, a band I’ve wanted to see for some time now. It’s an interesting line-up, with all three bands on tonight’s […]

SINSAENUM at The Factory Theatre, Sydney on 08/11/2018

SINSAENUM

Occasionally, an opportunity comes along that is just too good to pass up. When I heard that death metal “Supergroup” Sinsaenum were gracing our shores, I immediately locked this date into my calendar. Despite it being a Thursday night, the crowd was a little disappointing but, having said that those of us that were present […]

POLARIS at The Metro Theatre, Sydney.

A few years ago, a young band from Sydney’s southern suburbs took the local metalcore scene by the scruff of the neck. The band, of course, is Polaris, and it’s been great the see them grow from support band to headline act. They’ve ticked off a few milestones along the way: two EP’s, a debut […]

BRUCE DICKINSON Spoken Word – 18/10/2018 – Enmore Theatre

I must confess, before tonight, I’d never been to a spoken word show. To be completely honest, they’ve never really appealed to me. But, when the person doing the speaking is legendary Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, my spoken-word-ometer jumped from “indifference” to “mad-keen”! Bruce is in town to promote his soon to be released […]

GRAVEYARD ‘Peace”

After announcing their break-up in December 2016, Swedish hard rockers Graveyard are back with studio album number five, Peace, through Nuclear Blast Records. Those familiar with Graveyard would be aware that the band consists of an adept group of musicians who aren’t afraid of experimentation. While the album is far from being left field, what […]

Live Review: STORY OF THE YEAR + Void Of Vision, The Metro Theatre, Sydney

Story Of The Year are no strangers to Australia, having toured several times over their fifteen-year career. After a seven-year break in between albums, the St Louis rockers are back on our shores to blow us away with their ripping new album, 2017 release Wolves. A small crowd of early arrivals gathered to check out […]

Live Review: PROGFEST 2018, January 20th at The Factory Theatre

One of the great things about being a reviewer is, it provides opportunities to see bands that you normally don’t listen to. Such was the case with the line-up for this year’s instalment of Progfest. With many of the bands on the bill being unfamiliar to me, I’m seeing and hearing the vast majority of […]

LUCIFER’S HAMMER ‘Victory Is Mine’

South America has produced some great metal bands over the years, such as Angra, Krisiun, and the mighty Sepultura. Keeping the Latin-American metal flag flying, up-and-coming Chilean three-piece Lucifer’s Hammer continues to make waves with their second release, Victory Is Mine, about to be released through Shadow Kingdom Records. The band turned a few heads […]

LADY BEAST ‘Vicious Breed’

[Album Review] Lady Beast: Vicious Breed By: Greg Smith Pittsburgh metallers Lady Beast are set to release their second full-length studio album, Vicious Breed on November 17 through Italian label Cruz Del Sur Music. If you haven’t heard of Lady Beast, listen up, because I think you’re about to hear a lot more. Drawing on […]

DESOLATE SHRINE ‘Deliverance from the Godless Void’

Finnish death metal band Desolate Shrine have unveiled their menacing new opus, aptly entitled Deliverance From The Godless Void. By sticking with their established formula of doom-laden brutality, this album continues where its predecessor – 2015 release, The Heart Of The Netherworld – left off. Having said that, Desolate Shrine has progressed significantly with this new offering. […]

SACRILEGIOUS RITE ‘Summoned From Beyond’

Emerging from the fog after some turbulent years, German black metal outfit Sacrilegious Rite is set to release their highly anticipated debut album, Summoned From Beyond next month through Dunkelheit Produktionen. After solidifying their line-up, the band has delivered an album that encapsulates the true ancient spirit of black metal. Unpolished and raw, the mood […]

IN TWILIGHT’S EMBRACE ‘Vanitas’

Polish black metal outfit, In Twilight’s Embrace have just dropped their fourth full-length album, Vanitas, through Arachnophobia Records. As you would expect, the album is very dark. While this isn’t a distinct change in direction for the band, vocalist Cyprian Lakomy explains the underlying themes: “Having confronted several deaths of family members and friends made […]

KREATOR at Manning Bar, Sydney on 09/09/2017

People associate thrash metal with the Bay Area of the US and the Big Four of American metal. What’s often forgotten is that Lars Ulrich brought European influences to the States with him, and bands like Kreator have existed for the same length of time. With a career spanning thirty-five years and spawning fourteen albums, […]

DARKFALL ‘At The End Of Times’

While many consider Sweden to be the epicenter of European melodic death metal, Austria’s Darkfall has been doing it just as well, for just as long. They are about to release studio album number six, and this latest slab of savagery, “At The End Of Times” is nothing short of amazing. Without compromising any of […]

MIDNITE HELLION ‘Condemned to Hell’

New Jersey metal trio, Midnite Hellion, are continuing on their quest to bring proper metal to the masses with their latest offering, Condemned to Hell, set to drop on September 15. Having stepping onto the New Jersey scene in 2011, the band have supported the likes of Exodus, Obituary, Prong, and Municipal Waste, just to name […]

LAVIDIUS ‘Helisma’

Brisbane metalcore outfit, Lavidius are about to unleash their second full-length studio album, Helisma next month. As with their debut album – 2014 release, Prison Within – the recording was done at Anders Debeerz, with mixing by Sakkuth guitarist, Adam Merker. The recording process was protracted somewhat by a couple of line-up changes, resulting in some subtle changes […]

EXECRATION ‘Return To The Void’

Norwegian death metal outfit Execration has unleashed their fourth studio album, “Return to the Void”, via Metal Blade records. While the album isn’t a significant shift in style, it is more compact than its predecessors, with a running time of around 42 minutes. The band have maintained their motif with the focus being atmosphere rather […]

[ALBUM REVIEW] RIVER BLACK ‘River Black’

River Black "River Black" Album cover

Spawned in the wake of Burnt By The Sun, metal veterans John Adubato (guitar) and David Witte (drums) have unveiled their newest sinister creation, River Black. Teaming up with bassist Brett Bamberger (Revocation), and vocalist Mike Olander, this self-titled debut hits the listener like a monster truck. Encapsulating elements of modern metal, hardcore and death, […]

[LIVE REVIEW] FAR AWAY STABLES

Tonight was a series of firsts for me. My first visit to the boutique venue affectionately known as “The Rattler”, and my first time seeing all but one of the bands on the bill, that being headliners Far Away Stables. Even the crappy Sydney weather couldn’t dampen my spirits as I made my way to […]

[LIVE REVIEW] FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE at Oxford Art Factory, Sydney on 02/06/17

As the cold winds of winter begin to roll in, it seems like the perfect time for a night of symphonic death metal. The small venue was near capacity by the time Newcastle prog metal four-piece The Seer came on, and they were greeted by a fervour of fists and horns. Combining many elements of […]

[LIVE REVIEW] HELMET at The Manning Bar, Sydney 29 April, 2017

When Page Hamilton first formed Helmet back in 1989, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen then band’s longevity, or the influence they would have on heavy music in the years that followed. Almost thirty years later, in defiance of several line-up changes, the band recently released album number eight, Dead To The World, and […]

[LIVE REVIEW] VALHALORE, Sydney, 8th April, 2017

Valhalore Rise Of Avernus Saralisse Beas Impalor Fenrir Bald Faced Stag, Sydney 8 April 2017 Review by Greg Smith Opening up tonight, Sydney speed metal outfit, Fenrir. Having not heard much about them prior to this evening, I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more. While they’re still a little raw, it’s great to see an […]

Killswitch Engage Sydney 03/03/2017

Killswitch Engage at The Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 3rd March 2017 | Photo: Kierra Thorn

Killswitch Engage Falluja Cursed Earth Enmore Theatre, Sydney 3 March, 2017 Review by Greg Smith Fifteen years ago, Killswitch Engage altered the course of heavy music with the release of their landmark debut album Alive Or Just Breathing, paving the way for the metalcore movement. With the release of their seventh studio album, Incarnate in […]

[LIVE REVIEW & PHOTOS] GUNS N’ ROSES, ANZ Stadium, Sydney 10 Feb 2017

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m one of the lucky hundred thousand or so people who saw Guns n Roses at the peak of their powers at Eastern Creek back in 1993. Today, just like that day twenty four years ago, the heat was stifling, and legendary Sydney band Rose Tattoo was supporting. It was like history was repeating itself, […]

[LIVE REVIEW an PHOTOS] BARONESS at the Metro Theatre, Sydney

Baroness and supports We Lost The Sea and Lo! at the Metro Theatre, Sydney – Wednesday, December 7 Having had the pleasure of seeing Baroness several times previously, I was primed to see them headline their own show in the intimate surroundings of The Metro, which just happens to be one of my favourite venues. Opening […]

[LIVE REVIEW and PHOTOS] Destroyer 666, Sydney

Max Watt’s was the venue for tonight’s celebration of Black / Thrash metal. First up, Sydney four-piece Bastardizer. They warmed the small crowd up with their dirty blend of “black thrash & roll”. Their set consisted of songs from releases Enforcers of Evil and Strike of the Bastard, including Death Cult, Bathory and Lust, and […]

[LIVE REVIEW] Suicide Silence + Supports @ Sydney, 2nd September 2016

Suicide Silence + Graves + Boris The Blade + Disentomb Manning Bar September 2nd, 2016 Review by Greg Smith What better way to end Father’s Day than with a blast of deathcore? First up, Brisbane’s bastions of brutality, Disentomb. Despite the relatively small crowd, Jord and the boys played with a level of intensity that is […]