For those not familiar with my fair city, Perth is about as far removed from the main metropoli of Australia as it's possible to get, geographically speaking, and still be standing in the same country on dry land. As a result of spending years being neglected by bands on so-called "Australian" tours, we make our own entertainment and a multitude of metal as fuck bands are spawned on the left hand side of the island.
With a population of around two million, the concentration of metalheads is bound to be low, and with such a lot of bands it's not uncommon for a Friday night crowd at local live music spot The Amplifier Bar to be populated mainly by members of local bands and their close friends.
I'm not even going to pretend to be able to list all the local bands of note, but here are some guys I've seen gigging around the place in recent times:
Gallows For Grace
Technical death and pretty fucking good to boot. 'Grace won the support slot for the Perth leg of the Summer Slaughter tour and they sure fit right in. This band has recently replaced their guitarist and I'm expecting more good stuff from them as they get the new lineup settled in.
These guys have a more blackened take on death metal, and while they are very polished and professional - from their playing, to their stage show, to their gear and the freaking stickers on the back of their car - they sometimes tend to lean a bit too far on the serious side. For a black metal-influenced band that can be dangerous - too many black metal outfits teeter on the edge of "so serious it's ridiculous". Still, Malignant Monster's professional attitude is no doubt what helps them land lots of high profile support slots - next up is Morbid Angel - and they have definitely got the crowd moving every time I've seen them.
This thrashy death metal five piece seemed to be playing every week in 2008 in support of their album Dakota, with tours both in Perth, down the south coast and across to the Eastern states, so I hope it paid off for them. They're currently in writing mode and I'm looking forward to hearing some new stuff from them.
Although they've been around for a while, these guys have only recently started to get some local recognition, with a series of EP launch shows on at the moment. I've seen them twice - in support of Soilwork in May 2008, when they played a bit of a hit and miss set, and again just recently, where their performance was much improved except for some issues with the clean vocals being out of tune, a problem they hadn't had at the earlier show, and which may have been due to technical issues. Either way I think they've got a lot to offer and suspect I'll be seeing a lot more of them.
Claim The Throne
Folk metal seems to be flavour of the week at the moment but Claim The Throne are just a great fun band to watch. They launched an album and book late last year and are currently recording. It's not really the kind of music I could sit down and listen to on my own, but in a pub with some mates there's almost nothing I'd rather do than link arms and sing along to Set Sail on Ale. Almost.
Are you in a Perth band? Have I been totally unfair in neglecting your awesome talent? Let me know - it's my goal to see and write about every metal band in my fair state. No seriously!