Metal as Fuck's Top 20 Australian Metal Releases of 2013

Our panel of Australia-based metal brains thought long and hard to sort out what was undoubtedly been a vintage year for extreme music in Australia. This is what they came up with...

20. Lo! - Monstrorum Historia (Pelagic Records)

"I've heard Lo! described as 'sludge inspired metal' but for me it's just FUCKING METAL. And it's good stuff too". - Albert Petersen 08/05/13

19. Recoil VOR - Sleep for the Masses (Own Label)

"Meaty, groove based riffs that evoke bands like Frankenbok and early Malefice, interjected with bursts of Killswitch-esque melody". - Matt Foster 18/08/13

18. Nocturnal Graves - ...From the Bloodline of Cain (Hells Headbangers)

"This album is as much about the experience of letting yourself be consumed by the music as it is dissecting the hellish noise contained within". - Mick Strong 14/12/13

17. Bellusira - Connection (Firestarter)

"Flawless. The emotion conveyed on these songs is utterly convincing. It’s criminal that they haven’t been picked up by mainstream radio". - Chris Maric 10/12/13

16. The Ophidian Ascension - Ire (Skull and Bones Records)

"They may not be aggro in person but My Word! Their music makes me want to go punch kittens"... - AP 11/12/13

15. Airbourne - Black Dog Barking (Roadrunner)

"Yeahbourne! I don’t care if you think the band’s sound is played out, in my opinion they are the best rock band on the planet".

MF 28/11/13

14. Rise of Avernus - L'appel du Vide (Own Label)

"The debut of Rise of Avernus is teaming with substance and a perspective that is palpable and laced with a sense of danger, darkness and intrigue. RoA have risen and bring with them enormity". - Carrie Gibson 11/12/13

13. Scar the Surface - From the Shadows to the Fire (Rocket Distribution)

"Has had such awesome reviews and rightly so. Everything on this album is exactly where it needs to be"! - CM 10/12/13

12. Bronson - Blood Brothers (Own Label)

"I have not been as excited by a release since I heard Alive Or Just Breathing by Killswitch Engage. The riffs, the aggression, the delivery. Its all there and its world class"! - CM 10/12/13

11. Domino - Where the Desert Meets the Sea (Own Label)

"Layers, textures, spice and silk are just some of the flavours emanating from this arabesque rock group. Soft elegant yet intense and powerful; Domino will have you eating out of the palm of their hands". CG 11/12/12


10. Killsong - He is Risen (Art as Catharsis)

"If you imagine yourself smoking rocks with Beefheart & Zappa then discussing high philosophy with them, that conversation might come close to what Killsong does musically". - AP 11/12/13

9. Germ - Grief (Suspicious Activities)

"Love them or hate them, Germ represents the crux of originality in Australian music. Every self-respecting Aussie music fan needs to check them out at least once and Grief is as good a place to start as any". - MF 16/11/13

8. Wretch - Because You're Worthless - (Own Label)

"Wretch exist at the crossroads of thrash, death and grind (probably more grind than the other two if I’m honest, and there’s nothing wrong with being mostly grind, let me tell you)" - MS 23/08/13

7. Taberah - Necromancer (Dust on the Tracks)

"If they can keep coming up with material of the calibre of the title track and Dying Wish then the band’s future is assured, not to mention incredibly bright" - Scott Adams 25/08/13

6. Perpetual End - Blood Complex (Own Label)

"Stunning material, convincing execution, big time possibilities. Darker and more menacing than last year's model, this is serioUsly good stuff". SA 11/12/13

5.Lord - Digital Lies (Dominus)

"This record, varied as it is, transcends the band’s former ‘power metal’ appellation, placing them amongst that select band of acts that really do have the chops to represent the entire genre of heavy metal as they please". - SA 12/03/13

4. Witchgrinder - The Demon Calling (RTD Records)

"An appealing combination of shock metal and industrial pounding, made all the more mouthwatering by the fact that Witchgrinder actually bring home the bacon when it comes to songs". - SA 13/06/13

3. Portal - Vexovoid (Profound Lore)

"Portal is an institution in horror and repulsion. Each new release is like a jagged, festering wound being torn in your psyche and left for the crawling swarms of madness to infest your mind. I feel a much saner man, knowing these freaks exist". - MF 28/11/13

2. As Angels Bleed - As Angels Bleed (Own Label)

"With a bit of luck and a following (black) wind, the future could be bright for As Angels Bleed. Or at least as bright as a gang of vampiric spirits of the night would want it to be." - SA 16/08/13

1. The Amenta - Flesh is Heir (EVP Recordings)

Fucking Hell. The Amenta are back with a bang, kicking your door down and screaming right in your stupid, morose face as you sit there, completely freaked out. Following Vo1d and the stop-gap EP Choke Hold, Flesh Is Heir truly is a main course to top all other main courses. Opening with sinister yet punishing riffage, the drums are quick to join in and within seconds you know this is going to be one dirty, brutal album. And it just gets heavier and more mental as the track (and the album) goes on. Unfortunately the computer I'm writing this review on refuses to list any of the track names on my ultra-sexy preview copy so I can't tell you anything other than GET THIS ALBUM NOW.

It seems that The Amenta have gone back to a grimier sound than before (one of my only gripes about Vo1d was the overly clean production values) and this brings out all the juicy, bloody rawness of the tracks on here. A lot of the songs have delicate splashes of spooky electro-madness that conjure images of disturbed folk biting their own fingers off yet the electro doesn't overwhelm any of the compositions; it simply enhances the pre-existing greatness of the tunes. The guitars buzz and whine at inhuman speeds and the bass punches through. Drums that pound like a cardiac victim's heart (I'm sure their drummer has an extra pair of legs, such is his speed) come flying out the speakers at you. Screaming vocals with enough venom to take out passing herds of elephants. It's all here and it's dirty, filthy heavenly hell. Even the slowest parts of the songs are hideously heavy and I'll be selling a kidney to catch these fellows when they tour. This is a massive, massive album. Miss it and you'll be missing out on something totally fucking awesome.

All I need now are some proper mental electonica remixes courtesy of Combichrist and I'll be happy in my nappy. - Albert Petersen, 02/03/13