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Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Perth Thrash Scene

Each week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I am checking out Perth’s thrash and thrash-influenced metal scene.

Perched on the arse end of a continent-spanning desert, Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world, and not surprisingly this has led to a very active local metal scene. The bands highlighted today have in common some kind of thrash influence – although how heavily that influence manifests itself in the music varies from band to band.


Enforce has been around in one form or another for over 10 years, releasing in that time three full length albums including the latest, “Biblakil,” in the first half of 2011. But the live show is where this band is at its best, whether supporting an international act (Enforce has opened shows for Behemoth, Obituary and Kreator, to name a few), touring Australia, or playing local gigs.

Although a lot of death metal flavors their sound, Enforce has an undeniably strong thrash influence – just look at frontman Guy Bell’s patch jacket!

Enforce - "As Death Sets In" (Live)


Billing themselves as “the Kings of Perth, Australian power-speed-thrash-death-rock-metal,” Psychonaut are another thrash-influenced Perth band with skills honed on the live circuit. Although I couldn’t find much information about their history, the band recorded a debut album in 2004 so have been around at least that long.

With crowd-pleasing songs about necrophilia, false metal, and the Dark Lord of the Sith, Psychonaut’s sets are always good for a laugh and a mosh, so it is excellent news that the band is recording a new album in 2011.

Psychonaut - "Tooth of Dracula/False Metal" (Live)


The concept for Shrapnel was formed way back in 1999 by Andrew Doepel and Louis Rando, veterans of many notable bands in Perth and beyond (Rando is also the drummer for Dubai-based Nervecell). The project then stayed on the back burner for over 10 years until being resurrected with a full lineup in 2009. In 2010, “Hellbound” was released, featuring four songs written in 1999 and four songs written in 2009.

Shrapnel’s blistering blackened thrash attack is unapologetically old-school – not paying homage to `80s bands, but mowing straight over them. “Hellbound” received some rave reviews and thrash fans can only hope that the busy schedules of the band’s members doesn’t mean waiting another ten years for their next release.

Shrapnel - "I am the Hell / Friday Night Thrash Attack!" (Live Dec 2010)

This makes three editions (part 1, part 2) of Unearthing The Metal Underground about Perth, Western Australia – but there’s still more metal from that region yet to be explored! If you'd like to recommend some other good underground Perth metal bands, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.

goatlady's avatar

Kay Smoljak is an Aussie photographer, geek, metalhead and goat aficioado who is currently hiding out in Berlin. She blogs sometimes at enter the goatlady.

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