Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Perth Metal Scene, Part Four
Band Photo: Mhorgl (?)
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 is our fourth exploration of the metal scene in Perth, Western Australia. You can also check out Part 1 (death metal), Part 2, and Part 3 (thrash metal).
The number of good bands that come out of such a small, remote place is quite staggering - it's just a shame that most of them don't get the opportunity to take their music to a wider audience. Today's highlighted bands have, to their credit, made some inroads into the international market.
With two full length albums under its belt, numerous local and national awards, and an appearance at Australia’s largest festival The Big Day Out, progressive metal outfit Chaos Divine has started to get some recognition in their home country. Not content with that, in 2009 the band played at the Progpower Europe Festival in The Netherlands as well as some club dates in Belgium.
March 2011 saw the release of Chaos Divine's second album, The Human Connection. While recorded in Perth, for the mixing and mastering the band managed to score the talents of Swedish producer Jens Bogren, known for his work with Opeth and Katatonia. The album is also available internationally on iTunes. The sound combines progressive elements and melodic death metal with particularly outstanding guitar work and great clean vocals, and will appeal to fans of Opeth and Dream Theater as well as fans of European-style melodic death metal.
Originally formed by guitarist Jim Parker in 2008, brutal death metal band Entrails Eradicated's line-up now features a full complement of musicians already known for their work in other local metal bands - a not uncommon occurrence in a city as small as Perth. Entrails played their first live show internationally, at the Bali Extreme Metal Fest in Indonesia in early 2010, when they also officially released their first EP, Viralocity.
Entrails Eradicated's sound is almost ridiculously fast and technical - recalling Origin or early Decapitated - but the quality of the song-writing ensures that it's not just virtuosic showboating like so many other bands in this genre. The band is currently writing for a full length release.
Listen to Entrails Eradicated on their Facebook profile.
Australia has a history of excellent blackened thrash in the style of Venom, early Celtic Frost, Darkthrone and bands of that ilk - most famous probably being Destroyer 666. Mhorgl continues this tradition with their own brand of raw black metal. Originally a solo studio-only project of bass player James Campbell in 204, guitarists and a vocalist were added in 2006 and when the decision to play live was made, drummer Louis Rando (well known for his work in other Perth bands as well as the Dubai death metal outfit Nervecell) was added.
Mhorgl's second full-length release Antinomian (2010) cemented their already formidable local reputation and received some positive international reviews. The band is currently recording for a third album.
Even after four Unearthing columns about Perth, there are still more quality bands in the area and new bands being formed all the time. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground Perth metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
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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