Despite weed being illegal here (QLD), we sure know how to do some solid stoner rock and stoner doom, here and across the the rest of the country. Obviously South Australia is a bit ahead of the curb but those cunts have a bit more of a relax than we do, what I can I say. The Brisbane strain is a bit angrier and a bit grungier.
I listened to this because the album art is really alluring, there’s something captivating about this scene, whether it’s the creature itself or it’s purpose in this violent world. It’s pretty weird.
Musically this is some sludge death metal erring on the side of brutal death if it weren’t so slow and sludge. Not unlike 2019s toxic release from Horrisionous who are just a little better honestly. Not that anyone will remember, since it was an Australian release of high quality.
Usurper are a volatile doom trio from Australia that often strips down to the aesthetic of a solo project, the opening of their 2018 tape Offerings is a slow build towards certain blackened doom. Something Australia does – no matter the genre – is bring a tinge of southern stoner sludge to the sound in some way. This sounds like a fetid corpse being kept alive by toxic bong vapours. To make it even better, the physical tape comes with an exclusive fourth track “Conjuration of the Four”. Well in theory it makes it better, it’s kind of an anti-track so it depends on who you are whether or not it’s a bonus.
I’m just too excited. It’s hard to write this review while or immediately after listening to this record because there is so much going on here and I react in very different ways to all of it. This is a tape sent to me courtesy of Tor Johnson Records when I ordered Cyttorak’s EP I reviewed earlier this year here. I’ve ordered from them a couple times now and it’s always great, cheap as chips as we say in Australia. Their bandcamp discog is 3.25 USD. The tapes are like 2 – 6 bucks a pop at the most and it’s always the strangest and actual esoteric stuff (what I’m all about baby). This is Sullest and their tape Fashionable Male. An adventure into hardcore pop-punk.
Splits can be done for many reasons but the ones I’m thinking of first and foremost are that they make for a great promo package for labels and is a great way for bands to put out music that just isn’t very long. It can also be a good way for multiple bands from one scene location to reach globally. Might as well put in with another band or two rather than add filler to create the new EP or LP. Perhaps they want to experiment with another genre or something like that too. The split is a utilitarian format for these reasons and many more. It’s collaborative and if all goes well, it’s a lot of fun. I’m always more likely to stick around for a B side if it’s just another bands A game.
Sumeru are a Australian and they play some serious stoner metal with a lot of variety, It can be doomy, and it can also be progressive. The music, production and presentation is top notch. This tape is quite alluring thanks to the cover art by Paolo Girardi who I covered recently for his artwork on Abominate (2019) by Firespawn. I always enjoy being able to collect cassettes from good bands who also use good artists, hell it’s practically the premise for my collection. The band’s name is probably a reference to Mount Meru which “is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes”.
Dawn Of Domination is the bands second LP and it fits very nicely into the collection of Aussie thrashers. It sold me with it’s solid opening track – I’ve always a big fan of instrumental openers and less interested in samples or ambience to start off a metal records – especially not a blackened speed metal record. You have to bring the energy up front and the guitars always feel alive here which helps a lot.
The bass is very present, it has a distinct metallic twang that litters the tracks, a kind of constant that keeps everything anchored. You generally know if you’re a fan of this specific sound or not – it’s a tried and true framework. At least now you can get a taste for Australian metal in the mix and I recommend sussing out similar bands and projects from around the world. There’s only so much you can do with blackened speed metal so it all kind of sounds the same on some level, but that basically translates to “they are all awesome” too.