Welcome to OVERDRIVE OZ, a new weekly column that will celebrate bands who are kicking goals from all over Australia! Australia is brim-full of great Metal talent, so our goal is to bring that talent to the eyes and ears of you, the reader, and hopefully encourage you to buy an album or a ticket to a gig! With a number of great homegrown festivals coming up, there are some excellent opportunities to check out great Aussie bands like these.
DARKER HALF (NSW)
Darker Half deliver classic, rapid-fire Power Metal with a sci-fi twist. Much of their work focuses on conspiracy theories surrounding extraterrestrial presences such as those rumoured to be held at the infamous Area 51. Last year Darker Half brought out their latest release Classified, and they will continue to showcase their new work along with their previous full-length, 2014’s Never Surrender, when they make the trek to Melbourne for the two-day Scorching Steel Festival in November. One of the big drawcards of an eclectic Metal line-up, Darker Half will no doubt get you windmilling and breaking out the air guitar. Having supported the likes of Queensryche, Edguy, Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius, Darker Half have well and truly proven their pedigree.
Get your tickets for the Scorching Steel Festival, 10 – 11 November (Melbourne) here!
One of the highlights of ProgFest last year, Dyssidia bring brutal stylings to Progressive Metal that will be well suited to fans of Dream Theater or Fates Warning. Frontman Mitch Brockman puts on a confrontingly anguished performance that is truly evocative of sometimes despair, and sometimes the exultation of Dyssidia’s music. The presence of Dyssidia on the live scene is growing apace, with the band currently supporting James Norbert Ivanyi on his national tour, and scheduled to support Paradise Lost in Adelaide in December. Dyssidia are beautiful listening, but not entirely comfortable watching. Well worth checking out for a band who push the boundaries.
Tickets for James Norbert Ivanyi’s Sydney show (26 August) with support from Dyssidia are available here!
Hobart’s Taberah have well and truly come into their own over the past few years, with a slew of appearances all over Australia. Not only have they played the finest local gigs, they’ve supported international acts of the calibre of Blind Guardian, Motorhead, Hammerfall and Nightwish. To expand their audience to fans of European Symphonic Metal bands was quite the coup, as Taberah perform classic rock-infused Heavy Metal that would be more at home with AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. Nevertheless, the overwhelming charisma and downright good humour of frontman Jonathon Barwick win the hearts and minds of audiences wherever Taberah tour. If you want to rock and roll all night and have a laugh all day, Taberah are the band for you.
Their latest release is the full-length Sinner’s Lament, out via Rocket Distribution in May this year. You can get your hands on a copy here!
The launch of melodic Metal band Trigger’s first full-length album Cryogenesis, following up their debut EP Machina, is just a few short weeks away. The Cryogenesis launch will be one of the key sets to watch out for at the Melbourne show of the Metal United Down Under festival in September. The album is already available, with the latest video release ‘Dead Sun’ directed by Owen Keswick Gallagher, best known for his work as keyboardist in Orpheus Omega. Cryogenesis broadens and deepens both Trigger’s musical palette, and the lyrics centring around the band’s own lore of the mythological Nephilim. Cryogenesis is one of the strongest Australian releases of 2017, so be sure to get down to Metal United if you’re in Melbourne to check it out.
Get your tickets for Metal United Down Under, 16 September (Melbourne) here!
The second Valhalore hit the stage, you know you’re in for a powerful experience. The Viking / Folk / Power Metal line-up is fronted by Lachlan Neate, who looks like Khal Drogo of Game of Thrones and sounds like Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis. And if Neate isn’t the type to melt your heart, the lilting folk melodies of Sophie Christensen and her quiver filled with low and tin whistles will be. This year Valhalore have released their first full-length album Voyage into Eternity with critical acclaim and a hugely successful national release tour with headbanging, circle pits and the famed Shield Wall of Death. Very deservingly, Valhalore have shared the stage with Eluveitie as well as a host of national talent.
You can get your hands on Voyage into Eternity here!