Formed in 2012 and bursting out of the tired Victorian town of Ararat, Requiem have jumped out of the gates and maintained a blistering pace since hitting the Australian heavy metal scene. Their style, which draws most of its influences from traditional thrash and melodic black metal, has seen them gather somewhat of a cult following throughout Victoria and beyond. Their latest album, ‘And The Earth Grew Dark’ is one of the most brutal albums you’ll hear all year from an Australian metal band.
Requiem consists of band members Zacharie Dunks (guitar/vocals), Aaryn Dunks (Drums), Jye Mathews (secondary guitar), and Tom Hainsworth (bass).
Mesmerising. That’s the one word that comes to mind when discussing the album’s opening track, Divinity; especially that opening riff, holy shit! It paints the perfect portrait of how brutally brilliant this album is going to be, and it doesn’t miss a beat from start to finish. The screams of Dunks is on point, not only strengthening the track but pushing the band further to the forefront of the genre. So many vocalists these days are hit and miss, but Dunks makes a point of not only hitting every note with precision, but obliterating them.
Absence Ov Faith turns the album’s tempo on its head, delivering a fast-paced, maniacal collaboration of gut-wrenching screams and a brilliant instrumental performance. The combination of Requiem’s instrumental talent surpasses many of which I’ve recently heard, and many will be left in awe of simply how good these guys really are.
Continuing with the tenacity built up before it, Maelstrom boasts blistering speed, heavy tones, and vocal screams that will induce goosebumps. This quickly shifts, however, with Blackened Winter (similar to the intro-style we heard with Divinity), which, although it maintains somewhat of a fast-pace, returns to the more ‘classical’ metal sound for the most part. Painted with ambient tones of darkness and despair, Requiem thrive in the shadows, and you’re not going to want to leave them either!
Severance throws its hand up as one of the front-running tracks of the album, which is a big call on my behalf considering how solid this album has been thus far. The culmination of instrumental and vocal abilities produces some of the most brooding metal you’ll ever hear from an Australian based metal band. Another big call? Perhaps. But when you’re this good, you deserve all the wraps!
The guitar work of Dunks and Mathews needs to be applauded, and Before Perdition Calls is just another reason as to why. From the opening riff and right through to the guitar solos mid-track, they’ve held back zero punches by delivering some of the strongest performances I’ve heard from a local act in a very long time. Evenfall continues the trend, opening with somewhat of a sombre opening (in comparison to what we’ve heard throughout), but is a welcomed sound. This just further cements the talents of Requiem. Both ends of the spectrum have been fully explored and showcases both their maniacal speed along with their methodical, classic approach to metal.
All good things must come to an end, which is an absolute shame because this album (if you haven’t gotten the hint already) is an absolute classic! The album rounds out with title track And The Earth Grew Dark, demonstrating the culmination of everything we’ve bore witness to throughout the album packed tight into one track – prepare yourselves, because they truly saved the best for last.