One of the great things about heavy music, and metal in particular, is that it’s an ever-changing genre. While some other forms of music have remained static, metal artists have always pushed the boundaries, forged new frontiers, and re-defined what their genre is all about. As such, this week covers bands who often have the word “post” appended as a prefix to their genre, or at other times the oft-bandied about “progressive.” These aren’t just buzzwords here, though; each of these bands is taking giant strides in their space, and will no doubt influence future bands in their stead as they grow to be respected heavyweights in their own right.
BELLE HAVEN (VIC)
Belle Haven are purveyors of tense masterpieces of modern Metal, with striking clean vocals cutting through the heavy riffs of Djent and post-Hardcore influenced guitar stylings. The style also reaches back into the early 2000s to call up a few ghosts of Nu Metal, particularly when the band brings it down with slower riffs and David De La Hoz’s harsh vocals. Christopher Vernon and Daniel ‘Mara’ Marinakis provide beautifully layered guitars that make for a sound that is dense and full, but steers clear of descending into chaos. While not ostentatious, every note is yet masterfully placed, making composition a core strength of Belle Haven.
GET YOUR HANDS ON AS BELLE HAVEN’S MUSIC HERE!
Contrive bring a stark and haunting atmosphere to Progressive Metal, with harsh Industrial stylings overlaying their distinctive compositions, and at others mellow meanderings more akin to Steven Wilson. As such, it’s little wonder they’ve supported artists like Devin Townsend and Opeth in their time, given their fresh, unique approach to music. Contrive’s approach isn’t about counting notes, but rather about creating a deep sonic landscape, filled with character. Formed by twin brothers Paul and Andrew Haug, they are a band with tremendous clout and standing in the Metal community.
GET YOUR HANDS ON CONTRIVE’S MUSIC VIA THEIR WEBSITE HERE!
Gravemind’s ridiculously fast-paced Death Metal definitely borders on Deathcore, while at the same time utilising guitar tones that draw on more Industrial sounds to even touch on territory that might be familiar to Samael. That being said, it is the frenetic pace set first by the drums, and then the slamming riffs of the guitars that drive the Gravemind machine; while the bassline draws on the influence of Metal heavyweights like Meshuggah. While the sonic signals may seem so diverse as to be all over the place, Gravemind pull them together into a respectably unique and cohesive sound.
GET YOUR HANDS ON GRAVEMIND’S MUSIC VIA THEIR WEBSITE HERE!
Irrepressibly aggressive, Polaris set a breakneck pace in the bass-driven, post-Hardcore but heavily Death Metal-influenced world. With a hint of In Flames in the mix, Polaris also prove they’re able to tackle beautifully melodic sections in their varied compositions. Jamie Hails’ clean vocals are smooth and uplifting, while Jake Steinhauser’s bassline both grooves and utterly destroys with the best of them. However, it is in their work as a very cohesive unit that Polaris shine, shifting between rage and beauty seamlessly on a stirring sonic roller coaster, delivering a musically complete experience.
GET YOUR HANDS ON POLARIS’ MUSIC VIA THEIR WEBSITE HERE!
sleepmakeswaves are a valuable part of the growing instrumental Progressive milieu in Australia. Alex Wilson is a core contributor of the band, providing both the keys and bass that are arguably at the centre of sleepmakeswaves’ unique sound. That is to take nothing away from Otto Wicks-Green however, whose guitar melodies are as uplifting as the most joyous of Joe Satriani’s works, while also able to deliver a more contemplative atmosphere in the mode of Steven Wilson. Overall sleepmakeswaves do lean towards the more upbeat end of the Prog spectrum, making for truly engaging and enjoyable listening.
GET YOUR HANDS ON SLEEPMAKESWAVES’ MUSIC VIA THEIR BANDCAMP HERE!