In this week’s edition of OVERDRIVE OZ, with our continuing coverage of Metal United Down Under, we take a look at some of the bands from three different shows of the massive, nationwide event – Bunbury, Orange and Wagga. These regional areas are all hosting tremendous line-ups of locally-sourced talent, as well as out-of-towners, so wherever you are in Australia, you can be sure September 22 is going to go down as one of the biggest events in the Metal calendar.

ARKHETH (NSW)

It is perhaps fitting that in a region as far-flung as Orange, the enigmatic and avant-garde Black Metal band Arkheth will be making their appearance. Arkheth’s music is decidedly at the atmospheric end of the Black Metal spectrum, with a sense mournful yet epic grandeur. Deeply intoned vocals murmur one moment, then burst into operatic life the next, and then rasp and scream with the most evil of Blackened bands. While the riffs and drumming are relatively simple, they are combined with synth elements that fill out the soundscape beautifully. This will no doubt be a unique and compelling performance – and one that potentially includes a liberal amount of saxophone.

GET YOUR HANDS ON ARKHETH’S MUSIC ON BANDCAMP HERE!

DEATH DEPENDANT (WA)

Traditional Thrash Metal is not only alive and well, but being delivered with superb power and brutality by Death Dependant. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Marc Antonov is clearly influenced by James Hetfield’s early work, with lead guitarist Brandon Kelly also picking up plenty of Metallica cues. Damien King brings a powerfully energetic performance on drums, with the kick getting plenty of workout to keep up with Kelly’s shredding. Jimmy Edwards is likewise on top of things with his fast-paced bottom end, certainly upping the ante in terms of bass presence. Definitely a band to keep the old schoolers happy!

GET YOUR HANDS ON DEATH DEPENDANT’S MUSIC ON BANDCAMP HERE!

RICK GRIMM’S ILLA TURBA (VIC)

Rick Grimm’s Illa Turba weave in pace from the slow, heavy and monstrous, to a pounding rapid fire that toes the line between Black Metal and Death Metal, and will be sure to rain destruction down upon Wagga. Grimm’s painfully distorted vocals are a hallmark of the band, the madness matched by his and Nick Velasco’s accompanying guitars. Between them they weave a chaotic spell that is almost Lovecraftian, but also possessed of compelling internal logic and beauty. Grimm and Velasco are answered by drummer Ben Ferguson, who well and truly has the chops to augment both the brutality and majesty of Illa Turba’s music.

GET YOUR HANDS ON RICK GRIMM’S ILLA TURBA’S MUSIC AT BANDCAMP HERE!

SULDUSK (VIC)

The haunting atmosphere of Suldusk is vested in the gentle guitar and lamentations of Emily Highfield. Highfield’s gorgeous vocals bring to mind the weeping angels slumped over the tombs of European cemeteries, at once gorgeous and yet set against the distantly unsettling musical atmosphere reminiscent of some of Opeth’s gentler work. It’s difficult to pin down an apt description of Suldusk’s sound, but their own appellations of acoustic Blackgaze or Doom Folk give a sense; particularly the former, as the sound might even be compared to the more depressive post-punk sounds of Joy Division.

GET YOUR HANDS ON SULDUSK’S MUSIC FROM THEIR BANDCAMP HERE!

WITCHCLIFF (WA)

The music of WitchCliff runs as deep as it comes with their bass-heavy, sludgy grooves. With Black Sabbath a clear influence, there is yet a creeping undercurrent to WitchCliff’s work that speaks more to the haunting atmosphere of the 70s, filled with fears both of a damaged and angry reality, and imagined supernatural terrors. This is captured in vocals that draw heavily on the atmospheric Black Metal style in a decisive step away from the Sabbath mode. The combination of influences is intriguing, making for a sound that could almost be described as Blackened Doom Sludge. It’s hard to pin down, but if you’re in Bunbury, you’ll get the chance to hear it for yourself.

GET YOUR HANDS ON WITCHCLIFF’S MUSIC AT BANDCAMP HERE!

GET THE LATEST ON METAL UNITED DOWN UNDER ALL OVER AUSTRALIA HERE!