There’s definitely something of the metal aesthetic about mountain landscapes. Perhaps it’s that they’re prone to bitter frost, evoking the dismal settings of Scandinavian black metal. Perhaps it’s the forests, with their hinting at other realms just beyond perception, the edge of the fantasies of power metal. In the case of the upcoming Metal in the Mountains, perhaps it’s the fact that it’s being held in Beechworth, where Australian outlaw hero Ned Kelly made his final stand – clad in metal. Whatever it is, be sure to check out this heavy event in the most appropriate of settings.
THE BALLS (VIC)Rolling, bass-driven rock is where it’s at when it comes to The Balls. Broadly falling into what’s come to be known as the stoner sound, they carry a sensibility that sits somewhere between classic metal and rock – somewhat comparable to Black Sabbath, but with a generally faster pace. Overall the sound is quite individual, defying generic titles, which is of course a very good thing. Nevertheless, their songs are full of hooks, tight and melodic, with each member’s abilities showcased to the full between powerful bass leads and riffs, rocking guitar solos and engaging vocals.
GET YOUR HANDS ON THE BALLS’ MUSIC VIA BANDCAMP HERE.
Grindhouse’s comedic look belies a fast-paced, rock ‘n’ roll sound that draws on punk and even some post-punk elements. While referring to themselves as “desperate garage punk rock”, Grindhouse have a sound that in terms of punk, is surprisingly solid and refined. That is to say, they wield the messy ugliness of old school punk with skill and aplomb, while drawing in frenetic 80s alternative rock energy and a little post-punk kookiness just to keep things interesting. Another solid and highly individual band.
GET YOUR HANDS ON GRINDHOUSE’S MUSIC ON BANDCAMP HERE.
I AM DUCKEYE (VIC)I am Duckeye bring heavy attitude to punk rock, their deep bass, guitar licks and overall aggression bringing to mind a tuned-down Rage Against the Machine. Their vocals however are pure Aussie punk, yelling their laments of the bowls club, high-vis vests and Winnie Blues. The self-proclaimed “Bin Metal” merchants delight on sonic disaster, with some of the dirtiest riffage you’re likely to encounter. That being said, they’ve absolutely got the goods to get your head banging, but you may want to be prepared to sink a few tinnies in the meantime.
GET YOUR HANDS ON I AM DUCKEYE’S MUSIC VIA BANDCAMP HERE.
If slow, crunchy riffs are what get you moving, then Monarchus are for you. Every beat they drop is weighted with heaviness and chunk, and in keeping with the stoner tradition of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. Unembellished guitar, bass and drums roll along beautifully behind the dynamic female vocals that add a lovely melodic touch. Indeed, this balance between instrumental heaviness and soaring vocals is one often used in melodic metal, but is less of a mainstay in the fuzzier stoner genre, making Monarchus a band to watch.
GET YOUR HANDS ON MONARCHUS’ MUSIC VIA BANDCAMP HERE.
NECK GRIP (VIC)
One of the outright heavier bands on the line-up, it says a lot that their guitar is in fact referred to as “chainsaw.” Certainly it cuts through the miasma of heaviness that Neck Grip produce, though the drums also shine and grab the attention. Perhaps best described as chugging thrash with some hints of the stoner infusion moving through the Metal in the Mountains gig, there’s also a hidden depth of groove in the mix that keeps the sound varied, and the listener’s head banging. Not only that, but their rapid-fire tracks will doubtless keep the energy of their live set high.
GET YOUR HANDS ON NECK GRIP’S MUSIC VIA BANDCAMP HERE.
GET YOUR TICKETS TO METAL IN THE MOUNTAINS, NOVEMBER 24, HERE.