Author: Karl Lean

ALBUM REVIEW: ENSIFERUM – TWO PATHS

Let’s cut straight to the chase for those with short attention spans – Ensiferum never disappoints, “Two Paths” is fantastic, and you should (but probably won’t) buy this today. Ok, so if you’re still here, then let’s go a bit deeper. “Two Paths” is the follow-up to 2015’s “One Man Army“, and extends Enisferum’s claim as one of the best Folk Metal bands going around. There’s not much breaking of new ground here, but it all feels like a tighter and more polished presentation of the band’s sound. The pace is kept up right across the album, and there’s...

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Live Gig Review: ACCEPT + DAMNATIONS DAY, 170 Russell, Melbourne, 17th September 2017

Metal legends Accept have returned to Australia for a single date in 2017, and Melbourne is the lucky chosen city. A near capacity crowd has gathered from around the country on a Sunday evening, ready to sample some old school German mayhem. Damnations Day open the show as the single support act. A 40 minute set of solid prog-rock seems like a slightly strange musical entrée but the local lads seem determined to grab the chance. The crowd seems solidly impressed as well, despite the poor lighting (almost exclusively backlit for most of the set) and some muddy sound...

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Album Review: Eluveitie – Evocation II: Pantheon

In mid 2016 news broke that 3 long time members of Switzerland’s Eluveitie had left under strained circumstances, leaving a host of questions in fans minds about what this might mean for the band’s future.  Fast forward a year and the new and expanded band (now standing at nine members) is offering answers in the form of a new album, Evocation II – Pantheon. Straight away, it’s vital to realise that the new release is a stylistic follow up to their 2009 release Evocation I – The Arcane Dominion.  The electric guitars and male death vocals that have been...

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Live Review: INSOMNIUM + Supports, 25th May 2017, Max Watt’s, Melbourne

Words by Karl Lean Finnish melodic death metalers Insomnium have returned to Australian shores, and the near capacity crowd Max Watt’s showed local fans were more than ready for a second helping. With an undercard of three local acts, it was always going to be a big night of metal. First up is Myridian. Opening slots are never the easiest, and long songs with plenty of doom beats  means they have to work hard to get much vibe from the crowd.  It’s a short set and draws a pretty decent acknowledgement from the crowd when done – there’s plenty...

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“Creatively, I’ve never felt so satisfied and free,” – An Interview with CELLAR DARLING’s Anna Murphy

In mid 2016, just prior to their second Australian tour, Swiss folk/death metal band Eluveitie announced a major split.  Three long time core members, Anna Murphy (hurdy gurdy and vocals), Ivo Henzi (guitars) and Merlin Sutter (drums) would be leaving after completing booked commitments.  One door closes, another opens, and shortly afterwards Cellar Darling was born. Murphy, speaking with a mild Irish lilt in the voice, recalls the beginnings. “We basically lost our jobs” she starts, “and now Merlin is living at the rehearsal room, and I’m also leaving my apartment – but I like that kind of rock...

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