METAAAAAAAL!!! Covid Rants, Gigging Bants, And Album Slants

Wordage by Josh Nixon

I was thinking the title “New Year, Same Shit” would suit but I don’t want to give the impression, dear reader, on the glorious return to the printed page this month that I was feeling anything less than staunchly prepared to battle through another upstream current of Covid related challenges. No, like any prepared Australian at a beach I shall merely float on the rip as it takes me out to sea and bring me back to shore having punched a few sharks along the way.

After all, musically, it’s been a pretty inspired Q4 of 2020 and early part of the year to date. Now as of writing the Victorian situation is on Day 3 of their week lock down and a cursory look at Google news is showing five articles from the Murdoch press and only one of them is updating us on the fact only one new case was discovered today and the rest are back to making out that Dan Andrews is essentially a sentient form of evil come to rob the Liberal party of any sense of leadership or accountability in this situation.

Of course you can read with far deeper analysis the political implications of all this in more appropriate forums, but what I want to know is how does this impact on Witchskull taking their long overdue trip to Melbourne to launch their A Driftwood Cross with Butterfly and Burn The Hostages on February 27. In the meantime, the band take to The Polish Club for two shows this Friday which are long sold out.

Yes, Witchskull’s brilliant A Driftwood Cross is finally being officially released with live performances

I interject this musical update at this point: noting that despite many weeks free of community transmission and having gone out for an event last Saturday in the city where literally thousands of people freely roamed the streets in a perhaps Valentine’s Day induced display of ‘social closening’, that isn’t it a bit weird you can check into a bar or club in Canberra in close proximity, yet sit down gigs at The Basement and in this case The Polish Club are still subjected to tightly reduced numbers?

But I digress.

This weekend on the 19th and 20th the mighty ‘skull take to the stage for two lucky audiences, but eventually anyone that wants to see it. How? Well because the two shows will be filmed by a professional camera crew to produce a live event for all perpetuity at a later date. Hopefully the ticket holders for the aforementioned Melbourne show will not have to wait for its release to enjoy a live Witchskull performance.

As an aside, I highly recommend fans of ’70s inspired traditional heavy metal to check out Butterfly album Doorways of Time. It is excellent.

Butterfly’s Doorways of Time is well worth your ears’ attention

Also Burn the Hostages feature expat Canberran Aaron Osbourne on the riffstick playing some exceptionally heavy Eyehategod-esque sludge with members of Blood Duster, Extortion and Religious Observance.You can check them out on Bandcamp.

Having been through the wringer due to Covid and venue changes, Metal From The Grave, a celebration of the career of fabled Damaged drummer Matt Skitz Sanders will hopefully not be impacted from the latest hotel quarantine bonanza in Victoria. The show moved venue, year, and is now scheduled for 15 April at The Basement in Belconnen with a current capacity of around 100 tickets as per the leaders of Covid gigs in The Basement’s management team. You will need to pick up your ticket quickly, however, as it is already over 50% sold in order to witness material ranging from Damaged, Manticore, Hobbs Angel of Death, Misery and Terrorust as well as recounting war stories from his many years of touring. I would especially like to hear about his time with Sadistik Exekution in Europe. Tickets through the Basement site/oztix.

Aforementioned fabled Damaged drummer Matt Skitz Sanders

I’ve added some reviews this month for a single (Sumeru‘s Blood Ordinance), an EP (Gatecreeper‘s An Unexpected Reality), and an album you should add to your rotation, but I’d love to hear about what your band is doing, recording, performing etc at

2021 – we got this!

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