METALISE – the Canberra Metal flame still flickers

Canberra Metal column brought to you by Josh Nixon

It’s pretty rad living in the bubble of the ACT.

While lockdowns cancelled just about everything everywhere, including the biggest domestic metal festival in the land at Blacken The Earth near Alice Springs, it’s been a steady diet of awesome local shows.

The Basement provides the stage. And the riffs coming off of them are from the local lords. It shows there’s plenty of musicians ready to step beyond the bubble and take it to the nation. Only when the vaccination rate lifts from paltry to party.

One of the 15 line-up changes to the Witchskull show a few weeks back hit Immorium, with a vocalist stuck in lockdown in Orange. This stopped the band from celebrating the release of their new album This Too Shall Pass until Saturday, 21 August. Axiomatic Theory and Auld are picking up the support duties. You can get yourself tickets to the show through the fine folks at OzTix.

Pilots of Baalbek – who stepped in mightily for Immorium at the above mentioned show – enjoyed the surrounds of Belco so much that they’re playing a free “matinee” gig at the Pot Belly on Saturday, 28 August. The matinee means it starts at 5pm and goes through til 7:30pm.

Canberra Metal
Pilots of Baalbek once again land us safely

After that show there is a 3-band bill featuring Sophia’s Disorder (formerly Crimson Riot), The Dalmatians, and Humdinger for the low, low price of 10 bucks. That’s a big value afternoon and evening at the Pot Belly to sample all the delicious beers they have on tap.

There are still a few national, even international, gigs booked. These have a range of optimistic likelihoods ranging from “maybe” to “no bloody way”.

Metal in Canberra glass half full!

For example. On the ‘glass is half full’ vibe, a band I recently got to play a show with down in Tasmania at Dark Mofo was The Amenta. It was their first live show in eight years off the back of a new album Revelator. And it was epic!

Canberra Metal
The Amenta seem to be taking the lockdowns well

They are scheduled to play here Sunday, 19 September at The Basement – a bit over a month away. It’s supposed to be a part of a national tour with Earth Rot, touring their new album Black Tides of Obscurity.

Metal in Canberra glass not-so half full…

On the half empty side, the bands have a bunch of members living in Sydney and Melbourne. The mercury on this pandemic roller coaster is a bit low this month. As much as I’d like to see the tour happen, it’s hard to imagine, what with NSW being the gold standard for basket case pandemic responses this month.

Fingers crossed, but it’s probably time to accept that the most viable gigs are local shows.

Interestingly, the Transit Bar posted a gig advertisement for Thursday, 18 November. It features Ukrainian doom bands Stoned Jesus and Somali Yacht Club. I know The Transit received $57,550 in the Amp It Up! grant scheme. I hope this results in the long rumoured opening of a new live music space in the city. We need one.

Canberra Metal Fest

Given the unlikely event of national touring before year’s end, it’s wise that the folks at the Canberra Metal Fest chose January. And WHAT a line-up of Australian and local heavy metal is in store. Circle The Basement on the 14th and 15th of January.

The full line-up still has a couple to go, but (deep, deep breath) Abramelin, Misery, Pod People, Holy Serpent, Wretch, Reaper, Ploughshare, Sumeru, Carnal Viscera, Lucifungus, Carcinoid, Burn The Hostages, Gape, Womb To Tomb, Laceration Mantra, 12 Gauge Rampage, Hekate, Immorium, Point 17, Dying Sun, Outcest, Terra Mortem, Goat Shaman, Hypergiant, Rooted, Arkanae, Celestial Oath and The Ending.

That’s the bill. SO FAR.

I hope The Basement is stockpiling the booze for this one, it’s gonna be 4XL.

That wraps it up for now. Stay safe, and see you next month.

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