The final METALISE for 2021! The Year In Review; The Year To Come

Metalise column with your metal host Josh Nixon

Are you rolling into 2022 like me?

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We could recap the year, but you know, I’m sorta not keen at all to do it. We all have shared the crappyness. But in the spirit of the season, I will stop the whinging, and up the things I am hopeful and thankful for.

Metalise Salutes The Bergersens Taking On The Basement

Metal - The Basement logo

Nic and Mik Bergersen took on a live music venue at the most challenging time in live music’s history. And they’re absolutely killing it.

The whole Basement staff family are really the unsung heroes of the Covid lockdowns and have worked through any and all challenges to keep supporting a plethora of original and cover shows through all the complications.

It’s reassuring to see that the whole extended team have stuck through it all to the point when I was driving past prior lockdown lifting seeing them all out painting and sprucing up the ol’ room for another run of heaviness. Well done, and gratitude to you all.

A Not-Top 5

In lieu of a fulsome top 5, like last year I want to do a bit of a composite of releases I have loved in 2021.

I know personally, and from talking to my network, that it’s been reaaaaaaallllly challenging to keep the creativity flowing through this. It’s seemed to go one of two ways, though. Some have been relatively quiet and struggled to create, others have gone berserk.

Metal - Portal

This image tells you all you need to know about Portal

Of the latter group, Portal released two complex and extreme challenging records at the same time. Dense and complicated work, uncompromising in scope and at bleeding edge of control, Hagbulbia and Avow were blistering.

Metal - Karina Utomo

Karina Utomo – forever a Canberran in our hearts

Former Canberra resident, now Melbournite Karina Utomo launched not only two releases, but two new bands. Kilat are an exploratory black metal 3-piece, and Rinuwat a 3-piece heavy conceptual work. Both incorporate Karina’s Javanese heritage and they’re both unique and fascinating pieces of heavy art that are well worth your time.

Doooooooooooooooooooooooom! (of the good kind)

Doom wise, as always it was a fruitful year both in Australia and abroad.

Lucifungus are never short of new songs with their Clones release being the latest worth a listen.

Potion stomped out Oath to Flame EP this year which deserved all the attention it received internationally.

Canberra’s own Futility dropped an immense slab of funeral death doom in the form of Anhedonic.

Whitehorse collapsed my ear canals with Death Weight.

Norway’s Kal-El dropped a slab of stoner doom so good that Riff Lord Tony Iommi himself gave it props with their Dark Majesty release.

Khemmis dropped Deceiver which was another quality release from the Colorado 3-piece.

Melbourne’s Dr. Colossus again confounded all expectations of a Simpsons themed doom band with the (deep breath) I’m a Stupid Moron with an Ugly Face and a Big Butt and My Butt Smells and I Like To Kiss My Own Butt.

Metal - Dr. Colossus

Any excuse to include an image related to Dr. Colossus is taken here at BMA

Semi locals Hekate impressed with Sermons to the Black Owl on debut.

Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behaviour, Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell, The Sonic Overlords – Last Days of Babylon, Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows – The Magnetic Ridge, Red Fang – Arrows and Acid Mammoth – Caravan all impressed me this year in that slower heavier zone.

For those who like their BPMs a bit livelier

Metal - Mental Cavity

Mental Cavity – yet another tale of locals done good

For those who like their BPMs a bit livelier, locals Mental Cavity‘s Mass Rebel Infest, and Bloodmouth‘s Unmanned both clobbered out some nasty riffs and blasting beats.

Sumeru features Canberran Jake Willoughby on the throat now and this years EP Blood Ordinance had two of the best riff feasts all year. Cold Chamber rules, but Foundry Of Dread is my speeding fine generator of the year.

I really enjoyed the new Carcass album Torn Arteries, Cerebral Rot – Excretion of Mortality, Mortal Coil – Dodsrit, Gatecreeper – An Unexpected Reality, Anatomia – Corporeal Torment and Sanctioned/Entrails Massacre spilt were all rad in 2021 and worthy of your ear time.

To all of you I salute your staunch resilience and creative delivery!

And finally, a happy look forward

So I mentioned last column that the metal prevalence of diverse views on Covid vaccines was interesting. As such there has been a few changes to the Canberra Metal Fest. The end result is that one ticket has never carried as much weight or value. Now a three night bonanza starting Thursday, 13 January with Mytile Vey Lorth, headlining over Atrocita, Besomora, Numbutolik,and Plague Dweller.

Friday, 14 January features Witchskull, Remains, Wretch, Carnal Vicsera, 12 Gauge Rampage, Lucifungus, Outcest, Point 17, Rooted, Sumeru, Tera Mortem and The Ending.

Saturday, 15 January winds up with Psycroptic, Pod People, Disentomb, Holy Serpent, Arkane, As Flesh Decays, Burn the Hostages, Carcinoid, Celestial Oath, Gape, Goat Shaman, Hekate, Hypergiant, Immorium, Letterbomb A.D., Ploughshare, Reaper and Womb To Tomb.

Metal - Canberra Metal Fest

Whew! That is a metal lovers 666mas present ticket if ever I have seen one.

So thrash your way through the festivus people. Stay safe, support your local venues, and BMA will see you in 2022 /m/

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