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You may have noticed an increased presence of Metal in Repressed the last couple of years. It could be put down to a healthy renewal of independent industriousness in the genre, and my own personal re-engagement. HELL, we haven't had this high a percentage of floor space dedicated to the genre since the Penrith days!
The ‘independent industriousness’ can be put down to the fact that we’ve been able to dip our toes into, become acquainted with and become full-blown stockists of with North American based Underground Metal labels like Dark Descent, Nuclear War Now, 20 Buck Spin , Profound Lore and Sentient Ruin Laboratories via distribution networks more closely associated with punk/weirdo/DIY circles, bypassing any aspiring-to-headline-Wacken Festival Big Metal infrastructure.
I’m not exactly sure what’s led me personally to be a lot more engaged in Metal. There’s certainly a degree of escapism, partially due to the surreal nature of the music, but also some societal/personal narratives I don’t have the brainpower to explore today. Another time…
As far as Australia goes, it’s been easy enough to navigate via punk/DIY connections, live crossover experiences and a handful of personalities you can safely follow from project to project. Internal Rot, Faceless Burial and Headless Death to name a few. On the other hand, there’s certainly some Southern Hemisphere shredders whose merits have nothing to do with a proximity to the rawness of punk. The technical, avant-garde, or atmospheric stylings of Portal, Mournful Congregation and Stargazer come to mind.
Perth’s Televised Suicide label offers space for punk rock ‘n’ roll, hardcore and crusty d-beat as well as essential grind and death metal from Shitgrinder and Sewercide. The punk/metal lines blur in a similar way over at Brisbane’s NGM Music. Their latest is the long awaited debut LP of “Astral Travelling Psychedelic Punk Metal of Death” from Unbound. I get the impression Unbound is a coming together of intergenerational extreme music fans with a shared love of invisible lineages of Australian Punk/Metal. There's a real connection between them and an intent to build their own musical universe.Here's hoping a bunch of Christbait, Misery (Brisbane) or even The Mark Of Cain fans discover this one and re-connect with current music happenings.
We’ve maintained a small but serious selection of silver discs for a while now, mostly concerned with new happenings but have also recently re-embraced the classics on CD. Bathory, Napalm Death, Ulver, heck we even raise the major label catalogue for some nice price Slayer! Thankfully some of those Earache classics have also made their way in on LP!
Unspeakable Axe Records is a sub label of Dark Descent highlighting “bands mixing thrash with death or black metal”. Ripper, Obsolete and Rabid Beast all fit the bill, constructing riffs that are both technically disorientating but retain headbanging hooks. Makes sense that UAR also released Australia’s Sewercide!
Most recent addition has been a stack of LPs and cassettes from Sydney’s Brilliant Emperor Records. Their latest release is the Unmanned LP/Cassette from Canberra’s ‘vegan death grind guerrillas’ Bloodmouth. Plenty more top titles from with special mention of Brisbane’s Feculent. Members of Shackles, Resin Tomb and Idle Ruin playing a guttural, downtuned Death metal that almost feel like an Australian answer to Fetid or Tomb Mould.
Coming soon! Restock of album of the year contender Succumb - XXI plus their self titled debut. More from the US labels mentioned at the top of this post, plus it’s about time to top up on the European side of things, particularly Me Saco Un Ojo and Blood Harvest records!
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