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Best Australian Heavy Metal Bands

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Once purely known for being the country that (kind of) gave the world AC/DC, the Australian heavy music scene has turned into one of the quickest growing metal hotspots in the world. While there might be a stylistic divide between a lot of acts, both the death/metalcore and straight up thrash/death/extreme metal cliques are flourishing greatly, and it won’t be long before Australia is revered as one of the biggest producers of quality metal. If you want to explore some quality Aussie metal, here are 10 bands to get you started, listed alphabetically.

Alchemist

Potentially the godfathers of Australian progressive metal, Canberra’s Alchemist eclectic style mashed up death metal, progressive rock, Aboriginal and electronic elements. 2007’s Tripsis was a stunning album from the two decade old group, and despite going on indefinite hiatus in 2010, the band are deservedly legends in the Australian metal scene.

Destroyer 666

Formed by the delightfully named K.K Warslut, Destroyer 666’s visceral mix of thrash, death and black metal have made the act become bigger overseas than in their home country. Buoyed on by a successful string of tours in the continent in 2000, the band moved from their home in Melbourne to Europe permanently the next year, and has since played at the massive Hole In The Sky and Inferno festivals.

Karnivool

Dancing between prog and hard rock/metal with utter ease, Karnivool’s success came slowly after their debut Themata, but the door to success was properly kicked down with 2009’s Sound Awake (debuting number 2 in the Australian charts). Big European and North American tours will hopefully pave the way to the international domination that the Perth five-piece deserve.

Lord

Formed by Dungeon’s "Lord" Tim Grose, Lord’s heavy power metal is criminally underrated both in the Australian and worldwide metal scene, with their albums Ascendence and Set In Stone among the best pure heavy metal albums you’re likely to hear. Featuring amazing guitar work from Grose and Mark Furtner, the Sydney’s group’s albums are packed front to back with fist pumping anthems.

Mortal Sin

Australia’s answer to the Big Four/Teutonic Big 3, Mortal Sin might not have ascended to the same lofty heights of Megadeth, Anthrax, Kreator etc., but Mat Maurer’s uncompromising thrash metal vision has keep the band touring the world over the last 25 years. Their last album Psychology Of Death shows that there is still plenty of life left in the old dogs.

Mortification

Possibly the first Christian metal band in Australia (if not the world), Mortification have never taken their collective foot off the gas pedal by releasing 14 studio albums over the last two decades - despite the inevitable lineup and trend changes, as well as frontman/founding member Steve Rowe’s battle with leukemia. Want to know just how heavy a Christian act can get? Check out 1992’s Scrolls Of The Megilloth.

Parkway Drive

Probably the biggest thing to ever come out of Byron Bay, New South Wales, Parkway Drive absolutely exploded on the Australian music scene, and showed that a band can pick up a worldwide, mixed sex, teenage fan base without having to sacrifice a shred of their heaviness or a single crushing breakdown.

Psycroptic

Hailing from Tasmania, Psycroptic are simply the hottest death metal prospect out of Down Under. Powered by the inhuman drum work of Dave Haley and the dancing fretwork of his brother Joe, the Tassie quartet are destined to be huge in the technical death metal world thanks to their breakthrough release (Ob)servant.

Sadistik Execkution

Another classic group formed in the mid '80s, Sadistik Execkution’s legend of insane and dangerous live performances was praised on the other side of the world, with both Euronymous of Mayhem and Bathory’s Quorthon noted fans of the Sydney black metal group. Sadly, they disbanded with little fuss in the mid 2000s.

The Red Shore

After starting life as a fairly run-of-the-mill metalcore band, The Red Shore’s sound picked up hugely by the time of their debut album Unconsecrated, with huge amounts of technical riffage and dominating drum work coating the record. By the time of their second (and final) release The Avarice Of Man, The Red Shore had turned into a fully fledged brutal death metal act.
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