If you’re into Northlane, Dead Letter Circus and Karnivool, then you’ll need to get your ears around Australian progressive rockers as soon as possible. The Victoria band are preparing for the release of the first instalment of their two-part concept album ‘The Long Dream I’ that delivers the band’s emotional and powerful vision that leaves the listener enraged and paralysed within seconds.
Ebonivory guitarist Jake Ewings has helped us out by introducing us to some of the best Australian albums that may have slipped under our radar.
JAMES NORBERT IVANYI – ‘THE MATTER CIRCUMVENTION’
James is probably my favourite guitarist in Australia, his music is packed full of tasteful licks with a really rich blues influence, and the instrumentation of electric organ really brings the melodies to life. He’s put out a couple of great albums since then, but I’ve got a bit of nostalgia for the first time I heard his sound in 2015 on ‘The Matter Circumvention’.
PLINI – ‘HANDMADE CITIES’
Everyone in the band is a big Plini fan, we actually all went to the Melbourne leg of the tour for this album with Intervals and paid extra to do the Q&A masterclass beforehand. This is Plini‘s only LP so far, but it shines in every moment challenging the status quo of progressive metal. It sounds like a cliche but it really does tell powerful stories with its composition, and it shows off some really technical musicianship without it feeling forced. It puts a smile on my face every time I spin it.
CALIGULA’S HORSE – ‘RISE RADIANT’
I’m calling this early as the best Australian prog album of 2020 (except for the ‘Long Dream Part 1’, please like our album more). The ponies’ earlier work was a little too traditional prog metal for my taste, and ‘Rise Radiant’ holds on to their roots but takes a bold step into modernity, and it is stunning for it. If you listened to the ponies before and weren’t grabbed by them, now is the time to dive back in headfirst.
BODYJAR – ‘HOW IT WORKS’
You might remember the leading single from the ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3’ soundtrack, but this whole album is an incredible piece of Australian pop-punk. I remember asking my friend’s older brother to download it on Limewire for me way back then, and after all those years I saw them live at Unify Festival a couple of years back with a crowd of thousands and they crushed it. The whole band loves pop-punk, and to me at least this is Australia’s best. They’ve been around since the first time I heard a distorted guitar and I hope they’re here forever.
TWELVE FOOT NINJA – ‘OUTLIER’
Twelve Foot Ninja is not for the faint of heart, it bounces between genres constantly to keep it fresh and exciting, and always comes back to some stupid nu-metal riff that makes you feel like you’re invincible. It’s silly, it’s powerful, and it’s somehow cohesive despite that. There’s a lot to be learned here about composition and instrumentation for anyone looking to spread their wings and leave their comfort zone.
Ebonivory‘s new album, ‘The Long Dream I’, is released on 5th June, via Wild Thing Records.