Two Trios: Three To Watch and Three That Should Be More Seen In Australian Progressive Music

Photo: Caligula's Horse / http://caligulashorse.com/photo-gallery/

With the New Year upon us, you may have seen far too many Best of the Year lists to even be considering music from 2015. But with the second month of the year about to hit, it’s time to start considering what’s about to happen in the rest of the year. The Australian progressive music scene had an excellent 2014 with some amazing records released and countless tours. But what does 2015 hold for it? I’ve highlighted three bands that I believe are going to have a huge 2015,  with them taking their music to the international stage. And as a counterpoint to this, I’ve also highlighted three internationally lesser-known names that are definitely worth listening to.


NE OBLIVISCARIS | Melbourne

I’ve never been a fan of black metal but this band made me understand the attraction genre. Mixing black metal with progressive metal, clean vocals, violin, flamenco guitar, classical elements and much more, the band’s two albums have been received with rave reviews and garnered them a following across the globe. The good news is that those fans will have a chance to see them in the flesh as the band is set for a world tour this year, as well as appearing at Australia’s premiere metal festival, Soundwave. Catch them now so you can say you knew them before they got too famous.

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SOLKYRI | Sydney

The band’s former experimental post rock sound has matured into a ferociously energetic live sound that is still edged with their old unpredictability and laced with moments of delicate happiness. With a spot at Dunk Festival and a European tour to follow it, the band is set to woo audiences with their joyful, emotive and pulsating live shows. With the experience of touring Australia with maybeshewill under their belt, the band is looking to follow the path blazed by labelmates sleepmakeswaves into international recognition.

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CALIGULA’S HORSE | Brisbane

Having signed with The Agency Group and falling under the personal agent of Protest the Hero, Trivium and Bring Me the Horizon, it’s reasonable to expect huge things for band in 2015. Progressive metal depends on hitting the right balance of emotion versus technical musicianship, and I have not seen a band hit a better balance than this. Their last album was a complex concept album that showcased not only the sheer instrumental power of the band but also the quality of their storytelling and lyrics.

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ELEVENTH HE REACHES LONDON | Perth

The band’s brand of post-hardcore retains the structure, huge choruses and depressed anger of the genre but injects it with some of the ideas of progressive rock. Their second and third albums are concept albums, concentrating on the themes of Australia’s original penal colonization and death respectively. The emotion is raw, depressed and mixed with surprisingly complex philosophy once you delve into the lyrics. Their music may be full of futile rage against a depression-drenched world but there’s all the more beauty in it for it.

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COG | Sydney

The finest progressive rock band Australia has ever produced. It’s a bold statement but just one whole listen to their final album Sharing Space should be enough to convince any listener that there’s some merit to it. With an immaculate sense of rhythmic space, a passionate anti-authoritarian stance and unique vocals, it’s a package that makes an immediate impact on any listener. Now sadly on hiatus, the members have started separate new projects but the band’s absence is sorely felt, particularly in the current political environment of less rights and more fear.

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LAURA | Melbourne

Think of Godspeed You Black Emperor. Now take the band’s dark, downbeat aesthetic and make it more poetic and concise. That’s a short description of Melbournians Laura. Their apocalyptic soundscapes are dominated by roaring guitar distortion, mixed with melancholy cello and sparse, plain vocals. There are glimpses of hope among the darkness, seen for a second before being drowned in the next swell of ripping guitar riffs. Now seemingly half-retired, the band’s albums still remain one of the high points of the instrumental rock scene in Australia.

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See all lists by staff here.
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