Welcome to the final Digi-mag of the year which also serves as our writers pick for their favourite interviews and reviews of 2020.
This year has been challenging for many reasons but music – and heavy metal in particular – has been a saviour for those without hope and a form of entertainment and distraction in our darkest moments.
There is light at the end of the tunnel but unfortunately it is unlikely that life will ever return to complete normalcy (whatever that is).
In the meantime musicians from all over the world remain committed to releasing music and connecting with their fans and as long as there is something to talk about and listen to HEAVY will be with you every step of the way!
Personally, this year has had several bright moments – particularly assuming the horns here at HEAVY – and I thank all of you for your continued support. Yes, I have made a few mistakes and will likely continue to do so, but I have also brought in a few changes such as the Australian Artist Digi-mag, several new columns and increased focus on all forms of harder-edged music from punk to metal to hard rock.
My aim is to make HEAVY accessible to all people who love non-commercial music so you may have noticed the content change a touch but rest assured the focus is and always will be on heavy metal and it’s associated genres.
Next year there are several BIG announcements from HEAVY, with one major project that will unite the Australian metal community and give our artists a platform for recognition on the world stage. I can’t reveal any more until early in the year but trust me, you will LOVE it!
Before I go any further I must make special mention of Carl Neumann who sadly departed his role as Chief of Metal earlier this year. Carl was one person who believed in me at this level and gave me more opportunities than maybe he should. In his five years at HEAVY he brought in a swag of improvements and ideas and should be commended for his work in what can sometimes be a thankless job. Carl still puts together the covers and graphics so still has his claws in, but he also runs his own business involving app and web page design so check him out here and share the word https://www.carlneumann.com/
I would like to thank my trusted team at HEAVY. Writers David Griffiths, Neil Vance, Olivia Reppas, Simon Russell White and Kyra Jade Coombs. These guys are the heartbeat that gives HEAVY its pulse. To everyone who has contributed to HEAVY in the past, I haven’t forgotten you and when things start turning around more I will be in contact.
To all of the industry people that have supported HEAVY and my transition in particular, thank you, and to all of the bands who have chosen to promote their music through us, much love and more respect.
To our weekly columnists Bobo, Mark Dalbeth and Mick Starr, you guys have brought a breath of fresh air to the content and I look forward to what this coming year brings from you.
And, most importantly, THANK YOU to all of the readers and listeners who have given HEAVY a global voice. We exist to provide heavy content for you and without you, we wouldn’t exist. Simple as that.
Sit back and enjoy our review of the year in metal, complete with each writer's Top 10 albums and bands to watch for next year.
Enjoy your New Years and look after yourselves.
Until next year, stay HEAVY
STAFF PICKS FOR 2020
My name is Kris Peters and I am your tour guide on this weekly metal journey we all call life!
I have been involved in the music industry for over 25 years, beginning my writing career with The Cairns Post before moving through other publications before finding my way to HEAVY some five years ago.
Over the years I have done everything from managing bands to booking tours to managing and booking gigs in hotels – all of which from the safety net of my adopted hometown in Cairns.
While writing for NQ Music Press, and at the urging of my editor Todd MaCalpine who told me to go looking for an actual heavy metal magazine if that was what I wanted to write about, I approached HEAVY and got a foot in the door around the same time as Carl Neumann took over.
In 2015 I took the plunge and moved to Brisbane in search of greater opportunities and, long story short, found everything I wanted from music and more. As my role at HEAVY grew so did my confidence (some would say brashness…) and when, earlier this year, Carl told me he was thinking of retiring as overseer of the Australian metal community, I decided to take a punt and dive in headfirst and see how I went!
It’s certainly been a crazy ride so far, especially learning about computers and programs and back ends (still don’t know what that is!) but thanks to the support of people within the industry from bands to promoters to PR representatives to- and most importantly, YOU - I have made the transition with most of my facilties intact and thus starts a new era for HEAVY.
I want to thank Carl for everything he taught me and the opportunities he gave me. He helped turn an upstart with a passion for music into a music lover with a head for business and I will forever be grateful for the show of faith.
I have introduced a few new things in my short time at the helm, mostly based around promoting and encouraging bands from our own country.
I truly believe Australia is home to some of the most talented artists in the world and with the right help from all corners of the media we can make the rest of the world realize too.
Top 10 albums of 2020:
Jinjer – “Alive in Melbourne”
Killer Be Killed - “Reluctant Hero”
Lamb of God – “Lamb of God”
Sepultura – “Quadra”
Greg Puciato – “Child Soldier: Creator of God”
AC/DC – “Power Up”
Devilskin – “Red”
Trivium – “What Dead Men Say”
Sons of Apollo – “MMXX
Hatebreed – “The Weight Of The False Self”
Top 10 Australian bands to watch in 2021:
Breakthrough band of 2021:
The Violent Inzident and Future Colors
2021 crystal ball prediction:
Australian bands to benefit from no international tours and fans realize that supporting our artists is more important than just focusing on overseas bands.
Dave Griffiths has been working as a music and film journalist now for over 25 years. What started as a hobby writing for a local country newspaper at the age of 15 turned into something pretty serious when he decided to study Mass Media Communications as well as Film & TV Writing & Directing at university.
While at university Dave teamed up with some classmates and started a radio show that was heard on Triple R and 3RPP. Those shows and his work with street press mag The Buzz then turned into a television show called X-Wired that aired on Channel 31 for 8 seasons.
When X-Wired finally wrapped up Dave and his friends continued their work with Subculture and a new radio shows were born – this time called The Motley Crew, Subculture and The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Film Show.
It was about this time that Dave met a very special person called Livvy who asked him to write for her new project, HEAVY Mag and the rest is history.
Today Dave still writes for HEAVY Mag while his cinema writing can also be enjoyed in the UK in The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt and in Thailand in The Phuket News newspaper. He is also a committee member of The Australian Film Critics Association. Dave’s love for radio has also remained and he is currently the host of programs such as Subculture (which covers all things pop-culture), The Motley Crew (which has been waking up Victoria for nearly a decade) and co-host of J-Air’s First On Film And Entertainment. He also co-hosts The Popcorn Conspiracy podcast with Kyle McGrath.
Aside from journalism, Dave is also an award-winning graphic novel writer, film director, actor, stand- up comedian and screenwriter. He has also been a singer for a number of bands over the years including The Defendants, Ana’s Asylum, Strik9 and Armour.
Top 10 albums for 2020:
1. Amaranthe - "Manifest"
2. Marilyn Manson – "We Are Chaos"
3. AC/DC – "Power Up"
4. Elephant Gun – "Now To Survive"
5. Bon Jovi – "2020"
6. Various Artists – "Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1"
7. Seether – "Si Vis"
8. Me And That Man – "New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol 1"
9. Soilwork – "A Whisp Of The Atlantic"
10. Unleash The Archers – "Abyss"
Most like to see tour in 2021:
1. Cellar Darling
4. Green Day
8. The Hu
9. The Tea Party
10. Cradle Of Filth
Top 10 films for 2020:
1. About An Age
2. The Peanut Butter Falcon
3. The Comeback Trail
5. The Invisible Man
6. The Dry
7. Underground Inc.: The Rise And Fall Of Alternative Rock
9. A White, White Day
10. The Gentlemen
Crystal ball predictions for 2021:
1. Film distribution companies will realise that launching blockbusters online at the same time as in cinemas is a bad idea when piracy goes through the roof.
2. After a year of local cinema doing well each country will realise that Hollywood is not ALL cinema has to offer.
Greetings Brutal Brethren and welcome, FINALLY, to the end of the shit show that has been our tepid 2020 existence. I sincerely hope you all had a XXXMAS that was as awesome and determined as you. With such a sparse offering in terms of gigs this year, we at the governmental specified social distancing desks of the Heavy Mag offices have absolutely had our in-trays full. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to maintain a full-time job and been going in every day during this turmoil but also I have been able to chuck in a few pieces for submission into the magnificent publication you all love and trust - Heavy Mag.
I’ve been with the mag now for nearly five years and have given my best, most brutally honest opinions, featuring the transcribed and recorded, trusted and revered words from the mouths of those we admire with music that we love.
I did about forty hours of new release podcasts a few years back but unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time to commit to such a massive production commitment every week so I had to go back to giving my all when it comes to submitting album and gig reviews plus interviews from both local and international bands and that passion absolutely did not wane during lock-down.
A few highlights for me this year! These include getting to finally interview a few of heroes of mine and crossing off a couple of bucket list chats. Interviewing one of my all-time heroes, Greg Puciato for over an hour and the resulting podcast I got into the mag was a massive highlight. Same also to be said for my in-depth and revealing Bill Steer (Carcass) interview which was also over an hour. Caligula’s Horse frontman and all-round gentlemanly legend Jim Grey was just awesome. Finally, another massive bonus for me was chatting to and tag-teaming with both Simon and Tim from Aussie Death Metal Legends Abramelin and chatting about their incredible returning album Never Enough Snuff. That resulting podcast audio also fuckin’ rules. Cheers heaps lads \m/ \m/
Listening wise in the Metal V house there has been a steady turning of delicious black and coloured vinyl in the living room plus other lesser quality mp3’s at my home office desk (as is the way of our digital existence), but my definitive, exhausted and obligatory top ten albums for 2020 are listed in some kind of sequential order below. Under that list, you’ll see numerous other lists underneath each other identifying something great that happened this year and some rad shit to look forward to in 2021.
Finally, the editorial bigwigs sitting in the Heavy Mag boardroom who do nothing but listen to the latest R n’ B drinking cognac and smoking cigars have demanded we underlings look into some kind of dark satanic talisman and summon the demons of prediction for 2021. Mine has given me the possibility that here in Australia will finally see a well deserved and insanely necessary Metal / Hard Rock only awards Evening / Event / Ceremonial celebration with thrift store-bought plastic trophies of recognition.
Metal V’s TOP 10 Albums 2020:
Greg Puciato - "Child Soldier - Creator Of God"
Abramelin - "Never Enough Snuff"
Killer Be Killed - "Reluctant Hero"
Caligula's Horse - "Rise Radiant"
Igorrr - "Spirituality And Distortion"
Napalm Death - "Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of Defeatism"
Code Orange - "Underneath"
Katatonia - "City Burials"
Anaal Nathrakh - "Endarkenment"
The Ocean - "Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic / Cenozoic"
(* Special mention to Carcass for their killer return EP - "Despicable")
Metal V’s Fave Live Gigs of 2020:
Cattle Decapitation - Max Watts Melbourne 19/02/2020
Perturbator - Max Watts Melbourne 01/02/2020
Metal V’s Top0 Australian heavy bands to look out for in 2021:
The Butterfly Effect
Thy Art Is Murder
Metal V’s Fave Most Anticipated Live Band/s For 2021:
I’m Kyra, the ‘new guy’ at Heavy Magazine! I found myself in the company of a seriously talented, unique, and caring group of writers - with Kris firmly at the helm, and I couldn’t be happier! I often wonder if 2020 is the best or worst time to start interviewing musicians? All’s I can say is thank fuck for Zoom and technology, right? It’s been amazing to meet all these new people who are so passionate about what they do and get excited to tell you about their music and it’s only the beginning.
How to describe myself in a nutshell? I love my music, my animals and all the chaos that seems to follow me. I’ve always been surrounded by music - pretty much from the second I opened my eyes. Dad has always played music in bands and taught me to have a deep appreciation for anything to do with it from a young age. It’s funny to think all the songs that my parents flogged to death at parties - that I got so sick of hearing - were actually the building blocks of my music taste. With that, I can’t say there isn’t much music I don’t like, with some exceptions of course. I really like to give everything a try. At the end of the day... I just fucking love music and can’t go without it!
When I’m not writing, I work at a pet store busting my little butt off moving around big ass pallets of stock! I get to see a steady stream of dogs and all sorts of pets throughout the day… So really, I can’t complain about getting to write about music and work around animals every day – getting the chance to combine two things I love, which not many people get to do.
I would describe myself as being confidently awkward and someone who’s not afraid to have your back, even if no one else will! I’m lucky to have my fiancé Bradley, who is my fucking rock. We both share a huge passion for music and spend countless hours listening to songs and dancing around our house together! I feel lucky as fuck to share my life with such an amazing man who holds this crazy-ass together along with the help of my beautiful mates!
My voice (and laugh) is very loud, you’ll always know when I’m in the room! You can count on me to be someone who speaks their mind, whether it be a popular opinion or not, I don’t care. Like the fact that Collingwood is the greatest AFL team to walk this earth. (Kris’s favourite opinion of mine). Look, some things just need to be stated and I’m happy to be the one to do it.
I’m just down to have a fucking good time and seriously can’t wait to see what unfolds in 2021. I can’t wait to keep writing and find my feet with Heavy Magazine. P.S… writing about yourself is like pulling teeth in comparison to writing about bands. Who even am I?!
Australian bands to watch out for in 2021:
2. Yours Truly
3. The Chats
4. Jaguar Jonze
5. Amyl & the Sniffers
6. Violent Soho
7. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
8. Stand Atlantic
9. DZ Deathrays
10. Tired Lion
Top 10 Albums 2020:
1. Stand Atlantic – "Pink Elephant"
2. Dune Rats – "Hurry Up & Wait"
3. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - "K.G"
4. Bring me the Horizon – "Post Human: Survival Horror"
5. Yours Truly – "Self Care"
6. High Risk Behaviour - "The Chats"
7. Architects - "Black Lungs"
8. Hands Like Houses – "Hands Like Houses"
9. Nothing but Thieves - "Moral Panic"
10. Scabz - "Pressure"
Crystal ball prediction 2021:
I predict 2021 to be the most exciting year of live entertainment. Purely because of the anticipation for the full return of live music. One trend I’ve noticed when speaking to bands & fans is that everyone is yearning to watch live music and have that amazing feeling rush through your body again.
Personally, getting to watch the bands slowly trickling through Far North Queensland again is exciting and feels refreshing. I have so much more respect and compassion for all artists that have had to hold on strong this year and found all these amazing ways to stay connected with their fans.
Perhaps I’m being really ambitious with this prediction? Covid has legs and keeps rearing it’s ugly mug again and again….. I’m still putting it out there! I want to spend 2021 catching up for lost time and enjoy all the live music that comes my way!
My name is Simon Russell-White. I'm 37 years old and was born in a small town known as Kyabram, Victoria which is about 200kms Northeast of Melbourne. The town I grew up in, Merrigum has a population of just 400 people nowadays, it was a cool little town to grow up in but big business tore the heart out of the milk and fruit industry which has hurt the town even to this day. The key person that opened my eyes to Heavy and Alternative music was my Uncle Paul, he lived 3 doors up from us and I have fond memories of watching ABC's Rage with him and my older brother Kain every Saturday night. It really broke up the monotony of living in a small town where the wasn't a whole lot to do.
Moving to Bendigo at the end 1996 saw the love of music continue but actually playing my own music in a band setting didn't occur until late 1999 when a friend of mine got wind of my Mum being a singer in a gospel choir. He figured "well if your Mum can sing then so can you" were Shane's (from memory) exact words. This was my actual beginning in being involved in a band haha!
The first album I was involved in creating was when I was a member of Victoria-based Hardcore/ Metal band Abreact from 2008 to 2013, we released our debut album 'Entities' in 2012. They're still advice today and currently recording their second album.
Since mid-2013 I have been based in Brisbane, and these days I'm a member of Brisbane based Hardcore/ Groove Metal band Massic. We're about to release our second album Cognisant in early 2021 as the follow up to our debut album Redshift which was released in 2018.
I am also a member of the not for profit organisation known as the Schema Collective, an organisation that raises money and awareness for the less fortunate by organising music events for youth and above. We have some exciting things being planned for 2021!
In 2018 I started as a reviewer for Heavy Mag, a role that has aided me in seeing another side of the music industry which has been a learning experience and an absolute thrill thus far!
Heavy music has given me purpose, aims and absolute (healthy) confidence to endure this world we all live in, being a music fan first and foremost there is nothing like going to see your favourite heavy act, the energy is beyond electrifying and is always a subliminal experience. But.... I don't need to tell you all that, we share the love for all things heavy and we're all a certain type of human, we're a global community!
Olivia Reppas – affectionately known in the metal circles as Livvy – has been the surprise packet of 2020.
As many of you will be aware Livvy is the founder of HEAVY and is the main reason why the magazine exists today. She built it from the ground up and gave international voice to Australian heavy artists and has single-handedly done more for heavy music in Australia than most.
Her passion and heart are worn openly on her sleeve and while she can be the most loveable and helpful person you know, she also has a fiercely protective and independent streak that commands respect.
She has been there and done it all – often twice – and her return to HEAVY has brought things back full circle. I honestly never dreamt of having her as part of the team when I took the horns but when she approached me about doing something – anything – what the fuck was I gonna say?
All of our lives – and heavy metal in general – are benefited by Livvy’s return to the family which she created and with her on board the future looks brighter than ever!
Kyle McGrath is a life-long film and television fan who has an encyclopedic knowledge of films. He loves all kinds of films but is an expert when it comes to cult cinema and action films. He has also worked as a video game reviewer.
Over the years Kyle has had a number of roles in the media world from a production assistant at Melbourne Channel 31 television station and an executive producer on the popular X-Wired television show. Currently, he works not only as a film reviewer for HEAVY Mag but also for Subculture.
When it comes to HEAVY Kyle writes film and video games articles and is the co-host of The Popcorn Experience podcast.
Top five favourite movies of 2020:
5. Lake Michigan Monster/Sonic The Hedgehog (I honestly can't decide between the two as much as I try)
3. Motherless Brooklyn
2. Dark Waters
1. Richard Jewell
Top 5 Anticipated films & questions for 2021:
5. Will Ghostbusters Afterlife win back fans' goodwill after intentionally antagonising them with Ghostbusters 2016?
4. Top Gun: Maverick
3. Will the MCU survive post-Thanos Saga sequel fatigue combined with the year-long cooldown between phases 3 & 4?
2. The French Dispatch
1. Will No Time To Die's James Bond still be James Bond or has "all mouth and no trousers" political correctness damage another franchise?
KILLER BE KILLED – The Reluctant Heroes Metal Had To Have
After a couple of weeks of radio silence, HEAVY finally managed to track Johnny Boxer down on Christmas Day to continue our ongoing column where HEAVY listeners/readers get to ask any question they like of our loveable pizza chef. If you recall, last time we spoke with Johnny he surprisingly and honestly revealed some darker parts of his past – which will be revisited in full early in the new year – but for today we thought it best to (loosely) stick to the ...
Swedish heavy metal band Lion’s Share have made their tribute to Lemmy and Motorhead available on streaming services and digital service providers on the fifth anniversary of Lemmy’s death, December 28th, to celebrate his memory and music. Vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson said: “Lemmy is truly the definition of rock ‘n’ roll – and even though Lion’s Share is more heavy metal than rock ‘n’ roll, Motorhead and Lemmy havee been ...
Stoner rock outfit Ghost:Hello have released their video for “Suit Up”. The song is from their recent split album with Night Goat and can be viewed below: Continue reading GHOST:HELLO Ready To “Suit Up” at HEAVY Magazine - Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.
Thirty years after its initial pressing the debut album from Australian thrash outfit Bezerker has been officially reissued. Released on vinyl in 1990 Lost introduced the world to a new breed of Australian music and now can be enjoyed the way technology intended. The reissue comes with unpublished band photos, demos and liner notes from the band. Continue reading BEZERKER Reissue “Lost” at HEAVY Magazine - Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.
Melbourne rock machine Rockin Volts have released a 12-second teaser for new music with the hashtag #ROCKINVOLTS2021. Heavily influenced by one of this countries greatest ever rock acts AC/DC, Rockin Volts are forging a path of their own in a new era of rock that demands repeat listens. While the band has been vague about further details this taste is enough to whet your appetite and leave you craving more. Continue reading ROCKIN VOLTS Deliver Music Teaser at HEAVY Magazine ...
Melodic death metal outfit The Last Reign have released their latest song “Terminal Threshold”. The track comes with a holiday-themed video and is taken from the band’s September album Evolution. Watch “Terminal Threshold” below: Continue reading THE LAST REIGN Release New Single at HEAVY Magazine - Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.
The following statement has been released by organisers of Scene & Heard Festival: Scene & Heard and its stakeholders are following the consultation advice we have had with the Local, State and National authorities and we’re sorry to announce today that we must sadly confirm the need to reschedule the NSW event planned for February. The new festival date will be Sunday, Nov 7, 2021 – Wickham Park Newcastle (NSW) Due to State Government and current ...
Philadelphia hardcore/thrash outfit Wolves Attack!! Return with their new EP Rest In Piss which comes almost four years since the release of their debut single “Piss On Everything”. Rest In Piss contains six tracks of pure musical mayhem and will be released on January 29 via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Watch “Heavy Breathing” from the EP below: Continue reading WOLVES ATTACH!! To Release EP at HEAVY Magazine - Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.
Melbourne melodic/thrash heavyweights Katana Cartel have unleashed their newest track “Dime A Dozen”, in honour of the late great “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott of Pantera and Damageplan fame. Jam-packed with soaring vocals, crushing riffs and powerful rhythms, “Dime A Dozen” is the perfect soundtrack to wrap up 2020 in pure heavy style. Watch “Dime A Dozen” below: Continue reading KATANA CARTEL Release Stirring Tribute ...
Alternative rock outfit Torizon are planning to usher in the new year with a new single slated for release on January 22. “Burning Away” will be premiered exclusively through HEAVY and promises to be the bands heaviest and most angst-ridden track yet. Vocalist Mish Sharma explains: “2020 has been a challenging year on a global scale. Starting with the Australian Bushfire Crisis which took a toll on the whole nation, destroying land, homes, animals and ...