Jelena Goluza (Outright)
Photo credit: Charlyn Cameron
Hardcore has seen its fair share of fury, but rarely at the insane levels of intensity that exhumes from Outright vocalist Jelena Goluza. Don’t let this band's sunny disposition in their social media fool you. Once they take to the stage, Outright is downright scary; in no small part due to Jelena’s vocals which drip blood and acid. The Melbourne band recently dropped No Fear, and if it doesn’t make your horns rise, well, you better see a doctor.
Karina Utomo (High Tension)
Photo credit: Charlyn Cameron
One of the most prolific Australian heavy bands, High Tension are essentially a litmus test for amazing heavy music. With Karina Utomo handling vocals, High Tension have become patron saints of Australian heavy music and a regular feature at any decent festival or line up worth the price of admission. Their latest album Purge dropped last year and was met with thunderous approval from fans and media alike - not an easy feat for a band with precisely zero clean vocals.
Nikki Brumen (Pagan)
Photo credit: Derek Bremner
Melbourne’s Pagan are the real deal. If vocalist Nikki Brumen isn’t damn near summoning The Dark Lord, she’s putting her friggin’ safety on the line to ensure the audience get a jolly good show. Whereas most mortals fear the combination of white clothes and red wine, Nikki and her Pagan cohort embrace it. Absolute Chaos. Not only did Pagan have one of the best sets at Unify Festival past, Nikki had one of the best zings of all time and if you weren’t there, then, well, too bad. Pagan have announced a big tour for later on this year, the least you can do is buy a ticket.
Liz, Alex, Andy, Amy (The Beautiful Monument, the whole damn band)
Photo credit: Oversimplified Complications Photography
The Beautiful Monument have been a regularly demonstration of how heavy knows no gender. In recent months the bands profile has exploded to new and exciting heights, and it’s no surprise if you spin their new cut Deceiver. Strong melodies, powerful cleans and furious energy, The Beautiful Monument are quickly outgrowing the shackles of ‘Local band’. If you call yourself a fan of Australian heavy music but you’ve slept on The Beautiful Monument, well, you aren’t a fan of Australian heavy music.
Alex Reade (Drown This City)
Photo credit: Electrum Photography
Having been patiently planning their Normandy invasion, Drown This City’s planes will no doubt soon fill the sky. Following a wild ruckus of a Unify Festival performance, the band kicked on to an equally as wild regional tour supporting In Hearts Wake. The band features some fresh faces, with vocalist Alex Reade front and centre. There’s signs of rumbling from within the Drown This City camp, suggesting 2019 is going to be their year. They dropped Third Law last year, no doubt with more weaponised bangers on the way.
Simone Dow (Voyager)
Photo credit: Theodore Swaddling
Voyager are one of the greatest heavy Australian bands; Of. All. time. And Simone Dow is one of the greatest Australian guitarists. Of. All Time. Voyager caters to the fan who wants, nay, needs more to sink their teeth into. Voyager is theatrical, sprawling, a challenging but with the accessibility of pop - the big breakfast of Australian heavy metal. The band released Brightstar very recently, the first warning shot of new material. They’ll be supporting it on the road too, and we highly recommend supporting them for doing so.
Emmy Mack (RedHook)
Photo credit: Brooke Harley / Keith Bogan
RedHook may very well be the new kids on the block, but they certainly aren’t sitting at the back of the room in silence. Fronted by vocalist Emmy Mack, RedHook have already crossed off Good Things Festival, and soon to cross off Download Australia and Download UK - deep into bucket list territory even before their debut album. That is to say they’ve achieved all this and they aren’t even at their final form yet.
- Mike Hohnen.