Just a quick update…

Music

We’ve been so busy lately, had a lot of opportunities thrown our way, a few spanners, a sick dog, a milestone birthday and made a lot of new friends so i apologise for not posting in a while.  There are a lot of articles in the works, music reviews, a lot of live photography as well as some camera reviews (yes i got some new toys!)… but here just a quick update about what we’ve been up to lately.

As you know we live for live heavy music so we’ve provided another promo opportunity for local bands to get their music out to the masses.  The local Artist Mix tape is a feature on our Metal For Fishes Facebook page that showcases tracks and videos for 10 WA bands and 1 interstate band ie. “Someone Else’s Local” for a whole month!  We’re always looking for local bands to be involved so let us know if you’re interested.

Check it out and find your new favourite band!

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We’ve also organised 2 new shows and have expanded to a new venue for the first time.

Next up we have Monsters In The Basement III with Blunt Force Trauma, Dawn Of Leviathan, BloodKlot, Dawn and Severtone on September 8th at the Swan Basement.

Then we have some Core at the Civic Den, it’s the first time we’ve booked a show at this venue but we felt we needed a change and a cheap one at that, they don’t charge too much to book the venue so the bands can still get paid 🙂

It’s one of our best lineups yet!! Storm The Shores, Severtone, Lakeside (From Bunbury), Remember The South and Alizarin Haze.  September 15th, Civic Den, Inglewood.

Some more coming soon… i promise…

 

The Fall of Man… Enlightenment from the depths of the Perth underground?

Miscellaneous

Crossover is a term that I hear getting thrown around a lot lately. Typically being used to describe bands that cross two or more musical genres or sub-genres in the creation of their sound. Having heard this term used in relation to fast risers on the local scene, The Fall of Man, I would have to agree with this appraisal upon listening to this debut release from the band. The guys manage to successfully blend elements of rock, core and metal on this record, so perhaps Enlightenment is an apt title.

This Ep opens commandingly with Pathogen. You are greeted with tremolo guitars over a nice breakdown groove, which quickly switches to an up tempo verse, Justin Camilleri blares ‘Like open flesh to flies, Infected by your lies. Played to the masses, By the masters of deceit!‘. The scene is set.

Shoryuken is the party song of this record. Fast paced, up tempo. It sounds as though Cam Butler & Ben Clarke get to have a bit of fun on the back-ups on this track, all while Ben keeps that rockin’ groove. The funky, wah based middle eight is a great moment for me, kudos to Cam Butler & Nick Ballantyne.

I think Redemption would most definitely have to be the stand out track. Opening with a sublime clean intro, that has this lazy, rainy day kind of feel. The guitars then crunch into this early Dysfunction era Staind meets Mastadon style epic pre-verse, I guess you would call it. The break down at the 3.25 mark however, has no hint of Staind or Mastadon I’m afraid to say. But definitely a hint of Meshuggah on the lead tone. Great work on pulling that tone.

Dom Castledine’s bass shines no higher than on the intro to Inferno Ascending I feel. Nice fast guitars with some big fat bass pull-offs, this intro is attention grabbing.

Before I talk about the final track and round up this review, I would like to touch on the production. I know some like a record that is beat corrected and note perfect. But I must say I do like a well produced record, that still sounds like the musicians actually performed it. Botch were the masters of this, and this is what you get here. It is not perfect production, but that is not to say it is bad. No quite the contrary, the production is quite good. I love the rawness that is there. This record sounds great, but you can also hear the musicians playing it. You can hear the strings flapping around on the intro to Fear of A Dying Breed. You can hear the beater attack on the drums. You can hear the room in the vocal mix. This makes you feel like you are right there in the room with the band. Right there at a show with them. It works for me.

All in all, The Fall of Man have produced an intelligent record for their debut release. In Enlightenment you get some well thought out, mature songwriting… even with a little fun thrown in the mix: ‘Oh, You up in my shit, You fucking hypocrite, I’ll fucking beat you down!‘ – opening lines to Shoryuken, case and point. haha
Make sure you grab a copy!! \m/

The Fall Of Man will be launching their debut EP on Thursday the 7th on June @ Wired at Black Betty’s!

For more about the band, check out their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/thefallofmanband

Crazy Comparisons: Sony Nex Vs Pentax KX – Wideangle lowlight action battle

Cameras, Digital, Lenses, Photography Discussion

I know I’ve been a little slow with articles lately but that is just because I have had so many weekends full of shooting as of late. One such weekend recently was Serial Killer Smile’s debut EP launch on the Friday night and my band From Isolation also had our first all ages show down at HQ in Leederville on the Sunday.

As you know I had only recently acquired a Pentax KX to go alongside my Sony Nex5 and there was a sigma 14mm 2.8 lens that I had been really wanting for it. Luckily I had got the funds together and acquired the lens that afternoon of the SKS show.  So I thought this would be a good comparison between not only the two cameras, being that they both have Sony sensors (the Pentax has the slightly older sensor configuration with only 12.9mp, while the Nex5  has the slightly newer 14.2 mp count), however the Sony Nex5 is mirrorless whereas the Pentax KX has a mirror. It is also a good comparison between the Sony 16mm F2.8 pancake vs the Sigma 14mm F2.8 wide angle lens. Both shows were shot in near total darkness other than the stage lighting, this is a great test of the auto focus as well.

First up just a few shots from the Nex with the 16mm f2.8 lens:
These shots are from the ‘Serial Killer Smile’ EP Launch


This shot is a great comparison between the Nex and Kx my partner and I took almost the same shot at almost the same time. (The Pentax shot is shown further down)

These next shots were taken at a show I played at YMCA HQ all ages venue, these are of course shots of the other bands on the bill with us.

 

And Now the Pentax Kx with the Sigma 14mm f2.8 lens:
These shots are from the ‘Serial Killer Smile’ EP Launch


The Pentax ‘comparison shot’

More shots with the Pentax at the YMCA HQ show

 

I found both to render, rather similarly, lots of colour and quite sharp. There is however a bit of ISO grain but that is more due to my poor setting on the camera than anything else. I found auto focus surprisingly enough to be rather comparable on both systems with comparable hit and miss ratios. I did find the Pentax to be more pleasurable to shoot due to the viewfinder. However when the Nex nailed the focus it is sharp beyond belief and the rendering is sublime. The Sigma 14mm lens however could almost be considered a macro lens with how close focusing it is, it’s quite remarkable. You can almost touch the subject you are trying to shoot and still have them sharp, in view and focused.
I am extremely happy with both rigs and for different reasons, the sharpness and rendering of the Sony with it’s 16mm is sublime, and the super close focusing ability of the Pentax with the Sigma 14mm couple with the viewfinder means I can grab some really nice action rock shots. I will continue to keep testing and reporting my results.

For all the shots from the SKS launch, you can find them here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.382580831767768.106231.312936945398824&type=1

and for all the shots from our HQ all ages show, you can find them here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.384306864928498.106565.312936945398824&type=1

Serial Killer Smile: The Elephant in the Room…

Miscellaneous

Ever since the breaking of ‘Silverchair’ with ‘Frog Stomp’ in 1995, we have had a steady succession of heavy alternative acts in this country that have achieved national and even international fame in their time. Especially in this last decade with bands such as ‘Karnivool’, ‘Cog’ & ‘The Butterfly Effect’ coming to the fore and playing a huge influence on a whole generation of young musicians idolising their records. This has I believe, made it hard for new bands of this genre to stand up and have a sound that is uniquely their own, as many fall trap to emulating their idols a little too closely. After a few listens to the disc that is sitting in front of me, I am happy to report this is not the case here.

Right from the moment the first groovy guitar riff of ‘The Baker’ crunches in, backed by the syncopated drums, you find yourself bopping your head almost unconsciously. You can tell you are in for something special here. I am immediately struck by the high quality of this recording, the string arrangement towards the end of ‘The Baker’ is amazing. Ben Bowden’s vocals sound clear and airy, floating on a cloud of melody above the groovy, chunky, math laden riffs being laid down by guitarist Richard Lant. Mark Degebrodt’s drumming is sublime, from big pounding beats with huge Danny Carey’esq rolls, to off beat patterns that carry you the whole way through the record with-out once becoming repetitive or ‘stock’ in anyway. ..but what would the drums be with-out big fat, rolling bass lines? Matt Snow’s contribution is excellent. Tight, fat and a great dirty tone to the bass when needed. No sweeping this giant bass sound under the mix, no his lines stand out crisp and clear always providing perfect complement and groove in their own right.

From the very first line ‘I could’a killed someone’ of ‘The Irrepressible’ you can tell this is the stand-out single of this Ep. Not that this song is unusually good compared to the rest of the disc, not so, each song could stand out on it’s own individually. And that is where the strength of this record lies. Not from one great stand out track, but 5 tracks of solid groove, melody and hooks. I dare you to try and not bop your head along to this record. I dare you. It is just simply not possible. There is just too much groove, great guitar tones, huge hooking choruses, interesting and pounding drum beats for you not to. This is a record these four musicians should be very proud of. The song writing is mature, every song is perfectly crafted, leaving you, by the time the 5 songs are finished, just wanting more.

If you are into any kind of heavy music you will appreciate this record, but if you are into heavy music but not so into heavy vocals, you will absolutely love this record! If you haven’t already checked out ‘Serial Killer Smile’ you can do so on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/sksband

The band will be releasing their record ‘The Elephant in The Room’ on the 17th of February at the The Rosemount Hotel. They will be supported by Further Earth, Copious & This Other Eden. This is shaping up to be an excellent launch, for an amazing disc, by a great Perth band that has a bright future. I hope you take the time to check out ‘Serial Killer Smile’ and purchase their debut Ep ‘The Elephant in The Room’, you will not be disappointed.

 

Cold Fate: Thrash is back… in Perth!

Music

You see I do not listen to thrash much any more, not since my younger days as a teen worshiping Metallica & Slayer have I really sat through a whole album. I have in my later years focused my listening on the more alternative, some would say “mathy” metals, so it is something I have not done in a long time, sit down and listen to a “thrash” record.

As I listen to Cold Fate’s latest offering, trying to find the right words to begin, the churning, almost train like sample that this intro track builds into is almost mesmerizing with this swirling ominous presence rising in the background, when whack, in kicks the chugging opening to ‘Long Live the King’. I am immediately struck by the high quality of the recording. Very tight, the guitars sound buttery smooth from the chugging rhythms to the sublimely composed lead tones, a complement to both Cameron Nicholas and Josh Fletcher. Matt Carver brings in the low-end while still being audible and complementary to the whole band, something that is often overlooked on many a record, his contribution is definitely note worthy. The drums sound punchy, powerful and precise, delivered in that signature Dave Kilgallon way. Great use of the whole kit, nice quick, full rolls switching feel shifts that seem tack sharp.  The vocal mix sounds clear and crisp, many a chant worthy, thrashy anthem can be found being belted out by Paul Di Scerni on this latest offering ‘Figures in Black’.

Despite all the elements, great they all are, I have to say every time I just keep being drawn back to the amazing lead work on this record. Every track has a face melting moment! I kid you not! Go into listening to this record pre-warned, your face will get melted, right off! From the nostalgic ‘Ashes to Ashes’  & ‘Figures in Black’ to ‘Edge of Hell’ and ‘No Love Lost’ every track showcases a mastery of thrash guitar that I doubt any could deny. But this is a pre-requisite is it not? To play good thrash? Of course it is, just like machine tight pounding bass & drums and commanding vocals, not screamed, not guttural, but commanding. This is, I believe what makes ‘Cold Fate’ such a good thrash band. They understand all the elements and execute them perfectly, everyone performs their set task beautifully and they deliver exactly what they intend to. I am not joking here, I have had the privilege of seeing them live and they deliver, just like the record.

So if you harken back to the good old days, when metal was metal, there was just one genre, metal. And you believe it has all been a downward spiral since, this is definitely the record for you. Hell if you just love face-melting solos this is the record for you… if nothing else, I feel this album would be really good driving music, from it’s pounding grooves, to it’s up-tempo crescendos, to the anthemic chorus’s and acoustic breaks, this is a well executed album which is a tribute to the band… and their producer/engineer who pulled such a great mix.

If you get a chance I definitely recommend you check out ‘Cold Fate’ live, it is definitely a show worth seeing.
For updates and more info check out their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/coldfate