Australia continues to thrive with amazing music, especially in Adelaide, that one could say is home to some of the finest quality Heavy Metal in the country. Matterhorn is one such band not shy to make a statement of epic proportions and armed with their latest album ‘Crimes of Man,’ they throw down from opening bell. Unleashing the heavy Judge Nought, you immediately feel like they are in the zone and kick and scream with a profuse malice that batters the senses with the might of a Viking hammer.
Influences are apparent in the sound, but in this day and age, one would have to say it’s a good thing and Matterhorn unleash a metal assault that would make the most stern-faced European grin ever so slight. Guest of His Majesty just carries the flow from the opener with a smoothness that just drives the hammer right through the skull. Amanda Ozolins‘ vocals are fantastically powerful and it’s exciting to listen to the range, backed by a very impressive band that pulls not a single punch.
As we ease in the chug of Burial Ground, Ozolin takes us through the calm of verse before launching a hook from nowhere that is well-timed and sticks out as a chorus that will get fists pumping and would truly be a joy to watch live. Brendan “Oz” Ozolins shreds with precision on this, and overall, a standout track, before the single, Memory of the Guilty takes a shift of gears down slight and just holds the tempo for a couple of minutes before we are treated to a rock-solid chorus. A good or bad thing? I leave that to you, the listener.
Asylum kicks with a snap and driving groove that picks the pace right back up and packs such a solid punch that would be worthy of a single. The band is harmonious and this track just fires with a hell-bound riff that would be rated as one of the top tracks to crank to eleven. Spear of Destiny slithers like a rattlesnake in its opening and the band does a nice job of introducing this track with such a cool tempo, before kicking in and solidifying their position as a damn fine ‘balls to the wall’ metal act. There is no drift from the formula they have conceived and stick to producing track-after-track of pure metal with a Euro feel and a real twist of Oz.
The swing of Poisoned Scars shows a nice variation in the band’s sound, without losing the consistency on this album. The chorus just soars with an almost LA dirtiness and snarl that rocks. The chemistry and tightness of the band is well worth mentioning, as this really is a polished effort of an album and this song could easily be another single. The bridge is a nice touch that pulls out a killer solo to carry this song through.
Drive has a great opening that just teases until the rhythm section of Steve Opitz (bass) and Jaryd Dorey (drums) just kicks this beast of a track in with some solid beats from Dorey. Tracks like this stick right out and kudos to the production on this album that really helps to smash through each track the way the band wants you to experience this. There’s no shortage of riff here for the hungry metal loving headbanger that wants a dose of good Aussie metal. Matterhorn is well and truly bringing it. This track is the anthem to do so. And Ozolin’s primal wail at the finale will have you jumping for joy. If not, try turning the volume up and try not to smash the furniture.
The punch of Lucid Awakening keeps the steam flowing from the speakers and chugs along with an ease that shows just how tight this band is. The chorus cruises along and packs a nice punch. The solid beat of Jade fits perfectly for the tempo and feel this album permeates but kicks along as a track showing off a rock solid beat and some great vocals. The punishing tempo of I Am Become Death ferociously erupts from the intro with a drive and stomp that kicks the gears right back up and the verses just smash with such a thunderous drive, that the chorus just explodes right at the peak. This could be the best track on this album, so brace yourself.
The riffs of Children of the Sun show off some great guitar and the flow as this idles amongst the grooves that this album packs nicely and definitely one for the guitar connoisseur. Closing with the dark intro of finale The Riff, you can feel the sombre tones eloquently produced in the verses and show a nice restraint without losing its appeal. The song brings closure to an album that really puts one’s mind at ease; if ever there was a question of the quality of metal in Australia right now. ‘Crimes of Man’ is thirteen tracks of pure power and metal crunch that broadly hits with tremendous force, but is thirteen too much or not enough for some? Add this to your jukebox and crank it loud. Matterhorn definitely knows how to punch a groove, and again, a nod to the great production that makes this album so bold and great.