Australia’s great and growing metal scene has no doubt left its mark on many metalheads, and especially in the last five years, it housed scores and scores of bands ranging from bestial black metal to occult death to blackened thrash. So the bands excel at fabricating extremities, but what of some traditional heavy metal? During the last five years I’ve found myself continuously searching for traditional heavy bands in Sweden or the US, meandering and losing myself in their vast hosts of heavy metal bands, but if truth be told, Australia has never been the hotbed for traditional heavy metal acts, as it was far too plagued with demented extremists for the genre to breed. Convent Guilt, though, quite surprised me with their demo, released on the Australian Abysmal Sounds Records, a catchy slab of old school heavy metal goodness.
As the band does not have any history behind it, I can’t really make a robust comparison about its roots and whether it’s an anomalous release or not, but I can say that I was definitely impressed to hear such classy material from such a young act. Convent Guilt’s brand of heavy is bluesy, classy, and even hardcore-driven at times. Most of the riffs are simplistic but dynamic chord progressions with a few strands of harmonic melodies scattered here and there, and they mainly support massive amplifications, augmenting and enlarging the spaciousness of the heavyweight guitar ton even further. That being said, the clarity of tone can’t be questioned because it has such a straightforward edge to it. Despite being genuinely clean and kilter and even melancholic at times, the demo does not follow the same trail as Priest or Maiden, but injects a far more drowsing feel to listener, with certain moments being strong reminiscent of western music even. Maybe that’s just the way I recognize the music, but with interesting variations spread out in four tracks at twenty two minutes, there can never be a strict repute about the band’s approach.
The self titled track starts the album off with a pretty vigorous start. With the song being the shortest and most brisk on the whole demo, you experience a handful of what the whole demo has in store for you with the song’s catchy, hardcore-tinged plodding chord elevations and the frantic shouting of the vocalist. The vocals are also an oddball of an aspect of the album, gathering influences from Motorhead just like the riffs. They could have been done better, because I feel he suffered detonations at certain moments, but such tiny flaws are not really crucial to the balance of the demo. ‘’Bailed Up’’ serves an even larger portion of the bluesy heavy metal riff fodder, with some beautifully melodious sections jumping in brusquely at the riffs. ‘’Killer Virgins’’ also delivers a catchy blast, similar to the previous songs, but the most passionate track is ‘’No Dawn In Lucifer’s Light’’ – whose chorus has been stuck in my head for a good while now. Convent Guilt serves utterly great heavy metal on this demo, and it is my dearest hope that they continue on this path incessantly.
No Dawn In Lucifer's Light