THE NIGHT will be dark and full of terrors next Saturday in Ballarat.
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With something of a metal extravaganza planned for The Eastern next Saturday night with an impressive nine-band lineup, Ballarat’s heavy scene is clearly alive and well.
But according to the organiser and guitarist/vocalist for Ballarat-based band Wildeornes – the old Anglo Saxon spelling of “wilderness” – it’s not metal as we know it.
Richard Hammond said instead, most of the bands playing would fall into the category of “sludge” or “doom”, which is a more experimental style of metal, which he said referenced last 1970s artists.
“One of the vibes in the late 70s and early 80s between metal and punk was a difference in attitude,” he said.
“Sludge or doom has taken on the independent, do-it-yourself approach of the punk scene. It has become less concerned with technical ability or excessive musicianship, and become more concerned with artistic expression and conveying a message or a visceral or emotional response to the music.
“The gig isn't just about stereotypical loud music, this whole event is based on bands coming together, generating an inclusive and and accepting atmosphere where artists from all mediums will be able to appreciate the spectacle.”
Mr Hammond said the mini festival was entitled Winter’s Eve, as a bit of a nod not only to the current cold weather but also metal’s long association with a Germanic aesthetic, a style perhaps encapsulated by the medieval and ever-popular Game of Thrones.
“Mid-winter is important culturally, it’s an important time of year, and in a joking way it’s important for Ballarat – when we say “winter is coming”, we mean it,” he said, referencing the show’s catch-cry.
He said his band had also released a song called Winter’s Eve, again in reference to the connection between metal and the cold but ancient Germanic aesthetic.
The majority of the bands performing next weekend are from Melbourne, with the line-up featuring BØG, Field, NEVER, Motherslug, Roundtable, Wildeornes, Suiciety, Swidgen, and Merchant.
The festival will be held May 28. The event runs from 5pm until past midnight. Entry is $15, with organisers also asking for donations to Ballarat’s soup bus.
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