Dead Letter Opener
Gig Seeker Pro

Dead Letter Opener

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Metal

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"Excruciatingly tight and enviously efficient..."

The Ocean / Nuclear Summer / Lo! / Dead Letter Opener - The Zoo Brisbane Thu May 24

Quite a line up has been assembled to support the first Australian tour of the relatively obscure Swiss/German metal power-house The Ocean tonight at The Zoo, although attracting Brisbane metal-heads out on a Thursday night is a tough ask under the best of circumstances.

Excruciatingly tight and enviously efficient, Dead Letter Opener provide a taste of Nordic-style technical and black metal to match the blast of wintery Brisbane weather. Having not seen the local three-piece play live for what must be a couple of years now, I’m happy to hear what appears to be some new, fiercely technical material and it sounds great; Dead Letter Opener are clearly audiophiles and their sound here at The Zoo tonight is impeccable. They round out their set on a more familiar note with a Lumen favourite The Iron Curtain.

Sydney band Lo! are Pelagic Records label mates with The Ocean and have landed the prized supporting slot up and down the East Coast with their contrarily sludgy, tech-metal sound. No strangers to Brisbane audiences, singer Jamie-Leigh Smith seems genuinely concerned by the sedated, seemingly lackadaisical mood in the room, and he does his best to elicit a response worthy of their imposing sound. They play through a number of the more aggressive tunes from their Look And Behold album and make an impression on the introspective intellectual-metal heads in the audience, even if it doesn’t show.

Offering a more eclectic, almost experimental edge, are local six-piece post-hardcore rockers Nuclear Summer who are also travelling up and down the East Coast with this tour. They play to a few more faces as the venue starts to swell with dedicated, serious looking Euro-metal fans that might not otherwise appreciate their newer style hardcore-deconstruction. Although they've been playing for a couple of years, it's the first time I've seen vocalist Lochlan Watt fronting a band since the break up of the incendiary Ironhide and his new job hosting The Racket on Triple J, and he proves every bit the utility. His use of melody amongst the usual screamed vocals and growls is striking, and while by no means perfect, makes room for a highly dynamic performance from band as a whole.

After the rise of many major international metal festivals and multi-headlining tours, I’m surprised it has taken so long for prolific German post-metal masters The Ocean to visit Australian shores; the limited amount of attention and distribution they’ve received here defies their significance in the burgeoning European metal scene. Still touring after the release of their sixth full-length album Heliocentric (or second part of their third double album, depending how you look at it), they open with the Heliocentric intro Shamayim that continues seamlessly into the pulsing, tempered melodic metal of Firmament. Its difficult to fathom the precision the five-piece manage to achieve when bringing these songs to life, the clarity of vocalist Loic Rossetti’s screams are on par with his near-perfect melodic singing, and its with much relief to hear the collective delve into their back catalogue with equal fervour. The hairs stand up on the back of my neck as the opening chords of Fluxion’s Nazca are strummed, and I rush closer to the stage to take it in, before they erupt with the drivingly heavy opening and title track to their 2011 album Anthropocentric closely followed by The Grand Inquisitor I: Karamazov Baseness.
It seems like their set passes in the blink of an eye as they thank the crowd and announce the thought-provoking Heliocentric double take The Origin Of Species and The Origin Of God as their last song, although there’s no doubt about an encore as they quickly return to the stage to play more Anthropocentric material. We’re granted another ecstatic moment as the first brutal chords of The City And The Sea break after they welcome Lochlan Watt back onstage to hel - Rave Magazine


"I am sure that this trio of Brisbane will be much talked about in the future. I have in my hands something that burns."

The Pit of the Damned - Italian Heavy Metal Radio
Lumen Review

(Translation)
The luxurious digipack and the disturbing image of the cd cover made me think immediately sounds death / doom, but the devastating attack of the initial "Light of Day" has suddenly denied my theories.

The Australian band Dead Letter Opener is a really tough and prepared (and have shared the stage with Cradle of Filth, Dillinger Escape Plan or The Alchemist, to name some names, does nothing but prove it) that after a start-up a bit 'on the sly, they can surprise us for the freshness of their sound, a deadly mix of brutal death and prog, that has come to define me with a bit of ignorance and superficiality, the kind proposed as techno death.

In reality it is difficult to make comparisons with some well-defined band, because even though these still sound a little bitter, I am sure that this quartet of Brisbane will be much talked about in the future and you can tell already from the second, "Till Death Arrives" where futuristic melodies are mixed with a thrash-grooveggiante in an escalation of emotions that leads to an orgasmic peak at the end of his five minutes.

I am certain that the air in Australia to create reality so strange and different from the rest of the body (think of the aliens also Alchemist or psychedelic Long Voyage Back), because once again I remain stunned by the unexpected nature of the third track, " Small Furry Animals ", which starts in a rather anonymous in its first ten seconds, but then takes weird melodies (almost Middle Eastern), bringing his sound to the extreme progressive.

"Brutal Vengeance" starts as a trace of the Atheist, then attack with their brutality increasingly oblivious to the listener who does not know what to expect from the notes of this dangerous "Lumen." What we are listening, brutal, progressive, thrash, death or cyber music from the end of the world?

I do not understand and "Anger Management" further complicates my thoughts on this CD, making me even more excited about this new combo from the distant land of kangaroos: clean vocals (very progressive) sing a rhythmic melodic with keyboards a beautiful brush paintings that reminds me of autumn in style as our own in November. Even the interlude "Reflect", a moment of pause before the final storm, has that feeling of the typical band of brothers Orlando.

Guys, I have in my hands something that burns and you have to do in order to retrieve (not download!) At any cost, for the beauty of the digipack and exciting, "Refract," instrumental song in full Katatonia style and "Jetstream" the most experimental song of the lot, which echoes between cybernetic, filtered vocals, cadenced rhythms, electronic samples, manage to get through my veins, brain and soul, making the rule of Brisbane band the best new comer in recent months. ..

Francesco Scarci Rating: 80 ?

Original Italian

Il lussuoso digipack e l'inquietante immagine della cover cd mi ha fatto pensare immediatamente a suoni death/doom, ma l'attacco devastante dell'iniziale "Light of Day" ha smentito subitamente le mie teorie. Gli australiani Dead Letter Opener sono una band davvero tosta e preparata (e l'aver condiviso i palchi con Cradle of Filth, The Dillinger Escape Plan o Alchemist, tanto per citare qualche nome, non fa altro che dimostrarlo) che dopo un avvio un po' in sordina, riescono a sorprenderci per la freschezza del loro sound, un mix mortale di brutal death e prog, che ha finito per farmi definire, con un pizzico di ignoranza e superficialità, il genere proposto come techno death. In realtà è difficile fare un paragone con qualche band ben precisa, perché pur presentando ancora un sound leggermente acerbo, sono certo che questo quartetto di Brisbane farà molto parlare di sé in futuro e lo si capisce già dalla seconda "Till Death Arrives" dove futuristiche melodie si miscelano con un thrash-grooveggiante in un'escalation di emozioni che porta ad un apice orgasmico alla fine dei suoi cinque minuti. Sono sicuro che sia l'aria dell'Australia a creare realtà cosi strane e differenti dal resto della massa (basti pensare anche agli alieni Alchemist o ai psichedelici Long Voyage Back), perché ancora una volta rimango stupefatto dall'imprevedibilità della terza traccia, "Small Furry Animals", che parte in modo abbastanza anonimo nei suoi primi dieci secondi, ma poi intraprende strane melodie (quasi mediorientali), portando all'estremo il suo sound progressivo. "Brutal Vengeance" inizia come una traccia degli Atheist, per poi aggredire con la propria brutalità il sempre più ignaro ascoltatore che non sa più cosa aspettarsi dalle note di questo pericoloso "Lumen". Che cosa stiamo ascoltando, brutal, progressive, thrash, cyber death o musica da fine del mondo? Non mi è chiaro e "Anger Management" complica ancor di più il mio pensiero su questo cd, rendendomi ancor più entusiasta di questo nuovo combo proveniente dalla lontanissima terra dei canguri: clean vocals (molto progressive) cantano su una ritmica molto melodica con le tastiere a pennellare magnifici dipinti autunnali che mi riportano alla mente come stile i nostrani Novembre. Anche l'intermezzo "Reflect", momento di pausa prima della tempesta finale, ha quel feeling tipico della band dei fratelli Orlando. Ragazzi, tra le mani ho qualcosa che scotta e che dovrete fare in modo di recuperare (non scaricare!) ad ogni costo, per la bellezza del digipack e per l'emozionante "Refract", song strumentale in pieno Katatonia style e "Jetstream" la song più sperimentale del lotto, che tra echi cibernetici, vocals filtrate, ritmiche cadenzate, samples elettronici, riesce ad entrare nelle mie vene, nel cervello e nell'anima, facendomi decretare la band di Brisbane tra le migliori new comer degli ultimi mesi... (Francesco Scarci) - The Pit of the Damned - Italian Heavy Metal Radio


"On the night the guys managed to pull off the difficult art of switching from death metal to ambient dreamscape melodies with as much integrity and ease as the mighty Opeth or even Porcupine Tree. I am sure they are sick of this comparison but it is hard "

MysticMetal.com.au
Lewisham Hotel Sydney - 14 August 2010

From the outset you could tell that Queensland's Dead Letter Opener were out to destroy Sydney with their arsenal of catchy Death-Prog tunes. Sure enough they did not disappoint and blew everyone away. The ...three-piece have a knack of filling up the whole sound spectrum without being muddy and deliver a honed and polished product. They managed to pull this off even after having to borrow equipment off headliners 'Darker Half' highlighting furthermore their talent and versatility. The carefully placed synth and sample parts washed over the crowd beautifully, silencing even the most boisterous metal heads. These parts accompanied by Mick Millards multi layered delayed vocal parts made him seem super human. Millard along with guitarist Chris Lait and drummer Richie Young all looked completely lost in the music and still look in love with the songs they play after touring their debut long player 'Lumen' for a while now. This transcended to the crowd brilliantly especially during 'Yours and What's Mine' and 'The Iron Curtain' which were blistering highlights of the show. On the night the guys managed to pull off the difficult art of switching from death metal to ambient dreamscape melodies with as much integrity and ease as the mighty Opeth or even Porcupine Tree. I am sure they are sick of this comparison but it is hard to put the fact out of your head when watching these guys. The forty minutes Dead Letter Opener were on stage seemed to just melt away as if they have you in a trance. They are very interesting to watch live even though what they do is very simple and stripped down. - MysticMetal.com.au


"“Lumen” is an impressive debut and would be lapped up by those who enjoy the more progressive end of the metal spectrums – and with perhaps a slightly more focused follow up record the band may just have what it takes to break through the glass ceiling in"

MetalObsession.net
Lumen Album Review

For a long time now, the Australian metal scene has struggled to make a significant splash in the international heavy music ocean, however with the recent success seen by varied acts such as Psycroptic, Portal and Parkway Drive, the potential for other bands to break into the lucrative North American and European markets has never been higher. Hailing from Brisbane, three piece Dead Letter Opener (not to be confused by Dead Letter Circus) might just one of the next acts to truly turn global. Led by multi instrumentalist and vocalist Mick Millard, DLC’s debut “Lumen” dropped in mid 2009 via home grown label Obsidian Records.

With trios still something of a novelty in metal, it’s always a sign of high class musicianship and cohesion amongst a band to create music that doesn’t sacrifice any details and quality despite lack of band members. Of course, in the studio anyone can layer dozens of guitar and keyboard parts, but “Lumen” feels that, for the lack of better words, raw yet manageable – basically the thought of the band playing these songs live is not really a stretch of the imagination at all.

The rampaging opener “Light of Day” is strong sign of intent from the band, with Richie Young’s monstrous drum attack driving the tune along at a blitzkrieg pace, while follower “Till Death Arrives” throws tremolo picked guitars, string sections and mournful clean vocals into the pot as it veers exceptionally close to black metal territory.

“Jetstream” is easily one of the wildcards on the record, featuring electronic glitches, synth pads and haunting clean vocals – definitely not something that a large majority of listeners would expect after the heavy album openers. Despite its strangeness, it serves as one of the highlights on the album, it should be interesting to see if the song was simply a one off for the band or if future releases also feature such detours. The prog tinged “Small Furry Animals” chucks in a very Opeth-esque section not long after the flailing intro, as whispered vocals dance over the top of chorused guitars and intricate rhythms, while the staggering “Brutal Vengeance” is based on a looping riff and darker verses before descending into a very impressive clean chorus.

Production wise the album isn’t the polished product of a high end American/Swedish studio, but considering it was recorded at the band members home studios it’s a good example of how home recording programs have evolved into very professional sounding entities. However the most obvious fault that “Lumen” possesses – and of course this is just down to the opinion of the reviewer – is the fact that at times you feel like you’re listening to a compilation cd for the record company, as opposed to a single band. Not that there is anything wrong with bands expanding their musical horizons, but the trio are definitely at their strongest when they’re serving up songs that embrace their slightly darker side, and also show off Milllard’s under used clean vocals.

“Lumen” is an impressive debut and would be lapped up by those who enjoy the more progressive end of the metal spectrums – and with perhaps a slightly more focused follow up record the band may just have what it takes to break through the glass ceiling into the international market. 8/10 - MetalObsession.net


"Combining a little black metal with a pinch of thrash and even a dash of melodic euro-metal, all mixed together by a spoon called prog, Lumen is cohesive, crushing, at times even beautiful and more than enjoyable."

Rave Magazine.com.au
Lumen Album Review

Who Goes There?: Dead Letter Opener are three Brisbane boffins with a penchant for proggy brutality.

How Goes It?: Not to be confused with their slightly fruiter counterparts Dead Letter Circus, Dead Letter Opener produce good solid compendiums of technically challenging heaviness without the theatrics. Combining a little black metal with a pinch of thrash and even a dash of melodic euro-metal, all mixed together by a spoon called prog, Lumen is cohesive, crushing, at times even beautiful and more than enjoyable. It just proves that sometimes the best musical discoveries are in your own backyard.

Sounds Like: The Haunted / Opeth / Devin Townsend

3.5 / 5 stars - Rave Magazine


"There is a maturity about this record that belies the fact that the band has been together for only two years and has released just one EP. 'Lumen' is a high quality release of original, slightly left-of-centre heavy music."

dBMagazine.com.au
Lumen Album Review

'Lumen' is the debut album from Brisbane three-piece Dead Letter Opener. Interestingly, while it was recorded at various Brisbane studios, the mixing took place at Sovereign Studios in Perth while the mastering was done in Amsterdam by Jochem Jacobs. The album title is apparently Latin for 'light of day', however it is darkness that is very much in the ascendancy here with a dark, foreboding and uneasy mood pervading the album, musically, lyrically and in the artwork.

Nominally described in their press release as a progressive metal band, some of the more obvious points of reference include Opeth, Tool, Katatonia and the more progressively inclined black metal bands such as Enslaved and Agalloch. Dead Letter Opener's musical palette also includes the occasional use of samples and strings. While drawing from a range of musical influences, there is a clear focus on the songs and as a consequence the contrasting elements generally don't causes things to become disjointed or confusing to the listener. There is also a maturity about this record that belies the fact that the band has been together for only two years and has released just one EP.

The strident death metal of Light Of Day gets things get off to a blazing start. Till Death Arrives follows in a similar vein, at least until about two-thirds of the way through at which point unexpected and disconcerting tempo shifts kick in. Brutal Vengeance is aptly named while Small Furry Animals is not; both are full of discordant fury. Elsewhere Jetstream has an insistent, almost industrial groove.

There are some flat spots in the album's second half, most notably the two-part Reflect and Refract in which Dead Letter Opener's ambition perhaps stretches slightly too far. On the whole though, 'Lumen' is a high quality release of original, slightly left-of-centre heavy music.

James McKenzie - dB Magazine


"‘Lumen’ is tailor-made for metal heads who want their music to be challenging and slightly off-the-wall – but still straight-ahead enough to bang their heads to."

Press Record Online
Lumen Album Review

Fronted by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Mick Millard, Brisbane’s Dead Letter Opener deliver their long awaited debut record ‘Lumen’.

Musically speaking, almost all the songs off ‘Lumen’ are highly complex, with countless notes flying across the sonic spectrum – but this doesn’t detract from the album’s sheer catchiness, and also shows the stellar musicianship the three-piece has to offer.

Opener ‘Light of Day’ launches at a breakneck pace, with blast-beating drums driving the furious riffs and vocals to the breaking point, before the pace dramatically drops for a truly monstrous middle section, with leviathan drum-fills crashing around a particular doomy riff. ‘Till Death Arrives’ is essentially a black metal number, with blitzkrieg guitars, throaty screams and tastefully morose string sections helping push the tune deep into Emperor/Dimmu Borgir territory. A rather impressive bridge section adds clean vocals and synths to create one the album’s high points.

Back to back instrumental pieces ‘Reflect’ and ‘Retract’ serve as a nice middle break. ‘Reflect’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cynic album, with interesting chord and melody changes, while ‘Retract’ features a lumbering riff combine with a powerful melody carried by a string section. ‘Lumen’ features more keyboard work than probably expected, with ‘Anger Management’ another shining example of Millard’s impressive piano playing.

The lurching ‘Brutal Vengeance’ is based up on a twisted riff, and once again utilises clean vocals before climaxing with an ever changing Dillinger Escape Plan-esque breakdown. ‘Jetstream’ features strong synthesisers and very heavy industrial influence with dark keys work and mournful vocals.

With almost every track on ‘Lumen’ taking a different influence, it’s basically impossible to pin this album down to one genre, and while it is certainly impressive to see that the band are trying to expand their sound by veering into many different musical tangents, it sometimes makes the album seem a tad unfocused. Regardless of this, ‘Lumen’ is tailor-made for metal heads who want their music to be challenging and slightly off-the-wall – but still straight-ahead enough to bang their heads to.

Andrew Kapper - Press Record Online


"The skill and diversity this band has is rare to say the least. Dead Letter Opener are Brisbane’s and Australia’s answer to progressive metal."

Blackmunk.com
Lumen Album Review

Dead Letter Opener are Brisbane’s and Australia’s answer to progressive metal. They are a band of many talents that vary from thrash metal, black metal, experimental and instrumental tunes. Recently they released their debut album ‘Lumen’.

‘Band of many talents’

Vocalist Mick Millard is a multi-talented individual. Armed with the skills to play bass, scream, sing, play keyboards and as well as doing the samples and string arrangements. Add the shredding skills of Chris Lait and the damaging drumming of Richie Young and it adds to be one hell of a band. So what are you waiting for?

As soon as you push play Dead Letter Opener begin their onslaught on your mind. ‘Light Of Day’ starts off as a typical thrash metal song but then takes a right turn into their progressive side of playing. Having supported none other than Cradle Of Filth, you know its only a matter of time before hell arrives….or in this case track 2, ‘Till Death Arrives’. This song as well as ‘Brutal Vengeance’ shows how dark and haunting Dead Letter Opener like their black metal music. ‘Anger Management’ is the song that really shows off their diversity. Starting off with a soft acoustic guitar before soon taking you on a ride that involves loud , angry, screaming to soft singing with some fast keyboard playing that adds a nice touch to an already great song. You then are lucky enough to experience two instrumental tracks, ‘Reflect’ being the softer one and ‘Refract’ being the heavier one. During those two songs you will find yourself lost in a deep trance of purity. After everything you have already heard you don’t expect much more surprises. Well then you stumble upon ‘Jetstream’. While listening to this track picture yourself watching an action movie right at the part when the good guy has had all he can take and is on his way to get his revenge. ‘Jetstream’ fits that description perfectly. The remaining two tracks take you straight back to where you started your listening journey….heavy and fast.

‘Dark, brutal, insane, complex and over all killer’

To choose a person that best fits Dead Letter Opener, that choice would be notorious serial killer Michael Myers. Dark, brutal, insane, complex and over all killer. Their debut album ‘Lumen’ is a must for any progressive fans, metal fans, black metal fans, thrash fans and pretty much anyone else who likes skilled heavy music. The skill and diversity this band has is rare to say the least. Dead Letter Opener are a massive addition to Australia’s vast music scene.

Recommended Song ‘Anger Management’

8/10 - Blackmunk.com


"The Iron Curtain - a 7-minute gem of a track. Lumen is a surprisingly good album, I have never heard of these guys, but they certainly know how to convince the listener. Good work by the Aussies. 4/5 Horns"

Ragherrie.com
Lumen Album Review
Google Translation:

Launched in 2005 Australian Dead Letter Opener "has just released their album re-lease its lumen. The band is not known, but know a professional album dropping.

Light Of Day so surprised, the first thing I only ever heard of this Australian trio, complete me. What a brutality and speed, while on their MySpace was progressive. Huh?

Till Death Arrives what is clear and melodic sounds like a Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal band, and that's not meant negatively.

Now I understand why they describe themselves as progressive: the song Small Furry Animals has not yet reached ears. You will hear a delightful mix of aggression and peace and it does a bit Between The Buried And Me-ish happen. Nice!

Brutal Vangeance sound exactly like Between The Buried And Me, particularly the bass. Blastbeats handsome and good use of clean vocals.

Fortunately, there is variation in the plate. That's something I find very important, because sometimes you get just saturated. Anger Mangement is a pause, and a very nice respite.

Continues in the rest Reflect. An instrumental "interlude" which certainly does not sound bad.

Refract is clearly the successor to Reflect and just sounds good. Any further and / or comments.

After a long intro of almost a half minutes to convince me know Jetstream. The pileup.

You can not tell when the Iron Curtain. What a wonderful guitar riff is it! A 7-minute masterpiece of a track.

And then a very strange ending. Weeks 7 and the number is only 33 seconds long. But in those 33 seconds we hear a lot text. After half a minute was silent, and I had to think. The music on me at work.

What a surprisingly good album is Lumen yet. I have never heard of these guys, but they know me certainly convincing. The album starts hard, in terms of reduced aggression halfway down but what's coming back hard at the end. Good work by the Aussies 'Letter Opener Dead'!

7/10

Dutch:

Het in 2005 opgezette Australische ‘Dead Letter Opener’ heeft net hun album Lumen gereleast. De band is nog niet zo bekend, maar weet wel een zeer professionele plaat neer te zetten.

Zo verrast Light Of Day, het eerste dat ik ook nog maar ooit van dit Australisch trio gehoord heb, mij compleet. Wat een bruutheid en snelheid, terwijl op hun MySpace progressive stond. Huh?

Till Death Arrives is duidelijk wat melodischer en klinkt als een Scandinavische Melodic Death Metal band, en dat is niet negatief bedoeld.

Nu snap ik waarom ze zichzelf als progressive omschrijven: het nummer Small Furry Animals is nog niet ten oren gekomen. Er klinkt een heerlijke mix tussen agressie en rust en het doet een beetje Between The Buried And Me-achtig overkomen. Nice!

Brutal Vangeance klinkt exact als Between The Buried And Me, vooral de baslijn. Knappe blastbeats en goed gebruik van clean vocals.

Gelukkig, er zit variatie in de plaat. Dat is iets wat ik erg belangrijk vind, want soms raak je gewoon verzadigd. Anger Mangement is een rustpunt, en een zeer fijn rustpunt.

De rust zet zich voort in Reflect. Een instrumentaal ‘tussenstuk’ wat zeker niet slecht klinkt.

Refract is duidelijk de opvolger van Reflect en klinkt gewoon goed. Verder geen op en/of aanmerkingen.

Na een lange intro van bijna anderhalve minuut weet Jetstream mij niet te overtuigen. Het zwakt af.

Dat kun je niet zeggen bij The Iron Curtain. Wat een heerlijke gitaarriff is dat toch! Een 7-minuut durend pareltje van een track.

En dan een heel vreemd einde. 7 Weeks het het nummer en is slechts 33 seconden lang. Maar in die 33 seconden horen we flink wat tekst. Na een halve minuut was het stil, en ik moest even nadenken. De muziek op me in laten werken.

Wat een verassend goede plaat is Lumen toch. Nog nooit heb ik van deze lui gehoord, maar ze weten me zeker te overtuigen. Het album begint hard, zwakt qua agressie halverwege wat af maar komt genadeloos hard terug op het einde. Goed werk van de Aussies van ‘Dead Letter Opener’!

7/10 - Ragherrie.com


"While the band’s sound is tight and aggressive, it’s their use of dynamics and their interesting shift in tempos that really push the song into unexpected territory, setting Dead Letter Opener apart from most."

Blistering.com
Lumen Album Review
[8/10]

Although having firmly established themselves on the live scene over the last couple years playing alongside big names such as Alchemist, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cradle of Filth, etc., Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) based act Dead Letter Opener haven’t really shown what they’re capable of in the studio outside their rather short three track Certified Nerdcore EP from 2007. But after a lengthy wait, the three piece band (comprising of vocalist/bassist/keyboardist/sampler Mick Millard, guitarist Chris Lait and drummer Richie Young) have finally emerged with their debut full-length album Lumen - their first release through Obsidian Records.

Australia has produced many world class progressive acts over the last decade, and while there’s a small contingent of extreme metal acts that fall within the progressive genre bracket, it has to be said that none of them sound quite like Dead Letter Opener. Essentially, Dead Letter Opener takes the template and style of progressive metal, and then pushes it into a more extreme direction. And the results really are something different.

“Light of Day” gets the album off to a flying start with some fast paced riffing and an almost thrash-like groove, while the subtle use of keyboards in the background provide a richness to the band’s overall sound. But while the band’s sound is tight and aggressive, it’s their use of dynamics and their interesting shift in tempos that really push the song into unexpected territory, setting Dead Letter Opener apart from most.

And a distinct black metal influence can be felt within “Till Death Arrives,” albeit with a progressive slant in places (the use of keyboards and the clean vocals is quite well done), while “Small Furry Animals” is a strange and twisted take on eastern influences mixed with straight out brutal death metal.

The title for “Brutal Vengeance” pretty much speaks for itself, although it does feature more than its fair share of melodic vocal passages and catchy riffing. The same however can not be said for “Anger Management,” which surprisingly enough is full of lavish piano work and stunning harmonised clean vocals alongside continual guttural growls, which brings to mind Novembre in places.

The stunning instrumental piece “Reflect” provides the album with a bit of breathing space, and eventually bleeds into the Katatonia-like second half “Refract.” While not quite as technically challenging as anything on the first half of the album, they are without a doubt the album’s more memorable and stronger tracks.

“Jetstream” is by far the most experimental track, and one that’s sure to take many by surprise. Boldly underpinned by heavy keyboard samples (both in terms of spoken samples and electronic beats), the band take on a whole new sound in the musical sense, all the while maintaining the clean/growled vocal approach, and with considerable success. Finishing up the album is the lengthy thrasher “The Iron Curtain” and the all out 33-second assault of “7 Weeks.”

Dead Letter Opener certainly has a sound that is strange, but one that definitely fits the extreme progressive metal tag. And while they may not appeal entirely to either the extreme metal or the progressive metal crowds exclusively, those who have a liking for a bit of both will certainly find something to their liking within Lumen.

8/10
Justin Donnelly - Blistering.com


"Dripping with prog-metal decadence, DLO tread that fine line between stunning musicianship and all out brutal face-melting metal, which not only makes them audibly pleasing but a certain pleasure to watch."

Time Off Magazine
Live Review
CRADLE OF FILTH, NEATH, DEAD LETTER OPENER
The Hi-Fi: 31.05.09

Apparently everyone for tonight’s show has the idea of turning up at doors and getting the best positions possible, with the line stretching as far down the block as the eye can see. It’s immediately apparent what the attire is for tonight: 3-inch platforms, corsets, and PVC pants, regardless of gender.

Local act Dead Letter Opener take to the stage early, and it’s a massive misfortune that they don’t get to play to the full room. Dripping with prog-metal decadence, DLO tread that fine line between stunning musicianship and all out brutal face-melting metal, which not only makes them audibly pleasing but a certain pleasure to watch. Frontman Mick Millard smashes his way through the allotted time and sets an incredibly high bar for the remainder of the night with ‘Yours And What’s Mine’. "I believe it was "The Iron Curtain"...ed"

Next up is another Brisbane band Neath. The melodic four-piece run a sweeping spectrum, dropping effortlessly from dark stewing bridges into soaring choruses of crunching guitar and thundering double-time drums. Due to the epic nature of the tracks, their set is flowing more like a mass musical experiment then a standard set. Guitarist Tim Dowdle does a commendable job expanding the sound of ‘The Spiders Sleep’ and ‘Untruths’ and helps the guys to close the set powerfully.

With the expected performance time now come and gone, the room is itching with anticipation. Then finally as we hit our sixth “Cradle!” chant the lights dim and the dark ones appear. Cradle Of Filth explode onto the stage with a dominating firepower and appear to leave the front of the crowd stunned as they stare on relatively still. Dani Filth proclaims, “We are Cradle Of Filth, carriers of swine flu and shitty fucking British metal!” "I think he said British weather didn't he?...ed" before launching into ‘Guilded Cunt’. Alternating between running across the stage and standing atop a riser next to the kit, Dani is impressive in the live sphere: ripping into ‘Dusk And Her Embrace’ he bellows a brutal tone then switches to his trademark burning witch shrill shriek. With rotating images projected onto the backdrop they bring it all the way back to the debut with ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’, drummer Martin Skaroupka showing that although he’s only been in the band for a small part of its existence he can improve any track with swift cymbal crashes and impressive fills. Winding up the set early the “Encore!” chant has begun before they have even left the stage. Dani marches back into the fray and starts up ‘Her Ghost In The Fog’ – touring keys player Ashley Ellyllon is having noticeable difficulty with her gear but she pulls it together enough to finish the track, while the band build to a crescendo of ‘From The Cradle To Enslave’ to finish a brutal performance that won’t be quickly forgotten.

MARK BERESFORD - Time Off Magazine


"I'm reminded of Spruance-inspired miscreants "Estradasphere", who stage similar feats of dynamic trickery, an impression strengthened by DLO's black metal mastery."

Dead Letter Opener / Hollow / Beijing Tank / Ruptured Harmony
Club Phoenix - Friday April 27

Conflicts of interest aside, Ruptured Harmony vocalist (and Blood & Thunder columnist) Shaun Nancarrow surprises me, screaming to the heavens, growling with venom and wailing with the wind. While he doesn't resemble Bruce Dickinson, Tom Araya or Glen Benton, his voice manages to evoke facets of all three. Reversing the damage done in countless failed attempts at such grandiose, epic heavy metal, their practiced execution matches their palpable sincerity.

Like a storm in the open ocean, Beijing Tank charge headlong into a war without an enemy. Vicious, seething and explosive, the Tank's sound and style combine the chaos of punk, the intensity of grind and the technique of thrash. Recent recruit Todd Hansen's renowned drumming adds an extra edge to their frantic pace and monstrous volume, which swallows the full impact of their impassioned, vein-popping vocals.

Expectations lift as comeback kids Hollow swagger on out; their innovative foray into metalcore predates its decent toward insidious glamour. Their sound tonight destroys any doubt as Dave Miller's strengthened vocals roar over the power-groove engine room. The unique track Girlfriend showcases Miller's non-metal delivery and distinguishes them from the pack while Exhibit B track Can Cut Her aces the test of time. Better late than never, Hollow's re-emergence doesn't disappoint; fingers crossed it lasts.

Launching their Certified Nerdcore E.P. amongst esteemed company are the genre-traversing maestros Dead Letter Opener. Their high-pitched noise-intro stays within safe volume levels this time and their onstage gear behaves, allowing their twisted momentum to flow freely.

I'm reminded of Spruance-inspired miscreants Estradasphere, who stage similar feats of dynamic trickery, an impression strengthened by DLO's black metal mastery from the moment Fat Ninjaz Revenge opens. Introspective instrumentals, broken chord grooves and off-time interplay flow freely, culminating in more Nordic metal. DLO's unique sonic amalgam ties together the disparate styles featured tonight with distinction. In fact, the diversity of tonight's all local line-up borders on maniacal; kudos to Phoenix for taking the risk.

JAMES STAFFORD - Rave Magazine


"The three-piece have superbly written songs that will challenge all members of the Brisbane Metal scene to step-up or just shut-up."

Dillinger Escape Plan / Coliseum / Dead Letter Opener
Fasterlouder.com.au

Monday nights proceedings started off with local outfit Dead Letter Opener. The three-piece has superbly written songs that will challenge all members of the Brisbane metal scene to step-up or just shut-up. Many songs from the EP Certified Nerdcore feature as a prominent part of the whole set, including Fat Ninjaz Revenge, and they explore well written lyrics layered with well played guitar. Though most members of the band were confined to their positions on stage it was an impressive set from all three.

After an agonisingly long sound check, three-piece Coliseum roll on with proceedings and enforce their heavy guitar riffs upon the crowd. Cheeky bass player, Mike Pascal jumps around the small space provided to the 3 piece. Get up and Drive, Set it Straight and No Benefit were songs that absolutely forced their way onto the crowd. Drummer, Chris Maggio, was often on his feet with raised fists and a smile all over his face. Guitarist and lead singer, Ryan Patterson even made a note about the value of the Australian dollar by complaining about the price of our soda, not that you would disagree with such a lyrically intimidating man. The few patrons that came out to see Coliseum were treated to an amazing display, however it was nothing compared to what was in store.

Dillinger Escape Plan explodes on the stage like a grenade of math core punk. Unconventional windmills, leaps and bounds onto speaker stacks along with some incredible guitar riffs saw patrons jumping with fists sky bound. The five-piece synergised their thumping percussion from Gil Sharone and odd time signatures with the tricky bass line like they were taking a stroll in the park. Front man Greg Puciato appeared to have been banned from the jungle gym as a child, climbing onto the bars on the roof of the Arena and literally hanging around. Songs from the new album Ire Works featured prominently including Fix Your Face and Lurch played in succession. Others including 33%, Phone Home, Sugar Coated Sour and 82588 lead to speakers bleeding guitar distortion and layered music pouring from the stacks.

Both guitarists, Ben Weinman and Jeff Tuttle proved their dexterity through a pounding of strings. Ben, though, through admission, was suffering a “bad guitar day”, and threw the guitar around like he didn’t need it. Dillinger haven’t enforced this much energy on the people of Australia for several years and went off with the same force as a nuke on the last show of the tour. To polish it off Greg made his way onto the crowd and Jeff with guitar in tow moshed with the crowd.

Most of Brisbane had its proverbial skirt on and missed out on the Monday madness and those who braved the breeze and got to see some of the fast and loud music to pour over the Arena. - FasterLouder.com.au


"The aurally assaulting intro by Dead Letter Opener is a sign they're no ordinary band; a point hammered home in their generically diverse set of avant-rock delicacies. With tracks ranging from rocking psychedelia to European black metal, I'm impressed by"

DEAD LETTER OPENER / FIVE STAR PRISON CELL / LYNCHMADA / APEX NULL / RISHATHRA

Club Phoenix Saturday Mar 3

Rishathra and their logo-emblazoned crew are first to fill the Edward Street club in sound and spirit; the number of supporters had me wishing I had arrived in time for their set.

However, I am in time for developing thrash-metallers Apex Null whose setstruggles to switch into fourth. Some promising speedier riffing redeems late in the set with track From Inside, but I'm left craving a challenge.

As if on cue, Lynchmada emerge to unleash their furious stylings on a willing audience. Intimidatingly tight and full of energy, they're more than worthy of recently received kudos. Closing track Reprise:Revenge is a fitting climax. It's about here everything goes awry.

Five Star Prison Cell's militant precision reacts violently with their unpredictable song structure. In launching their new album Slaves of Virgo the Melbournian experimetal four-piece leave many in the audience dumbfounded by their torturously tight, frighteningly flippant, down-tuned grind. Obtuse: The Essence Of Indifference is a highlight from the new album, although they finish with a crowd fave Vexed (For Reasons Torn).

The aurally assaulting intro by Dead Letter Opener is a sign they're no ordinary band; a point hammered home in their generically diverse set of avant-rock delicacies. With tracks ranging from rocking psychedelia to European black metal, I'm impressed by their mastery of each sound they touch on. A lack of momentum due to tech-trouble is my only gripe in an otherwise inspiring set.

JAMES STAFFORD (Rave Magazine 6.3.07) - Rave Magazine


"Songs are ridiculously well written and boast some of the most fantastic leads and guitar riffs in modern Extreme Metal, as well as expansive, unpredictable song structures."

The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coliseum, Dead Letter Opener
The Arena - Brisbane 19 May 2008

Appearing on stage with all the ceremony of a friend dropping around for a quick drink, local progressive metallers Dead Letter Opener's laconic, almost quintessentially Australian, manner belies the magnificently precise and vicious set they are about to unleash. Chris Lait's guitar tone is absolutely sublime and Mick Millard's vocals, be they growling or singing, are some of the best Australian metal has to offer. Songs like the epic 'Fat Ninjaz Revenge' (yes really) are the dynamic and exploratory 'Small Furry Animals' are ridiculously well written and boast some of the most fantastic leads and guitar riffs in modern Extreme Metal, as well as expansive, unpredictable song structures. The band are in no way visually captivating, merely standing and playing, but with a performance this great, nobody in their right mind would actually care.

International support act, filthy hardcore/metal mob Coliseum, by contrast appear rather dull. There is hardly anything wrong with the band's balls-to-the-wall, oh-so-Relapse shtick and the band deliver a serviceable performance, but after an entire set of pounding tracks like 'Give Up And Drive' and very little else, the band's two-dimensional sound begins to grate. Sandwiched between two wildly diverse and experimental bands, Coliseum merely look out of place and, unfortunately, out of their depth.

Playing on a Monday night, to a diminished crowd, The Dillinger Escape Plan's explosive performance in jazz-metal Molotov cocktail opener 'Panasonic Youth' is enough to shame most bands' entire concerts, or even careers. Throughout their entire set, the band explode on stage with the kind of energy that actually puts their mosh-friendly audience to shame, with Greg Puciato climbing around amplifiers and lighting rigs (hanging from the ceiling at one point) with a possessed mania half-way between Henry Rollins and Mike Patton and guitarist Ben Weinman leaping amplifier stacks in a single bound (it sounds like a superhuman feat, but that's because it is). There are even some ongoing technical difficulties with Ben's guitar that handicap the band, but Dillinger could probably have half the band set on fire and still perform admirably. In summing up the exhaustingly brilliant performance, a very simple sentence applies: It was The Dillinger Escape Plan – nothing more and absolutely nothing less.

MATT O'NEILL - Rave Magazine


Discography

Certified Nerdcore - EP
Released April 2007
Various tracks received local Brisbane airplay on 4zzz FM.

Yours and What's Mine - Film Clip and Promotional Single featured on Brismetal.com 2008 Compilation CD
Released October 2008
Received national Australian airplay on ABC TV and Triple J FM.

Lumen - LP
Released October 2009
Various tracks received international exposure on local radio networks in France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands, as well as receiving national Australian support from Triple J FM and other local stations around Australia.

Photos

Bio

Forming in 2005, the three-piece wrote and rehearsed until 2007 which saw the release of their independently recorded, produced and released EP 'Certified Nerdcore'. Shortly after its release Dead Letter Opener hit the live front, capturing listeners imaginations all across Southeast Queensland and supporting numerous nationally acclaimed hard rock and metal acts as well as some international ones, namely The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cradle of Filth, Turisas, Finntroll and The Ocean Collective.

2008/09 saw the band increasing their national exposure with the release of a video for the track 'Yours and What’s Mine' and the beginning of what was going to end up a lot of travelling to promote their sound throughout Australia. They also began writing tracks for their first full-length album 'Lumen' which they began recording early 2009. Again all 100% independently funded by the band and mixed and produced with the help of Aidan Barton from Pathogen in Perth, the album was released later that year. Mastered in Amsterdam by Jochem Jacobs from Textures, 'Lumen' has been described as a satisfyingly dynamic voyage of progressive heaviness, perfectly encapsulating the bands powerful and unique sound.

2011/12 has seen the band doing another load of touring around Australia to promote their latest release. The next priority for the guys is to play some shows outside of Australia. The possibility of touring to New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, North America, Canada and Europe are all currently being investigated. The goal for Dead Letter Opener now is to play as many shows as is financially permitted, and to continue writing and honing their dynamically diverse sound.

'Certified Nerdcore' and 'Lumen' are available worldwide. The CD and digipak are available from JBHiFi's around Australia and online through Jungle Library Records, Obsidian Records and iTunes.