Oliver Royer
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Oliver Royer

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Metal Hard Rock




"[EP REVIEW] Deadspace: Gravity"

Fancy some Ambient Black Metal from the grim suburbs of Perth? Heavy hitters, Deadspace come at full force with this four-track EP, Gravity. Don’t let the four track fool you as this lengthy EP could almost be a full length in itself exceeding over thirty minutes of the bleakest black metal to please any die-hard fan. Starting off with album opener Birth, the band give birth to some epic ambience here with the Nish and Oli combo laying down some evil riffs accompanied by the shrieks of vocalist, Chris Gebauer.

The musical arrangements on the EP allow some breathing room going from what only can be described as beautifully sounding one minute to a devilish landscape of sound the next. Recently touring in all capital cities the band are one determined force to be reckoned with. An animated video was made for Death, one of the highlights of the record with a shortened version from the artistic mind of one Davide Cilloni of Eklipse Media.Check it out below. - Heavy Mag

"Deadspace - The Promise of Oblivion"

The sub-genre that has come to be known as Depressive Black Metal has become all the rage within the last few years. Whereas acts such as SHINING have begun to make a name by producing some genuinely dark, aesthetically and lyrically morbid pieces of music, many have followed in their footsteps, more often than not falling short of the lofty mark that their idols have set. There are some bands, however, that manage to get it right, and manage to make their own stamp on this particular strain of Black Metal. One of these bands is DEADSPACE, a five piece outfit from Perth, Australia. In the short time they have been an active band, they've gained a small following which is starting to stretch far beyond Australia, mainly off the back of the a split album they released in December of last year alongside ONOMY. Their latest release, and first full length, "The Promise of Oblivion", is a showcase of eight tracks that display a talent and style that might just see this band give the demigods of the genre a run for their money.

What I've noticed, right off the bat, is that, although many of the larger bands of the genre aim to create long, sprawling songs on their releases, this band manage to condense all their ideas into shorter, more aggressive offerings. The longest song on here, the eerie, dissonant and haunting final track, "In The Coldness of the Darkest Night", lasts almost eight minutes, whereas many other acts opt to have this as the average length of a song. The album benefits all the more for it, as it prevents the songs from being so long that they get stagnant or even boring; they only put what is absolutely necessary into the music, and leave it at that. Their sound, overall, is a cacophony of different influences and styles, from the rawer end of Black Metal, through to atmospheric ambience, with some catchy, Hard Rock guitar work thrown in for good measure.

The album's opening, titular track, for example, opens on a great piece of piano music that draws the listener in, before launching into a visceral, grim slab of Depressive Black Metal. The harrowing, shrieking vocals are a highlight here, and completely capture the emotional essence of what this kind of Black Metal is meant to be about; sung with passion and a theatrical flourish which helps paint a mental image for the listener. "With Tears of Callous Lust" is no less powerful than the song that came before it, with some confident guitar and drum work backing those cold, hellish vocals. Each track leads seamlessly into the next, making this a full on experience, and not just another album you could just stick in and listen to the odd track off of; this is best enjoyed by listening to it chronologically, so that the full weight of each track, and the way the record flows, is fully felt by the listener.

The excellent "I'll Buy The Rope" and "The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain" are suitably dread-laden Black Metal juggernauts, interlaced with some amazing, hook laden guitar lines and mellower, ambient elements, which together help to craft two of the albums best and most memorable tracks. "Oblivion", a much softer piece coupled with a spoken word part, acts like the eye of the storm on this album, breaking up the violent, sorrowful music of the first four tracks before the final three offerings arrive. The first of these three, "Schadenfreude", is called into existence with a wail of anguish that is hair-raisingly good. Although this song is musically more reserved than the first four songs, the vocal performance is done so expertly that it still manages to pack a powerful punch and leave its mark on the album. The penultimate track, "Pain's Grey", is a brooding, vicious, well crafted piece of music that really sets the listener up for the closing track, "In The Coldness of The Darkest Night", which tries, and ultimately succeeds, in bringing together all of the various aspects in the bands sound and bringing them together to make one long, brilliant and depressing piece of thick, palpable Depressive Black Metal. It's fitting end to an astonishingly good album.

Words can't adequately describe how much I loved this album. In a recent review, I said that no band has hit their stride on their first full length release, and may not have done so until their second or third release. This album has proved me wrong. This is so well written, and so emotionally and musically on point that this could easily be one of the best Depressive Black Metal releases I've ever heard. This is the sort of album that I'd thoroughly recommend to anyone who wants the definitive "gateway" album to this genre of music. It has all the hallmarks of this brand of Black Metal, but manages to express these ideas and sounds in much shorter, tighter and more palatable way than many bands of the genre are able to. It has the strident nihilism of SHINING and the raw, transcendental qualities of XASTHUR, but sounds nothing like either. It's its own beast with its own distinctive sound. And that sound might just be one of a band that could re-define and revolutionize the genre. - Metal Temple

"A Review Of Deadspace’s ‘Gravity’ EP While Playing Through Dead Space"

When I was sent the press release for the new Deadspace EP, ‘Gravity’, I suddenly realized I hadn’t played Dead Space in over three years and figured this could make for a pretty unconventional review. The idea being like how Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon‘ syncs up with the Wizard Of Oz. I mean, come on, both share the same name, the EP’s called ‘Gravity’, the games set in space, the band is practically black metal, this game is depressingly bleak – this shit practically writes itself!

So I popped my copy of Visceral Games’ sci-fi/horror masterpiece into my Xbox 360 with the monitor volume on low and put ‘Gravity’ on repeat as loudly as I could, and went to work.

But first, some much-needed context.

Deadspace (the band) are – and I quote – a “blackened post goth-rock band” from Perth, Western Australia. Now, whether or not that genre description is them being serious or is simply them taking the Mickey, I actually couldn’t care less. Because in a nutshell, this quintet is a very solid atmospheric black metal band, with plenty of heavy, visceral moments and some truly haunting, well-written, instrumental interludes are thrown in for good measure. Their new four-track EP, ‘Gravity‘ – a follow-up to 2015’s ‘The Promise Of Oblivion‘ – is out now and has a superb flow to it, precise and impactful instrumental delivery and it really shows quality over quantity. Even so with its four tracks and 32-minute runtime. Now, at the risk of drawing a very general and “normie” comparison, I’d label Deadspace as an Australian Deafheaven, minus all the shoegaze, but with all the melody and emotion intact with some actual singing.

Deadpace cover
Take note of the EP’s artwork so you don’t skip over it when you see it while purveying JB HI FI, YouTube or iTunes.

Dead Space (the game) was a 2008 third-person horror game that combines claustrophobic atmosphere with tight, brutal gameplay, and started a terrific franchise (even if Dead Space 3 was somewhat bollocks). It centers on protagonist Isaac Clarke and his journey through the USG Ishimura, an interstellar mining ship that has distress signals coming out the wazoo. His goal(s) is to find out just what the hell happened to the thousand or so onboard crew and hopefully find his girlfriend, Nicole Brennan, alive and well. However, this being a horror game, shit doesn’t hit the fan so much as it breaks it because within minutes things go horribly awry and Isaac and his fellow crew are left stranded on the Ishimura. They soon learn that in place of the once human crew now stands these horrific cosmic monstrosities of flesh and bone, called Necromorphs. These Necromorphs are created by an onboard sentient artifact called the Marker, which elicits powerful psychological reactions in people through a mixture of telepathy, sonic pulses, and other such nonsense. Just think of them as homicidal versions of the Monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey. This was a huge game back in 2008. The game received much critical acclaim for its superb combination of tough, gory, action-packed combat, beautiful graphics, solid sound design (which doesn’t count for shit here) unnerving atmosphere, and the large amount of “brown pants” moments.

Now, to help connect up these two varying mediums for this write-up, I’m going to quote Deadspace vocalist, Chris Gebauer, from the aforementioned press release on the concept that outlines ‘Gravity‘ and it’s tracklisting:

“The brutality of birth itself, the crippling deprivation of life, the release of death, and the inevitable rebirth into the vast nothingness”.

The connection I’m drawing here? Well, you start Dead Space things get quite violent and brutal early on (“birth”). You play through the game and it’s harrowing chapters (“life”) and you’ll most likely be horribly killed many times ( “death”) and respawn at the last checkpoint (“rebirth”). So yes, that’s me stretching to make this gimmick work. But fuck it, I’m rolling with it, so away we go!

Note: not to cheat the system, whenever the game was paused, so to was the music and vice versa. Also, full disclosure, this ain’t my first rodeo – this was my third playthrough of Dead Space.

Dead Space shot
If Event Horizon, Alien, & The Thing were all made into a video game, Dead Space would be it.

My initial thoughts after selecting a new game in the main menu and hitting play on the EP was “Good god, it’s been ages since I’ve played Dead Space!“. Which was directly followed up by “Man, I hope this EP is really good!” and oh, it most certainly was. It’s also safe to say that gaming nostalgia hit me hard and fast here, however, so to did a disheartening sense that this may have all been for not.

See, the sci-fi setting wasn’t gelling with the emotionally tinged black metal that is Deadspace’s music (not a fault of the game or the band’s, only my judgment). An example of this miss-match was the game’s intro cinematic. With Isaac watching Nicole’s final transmission, the far-off view of Aegis VII, and the fast approaching Ishimura coupled with the slow, restrained, heavy drums, shredding vocals and repetitive, droning guitar riffs of the EP’s first song ‘Birth’ weren’t working in conjunction. “Damn, so much for this gimmick”, I thought, as it didn’t suit at all. Things didn’t improve after the crew – consisting of Isaac, Commander Zach Hammond, Specialist Kendra Daniels and a couple poor, unnamed sods that get horribly killed early on – are separated by the first encounter with the Necromorphs.

What a view! Shame about all those dead people on board that ship.

However, things eventually started to click when the somber clean guitar and ethereal vocals of the intro to ‘Life‘ provided a very ominous soundtrack for my way through the darkened, bloodied halls of Ishimura towards the end of Chapter 1.

Things were even more successful as the EP concluded its first spin, repeated, and the outro piano of ‘Birth‘ provided a haunting accompaniment to my path through the Medical section of the ship later in Chapter 2. Also early on, you eventually venture through a part of the ship that’s hull has been rip-open. Walking through this section with the epic build-up of ‘Death’, cued in by the fast, rolling drums fills, was simply surreal when the song’s climax hit. That’s a word you’ll see used frequently here – surreal. I found myself just standing there, among the floating debris and corpses, and just gazing out across the distant horizon of Aegis VII. Goosebumps were well and truly had.

It was almost as if their music had been intentionally made for this very game.

Actually, these outside moments, as well as the handful of zero gravity sections found throughout the game (which are always fun), worked so well with the abstract interludes that help join up each of the EP’s four songs. These created many further moments of goosebumps, I assure you. Hell, even when the band’s going full-speed with heavy riffs, pummeling blast beats and cacophonous screams, it was still intense and memorable when played alongside certain set-pieces and enemy encounters. But for the sake of word count, I can’t go through all of these sadly – the buck does have to stop somewhere. Also for the sake of not over-bloating the word count, I’m going to run through a few moments that really stood out to me in this venture.

One such moment was very early on, I stumbled across a crazed survivor that was skinning some poor bastard alive. When she notices me, she laughs and slashes her throat with a blade. That scene is really fucked up just by itself, but with the guttural vocals and steadfast grooves of ‘Birth‘ playing, it was just…something else entirely. I can’t really put my finger on what it was but if I had to call it, it would be disturbing, to say the least. Likewise, ‘Rebirth’ ends with an audio sample discussing life, religion, and to let go of materialism. Which was oddly apt at various points when I was walking past discarded luggage and items of crewmembers that fled cosmic horrors of flesh and bone. Only to probably die some cruel, dismembered fate somewhere in the bowels of the USG Ishimura by a necromorph. (Also, here’s a really disturbing piece of trivia about the necromorph design for you. While in development, Visceral Games studied car crash victims and war doco’s to try and get the look of the creatures just real and messed up enough to be effective.)

Man… Dead Space really is a cheery game, isn’t it? I suppose then it’s fitting that both the game and the EP are rather depressing (remember the words of Deadspace’s singer about the EP’s meaning?) yet both are so cathartic in their gameplay and sonic content respectively.

As for the Marker mentioned earlier, much of the surviving crew affected by it leave crazed, ominous messages across the walls, floors ceilings and any surface these disturbed individuals can pen their bloodstained writings. When wandering past such scriptures much later in the game – to a “wall of sound” of blackened metal was just exquisite. And by exquisite, I mean, creepy and surreal as fuck! Especially with the EP’s bridging instrumental interludes cascading out from my speakers as I looked on these bloodstained ramblings, it was all chilling stuff.

The same can be said for when you venture through mid and late-game halls that the Necromorphs have since converted to their liking and as such look like one of HR Giger’s wet dreams. They were also noteworthy due to the echoing screams, sharp, tonal riffs and ominous timbre of the ‘Birth‘ played out over these visuals.

At this point in time, I feel as if Deadspace played a more extreme or heavier style of metal or perhaps had a far more experimental sound than this whole piece would have never worked.

On the flipside, one moment that wasn’t so much ‘chilling’ as it was ‘kick ass’ was one the games earlier boss fights. To progress through the ship you must first kill this giant creature that’s poisoning the ship’s air supply. The remaining crew called The Leviathan, or as I colloquially call it, “The Gaint Man-Eating Wall Vaganus”. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

But having the dark riffs, down-trodden timbre and surging rhythms of the first half of final track, ‘Rebirth’, accompany me in this fight made for one hell of an awesome encounter. The way this song transitioned into its “chorus” as the creature roared at one point had me grinning from ear to ear.

Now, I’d say spoiler warning here, but Dead Space is eight years old now, so tough!

In the final act, and in one of the most organic moments of this experiment, the climax of ‘Death’ hit at the exact moment that Isaac comes to turn with his own sanity. In this integral plot point, he re-watches Nicole’s final transmission only to fully learn & accept that she killed herself prior to his arrival; anything to be spared from the horrible fate that so many of her fellow crew members suffered. This means that Isaac’s encounters with Nicole were in the second half of the game were just figments of his deteriorating mental state brought on by the stressful situation and exposure to the Marker.

The final notes of the song’s outro also offered an immensely emotive score to follow up on what was games big “twist” (oddly enough, if you take the first letter of all the Chapter titles, it spells out ‘Nicole Is Dead’). I’d argue that the full version of ‘Death’ – the video version is only half – is easily the best song of the four. In this particular context, the song is eerie and stylistically balanced enough I could’ve used it as the game’s entire soundtrack. Furthermore, the soft, melancholic piano of its outro is, as a feeling, just so isolating and at that point in the game, for Isaac to be completely alone on a barren planet in a distant star system with no help coming was again, just surreal & chilling.

It also provided an apt soundtrack to this quaint null in the proceedings; to balance out the previous intense, emotional peaks of the song and the game. Well, that is before it transitioned effortlessly into ‘Rebirth’ once more and the game began its final moments; the encounter with the “Hive Mind”. Funny, the end of a great EP also coincides with the end of a great game.

Once that colossal hellspawn was killed just in time for the song to wind down, you get off-world, the final cutscene plays out, the narrative for Dead Space 2 gets set up (still the best entry in the series), credits rolled. I checked to see exactly how long this play through had taken me – five hours, thirty-six minutes, and thirty-nine seconds. es, the game counted that for me).

Yes, the game counted that for me.

No, that wasn’t in one sitting.

It was over two nights. I have some kind of life after all.

Of course, as stated before, not every single moment of Dead Space synced up with ‘Gravity‘ like say, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and Wizard Of Oz.

Obviously, the save points, the loading sequences between Chapters, and the narrative sections where the other crew calls you to inform you of what horribly coincidental problem has befallen everyone now didn’t fit with the music. Not in the slightest, but considering the way that this whole experience started out, I prepared myself for plenty of…inconsistent sections. Which were definitely apparent, but the more the game went on, the more things ironed themselves out.

However, that is to absolutely no fault of the band’s nor the game that these two different pieces of art didn’t fit at times. As I’m 99% sure that the band’s music was ever meant to be contextualized in this way. Yet I still loved the game and of course, ‘Gravity‘. For my money, ‘Gravity‘ is easily one of the better Aussie metal releases of the year.

Thankfully, having something to listen to and enjoy really helped me get past the game’s shitty turrent section that you have to do about halfway through (seen below). Well, as much as possibly could be done to help that part not stick out like the sore, infected thumb that it is.

At this point, I do have a few observations about this one experience I’d like to share.

Firstly, while I’ve gone on and on about the band’s instrumentation aligning with the on-screen action and events, it was the EP’s sonics that also worked with the game’s setting. To explain, the thundering, reverb-soaked drums made it seem like you were not only watching the band play live but as if they were playing live within a giant, desolate ship; not unlike the one you venture through in Dead Space.

Singing or screaming, there is a big emphasis placed on the vocals ambiance to often keep in the middle or further back of the mix, which works best for their black metal sound and vibe. Much like the spatiality of the drums, listening to these vocals as you pass through empty bowels of the ship perfectly punctuates the on-edge nature of the game. Also speaking of the vocals, I had to chuckle at the fact that Gebauer’s vehement screams could also be potentially used as foley for most of the Necromorph’s that you encounter. For instance, the very first scream on ‘Birth‘ is the stuff of nightmares but in the best possible way. Chris – if this whole music thing doesn’t work out, maybe take up a career in voice acting!

Listening to this EP in a critical way and playing a game – something that is interactive, and not passive like a film – created an interesting dissonance at times. Having played so much of this game and the series over the years enabled me to fall into autopilot mode as I focused in on the music. With the EP blaring out, I couldn’t hear enemies creeping up behind me nor any subtle audio or musical cues for certain set pieces. Which made the horror elements and occasional jump scares of the game that much more palpable. Chapter 3’s encounter with The Hunter necromorph was extra stressful not being hearing the audible cues it gave off. With that being said, when ‘Life‘ or ‘Rebirth‘ were in full swing and blast beating away, I found myself fighting harder and more desperate; more reckless. I was rushing through areas and skipping the text and audio logs that I’d normally search out for in games like this. Instead of merely walking steadily along, weapon and sense at the ready, I’d be sprinting to the blast beats. I ignored most “optional” areas and was powering through this game on an autonomous rhythm and the music itself had set me on that course. I wasn’t even aware of what was going on until about two or so hours in when I realized that I had rarely ever played Dead Space in such an aggressive manner before.

Huh, I guess that metal does indeed make you more violent…in video games, at least.

So to wrap up, this was a very gimmicky but very fun little experiment and you should try it for yourself. Now, as Killyourstereo.com utilizes a review scoring system out of 100, it’s time for the fabled scores.

So, as far as Deadspace’s ‘Gravity’, I’m going to give it 85/100 for being a great EP that even after a dozen listens, I can still put it on – game or no game – and enjoy it as freshly as ever. It’s as long as it needs to be and every section of these songs feels so necessary for the larger release as a whole. Deadspace know exactly when to have the lead guitars take over; when the groove needs to be maintained and built upon; when the instruments need to be going hard and when the time calls for eerie ambiance and vocal prominence.

It’s really bloody good, is what I’m trying to say here!

Also, in what I believe to be this site’s first ever video game review, I’m giving Dead Space 90/100 for just being a fucking sensational game and for holding up so well after eight years, in its visuals, its gameplay, and also in its scares & terrific atmosphere.

Now, for my next trick, I’m going to play through The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as I listen to Deadspace’s ‘The Promise Of Oblivion’ on repeat. Oh, boy. - Kill Your Stereo

"Cloak & Dagger Premiere New Song, "Ruin""

Australian metal act Cloak & Dagger will release its new EP, 'Balance,' later this year. In anticipation, the band has teamed up with Revolver to premiere its new song, "Ruin." Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments.

Vocalist Jordan Phoebe said, "Conceptually, 'Ruin' is about the apocalypse. The whole world is being torn apart and ancient monstrosities are being unearthed. Lyrically, there is a pervasive sense of helplessness and resignation to the end. This song is necessary within the structure of the EP to represent the lowest point, the point of giving up, which makes the eventual decision to go on living at the EP's end all the more powerful."

Guitarist Oli Royer added, "'Ruin' was created from a desire I had to write something stripped back in comparison to my normal writing style. No frills or fancy ornaments, just straight up heavy and hard hitting riffs. The appeal is in the simplicity. To me this lets the instruments fall into their respective pockets, allowing the vocals to really shine through." - Blunt Magazine

"Deadspace - The Promise of Oblivion"

From the Western Australian capital city Perth comes a new act named Deadspace that has all the tendencies to shake out the whole depressive black metal genre. If the genre didn't offer anything strenuous in the last couple of years, this band certainly does. The band was originally conceived in 2014 by Chris Gebauer (Earth Rot, Sensory Amusia) as an outlet for his continuous feelings of depression and soon after that morphed into an unit of musicians sharing the same musical aspects who bring many fresh and interesting ideas with this debut album which serves with just a little more than 30 minutes of gloom and depression. I believe that many could find The Promise Of Oblivion in a way disturbing, but it enthuses with an intriguing mix of black metal, ambient, post-rock/metal, death rock and gothic rock that is based on organic depressive black metal atmosphere. This blend of styles might sound a bit weird for someone but believe me that Deadspace managed to make it smooth, there's a lot of depth, many mood variations, yet it has enough of that necessary hellish power that keeps it heavy and true in its very core.

Deadspace already with the opener, the album title track, show that this is not some kind of a joke made by some wannabe depressive teenagers who just picked up their guitars and learned a riff or two. These Aussies serve with a mix of in your face thrown massive sound with impressive drumming where the drummer shows some technical skills, then strong bass lines and tremolo pitched guitar riffing often interupted by some exqusite unpretentious typical vintage rock leads, gloomy synths, echoing piano touches and tortured shrieks that get many forms and gives that depressive flavour to the whole thing. Of course bands like Lifelover in the first place, then also Forgotten Tomb, Shining, even Burzum and Mayhem, come in mind here and there, but once those mesmerizing touchy keys implemented into the post-black-gaze sound of the "With Tears Of Callous Lust" make way for the melancholic ambiances and truly unbeliveable guitar work by both guitarist, everything gets another level and is set for an unique journey through the most inner suicidal and depressive state of mind delivered with sadness through Chris's quite emotive vocal variations and for the genre typical lyrical thematics. Here and there as well some female/male spoken words deepen the atmosphere and thus increase its dramatic character. The album often gets some interesting twists, for example with the cinematic ambiental innitial part of the almost epic "The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain", then the album gets cut in half by a short dramatic intermezzo, "Oblivion", mainly based on spoken words. Here and there Deadspace make surprises with post-rock elements and if that's not enough even something that could be near to Christian Death or Kommunity FK can be found in some segments. Those captivating dirty guitar lines in "Pain's Grey" are kind of a school example how to unite the depressive finesse of Shining with death-rock picks. Another name that I think should be mentioned are A Forest Of Stars whose weird black theatrical elements can be perfectly heard in bewitching powerful drive of "I'll Buy The Rope" for example. Everything is for the most of the time quite melodic, sometimes even catchy and gets its peak in the wavering conclusion with the longest track up here, "In The Coldness Of The Darkest Night", where every element mentioned before gets the deserved part and shines in the ultimacy.

The production is maybe a bit too rough, but on the other hand it gives a certain charm that nicely unites many of opposite elements into one elegant unity of sounds. Still, every single instrument is perfectly heard and in the right balance with the rest. Of course, The Promise Of Oblivion, never gets out of the melancholic feel, but in another way I must say that even if the band tried to serve with something crucially suicidal and depressive they didn't succeed in its entirety because inside this gloom there are many emotional sparks created with uplifting melodies and dreamy sequences that give kind of a light to the overall darkness, ray of hope, but yet this is what makes this album special and one of the most interesting releases of the genre in the recent time. Now, even though The Promise Of Oblivion is one of those releases that could push the depressive black metal music into new territories, still sometimes I have a feeling that songs could evolve even to a higher grade, in my opinion a couple of times some of them are cut off when you least expect it and some unnecessary shrieks ruin the captivating dark ambiance, but to be truthful I must say that for the major part I'm blown away by this album and I expect even more from the band on future outputs.
Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10 - Terra Elicta

"Deadspace – Gravity (EP Review)"

Gravity is the latest recording from Perth outfit Deadspace, and has just been released in the last week. Being the fourth offering from the five piece, this hardworking team has been busy since hitting the scene back in 2014 – already under their belts are two full length albums, as well as their debut EP.

Continuing on a similar path, Gravity has the characteristics of a Deadspace production – depressive, desperate vocals, thunderous drums and epic guitar solos, all set to atmospheric symphonic soundscapes.

Opening track is titled Birth, and opens with blood curdling screams and a wall of sound. It seems almost reminiscent of birth – being thrust into a new world, full of confusion and terror. The song then transcends into a mellower interlude, and the disturbing screams give way to an unexpected, yet welcome piano solo that eases the listener into the next track, Life.

Life begins with a soothing guitar, followed by haunting vocals that drift, ebb and flow with the music. It then becomes heavier, but with an almost rock and roll feel to it. The urgent, sometimes squealing vocals return, along with furious drums; and shock the listener back to life. Around the six minute mark the music opens up to an awesome guitar solo, one of the highlights of the release for this reviewer.

Death, of course, follows Life, and is track three of Gravity. The piece almost feels like descending into the depths of death. It starts off mellow, and is then followed by a fight back, like trying to escape death and not let it take hold, which is cleverly accentuated by frenzied double kicks drums and hectic guitars. However, this fight is lost, and the downward spiral is inevitable – drifting down gently with a slower, ethereal pace, as the listener floats into the darkness.

And, with the final song Rebirth, so begins the cycle again. It opens with a rockier vibe, bringing the listener back to life – the screaming vocals return, but with a definite catchy hook that will have you moshing in no time. Gliding into another almost hypnotic symphony of sound, a voice-over recording rounds out the track, discussing Buddha, life, and that only when you let go of things is when you truly become happy, and leaves the listener with a poignant message – ‘give everything away’.

Gravity takes you on a musical journey, with ebbs and flows, fear and angst, and ultimately optimism into the next life. The arrangements and vocals compliment the concept completely, as they have managed to combine deathly depressive metal doom with snapshots of symphonic beauty. For those who are already fans, you won’t be disappointed, and for those unfamiliar, it is an exceptionally mature and surprisingly enjoyable package. - Amnplify

"Deadspace - The Promise of Oblivion"

Depression, despair and many other dark emotions are often being outed by writing extreme music. Black metal is certainly one of the genres who deal with these, often suicidal, feelings. It's something that usually connects the artists and the fans, which is one of the reason why metal is so immensely popular these days. Our society isn't getting any better so our music goes to new extremes.

Deadspace, from Perth (Australia) is one of those bands that started out as a one-man project in order to express many feelings of depression. It was founded by Chris Gebauer in 2014. Shortly after, other musicians from the Australian underground joined the line-up and a full-blown live band was formed. 'The Promise Of Oblivion' is the debut full-length, after a split with Onomy, and it's a noisy, brutal and insane piece of work.

In stead of writing hyper-speed, blast-beats fueled black metal anthems, Deadspace seems to focus more on a dark and gloomy atmosphere. Sure, there are the typical haunted screams and the slashing sound of the guitars but the tempo is usually quite slow. Genres like post-rock, goth rock and dark ambient are being brought together in a whirlpool of distress and hopelessness.

The album opens with the mid-tempo epos 'The Promise Of Oblivion', immediately showing the true nature of this band. The atmosphere is bleak, angsty and downright harsh. You can easily grab the deeply personal approach, both in music and vocals, as they are pretty disturbed, like a tormented person who screams for help with his last breath. The album continues in this manner, reminding me of bands like Forgotten Tomb or Xasthur, combined with some death rock bands like Christian Death or Sex Gang Children.

It's this combination that makes the album as stunning as it is. Many black metal bands adopt this bleak atmosphere but it's rarely as overwhelming and frightening as on this album. 'With Tears Of Callous Lust' for example brings more of this gloomy blackened death rock, which is perfectly suited for both headbanging and shoegazing. 'I'll buy the rope' speed things up a bit, becoming the most nineties black metal related song on the album.

But then comes 'Clouds'. Here Deadspace shows another side, one where all the previous elements are blended with something between post-rock and dark jazz. In some way you can see this as the ballad of the album but it's in no way less impending as the rest. I guess this is my favorite track on the album. Its bleakness reaches unseen levels and you can actually feel the desperation blasting through the speakers. It also mixes perfectly with the ambient-breather 'You Are Awake'.

Another highlight is the smashing 'Pain's Grey', an epic piece of depressive black metal, slowly rolling through the thin air and crushing everything it can grab. Driving on fierce, noisy post-rock like guitars and a lot of double bass drums, this track takes the album right into my personal black metal top-five of this year. And it definitely belongs there. This is an amazing album and highly recommended if you're looking for the bleakest of the bleak. - Merchants of Air

"EP Review: Deadspace – Gravity"

I’ve had this EP sitting there nagging at me to listen to it for the past week or so. Wanting to give it my full time and attention, I’ve been putting it off until I could get around to it. I am starting to see that that was indeed a mistake. This should have been my first priority!

I hadn’t really heard too much from DEADSPACE until this point. I had no idea what I was in for. So I decided that before I listen to their new EP, I should take the time to listen to its predecessor, 2015’s The Promise of Oblivion. I was stunned! The melodies, the riffs, the atmosphere! I’m not here to write about the bands first efforts, but my god were they incredible! Why was I only just hearing them for the first time now? I had a really hard time placing a genre (black metal, post-goth rock, multitudes of genres that are getting harder and harder to think of names for), though it was completely unnecessary. It didn’t need definition, it demanded appreciation!

Deadspace are a very polished outfit. That much is apparent from the moment the opening track, Birth starts. This is a group who aren’t just writing songs to put on an album. These are musicians who are about to take you on a journey. Birth has a very theatrical vibe from the moment the play button is pressed. As expected though, the song pushes through its melodramatic combination of pretty riffs spewed through a distortion pedal and eerie atmosphere to bring the angst. With a perfectly timed drum fill and a whole lot of back bone the song becomes almost venomous sounding.

Birth is the perfect opening track for this EP. It summarises exactly what kind of emotions will be on display for the rest of Gravity. The pretty and the ugly. How a simple uplifting piece of piano work can be injected right into the midst of an operatic tragedy, and still have perfect cohesion. Funnily enough, that cohesion blends from one song to the next! Birth leads into Life seamlessly!

Life picks up right where Birth left off. Beginning with the expressive, melodic tone that was set in Birth, Life seems to soothe for a moment. It is only the briefest of moments though. It really doesn’t take long for Life to show us exactly how much work has been put into this EP. It does exactly what Birth does, but harder. It literally invokes emotion. It forces you to feel. I can tell you folks, it’s been a long time since a band has forcibly dragged feelings out of me, but Life has done it with ease!

There are no ugly notes. No pointed clashes between phases of songs. This music has been put together as if from a script. The vocals are harsh and grinding, but they couldn’t have been done any other way. The tempo, the mood, every part of Life serves its purpose, and wouldn’t work if a single factor was off.

Death splits the songs again. It encapsulates the exact personality the EP has set, but refuses to allow Life to cast a shadow over it. Pushing the envelope even harder, Death builds the bridge between alluring and delicate, and coarse and rigid. Each part of the song seems to fly past the second it’s over. While that glorious musical moment is there though, what happened prior and what will happen next don’t matter.

Rebirth is a brutal slap in the face! This is a track that I was somewhat expecting after listening to The Promise of Oblivion. Yet still, it has its own hallmarks that distinguish it, and make it a marvel of its own. With the magnificent journey the EP has taken us on, Rebirth almost thanks the listener in its own way. The track is somewhat segmented, but fittingly so. Once the heavy ends, it emphasises the point Deadspace themselves seem to have been channelling. Indeed, so harrowing it was, I listened until the very last second, then had to pause and take a moment for myself. Then hit play on Birth again!!!!

This is an incredible EP. If you hadn’t gathered my fondness by now, chances are, you won’t appreciate it for what it truly is. This truly inspiring 5-piece from Perth, Australia deserve every accolade I can shower them with, and every other one they undoubtedly will receive. It seems to go against the style itself, but this EP made me really happy.

8.5/10 - Voltage Media

"Deadspace - The Promise of Oblivion"

Deadspace was founded by Australian Chris Gebauer (Earth Rot/Sensory Amusia) as a solo vehicle, but after one split release has quickly blossomed into a full band. The result of this is the bleak but rather beguiling début album 'The Promise Of Oblivion' which blends, depressive black metal with death rock, gothic, ambient and noise elements to create a tapestry of disturbing yet strangely accessible songs.

The 35-minutes of the album is divided up between eight tracks that keep their feet firmly in the depressive black metal genre, but are still full of experimental genre blending to separate them from the crowd. Tracks such as 'The Promise Of Oblivion', 'I'll Buy The Rope', 'The Clouds Won't Shade The Pain', and 'Pain's Grey' do this with ease as the ambient elements and more gothic melodies are preserved and despite the dissonance at work, they still manage to keep a level of accessibility that is quite refreshing. But it is the subtle instrumental 'Oblivion' and the near eight-minute long closing track 'In The Coldness Of Darkest Night' that the band really come into their own.

This is a raw and gritty album. But it isn't un-listenable The emphasis on emotion, ambience and gothic melodies come across in the production nicely to counterpoint the bleak black metal streak that is ever present. Add the emotional strain on the vocals and it is a hard to take but nonetheless effective formula.

This is a promising début from the Australians. It balances light and dark, heavy and melodic with ease. It threatens to spiral into utter insanity before steadying itself once again. But most of all it is a strangely addictive listen that compels you to stick with it until the end. It may be dark and dissonant, but if you're willing to go there, it may surprise you. - Intravenous Magazine

"Sophomore - Bold Park Press Release"

Starting off as a collaboration between Josh Cammack (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Oliver Royer (lead guitar and backing vocals), Sophomore has grown into a four piece band with a signature sound.

Josh and Oli peppered their humble beginnings with regular open mic nights (most of which I toddled along to and LOVED) and social media gallivanting. The boys shared snippets of gigs, jams and further collaborations, gaining a solid following through Instagram and Facebook.

Kris Savy (drums) and Brendan Yang (bass and backing vocals) recently joined the ensemble and provided richness and polish to their set. The foursome rocked their first gig at Swan Basement in Fremantle, 1st August 2015 and are getting ready for their next gig at The Ellington, 26th August 2015. - Kristy Leigh


Releasing their Debut EP titled ‘Divination’ in 2014 and their subsequent signing to Imminence Records (USA), Cloak & Dagger broke into the Perth music scene as a band to have on anyone’s radar. Drawing influence from bands like The Devil Wears Prada, The Amity Affliction, Bring Me The Horizon and Like Moths To Flames the 4-piece Metalcore group consisting of Vocalist Jordan Phoebe, Guitarist Oliver Royer, Bassist Alex Dragicevich and Drummer Nathaniel Jackson have made their presence known by performing in a catalogue of shows including an exciting performance at The Boston for Matchless Music Australia with Illyria, Kastiell, The Light The Dark and The Moment We Fall, a HQ headlining show alongside Worlds Apart, Greylands, Branch Circus and Guilty Act, as well as opening for U.S.A legends Emarosa, and local heavyweights Emberville and Aveira Skies.

Following, the band hit the studio with Matthew Templeman of Templeman Audio in early 2016 to begin work on their next record titled Balance – the title track being the records Debut Single.

Guitarist, Oliver Royer states;
“When we were finding the right producer for the record it was very important to us that we find the perfect fit for us as a band and as people. We considered a few options but at the end of the day only Matt at Templeman Audio and Simon at Forensic Audio Mastering could deliver exactly what we wanted. Most of the tracks had been finished in the months leading up to the studio so that we could really refine their sound and focus in on what was strong about them before entering the studio. Matt definitely had the experience and knowledge necessary to really make our ideas come to life and also bring his own ideas to the table.”

Upcoming shows for the band will make up a stream of local headliner shows including their Single Launch at Last Night (Amplifier Bar) on February 11th, a HQ headliner on March 5th for Empire Art, Tours and Management with locals Outlier, Once Almost Never, MossDeep, Dead Famous and Longshore and an appearance at Summercore at The Boston on April 2nd. - Glory Music Promotions

"Deadspace - In Ecstatic Sorrow // Single and Review"

“He was a silent fury no torment could tame” - Jack London

It may not be in the lyrics or in the music, but I always worry when artists incorporate such influential quotes into film clips. It sets the bar high. White Fang, was an immediate success in its day. A powerful novel that tackled complex themes. Deadspace, had a roughly 5 minutes to do justice to the ideology that individuals and societies at some point require violence in order to grow.

The vocals are everything I wanted them to be, powerful and direct.The lyrics are either very personal to experience or the person who penned them, just like Jack London, is a great story teller. If you’re going to sing, ‘Drive your nails through my thirsting skin. Be my cancer, be my sin’, it needs to feel sincere. The honesty is present from the get-go. You’ll be hanging off every word, not necessarily because you can relate or because it makes sense to you, but because it’s raw and it’s real

You can’t avoid the back metal elements throughout the track, and why would you want to? However musically, it’s neither this nor that. Instead, it’s a combination. It’s a sub-genre song. It’s heavy, it’s brutal, It’s blackened but it’s still rock. It’s a pleaser. It’s familiar enough that you know within seconds that you’re into it. Yet, unique enough that it would be a standout track in amongst a playlist of your favourite tunes. - Inhale Music Promotions

"EP Review: Deadspace – “Gravity”"

Some metal genres just cannot escape stereotypes, no matter how hard they try. Take glam metal, for example: if you bring up the genre to most people, the first thing that will spring to most people’s minds is musicians with ridiculous clothing, silly hair and being chased by groupies, completely forgetting that there were glam metal bands out there who didn’t do the ridiculous clothing side of things, were Christian and that there were artists out there who actually put out constantly great music rather than just one or two hits before disappearing forever. Indeed, nowadays, most glam metal bands have dropped the clothing aspect, arguably making it easier to take the genre seriously if you give it a fair shot.

Black metal has a similar problem in that most who think of the scene tend to judge it as much on the behaviours of fans (who basically epitomise all of the negative stereotypes connected to metal fans and do it while looking completely silly to the average person) and the musicians (need I bring up the church burnings, Euronymous’ behaviour after Dead’s suicide and Faust’s conviction of murder?) as much as the music (which, to the untrained ear, sounds just like a horrible noise). Although one would certainly have a good reason to judge the behaviour of the musicians as less-than-morally upstanding and the fans do not really tend to endear themselves to most people, the music itself is such that, once you develop an ear for it, it does actually grow upon you, although it certainly is not easy to appreciate to the average person. Much like its extreme metal cousin, death metal, part of the challenge with appreciating black metal is that what it is built upon is being harsh and actively avoiding anything that most people would recognise as traditionally good music: it doesn’t aim to be catchy, the lyrics don’t aim to talk about topics which are of interest to the average person and the primary vocal style of the genre is pretty much best summed up as an inhuman shriek that is unpleasant to listen to.

So why do people like black metal, then? Well, much like avant-garde music, once you get past the surface layer of it, there usually is a lot of interest going on which makes it actually really interesting to listen to once you realise the skills and techniques being used. For instance, the vocal style, much like with death metal, isn’t really there to be sung along to, but is itself basically an instrument to add to the environment. It also is A LOT more difficult to do than it might sound, because it can easily ruin your vocal cords if you try to do it poorly and WILL do damage over a long period of time, irrespective of how good your technique is. It does have the unfortunate reputation of being seen as an alternative to singing by those who can’t sing, but that in no way detracts from just how difficult it is to do those vocals well.

Australia’s Deadspace are a newer band to the black metal scene, having formed in 2014 and playing a style of black metal that is commonly referred to as depressive black metal, which basically means that the music has a ultra-depressing atmosphere to it and features lyrics that focus on themes related to depression (not that you’d usually notice that aspect anyway, as black metal vocals can be pretty difficult to understand). It is a style which often overlaps with ambient music and doom metal as a result, which probably makes it the most varied of the standard styles of black metal without entering progressive territory of including folk influences. Being a highly prolific band, Deadspace have already released two albums so far: 2015’s The Promise of Oblivion and May’s In Ecstatic Sorrow. This release, Gravity, is their second release of the year and is an EP that runs for just over half an hour with four songs.

Being completely honest, while I will admit to not normally being that fond of black metal or longer tracks, this release did actually catch my interest in a good way and, while I doubt anyone who isn’t already interested in black metal will want to give this a go, it’s still a pretty solid EP that seems very promising to me. It does have its problems, but the overall presentation more than makes up for its flaws!


I technically covered the band’s sound two paragraphs ago, but, for the benefit of those who aren’t familiar with any of the styles of music mentioned, I’ll quickly sum it up. Unlike the usual stereotype of black metal being very rapidly played, Deadspace instead play material that is more akin to doom metal speeds, although they definitely have their moments when they go for the typical black metal sound. There are a lot of atmospheric moments in the tracks as well, where the music is left to stand for a good period of time with minimal instrumentation and without vocals, which can really help to develop the atmosphere that the band are going for. Despite the genre name, the material isn’t really that depressing to listen to: if anything, the ambient moments more help to create a softer contrast in comparison to the rest of the music, resulting in a sound which is equal parts soothing and unsettling to the average listener. Whether this will be seen as a good thing by the black metal purists is probably up for debate, but, for me personally, I think it creates a great contrast and it actually makes the heavier moments stand out more as a result, because the ambient moments are so atmospheric that the black metal parts do feel far more unsettling by comparison.

Sadly, this all gets crammed into four songs, which ends up making the songs feel like they’ve got too many ideas put into them and are executed in such a way that the ambient moments feel like they would be better as the starting points to other tracks. Now, I will be fair here and admit that I don’t usually listen to a lot of depressive black metal, so this might well be a typical thing for the average band in the genre, but I generally felt that the ambient moments felt more like they were concluding a track and, as such, whenever I heard them, I usually was surprised to notice that all I had heard was about half of the track, which definitely was the big problem with “Life” and “Death” for me, although “Rebirth” has a similar problem in that it drags out the ambiance a bit too much at the end of it. This isn’t to say that the material itself is badly written, just that the band probably could have done with trimming down the material a bit or better utilised the ambient moments to avoid the feeling that they have reached a conclusion when they actually haven’t. That all said, though, the individual parts of the songs themselves are actually pretty well done and the contrast does work, so I could see this probably going down well with fans of depressive black metal as a result, despite it not really being executed as well as it probably should have been.

The instrumental performances don’t really do anything that breaks too much from what might be expected from a genre which combined doom metal, ambient music and black metal together, but they aren’t really bad at the end of the day, just somewhat typical for the genre. Shelby Jansen’s bass playing is decent enough and it actually has a decent presence in the mix, but it’s not really going to blow anyone away on a technical level. Oliver Royer and Nish Raghaven both do decent jobs on the guitars, with some actually interesting lead guitar playing which avoids the usual “as many notes as reasonably possible” style that a lot of lead guitarists fall back upon, actually having a proper structure to them which fits in with the band’s music, but they don’t really do anything that unusual for their style of music on an overall level. Drummer Ben Stanley has quite the job for him on this record due to how many different approaches to his drumming he has to utilise to fit in with the band’s music and, to be fair, he doesn’t do a bad job at all, but it is still a performance which feels like it wouldn’t be too out of place on any other depressive black metal record. There’s nothing really BAD here, but there’s nothing here that feels like it would stand out from the pack.

Chris Gebauer handles most of the vocals on this record (Nick Magur, the vocalist of the bands Amadus Exul, Feralian and Greytomb, appears on “Life”, but I honestly didn’t notice him) and…well, he’s not bad, but the overwhelming thought I had was that his black metal vocals seem a bit one note. Granted, it is hard to do black metal vocals and make the listener not feel like they’re being shrieked at for however long the release they are listening to is, so this isn’t really a flaw with his vocals so much as the nature of the genre being played, but, comparing his vocals to those of other black metal vocalists like Abbath and Nergal (and not on their classic records: I’m talking Hordes of War and Evangelion here), he does unfortunately come across as noticeably weaker by comparison. I don’t think that he does a bad job overall, though, as he fits in with what the band are trying to do and he does capture the inhuman shrieks that one would expect from a black metal vocalist very well, it’s just that he doesn’t really do a lot else beyond that aside from a few (very quiet and easily missed) clean vocals and doesn’t really change the pitch of his screams much. Say what you will about the state of Dani Filth’s black metal vocals nowadays, but it’s hard to deny that he doesn’t at least offer a diverse performance to keep things interesting, while Gebauer feels like he’s basically doing the same basic thing for the whole run time, which I think only doesn’t get old because of the ambient moments meaning that he isn’t actually providing vocals for all of the run time.

The production on the EP is actually pretty solid and one of the few times where I think the loud mastering job it has received for the black metal parts of it (the ambient parts don’t have much mastering, for reasons which are probably very self-explanatory) can be fairly called an aesthetic choice: extreme metal in general is meant to sound harsh and unpleasant, so a louder mastering job actually is somewhat fitting, as much as I would normally grumble over it. The mix is pretty good, giving a decent amount of space to the bass while still not letting any of the instruments dominate the others (although the vocals probably are a bit on the louder side of what they should be doing). The material has pretty clearly been recorded digitally, but I would argue that this fits better than an analog recording would because of the natural coldness of a digital recording in comparison to an analog recording. If I’m honest, I don’t actually have any real criticisms of the production beyond the mastering (which I accept is an justified aesthetic choice for this style of music, hence why I’m not making so much of a fuss over it) and the mix having the vocals so high in it (which isn’t even done to extremes, so it’s not really too big an issue overall), so huge props to everyone involved on the production side of things, because they did a great job!

Overall, I think Gravity is a release which, while flawed (and which I seem to have spent a good amount of time ragging on for those flaws), is actually fairly good. While depressive black metal isn’t really my personal thing, it’s hard to deny that Deadspace have the potential to do well on the international stage and that the only major issue I have with them is that I think that they might want to refine their songwriting a bit to avoid the feeling of their songs dragging and maybe improve upon their technical skills a little bit more to help them to offer performances which make them stand out from the crowd a bit better. There’s a lot to appreciate on here if you happen to like black metal or are willing to approach this with an open mind, so it’s certainly worth a look into if those apply to you. It’s not a flawless release, but there’s definitely a talented band here who, with some additional effort, could go on to big things in the future. - Nerd Circle Online


Deadspace - The Promise of Oblivion (2015)

Thank You Frank - Bold Park Acoustic EP (2015)

Cloak & Dagger - Balance (Single) (2016)

Deadspace - In Ecstatic Sorrow (Single) (2016)

Cloak & Dagger - Ruin (Single) (2016)

Deadspace - In Ecstatic Sorrow EP (2016)

Deadspace - Life (Single) (2016)

Cloak & Dagger - Snowfall (Single) (2016)

Deadspace - Gravity (EP) (2016)

Cloak & Dagger - Balance (EP) (2016)

Deadspace - Glass Houses (Single) (2017)

Thank You Frank - On Repeat (Single) (2017)



Oliver has been playing music since the age of 7. Graduating from the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance, he has strong passions for varying genres of music.

He is passionate about using Jackson Guitars, EVH Amplification, Seymour Duncan Pickups and is a proud endorsee of Ernie Ball Strings.

Currently Oliver is writing, recording and performing with Deadspace, Cloak & Dagger, Thank You Frank as well as his own personal compositions. Cloak & Dagger are recording for Imminence Records (USA), whilst Deadspace are under European distribution from Winterwolf Records (EU) for their Debut Album, 'The Promise of Oblivion' and are recording for Talheim Records (EU). Deadspace completed a full Australian Tour in 2016 as well as early 2017 in support of their release 'Gravity' and will be releasing the split EP 'Reaching For Silence' with Happy Days (USA) on Talheim Records (EU).

Following this they will then be writing and recording their next Full Length record during 2017/2018.

Through studying Classical Music to such a strong degree, Oliver strongly identifies with his idol Randy Rhoads who drew many parallels between Classical and Contemporary guitar.

Oliver currently holds a position at Sound Centre, a musical instrument store. It is here where he is able to connect with the local and touring music community on new and exciting products, as well as learn about and demonstrate a strong connection with the instrument he loves.

"This is so well written, and so emotionally and musically on point that this could easily be one of the best Depressive Black Metal releases I've ever heard. This is the sort of album that I'd thoroughly recommend to anyone who wants the definitive "gateway" album to this genre of music. It has all the hallmarks of this brand of Black Metal, but manages to express these ideas and sounds in much shorter, tighter and more palatable way than many bands of the genre are able to. It has the strident nihilism of SHINING and the raw, transcendental qualities of XASTHUR, but sounds nothing like either. 
It's its own beast with its own distinctive sound. And that sound might just be one of a band that could re-define and revolutionize the genre." - Metal Temple

Band Members