Australasia is multi-instrumentalist Gian Spalluto. He calls his spiked leather and velvet style “post-everything” which is very fitting as he’s one of the first musicians I’m aware of that has blended metal, shoegaze and more into his songs. While it used to jar, hearing pretty wordless female vocals and synthesizers follow black metal guitar chugs and blast beats, after the impressive debut Sin4tr4 and full-length Vertebra, Spalluto has sanded off some of the barbs and created a more organic feel to his chiaroscuro compositions. On Notturno we get to feast on the midtempo epic metal of Eden, Spalutto drawing emotion out of his guitars, an echoing keyboard drops in and later in the song takes center stage for a dreamy segment. On Creature those guitars ring and pierce your being, breaking down whatever barriers you’ve put up, the majestic sounds moving you, stirring your soul. On Invisible Spalluto softens up a bit with prominent keyboards playing against slowly strummed guitars and stately percussion, the female vocals lifting the listener into a rapturous state.
Haxo opens on a shadowy synth pattern, a hint of a techno beat wafts by, bombastic drums, bass and guitars bring catharsis, the keyboards drifting out to the end. Amnesia presents claustrophobic guitars opening into a dramatic metal piece, Spalluto shining on drums, his glistening guitar approach adds splashes of metallic color to the song, the middle goes dark and mysterious with bassy synth rumbles and the last third is brightly plucked six-strings and thrumming bass creating a positive mood. Notturno closes with the title track, Spalluto on piano, a pretty yet melancholic piece that showcases his talents beautifully.
Australasia, Alcest, Opeth, Rosetta, An Autumn for Crippled Children and He Whose Ox Is Gored are but a few bands bold enough to follow their muses, blending styles and genres into pleasing compositions full of drama and emotion. I eagerly await the next chapter in Australasia’s story.
(by Bret Miller)