‘A Blaze in the Northern Suburbs’: Australian Extreme Metal’s Larrikinish Lineage

Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures

ISBN: 978-1-78769-168-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-167-4

Publication date: 4 June 2019


Extreme metal originated in North America and Europe in the late-1980s, but Australia’s adoption of the form followed closely. One of the first Australian extreme metal (AEM) acts was Sadistik Exekution from Sydney, formed in 1985. Sadistik Exekution are notable for combining musical intensity with irreverent humour and parody. They introduced global extreme metal to the trope of the Australian larrikin: a once pejorative characterisation that has become a term of endearment in contemporary Australian culture, describing a defiant and jocular personality. This trope is evident in Sadistik Exekution’s work, but it has since proliferated more broadly throughout AEM, exemplified by more recent bands like Blood Duster and King Parrot. Their music, too, is inarguably intense and provocative, but is simultaneously mocking of the solemnity of its scene and lineage. This chapter will examine how bands like Sadistik Exekution, Blood Duster and King Parrot, through their public personas and musical and paramusical texts, have subverted extreme metal coding, thereby uncovering a uniquely Australian trajectory in extreme metal style and history.



Vallen, S. (2019), "‘A Blaze in the Northern Suburbs’: Australian Extreme Metal’s Larrikinish Lineage", Hoad, C. (Ed.) Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures (Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 37-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-167-420191013



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Sam Vallen

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