Band offers heavy metal with heart

It's easy to dismiss heavy metal music as angry, but Dave Tinelt, vocalist for Wollongong thrash band Nekrofeist, disagrees.

"Metal has always been tagged as an aggressive genre, but in this sense I'm trying to put the message across that it's not angry, it's about being passionate," he says.

"You always hear the typical comments, like you can't understand what we're saying, or it's too loud or too quick, but it's a way of getting a message across."

On the band's latest album, Without Reserve Or Regret, Tinelt and band members Damon Bishop, Paul Gilroy and Rob Giles explore issues often considered taboo or too difficult to address - spirituality, drugs and alcohol, prostitution and patriotism have all been tackled.

"It's the age-old argument that the little people don't have a voice and you can't ruffle feathers if you don't have someone stomping their feet," he says.

"I think in this day and age where everything is equality based, now is the time to speak up and speak out, speak loud and speak about the issues in Australia that bother me and bother the community."

While Tinelt is sure there are hundreds of bands singing about similar things, he hopes Nekrofeist's brand of thrash metal will encourage people to listen.

"This is our way of doing it and giving it to our audience and hopefully with the groove-infused methods we use in Nekrofeist, hopefully it gets across to the more mainstream sector," he says.

Patriotism inspired the song Australian Made, a tune that urges Australians to reject an Americanisation of their culture and embrace a unique identity.

The band recently filmed a video for the track at the Phoenix Theatre in Coniston, using local metal fans to thank them for supporting Nekrofeist and the struggling Wollongong heavy metal scene.

"From day one we had this vision that to reach an audience, it's not enough to have your album out there," Tinelt says.

"People love a visual idea when it comes to music, even older clips I've watched still blow me away."

Though he can't reveal what song they are planning to create videos for next, he does say they are hoping to revisit some older tracks, as well as writing new ones.

"Writing's always going to be there and we'll always be doing that, but we want to concentrate on getting the visual aspect of our music out there."

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