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The Past Echoes: The Neptune Power Federation Unveil “Watch Our Masters Bleed” Video

neptune power

The stylistic diaspora of heavy metal has transformed it into one of the most diverse genres prominent in the modern era; despite this resplendent variety, though, there remains a steadfast cult of followers utterly devoted to maintaining the original strain of metal, that unholy phenomenon birthed from psychedelia and heavy blues that reigned before the advent of metal’s multifarious subgenres.

One such band carrying this mantle deep into the future is Australian outfit The Neptune Power Federation. A squadron of leather-clad rock-‘n’-roll occultists, their project was created as an aesthetic and cultural tribute to that first era of heavy metal, paying homage specifically to the heaviest material created between 1968 and 1978. Melding together psyched-out space rock a la Hawkwind with the hell-bent attitude of classic speed metal (with tasteful sprinklings of prog thrown in for good measure), the group has honed their own nostalgic brand of tripped-out righteousness intended to transport the modern listener into another dimension.

The Neptune Power Federation was originally conceived in 2012 as an international studio project with instrumentalists based in Sydney and a vocalist working out of California. What first began as an old-school fuzz metal act was quickly embellished into a more theatrical outfit, with guitarist Inverted Crucifox stating that the band’s goal was to, “pay [their] sonic respects to Queen, Motörhead, and T-Rex,” among others. In 2015, however, the identity of the band transformed with the arrival of frontwoman Screamin’ Loz Sutch and her cosmic stage persona “The Imperial Priestess” around whom the band’s phantasmagorical lore is now entirely based. Though the band’s core mission was unaltered by this addition, the scope of grandiosity at which their music operates expanded tenfold.

Continuing this tradition of fantastical storytelling, The Neptune Power Federation has finally announced the release of their fourth album Memoirs of a Rat Queen, a worthy successor to 2017’s Neath a Shin Ei Sun. The album’s title is inspired by eight diary entries authored by the Imperial Priestess that detail everything she has lived through, “from her role in the French Revolution all the way to the time she took a lover in the parking lot outside of a Judas Priest concert in 1986.” To prepare us for the arrival of this new release, the band has summoned the album’s first single “Watch Our Masters Bleed” with an accompanying video of interstellar proportions. Unveiled just in time for Bastille Day, the clip recalls The Imperial Priestess’s “fond memories of the sharpening of guillotines back in 1789.”

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The video opens in a live and in concert setting, with the band enshrouded in fog and amber stage lights as the Priestess appears in an elaborate silver gown and a bejeweled headdress complete with horns, her visage like some nightmarish twist on something one might encounter at Burning Man. In her hand she holds a bloody dagger, which drips to the floor as the song’s first notes descend upon the listener. Right away, the group’s intentional nod to the music of Queen becomes abundantly apparent in the track’s vocal-centric intro, with operatic layered vocals soaring over bombastic arena-rock guitars which take ample time in swelling to more aggressive structures. As the track progresses, it leans further and further into the crunchy speed metal riffs and thunderous percussion of Motörhead, another of the group’s major influencers. As the energy continues to increase, the Priestess’s vocals ascend into more raucous and unhinged (yet still virtuosic and melodious) expressions, until the instrumentals subside as she holds her dagger to the screen and fades into darkness.

Regardless of the straightforward hard rock influence that is present in their material, the core essence of The Neptune Power Federation is rooted in the timeless attitude of heavy metal showmanship. Despite its simplicity, “Watch Our Masters Bleed” contains infectiously catchy grooves and motifs, leaning into the band’s campy aesthetics without being lost in utter cheesiness. What keeps this track and the record as a whole afloat is a strong bond between The Neptune Power Federation’s sense of restraint and the well-rounded panache of their production and sound engineering. Demonstrating a firm understanding of what they are and what they represent, this outfit’s goofy energy belies a cultivated atmosphere that balances attention-grabbing aesthetics with solid compositional abilities. Inevitably, Memoirs of a Rat Queen represents a sound which necessitates at least some sense of humor to fully enjoy their material Once you have opened your mind to their fun-loving energy, however, you may realize the holistically well-constructed nature of not only their music, but their identity as torchbearers of that classic heavy metal which continues to thrive into the future.

Memoirs of a Rat Queen releases September 27th via .

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