Three teenagers, known as Alien Weaponry, from a tiny town in the small South Pacific nation of New Zealand have managed to capture the imaginations of people all over the world with their unique thrash metal sound and commanding live performances. This in itself is surprising, but perhaps the most unexpected element of all in their success is that many of the band’s songs are delivered in a language that is unknown to international audiences – New Zealand’s native language, Te Reo Māori.
Now, Alien Weaponry are ready to release their furious debut album "Tū" on the world. Short for "Tūmatauenga", the Māori god of war, "Tū" also means to stand strong and proud, and to stand for something. The notion is reflected in the album artwork, which includes the tradtional moko kanohi (facial tattoos) of the Māori warrior.
Standing for something important is something the band does equally well in English or in Māori. Today, Napalm Records releases the single and video for the song “Holding My Breath” – the first single so far to be sung entirely in English. Watch the premiere HERE!
The song was written by Lewis (Vocals/Guitar). In it, he talks about the anxiety of being judged and socially ostracised by peers to the point of being unable to function.
"It’s about something that actually happened to me. I felt so bad that I literally stayed in my room and couldn’t bring myself to leave the house or talk to anyone," he says. "I wrote the song at that time, and it was one of the things that helped me work through it, so I hope it will resonate with other people going through similar things."
One of the people it has already resonated with is actress Rose van Wylich, featured in the video; who experienced similar feelings of isolation as a teenager.
“Holding My Breath” is the first single put out by Napalm Records in advance of Alien Weaponry's debut album "Tū" being released on June 1st. A month later, the band will head to Europe for a 3-month tour which includes the world’s biggest metal festival, Wacken Open Air.
Preorder "Tū" HERE!
Available in the following formats:
1 CD Digipack & 2 Bonus Tracks
LP Gatefold & 7" Single (2 Bonus Tracks)
Vocals, Guitars: Lewis de Jong
Drums: Henry de Jong
Bass: Ethan Trembath
03.02.18 NZ - Hamilton / Rugby Sevens World Cup
06.02.18 NZ - Wellington / Waitangi Day Festival
17.02.18 NZ - Wellington / Pao Pao Pao
03.03.18 NZ - Auckland / Auckland City Limits Festival
20.03.18 NZ - Auckland / Prophets of Rage support
22. - 28.07.18 SL - Tomlin / Metal Days Festival
02. - 04.08.18 DE - Wacken / Wacken Festival
01.09.18 DE - Hamburg / Welt-Turbojugend Tage
More Dates Coming Soon!
New Zealand’s rising musical stars and teenage thrash metal band Alien Weaponry have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records! With such an impressive career that started five years ago when the band members were just 10 and 12 years old and this unique combination of thrash metal and Māori cultural background, Napalm Records is excited to welcome Alien Weaponry to their eclectic artist roster:
"Napalm Records is proud to announce the signing of the thrash metal band Alien Weaponry from New Zealand“ says Sebastian Muench, A&R of Napalm Records. "Besides the fact that they are the youngest musicians we ever added to the Napalm band roster they are also one of the most exciting and unique bands in recent years. Their combination of old school thrash metal and Māori culture elements and language creates intense and energetic songs that should be highly attractive to all true genre fans especially those stopped listening to the Sepultura after the „Roots“ album. Kia Ora Alien Weaponry and welcome to the Napalm family!“
The band comments: "Napalm is a great label for us to work with because their whakapapa (genealogy) includes a lot of thrash metal, which is where our roots are. So we fit within their whanau (family), but we're also doing something different, introducing our own language and style. For these reasons, we think we will both grow and benefit from this relationship. "Being based in the tiny town of Waipu, New Zealand, we are pretty much as far away as you can get from the heavy metal centre of the world (which to us is Wacken, Germany), so this is a massive step for us towards establishing our career internationally.“
The trio shocks and surprises audiences on a number of levels. Alien Weaponry's songwriting is complex, developed and highly political. Their live performance energy is startling, with just two fifteen-year old's commanding the front of stage as effectively as four- and five-piece bands three times their age. But perhaps most surprising of all, given their blonde flailing locks and Viking appearance, many of their songs are in New Zealand’s native language, Te Reo Māori. In fact, guitarist/lead singer Lewis de Jong (15) and his brother, drummer Henry (17), are of Ngati Pikiāo and Ngati Raukawa descent – they call themselves ‘Stealth Māori.’ They attended a full immersion kura kaupapa Māori (Māori language school) until they were seven years old, where singing waiata and performing haka were a daily routine. Also ingrained in their early learning were stories of New Zealand history from a Māori perspective. In September 2017, they won the prestigious APRA Maioha award for their song ‘Raupatu’ – a thrash metal commentary on the 1863 act of parliament that allowed the colonial government to confiscate vast areas of land from the indigenous Māori people. On 16 November, they took their places among NZ’s musical elite as nominees at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
The combination of thrash metal with Māori history and language has proved popular. Their latest music video for Rū Ana Te Whenua has more than a million YouTube and Facebook views, spent 2 weeks at no. 1 on Spotify’s NZ Viral chart, and hit no. 2 on the iTunes global metal chart (just behind Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’). The band’s music has been play-listed on stations in New Zealand and around the world – from Scotland to Brazil, as well as the USA, Australia and Germany.
Alien Weaponry's English material is equally controversial, calling out everyone from teachers and friends at school to the media for variously glorifying and destroying the lives of television and sports stars. “We listened to all sorts of music when we were younger,” says lead singer and guitarist Lewis de Jong, “but we were drawn to thrash metal because it’s quite complex music, and it is a great vehicle for expressing real stories and emotions.” “It also works with Te Reo Māori,” adds drummer Henry. “Both the musical style and the messages have a lot of similarities with haka, which is often brutal, angry and about stories of great courage or loss.”
But it’s not just the metal community who are taking notice. London-based youth culture and fashion institution i-D ran a piece on the band in September 2017. More recently, Alien Weaponry featured in a story entitled ‘Can a Thrash Metal Band help save the Maori Language?’ published in the respected New York political and cultural journal, The Atlantic. In New Zealand, they have appeared on everything from Kids’ TV shows Pukana! and Sticky TV to late night political comedy panel 7 Days. “These guys could be bigger than Lorde in terms of our musical export,” says TV One Breakfast music correspondent Sarah Gandy. “They believe in their identity as a metal band, their use of Te Reo is impressive, there’s really nothing else like this in the world at the moment,” agrees Jeff Newton from NZ On Air.
Napalm Records is proud to welcome Alien Weaponry to their roster, more exciting news and album details about the band's upcoming record, set to be released for mid of 2018, will follow soon!
Alien Weaponry live:
17.02.18 NZ - Wellington / Pao Pao Pao
03.03.18 NZ - Auckland / Auckland City Limits Festival
22. - 28.07.18 SLO - Tomlin / Metal Days Festival
02. - 04.08.18 DE - Wacken / Wacken Festival
01.09.18 DE - Hamburg / Welt-Turbojugend Tage
More dates for 2018 to be added shortly.
New Zealand death metallers Ulcerate share the live video for “Abrogation”, the opening track off their latest full-length album Shrines of Paralysis. The video was filmed in Krakow, PL and directed by Woda i Pustka during Ulcerate’s November 2017 headline tour. Watch the live performance via YouTube HERE.
Additionally, Ulcerate will perform two exclusive New Zealand concerts on February 10 in Auckland at The Kings Arms Tavern and on March 17 in Wellington at San Fran. Stay tuned for more tour announcements in the near future.
The band’s latest album Shrines Of Paralysis is out now on CD / 2x LP / Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital orders are available via Relapse.com HERE and Bandcamp HERE.
Ulcerate Tour Dates:
Feb 10 Auckland, NZ The Kings Arms Tavern
Mar 17 Wellington, NZ San Fran
Death metal has always had roots in themes of humanity, darkness, and oppression, but when Ulcerate formed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2000, their unconventional approach to the genre quickly redefined the meaning of those concepts throughout death metal and beyond. The trio’s distinctive treatment of dynamics alongside in-depth lyrical content established the band as a formidable force long before they became the standard-bearers for a new era of death metal, one defined by meticulous passages of understated melodic sensibilities and jarring, tooth-scraping dissonance. Following the release of two promising demos, Ulcerate and The Coming of Genocide, Ulcerate released their debut full-length Of Fracture And Failure (Neurotic Records, 2007), which sent waves through the underground. Ulcerate ascended to the global stage upon the release of their 2009 sophomore record and Willowtip Records debut Everything is Fire, which garnered the band widespread critical recognition and enabled them to complete extensive tours of Europe for the first time.
Ulcerate’s next two albums found the band venturing into bleaker and more atmospheric territory than ever before. The Destroyers Of All, released via Willowtip in 2011, captivated press and audiences worldwide, even appearing at #3 on Pitchfork’s top 40 metal albums of the year. In 2013, Ulcerate joined forces with Relapse Records for the release of Vermis, which further refined the band’s doom-laden take on technical death metal and became Ulcerate’s most acclaimed and accomplished release thus far. The band are masters of their craft outside the studio, too – Ulcerate have taken the time to hone a punishing live act and establish themselves as an inimitable live presence. The band has toured the world extensively, including headlining North American tours with labelmates Inter Arma & Tombs, a headlining UK tour with Bell Witch, headlining European tours with Svart Crown and Wormed, and numerous tours of New Zealand and Australia. Ulcerate have also appeared at worldwide festivals ranging from Maryland Deathfest in the US to Hellfest in France and more.
Ulcerate's latest masterwork Shrines Of Paralysis is a flawless continuation of the band's signature sonic philosophy. Shrines Of Paralysis spans eight tracks of singular death metal, incorporating a wider range of styles and ideas than ever before. Influences both within and beyond metal abound: organic, inventive phrasings and novel compositional techniques round out a thundering package of death, doom, and black metal stylings. As is characteristic of the band, Shrines Of Paralysis is about much more than just the music. The production, themes, and atmosphere all shape Ulcerate's music, and help guide the way through a highly evocative palette of dark and light passages, subtly dramatic rhythmic manipulation, and unparalleled technical heaviness. The band's most cohesive and powerful release to date.
Ulcerate on Facebook
Ulcerate on Bandcamp
Woda i Pustka on Facebook
Woda i Pustka on Instagram
Woda i Putska on YouTube
The 'Releases Of The Year' series are albums chosen by myself as the best release from each country / dependency known to have an official release in the year 2017. These are alphabetized in country order so are easy to navigate. Each award has national flag featured alongside the band name, 'Release Of The Year' and Facebook link (where provided).
New Zealand's Blindfolded And Led To The Woods stream 'Modern Adoxography' via Decibel Magazine; Album out Friday
As Christchurch, New Zealand-based death metal outfit Blindfolded And Led To The Woods prepares to independently release Modern Adoxography this Friday, Decibel Magazine has hosted a stream of the entire brutally demented album.
Decibel declares, "New Zealand's Blindfolded And Led To The Woods play death metal with a crazed edge... they sprinkle in a helping of mathcore insanity that leaves everything sounding a bit unhinged. For all the insanity, however, Blindfolded And Led To The Woods never leave technical precision behind. Following in the vein of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, their hectic riffs are airtight and fluid."
Witness the fury of Blindfolded And Led To The Woods' entire Modern Adoxography at Decibel RIGHT HERE.
Blindfolded And Led To The Woods will independently release Modern Adoxography on CD and digital platforms this Friday, October 13th; see the band's brutalizing "Meth Tooth" video HERE and stream "Licking A Landmine" alongside pre-orders for the record HERE.
Modern Adoxography is set to see release in conjunction with Blindfolded And Led To The Woods' direct support slots for The Dillinger Escape Plan on the band's final New Zealand tour dates, playing Wellington on October 24th and Auckland on October 25th. The band has also just confirmed a record release show has been scheduled for November 25th in their native Christchurch. The band will announce additional live performances in the months ahead, and will tour beyond their native continent in 2018.
Blindfolded And Led To The Woods Live:
10/24/2017 San Francisco Bathhouse - Wellington, NZ w/ The Dillinger Escape Plan [info]
10/25/2017 Kings Arms Tavern - Auckland, NZ w/ The Dillinger Escape Plan [info]
11/25/2017 The Club Tavern - Christchurch, NZ w/ Secularity, Set On End
Blindfolded And Led To The Woods recorded their sophomore album Modern Adoxography, the record manifesting everything audiences have come to love about the band, with ten relentless tracks in thirty-five minutes of crushing riffs, technical wizardry, and merciless vocals. While the band's musical foundation is built upon brutal death metal, elements of demented grindcore and bizarre sci-fi tones weave their way into the complex structures, resulting in an engaging and damaging listening experience. Modern Adoxography was produced by Joseph Veale and Blindfolded And Led To The Woods, the album recorded at Blue Barn Studios with James Goldsmith, mixed by Samuel K. Sproull, and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, completed with artwork and design by Syn Photography.
Black / Death dreadnoughts Vassafor premiere the new track "Illumination of the Sinister" vial NoCleanSinging.com. The track hails from the band's massively anticipated second album, Malediction, set for international release on October 13th via Iron Bonehead Productions for the vinyl LP and cassette tape formats; Debemur Morti Productions will be handling the CD version. Hear Vassafor's "Illumination of the Sinister" in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Vassafor should need no introduction. For the past decade and a half, since the band's reactivation with their Demo II in 2005, this New Zealand cult have patiently plied their idiosyncratic craft, pushing the boundaries of black and death metal ever further whilst driving deep into each's collective core. Although some will argue that they reached their apotheosis with 2012's debut album, Obsidian Complex - a true, two-disc double album - Vassafor played their most daring hand with respective split LPs with comrades Sinistrous Diabolus and Temple Nightside (both released by Iron Bonehead in 2014 and 2015, respectively). In miniature, these works amplified the simultaneously world-eating/ethereal textures that lay at the heart of the Vassafor aesthetic. Now, after an intense two years in the shadows, the band's grandest work is about to be revealed: Malediction.
Simply put, Malediction is a statement of intent. A purely Satanic album, in the band's eyes, and one which draws a line firmly in the sand, this is pure Southern Vassaforian Hell driven to the outer reaches of primitivism and transcendence. Here, Vassafor strip bare their most barbaric tendencies, down to their most unapologetic form, and build anew a temple of unimaginable might. The maw of chaos opens ever wide, beckoning the listener to submit and be devoured; meanwhile, tendrils of tension untether in a manner most ambient. If any of Vassafor's earlier work achieved a sense of vertigo - and it surely has - then Malediction is the band's most potent distillation/distortion of such yet. Across a time-evaporating/halting 50 minutes, each of the five tracks comprising Malediction work as mantra and spell simultaneously. Doom(ier) elements are largely traded for utter violence and virulence, which somehow makes the end result all the more stultifying and psychedelic in equal measure. Black Metal of Death: Southern Vassaforian HELL.
Armed with dreadnought decibels, Vassafor do the indoctrination - not the other way around. This is the Malediction you deserve. Continue the reckoning exclusively HERE, courtesy of NoCleanSinging.com. Begin the reckoning HERE at Iron Bonehead's Soundcloud with the aptly titled new track "Emergence (of an Unconquerable One)."
Modern Adoxography, the second album from brutally-demented Christchurch-based Blindfolded & Led To The Woods, is now less than three weeks from release alongside the band's performances supporting The Dillinger Escape Plan. Toilet Ov Hell is now hosting a premiere of the band's gnarled new single, "33440."
Offers Blindfolded & Led To The Woods on the new track, "'33440' is the most dynamic song on the album. Musically it's unlike anything we have ever done before, thus making it somewhat stand out. Lyrical introspection concerns control and interaction, metaphorically speaking of a reclusive blind serial killer who strangles his victims but struggles to deal with the fact nobody really cares they are dying."
Toilet Ov Hell provides with the song's public debut, "as filthy as this concoction may be, it's also expertly crafted on both a musical and technical level. It can go from a dense, sludgy feel to lightning speed in a measure or two, and the drums and guitars drip with primal malice. The distortion is laid on thick, matched in timbre by the vicious, throaty vocals and augmented by chunky bass. Recorded live without any digital assistance - no quantization, no click track, no amp modelling - it sounds absolutely fantastic. '33440' is no exception; it doubles down on the aforementioned sludge aspects, lurching forth at an ever-shifting pace and oozing slime from every orifice."
Unleash Blindfolded & Led To The Woods' "33440" at THIS LOCATION.
Blindfolded & Led To The Woods will independently release Modern Adoxography on CD and digital platforms on Friday, October 13th; see the band's brutalizing "Meth Tooth" video HERE and stream "Licking A Landmine" alongside pre-orders for the record HERE.
Modern Adoxography is set to see release in conjunction with Blindfolded & Led To The Woods' direct support slots for The Dillinger Escape Plan on the band's final New Zealand tour dates, playing Wellington on October 24th and Auckland on October 25th. The band will announce additional live performances in the months ahead, and will tour beyond their native continent in 2018.
Blindfolded & Led To The Woods w/ The Dillinger Escape Plan:
10/24/2017 San Francisco Bathhouse - Wellington, NZ [info]
10/25/2017 Kings Arms Tavern - Auckland, NZ [info]
Blindfolded & Led To The Woods recorded their sophomore album Modern Adoxography, the record manifesting everything audiences have come to love about the band, with ten relentless tracks in thirty-five minutes of crushing riffs, technical wizardry, and merciless vocals. While the band's musical foundation is built upon brutal death metal, elements of demented grindcore and bizarre sci-fi tones weave their way into the complex structures, resulting in an engaging and damaging listening experience. Modern Adoxography was produced by Joseph Veale and Blindfolded & Led To The Woods, the album recorded at Blue Barn Studios with James Goldsmith, mixed by Samuel K. Sproull, and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music, completed with artwork and design by Syn Photography.
Hatched in Wellington, Order of Diptera is New Zealand's newest purveyors of dissonant Technical / Modern Death Metal. Feeding on the carcass of the collectives' extensive pedigree in New Zealand's metal scene, Order of Diptera is a coagulation of exceptionally skilled players seeking to bridge the gap between modern dissonance focused death metal and technical death metal.
The upstart new band attracted the attention of extreme metal label The Artisan Era who are proud to announce today's signing of Order of Diptera. The group's debut album will be released in the spring of 2018 through The Artisan Era. Fans of Hate Eternal, Ulcerate, Abhorrent and Spawn of Possession would be wise to keep an eye on Order of Diptera.
An early play-through for their song "Ordo Est Vermibus" can be heard HERE
Order of Diptera is:
Nag Reid (Heavy Metal Ninjas) - Guitar
Nesh Kumar - Guitar
James Vanner - Drums
Liam Cody - Bass
Michael Koefman - Vocals
Pelagic Records is pleased to welcome New Zealand-based atmospheric metal collective Spook The Horses to their expanding roster of eclectic sounds.
With their upcoming album, titled People Used To Live Here and slated for a November 10th unveiling, Spook The Horses manifests an atmosphere of quiet desolation; raw and real, desperate and unsettling; the soundtrack to abandoned places, where people used to live... at one point in time, long ago.
"We're extremely excited to announce our signing with Pelagic Records," issues the band, "Pelagic have worked with some of our favourite and most influential artists ever which makes them a perfect home for our new record. We took a lot of creative risks with this album and Pelagic have only been encouraging. We can't wait to show you!"
Further info on People Used To Live Here will be revealed in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, check out the album video teaser at THIS LOCATION.
Black / Death upstarts Vesicant stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Shadows of Cleansing Iron, at CVLTNation.com. Set for international release on July 14th via Iron Bonehead Productions, hear Vesicant's Shadows of Cleansing Iron in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Hailing from New Zealand's fertile metal underground, Vesicant create a constantly churning momentum of coil-and-release dynamics, draped in dread and doom and grinding to ash all who stand in their way. Verily, Shadows of Cleansing Iron is aptly titled: the duo's world-eating sound approximates the inexorable crush of hulking, rusty tanks lurking across battlefields from time immemorial.
Vesicant started as a serious band in 2014 when Profanum moved to Wellington and immediately began writing material with then-drummer Carnifex. In late 2014, Mordance joined on drums, who quickly became a core member - while assisting with lyrics, he also does vocals on Shadows of Cleansing Iron. Carnifex and Pravus had left the band prior to the full-length; their contributions can be found on our demo. Vesicant's core concept became the abject horrors and untold abysmal affliction for those men who fought in WWI - more specifically, "Vesicant" or gas attacks used as a method of psychological deterrence with intent to do physical bodily harm en masse. Vesicant's purpose isn't to glorify war, but merely an attempt to channel the intense feelings of those who lived or died during that hellish era.
Of course, neither side are excluded. We saw Entente and Central powers fighting in unison against a greater enemy: FEAR. Fear of losing their brothers in arms, fear of retreat, fear of embarrassing their nation's flag, fear of being torn apart by shrapnel, or worse... Vesicant's music is largely inspired by novels of the Great War, such as Ernst Jünger's Storm of Steel - in particular, the author's point of view that the war provided each man a stark purpose and direct path of ascension towards personal heroism and immortality. Other concepts buttress the overall carnage and harrowing annihilation of the Great War, such as nature's reverence for the sacrifice, yet its soil drinks up the blood of these men ambivalently.
For now, Shadows of Cleansing Iron is an aural assault of the most harrowing violent proportions. Darkness and despair mixed with confusion provides the basis while moments of heroism provide the smallest glimmering hope of survival. Face the entirety of that onslaught exclusively HERE, courtesy of CVLTNation.com.
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