Maori tribal groove metallers Alien Weaponry to release new album, “Tangaroa”, on September 17th, 2021
The wait is over – international metal stars Alien Weaponry have returned with a vengeance, announcing the release of their fervid upcoming seconde release, Tangaroa, out September 17, 2021 via Napalm Records!
Since releasing their acclaimed debut Tū (2018), the New Zealanders’ kinetic presence and sound – combining elements of thrash and groove metal with lyrics in the native indigenous language, te reo Māori — has attracted throngs of fans and media supporters across the globe. As with their 2018 single “Kai Tangata” – which has amassed more than 10 million views on YouTube and claimed the number-one spot on SiriusXM Liquid Metal’s “Devil’s Dozen” for 13 consecutive weeks – much of Tangaroa is immersed in the historical stories and cultural heritage of the Māori people.
In addition, Tangaroa details stories of personal struggle and growth, as well as crucial environmentalism topics. Witness a first sample of the band’s stirring new music with the album’s colossal title track, “Tangaroa”. Accompanied by a gripping music video, the track details the pressing theme of climate change and illegal fishing practices. Through raising this awareness, Alien Weaponry hope to support the important work and efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Lewis de Jong says about the track:
“We decided to write this song about how the ocean is being suffocated by humans and their waste. The ocean is an important part of my life, and it's important to protect it.”
Drummer Henry de Jong adds:
“‘Tangaroa’ is a heavy and angry message about how we are destroying the ocean with pollution and overfishing. The video ties in with this message, with us drowning in plastic conveying the struggle of ocean life.”
Watch the brand new official music video for “Tangaroa” HERE
Having achieved past and present tours and festivals with the likes of Slayer, Black Label Society and Gojira, and being hailed the “future of metal” by esteemed magazine Metal Hammer (UK) and voted by Revolver Magazine (US) fans as “one of the bands most likely to break out in 2021”, ALIEN WEAPONRY are poised to dominate with Tangaroa. The album coalesces Alien Weaponry’s growing maturation with an undisturbed songwriting process, resulting in their most inspired, honest and informed material yet.
In addition to lyrics written in te reo Māori, many tracks feature traditional instruments, called taonga puoro, providing the tracks their own warrior-like attitude. Rhythmic, dynamic album opener “Titokowaru” begins with determined rowing chants and depicts the tale of a famous war chief that challenged the colonial government in New Zealand and led a rebel army, backed by quick riffage and driving drums. Following standout “Hatupatu”, inspired by the harrowing, legendary tale of a de Jong ancestor facing off with a witch, is carried by frenzied guitars, spirited chanting and tribal-like percussion. While Alien Weaponry sourced inspiration from their culture and environmental surroundings while writing most of Tangaroa, the band also looked inward – drawing vision for other portions of the album from within. The album dives into some of their most effecting personal experiences, with English-language songs like the pensive “Unforgiving” about facing self-loathing and insecurity, and the swirling, charging “Buried Underground” detailing the aftershocks of drug abuse.
Accented by personal touches like its entrancing album art originally conceptualized from drawings by Lewis de Jong, Tangaroa is a massive next step for a band on the rise, encompassing all of the elements that make Alien Weaponry heavy metal’s most authentic rising stars.
Henry de Jong says about Tangaroa:
“The album is tied together with the message of ‘Tangaroa’ - the whole album is more a snapshot of the band’s brains during the writing process. We have also written songs that are about some of our first tūpuna (ancestors) who were here in Āotearoa (New Zealand). Hatupatu, who is very famous in Māori history, as well as Īhenga, who named a number of places in Āotearoa during his travels.”
Lewis de Jong adds about the album’s artwork and thematic details:
“The album is named after the track ‘Tangaroa’, and we went with this theme on the artwork. The album is drawn from some new experiences we've had as well as some ancient Māori tales. I think we have stepped things up from the last album.”
Bassist Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds also adds:
"This album's use of even more traditional Māori sounds and styles is a very exciting step forward for us."
Pre-Order Tangaroa NOW
Following up to their groundbreaking recent sold out performance with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Kirikiriroa Hamilton at the Claudelands Arena last month, Alien Weaponry will support headliners Gojira on their fall 2021 U.S. tour!
ALIEN WEAPONRY on Tangaroa is:
ALIEN WEAPONRY online:
New Zealand's Maori Metal Sensation Alien Weaponry release a strictly limited 7 Inch Vinyl, including the two brand new songs “Ahi Kā” And “Blinded”. The three teenagers are celebrated worldwide as one of the hottest newcomer metal bands. After releasing the debut album Tū in 2018, Alien Weaponry toured Europe, North America, Australia and their home country of New Zealand extensively. They played the biggest festivals around the world and supported the legendary Ministry in the US. In 2019 they’ll go one step further by playing headline tours in the US and Europe and supporting Slayer on their last show in Germany ever.
Alien Weaponry on the two new songs:
“In 1952, in preparation for a Royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen, the Auckland City Council, in a misguided attempt to beautify the city, evicted the local Ngāti Whātua people from their village at Ōkahu Bay and burned it to the ground.”
“Relationships are difficult to understand at the best of times but when you are 16 and on tour all over the world these things are bound to get confusing and hard to reconcile. Blinded is about a very personal trip down this rabbit hole”
"We have had a very busy touring schedule ever since the release of Tū and we are stoked we managed to record two new tracks in the short break we had back home in New Zealand. We can’t wait to play the new songs live!“
The new 7 Inch is the first new material since the debut album and is strictly limited to 400 pieces.
Pre-Order Ahi Kā/Blinded NOW!
About "Ahi Ka":
"Ahi Kā was inspired by the Auckland city council's decision to burn down what was considered to be the unsightly indigenous Maori village of Okahu Bay in advance of Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 visit," Alien Weaponry's singer-guitarist Lewis de Jong says of the track. Which, like many of the band's songs, is sung in New Zealand's indigenous language of Te Reo Māori. "The eviction sparked a 40-year battle for the native Ngati Whatua to reclaim their land, including protests and battles with the police. Amid worldwide criticism, a small portion of the original land was ultimately returned with an apology and some compensation."
Official Website: www.alienweaponry.com
“In 1820, the great Northern War Chief Hongi Hika departed New Zealand for England. On his return, he brought with him the word of God and hundreds of muskets. Things would never be the same again …”
… so begins the video for Alien Weaponry’s new single, ‘Kai Tangata’.
The title literally translates to ‘Eat People’; and refers to the ancient Māori tradition of eating the flesh of their enemies after battle in order to insult them. It is also an ancient term for a war party.
In their epic 7-minute song, the thrash metal trio recreates the memory of the early 19th Century musket wars, where Ngapuhi (Northern) tribes, newly armed with muskets, attacked and decimated the de Jong brothers’ Te Arawa (Central North Island) ancestors, who at that time were still using traditional weaponry.
Watch ‘Kai Tangata’ right HERE!
The driving riff that carries the song echoes the pounding footsteps of the war party, while the chorus traces the parts of the full body moko (tattoo) traditionally worn by Māori warriors. The images are of brutal hand-to-hand combat and the taking of slaves, with flashes of white teeth reminding us of the eventual fate of those unfortunate captives.
“Some people might find it a bit grisly,” says singer and lead guitarist Lewis de Jong. “But it’s stuff that actually happened and nobody ever talks about it. We’re not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just a part of our history.”
The song refers to ‘nga tohu a Tūmatauenga’ (the symbols of Tūmatauenga – the Māori god of war), and it is from this deity that the band’s debut album, "Tū", takes its name.
“Quite a few of the songs on the album are about battles or conflict,” says drummer Henry de Jong, who was largely responsible for the lyrics of Kai Tangata. “So we thought it was appropriate to name the album after Tūmatauenga. Tū also means to stand strong and proud, to stand for something; which we think is important as a band and as people.”
The video has special significance for the band due to the locations and people involved. Parts of the clip were filmed at the Waipu Caves, not far from where the band members live. The rest was filmed in the de Jong brothers’ Te Arawa tribal territory; and many of the people featured – including the kapa haka group Te Matarae i Orehu – are members of their Ngati Pikiao whanau (family) and their wider Te Arawa iwi (tribe).
ALIEN WEAPONRY - LIVE 2018:
22.-28.07.18 SV - Tolmin / Metal Days Festival
02.-04.08.18 DE - Wacken / Wacken Festival
09.08.18 UK - Walton-on-Trent / Bloodstock Open Air
01.09.18 DE - Hamburg / Welt-Turbojugend Tage
More Dates Coming Soon!
ALIEN WEAPONRY is:
Lewis De Jong – Vocals, Guitars
Henry De Jong – Drums
Ethan Trembath – Bass
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.
Global Metal Apocalypse