New Zealand Metal

Stälker – Shadow of the Sword Review

Stälker – Shadow of the Sword Review

“Last year in our EP edition of TYMHM, I waxed eloquent about a great little proto-thrash demo from some Wellington, NZ upstarts, Stälker. Their Satanic Panic cassette was such a nasty bit of early speed metal that it garnered the attention of Napalm Records, and this power trio was set to record their full-length debut this year. Enter Shadow of the Sword.” Only a big sword casts a shadow you can enter.

Bloodnut – St. Ranga Review

Bloodnut – St. Ranga Review

“As so many bands take themselves too seriously, it hurt a little more than usual to gingerly let B;ppdmit down and mark their score in the red. It must have put some fire in their gut, because the boys are back to bring peace and justice to Gingers, in less time than it takes Jari Mäenpää to make a sandwich.” Apes be escaping.

Vesicant – Shadows of Cleansing Iron Review

Vesicant – Shadows of Cleansing Iron Review

“War. Whether for profit, liberation, or for sheer annihilation of your enemies, many bands have scoured the various battles and wars throughout the ages for musical and lyrical inspiration. World War I in particular remains a fertile ground for a variety of metal bands, with depictions of trenches and chemical warfare highlighted in gruesome, vivid detail. New Zealand’s Vesicant, their name derived from the blistering after-effects of mustard gas, attempt to weave their own horrific tales of one of the ugliest wars in history with their debut album, Shadows of Cleansing Blood.” War inside your head.

Heresiarch – Death Ordinance Review

Heresiarch – Death Ordinance Review

“While I love the scorched-earth pummeling of bands like Revenge and Bestial Warlust, I’ll be the first to admit the genre isn’t exactly known for its variety and memorability. To me the style needs some musicality to balance out the brutality, otherwise, I’d just be blasting Tetragrammacide all day and sending my entire paycheck to Hells Headbangers. Fortunately, this was something New Zealand quartet Heresiarch understood pretty well.” Tuneful war.

Concert Review: Ulcerate, Zhrine, Phobocosm, and Vukari at Reggie’s, Chicago, Illinois – November 27th, 2016

Concert Review: Ulcerate, Zhrine, Phobocosm, and Vukari at Reggie’s, Chicago, Illinois – November 27th, 2016

“So it was with great portent that night fell upon Reginald’s Emporium of the Fine Arts, cloaking Chicago in a sickly sodium glow. Just on the edge of Chinatown, next to a bombed-out taco joint under the Green Line, brutality was brewing, summoned in darkness from the ragged edges of the Earth. And as the sun set, than the venue was assailed by… no one at all.” The abyss is a lonely place.

Bloodnut – Blues from the Red Sons Review

Bloodnut – Blues from the Red Sons Review

“I’m a big supporter of not taking yourself too seriously. From bands like Gloryhammer to movies like Tucker and Dale vs Evil, a little tongue in cheek, self deprecating humor can get you a lot of sympathy. Case in point: Bloodnut is Australian slang for redhead and the whole band pride themselves on being gingers all around. They don’t take themselves too seriously either.” Red is the new black.

Beastwars – The Death of All Things Review

Beastwars – The Death of All Things Review

“New Zealand’s Beastwars popped up on my radar with their excellent Blood Becomes Fire album in 2013. They impressed me with their bruising style of doomy sludge metal, combining the heft of Leviathan-era Mastodon and molten riffage of High on Fire before injecting subtle doses of ’90s grunge, prog and classic rock influences into the mix.” Feast on this beast.

Ulcerate – Vermis Review

Ulcerate – Vermis Review

Ulcerate’s emergence was rather inauspicious. Their first work, The Coming of Genocide, didn’t hold much promise. It was pretty standard for mid-aughts uber-blast brutality, assaultive to the point of redundancy. But there were some gnarly guitar squalls nestled in their amateurish blastfuckery, and on their first true album, Of Fracture and Failure, things started to get wild. Then, Everything is Fire happened, and things got real.” First Carcass and now this? It’s all big releases, all the time and and Jordan Campbell is on the job with his always insightful musings.

Black Boned Angel – The End Review

Black Boned Angel – The End Review

“There’s no point in dancing around it – doom/drone is about as niche as niche gets. Unless you’re a serious enthusiast of bands like Earth (early material) and Sunn O))), it’s very likely that Black Boned Angel haven’t been a band on your radar, and with their latest (and last) opus, that isn’t very likely to change.” Drone is a mighty tough sell, but Noctus has his sales pitch ready and he wants to tell you why this is something special. Hell, this guy could sell spit to Geoff Tate!