(Today, the half-wits who usually write for this site are stepping aside to make way for another post from our occasional guest contributor, the awesome Steff Metal. You can see Steff’s other NCS contributions via the Category link on the right called Steff’s Posts, and you can (and should) visit her own site at SteffMetal.com.)
New Zealand. Land of hobbits, sheep, bare-breasted hippies, shoddy public transport and an abundance of lame indie bands. Barring ten months I spent exploring the world, I’ve lived in New Zealand my entire life, and – despite the sheep and the hippies – it’s a wicked place to live. Cheap as chips, an abundance of wilderness and a generally laid-back attitude.
Probably due to the laid-back attitude (and the hippies) New Zealand is not known for our metal. Our remoteness from the two major world metal scenes – Europe and the US – means our metal tends to mimic trends 6-12 months old.
Nevertheless, metal bands we have, and a decent variety, too. If I had to define a NZ sound, it would be “Pantera with a few more sheep jokes.” I’m not saying that’s exactly a bad thing.
Here are a few New Zealand metal bands for you to check out. (brave souls should continue reading after the jump . . .)
Skuldom – Orgiastic Blasphemies
NZ’s longest-running black metal band. Skuldom’s first demo hit the streets in 1998, and their reign of terror hasn’t stopped since. Female-vocalist “Femons” is famed for wearing a meatbra onstage, and they generally perform caked in blood and gore. At one particularly infamous Satanfest show, Skuldom member Faeces threw scalpels into the crowd and then carved an inverted cross onto his chest. After the show, he passed out from blood loss and had to be rushed to hospital, where he received 60 stitches and a telling off from the nurse.
At another show, the stench of rotting sheep heads was so vile most of the audience fled the venue.
From their 2003 album Nativity in Brown, “Orgiastic Blasphemy” was loosely based on the crimes of Ed Gein.
Cripple Mr. Onion – Six Days of Silence
Originally from Christchurch but now residing in my city – Auckland – Cripple Mr. Onion is one of NZ’s only progressive metal bands and, in my opinion, one of the most talented bands playing in this country at the moment. Their name is taken from a board game played by characters in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, and they have the author’s permission to use the name (although he’s quoted as saying he doesn’t care much for the music). This video was made years ago – you can hear some of their songs in better quality and order their Antigravity album through their Myspace page.
Human – Bludgeoned to Death with a Blunt Excrement
Another Christchurch band and a stalwart on the NZ metal scene, having being around nearly as long as I’ve been alive, Human win the award for most fucking brutal song titles ever. Their latest album, Cadaver Academy, contains such gems as “Centrifugal Skin Removal”, “Outhouse Snipe”, “Blasting Through the Foreheads of the Dead”, and the track I’ve posted below. I’ve seen Human open for Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Dragonforce, and they always put on a great show.
Sinate – One Step Closer
Sinate departed our shores last year to pursue the metal dream in Europe, and they’re touring with Marduk and Vader, so they’re not doing too bad. Check out the Sinate MySpace for updates and more songs.
8 Foot Sativa – Seasons for Assault
Considered by some the best NZ metal band and by the rest of us an annoyance with a bunch of teeny-bopper fans who hog all the pit space, 8 Foot broke up a few years ago, but not after achieving some modicum of national success and recording a few albums, and playing tours around the world. Bastards.
Dawn of Azazel – The Road to Babalon
Dawn of Azazel made headlines across New Zealand a few years ago when it was revealed to the public with shock and horror that an upstanding member of our law enforcement team was actually the frontman for a brutal, extreme metal band. The scandal! The disgrace! The outrage! Why, you can just imagine!
But all press is good press for Dawn of Azazel, a blistering extreme metal assault with serious chops. They’ve been promoting like mad and have toured throughout the US with Vital Remains and Incantation, Europe with Immolation and Grave, and Australia and New Zealand with Disgorge, Motorhead, Korn (you wouldn’t believe the flack they got for that), Behemoth, Megadeth, Suffocation, Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, Morbid Angel and Slayer.
So there you have a sampling on NZ metal. I’ve chosen some of our more well-known bands (none of which anyone will know) but I shall later compile a second list of underground-down-under. Does anyone out there have a favorite band from the antipodes?