(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?
I have heard of Sinate and Dawn of Azazel. Check out Sinate’s track Blood Pain Death. Its a kick ass song.
WOOOO! KIWI METAL!! keep it coming please 🙂
In 1996, a band from NZ was a last-minute addition to a show that one of my old bands was playing in Minnesota. My initial annoyance at the shuffled set times gave way to slack-jawed wonder at the melodic post-hardcore sound of Shihad, who were touring in support of their “Killjoy” album. Not entirely metal, but in those days, heavy enough to stand toe-to-toe with US post-HC giants like Helmet and Quicksand. Their later stuff has veered into more accessible pop territory, but I’ve followed them ever since. They started out as a straight-ahead thrash band, and have now aged into a heavier, better version of Foo Fighters. Probably a bit off topic if we’re talking strictly metal, but there you go. Hopefully I haven’t just gushed about a band that you see as the NZ equivalent to Nickelback.
Great to see some exposure for kiwi metal bands. Would love to see some underground ones listed! I used to love that malevolence song “fuck the lord”
Sorry, someone had to do it. At least you don’t have topless hippie hobbit sheep. At least, I hope that hasn’t happened yet.
Thanks for letting us know about some of the NZ bands. Right now I’ve got the Cripple Mr. Onion vid playing and it kind of has a Tool/Wig/Miosis vibe to it, although hearing a better quality version (and a visit to their myspace profile) will go a long way in helping me decided whether they go on the “to get” list. And of course, check out the other bands when I have a little more time later tonight or tomorrow.
I see CarlSk also mentioned Shihad; who I have heard of before, but haven’t heard much from. I’ve liked what I’ve heard, but haven’t really checked them out any further.
@Carlsk – No, definitely not the NZ Nickelback. I LOVED KillJoy – and their radio-friendly rock songs are much better than most band’s radio-friendly rock songs. They’re by far our best live band – they used to play the Big Day Out over here every year, normally before one of the big bands like Korn or System of a Down or something … every international band who plays after them is a bitter disappointment – they are just on fire.
They went to the US to “make it” and changed their name to Pacifier – apparently Shihad sounds too much like Jihad for some people’s liking – and by all accounts it was a bit of a failure, beause they came back home after a couple of years and changed their name back to Shihad.
@Archheretic – Malevolence – yes! I will make another list soon with more underground stuff. There’s an Auckland BM band called Exordium Mors who are also quite good. It’s quite weird writing about bands when I’m mates with the musicians.
Is that a screen from the movie Black Sheep? haha best movie out of NZ i’ve seen…..and that meat bra is seriously metal
Right you are on Black Sheep! When Steff first suggested I hunt for something from that movie, I had no idea what she was talking about. It looks hysterically funny, in a very gore-drenched, black sort of way.
I still think Peter Jackson’s “Braindead” is the best NZ film, but Black Sheep is a close second.