First time I heard Bulletbelt was back in September 2014. It was a song off their then-forthcoming album Rise of the Banshee (their second full-length), which had premiered at NZ writer Craig Hayes‘ Six Noises blog. I hammered out my immediate reaction on the keyboard: “Punk stomp and black metal acid and heavy metal swagger, gun-shot drumming and gut-shot riffing, risk of serious neck strain, catchy as chlamydia.” Not long after that we premiered the whole album, with Craig Hayes writing an enthusiastic introduction.
Four years later Bulletbelt returned with their next album, Nine Centuries, which was the final album with vocalist Jolene Tempest, but also featured guest appearances by Midnight’s Vanik, Massacre’s Kam Lee, and a string quartet from The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. We were lucky to have Craig Hayes review it (here). He noted that the record was, in comparison to the preceding one, “a much grimmer release, lyrically”, and that the band had “matched that narrative darkness with a rawer and more visceral sound –– reflecting, perhaps, the violence of the album’s lyrics” — and was all the better for it.
And now Bulletbelt are returning again with another full-length, after an intervening EP (Faster Than Death) and a split with Sabbat. The new album is named Warlords and it’s set for release on July 1st. And today we’re fuckin’ pumped to premiere the first single off the album: “Blade On the Fire“.