Feb 012018


(We welcome back New Zealand writer Craig Hayes (Six Noises), who brings us this review of the new album by NZ’s Bulletbelt, which was released through Bandcamp just a few days ago.)


Nine Centuries is the latest hard-hitting release from New Zealand black/thrash metallers Bulletbelt. Much like their high-octane pals Midnight, Bulletbelt mine metal’s core aesthetics, and Nine Centuries duly features plenty of battle-vested and spiked-gauntleted oomph. Interestingly, though, the rip-roaring album is also somewhat bittersweet. Because Nine Centuries marks Bulletbelt’s final album with vocalist Jolene Tempest.

Tempest exited Bulletbelt late last year, along with guitarist Seth Jackson, and while singers come and go from bands all the time, Tempest’s leaving is certainly notable because her performance on Nine Centuries is so confident and impassioned. Tempest originally joined Bulletbelt not long before they recorded their second album, 2014’s Rise of the Banshee, and that release showcased the band’s burning ambitions like never before. Continue reading »

Sep 252014


(We thank New Zealand-based metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes for the following introduction to our premiere of a full stream of the new album by New Zealand’s awesome Bulletbelt.)


Bands like Diocletian, Vassafor, Ulcerate, and Beastwars have done a lot to spread various strains of New Zealand metal around the globe in recent years, and there’s no doubt that the nation’s heaviest music is infecting more fans than ever. Of course, those bands are just the tip of the iceberg, because the New Zealand metal scene is packed to the gunnels with a diverse range of virulent bands, all showing a diehard strength of will.

Case in point: Bulletbelt.

The Wellington-based five-piece features long-serving members from New Zealand’s metal community, and draws a riotous crossover crowd at home. Bulletbelt’s fiery full-length debut, 2012’s Down in the Cold of the Grave, was certainly framed by black metal, but thrash, traditional metal, and punk rock’s vicious bite were all given free reign, too. Continue reading »

Sep 122014

My ears have feasted upon a big smorgasbord of new and newish metal over the last 24 hours, a big spread of many different styles of delectables. However, in deciding what to assemble for this round-up I was influenced by the Obscure Burials EP I reviewed for today’s first post. Which is to say I was in the mood for more jet-fueled mayhem. Sometimes you just want to have your head torn off, you know what I mean?

Because there’s so much stuff in this post, including two new videos, I’m going to dispense with complete sentences and keep my blather short and sweet. Presenting this alpha music in alphabetical order:


Location: The Netherlands
Song: “Carved To Pieces”
Album: Rites Ov Perversion
Release date: Sept 12 (Europe) and Sept 16 (NorthAm)
Label: Metal Blade

Ravenous, ripping, spine-smashing, skull-cleaving, roof-collapsing, gruesome, atmospheric, sing-along music. Continue reading »