May 132015


(New Zealand-based metal writer and broadcaster Craig Hayes brings us this interview with Rigel Walshe of New Zealand’s  Dawn of Azazel, whose phenomenal comeback album was released on April 28.)

A couple of weeks ago, long-running New Zealand death metal titan Dawn of Azazel released The Tides of Damocles, the band’s first album in six long years. Formed in 1999, Dawn of Azazel are a crucial band in the history of New Zealand extreme metal. Their 2003 full-length debut, The Law of the Strong, is a 100% blistering and battering classic. And, over the years, Dawn of Azazelhave toured the globe, reaped acclaim from all corners of the metal underground, and received high praise in the press at home and abroad.In 2009, after the release and touring for Dawn of Azazel’s third album, Relentless, the band went into hiatus. Frontman Rigel Walshe wanted to further explore career options outside of the music sphere at the time. And it’d be fair to say the return of Dawn of Azazelin 2015 has been greeted with rapturous applause both at home and offshore.The band headed back to Mana Recording Studios last year to record, mix and master The Tides of Damocles, and there’s no question that Dawn of Azazel have returned with a ferociously aggressive, dynamic, and wholly skull-cleaving album. No Clean Singing caught up with frontman Rigel recently to talk about the band resurfacing, his reflections on his time away from the metal underground, and what the future holds for one of death metal’s premier cult bands. Continue reading »
Apr 012015


Six years after 2009’s Relentless, New Zealand’s long-running Dawn of Azazel are poised for the release of their fourth album, The Tides of Damocles, via Unique Leader Records. To give you fair warning of the death metal devastation to come, we bring you the premiere of a lyric video for the new album’s third track, “Vassalplasty“.

The new album was recorded, mixed, and mastered last year at Mana Recording Studios (Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Goatwhore) in Tampa, Florida by Brian Elliot and J.J. Hrubovcak, and they did a superb job capturing the band’s raw ferocity without obscuring the intricacy of their compositions or their technical skill as performers. And as further icing on the cake, the album cover features the typically striking artwork of one of our favorite metal artists, New Zealand’s Nick Keller.

The lyric video, produced by Scott Rudd Film makes full use Keller’s dramatic creation, which captures the album’s conceptual theme — “the ocean as a metaphor for the forces of life that constantly assail and erode the will of those who seek power”. Continue reading »

Jun 282010

(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

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 . . .) Continue reading »