November 23, 2011

NZ Metal News and Gig Guide for November

Tr00 Metal Life

It has come to my attention in recent months that New Zealand metal is awesome. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the local scene for many years – my taste in metal tends toward the melodic end of the spectrum, and every local gig seemed to be dominated by same-same extreme metal bands fighting for the most number of times “satan” was screamed during their set … that, or Pantera clones.

So I admit that I’ve been out of touch with the local scene for awhile. And while I’ve been gone, something happened. NZ metal got awesome. And I don’t want to miss any more.

I’m fucking proud to be a kiwi, and, while I would gladly give a fair chunck of flesh on my right arm for a local scene like I experienced in Europe, I’m also proud of the immense talent that comes from my home turf. Plus, it’s cool walking into a gig and knowing most of the people there.

So, in the interests of bringing a bit of local kiwi talent to the world, as well as making my NZ readers more aware of some of the great local acts, and the international shows you don’t want to miss, I’m starting a semi-weekly column of local metal news. I’ll also be including a lot more reviews of NZ metal releases.

If you’re in Welly or Auckland and stuck for something to do this weekend, I recommend checking out Death and Damnation Tour 2011. Chaos Productions promise another killer lineup, with Aussie’s Lamort (symphonic black metal) headlining, alongside thrash kinsfolk Damnations Day, and local acts Bulletbelt (black metal) and Dying of the Light (doom) and Red Dawn (thrash). I quite like what I heard of Lamort on their myspace page, so I’m probably going to be there. (Come say hi if you see me).


And, we’re getting a treat in January:

absu-nz-poster Absu are one of the best and most influential black/occult bands to come out of America, and I have a feeling this show’s going to be brutal. They don’t play live very often, so this is going to be a special show. Exordium Mors are one of our best black metal acts, and Nullifier have been stalwarts in the local scene for years (the Jag’s playing guitar for them, which automatically gives them +10 to awesome), and I’ve never heard Heresiarch, but I’m told they’re black/death metal. Tickets $60 from Chaos NZ.

And, of course, the biggest and best piece of NZ Metal news is that progressive-death-metallers Ulcerate have signed with Relapse Records. This is fucking awesome news and well deserved. Ulcerate have been working their asses off for years and their latest album, The Destroyers of All, has been getting nothing but rave reviews. It definitely made my Top 10 Ten Metal Albums for 2011. I can’t wait to hear what they come up with on their first Relapse release.

The new album “Adverseries” from heavy doom 5-piece Cobra Khan is out now. Get it on bandcamp.

And, doom / stoner rock band The House of Capricorn released their new album, In the Devil’s Days, earlier this year. Check out my review here.

Stone Monarch, Ross McGuire’s (ex Trial by Fire, Heavy Artillery) new project, has a song up on Myspace and Facebook. My Cantankerous Husband is the drummer and would appreciate any comments.

For the latest news on the NZ metal scene, check out these sites:

NZ metal bands/promoters, if you’ve got any news / releases / gigs coming up, shoot me an email at STEFF AT STEFFMETAL DOT COM, and I’ll do my best to get you in the list.


4 Comments on “NZ Metal News and Gig Guide for November

December 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

Steff, i love your blog, I found it while searching to see if Cavalera Conspiracy were playing before BDO in Auckland. There is so much to read and enjoy, thanks so much for writing such interesting stuff.. i didnt think i would ever find a decent metal blog by a female so am delighted. will check out some of the nz bands you listed and see how they are doing.

December 9, 2011 at 12:45 am

@Luna – I’m glad you like it and that you found me :) There are a few female metal bloggers out there: E.Bleak at, Leticia at, Kay at – but there definitely aren’t enough of us!

November 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hey Steff, first time poster, some time reader (won’t admit to being here since day one, more like about 1 good solid year).

I understand your frustration with local scenes. From my neck of the woods (Miami, FL), our scene sucks in ways that isn’t scientifically possible, and that’s why I left it eons ago.

One band I managed to catch some years that were from your neck of the woods is Dawn of Azazel, very kick ass Death/Grind.

I had a chance to catch Absu at Brutal Assault (Czech Republic) this year and they were as cult as you can get.

I also wanted to take this opportunity and comment on your kick ass blog, one of the few blogs I read OFTEN, many thanks for making it happen.

November 28, 2011 at 12:53 am

@i6z6a6n Thanks for commenting and saying such nice things! (I hope it is the first of many more). And thanks for seconding the Absu recommendation – I am DEFINITELY going to be at this show.

Sometimes, I guess, you need a break from something to appreciate what you’ve got. Also, I’ve never appreciated extreme metal as much as I do now (after writing this blog and getting exposed to more and better stuff). I’m never going to be as actively involved (going to live shows every weekend, etc) as I once was, simply because I have other commitments on my time and money, but I do think there’s a lot of decent music coming out of this country that deserves to be recognized. Dawn of Azazel are one of our more successful bands – they’re definitely a talented, hard-working bunch of guys \m/

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