Unearthing The Metal Underground: The New Zealand Scene
Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I am delving into the New Zealand metal scene.
While NZ's main metal export for some time has been either 8 Foot Sativa (melodic death meets groove metal) or Dawn of Azazel (brutal death metal), New Zealand has a number of other gems in the rough with a lot of local support. Even bigger names in the NZ metal community have a harder time translating local fans to recognition overseas because of the distant home base, so this is dedicated to all the southern legions.
With numerous ties to other metal bands in New Zealand (as happens with such a small scene), Ulcerate is a highly underrated band for its band members' talents. With a big boost signing to Willowtip Records last year (known for signing creative and technical bands such as Necrophagist and Alarum), Ulcerate isn't technically underground anymore but deserves a mention for effort given to the NZ scene. Taking a blend of brutal death metal and combining it with eclectic, off the wall and and experimental riffs (not unlike Canadian experimental heavyweights Gorguts), the talent factor is extreme. Ulcerate is a band making itself known as one able to gasp the air above the waves of generic brutal death metal bands, so check out their MySpace and prepare to be blasted.
Human is an (anti-)Christchurch based death grind band which remains one of New Zealand's longest running metal acts. Formed in 1992, and named after the infamous "Human" album by American band Death, the band's strongest point to me has always been its element of humor. Alongside tracks like "Home Necronomics" and "Wave Goodbye To Both Your Hands," Human's live acts are as fun to visit because of it's members' comedic banter in between songs as the death grind they provide. The band has a string of killer self-released material to check out and doesn't show any signs of slowing down it's blend of early death metal and comedy grind. You can watch Human's self made "Paytoilet of Despair" video below and check out new tracks on their MySpace player.
Hailing from Auckland and with connections to fellow bands Ulcerate and The House of Capricorn, Creeping plays a doomy version of a black n' roll sound commonly associated with later era Satyricon. However unlike Satyricon, Creeping's music retains the bleak, sludgy guts of black metal origins and stay true to the doomy plan making them one of my favourite home grown bands. Creeping are combining with small Aussie outfit Asphixiate Records again to produce a follow up to "Funeral Crawl" hopefully due some time in 2010. You can check out two tracks online on their MySpace page.
Certainly there are more quality metal bands in New Zealand. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground NZ metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
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