So far in Overdrive Oz, we’ve covered 40 Australian bands across a range of Metal genres. Now at a reader’s request, we jump the ditch to cover the best Metal from our neighbours in New Zealand! While Australia has a reputation as a deadly country, New Zealand holds its own from frozen wastelands to forest vistas, powerful traditions and of course, brutal tunes. Here are five of the best from all over New Zealand.

ALIEN WEAPONRY (WAIPU)

Alien Weaponry are unmistakably a New Zealand band, as many of their songs include lyrics in Maori language! These guys may be young, but bring incredible talent to their well-paced, heavy Thrash that draws heavily on the style of Metallica and other Bay Area luminaries. However, Alien Weaponry also bring modern influences to their classic Thrash sound, as well as the slow, ominous energy reminiscent of Mercyful Fate. With these sections, Alien Weaponry show they can take the time for a slower pace that highlights the energy of faster sections by contrast. Alien Weaponry will next be playing at the New Zealand Tattoo and Art Festival 2017, 25 – 26 November!

GET YOUR TICKETS FOR THE NEW ZEALAND TATTOO AND ART FESTIVAL FEATURING ALIEN WEAPONRY HERE!

BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS (CHRISTCHURCH)

The irony of such a band coming from a city called “Christchurch” is delicious. Blindfolded and Led to the Woods create frenetic math Metal with some similarity to Meshuggah. Their music is heavy and dissonant, and presented with an interestingly varied song structure. Overall the band picks up some more traditional elements of Death Metal, but also modern utilises the modern breakdowns of Deathcore. It would be simplistic to describe them as a “Djent” band, but there are some commonalities with the genre. Blindfolded have excellent support pedigree, having shared the stage with Cryptopsy, Revocation, Aborted, Northlane, Suffocation and more. Blindfolded released their new album Modern Adoxography last Friday, so now is the perfect time to jump on board!

GET YOUR COPY OF BLINDFOLDED AND LED TO THE WOODS’ MODERN ADOXOGRAPHY HERE!

BULLETBELT (WELLINGTON)

 

Bulletbelt provide fast-paced Black Metal with a thrashy edge. Their tracks are fun, direct and in-your-face, with a strong focus on riffs rather than kvlt atmosphere. The presence of the bass guitar is particularly noteworthy, as it really adds to the melody. Despite their crunchy edge, Bulletbelt can still pull out the heavy, doom-laden moments. Bulletbelt will release their new album Nine Centuries on November 20, so make sure you get your head around their new tunes!

CHECK OUT BULLETBELT’S DISCOGRAPHY AT THEIR BANDCAMP HERE!

DEVILSKIN (HAMILTON)

Devilskin are a hard rock band with powerful live charisma. Vocalist Jennie Skulander fronts the band with seductive clean vocals, as well as impressive harsh performance. While Devilskin supported Halestorm on their Australian tour, their renown in their home country is such that Halestorm supported them in New Zealand! Bassist Paul Martin is well known on the NZ Metal scene as the Axeman of popular New Zealand radio show, the Axe Attack. Paul’s son Nic is Devilskin’s drummer, and the youngest artist ever to play the Big Day Out at the age of 13 in 2009 with World War Four. Electronic elements round out Devilskin’s hard rock sound, with some similarity to Evanescence. Devilskin are currently on tour across New Zealand, with remaining dates in Mt Maunganui and Auckland!

GET TICKETS FOR DEVILSKIN’S REMAINING NEW ZEALAND TOUR DATES HERE!

ULCERATE (AUCKLAND)

Ulcerate provide dark, bleak and atmospheric Blackened Death Metal, fitting for the wintry landscapes of New Zealand. Jamie Saint Merat’s innovative drumming stands out, and keeps the listener guessing. Paul Kelland, meanwhile, brings the droning depths of bass-driven despair. Ulcerate’s song structures are often dissonant and challenging, but also capable of becoming more melodic and wandering. Their songs are dirge-like at times, while at others picking up in intensity but remaining firmly morbid. Ulcerate are currently on a headlining tour of Europe, where they’ve played in the past alongside Nile, Grave, Krisiun and Corpus Mortale.

GET YOUR HANDS ON ULCERATE’S MUSIC HERE!