Blindfolded and Led to the Woods: Five New Zealand Metal Bands You Should Know
The New Zealand extreme metal scene is vibrant and diverse but often feels like a whole different world to us Americans, except when a band like Ulcerate or Blindfolded and Led to the Woods finds a foothold in our scene. Because we’ve had Blindfolded and Led to the Woods’ new album Rejecting Obliteration blasting at the MetalSucks Mansion for the last two weeks, we spoke with the band to see what other New Zealand gems we’re missing out on.
Rejecting Obliteration is available now through Prosthetic and will rip your face off.
Hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand, Ayamvoid are a unique dissonant death metal group that blend the power of old-school death metal with modern progressive and discordant passages. Surprisingly, for a three-piece band, they sound massive. I think this in part due to the guitarist’s tendency to build landscapes with his tones and the dual and complimenting vocal attack of vocalists Stephen and Robbie.
They have been kicking about for a few years and have one EP under their belt. But from what I hear on the rumor mill, things are in the works and I am anticipating only good things for this band worldwide in the coming years.
Plague of the Fallen
Pure death metal from our home town of Christchurch. Old school with a modern twist and modern production values. Seriously aggressive live shows that always leave people flattened. The band has a killer EP out along with a couple of singles and have just completed recording their first full length. If you enjoy pummeling blasts, intensely heavy riffs, savage vocals and epic guitar solos, don’t go past this band.
Clæmus is a progressive rock/metal band hailing from the Wellington region and I can’t think of a single band in New Zealand doing what Clæmus does as good as they do it. Think Karnivool and Architects. Think vibrant and crisp production with intelligent song-writing. Think evocative lyrics and catchy riffs. I’ve had their debut album ‘Daydream’ on constant rotation since seeing their captivating live performance leave a room full of classic ‘metal heads’ dumbfounded with what had just happened. I will rep this band with my dying breath.
Akaname are one of those bands that are just so underrated it’s probably a crime. Their debut EP Filthlicker in 2007 evokes similar vibes to Cephalic Carnage, as well as it being the only release with vocals (from the magnificently brutal Kallie Sparkles), but it’s their 2010 self-titled full length that really cements them as one of NZ’s greatest bands. A singular 40-minute piece of music broken into seven movements that really just has to be heard multiple times to uncover all the layers/polyrhythms/progressions going on. They relocated to Melbourne not long after the release of the album and while they have played along side the likes of Baroness and The Dillinger Escape Plan, they have been relatively dormant for the last few years but they have just relocated back to Wellington, New Zealand and new stuff is on the horizon.
An underground New Zealand, extreme metal band with no recorded material. Brutal riffs with bombastic blast beats behind them, and a trio of vocals spread in such a sophisticated manner across the soundscape of this wild band. First hearing them at Ritual Division III in Wellington, they absolutely blew minds with their punk-like energy. Heavy melodies were almost like sorcery upon carefully crafted dynamic sense of rhythm and aggression.