[LIVE MUSIC REVIEW] KIWI THRASHERS ALIEN WEAPONRY UNLEASH MAORI MAYHEM IN ADELAIDEby Chris Lines on Mar 15, 2019 • 6:41 pm No Comments
After taking the metal scene by storm last year with their record Tū and playing huge international festival dates, New Zealand groove metallers Alien Weaponry have returned to Australian shores with no shortage of hype behind them.
Eager metalheads, donned in the usual assortment of black band shirts and patched denim jackets, rallied into the Enigma Bar to catch the support acts Hidden Intent and COPIA. Adelaide’s own Hidden Intent kicked off proceedings with a gutsy surge of thrash intensity, made all the more adrenaline-pumping by guitarist Phil Bennett’s slick guitar lines and confident stage presence. Brisbane’s COPIA didn’t fare quite as well, with some of the cleaner vocal parts failing to project into the crowd, though their insane djenty breakdowns still incited plenty of movement.
Alien Weaponry took to the stage to the sounds of traditional Maori chanting and the elated cheers of the mosh-ready crowd. Launching straight into the down-tuned frenzy of ‘PC Bro,’ the band’s aggression and tightness was immediately apparent and somewhat astonishing considering they’re all under 20.
As to be expected from such a young band, Alien Weaponry’s song subjects are coloured significantly by teenage angst, with guitarist/vocalist Lewis De Jong dedicating the crushingly groovy ‘Hypocrite’ to “a certain special teacher.” Unlike many bands who implement similar themes of angst, the emotional release here feels genuine and earned, especially when the band turns their attention to politics.
Opting to sing in their native language of Te Reo Māori, Alien Weaponry don’t shy away from tackling the bloodshed and mistreatment their people have faced at the hands of colonialism. This adds a certain poignancy to their onslaught of heavy riffs and enraged shouts that makes them even more fun to mosh to. And mosh we did, with the band inciting multiple circle pits and even a wall of death which—within the cramped confines of the Enigma band room—is truly impressive.
Alien Weaponry play a winning formula of ‘all meat and no veg’ groove metal that had the floor shaking with every thud of the bass drum, and hair spinning with each new riff. Unafraid to find a tight groove and stick to it, the band’s sound pulls from groups like Lamb of God and Gojira, whilst also having a spark of youth that’s entirely their own.
Leaving a crowd of satisfied and sore-necked punters in their wake, Alien Weaponry gave Adelaide the kind of show that will see them surpassing their influences in the future.
You can catch Alien Weaponry live in Australia on Saturday 16th March at Perth’s Badlands Bar.
Tickets available here.
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Photo: Piotr Kwasnik