It’s incredible to know the headlining act this evening is 18 years old and under. Their implementation of lyrics in indigenous Maori language Te Reo nestled into thrash metal has set these three kids from New Zealand into the spotlight. I have been keeping a close eye on them since their single Ru Ana Te Whenua popped up on my radar. It is so inspiring to hear an act with such talent portray a strong message in their music in correlation to their culture and homeland.
Tonight’s performance is accompanied by Newcastle boys Take My Soul who has a more hardcore melodic feel than the thrashing headliners. I had the pleasure to see Matthew Stoja earlier in the year play bass supporting Wednesday 13 in the group Noveaux. I was very happy to see him step onto the stage to perform with direct supports Lycanthrope, once again injecting more energy into the performance as each track ensued. They played a great set with Soilwork-esque clean vocals paired with amazing heavy vocals. Older track Wasteland got heads moving and horns cast to the air. As lead singer Daniel demands a circle pit, the crowd are more than happy to oblige with a guest appearance by Henry and Lewis from Alien Weaponry right in the center with huge grins.
Some technical difficulties with Lewis’s guitar hindered the beginning of Alien Weaponry’s set, although Henry and Ethan carried the instrumentals with great composure. Once rectified they began the onslaught straight into PC BRO to roars of support. I think everyone here tonight has these young guys backs! They waste no time launching straight into Holding my Breath before I know it I am on the barrier headbanging my neck off unable to deny the power of the music.
The connection of family resounds in their music. Brothers Henry and Lewis, just like a young Dimebag and Vinnie communicate through guitars and drums effortlessly, an unspoken connection that cannot be faked.
The trio of teenagers pummel mercilessly through tracks off their debut album Tu reciprocating the energy cast forward to them from the ever moving mosh pit. Highlights included melodic banger The Things That You Know, huge circle pits and the head banging ignited for Kai Tangata. Which translates to ‘Eat People’; and refers to the ancient Māori tradition of eating the flesh of their enemies after a battle in order to insult them. It is also an ancient term for a war party. It’s about as metal as it comes! Lewis made sure he explained a few tracks and their meaning including a story of when the colonial government of NZ confiscated land from Maori owners. These unjust actions were called Raupatu which was chanted through the venue. This song sparked an amazing wall of death evident of a young Lamb Of God show!
Urutaa kicks off with hair and fists flying everywhere and I connect with a fellow headbanger and split my bottom lip open. Respect to the band and crowd for inciting this much excitement! After a quick bloody rinse, I’m back headbanging in the circle pit to Hypocrite, which is incredibly powerful in a live setting. Their youthful energy never wavering for a moment as Ethan and Lewis continuously switch microphones and sides of the stage ensuring a connection to the ecstatic crowd at all times.
After a photo with the crowd, their most popular single Ru Tana Wheuana gets a huge response from the beginning Maori chant, and the crowd is given one last chance to throw down with the boys from across the pond.
They hardly had time for a sip of water before jumping down to the merch table (ran by one very proud mum) to sell and take photos for the next 2 hours. One fan showed the ultimate respect by performing a haka solo for the three boys. The intensity was astounding and a truly touching moment for all who witnessed.
A goal of theirs was to play Wacken Open Air in Germany before Henry turned 20. Well, August 4th, Alien Weaponry will perform at Wacken Open Air with Henry just 18 years old! It seems like it’s time for some new goals.
These three young men have started this music career path running, with tight live performances to a very well recorded debut album, big big things are in store.
This is a band to keep your eye on! Very much looking forward to seeing Alien Weaponry live, and what they are yet to achieve.
Review Contributed by Megan Milner