New Zealand Music Month: Razorwyre, Red Dawn, Fallen Order, and Stormforge

It’s New Zealand Music Month this May. New Zealand’s annual celebration of homegrown music. Generally, that involves a lot of mainstream media highlighting a lot of mainstream acts. So I’m here to try and redress the balance a bit.  I’ll be posting a link to some rowdy New Zealand music for you to check out every day over the next month. Some bands will no doubt be familiar; others I hope will be fresh to your ears.

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Razorwyre, Red Dawn, Fallen Order, and Stormforge. 

Internationally, New Zealand is clearly more famed for extreme metal, rather than any classic or power metal. But, obviously, it’s not all skull-crushing war metal warriors and dazzling death metal sorcerers down this end of the world. In fact, here’s four excellent bands that take traditional metal’s musicality and dramatic fundamentals to damn impressive heights.

In 2012, Razorwyre found success at home and in Europe with their über-high-spirited debut album, Another Dimension. The release combined hammering speed and power metal, and while the current status of Razorwyre is undetermined, it’s a certain fact that Another Dimension is one of the most self-assured and all-guns-blazing debuts ever recorded by a New Zealand metal band.

Red Dawn released their absolutely ripping Ironhead EP back in 2013. Ironhead features the classic operatic vocals of Ed Hintz, plenty of powerful mid-tempo melodies, and a rock-solid contemporary groove. At present, Red Dawn are neck deep in writing sessions for their anticipated full-length debut.

Fallen Order got their classic metal gallop on with 2014’s superb Age of Kings EP. The hugely animated EP was 100% old school, and wonderfully gritty to boot. Age of Kings was re-released by US label Stormspell Records, and Fallen Order are currently in the studio recording their first full-length album, while their fans are duly waiting with baited breath.

Last, but not least, Stormforge‘s Sea of Stone EP from 2014 features stentorian vocals, a turbo-injected rhythm section, and for shred-heads, it’s all a chest-pounding power metal dream come true.