New Zealand Music Month: Dying of the Light
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.
Auckland band Dying of the Light became a trio in late-2014, with guitarist Justin Schilder joining the band’s founders Chris Rigby (vocals and bass) and Rangi Powick (guitar, drum programming, and production). That extra six strings will no doubt add a new dimension to the band’s live sound, and it’ll be very interesting to see how that affects Dying of the Light’s recordings too. There’s probably no better time to be highlighting Dying of the Light, given the band has drawn so much inspiration from apocalyptic nightmares and societal collapse, like those featured in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Below is a brief write-up I did about Dying of the Light’s Monolithuim EP, which featured on my Best New Zealand Metal list in 2013.
Dying of the light
Dying of the Light laid out the end point for us all on their EP, Monolithuim, in 2013. Mastered by James Plotkin, Monolithuim falls into the industrial metal sphere, with bio-mechanical mayhem colliding with caustic vocals. Echoes of Godflesh feature, but like all New Zealand bands, any and all influences are filtered and then mangled via cultural and geographic distance.
Dying of the Light took inspiration from sci-fi comics like 2000 AD, and films like Mad Max and The Road, and laid out dystopian churns where mechanisation and modernisation ground freedom into the dust on Monolithuim. The band’s video for the EP’s title track found itself posted online on many overseas sites this year too – which was a hearty reward for an entirely DIY mini-epic. “Monolithic slabs of heavy as fuck ass-kickery” is how Dying of the Light describes its sound, and there’s no real arguing with that. The band stabs sheet-metal, programmed percussion through razor-edged experimentalism for a sound that’s corrosive, dehumanizing, and above all else, as bleak as the future our current path is leading us to.