Shallow Grave — S/T

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New Zealand has a twisted heart that’s reflected in the country’s most ill-omened metal. The self-titled debut from Shallow Grave captures that anger and unease flawlessly

Titan—Burn

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In a world of far too easily manufactured fury, integrity speaks volumes and there’s no doubt whatsoever of the sincerity of Titan’s work.

Old Loaves—Bad Rides 7″/Drowser LP.

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June 2012 has to go down as a damn near perfect month for Old Loaves. Read on to find out why…

High on Fire—De Vermis Mysteriis

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Equal parts enigmatic and ingenious, Matt Pike and the boys have drawn a bloody line in the sand that few would ever dare approach, let alone cross.

Beastwars/ Spook The Horses/ Robin—Live! SFBH, Wellington, NZ, 23 March 2012.

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Friday night’s album fundraiser for Wellington’s Beastwars was a hugely emotive evening, with three excellent acts serving up hefty rock and metal to a legion of devoted followers.

Stone Angels—Within the Witch

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By dredging the depths of belligerent metal, and combining that with some metaphysical unease, Stone Angels have come up with an album that anyone, whatever their troubles, can find some twisted solace in.

Wizard Rifle—Speak Loud Say Nothing

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Wizard Rifle’s debut, Speak Loud Say Nothing, is outstanding, setting the barometer of strangeness and frenetic creativity spinning off its dial.

Whores—Ruiner

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Ruiner, the debut EP from Whores, sets out an opening gambit of five inflamed carbuncles of noise that are smothered with molasses-thick sludge.

Best of 2011—The Metal (Part 1)

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For what it’s worth, and without further ado, here are my choices for the top 45 (or so) metal albums of 2011 (part 1).

NZ Metal Album Of The Year: Beastwars Sermonize

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Beastwars debut is the best NZ metal album of 2011. Every wail and every riff reminds you that this is enigmatic metal, straight from the murky heart of the Antipodes. Read on as they reflect on their very big year.