**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.
**Arc of Ascent **
In 2014, Hamilton-based psychedelic metal trio Arc of Ascent called a halt to their career. And I don’t mind saying, that one hurt a little. Arc of Ascent were, by far, one of the most mesmerising live bands in New Zealand. I only saw the band play three times, but those sets are ingrained in my mind because when those three guys locked into a groove, man, it was just mind-melting magnificence all round.
Arc of Ascent dished out low-slung, lysergic rock with plenty of celestial vibes and Eastern influences, swathed in stoner fumes. Arc of Ascent always produced music that was both heavy and *heavy, *but what the band brought most of was a shamanic stomp, and a mantric momentum.
You’ll find plenty of tripped-out metal and ganja-friendly rock on the band’s heavyweight (and hypnotic) albums, 2010’s Circle of the Sun, and 2012’s The Higher Key. Both of those albums are great releases, and highlight a band searching for deep meaning, and making deep connections, with their music.
Arc of Ascent were one for the ages. And they’ll be greatly missed.
Also, if the third-eye-opening aspects of Arc of Ascent’s work appeal, then keep an ear out for Arc of Ascent bassist Craig Williamson’s one-man acid rock and folk project, Lamp of the Universe. The band recently released a new album, The Inner Light of Revelation. I’ll throw a link in here, below Arc of Ascent.