Words: Brendan O’Mahony
Live Photos and Video Production:Olga Kuzmenko
Tonight, in the Voodoo Lounge, brings the highly anticipated Irish debut show for one of the most talked about bands in metal right now. Alien Weaponry, a 3-piece thrash metal outfit from Waipu, New Zealand touring their debut album ‘Tū’, have brought their blend of native Māori Te Reo lyrics mixed with a groove metal that packs some serious punch. DME Promotions have also provided two unbelievable Irish bands for support in Words That Burn and Dead Label so it’s gearing up to be a great night of metal.
Dundalk’s Words That Burn open up proceedings, having just recently released their new album ‘Pyres’, fusing rock and melodic metal together into an Irish rock and metal charts number 1 album. The whole set is dedicated to the album and they open with A Mortal Call, a track that just keeps building in intensity with splashes of Machine Head and Slipknot. The synths at the start of Whitesmoke give it a bit of a †††(Crosses) feel before kicking back into the heavier spectrum. Fire In The Air, Deathgrip and Arise don’t let up and by the time they close out with Riptide those in the pit are well and truly warmed up. ‘Pyres’ is a cracking follow up to their debut album ‘Regret Is For The Dead’ and with a support slot for Beartooth coming up in The Academy shortly the momentum should just keep going and going.
Dead Label are further proof that the metal community in Ireland is providing some of the best in Europe right now. This is actually the first time I’m getting to catch them in their recently expanded guise of a four-piece as Mick Hynes, formerly of This Place Hell, has been recruited on guitar, adding an extra element to an already crushing sonic cocktail. Having previously supported the likes of Gojira, Machine Head and Fear Factory a lot is known of and expected from this set and they absolutely kill it. With Claire Percival on drums and Dan O’Grady on bass and vocals forming the backbone, Danny Hall and Mick Hynes can just let fly with auditory assault on guitars. The result leaves everyone in complete bafflement as to how Dead Label did not make it onto the bill of the recent Metallica show in Slane Castle. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet start with their new single Pure Chaos and work your way back through the albums ‘Throne of Bones’ and ‘Sense of Slaughter’ or vice versa, either which way you are in for a treat.
Following those two opening acts would be a gargantuan feat for most bands but such is the sense of confidence in the three teenagers of Alien Weaponry, the stage is theirs and they know it. Opening with a traditional haka, led by drummer Henry de Jong, to get themselves ready for the onslaught they segue perfectly into PC Bro warning of the pitfalls of social media with the refrain “Your life is a lie” getting the crowd chanting straight away. As Ethan Trembath and Lewis de Jong prowl the stage, with the bassist windmilling as if his life depends on it, they tear through their set with a track detailing having to deal with inner Rage, a song dedicated to a former teacher in Hypocrite and the misunderstandings between cultures and generations plaguing society in Urutaa. Chants of “Weaponry” fill the Voodoo Lounge, as and when the crowd can pause long enough for a breath, and even the brand-new track Blinded, alongside the latest single Ahi Kā, are greeted with rapturous enthusiasm which all bodes well for the next album. Next up is the track that properly shot them into the worldwide metal consciousness in Kai Tangata with the crowd trying their best to sing back to them in Māori, all the while conjuring up their own battle scene as bodies fly around the pit. Closing out the night with Raupatu, which has more than a nod to their inspirations in Lamb of God, and Rū Ana Te Whenua the band have proven to be worth the wait with a show that drew every ounce of energy from them and those in the pit. The Alien Weaponry Whānau is growing and there are exciting times ahead.
Check out our interview with the band in Dublin before the show here