An international heavy metal magazine has declared that the future of the genre comes from Northland - in the shape of Waipū thrash metal trio Alien Weaponry.
Alien Weaponry has been making a name for itself internationally over the past few years, playing at some of the largest music festivals there is.
Last year was supposed to be the year the band - Turanga Morgan-Edmonds, Lewis Raharuhi de Jong and Henry Te Reiwhati de Jong - really made international waves, with some major festival spots lined up.
Until, that is, the Covid-19 pandemic put paid to their plans to conquer the heavy metal world.
But despite the pandemic ruling out any international touring, Alien Weaponry has been hailed as the future of heavy metal by international magazine Metal Hammer.
Alien Weaponry has made the cover of the latest edition of Metal Hammer, with the headline Meet the Future of Metal.
"For metallers, it's bigger than being on the cover of Rolling Stone," guitarist/lead singer Lewis de Jong said.
It's the first time a New Zealand artist has been on the cover of the prestigious UK-based music magazine.
"Feeling stoked and humbled from Waipū New Zealand," the band posted on its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Only last week Alien Weaponry also featured in American Revolver Magazine's "most anticipated albums of 2021" for their upcoming second album, which was recorded during lockdown and will be released in the first half of 2021.
"With all the constraints around Covid-19 at the moment it's great to have some international presence," drummer Henry de Jong said.
"We were lucky to have our own studio in Waipū to record most of the new album in, and we are hoping touring will kick off in Europe and America later this year so we can reconnect with all our international fans."
The band signed with LA-based Rick Sales Entertainment (managers of Slayer, Ghost and Gojira) in September 2020; and just completed a NZ tour with new bassist Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds. They hope to tour Australia in the not too distant future.
The band has been making headlines across the world with its unique fusion of thrash metal and te reo Māori.
They held top slot for 13 weeks on the Devil's Dozen countdown on US radio station Sirius XM; their debut album Tū was voted album of the decade by Finnish metal magazine Tounela; in Denmark they were welcomed to the Copenhell festival by a crowd of 10,000 doing a haka in their honour; and they opened for Slayer in Stuttgart in their final European show in 2019.