Northland te reo-metal band Alien Weaponry have released a hard-hitting new track Ahi Kā, their first new material since the 2018 release of the trio's debut album, Tū.
The song, which premiered via US-based site Billboard, will also appear on Adult Swim's forthcoming compilation Metal Swim 2, which came out yesterday and features new tracks from Author & Punisher, Baroness, Botanist, Eyehategod, Nervosa, Oathbreaker, Sunn O))), the Body, Vile Creature, and more.
Ahi Kā was inspired by the Auckland city council's decision to burn down what they considered to be the unsightly indigenous Māori village at Okahu Bay in advance of Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 visit, Alien Weaponry's singer-guitarist Lewis de Jong says of the track, which, like many of the band's songs, is sung in New Zealand's indigenous language te reo Māori.
"The eviction sparked a 40-year battle for the local Ngāti Whātua Orākei to reclaim their land, including protests and clashes with the police."
Amid worldwide criticism, a small portion of the original land was ultimately returned with an apology and some compensation.
"We decided to write about it because it's one of these untold stories in New Zealand history that really had a great impact on a lot of Māori."
The band have this week arrived in the US to play headline shows and festivals as part of a six-month world tour that takes them to North America, Europe and the UK. And, with more than 3 million YouTube views on their video Kai Tangata the group are gearing up for a massive year.
The band, brothers Henry, 18, and Lewis de Jong, 16, and friend Ethan Trembath, 16, from Waipū, won the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut album award at last month's prestigious Taite Music Prize awards for their debut album Tū.
The band has been wowing audiences around the globe with its unique brand of thrash metal that has songs in te reo Māori and the Taite award caps a stellar year for the group.
They ticked off their lifelong goal and became the first New Zealand band to play the world's biggest metal music festival, Wacken Open Air in Germany, which draws about 80,000 metal fans from around the globe.
Their blistering performance earned Alien Weaponry a string of rave reviews and left the audience chanting for more, impressing Wacken organisers and veteran festival fans.
They also supported industrial legends Ministry on a 22-date North American tour. As well debut album Tū has been praised around the globe for its unique mix of metal and te reo Maori.
The trio have been on a roll since winning Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats in 2016, and last year also won the Tui for Best Rock Artist, along with a series of other awards.