Whanganui progressive rock band Pull Down The Sun will release their debut album 'Of Valleys And Mountains' next month, after three years of writing and recording.
Singer and guitarist Koert Wegman said they originally began as an instrumental band six years ago.
"I was in another band previously, and the riffs I was coming up with weren't as death metal as the other band members wanted, so I thought 'bugger it, I'll start a new band'," Wegman said.
It's been me and Jason (Healey, guitarist) from the start, and Stefan (Bourke) came in as our drummer about five years ago.
Wegman said he became the band's singer after "no one else wanted to do it".
'I started off not being very confident with it, but the further along we got the more confident I got, and I think you can hear it in the album."
Wegman said American bands such as Deftones, Mastodon, and Gojira were influences on the band, and that 'Of Valleys And Mountains' had a wide scope of sounds in it's hour long running time.
"We've added a lot of textures into the songs as we've gone along, and we've tried a lot of different things out along the way.
"Recording the tracks at Jason's house meant we weren't under any time constraints or pressure, and, not to blow our own trumpet, I think the end result is really, really good."
Drummer Stefan Bourke said that the album itself was laid out "like a whole piece of music".
"There are 12 tracks on there, but they all flow into each other," Bourke said.
"Everyone seems to have an opinion on our music apart from us, and one person could say we sound like Gojira and another could say we sound like Isis.
"There's a lot of variety on the album, with some heavy stuff and some really beautiful moments in there as well."
Wegman said the theme of the album centred around the myth of the Turehu, an aboriginal people absorbed by the Polynesian immigrants to New Zealand 1000 years ago.
"My father is Māori , and when I was a kid he'd tell me stories and pass down knowledge.
"We'd go out spotlighting or possum hunting and when we heard the echo of our footsteps he would always say 'watch out, the tūrehu will get you'."
"I guess the main theme of the album is about the tūrehu, patupaiarehe, and Māori all mingling together, with race eventually getting taken out.
"There's no main character in the concept, it's all about telling a story."
Guitarist Jason Healey said the band was "incredibly fussy" when it came to recording the album, and had enough material to release a follow up to 'Of Valleys and Mountains' in the near future.
"We spent hour after hour in the studio, for day after day," Healey said.
"All the bands around us were dropping singles and EPs, but we held back and put it all into this release.
"I think I will be able to look back at this album in 10 years and know I put everything into it, and have no regrets at all."
Wegman said Rob Reynolds from Whanganui band Drxnes also sung on the album, as did Gioia Damosso, who he founded Lost Arts Events with.
"There's also some guest guitar work from one of our friends in Swedish band Letter from the Colony, and he also plays in Till Lindeman's (Rammstein) band as well.
"The artwork was done by an American guy called Chris Panatier, whose done the art for a lot of bands we like.
"I sent him pictures from all around Whanganui and he did an amazing job."