New Zealand sludge metal four-piece Beastwars abide by one steadfast maxim: Obey the Riff. Described as "a mongrel mix of Kyuss, Neurosis, and the mighty Godflesh..." (NZ Herald) and playing "heavy tunes for heavy times" (ALARM), the Wellington-based sonic soothsayers utilize the chaos that engulfs our world as ammunition for their defiant howls into the abyss.
Two years on from their internationally acclaimed, self-titled debut, Beastwars return on 20 April 2013 with Blood Becomes Fire. The new album serves witness to the end of days, told through the eyes of a dying traveler from another time. It is a work inspired by eternal themes. "It's a reflection on mortality, death and disease. Sooner or later they come for all of us and we've all screamed to the gods for answers, not that they've ever come."
On Blood Becomes Fire Beastwars hammer the story home with concussive force. "It’s a heavy album, both sonically and lyrically, but what solidifies it are the really triumphant 'fuck yeah' riffs. To us, this music is like getting psyched up to go into battle. You could be at war with someone else or yourself.”
Following a successful collaboration on Beastwars' debut, Blood Becomes Fire is co-produced, recorded and mixed by Dale Cotton (HDU, Die! Die! Die!), mastered by John Golden (Neurosis, Swans, Sonic Youth), and features the art of Weta Workshop's award-winning Nick Keller—whose mind-melting gatefold oil paintings depict a twisted world inspired by the aural artillery within.
In 2011, Beastwars' debut transformed New Zealand's music scene. It went in at #15 on the national charts, was shortlisted for the Taite Music Prize, and was nominated twice at 2011's New Zealand Music Awards (winning Best Album Artwork via Nick Keller's otherworldly landscapes. It was also finalist for Best Rock Album). A local craft brewery even acknowledged the band's achievements by naming a beer in their honor, which was available at their shows, and in stores throughout the country. Beastwars was a hugely successful release on vinyl, topped Bandcamp's ‘most downloaded’ list, and the band made acclaimed videos for Lake of Fire, Empire, and the 7-inch vinyl release Tower of Skulls.
Reviews praised Beastwars as "a prime slab of destructively soulful stoner/sludge metal… one of the best debuts of 2011" (Metal Observer). MSN Metal hailed the album as "bludgeoning, catchy… far too good to be limited to just Down Under", while at home, the New Zealand Herald applauded Beastwars for bringing together "pummeling intensity, beautiful brutality, and sonic paranoia to create a sound all of their own".
Beastwars formed in 2007, and the band's reputation as a commanding live act has been secured with sold-out shows on multiple nationwide tours. The band was also hand-picked to support High On Fire, the Melvins, Kyuss Lives!, Helmet, Black Cobra and Fu Manchu on their New Zealand tour dates.
"Beastwars make music that’s as much an assault on the senses as it is an assault on nature."
"To say that the band has captured the heart of New Zealand's metal fraternity would be an understatement; Beastwars have collected souls."
Heavy Metal About.com
"Evocative and climactic… with an alchemist’s touch."
The Bone Reader
"Heavy as hell… and laced with hallucinogens."
No Clean Singing
"A slow-burning furnace of bass-trawling riffage"
The Sleeping Shaman
"Every wail, every riff, every bass thump and every cymbal crash serves to remind you that this is enigmatic and darkened metal, straight from the murky heart of the Antipodes."
Clayton Anderson – Guitar
Nathan Hickey – Drums
Matt Hyde – Vocals
James Woods – Bass