One of my favourite NZ metal bands in Just One Fix, and it is way too long since they released an EP. We have been getting tasters with singles, but at least we have six tracks, 26 minutes in length and the only real issue is that it is not enough, where is the album? Anyway, back to the job at hand. It has now been ten years since their third full-length release, ‘Let Them Hate .​.​. So Long As They Fear’, and while singer Riccardo Ball and guitarist Shane Scarborough are still here, they have since found a new rhythm section in Ant Ward (bass, beard) and drummer Ross Curtain. Although the band are not widely known outside Aotearoa, they are certainly admired in their home country and have played shows with the likes of Sepultura, Megadeth, Death Angel, Korn, Hellyeah, Fear Factory, C.O.C, Black Label Society, Chimaira, Serj Tankian, BFMV and others, and one can only hope this time around they get the international recognition they deserve.

Every time I have seen them play, I think of Testament, as like that band they work from a Thrash base, but switch it up with different tempos and styles, often within the same song. Rooted at the back by some wonderful Hoglan-style drumming from Hoglan who is always changing his approach, he is joined by Ant Ward who I often think is the most relaxed person I have ever seen play as he is just so laid back, but he provides basslines to join the drums with the attack being provided by Sharne who happily switches between riffs to screaming solos and then there is Riccardo. He is the focal point, his vocals a force of nature, broad and strong as he sings in the mid-range, sometimes becoming quite gruff but one always knows who is in control as he rides the maelstrom.

The first track, “Submission and Transition” allows Sharne to show his delicate acoustic side, and for us to relax into what is going on as we have a gentle classical guitar piece with nice synths behind. The layered dual lead guitars are perfectly in balance, and if he ever gets fed up with shattering eardrums, he could have another career in a different style altogether. The feedback gradually builds instead of dying away and we are into the blistering attack of “Gods and Devils”. This is the perfect introduction to the rest of the EP as the band come in all guns blazing, and by the time Riccardo has taken his place at the mike everyone is already turning it up. I have seen them perform this in concert, and somehow, they have managed to capture that intensity, with the change in tempo and slap bass in the chorus putting a very different spin on things.

From here on in it is one thundering number after another and given their profile I am somewhat surprised that the likes of Nuclear Blast have not come calling as they would fit perfectly in the roster. Now we have the EP I do hope a new album is soon to follow as ten years is way too long to wait when metal is as good as this.

Rating: 8/10