17 Jan 2021
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Articles By CEOMong

fleaBITE - Album Review: The Jungle is Jumping
21 Jan 2015 // review by CEOMong
This is one kid’s CD that is unlike any other I’ve heard – The Wiggles they aren’t, unique they are, that’s for sure! My subject matter experts for this album are my wee girls Liz, 7, and Jen, 4½ - after repeated listens I asked them for their opinions on each track … with mixed results … and accompanying their comments are my thoughts.
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Shihad - FVEY Album Review
20 Aug 2014 // review by CEOMong
I don’t know if it’s all in my head or not, but Jaz Coleman’s influence lends a certain classic element and a brooding depth to this album that breaks away from what has become, in recent times, some would say too radio-friendly jams. There’s a satisfying depth to the album the louder it gets – when isn’t that true for Shihad though, I suppose?
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Crash-Scan - Repeat Until False Album Review
21 May 2014 // review by CEOMong
Mint physical release, a damned fine example of the post-CD era! I’ll admit up-front that even after several listens I couldn’t quite gel with this album ...
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Tankapalooza Festival, Palmerston North - 28/09/13
29 Sep 2013 // review by CEOMong
12 hours, 27 bands, 3 stages, Willow Park tavern. From the start I was intrigued – “how they gonna make that work?
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Head Like A Hole - Head Like A Hole Monsta-X Tour @ The Royal, Palmerston North 17/08/13
18 Aug 2013 // review by CEOMong
As first experiences go, this was pretty epic. I’d never seen HLAH before live, and honestly had no idea what to expect.
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Bloodsport – Blackest Darkness Album Review
14 Aug 2012 // review by CEOMong
Short (sub 2 minute for the most part) grunty songs, strong consistent themes and imagery, all in all a very solid offering. At times predictable but also, therefore, reliable.
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Crimson Rain - Catastrophe Single Review
21 Jun 2012 // review by CEOMong
Delicate intro, rolls into a picky soft hook. Nice vox harmonies throughout.
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Sinate - To The Death Album Review
14 Mar 2012 // review by CEOMong
Damn I’m impressed, this is one cool album – especially as loud as I have it right now. I consider myself lucky to have the privilege to hear something like this, and it’s from Kiwis!
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The House Of Capricorn - In The Devil's Days Album Review
28 Nov 2011 // review by CEOMong
At first I didn’t know what to say about the newest offering from the cloven hoofed ones, but the more I listen the more I have to say. I really like it, I’m not 100% sure why, there’s lots to like but nothing I can nail down ...
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Akaname - Akaname Album Review
01 Nov 2011 // review by CEOMong
I must say it's rather refreshing to hear an album like this, some real inventive action, and not a single word spoken by a vocalist. Amazing.
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Crimson Rain - Are You Happy Now Single Review
07 Sep 2011 // review by CEOMong
Nice soft finger pluckin intro, cool reverb. Nice bass thrum.
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Darklight Corporation - Pitchblack Album Review
25 Jul 2011 // review by CEOMong
Darklight Corporation have packed a fuckload of wicked awesome rocking riffs and varied, yet simple and appropriately-audible lyrics, cool chewy samples and electronic bits strewn in just the right places to keep you guessing – there’s a little bit of everything in here. Not too much of one thing, nor too pushy and repetitive like sooooo many bands these days – varied enough you could listen to this album dozens of times and still not hear everything.
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Crimson Rain - Why Single Review
06 Jun 2011 // review by CEOMong
Presumably the remixed/revised/newest version of 'Why', as featured on the EP 'One By One'. It’s similar in just about every way; however the original for me is superior.
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Antagonist A.D. - Old Bones Make New Blooms EP Review
06 Jun 2011 // review by CEOMong
The latest offering from Antagonist A.D at first listen felt like it was missing something vital.
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Sleepin Brains - All I Want, Lights Out, Rock & Road Single(s) Reviews
15 May 2011 // review by CEOMong
Very 80s/90s somehow tastes of DragonForce, Lordi and even Motley Crue in some riffs – they’re somehow hair metallie, yet on the radio side of alternative rock, somewhere. All I Want Slow, tweaky intro.
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Disturbed @ TSB Bank Arena, Wellington - 4 May 2011
08 May 2011 // review by CEOMong
Wifey & I made our way south 200Km from wicked sunshiney weather, to Taxman’s in WellieTron, where it was fully hosing down. Lucky the gig was inside!
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Crimson Rain - The Mask Within - Single Review
14 Apr 2011 // review by CEOMong
Single Review – Crimson Rain – The Mask Within (4:58) A gax-heavy gravid hook intro melts on in to somewhat bluesy melodic vox, before a steady, yet short, climb into the first chorus – man I’m getting chills! Coasting on down to the next verse, wicked awesome transitions, no harshness drops, just silk city the whole way through.
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Amos/Anon - TheLachrymist Album Review
24 Jan 2011 // review by CEOMong
CD review – AmosAnon – The Lachrymist An intensely packaged CD, from very cleverly handwritten CD label to subtle supernatural themed liners beckoning further investigation, this is one entrancing album – even before its inserted in the tray. When you do insert the thing, rip it, seed it, and finally play it, you find it’s diverse yet cohesive, every track is subtly different yet linked so smoothly, it’s really well done.
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Big Day Out 2011
23 Jan 2011 // review by CEOMong
We rose to a beautifully overcast and slightly breezy morning, a veteran BDO campaigners’ wish come true – no sunburn today, and the mosh might almost be cool for once! A short public transport ride later, and the semi-traditional pre-event carbo loading, we clambered off the train along with veterans and newbies alike, and trekked off to the BDO.
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Barracks - We Are The Lions EP Review
14 Nov 2010 // review by CEOMong
Well balanced and full of hooks, this is a non-stop piece of work, it could easily be something you’d hear out of the states, somehow a real mature but fresh sound too. I really really like it, and I genuinely like it more the more I hear.
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Crimson Rain - One By One EP Review
12 Oct 2010 // review by CEOMong
A tantalisingly short, albeit wickedly sweet, album; laden with choppy bassy rhythmic bits and precise gax, all nicely mixed with some diverse vox. I can’t wait to hear a whole album, or even better, see them live.
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Hellborne - Hellborne Final Gig Review 1 - 3 Sept 10 - The Royal, Palmerston North
07 Sep 2010 // review by CEOMong
I strolled on in to the Royal on a crisp, expectant, and and oddly sober night, one Friday in dirty ole Swamp Central, to find a dedicated, expectant, and impressive crowd. After making the customary exchange at the door, I was the proud owner of a red stamp, and more importantly, Hellborne's final self-titled CD – one with some stunning artwork and even more stunning content.
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The House Of Capricorn - 'Sign of the Cloven Hoof' album review
29 Mar 2010 // review by CEOMong
As a Capricorn myself, I was intrigued by what the album had to offer. What I discovered was enchanting intros and beasty hooks; heavy, gothically bluesy, bootstomping, headbanging, good old-fashioned stoner metal.
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Just One Fix - 'Blood Horizon' album review
11 Mar 2010 // review by CEOMong
It’s been what feels like a decade (in reality only a little more than 2 years) since their last offering (The Price Of $ellvation), and let me tell you it’s well worth the wait. JOF sound more mature, polished and evolved, making this a beautifully put together album.
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River - 'Shadows' album review
26 Feb 2010 // review by CEOMong
I feel bad writing so little about such an awesome album, it’s really well put together, generously heavy, liberal and enthusiastic drumming, and chock full of wicked deep growlie vox. This is a sweet and beasty metal album.
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The Body Lyre - CD Review – The Body Lyre – December Marches
21 Jan 2010 // review by CEOMong
The CD comes beautifully packaged in what, at first glance, looks like a book of poetry, an illusion shattered (or perhaps enhanced) by the randomness of a burnt CD in a Croxley envelope. Out of it.
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Ethanol 58 - EP Review – Ethanol 58 (Self-Titled)
06 Dec 2009 // review by CEOMong
EP Review – Ethanol 58 (Self-Titled) A mellow debut 4-track EP, well played and cleanly mastered for the most part. Hints of greatness throughout, engaging vox, groovy steady riffs, chewy heavy rhythms & nice little hooks.
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Kabanaz - Kabanaz - 'Something New, Something Old, Something Better' album review
22 Oct 2009 // review by CEOMong
A bluesy, Electric 6, Head Automatica, Kings of Leon feel overall, in a truly Kiwi (and therefore better) way. Mostly gravelly, always widely ranging and engaging vox, married up with delicate, dependable and deliberate gax and beasty bluesy bass.
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Cobra Khan - Gig Review – 20th Sep 09 (Cobra Khan, Black Chrome, Lord of Tigers, Ricky Bobby)
21 Sep 2009 // review by CEOMong
Kicking off at 2pm, on a beautifully sunshiny Sunday afternoon, was the almighty Ricky Bobby. A tight 5-some, obviously having a good time and bashing out some damned good metal to the eager masses, a great way to get things going.
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Interconnector - EP Review – Interconnector (Self-Titled)
19 Sep 2009 // review by CEOMong
Interconnectors’ self-titled, 6-track, self-titled EP, is chock-full of wicked air guitar moments, groovy tweaky choruses, and mellow chewy rhythmic bits all melted together with genuine beasty and grungy rock ‘n f’n roll. A staunch album; it will be staying in my playlist rotation for a long long time to come.
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Set on End - CD Review – Set On End – Means to an End
08 Jun 2009 // review by CEOMong
An evocatively presented CD, deliciously rich yet understated; a dark reflection of the ills of society. 5 “real” tracks, plus one eerie intro piece that sets the mood quite nicely.
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Subtract - EP Review – Subtract – Winning Hearts & Minds
06 Mar 2009 // review by CEOMong
Shiny yet dirty, like unpolished chrome – a clean sound but with a blunt, dirty, bloody edge. Impressive show by all members, an excellently produced piece of work, balancing all instruments nicely.
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Sora Shima - EP Review - Sora Shima - Destroy Electronica
28 Jan 2009 // review by CEOMong
When my editor proffered the newest CD for review, judging from the (very cool) case and liner I expected metal, or perhaps drum and bass, instead what I found was an eclectic mix of alternative rock indie electronica instrumentals. I’m not disappointed, although it did strike me as odd that there are no vocals whatsoever, and the complete divergence from the norm.
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Slave Cadaver - CD Review – Slave Cadaver – Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity
23 Dec 2008 // review by CEOMong
An epic album with amusing soundbytes scattered throughout for a bit of a laugh. Very horror/death metal, growly and thrashy at times, slower tempo and more melodic in other parts.
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Antagonist A.D. - Antagonist A.D. - We Are The Dead
19 Dec 2008 // review by CEOMong
Ever since hearing some of their earlier stuff (from the Distance EP) and seeing them go off at BDO ‘08 I’d been hanging out to hear some more – a wish finally realised with this awesome offering of headbangin goodness. Listen to it loud, and on repeat.
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Cobra Khan - CD Review – Cobra Khan – Helgorithms
14 Dec 2008 // review by CEOMong
If there is one album you get this summer (or ever), make it this one. Tell your friends.
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Tainted - CD Review – Tainted – Carved and Created
22 Oct 2008 // review by CEOMong
Solid, constantly surprising speed metal, some amazing talents at work here. Never a dull moment, there’s always something tweaky and epic going on, more often than not eliciting an awestruck admiring grin and headbang.
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Tempo 38 - EP Review - Septic Proof
09 Oct 2008 // review by CEOMong
A well-balanced EP full of tight refrains and solid measured riffs, a staunch album chock-full of punk flavour. I was sold on the first track, each track further cementing the awesomeness.
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Nort - Nort - The Age Of Violence
08 Aug 2008 // review by CEOMong
A fantastically unique and different sounding album, so many elements that cant easily be traced back to another band’s sound – all at the same time without sounding like pompous try-hards. Love it.
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Just One Fix - Album Review - The Price of $ellvation
01 Aug 2008 // review by CEOMong
A very metal album, well-tuned and classic. Ample opportunity to get songs stuck in your head (and everywhere else) – and have a bit of a laugh too!
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Cripple Mr Onion - Album Review - AntiGravity
01 Aug 2008 // review by CEOMong
I fell in love with the Cripple at the turn of the century, for the better part of a decade now I’ve been waiting for some new Onion, and mayen, does it taste good. Old-school industrial electro thrash metal feel.
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El Schlong - El Schlong – The Baddies Are Coming
25 Jun 2008 // review by CEOMong
8 fairly long tracks comprise this really rather fine album, laden with toughness, for the most part lighter on the vocals than many other metallers out there. Huge sound from this Wellington-based Dunedin-raised 3 piece, cranking out some tidy and oft delicate tunes.
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Shihad - CD Review - Shihad – Beautiful Machine
25 May 2008 // review by CEOMong
Shihad’s newest album ‘Beautiful Machine’, released in the same month they celebrate their 20th anniversary, is an immense album packed with longish songs (around 4 mins average) radio-friendly but rocky all at the same time, electric and hooky the whole way through. I’d read many reviews of this CD and was braced for “a couple old, couple new sounds, couple metal, couple radio” etc – I must say I am both surprised and fully glad that’s not what I got.
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Chuganaut - CD Review - Chuganaut - 11:11 ONE
01 Nov 2007 // review by CEOMong
Track 1 – Humain (4.32) Mellow start warm-up action, rolls into a bit of hard axe and stomping bass.
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Chuganaut - Gig Review – Chuganaut – 26th October @ Bar Mode, Swamp Central (Palmie Nth)
01 Nov 2007 // review by CEOMong
I was greatly privileged to meet Steve and the band before the gig, consumed a few Johnnie’s, and had some good yarns. I was amazed and I must say humbled by these very awesome, down-to-earth & genuine rockers.
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Antagonist A.D. - Distance EP Review
30 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
Tracklist: 1. These Cities, Our Graves (Vocal Remix) 2.
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Hellborne - Gig Review - Hellborne - Bar Mode, Palmerston North, 6 October 07
16 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
Another fine performance from Pastor Sin and the guys – Hellborne never fail to amaze me, and this gig was certainly no exception. Rage and power were radiated in an intense set that blew both my and Wifey’s minds.
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Black Chrome - Gig Review - Black Chrome - Bar Mode, Palmerston North, 6 October 07
16 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
BC cranked out their trademark rock 'n roll to a disappointingly small crowd full of centurions at Bar Mode in Palmy, cranking Swamp Town Blues & Charlie Blow as warm-ups. They then unleashed into a solid set chock-full of classics, and even treated us to a new song; nice intro and some hot breaks, a little slow but a strong and hard vocal performance from Wolfgang makes this new song already one of their best.
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Cage Demise - Gig Review - Cage Demise - Bar Mode, Palmerston North, 6 October 07
16 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
Delayed for an hour due to a completely underwhelming crowd, Cage Demise stormed the stage and our eardrums in an explosive set filled with well-rehearsed riffs and backed up with some powerful lyrics. This 3 piece ensemble took the stage and without any effing round launched hard out into a blistering set that rapidly gathered momentum.
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8 Foot Sativa - Gig Review - 8 Foot Sativa - Bar Mode, Palmerston North, 6 October 07
16 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
What can I say? The premier metal band of NZ pealed out a solid 45 minute non-stop powerful set of pure molten metal, straight into the adoring ears of the chorus.
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8 Foot Sativa - Step Up, Step Up – An Interview With 8ft Sativa, 6th October 2007
16 Oct 2007 // interview by CEOMong
After a 5-hour delay due to transportation issues, and a hefty amount of blame directed Jamie’s way, I finally met up with Gary Smith, the only original member of 8 Foot Sativa; a genuinely awesome guy who is dedicated to and loves music – and quite rightly so! We discussed at length (and could have for several hours) motivation, conspiracy and the future of 8 Foot Sativa in a cosy corner of Bar Mode in Palmy North, during their national Undoing Tour.
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Black Chrome - My Band, Whoa Oah – an interview with Black Chrome, Sept 28th 2007
02 Oct 2007 // interview by CEOMong
Black Chrome is: Wolfgang Blitzer - Lead Gat/Vox Jimmy Snuff - Bass/Vox Von Chrome - Drums/Vox Killer - Rhythm Gat I rocked up to the band’s rehearsal venue to discover only Jimmy knew about the interview … that didn’t stop the band warmly welcoming me into their space to have a beer or two, and some solid yarns over the state of the Palmy music scene, NZ music in general and how we are taught to listen to the same old engineered tunes by fat A&R cats. Love of the music motivates Black Chrome, collectively the members have literally decades of riffs and countless gigs under their belts – a history that has provided them with a sound that is uniquely theirs.
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Ward 10 - CD Review – Ward 10 – Curing Those Who Are Normal (2007)
02 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
Nice bit of hook for the intro track to Ward 10s debut album, some crazy little bluesy riffs, interspersed with some metal bass headbanging riffs. Could fully hear this going off at the pub.
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Kitsch - Gig Review - Valve Bar, 8 Sep 07
01 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
Kitsch took the stage around 1am, opening with their blistering radio-friendly anthem “Memory Of Me”. The crowd was immediately owned, and rocked out hard to the too-short 30-minute set, filled with explosive riffs and catchy lyrics.
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Cobra Khan - Gig Review - Valve Bar, 8 Sep 07
01 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
A fantastically speedy and non-stop act that had both wifey and myself on our feet rocking out. Before the band cranked up, I wondered what value the keyboard would add.
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Strangers - Gig Review - Valve Bar, 8 Sep 07
01 Oct 2007 // review by CEOMong
This rockin’ local 2-bass 5-piece took the stage at a time that coincided nicely with the locals flooding the bar in anticipation. They opened and continued with tight high-intensity riffs – the only disappointing feature was the tendency of the vocal mix to be a bit off, being swallowed up by the sheer awesomeness and complexity of the axes.
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Take The Willing - Take The Willing @ Bar Mode
26 Aug 2007 // review by CEOMong
Me, Wifey & Bubba arrived at Bar Mode along with a multitude of metalheads and other unloved children just in time to witness one of the best metal bands my thrashed earholes have ever had the pleasure of hearing. And what’s more it was completely unexpected, which made it all the more engaging.
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Take The Willing - Take The Willing – Fight Music
26 Aug 2007 // review by CEOMong
I’ve had mixed up jumbles of songs with names like “I’ll Kill Everyone At This Party” & “At This Moment In Time I’m Popular With A Lot Of Drunk People” stuck in my head for two weeks now, just kicking round in there. Take The Willing are that kind of band.
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Secluded By Right - Secluded ... Yeah Right!
12 Apr 2007 // review by CEOMong
It was recently my pleasure to review Secluded By Right's SbR EP - their debut 6 track CD that just didn't do them any justice - only made me need to see them live. These guys have been playing together for years, and you can certainly tell - clean, sharp riffs, powerful anthems leaving me wanting more.
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