28 Nov 2020
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Shepherds Reign - Single Review: Legend

14 Aug 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Shepherds Reign originated in South Auckland, combining essences of classic and contemporary metal with Polynesian influences. Arguably the best-known Pasifika metal band on our side of the globe, this rising name has not stopped recording music and wowing audiences with live performances with their signature sound since starting in 2016. With the new addition of a fifth member to Shepherds Reign, it appears the group is just getting started on the road to domination with the release of their latest single Legend.

Where a modern heavy metal song would begin with a guitar riff or a drumbeat, Legend begins with a slightly quirky keyboard jingle laid over traditional pate drums before electric guitars, bass and conventional drums enter. This eyebrow-raising intro lets the listeners know they’re in for something different.

Make no mistake, this is still heavy metal; the grooving palm-muted guitars are energising, moving one into a fist-raising and headbanging bounce. The vocals are gruff but baritone and very bold, at once taking your attention with the line “Let me tell you ‘bout someone I know”. Armed with a well-thought out breakdown, consisting of chugging guitars, pumping bass drums and frantic harsh vocals, making for a nice climax to a great piece of Aotearoa alt-metal. 

Evidently, the lyrics are dedicated to someone who is deeply revered, a role-model who had great impact on the writer, which, thematically, is a perfect fit with the big, anthemic chorus, providing a personal side to the boisterousness, with a delicate touch applied courtesy of the keyboards.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of heavy music crossed with styles not normally associated with metal; following in the footsteps of genre-hopping alternative groups like Australia’s Twelve Foot Ninja, injecting their native influences in the mix, makes for not only an invigorating listen, but adds a fresh edge to the New Zealand heavy metal scene.

The accompanying music video, courtesy of NZ on Air, features Aotearoa's boxing extraordinaire David Tua. The titular legend in the clip is embodied by Tua himself, acting as a spiritual guide to the young protagonist boxer. The addition of interspersed clips of different Pacific Island warriors' hints at the power of one's ancestry, and this is made all the more powerful during the climactic breakdown, as the main character faces off opponents in the ring. Not only does this assert the band's Pasifika roots, it makes good use of the tribal imagery in a creative manner. Top-notch stuff.

Furthermore, for those who enjoy the song Legend, be on the lookout for their emotive acoustic rendition of Legend, stripped down to just two guitars and two vocalists.


Don't forget to follow Shepherd's Reign on Facebook and stay tuned for their upcoming live shows!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Shepherds Reign

Shepherds Reign are a Polynesian Metal band and are a world first. The band is made up of four brothers, Pacific, Maori and Asian, who are united in their passion for writing and performing hard hitting music that shares their life experiences and expresses where they’re from.

It's metal with thick textures and big melodies, delivered with attitude and conviction.

Members Filivaa James, Oliver Leupolu, Shaymen Rameka and Gideon Voon were raised in South Auckland of Aotearoa, New Zealand, a Pacific hotspot and the inspiration for their authentic sound. From here, they dream of world domination.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shepherds Reign

Releases

Shepherds Reign
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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