28 Jan 2023
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • Imperial Slave - Gig Review: Imperial Slave @ Castle 789, Palmerston North - 21/01/2023

Imperial Slave - Gig Review: Imperial Slave @ Castle 789, Palmerston North - 21/01/2023

23 Jan 2023 // A review by River Tucker

It was pretty balmy in Palmy last Saturday night at Castle 789, but the Summer heat didn’t deter people from wearing black, with nearly every major metal band represented on patches and T-shirts by a small but dedicated crowd of enthusiastic metalheads.

Tribute band Meiniak kicked things off with an extended set of all the Pantera greats, nailing such crowd-pleasers as A New Level, 5 Minutes Alone, Drag The Waters and Walk. Apart from a couple of chord selections and the Mouth of War false start, it was a faultless performance from the first support band who genuinely made me feel like I was back in the day watching Pantera play.

Tending towards the more speed side of Death Metal, Sam Sheppard’s (Sinate, 8 Foot Sativa) new band, Imperial Slave, set about demolishing people’s eardrums with a brilliant selection of songs from their must-have self-titled debut album. Bands sometimes run the risk of treating the first gig on a tour as a practice session, especially when they’re playing their hometown. Not so Imperial Slave, who proficiently blasted through their short but sweet set.

Every bit as crisp as the studio recordings, Imperial Slave’s set was boosted by a new track from their much-anticipated upcoming second album. Perhaps inspired by early Cradle of Filth, Exterminate somewhat overshadows COF’s latest material with its precision and ferocity. But there are lots of metal bands throughout the ages that you could reference while listening to Imperial Slave. In this respect they’re a quintessential metal band that has large crossover appeal.

It’s not just Sam Sheppard’s ability to write killer riffs and produce high quality material that sets Imperial Slave apart from much of the competition. There’s also the exceptional interplay between guitarists Isaac Lundy and Ant Hati, who both displayed a mastery of their mean Ibanez and Jackson axes. At times Imperial Slave set such a blistering pace that the PA struggled to keep up with the bands intensity, with chugs and slapbacks being eclipsed by incredibly intricate and brutal dynamics. It certainly helps that Achilles Manley is a beast on the bass and drummer Matt Wright is supremely ambidextrous when it comes to playing such punishing and demanding blast beats.

Of course these bands are in your face. But there’s a common misconception that metal musicians are all deviants because of the aggressive music they play. However most aren’t the reprobates many believe them to be. Instead they’re often the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. Invariably the genre itself and the dedication it takes to become accomplished creates mutual respect, which was a nice dynamic on display when different band members helped each other out with equipment during changeovers.

It was well into the witching hour by the time New Zealand’s preeminent Motörhead tribute band Metropölis took to the stage. Frontman Jay rocked the mic just like Lemmy while his monumental guitar solos on an exquisite Gibson Flying V Custom kept the audience enthralled. A few technical and tempo issues didn’t deter punters from enjoying an excellent selection of Motörhead’s classics, as well as some B-sides, well into the early hours. Metropölis even threw in a sing-along rendition of Louie Louie, but it was an up tempo cover of the Ace of Spades that drew their largest applause.

If you’re ready to be audibly impressed with some guitar-drenched mayhem, heading along to see Imperial Slave is definitely worth ticking off your bucket list.

 

About Imperial Slave

Formed by Sinate and ex-8 Foot Sativa drummer Sam Sheppard in Palmerston North with local musicians from Deaths Door, Reignmaker, Skitz Hydro and Decoma.

Imperial Slave was formed in 2020 and released their first self-titled album in 2021.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Imperial Slave

Releases

There are no releases to display for Imperial Slave.

Other Reviews By River Tucker

Enoch - Single/Video Review: Seasons
26 Dec 2022 // by River Tucker
Formed in 2017, Enoch is a five-piece metal band hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, who encapsulates everything that’s good about metal music. Well produced by Texas based Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch, Impending Doom), Seasons is Enoch’s fourth single and marks a refreshing step away from their nu metal roots.
Read More...
Newzerror - Single Review: You
08 Dec 2022 // by River Tucker
Newzerror is a new two-piece band hailing from a small town in Aotearoa New Zealand called Matamata. Anything but small, Rick and Dee’s sound on their debut single You smashes through the ceiling with some straight forward no-nonsense metal sure to get you up and moshing.
Read More...
All I Seek - Single Review: Envy
05 Aug 2022 // by River Tucker
More than just a progressive Metal band, All I Seek have coalesced many of the best Alt Metal styles around, including at times Melodic Death (with a slight Djent edge) into their rip-roaring third single, Envy.This massive four-minute track fills a gap in New Zealand’s current progressive Metal scene and the juxtaposition of the songs uplifting message, delivered during mid-winter, makes it a very well timed release.
Read More...
Pale Lady - Single Review: Never Satisfied
07 Apr 2022 // by River Tucker
2017 Battle Of The Bands national champions Pale Lady have hit another home run with their latest single; Never Satisfied. Contrary to the song title, you can tell these four young guys who hail from Wellington are having shit loads of fun playing this fantastic song.
Read More...
Slow Rage - Album Review: The Low-Down
14 Oct 2021 // by River Tucker
Every once in a while a release comes along that is just oozing with originality and that’s the case with Slow Rage’s debut album The Low-Down. Eleven tracks of pure musical goodness integrate a number of diverse styles that you cannot help but appreciate.
Read More...
Magnalith - EP Review: Instrumentality
15 Apr 2021 // by River Tucker
If you ever had the inclination to record some music, heading over to Auckland’s LAB studios to lay down some drums is a good way to begin. Not only have they provided Mathew Bosher’s solo release with the depth of sound his chosen genres demand but they also ensure the contagious rhythms on Instrumentality, his debut EP under the moniker Magnalith, have the cut through required to get listener’s fully engaged.
Read More...
Album Review: Garden Party Riot
24 Nov 2020 // by River Tucker
Garden Party Riot’s self-titled debut album is full of intense energy, odd time signatures and cohesiveness often only found in three-piece bands. But above anything else these nine original tracks are party inducing, which is exactly what we need in this time of doom and gloom.
Read More...
3000AD - Album Review: The Void
06 Nov 2020 // by River Tucker
For a debut, The Void by 3000 AD is one hell of a kick arse release. Not only does it deliver everything you could ever want from a metal album, elements of punk and thrash will also satisfy the most hardcore head bangers amongst us.
Read More...
View All Articles By River Tucker

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • FLOWERS
    Miley Cyrus
  • KILL BILL
    SZA
  • ESCAPISM.
    RAYE feat. 070 Shake
  • UNHOLY
    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
  • SURE THING
    Miguel
  • PEOPLE
    Libianca
  • I'M GOOD (BLUE)
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
  • CREEPIN'
    Metro Boomin, The Weeknd And 21 Savage
  • ANTI-HERO
    Taylor Swift
  • MESSY IN HEAVEN
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem