20 Jul 2024

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


There are no releases to display for Imperial Slave.

Other Reviews By River Tucker

Silcrow - EP Review: Silcrow
14 Jun 2024 // by River Tucker
Aiming for the stars, Silcrow’s seven-track EP merges American-style rock with a touch of Seattle grunge in a well-produced release that will appeal to many generations of music lovers, but mainly to those whose musical awakening happened sometime in the 90’s.As well as changing their name from Close To The Bone to the much more kick-arse Silcrow, these four young guys from Auckland have been working hard on the live circuit (bar a short hiatus during lockdown) to get their songs fully dialled in and ready for the studio.
Parasitic Infestation - EP Review: Promo EP
21 Apr 2024 // by River Tucker
If you’re looking for some great metal music, you’ve come to the right place. Hardworking up-and-coming band Parasitic Infestation, who specialise in Brutal Death Metal, are set to make your ears bleed with their latest promo release, consisting of three deliciously heavy songs (plus bonus tracks) that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
Album Review: The Death Spell
12 Dec 2023 // by River Tucker
There’s a real whisky drinking, bare knuckle fighting edge to the self-titled debut album by The Death Spell, kicking off with Nail You Higher Than Before. Obviously, song lyrics are in your face on this track, especially for any Christians in the audience, but you couldn’t ask for a better intro to the musical style of this Auckland-based band.
Beastwars - Gig Review: Reign of the Beast @ Whanganui Musicians Club, Whanganui - 13/10/2023
15 Oct 2023 // by River Tucker
If you're into metal music, the Musicians Club in Whanganui was the place to be last Friday night for a feast of auditory delights to satisfy even the hungriest of souls. Brought to you by Lost Art and Panhead beer, Beastwars and Shepherds Reign headlined an epic concert that was set to bring the house down on the first leg of their not-to-be-missed Reign of the Beast tour.
End of an Empire - Album Review: Best Laid Plans
25 Sep 2023 // by River Tucker
It’s been a couple of years since End of an Empire released their favourably reviewed debut album, Within, Without in 2020. Since then, the Wellington-based four-piece have obviously put their time to good use by writing Best Laid Plans, which is arguably one of the finest Hardcore releases to come out of New Zealand this year.
The Rising Tide - Gig Review: Inferno - Youth Rock & Metal @ The Stomach, Palmerston North - 5/08/2023
07 Aug 2023 // by River Tucker
It’s not often that you get treated to a mid-winter concert where nearly every metal genre is being performed. But that’s exactly what happened at The Stomach in Palmerston North last Saturday night where four bands gave it their all in a rip-roaring all-ages show that will undoubtedly leave the hundred or so people who attended with lasting impressions.
Mammuthus - Album Review: Imperator
18 Jun 2023 // by River Tucker
If you like your stoner metal super-sized and embellished with a nice touch of doom, then Mammuthus’ latest release, Imperator, is definitely the album for you. Seven tracks of deliciously down-tuned, guitar-driven heaviness smash into your eardrums like a well-oiled and relentless steam train.
1 Drop Nation - Single Review: I'm Home
08 May 2023 // by River Tucker
When it comes to reggae music 1 Drop Nation's latest single, I'm Home, hits all the right notes. Soulful melodies, tight rhythms, and on-point vocals impart a feel-good vibe that will get you chilling or up and dancing, whatever mood you're in.
View All Articles By River Tucker
SELECT artists.ID as artist_id, artists.Name, sum(artists_stats.Count) as hitcount FROM artists, artists_stats WHERE artists_stats.Date > ('2024-07-19' - INTERVAL 14 DAY)-0 AND artists.ID = artists_stats.AID AND artists.Enabled = 'y' AND artists.Deleted = 'n' GROUP BY artists_stats.AID ORDER BY hitcount DESC, Name LIMIT 10

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Kendrick Lamar
    Billie Eilish
    Tommy Richman
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Teddy Swims
    Chappell Roan
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