25 Sep 2023

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The Symphony of Screams


Auckland-based group The Symphony of Screams describe their sound as ‘grungy metal’, and to quote that bible of heavy, Kerrang! magazine, sound like “NZ Napalm who hammer it home all the way.”

The power and energy that TSOS bring to the stage is amply demonstrated by the fact that they were sought out by Capital C Productions to be the main New Zealand support act at Rock to Wellington, where fans of heavy numbering over 25,000 per night were treated to their brand of uncompromising rock assault.

Their debut album Heed to the Voices was originally an NZ-only independent release, which went down so well with fans that it was re-released worldwide in late 2012 by AllGood Absolute Alternative Records, garnering positive reviews pretty much across the board. "As good as it gets" to paraphrase but one.

The Symphony of Screams derive much of their motivation (and sound) from a desire for uncompromising artistic honesty. There’s nothing gimmicky about these guys. Translating the fist-pumping energy of their live set to record is a driving force when the boys step offstage and into the studio.

Guitarist/vocalist Te Matera Smith, who hails originally from the UK, is a former member of British rock outfit Sundog who were signed to Sony Records UK. Sundog recorded extensively at the iconic Channel House studios, Bristol, which basically served as the base for the entire ‘Bristol sound’ group of artists which included Massive Attack and Tricky. And while we’re talking pedigree, guitarist/vocalist Russell Hansen was one of the original members of NZ Metal royalty 8 Foot Sativa.

The next album was Radio Candy, and the material that would eventually become TSOS’s sophomore effort was all but hammered out soon after the release of Heed to the Voices. However, with drummer Mike ‘Bones’ Coney flat out attending to the demands of his double life as grip on productions such as Spartacus and Dawn of the Dead (to shamelessly name drop but a few), and Te Matera (Matt) Smith beavering away producing other artists at RedRoom Studios, it’s been too long since fans had a new The Symphony of Screams album.

And now their latest Album Live & Unplugged released on Boxing Day 2014, featuring live acoustic performances of songs from Heed to the Voices, Radio Candy and an entirely new track Skyfall. "It was such a kick performing these songs in the way that many had been originally written, on acoustic instruments. The Audience feed back was brilliant, so we just had to share it with our wider fan base by releasing to gig as an album" TeMatera.

Band Members:
Russell Hansen (lead vocals, guitar)
Karl Moore (bass)
Te Matera Smith (vocals, guitar)
Mike 'Bones' Coney (drums)


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