25 Sep 2023

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Shepherds Of Cassini


Shepherds Of Cassini are a post-metal/progressive-rock band from Auckland. Formed in 2012, the group’s line-up consists of Omar Al-Hashimi on drums (from Pilgrim's Pyre), Vitesh Bava on bass (from Pilgrim's Pyre), Felix Lun on electric violin (from An Emerald City) and Brendan Zwaan on guitar and vocals (from Flood).

The band combine progressive rock with post-metal influences, along with psychedelic sound experimentation. Their scope consists of lengthy songs involving dynamic compositions, middle-eastern influenced melody, percussive tribal breakdowns, hypnotic constructions of rhythmic ideas and complex arrangements. Themes explored range from metal influenced riffing, post rock influenced soundscapes through to exotic, surreal passages of gentle melody.

Shepherds Of Cassini’s origins stem from the University of Auckland in 2008, when bassist Vitesh Bava first met drummer Omar Al-Hashimi through the progressive rock band Pilgrim’s Pyre. While Pilgrim’s Pyre were actively gigging, Vitesh met guitarist Brendan Zwaan from the band Flood in 2010, after attending a Flood show in Auckland.

As Pilgrim’s Pyre came to an end in 2011, Vitesh and Omar were eager to start a new musical project. Vitesh met violinist Felix Lun from the psychedelic art-rock band An Emerald City through mutual friends, and while Felix was finishing off the last set of shows with An Emerald City at the start of 2012, Vitesh got back in contact with Brendan to organise the first jam in February 2012. Regular jams quickly evolved into productive song writing sessions with contribution from all four members, blending together different musical backgrounds and influences to create the band’s unique sound. The name Shepherds Of Cassini was soon chosen, and the band landed their first gig in July 2012 at Lucha Lounge in Newmarket, Auckland.

After playing numerous shows in and beyond Auckland, Shepherds Of Cassini were able to further refine their original material before selecting a batch of tracks for a full length record. The band entered Devonport’s Depot Sound Recording Studio in May 2013 to record their début album with engineer Dave Rhodes. Released on August 23rd of the same year, the album was well received by critics and entered The Official NZ Music Charts at #15 for NZ albums. The recording enabled the band to gain attention within the progressive rock / post metal scene as they continued to play shows to promote their album.

Shepherds Of Cassini continued to gig extensively for the remainder of 2013 and into 2014, and also continued to work on new material as they began to expand their compositions through each extreme direction explored in their début. In April 2015 the band returned to Depot Sound to record their second full length album ‘Helios Forsaken’, also with Dave Rhodes. Released on July 11th the same year, the album entered the Official NZ Music Charts at #20 for NZ albums while earning interest both in New Zealand and internationally.

Band Members:
Vitesh Bava (bass)
Omar Al-Hashemi (drums)
Felix Lun (violin)
Brendan Zwaan (guitar, vocals)


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  • Auckland

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