Teenage Kiwi trio Alien Weaponry brought their unique blend of thrash metal to The Underworld in Camden on Sunday night for as part of their first ever headline UK tour. Prior to doors opening at 7pm there was a sizeable queue of people waiting outside the venue, which was great to see. I joined them in order to nab a good spot at the front for taking photos.
Support came from Road Mutant, who describe their sound as “a killer mix of thrash, hardcore and a little bit of death metal”. Their performance was full of passion and energy and went down really well with the crowd, and got them thoroughly warmed-up for the main act. They played a short but powerful 5-song set featuring tracks including “March of the Road Mutants” and “The Raid” from their 2019 EP Back To The Green Zone, as well as a couple of new tracks.
At around 9pm Alien Weaponry drummer Henry took to the stage and began performing a haka-esque display from behind his kit, followed shortly after by bassist Ethan, and then by guitarist Lewis. They launched straight into “PC Bro” and the crowd went wild. A pit started almost immediately and it was a bit of a struggle to take decent photos whilst being pushed sideways into the on-stage monitors by a surge of bodies behind me, but it was a brilliant atmosphere. The show wasn’t listed as sold out but it must have been very close as the 500-capacity venue was packed.
Prior to the show I had listened to (and enjoyed) the band’s debut album Tū and read all the hype, and I can now confirm that Alien Weaponry really are excellent live. Bassist Ethan had the Steve Harris moves down to a tee plus the charisma to match. Guitarist and main vocalist Lewis had incredible stage presence, and his brother Henry on the drums was equally as engaging.
The band’s influences of old school thrash and hardcore are evident in their sound, but what sets them apart from so many other up-and-coming bands is not only how musically accomplished they are for their age (all three band members are under twenty years old) but how they infuse their culture and heritage with their thrash metal sound and powerful vocal melodies. The songs on Tū are partly sung in English, and partly in their native language, Te Reo Māori, and the album title itself is an abbreviated name for the Māori god of war – Tūmatauenga. The band’s English songs such as “Rage” and “Nobody Here” cover topics including mental health issues and corruption of the media, and sit well amidst their Māori songs.
In between bands I heard people in the crowd talking about how excited they were to see Alien Weaponry and how they felt like witnessing their first ever headline London show was going to be something to remember for years to come. I was in complete agreement – these guys are going to go far. Very far. The band have already played some of the world’s biggest metal festivals including Wacken Open Air, Copenhell, Hellfest and Download, so it really did feel like history in the making watching them play their first headline show in London.
Alien Weaponry Set-List:
- PC Bro
- Holding My Breath
- Rage – It Takes Over Again
- Te Ara
- Nobody Here
- The Things That You Know
- Ahi Kā (latest single – 10 May 2019)
- Kai Tangata
- Rū Ana Te Whenua
Photos by Katie Frost Photography