New Zealand-based metal band Alien Weaponry will release its second album, “Tangaroa,” on Sept. 17, 2021, via Napalm Records. It is available for pre-order here.
The band, which released its acclaimed debut “Tū” in 2018, combines elements of thrash and groove metal with lyrics in the native indigenous language te reo Māori. As with the 2018 single “Kai Tangata,” which has amassed more than 10 million views on YouTube and claimed the number-one spot on SiriusXM Liquid Metal’s “Devil’s Dozen” for 13 consecutive weeks, much of the new album is immersed in the historical stories and cultural heritage of the Māori people.
In addition, “Tangaroa” details stories of personal struggle and growth, as well as environmentalism topics. The album’s title track addresses climate change and illegal fishing practices. Through raising awareness, Alien Weaponry hopes to support the work and efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
“We decided to write this song about how the ocean is being suffocated by humans and their waste,” vocalist/guitarist Lewis De Jong said. “The ocean is an important part of my life, and it’s important to protect it.”
Drummer Henry de Jong said: “‘Tangaroa’ is a heavy and angry message about how we are destroying the ocean with pollution and overfishing. The video ties in with this message, with us drowning in plastic conveying the struggle of ocean life.”
In addition to lyrics written in te reo Māori, many tracks on “Tangaroa” feature traditional instruments, called taonga puoro, providing the tracks their own warrior-like attitude. Album opener “Titokowaru” begins with determined rowing chants and depicts the tale of a famous war chief that challenged the colonial government in New Zealand and led a rebel army, backed by quick riffage and driving drums. “Hatupatu,” inspired by the tale of a de Jong ancestor facing off with a witch, is carried by frenzied guitars, chanting and tribal-like percussion. While Alien Weaponry sourced inspiration from its culture and environmental surroundings while writing most of the album, the band also looked inward. The album dives into personal experiences, with English-language songs like “Unforgiving,” about facing self-loathing and insecurity, and “Buried Underground,” detailing the aftershocks of drug abuse.
“The album is tied together with the message of ‘Tangaroa,” Henry de Jong said. “The whole album is more a snapshot of the band’s brains during the writing process. We have also written songs that are about some of our first tūpuna (ancestors) who were here in Āotearoa (New Zealand), Hatupatu, who is very famous in Māori history, as well as Īhenga, who named a number of places in Āotearoa during his travels.”
“The album is named after the track ‘Tangaroa’, and we went with this theme on the artwork,” Lewis de Jong said. “The album is drawn from some new experiences we’ve had as well as some ancient Māori tales. I think we have stepped things up from the last album.”
Bassist Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds said: “This album’s use of even more traditional Māori sounds and styles is a very exciting step forward for us.”
“Tangaroa” will be available in North America in the following formats:
-4 page CD Digipack
-4 page CD Digipack + Patch
-2LP Gatefold Black
-2LP Gatefold Turquoise
-2LP Gatefold Marble Light Blue/Cream (Napalm Mailorder only – limited to 500)
-2LP Gatefold Marble Orange/Transparent Black (Napalm Mailorder only – limited to 500)
-Wooden Box Edition: CD Digipack, pendant, patch, cover flag, canvas tote bag (Napalm Mailorder only – limited to 500)
-Die-Hard Edition: 2LP Gatefold Marble Crystal Clear/Curacao, hand numbered with guitar pic set and back patch (Napalm Mailorder only – limited to 400)
3. Ahi Kā
7. Kai Whatu
8. Crooked Monsters
9. Buried Underground
12. Down the Rabbit Hole