Alien Weaponry are back in full force, announcing the release of their fervent second album, Tangaroa, which will be released September 17th via Napalm Records.
Since the release of their debut album Tū (2018), the New Zealanders’ kinetic presence and sound – combining elements of thrash and groove metal with lyrics in the indigenous language, te reo Māori – have attracted a host of fans. and media supporters around the world. As with their 2018 single “Kai Tangata” – which amassed over 10 million views on YouTube and won No. 1 on SiriusXM Liquid Metal’s “Devil’s Dozen” for 13 consecutive weeks – much of Tangaroa is immersed in the historical stories and cultural heritage of the Maori people.
Additionally, Tangaroa details stories of personal struggle and growth, as well as crucial environmental topics. Experience a first sample of the band’s soulful new music with the album’s colossal title track, “Tangaroa.” Accompanied by a gripping music video, the track details the pressing topic of climate change and illegal fishing practices. Through this awareness, Alien Weaponry hopes to support the important work and efforts of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Vocalist and lead guitarist Lewis de Jong says of the track, “We decided to write this song about how the ocean is being smothered by humans and their trash. The ocean is an important part of my life, and it’s important to protect it.
Drummer Henry de Jong adds: “’Tangaroa’ is a heavy and angry message about how we are destroying the ocean with pollution and overfishing. The video ties into that message, with us drowned in plastic conveying the struggle of ocean life.
Watch the official music video for “Tangaroa” below.
In addition to lyrics written in te reo Māori, many tracks feature traditional instruments, called taonga puoro, giving the tracks their own warrior attitude. The rhythmic and dynamic album opener “Titokowaru” begins with determined rowing chants and depicts the story of a famous warlord who defied the colonial government in New Zealand and led a rebel army, backed by fast riffs and catchy drums. After the remarkable “Hatupatu”, inspired by the poignant and legendary story of an ancestor of Jong facing a witch, is carried by frenetic guitars, fiery songs and tribal percussions. While Alien Weaponry drew inspiration from their culture and surroundings to write most of Tangaroa, the band also looked inward – drawing a vision for other parts of the album from within. . The album delves into some of their most defining personal experiences, with English-language songs like the thoughtful “Unforgiving” about coping with self-loathing and insecurity, and the whirlwind and charged “Buried Underground.” detailing the aftershocks of drug addiction.
Accented with personal touches like its haunting album cover originally conceptualized from designs by Lewis de Jong, Tangaroa is a massive next step for a burgeoning band, encompassing all the elements that make Alien Weaponry the heavy metal’s most authentic rising stars.
Henry de Jong said of Tangaroa: “The album is tied to the message of ‘Tangaroa’ – the whole album is more of a snapshot of the band’s brain during the writing process. We also wrote songs about some of our early tupuna (ancestors) who were here in Āotearoa (New Zealand). Hatupatu, who is very famous in Maori history, as well as Īhenga, who named a number of places in Āotearoa during his travels.
Lewis de Jong adds about the album artwork and thematic details: “The album is named after the track ‘Tangaroa’, and we went with that theme on the artwork. The album is drawn from new experiences we have had as well as some old Maori tales. I think we stepped things up from the last album.
Bassist Tūranga Morgan-Edmonds also adds, “This album’s use of even more traditional Maori sounds and styles is a very exciting step forward for us.”
Tangaroa will be available in the following formats:
– 4-page CD digipack
– Digipack CD 4 pages + 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 picture set and back patch (Napalm Mailorder only – limited to 400)
– Digital scrapbook
List of Tangaroa tracks:
“Down the Rabbit Hole”
The alien weaponry on Tangaroa is:
Henry Te Reiwhati de Jong – Drums, Backing Vocals
Lewis Raharuhi de Jong – guitars, vocals
Ethan Trembath – Bass guitars, backing vocals and lead vocals on “Dad”
Tūranga Porowini Morgan-Edmonds – Backing vocals and guitar on “Unforgiving”
(Photo – Piotr Kwasnik)