Our day 28 song for New Zealand Music Month 2020 comes from NZs sludge-metal riff-monsters BEASTWARS who released a live album recorded at their Friday 13th July 2018 reunion show at San Fran in their home city Wellington. Here’s the opening song “Damn The Sky” –

BEASTWARS say: “This album is a live recording from our reunion show in 2018. It was special to us as it was our first gig in over 2 years after the band broke up and got back together again and our first show since Matt slayed the Cancer dragon. It’s pay what you want…”

I saw BEASTWARS play at a Camp A Low Hum festival in 2012. For a thrill I thought I’d hang out up the front against the stage and take photos. It was loud and intense and vocalist Matt Hyde is one of the world’s great rock vocalists, with commanding and terrifying possessed-by-demons stage presence. It was only a few minutes into the first song that the crowd themselves became possessed and a seething mosh pit enveloped me. Time to squirm out and watch in awe from safety out the side as Matt toppled, arms spread, into the crowd to be carried around on raised hands before being deposited back on stage in time for the next verse. He did that over and over again and the crowd made sure he got back safely to the stage to complete each song. This is a great live album of a first rate sludge-metal band at their best. It’s almost as thrilling as being there, and a lot safer.


Matt Hyde of BEASTWARS at Camp A Low Hum 2012.

NZMM 2020