Beastwars will play Dead Of Winter Festival in Brisbane, plus shows in Sydney and Melbourne.
With a sound that cascades from savage to tender and back again, NZ stoner metallers Beastwars return (with a new lease on life, literally) with their fourth album – creatively titled 'IV'.
Shaped by lead singer Matt Hyde’s experiences battling cancer, 'IV' will be released late June. Matt underwent six months of treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2016.
Now in remission, Matt and the rest of the Beastwars crew are ready to bulldoze their way through their upcoming Australian tour that includes an appearance at Dead Of Winter Festival. “I've heard a lot of great things about Dead Of Winter Festival,” Matt says, “from lots of people and fans, so it was nice to be asked to do it; it's an incredible line-up.
“We've played Brisbane a couple of times, but it's always great to play to more people and [it] gives us an opportunity to play to people who might not take the punt and see us by ourselves,” Matt says.
Hyde, the band’s greybeard powerhouse, says his cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment gave him an opportunity to look into the abyss beyond life. “You don't have much to look forward to when you're in the middle of [treatment]... and it's interesting to have the ability to confront that, to confront the void, to confront the idea of mortality. I didn't make peace with it either.”
Beastwars formed in 2007 as a heavyweight instrumental trio featuring drummer Nathan Hickey, guitarist Clayton Anderson, and bassist James Woods. However, after Matt unexpectedly turned up at one of the band’s early rehearsals he was promptly added as Beastwars’ vocalist; there was no turning back.
Their latest release is born from self-destruction and tense personal and artistic struggles. “I was lucky that I had music to express what had happened to me – a lot of people don't have that. I was very lucky that we could make a record. I took the time to process it and turned it into something else.”
Beastwars meld hulking doom and sludge metal with earth-quaking noise rock, and they’ve reaped increasing amounts of critical and commercial success over the past few years.
'IV' will also be released on vinyl as well as cassette tape, which was inspired by Sydney's Red Eye Records. “What got me thinking about that was I was in Red Eye Records in Sydney, and I saw albums that had been redone on [cassette] tape, and I thought 'wow' and we decided to get [‘IV’] made in Australia.”
Winners at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards for 'Best Album Artwork', you can expect to see another incredible piece of art created for 'IV'. “Nick Keller is the conceptional artist, and this is the fourth cover he's done for us. He's a pretty incredible guy.”
'IV' will be released 28 June.
Beastwars play Crowbar (Sydney) 11 July, The Espy (Melbourne) 12 July and Dead Of Winter Festival (The Tivoli and The Jubilee Hotel, Brisbane) 13 July.