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8 Foot Sativa - The Shadow Masters Award winner

8 Foot Sativa
The Shadow Masters
by Bex "Hardcore" Tasker at 23 September 2013, 5:16 PM

It’s not often, when you live in a tiny country like New Zealand, that you see a local band make it big. But in NZ, when they do, they make it big time. With that in mind, I’m feeling pretty patriotic about reviewing a Metal band from West Auckland (I’m from the North Shore, but it’s fine, we’ll still get along). 8 FOOT SATIVA have already made a huge name for themselves with their 3 previous albums, so their latest release “The Shadow Masters” is likely to have a similar effect. The five-piece released their debut album “Hate Made Me” in 2002, and have acquired a hefty following both locally and internationally since then. Check out “The Shadow Masters”, you won’t be disappointed.

The opening track kicks off with a drum beat, and is soon accompanied by an awesome riff. Before long, the screams of Justin Niessen, or the “Jackhammer” come in, and Brent Fox and his funky bass beat get invited to the party. “As it Burns” is catchy as well as heavy, with unforgettable riffs by Gary Smith and Nik Davies, headbangable breakdowns, and a distinctly Metalcore rhythm. The following and title-track, “Shadow Master” isn’t shy on the bass, and the guitar melodies really complete the song. “Summoned to Rise” has a more solemn introduction, with melancholy guitars and slow drums. The verse picks up the pace a bit, and the chorus has some catchy cleans, as well as vicious growls. They certainly raise the bar on this one. The following track, “Feeding the Weak”, features some very rapid bass and as always, impressive riffs. The Jackhammer’s vocals are solid, as are Corey Friedlander’s drum skills. A ripping solo steals the limelight in the interlude, and the song ends as strongly as it began. “Never Abide” has a brutally groovy rhythm, and you’ll be shouting along to this noteworthy number. “Anatomy of Hate” is on the melodic side as far as the guitars are concerned, but the drums are filled to the brim with doublekick, and the vocals as displeased as ever. If hate had an anatomy, this would be it.

Track number 6 instantly had my feet tapping. “Visions of Red” is the kind of song that gets you motivated, whether it be to go start a band of your own, stimulate political change or simply mow the lawn. Whatever floats your boat? With its rapid pace and funky rhythm, it’s one of the highlights of the album. “Back to Barebone” follows suit, and much to my excitement has a few rumbly bass solos. The next track is evident of a true Westie (a “Westie” is a person who inhabits the dreaded region of West Auckland, also known as a “bogan”.) “West As” is strong in all aspects, featuring vocal diversity, doublekick and versatile guitars. As the album draws to a close, 8 FOOT SATIVA seize their last moment of redemption with “The Second Chance”. Once again they create an unbelievably funky rhythm, with both distorted and melodic guitars, as well as a brief solo. The breakdown which appears near the end is my personal favourite, although short-lived it showcases some very talented musicianship.

An awesome release by an awesome band, “The Shadow Masters” by 8 FOOT SATIVA showcases the group’s distinct sound, and proves their status one of  New Zealand’s most famous Metal bands. Might jump into my local moshpit and see if I can find these guys.

4 Star Rating

1. As it Burns
2. Shadow Master
3. Summoned to Rise
4. Feeding the Week
5. Never Abide
6. Anatomy of Hate
7. Visions of Red
8. Back to Barebone
9. West As
10. The Second Chance
Justin “Jackhammer” Niessen - Vocals
Gary Smith - Guitar
Nik Davies - Guitar
Brent Fox - Bass
Corey Friedlander - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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