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After listening to other New Zealand acts such as Dawn of Azazel, Ulcerate and Six Day War I was keen to find another highly talked about NZ act on the shelves. I’ve heard many rave reviews about 8 Foot Sativa and I was hoping that Hate Made Me would inspire me to dig deep for more NZ metal… and unfortunately, it hasn’t.
After flipping the disc to “Before Your Suffering” I was immediately annoyed by Justin Niessen’s vocals. His voice indicated to me that he didn’t have enough vocal vigour to really fit with a metal band; it would be more suited for a hardcore band. The only track on the song that showed any glimmers of latent metal power was “Believer”. His evil “death metal” growl in some parts of the song displayed that he can give a lot of vocal variety. I hope in the future 8FS can give any possible albums they may release that more “metal” feel with an authentic metal growl.
The guitar riffs have that “thrash” feel to them. The bass playing is quite prevailing too, particular with more high-end material. The drums aren’t really exceptional though, just quite average. Most songs are evidently Pantera and Iron Maiden inspired, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing… but there is more room for guitar riff and hook development here. “Fuel Set”, “Grown Aggression”, “Engine” and “8 Foot Sativa” are some standout tracks on this album. Another bone I unfortunately have to pick with this album is some of the funk parts that dribble through; songs that come to mind are “Cocktease” and “Kick It All Away”. These are undeniably not needed and set too much of a strong contrast with the rest of the album.
The rest of the album is quite average and nothing too exceptional. It gives a brief insight into how NZ metal should sound, but there is certainly better sounding stuff out there.
From a distance, West Auckland's 8 Foot Sativa look like just another two chord, downtuned clown-trousered Nu-Metal band. Ho hum, the great nu hope for Kiwi metal.
But if you go past any pre-conceptions and actually listen to the noisy buggers, you're in for a skull-crushing treat. Instead of the Nu-Metal stodge I expected when I slipped this disc into my player, I was greeted by a sonic boom of Judas Priest meets Dismember on steroids heavy metal! It's brutal. It's got riffs. It's got double kickdrums. It's got death/hardcore style vocals. It's just what I've been wanting for years!
There are just so many facets to this band, and they're all metal. The band is obviously influenced by many different shades of metal. One moment, they're old school metal. Witness some of the catchiest guitar noodling heard this side of Iron Maiden on "Fuel Set". The next, its Nu-Metal (of the early Machine Head variety) and funk on "Cocktease". Then it's off to Entombed's death n roll theme park with "Believer". The opening riff of "Kick It All Away" brings to mind the long lost sound of Ripping Corpse. Then there's the hardcore/thrash stylings of single "8 Foot Sativa". Then to finish it all off, there's a quick pirouette through a JS Bach composition. Yep, there isn't much this band can't do.
Much of the lyrical content deals with the lifestyle of those who partake in the odd puff of electric stickyweed. The music doesn't ever get an attack of the munchies and end up light-headed in a hazy cloud, pointlessly searching for a non-existent Mars bar between the sofa cushions, as many THC fuelled bands have a tendency to do.
This is the album Pantera have always dreamed of recording, Entombed could have recorded, and Slipknot is incapable of recording. 8 Foot Sativa are definitely one to watch.
Hate Made Me... they sound like angry guys right form the word go and this sure as hell shows in the music. Raw riffs, demonic like vocals, fast paced druming and bass overtones, this is 8 Foot Sativa my friends and they are here to prove something to the world.
This being there debut album not alot can be expected, but these fellas deliver quite a punch. This can be seen quite easily in the title track "Hate Made Me". The intro blows the listner away with some seirous double kick blasting from the drums and bass going all out. Of course the guitar can't be left out. There are some more "relaxed" moments through out the title track where the double bass is released in spurts along with the bass while the guitar keeps a steady pace, instrumentally these boys seem to be working flat out. The vocals of course fit the type of music being played and could not possibly imagine it any other way.
Generally most of the songs on the album have the same idea and theme as Hate Made Me and almost sound the same but not at the same time. The band has enough musical talent to show some diversity with in their own music which in time is sure to develop into there own unique style all together, I know I sure as hell wanna hear some more stuff like "Believer" with some screaming and an awsome demonic type voice for the vrs.
Sadly every album has at least one downside and Hate Made Me is no exception. Lyrically the album is a tad bit repetiative and at times almost childlike, fortunatlt the band shows a fair bit of maturity with songs such as "It's all So Real" and "Cocktease" although both songs have the same theme which is a break from "Come on satan give us another death!". Production could have been better as well, the sound is a tad bit scrappy especially drumming wise its to static.
Over-all 8 Foot Sativa are a band that offer a solid preformance with "Hate Made Me" its an album that out lives its due by date, and is always interesting to listin to the next time around. These boys can only keep improving as they mature and in time will offer so much more then just "SATAN!" as so many other sucsesful metal bands out these days do.