'The Shadow Masters'

(Self-released CD)

MARK: 97/100

Fifth full-length for this New Zealander undervalued band (at least out of their country) and it's a crime that no label has decided to acquire the rights to release it and distribute it adequately. The five-piece plays modern Thrash/Death with aggressive vocals most of the time and the lyrics of "The Shadow Masters" deal with: decease and soul separation from the body, truth revelation, fallen angels, recheck of one's life a few instants before the departure, rebellion against the Illuminati, hate, desperation due to this of world of lies ruled by hidden leeches, and finally a second chance to make it right. The title is matched by a smart video and I hope with all my heart that they get what they deserve after all the sweat profused in their career.
They're not too young and it's not their debut, but at the same time they're young enough to represent high quality Metal of the future fearing no comparisons at a global level.
Their music contains annihilating riffs, sometimes dynamic, always fresh and rarely reminding other bands', the guitar solos are decidedly well-played, though never too technical and never exaggerately fast, the drumming is lively, and most important amongst all the weapons arrayed the songwriting wins since it is based on schemes but devoid of frills; it lasy on layers of different vocals which - even in the tight tracks - vary a lot (harsh with Death, Black, or Thrash nuances, whispered, evocative, and even Viking!). Another ace in the sleeves is in the strophes and the memorable refrains, and if you add a noteworthy production in all aspects you can agree with my praises.
"As It Burns", "Feeding the Weak" and "West As" are the most involving compositions and therefore my favourite, yet there are no weak songs or structures here and no member is less important in each of the ten tracks; that's why the bass lines are a key accompaniment which gets to be heard and enojoyed also in the fast and most crowded passages (for instance in the blasts).
8 Foot sativa's new album is bound to drop jaws and I have no doubts that on stage the songs won't lose their impact and novelty mark, and mind they don't recur to odd times or Prog structures to impress the listener, but they put all the effort in creating catchy brutal songs all diverse one from another to grant the album long life in the next decades...A unique and refreshing take on the Thrash/Death metal genre covering all from the melodic early Metallica to the latest Cannibal Corpse bludgeonings and the Swedish metal masters' lessons always with a very personal edge.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - January 10th, 2014

Line-up on this record:
Corey Friedlander - d. (also in Apnea, The Mark of Man, ex-Relentless Attrition, ex-Final Eve, Emenda, Fornax Chemica, ex-In Dread Response, ex-Abstruse (live) )
Gary Smith - g.
Justin 'Jackhammer' Niessen - v.
Brent Fox - b. (ex-Sinate)
Nik Davies - g. (also in Perditionist)

Christchurch - New Zealand

Official site:


-Hate Made Me (CD - 2002)
-Season for Assault (CD - 2003)
-Breed the Pain (CD - 2004)
-Poison of Ages (CD - 2007)
-10 Years of Sativa (Compilation - 2013)
-The Shadow Masters (CD - 2013)