We’ve not featured too many bands from New Zealand (only six in five years!) but those we have featured have all been superb. And there’s no letting down on that front with the stunning metalcore sound of Full Bloom, which they describe as being “honest, heavy and instinctual.”
The band started as a group of mates from Auckland and Hamilton with a passion for heavy music. As frontman Louis Hill explains: “It started back in 2019, when I began the creation of our first EP, Black Lung, in my flat in Ponsonby, along with some of our original members, and just blossomed from there. We have been through some member changes as of late and are very excited to share the new Full Bloom.”
Along with guitarists Richard Moore and Josiah Forlong, the band has honed a dramatic, powerful metalcore sound that fuses heavy riffs and rhythms with a mixture of clean and vicious vocals.
Our latest offering of this is Full Bloom’s huge single Malware, which was released in December and seems more apt than ever given recent news stories. It opens up with industrial percussion sounds before smashing into a huge riff that continues under Louis’ vicious vocals “From a nightmare, into a dream, Plug me into reality, ‘Cause I’m sold, And as sad as it seems, Expressing pain became a fucking meme.”
A disgustingly good riff kicks in before building up to a powerful chorus led by clean vocals “I fear I lost my head, Now my life is torn in two, Can we just disconnect, When I leave I’ll wait for you.” Another heavy riff kicks in and drops into an industrial sounding verse with a growing cacophony of booming guitar chords and wild instrumentals under cries of “I don’t feel right in my head” that drop into another chorus.
That gives way to a booming riff to bring the track to a suitably heavy ending. Check it out in the video below:
That followed the release of the aforementioned EP last year, which includes the superb Decay. It opens with building synths that drops into heavy guitars and drums under screamed vocals “I hate living with these demons, But I don’t think I’ll let them out, I’ve grown accustomed to this destruction, And I can’t go on without.”
The pace suddenly drops with light bass, spacey synths and laid-back vocals with a stabbing guitar riff creeping in. That feeds into an melodic chorus with engaging vocals supported by lively drums and the occasional little bouncy riff. The chorus ends with a delicious driving riff and screamed vocals then a huge guttural “bleugh” gives way to stabbing guitars, which feed into another chorus.
The second chorus drops into cool drums and a drawn-out guitar noise, then faster guitar notes come in under Louis’ screamed vocals. A huge cry of “I’ve lost it all” give way to booming low-tuned guitars and doomy cymbals, which flow into a final blast of the chorus and a last stabbing riff. What a track this is, and you can check it out below:
If you like the heavier end of their sound, then the EP’s opener Despise is definitely for you. It starts slowly but soon blasts into heavy low-tuned guitars then driving drums kick into a vicious opening verse. That feeds into an intense chorus that ends on big low-tuned guitars and huge screamed vocals. Give it a listen here:
The heaviness doesn’t let up in title track Black Lung, then the slightly more mellow In Between, which feature much more of their deliciously low-tuned guitar riffs. And the EP ends in style with the superb Throne, which begins with intense piercing synth sounds that continue under a naughty bouncy riff and heavy opening screams.
It then blasts into a breakneck opening verse of driving drums, heavy guitars and big screamed vocals. Powerful low-tuned guitars feed into an atmospheric chorus that ends on driving guitars and drums kicking into another brutal verse.
It soon drops into an ambient section of light floaty instrumentals, which are joined by rolling drums then another big bouncy riff that builds into a big atmospheric chorus. It’s a fitting ending to a fantastic EP, and you can give it a listen here:
The Full Bloom sound has been heavily influenced by the likes of Australian bands Parkway Drive and Northlane, as well as more like Antagonist A.D. Louis tells us he’s been listening to an interesting mix of Loathe, Slow Pulp and Radiohead, while Richard has an electronic side project and Josiah loves all things modern extreme metal.
And on what inspires them to write music, Louis told us: “The ep was very inward-looking and about wanting to be a better person, our single Malware was more of a look at our relationship with technology, and I think going forward you can expect more of the latter.”
As mentioned, we haven’t featured too many Kiwi bands, but Full Bloom add to a list that includes the excellent Crooked Royals, Shepherd’s Reign and Dead Favours. So we asked Louis for his thoughts on his local scene. He said: “Well it’s slowly opening up post-covid, which is great to see. We do have a shortage of venues down here and a smaller population so it’s hard to sustain a big scene. But also shows have been selling out so it’s great to see that there still is that local interest in heavy music, it really relies on that grassroots support.”
Louis hints that the band has more new content coming our way soon and you can see the band for yourself at Valhalla in Wellington on 20 August. More info here.
And Louis adds: “I think I’ll just say we really appreciate the support we get, and we hope to make some heads turn moving forward.”
We think it’s safe to say that this is a band that will make heads turn. Their debut EP is fantastic and latest single Malware is one of the best new metalcore songs we’ve heard in a while, so we’re excited to see what’s coming from them in the future.