8 Foot Sativa are usually regarded as New Zealand’s premier metal band - and rightly so. Their first album “Hate Made Me” received rave reviews from top NZ music magazines and frequent airplay on specialised metal radio programmes. After 8 Foot Sativa’s second record “Season For Assault”, they had already gone through the highs and lows of constant touring in the Australasian music scene and band members changes. The line up on this album is as follows
Justin Niessen – Vocals
Gary Smith – Guitars
Brent Fox – Bass
Sam Sheppard – Drums
Anyway, onto the track by track review….
What’s Lost is Tomorrow (4:23)
The album begins with a dark drum and bass riff then soon the guitar enters in. This segues into the first verse, with Justin screaming “suffocated with no way out/caught in an eternal time frame/desperate for a new connection/reaching out I'm blinded”. The chorus rolls in, a bit softer than the verse with a few great fills by Sam on the drums, and Justin singing half and screaming half “time, the time has come/to destroy what's inside/the black of my mind/I can foresee/what's in your eyes/there's no time/**** it all”. A solid album opener. 4/5
Escape From Reality (4:52)
Unlike the previous song, all the instruments enter at the start. After the first verse, a catchy guitar riff plays over Justin shouting “I blame myself”, which continues on into the next verse, and throughout much of the song. Just like the album opener, it is a good song, but can become repetitive after several listens. 4/5
For Religions to Suffer (4:11)
Starts with nice guitar work, but eventually turns into a displeasing riff that plays through the verse. However the lyrical content is better, with a violent attack at, obviously, religion – more specifically Christianity. The chorus are shouted “I just live and bleed for religions to suffer/why can’t you just see that God was a sinner/it was rape that caused your holy messiah/if she had a brain stem she would’ve killed him”. 3.5/5
Destined To Be Dead (3:45)
The first single off “Season For Assault” is one of the heaviest songs by 8 Foot Sativa with a sharp strum of the guitar and bass strings kicking off the song. During “Destined To Be Dead” the double kick pedal is thoroughly used and so is Justin’s harsh screams. “Life has been passed by my eyes” is a line that is said many times to emphasis what the song is about – death (well, duh). 4.5/5
Hatred Forever (3:23)
My least favourite song on the album, it features fast picking on the guitar through most of the song, and IMO doesn’t really have a direction. The drums are once again impressive on the whole, but the first guitar solo on “Season For Assault” is short and uninteresting, eventually finishing the song. 2.5/5
Season For Assault (4:07)
Ah, the title track. It begins, with a subdued guitar riff and over slow, haunting bass slides, along with some nice drum fills. At about 0:40, Justin lures you out of the intro with “as I cut your lungs last breath” into a hard and fast riff. The song keeps you interested all the way through and is an enjoyable listen for any metal fan. 4.5/5
Chelsea Smile (3:06)
My personal favourite off the album. After a quick guitar slide, a very nice guitar riff plays. A few bars later, Justin screams “economy, the American dream/deceiving the world it's vanity seen” sets the scene for the song. The chorus is also very catchy “taken away, submit don't flinch/your bones will break and you'll suffer the pain/suffocating/dominating/scream, choke, bleed and die” is shouted over the opening guitar riff. Overall, the song is very good with a lyrical shot at American politics and excellent drum work. 4.5/5
The Abused (2:24)
The shortest song on “Season For Assault”. During the verse, the bass finally stands out over the guitar and drums. At around 1:30 a cool guitar riff is heard – one that will stay in your head for hours on end (if I recall correctly, it was nearly a day for me). Over the riff, Justin screams “it’s The Abused”, and a harmonising guitar joins in. However, the song quickly ends on a grunt. Nevertheless, a nice song. 4/5
Finally, a guitar solo that lasts longer than 30 seconds – but just. Besides that, there is no real exceptional part in this song. In other words, average. 3/5
This song starts with the snare drum being constantly hit over fast guitar picking, which displeases me, but 8 Foot Sativa make up for it with another catchy guitar riff. The riff is played in the chorus with Justin screaming “you’re, gutless/never trusted/so, gutless/your minds corrupted”. After that it really just has the structure of a pop song. Yawn. 3.5/5
Hate Made Me (remix) (3:13)
This song is pretty much the same song of their first album, only with better production and a much cleaner sound instead of the distorted sound of 8 Foot Sativa’s first album. Besides that, it’s essentially too similar to “Hate Made Me”, so I will ignore it.
Overall, a great album from the New Zealand metal band. The whole album contains nice drum work by Sam Sheppard and catchy guitar riffs by Gary Smith, but Brent Fox’s bass usually copies the guitar, and therefore is hardly ever noticed.
P.S. This is my first review. Feel free to comment!!