‘Lower Hutt Grind Scum’
Backyard Burial were active from 1999-2011, and the New Zealand metal scene has never forgotten them; in fact, they still tend to pop up on ‘Best of NZ Metal’ lists. Originally formed in 1998, there were a series of changes in line-up that led to their first demo release “Deviance in Society” in 1999, and the establishment of their recognisable low-tuned chugging sound. However, their first full album Repeat Offender wasn’t released until 2002, following another change in line-up.
The early and mid 2000’s were a time of relentless gigging around New Zealand, which well and truly cemented them in the minds of local metal fans. Opening for acts such as Pungent Stench (Austria) and Deeds of Flesh (U.S.A), as well as headlining their own shows around the nation. 2005 saw the release of their second album Hedonistic Cravings, and another adjustment to the bands line-up. The following years showed more persistent gigging, including a North Island tour with Blood Duster (Australia) and shows alongside the well known Napalm Death (U.K.); and the band burned through a few more bassists along the way.
Their last release saw the return of an ex-guitarist and “ten tracks of mental instability” that came together to create Symptoms of Psycho-Pathology, in 2009. That same year saw long-standing guitarist Gurney Sprayer leave the band, to play in the Australian metal scene; and in 2010 their longtime drummer Mike also left the group. With the death of vocalist Blaps “Chomper” Warmonger in early 2011, it was easy to understand why the band ceased to be, despite its popularity. Though, just this month, the band’s facebook page hinted at the possibility of a reunion tour in the works; this begs the questions, which of their numerous members will be returning to the line-up, and does it really matter? For a band that so frequently changed members, it never really lost its popularity; and you can be sure any reunion is going to be met with all the headbanging enthusiasm you’d expect of NZ metal legends.