Borderline Ballroom

the Borderline Ballroom #14: Black Boned Angel

bb-poster12Friday, June 13, 2008
7:30pm until 11:30pm

the Borderline Ballroom presents:


with DJs Cegeste and Avanc

Friday 13th June, 7:30 -11pm, $5 (door sales only)

The Media Club, 191 Armagh St, Christchurch, NZ

After a triptych of solo acts in May, this month the Borderline Ballroom travels to the outer regions of exploratory rock, playing host to the first NZ performance outside their home city by world-renowned Wellington/Lower Hutt-based doom/drone metal act Black Boned Angel, a band whose slow, cathartic, heavily repetitive guitar-based dronescapes have inspired descriptions as various as “uber-ambient doom-metal created from massively overdriven instruments… the aural equivalent of a tequila and opiates bender followed by a five-day crying jag”, “a Norwegian re-staging of Keiji Haino’s early Nijiumu rituals”,”what Tony Conrad… would have been, had he had a heart of metal”, “music that aspires to the quality of sculpture – it doesn’t so much move forward as fill up space”, and (by frontman Campbell Kneale himself) as “like Black Sabbath played at 16rpm”. June’s Borderline Ballroom also hosts the welcome return to Christchurch of slow-burning luminaries of NZ free-improvisation and exploratory multi-instrumental minutia, Sandoz Lab Technicians, and the local debut of Dunedin-based duo Alex MacKinnon and Lee Noyes, who together rejig the Southern city’s legacy of improvised noise music, as well as the stripped back drums-and-guitar setup, with a nuanced and incendiary intensity uniquely theirs.


Slower than slow, heavier than thou, Black Boned Angel have taken the ‘no fans’ end of the heavy metal spectrum to a kidney-churning new low. Refered to by none other than Terrorizer magazine as “The Heaviest Band on the Planet”. Perhaps the only band in New Zealand capable of levitating an audience with sheer volume, Lower Hutts Black Boned Angel have garnered a stink in the underground music thing for their near-cosmic brutality and transcendental post-Post-Sabbath droning. blurred, HEAVINESS. One seemingly unending, feedback-withered sludge-trudge of monosyllabic riff-mongery, and prehistoric drum plod… and YES, that is supposed to be fashionable these days. Kids huh?

A mere duo, Black Boned Angel came together in 2004, and revolve around the core of guitarist/drummer Campbell Kneale and, second guitarist James Kirk, both long-distance runners in New Zealands experimental music scene who have made more records than Dave Dobyn and The Exponents combined. Unfortunately, they still have plenty left.


Key figures in the New Zealand ‘Free Noise’ scene since the early 1990s, Tim Cornelius, James Kirk, Nathan Thompson are a multi-instrumental free-improvising trio.

They bring the trademark Sandoz confection of ethno – folk, lethargic raga rock, ambient jazz and whatever else strikes their fancy, so fully realized by now that they don’t sound like anyone but their own bad selves and the quality is so superlative that it induces the good kind o’gooseflesh.

In the middle of the intoxicating amalgam there’s a sense of beauty and isolation that is much more seducing than it is alienating.

Layers of restrained feedback are placed against a tapestry of improvised drums and subtle fogbanks of organ, but it’s not the instruments applied that’s important here. Rather the filmic, organic, droning and improvisational feel that comes wrapped around the glacial and stretched out notes.


“…their recent performance at Arc Cafe had a supercharged intensity, a combination of high energy noise rock guitar and consistently inventive free jazz drumming. A sonic blast of guitar/drum improvisation in some ways reminiscent of Rudolph Grey and the Blue Humans.”

-Peter Stapleton.

“…Next was the NEU BLOOD. The northern lights. The boys from up north who came, swore and concured. Alex McKinnon, acolyte zealator of the free-noise brick-laying brotherhood and Lee Noyes. What a stunning din!! Lee Noyes played drums like a 50 year old african american super-pro jazz legend! Absolutely blown the fug away bro!!! And Alex – he’s an absolute free-noise super-star. X factor uber-alles. We mean it. And so do they. It’s obvious – they’re aiming high : REAL high.”

-Matt Middleton


The Borderline Ballroom’s Cegeste plus guest DJ Avanc spin the appropriate tunes…