Hunt the Witch
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Hunt the Witch

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Post-grunge




"Reviews: Death Angel, Majesty Of Revival, Hunt The Witch, Despite The Reverence"

Hunt The Witch: Strange Gods (Self Released) [Matt]

Well this is was a surprise, just when you thought Alien Weaponry were the be all and end all of Kiwi metal you stumble upon a band like Hunt The Witch, a tasty mix of 90's alternative and desert rock there's touches of Kyuss on the heady Sirens while Whole Lot Of Trouble is a filthy rocker and Sold The World takes a a page from the Soundgarden as The Clamoring brings some slow burning doom. Hunt The Witch are Sam Whitley (vocals), Jason Peters (drums), Bevan Carbines (guitar) with Jason Clarke and Anthony Lakin on bass and they make a glorious noise on the early part of the record but towards the end it suffer a little from bloat, The Clamoring especially could have been dropped. Along with less emphasis on the slower numbers, no matter how psychedelic they get on Magnitude, Hunt The Witch are at their best when they are blasting out solid riffs such as City Of Lights and Sold The World. A big chunk of New Zealand rocking here that reminds me of quite a bit of Clutch or Orange Goblin. 7/10 - Musipedia of Metal

"Hunt The Witch - Album Review: Strange Gods"


Stop what you are doing. Put down those headphones. Either jump in your car with a super sound system or sit on your couch in front of a large hi-fi system. Load up the new album Strange Gods by Hunt The Witch and soak in all of the energy. This album is rock solid.

Where do I start? Let’s start with the wall of sound from the opening track City Of Lights. The guitar comes roaring in and by the time the whole band has got to the chorus, you could swear you were listening to a live band. This is how rock bands had done it years before and it sounds like Hunt The Witch are carrying on that tradition of raw sounding rock that smacks you in the face and leaves you gasping for air. It’s wonderful and thrilling.

The foundation of the sound made up of Bevan Carbines on Guitar, Jason Clarke on Bass and Jason Peters whacking the drums allows Sam Whitley to really give it everything. His vocals soar on so many songs while also allowing himself to be able to bring it down a notch where it's needed. Take for example the song Sirens. The whole sound slowed down; the verses showcase a softer side. But not for long. The chorus comes rolling in Sam is back to showcasing that big soaring voice again.

All the while, every riff is huge. The sound of the guitar is gold. Soaked in delay at times, it creates this stereo field which sounds so damn awesome at high volumes. I’m telling you. You need to hear this on a big system. I can only imagine hearing it live would be mind-blowing. Everyone is tight here. The drums are thought out, well placed and work together with the whole sound. A stand out track for me that show cases this chemistry is the song Afterburner. In the pre-chorus, Bevan has the wah on playing a simple, yet effective riff and Jason is riding the bell of the ride cymbal. It creates this sense of space that just opens up for the chorus to blow the roof off. Again, this is a band that understands how to construct and build up songs that deliver a big payoff.

On the song The Clamoring, the listener is welcomed to a more atmospheric sound to start us off. Not for long. The signature sound that you have become used to through the album so far is back. This album delivers on so many levels. With its sound that is consistent the whole way through, you can tell the band has worked out exactly how to use it to their benefit. So many albums sound like a collection of all sorts of different songs that have been thrown together to create an album. Strange Gods sounds more like an album that was created with a purpose, with a goal in mind.

The album ends with a massive track called Magnitude. Honestly, it is a beast of a song. I won’t spoil surprises here but my goodness, this one was epic! Guitar solos are important to rock and Bevan has demonstrated all through this album how to use them tastefully. This song is no exception.

Overall, with the combination of huge vocals, a ton of epic riffs, bass lines to die for in a band and drums that help bring it all together, this is one of the greatest rock albums I have heard come out of New Zealand. The mixing and production bring to life what Hunt The Witch can do as band. If you like bands like Queens Of The Stone Age, this is one you need to check out.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ ( 5 / 5 ) -

"Hunt The Witch - Single Review: Afterburner"

The scorching guitar intro commands your attention and declares you better be ready to rock. This superb new song by Hunt the Witch rocks along with a guitar sound that is white hot and feverish, coupled by a potent lead vocal by Sam Whitley that fits the symphonic guitar sound so well, Sam has a smooth and yet powerful and slightly demonic voice, a mix of Eddie Vedder and Marilyn Manson.

The dynamic rhythm of Jason Peters’ drums and Anthony Larkin’s velvet bass provide a pulsating experience for Bevan Carbines excellent guitar exertions. Fortified with an unrelenting beat, it drives the bursting guitar grinds with metronomic certainty and provides a flawless foundation for Sam’s stirring vocal performance.

Afterburner is a soaring song that must be a killer live, a track that will get your head banging and your air guitar working overtime, so I recommend you stretch your neck and check it out. -

"Hunt The Witch: Into The Black EP"

Hard rock is a limited commodity in Aotearoa, we’re a pretty indie bunch. When bands like Shihad, HLAH or Beastwars come along we tend to get pretty excited. Auckland’s Hunt the Witch give you that same feeling. The aggressive guitar end of punk and indie rock both get a sly nod here while the Auckland four-piece explore territory familiar to the Deftones and Black Sabbath, pulling in just the right amount of texture and dynamic with touches alluding to a deep knowledge not only of the metal scene but other guitar genres.

Recorded and mixed at Roundhead by Jordan Stone, the crowning moment is the EP’s title track. Lyrically it is a tale of armageddon, personal and universal. Driven by some inspired drumming from Jason Peters (ex Pumpkinhead), the guitars are tight in and pushed hard. Suspending the bass against the guitar is a hallmark of the way this band operates, achieving a bigger sonic architecture with the band’s sympathetic interplay. Dressed with admirable restraint by Sam Whitley‘s vocals, the five songs are hard out, but coloured with lead breaks and middle eights of imagination and exhilaration, always taking you to a new place.

Into The Black by Hunt The Witch - NZ Musician

"Hunt The Witch - Gig Review: Hunt The Witch @ Backbeat Bar, Auckland 10/10/15"


For anyone who hasn’t yet ventured into the small but perfectly formed Backbeat Bar on K Road, be sure to go check it out. For a venue that’s very much blink and you’ll miss it, it’s quickly been added to my list of great music venues around Auckland. Owned by the Rockshop downstairs, the space is graciously adorned with much talked about drum skins and guitars signed by the greats of music past and present. Foo Fighters, Them Crooked Vultures, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker.. A great sight for any music fan.

Previously I had only heard snippets of supporting band, Royal Jackets and what a cool assault on the ears they were live. The Auckland four piece put on a blistering set with their cross pollination of Groove Rock and a hell of a lot of energy. Vocalist, Jono Ashwell’s hair was in a world of its own, the rhythm section on par with every infectious kick drum. Well done guys, you sure made some new fans.

Just after 11.00pm, Hunt The Witch ambled to the stage. The great thing about seeing local bands is the casualness to it all, the friendly back and forth because half the audience is either family or friends and bandmates ribbing each other because they’ve had a few whiskeys, but it’s the singer’s birthday AND the band’s first EP release gig so celebrations are definitely in order! Dishing out the aforementioned plethora of already known songs on their EP and a bunch of very exciting new material, Hunt The Witch sound even better live. Being such a small stage (or rather, floor space) the sound engineer was doing a stellar job literally controlling everything from his tablet and it was pretty cool to see it in action, rather than the sound desk at bigger venues. Sam Whitley’s vocals were on fire, as were the epic rhythm section, and man, Drummer, Jason Peters gives Dave Grohl a run for his money on those skins!

Upon hearing new songs laid bare, their overall sound looked and sounds bigger, meatier with a lot of great melody. Oddly enough I felt proud standing there taking it all in watching the energy and cohesiveness of it all. The crowd may have been sparse that night, but quality over rules anything and from the collective yells and whoops from the punters that stuck, Hunt The Witch are going places with their Rock assault on New Zealand and if you weren’t there you missed a blinding show. Be sure to catch these guys when they next play, they are phenomenal to watch and hear.
Fan for life right here. -


'Into The Black' EP 2015

"Afterburner" single and lyric video 2017 

'Strange Gods' debut album 2019 



Hunt The Witch have unleashed their debut album ‘Strange Gods’ after 6 years of crafting their sound.

The album showcases the talents of singer Sam Whitley, Bevan Carbines (guitar), Jason Clarke (bass) and Jason Peters on drums (Peters is formerly of Pumpkinhead, one of New Zealand's biggest rock bands in the 1990s). Hunt The Witch present a supernatural combo of scorching stoner-rock riffage, powerhouse percussion and Whitley's possessed vocals.

'Strange Gods' has received this great review from UK music blog Musipedia of Metal:

"Well this is was a surprise, just when you thought Alien Weaponry were the be all and end all of Kiwi metal you stumble upon a band like Hunt The Witch, a tasty mix of 90's alternative and desert rock."

Hunt The Witch
are Auckland-based now, but drummer Jason Peters has spent most of his life in Christchurch. Following the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes, he made the tough decision to re-locate, reflected in the track ‘Magnitude’. Lyricist Sam Whitley listened to Peters' experiences, and was himself shocked by the devastation he saw when Hunt The Witch first played in Christchurch.

They may be heavy, but Hunt The Witch have eclectic influences – their name comes from the Bloc Party track ‘Hunting for Witches’.

The live shows introduce new bassist Andrew Woods.

What can you expect from Hunt The Witch live?

Sam Whitley’s vocals were on fire, as were the epic rhythm section, and man, drummer, Jason Peters gives Dave Grohl a run for his money on those skins!” – live review, Kerry Monahgan,

Keep an eye out for the forthcoming video for 'Sold the World', on your screen soon.