Every now and then, a band comes along and stops us cold in our tracks. It’s always a singular moment, defined either by a recent live performance, where we were enchanted from their vantage point on stage or after their record starts spinning. Either way, there are moments when we fall in love with artists, and it’s exactly this type of admiration that’s inspired us to start 190 Proof Artist of the Month.

This showcases musical acts that have truly done something special and are picked by several members of the PureGrainAudio staff. You can’t go wrong with anything by a band that has made it onto this esteemed list. For those musicians and artists out there that are looking to get some hard-earned recognition, we are always on the lookout for anything that melts our face off or tears out our hearts.

Band: Like A Storm
Month: July, 2018
Genres: Didgeridoo Metal, Voodoo Metal, Hard Rock, Active Rock, Post-Grunge
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Watch this video, but beware “The Devil Inside”…

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand, Like A Storm is the only heavy band I can think that has successfully incorporated didgeridoo into its sound. Formed by brothers Chris Brooks, Matt Brooks and Kent Brooks, with drummer Zach Wood, Like A Storm has accomplished a lot in its 13 years as a band.

For starters, its first two albums charted within the Billboard Top 200 without proper U.S. record label backing. As the quartet’s song “Love The Way You Hate Me” skyrocketed to #1 on SiriusXM Octane and earned well over 10 million streams, making them the highest-charting New Zealand rock act in U.S. radio history. On the touring end, Like A Storm has treks with Creed, Hellyeah, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Three Days Grace, Steel Panther, and Shinedown on its resume.

The latest album from Like A Storm is Catacombs, as released by RED Music last month. Catacombs was written, recorded and produced in three cities: Los Angeles, Toronto and Las Vegas. First single “The Devil Inside” already has over 400,000 views on YouTube. Upcoming tour dates in support of Catacombs include July 22nd at Michigan’s DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 27th at Illinois’ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, and August 4th at California’s FivePoint Amphitheatre. Needless to say, this group has got some serious legs and deserve your undivided attention.

The album Catacombs dropped on June 22, 2018, via Century Media Records.

Five Quick Questions with Like A Storm:

How long did you spend writing your new album?
Kent Brooks: Man, a long time… We’re always writing, so we’re always sending one another ideas to check out. And some tracks like “Bullet In The Head” or “Complicated” were from that time. But we flew home from Switzerland after the tour with Alter Bridge and Gojira in December 2016, and kept working on the music ‘til Feb 2018. We just wanted to be sure we felt we had the best music on this album we could possible make. And sometimes that takes a minute. You have to live with stuff, work on the kinks… A rep from our label jokingly called the album Auckland Democracy; Auckland is the city we’re from in New Zealand.

Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Brooks: I really don’t. And that’s because we wanted to make sure it was an album that we felt had no filler. Plus, we love albums with a variety of tones, tempos, vibes, grooves, so I love different tracks for different reasons. “These Are The Bridges You Burn Down” amps me up, “Solitary” makes me very pensive when I hear it.

What was the first song you wrote for the album?
Brooks: Ironically, the longest song on the album: “Pure Evil.” Yeah, we started the writing process with a 6-minute opus! And the reason for that is because our European label asked us for a track they could release over there when we did the tour with Alter Bridge, Volbeat and Gojira, and we felt that song was appropriate at that time. But then once it was done, we knew it had to also be on the next album, because it’s such a statement, both lyrically and musically.

Your band has been coming to North America for almost a decade. Had you travelled to the States or Canada before the release of Catacombs?
Brooks: Yeah, it’s the first place on earth I knew! I was born in Yellowknife up in Northern Canada. It’s where they film that show Ice Road Truckers, and is so far north they have that whole “30 Days of Night” thing going on. The family moved to New Zealand when we were really young, and I grew up my whole life basically as a Kiwi. But we’ve always felt a connection to North America, which is part of the reason we came up.

Finally, is there a career accomplishment that you are proudest of so far?
Brooks: Yeah, we’ve been lucky to have had a few. “Love The Way You Hate Me” charting in the U.S. Top 40 with no record label behind us at all was a pretty awesome feeling. And so was stepping onstage at the O2 Arena in London, England. Being invited by absolute monsters like Slash, Mark Tremonti, Ozzy [Osbourne] and Vinnie Paul to play with them is nuts. But as awesome as it is, that’s all “validation” stuff. What I’m most proud of right now is the music that makes up Catacombs. To me, it’s our biggest accomplishment to date.

The song that helped start the explosion, check out “Love The Way You Hate Me” now!