Te Reo Māori heavy metal band Alien Weaponry and their debut album Tū has been named the best album of the decade by Tuonela Magazine, a music publication in Finland.
Their performance at Copenhell earlier this year received a whirlwind of attention after their audience performed the haka to them, being taught by Kane Harnett (Ngāti Kahungunu) prior to the show.
"It was only meant to be quite a small thing, so when I walked out on the stage to begin the process there was already like 4,000 people there. So yeah, it was quite a shock!" Harnett says.
"Māori culture is really starting to gain traction in Europe for a lot of the reasons that are really human, the idea of being very authentic, the idea of being collective and inclusive, the idea of what the boys are doing with their music, it reaches out and touches the soul."
Over 7000 Danish fans greeted the band with a haka at the Copenhell music festival in Copenhagen earlier this year. Source / Inside Aotearoa
Harnett runs a company called "Haka X" which aims to incorporate mātauranga Māori within organisations and events such as these.
"I think Māori in general really underestimate just how powerful our taonga is. I think for a lot of us overseas, we are seeing it first hand just how attracted people are to the fundamentals of the culture… and that's why Alien Weaponry has struck a chord over here," he says.
Their debut album, most of it written in Te Reo Māori, beat popular European metal bands such as Nightwish, Ghost, Gojira and US giants Metallica.
The band is currently home in Waipu and are preparing to headline at the TUKU festival next year in February.