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Formed during the mid 1990's, Subtract have gone on to become one of the premier acts in New Zealand metal and true forefathers of the local heavy scene. Combining elements of metal old and new, with a penchant for punishing grooves and pummelling rhythms with charismatically aggressive vocals and passionate, meaningful lyricism, Subtract are an act that have gone from strength to strength throughout their years; never relinquishing an iota of the intensity and sheer heaviness that have become their sonic trademarks.

Subtract's debut release, 1998's 'Quench' EP, was a landmark offering in heavy New Zealand music; soaring into a number of key charts including the New Zealand singles charts, the Real Groovy top-sellers and the bFM weekly top 10. The EP also yielded a video clip for the song 'Same Mistake' which enjoyed extensive airplay during the latter part of the last century. During the turn of the millenium,
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SUBTRACT Discography

SUBTRACT albums / top albums

SUBTRACT Formula One album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Formula One
Groove Metal 2004
SUBTRACT Talk Minus Action Equals Nothing album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Talk Minus Action Equals Nothing
Groove Metal 2013

SUBTRACT EPs & splits

SUBTRACT Quench album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Groove Metal 1998
SUBTRACT Bloodshot album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Groove Metal 2000
SUBTRACT Winning Hearts and Minds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Winning Hearts and Minds
Groove Metal 2009

SUBTRACT live albums

SUBTRACT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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SUBTRACT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)


SUBTRACT Formula One

Album · 2004 · Groove Metal
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Vim Fuego
Trends come and go in music very quickly. Remember the new romantics? Remember funk metal? Remember Madchester? Will you remember metalcore and emo? Some bands avoid the trends, and just make the music they have always made, despite the current climate. Subtract is one of those bands.

What Subtract deal in is a solid mesh of metal and hardcore, without travelling down the well-worn metalcore path. Add guitarist/vocalist Joel Facon’s massive sub-death metal growl and you have a power packed heavyweight package. It’s something like Merauder or Kreator, or even Morbid Angel at times (compare the opening passage of “Bloodshot” to Morbid Angel’s “Rapture”), but it’s… not. It is just good old fashioned heavy music.

Some bands are scared to show any national identity, instead going for widespread appeal. A couple of Subtract’s songs are truly New Zealand at their heart. “Mark Of The Lion” is the little-told story of Charles Upham, the only fighting soldier ever awarded the Victoria Cross and Bar. A humble farmer before World War Two, Upham distinguished himself in action in Crete and Egypt, and ended up imprisoned at Colditz. On returning to his farm in New Zealand, he was gifted £10,000 by his local community, a fortune in the 1940s. Instead of keeping the money, Upham gave it to the widows and orphans of his fallen comrades. It is an inspiring story, even for non-New Zealanders.

The other Kiwi themed song is nowhere near so positive. “NZOA” stands for New Zealand On Air, a fund which among other things helps fund bands for making music videos. The chances of a heavy metal or hardcore band gaining a grant from NZOA? Nil. Zero. Zip. All the money goes to mainstream pop, hip-hop or bland, safe “rock” bands. This is Subtract’s little “fuck you” to them.

Other than these two songs, Facon’s lyrical stance is both personal and political. There are problems and frustrations with society at large, and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

As a criticism, you could say Subtract need to throw in a bit more variety, vary their tempos a little, or add some more solos. But then, that wouldn’t be Subtract. This is an uncompromising, heavy band doing exactly what they want. Wanting something different is a waste of time.

SUBTRACT Talk Minus Action Equals Nothing

Album · 2013 · Groove Metal
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Kev Rowland
When it comes to population NZ rank 123rd largest country in the world, some 101 places distant to the UK (although by land mass we are 76th and the UK are 80th). So there aren’t many people per square kilometer, yet we have some incredible bands that have somehow stayed a secret to the rest of the world. Subtract are one of these, forming in 1997 they have long been at the forefront of the local metal scene and have opened for many of the top international acts who have remembered where NZ actually is on the map. They have honed their skills, turned up their amps and at the end of 2013 released their latest album. Given that 8 Foot Sative have also been active, they knew that they had to produce something very special indeed to show that they were still in the hunt for the title of NZ’s Best Metal Act, and that is exactly what they have done.

Bringing together thrash and melodic death with hardcore and an irrepressible groove, Subtract have yet again shown how they have managed to survive for so long in a country with such a small metal fanbase. This album reeks class from start to finish, is as heavy as hell, and grooves like you wouldn’t believe – extreme metal that gets the listener moving along and banging that noggin as if there was no tomorrow. Who needs Head & Shoulders when there is music like this to clear the dandruff (and any latent ear wax if the truth be told)? This is brutal, melodic, crushing and immense all at the same time. It isn’t the longest album in the world at only 42 minutes, but at least it then gives the listener the chance to go and get a fresh beer, then settle down and put it on again, but just that little bit louder. I am so glad that it is only the sheep that get upset when I play music this loud at home. If Subtract were a British or American band then everyone would know their name, as it is just us Kiwis know who they are, and we know just how lucky that makes us.

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