Doom metal has tapped into science fiction for inspiration since the founding of the genre (Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" comes to mind), but often at arm's length—the weird delights of aliens, robots, and more are not nearly as well explored as tried-and-true subjects like burning witches, getting high, wizards, Satan, and getting high while burning witches. I'm not quite sure why, either, as the previously-mentioned subjects are, objectively, just as dorky as anything you can find in the cluttered science fiction shelves of any respectable bookstore. Whatever the cause, New Zealand's Planet of the Dead doesn't share this imagined concern and wholeheartedly leans into their love of science fiction: from the schlocky to the terrifying, their low-flying doom covers it all with palpable excitement brimming on top of the tectonic rumble. As evidence, we're premiering the video for "Directive IV," named after a plot point from RoboCop, off their upcoming album Pilgrims. Listen below:

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With a slow, confident stride like its inspiration, "Directive IV" clunks along with a methodical brutality rather in line with RoboCop's demeanor: massive riffs seek vengeance while gravelly roars turn lines from the source material into apocalyptic proclamations. Elsewhere on Pilgrims, you'll find elaborate melodies, stoner jams and traditional doom leanings, but "Directive IV" is strictly by-the-book, eliminating eardrums with maximum efficiency. Planet of the Dead isn't just taking surface-level inspiration from their influences—rather, their heavy grooves have been shaped into reflections of the strange and wonderful things they love.

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Pilgrims will be released independently on July 23rd via the band's Bandcamp page.