Thursday, January 10, 2013

African metal bands: several new discoveries

Since my blog appears to be one of the very few places providing information about very obscure scenes, such as African, I'll continue researching and writing about such scenes. African metal (and other sorts of extreme music) is probably one of the rarest things in existence. Of course I'm talking about sub-Saharan Africa (minus SAR), not Maghreb (if you want North African metal and punk, check out this blog).
Outside of Botswana and Madagascar, which have rock/metal scenes of more or less considerable size, all such bands can be counted by hands, and some of them obviously are fake: Infertile Surrogacy are most likely from the Basque Country, not Congo, no matter what they wrote in their profile; Rhawana from Malawi is likely to be fake to, as his photos are stolen from Lord Ifrit of Orisha Shakpana; Tanzania-based Giza Uchawi's "Kizuu" demo may be not a fake (see the cover scan above), but his music is nowhere to be found... Additionally, it's somewhat ironic that there's no black metal in the Black Continent, if Darkest Place (pic related) doesn't count. According to my only regular reader from Nigeria, it isn't even because of poverty and lack of access to music/instruments, but mostly because the people there are very, very superstitious. It seems to be quite true: at least the members of In Oath, the only known metalcore band in Kenya, appear to be very religious. And the other Kenyan metal band, Absence of Light, is in fact comprised of Indian immigrants, not the native Kenyans. However, there's still some interesting stuff of African origin which I haven't mentioned here before.

Let's start with D-Fe, a tribal hardcore/deathgrind/whatever else band who claim to have invented their on style called "zwinx" (or "zwenks"). Yes, I know they're from France, but they still have African immigrants in their lineup, and their music is indeed unique. Their album "Rwanda", released in 2008, is probably the only concept album dedicated to the story of genocide in Rwanda, "an atrocity perpetrated by small men (and the petty local clergy of the Catholic Church), and a sacrifice made by the great ones" (c):

I also managed to find a handful of classic rock / hard'n'heavy African bands from the 70's, such as Ngozi Family (Zambia) and Nosey Road (Botswana), but the majority of them don't exist anymore. However, here's a traditional heavy metal band from Uganda, formed circa 2010, but sounding like it's from the late 70's / early 80s:

There's also a very strange band from Uganda called Vale of Amonition, which is playing some kind of freestyle doom/stoner rock. There are two of their songs posted on youtube, if you're interested. However, be prepared for the very lo-fi and experimental kind of sound (but that what you probably have in mind when searching for "African metal", right?..)

And finally, some more old school stuff, this time from Madagascar - Pharaons, a thrash metal band formed in 1989. All the lyrics on their only release "The Evil World" were strictly WWII-themed, but didn't condone the war in any way; however, they did use some Nazi imagery purely for shock value, akin to several Japanese speed/thrash metal bands of the same period (Rommel, Mein Kampf, Rosenfeld, Harkenkreuz, etc.):


  1. Check this out: http://www.legionofdeathrecords.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=3777

  2. Here's a site that's focused on African metal, although it may be more geared to gigs and doesn't focus on black metal. Maybe http://metal4africa.com/ can help out with getting some new insight into the African metal scene.

  3. Check out this video of a melodic black metal band from Mozambique called "Magna"

    Here's their facebook page