South African Metal

Aleah – Aleah Review

Aleah – Aleah Review

“Readers of this site, and fans in general, know of Aleah Stanbridge. After doing some work on her own and collaborating with The Mission’s Andy Cousin in That Which Remains, she laid down guest vocals for Swallow the Sun and Amorphis before forming Trees of Eternity with Swallow the Sun guitarist Juha Raivio. Trees of Eternity released Hour of the Nightingale in 2016, months after Aleah tragically passed away from cancer at age 39. Since then, Raivio has been assembling and touching up Aleah’s work, and he’s finally presenting it to us now in the form of a double album.” Music is immortal.

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo: Beeldenstorm – Herkoms

AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo: Beeldenstorm – Herkoms

“Back in the primordial days of this here blog, we attempted something called “AMG’s Unsigned Band Rodeo.” The basic idea was to select a bunch of unsigned bands and give them the collective review treatment to find the most worthy buried gems. It was our humble effort to remind folks that the metal underground is still an important part of the world of metal.” We’re baaaack!

All We’ve Known – Dissidence Review

All We’ve Known – Dissidence Review

“Album titles are tricky. Ideally, the name of the album should describe its sound in some way, particularly when coupled with such knowledge as the band name and album art. For example, I’m guessing that no one is going to be surprised, after glancing at the image over there, that Dissidence by All We’ve Known is a metalcore album.” Known quantities.

Vulvodynia – Mob Justice Review

Vulvodynia – Mob Justice Review

Vulvodynia’s 2016 monstrosity Psychosadistic Design joined Ingested’s Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering at the top of the relatively accessible slamming deathcore pile. Upon its release, it sold a boatload of copies due to its mixture of self-aware ridiculousness and a charmingly cavalier attitude towards everything but riffs. Both records were great ‘gateway slam’ records — their production was friendly to ‘core ears and the riffs were unfairly catchy. Structurally, both took the general deathcore idea and replaced breakdowns with slams and both were a lot of fun for it. Both toed the line between excess and parody expertly, which made them easy to like and laugh along with. Three years later, Vulvodynia have returned.” Flash slam.

Ruff Majik – Tårn Review

Ruff Majik – Tårn Review

“Reviewing a band for the first time is a very different affair from reviewing a band whose work has passed my hands before. In the former case, it largely feels like reviewing the band itself, since in my perception I am holding the band’s entire body of work (which is the case with debuts, though not otherwise). In the latter case, it’s more akin to chronicling the way a band is evolving, or in some cases, devolving over the years. And the more reviews I write, the more I run into the latter case.” Ruff evolution.

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Shun the Reptile Review

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Shun the Reptile Review

“Does anyone still give a shit about zombies? Apparently the creators of the next Resident Evil game are wondering how they’re going to “make zombies scary again,” and that concern is a direct reflection of the cultural over-saturation of zombies that’s occurred in the last decade or so. Thus, when I first saw the name of South African quintet Zombies Ate My Girlfriend, I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain. Yet when I actually listened to their 2015 debut Retrocide, I surprisingly didn’t hate it, although their brand of core-informed melodic death metal was still a little rough around the edges. Nonetheless the band’s animated riffing and general craziness made me intrigued and curious to hear what they’d spew out next.” Don’t squeeze the lizard.

Ruff Majik – Seasons Review

Ruff Majik – Seasons Review

“Located at the very tip of the African continent, South Africa may win the prize for ‘Most Accurate Country Name,’ challenged only by the uniformly low and flat Netherlands. Metal, however, is not what the nation is generally known for (apartheid and the guy who directed District 9 both rank higher, for instance.) In our extensive archives, only 9 articles bear a ‘South African Metal’ tag. Until today, that is, because Ruff Majik come forth from the shadows of Pretoria, the South African capital.” South Africa rising.

Crow Black Sky – Sidereal Light: Volume One Review

Crow Black Sky – Sidereal Light: Volume One Review

“A long time ago, on a website far, far away, I stumbled across a trve underground gem: Pantheion, the punishing debut of South Africa’s Crow Black Sky. Their take on blackened death was unique and impressive, and though the website was deemed a complete failure and ultimately collapsed into obscurity, I never lost interest in Crow Black Sky. Years passed, proper whore websites rose to power, and albums came and went, all without so much as some light clucking from the promising act. My tiny, blackened heart-thing spent many long nights petitioning a Crow-less sky, lifting its skinny metaphoric fists like antennas to Jørn and praying for the call of the bird. Eventually my hope went the way of common sense, gone and pretty much forgotten. So it goes, yo. Then on January 17, 2018, Jørn sent me a miracle.” Well, he is the Crow King.

Mad God – Tales of a Sightless City [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Mad God – Tales of a Sightless City [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“Due to either time constraints, tight deadlines, or this wonderful thing we all call life, I do miss an album or two to review in time. South Africa’s Mad God make a worthy addition to the year’s crop of doom with their self-released debut, Tales of a Sightless City.” God is mad, look sorry.