South African Metal

Ophiuchi – Bifurcaria Bifurcata Review

Ophiuchi – Bifurcaria Bifurcata Review

“I’m about as fluent in South African metal bands as I am in French. And that’s a goddamn shame (the SA band thing, not the French thing). But, even for my limited knowledge of SA scene, I’m happy to say I spend a lot of time with a couple of good ones (Vulvodynia and Wildernessking). So, when I received a promo from a little known South African outfit (from our own SA native, Madam X), I was more than a little excited. Especially when I hit ‘play.'” This springbok has sharp horns ov iron.

Vulvodynia – Psychosadistic Design Review

Vulvodynia – Psychosadistic Design Review

“Back in high school, metal fans, me ashamedly included, compared our chosen genre to classical in its proficiency and complexity, and laughed at the other “dumb” genres for their lack of “intelligent” lyrics and themes. What intolerable pricks were we. I can confidently say that, had I been in that woefully immature mindset currently, I would not have enjoyed anything about Vulvodynia. Their second full-length Psychosadistic Design is everything the intelligent pretentious types love to hate: it’s loud, it’s obnoxious, it’s hilariously over-the-top in its lyrical effrontery, and it chugs more than someone getting perpetually annihilated at beer pong. And honestly, I haven’t had this much fun with slamming brutal death metal in years.” Slam the torpedoes, full chug ahead!

Wildernessking – Mystical Future [Vinyl Review]

Wildernessking – Mystical Future [Vinyl Review]

South Africa’s Wildernessking is an atmospheric black metal band that has undergone a maturation before our very eyes. Starting as Heathens the band played an immediate (and still excellent) form of black n’ roll. The early material was reminiscent of Enslaved, but lacked the Norwegians’ progressive punch. The writing was concise and to the point, and the word “atmospheric” would never have crossed my keyboard in those days—until the release of the track “Morning” in 2011. In 2012, under the new moniker Wildernessking, these South African ex-heathens released The Writing of Gods in the Sand, which unfurled their sound into expansive, atmospheric territory. The record had a production that helped the band’s music to balance between a raw, heavy black metal feel and their growing interest for more airy writing. Mystical Future progresses Wildernessking‘s journey, taking steps further away from the intensity and riff-driven black metal, toward a more expansive, atmospheric sound.

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Retrocide Review

Zombies Ate My Girlfriend – Retrocide Review

“I never got into the modern zombie craze. Maybe I just had too much of it when I was younger: in high school I played the Gamecube Resident Evil reboots with religious fervor and watched more George A. Romero movies than was probably healthy…thus, you can imagine my sentiments when assigned a promo from a South African band called Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. Not only is that moniker absolutely terrible, it blatantly panders to a trend that was stale two years ago – a trend that I never gave a shit about in the first place. However, as I learned with Calm Hatchery, a bad moniker doesn’t always equate to bad music.” Terrible name, terrible cover, but it’s the music that counts, you elitist snobs!

A Walk with the Wicked – Architects of Sadism Review

A Walk with the Wicked – Architects of Sadism Review

Old school death metal is making a comeback around the world and apparently South Africa is no exception to this rule. In fact, as I’ve already referenced, South Africa is an up-and-coming scene that seems to have little cohesive sound but still has a lot of talent in it. Because of that, whenever you get a demo from one of these bands it’s always a surprise, and this was an old school death metal surprise that came out in the form of A Walk with the Wicked’s debut disc Architects of Sadism. It was also a pleasant surprise, at that.

Crow Black Sky – Pantheion Review

Crow Black Sky – Pantheion Review

One of the things that people have been lamenting about the dawn of the Internet and how it will affect the future of music is that localized scenes no longer get localized sounds, and Crow Black Sky is definitely an example of this. Or more specifically, the South African metal scene seems to be a great example of this. See, Crow Black Sky is a melodic death metal band, whereas the other two bands that I’ve heard from South Africa (Heathens and A Walk with the Wicked) are black metal/black n’ roll and old school death metal. Due to access to music and information worldwide, it sorta kills that homogenization effect that gigging together, hanging out together and shopping at the same record store seemed to cause. Is it possible that the black metal scene from Oregon is the last cohesive scene we’re going to ever see? Well, that’s not actually relevant to this review. What is relevant to this review is that despite (or because of) the lack of homogeneity in the South African scene every single one of these bands that I’ve heard has been really very good. Crow Black Sky being no exception.

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

Heathens – Oh, Mock the Heavens and Let the Heathens Sing Review

The bread and butter of a heavy metal is the unsigned band. If you are patient enough to dig through piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles and piles of shit, you will find the prototypes of up and coming bands. Bands in their infancy, but who are producing something that is heretofore unheard of. Or maybe they’ll just be doing something old remarkably well. Or maybe it’s a blending of the two, successfully putting together a sound that few have heard and being super kick ass at the derivative stuff. In any case, what I’m trying to say here is this; you’re bound to find a band that stands out after enough time reviewing underground stuff. However, knowing where to look is a bitch. So when I was directed to the South African black metal band Heathens by Lord Doom, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like the material or not. Fortunately, Lord Doom is a man of impeccable taste.