Band Of the Week: Arcana XXII


Seems we have ventured into the grave digging business here. We’re fiddling with a corpse of a band and we are doing so for genuinely good reason too… we can’t remember the reason but still, honest here, it’s a good reason. We cant reveal how a band becomes band of the week here but trust us, it’s a rigorous process which involves math and statistics and other courses you hated back when you were at the university. If you’re still dealing with these courses then… hahaha at you.

ARCANA XXII is our band of the week this week. I kinda forced the guys here to listen to them cos well, they’re awesome. I mean, why won’t a purely Heavy Metal band be one? I mean, they aren’t all Heavy Metal, they’ve dabbled in Gothic Metal themes a couple of times too, so they were dynamic like that.

For me what really made these guys stand our  was how they decided to do Heavy Metal in a country which had virtually 0 interesting in the genre. They were like:

“FUCK THE NORM, we wanna grow our hair long and crank the tubes all the way to 12 and absolutely destroy eardrums.”

Such persistence on doing what you love has to be commended. And they aren’t forgotten, starting off in the year 1997, they inspired a generation to do Metal in southwest Africa. No joke there. An influential band too. Other bands in that region cite them as their influence. C’mon, if that happens to your band then you know you’ve hit the big boy leagues. You know what, now I’m thinking of this here; They may have influenced the rise of the Windhoek Metal Festival in Namibia, Metal flourishes there so why not have a freaking festival solely for Metal?!!

A key component of Arcana XXII is (not surprisingly) is the way Johanna Smith changes the tone of his voice, freaky stuff really. And it worked well with their Gothic themed lyrics too. He left the band though and was replaced by a new vocalist, Willie Grobler. To be honest, the band seemed to have a heavier influence from Gothic Metal than Heavy Metal, it’s all in the lyrics and the freaking band name too, you think Arcana, you think tarot cards, and it fits perfectly… (O. J. Simson reference coming your way in 3, 2, 1…) like a glove.


Now if I’m to make suggestions here folks, I’d say the album to try out for this band here has to be This Burning Darkness. I honestly get that tingling sensation at my back when I play this. With songs like Ramses, Breathing in Me and Like a God you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re ‘digging’ up other works from these guys.

Honestly, so much can be said of these guys, they did it all. I know the article started off with taking a dig at them, calling them corpse and all but I hope I’m wrong really, I hope they’re back as a band. I honestly won’t be embarrassed if I find out the next second the band still exist. So far all evidence points to “naaaaaah bruh, they are as dead as a door nail.” Gosh I pray I’m wrong.

How sad.


Temet nosce. Author of the book: The Complication, Grim. Speed/Thrash Metal enthusiast. Guitarist. #CFC. Sub-serial AudioInferno podcaster. Habitual fire starter, local troublemaker, I’m BATMAN (nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, nana, BATMAN!!!!!!!!)

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