The end of the year is upon us and we are asking you the AudioInferno.com reader to crown your best metal album of 2015 in the 1st Annual AudioInferno African Rock Music Awards. Talking about the music and I think that’s what we are here to talk about, 2015 was a good year for African Metal. That comes as no surprise though. The genre has enjoyed a long period of continued forward movement and revitalization over the years. We are beginning to see new generation metal bands delivering their début albums and more impressively, being recognized for that work. Some of Africa’s biggest metal bands released awesome albums this year making 2015 a stellar year for African Metal. In whatever style you like your metal, be it classical and traditional, core, black, death, doom, folk, sludge or be it a fusion of any of the metal sub-genres, 2015 definitely pleased African metal-heads.
After much deliberation, this year’s nominees for Best Metal Album have been whittled down to these 6 albums cutting across various sub-genres.
A Defective Incarnation by Frostagrath
Frostagrath is a Black metal band from Egypt, with a bit of an atmospheric style. Frostagrath is a one man project, and with this new album has added new taste of music and new style of musical fusion. A Defective Incarnation is their third full-length album. With this album, it’s apparent that Frostagrath was more harsh and aggressive though the somewhat atmospheric style still have their brilliant touches and the lyrics are as brilliant as ever. Black metal riffs collides head on with ambient arrangements and the unique vocals of Lord Mist.
Retrocide by Zombies Ate My Girlfriend
Zombies Ate My Girlfriend are a Melodic Death Metal band from Cape Town, South Africa. Retrocide is their début full-length album. On this album, there is plenty of Melodeath riffs, but there’s more variety, too. On the surface, the album sounds like an exercise in brutality, but a closer listen will reveal the intricacies of the band’s music, especially the frenzied drumming elevating Retrocide to new heights in the genre. Zombies Ate My Girlfriend have a love for opening with squealing, crawl-up-the-fret board leads paired with rhythms, best showcased in the song “Retrocide.” The vocalist Gavin Marchbank, adds to the craziness, his throaty screams, leaving no doubts about his versatility.
Barriers by Poverty of Ideals
Poverty of Ideals are a three-piece Progressive Metal band from Johannesburg. Barriers is their début album and it is a stellar record at that. It’s loaded with catchy melodic riffs and breakdowns that would make your brain bleed. From listening to Barriers, you can tell it has a metallic jazz feel to it. I have to credit the band’s composition abilities which is clear in the beautiful interludes contained in the album. They chose not to follow the path of fast paced guitar play which further showcases their composition capabilities. The production and the packaging of the album is just beautiful, even the album artwork is enough to convince you that these guys know their onions. I can bet that these guys will go places and definitely win laurels in their chosen style of music.
JAHR by Enraged
Enraged is one of the most successful Heavy Metal bands to come out of Egypt. Enraged releases their second full-length record which is a sequel to their début album, Jeremiad. Enraged’s aim on JAHR was to craft an all-encompassing album that felt like a traditional mass from beginning to end. While all the black metal and ambient aspects of their music are still in full-effect, cavernous death metal elements meld with the familiar sounds to create a sinister and caustic atmosphere. When the band isn’t blasting away, they conjure up dissonant rhythms that sway back and forth like a fresh corpse. If anyone ever asks what black metal is, just play “Mirrors” and sit back with crossed arms and a frozen stare.
The Mountain Star by The Drift
The Drift are a South African Metal band. They released their second full length offering The Mountain Star this year. With the release of The Mountain Star, the band has continued to impress me, the album displays pace, aggression and the band’s emotion, though it has some slower paced doom elements with melodic instrumentation. All in all, the album is beautiful.
Desecrated Deeds To Desease by Overthrust
Overthrust are a Death Metal band from Botswana and ‘Desecrated Deeds To Decease’ is their début album. They are not signed to any record label at the moment. With their chosen style of music, they sound like an advanced Metal band that can easily get the attention of stray music lovers and turn them into metal-heads. This album is just dark and wonderful. I love how African this is. Overthrust know how to integrate African traditional music into their songs and it shows advancement.
Which album deserves the crown of best Metal album? You decide and vote! Be sure to give all these bands a listen and discover some new music for your Metal collection. Let’s support our local rock bands! For more on the awards, you are already at the right place but if you’re still unsure, go here.
(Note: All picture credits go to the bands and their photographers. AudioInferno doesn’t take credit for pictures of the bands performing or their logos. Full credit is given to the individual bands and the photographers [named or unnamed] responsible for the pictures.)