Interview with Africa black metal giant guitarist, Rock Thipe of Raven in Flesh as he prepares to perform in INFERNAL RITES II.

Introduction

Infernal Rites II is just around the corner, November 25 & 26. Featuring two black metal bands, Raven in Flesh and Demogoroth Satanum from South Africa, it is perhaps a bit atypical for a Botswana metal gig. Though everyone aware of African metal knows of the Botswana metal scene, Botswana isn’t exactly known for producing many black metal bands. We were able to reach Raven in Flesh and ask them a few questions about their music, Infernal Rites, and the state of black metal in Botswana.

ENJOY THE INTERVIEW WITH ROCK THIPE OF RAVEN IN FLESH

Audioinferno: How did you come to play the Infernal Rites II?

Raven in Flesh:

We organized the First Infernal Rites mini-gig at Malotwana (Botswana) on the 20th of June 2017 and we were the only band that played on that gig. After Three months we decided to return to the ritual ground of Malotwana for another Black Metal attack. We didn’t know what to call the gig. But as ideas from the band and the Management kept on coming in, we decided that since we played Malotwana before and we shall be returning for the second time then lets call it INFERNAL RITES II. The next Black Metal gig at Malotwana shall be Infernal rites III, the count shall go.
So we thought since we have dedicated Infernal Rites to be a Black Metal Ceremony then we should invite our Infernal Brothers Demogoroth Satanum from South Africa, and we did that. And yes its official, we shall turn the ritual ground of Malotwana (near Mochudi) into the river of Blood with our Black Metal brothers on the 25 November 2017.

Audioinferno: Tell me how the band was formed. Botswana is known for metal, but not as a hotbed of black metal bands.

Raven in Flesh:

Three Botswana Metal brothers pursuing their studies in different Universities of Malaysia met by coincidence in a pub in a foreign land (Malaysia). It was in 2010 when we started playing music instruments, playing cover songs of our favorite Metal bands. Mokhonyo Kablay was on drums, Sam DanRock on Rhythm guitars and Rock Thipe on Lead guitars. We attended Metal gigs together and explored different Metal scenes which indeed strengthened our brotherhood. After we graduated from our Universities, we came back home (Botswana) with the quest to form an extreme Metal band but none of us did the vocals. In 2015 Mokhonyo Kablay met an infernal human who presented his vocal work that he recorded for his solo projects to him. He was Presto Billyo. On November 2015, he was invited by the band to come and present his musical visions since he showed the interest of joining us. He had almost the same vision as we did. He presented some of his vocal work, which were authentic, radical, unconventional, controversial and mind numbing to the reserved. He got welcome to the band. We had Dawg Thrust (Overthrust Guitarist) playing bass for us, and Raven In Flesh was his side project. We started the process of writing our own songs and we found our own sound path in Black Metal. Our innovation and creativity inspired by what life has to offer to humanity, mostly sadness, anger, death, hate, agony, passion, love, vengeance, cruelty, chaos, doom, as well as the quest to explore darkness fueled us to infuse our own sounds that was never heard in the Botswana Metal Scene, a genre we coined and themed Tswanian Black Metal to describe ourselves. We played our first gig as a complete five piece band in 2016 at Overthrust Wintermetal Mania. The crowd was very positive and shocked at the same time about our set-list. More invitations to play gigs opened for us. The line-up changed and we ended up being a four piece band with Bobby Black replacing the temporary bassist Dawg Thrust, and Sam DanRock quitting the band. Bobby Black was a Raven In Flesh graphics designer and the choice of replacing the former bassist with him wasn’t a difficult one since he spent most of his time with the band. He have so far played three shows with us and he found himself a second home with Raven In Flesh. We have been through difficult times and the only thing that keep us going is being true to ourselves, our craft, and our believes. The support we are getting from our underground Metal scene is very inspirational and it shall keep us going till the end.

Audioinferno: Which bands would you say most influence your sound?

Raven in Flesh:

We cannot specifically point out bands since every member of the band have got his own taste of music which is more of Old-school Rock/Metal Music. When different ideas about crafting our music get fused together, that magic becomes an inspiration on its own and it does drives the aspirations of creating and sticking to our own Metal sound, the Tswanian Black Metal sound that we are known for. Our focus is not on dwelling much more on being influenced by others. We are sticking to our own guns.

Audioinferno: Are there any other black metal bands in Botswana we don’t know about, or are you the sole black metal band representing Botswana?

Raven in Flesh:

We are currently the only Black Metal band that this country has ever had, but our mission is to spread the Black Metal seed and expand the Legion.

Audioinferno: As Botswana doesn’t have a huge black metal scene, you obviously share the stage with heavy metal and death metal bands for gigs and fests. How are you received? Do the fans get into the music as much as they do the other genres, despite the lack of black metal bands in Bots?

Raven in Flesh:

When we started this band, we were determined to do our own thing without paying attention to people’s perspectives about us. We were to remain very authentic and not to impress the mass and be the victims of stolen lives. Fortunately we found that there are plenty of people in our underground Metal scene who have always been true to the Metal Faith regardless of the sub-genres, and our music won their hearts. These people buy the band Merchandise, they follow the band around for gigs, and they are a very strong legion that keeps us going.

Audioinferno: Which fests and gigs have you played thus far?

Raven in Flesh:

We have played a total number of 15 gigs in Botswana.

 

EVENTSDATEVENUE
METAL GRINDER31th October 2015Gaborone Civic Center
WINTER METAL-MANIA 727 & 28 May 2016Ghanzi
Overthrust Farewell to Germany30 July 2016Tlokweng (Eros Wonder Park)
ROCK THE NATION FESTIVAL23 & 24 September 2016Serowe (Masama)
OVERTHRUST GERMANY WELCOME BACK GIG8 October 2016Gaborone (Molapo Crossing)
ROCKCEMBER3 December 2016Gaborone (Bull & Bush)
JAMMING WITH JAZZ BANDS18 February 2017Lobatse
HELLRAIZER25 February 2017Francistown
MARCH OF THE GODS25 March 2017Gaborone Civic Center
HELLRAIZER28 April 2017Letlhakane
HELLRAIZER29 April 2017Maun
WINTER METAL-MANIA 8 26 & 27 May 2017 Ghanzi26 & 27 May 2017Ghanzi
INFERNA RITES I
(Organized by Raven In Flesh)
10 June 2017Malotwana
JAM FOR BRUNCHBojanala Waterfront (Gaborone)
ROCK THE NATION FESTIVAL (RTN 7)22 & 23 September 2017Palapye

Audioinferno: Do you have plans to record an EP, album, or demo soon?

Raven in Flesh:

We have plans to make a record next year.

Audioinferno: What are some of the future plans for Raven in Flesh otherwise? Do you plan to gig beyond Botswana’s borders and spread your music worldwide?

Raven in Flesh:

Right now we are so concerned with making a Raven In Flesh record. But if an opportunity comes for us to cross the borders and spread our unholy Black Metal hymns then we are always armed for the Mayhem.

Raven in Flesh is definitely a band to keep your eye on. They produce quality music and have gigged consistently since their inception, while on track to become the first recorded black metal band in Botswana. Their brand of raw black/death metal is sure to capture the attention of metalheads abroad, including elitists.

 

Support your local metal bands \m/

Tim Salter

I'm a huge supporter of the African metal/rock scene. My interest began with Wrust, Crackdust, and the Botswana scene. Then the Angolan scene caught my attention. Now I want to spread knowledge of the scene worldwide and spread metal in Africa to areas it has not yet reached. Every country in the world needs a metal/rock scene! I have a doom metal project called Doomcast, featuring Victor of Uganda's Vale of Amonition on vocals.

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