I’ve been writing an irregular series on South African metal, relying largely on recommendations from South African metalheads to pick the bands. So far, I’ve managed three installments covering 9 bands. I’ve made some very nice discoveries, and I do plan to do a fourth installment sometime soon.
Architecture of Aggression were one of the widely recommended bands who were the subject of the third installment (here). Formed by two brothers, Van Zyl and Anton Alberts, they’ve been in existence for 16 years, creating their first demo album (Under Destruction) in 1997. That was followed by another demo album in 1998 (self-titled), a further demo in 2000 (Cruci-fiction), a 2004 EP (Manifest Destiny), and two albums: Democracy: Consent to Domination (2006) and Acts of God – 4000 Years of Phallusy (2009), the last of which is the album I sampled for the third installment of the SA metal series. To crib from what I wrote about AOA previously:
As for the music, think of a heavily armored tank propelled by a couple of jet engines. It’s massive and bone-grinding, but at the same time it flies. The riffing is technical and varied, the rubbery bass is bounding, the un-triggered drums are crushing, and on top of all that you get a variety of agile guitar solos that sometimes sound downright jazzy.
This is complex, technically demanding, and amazingly inventive death metal. Think of Necrophagist, Autopsy, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Hate Eternal, but with avant-garde bursts of instrumental extravagance, and you’ll begin to get a sense of what AOA is all about.
With that background, here’s the reason for today’s post: AOA has uploaded their EP and two full-length albums to the Bandcamp platform, at this location: https://architectureofaggression1.bandcamp.com. (more after the jump, including song streams . . .)
All the music is available for streaming and for download in high-quality formats. The downloads also include the album cover art plus the CD booklets, which include additional art and lyrics. For the amount of killer music you get, the price is ridiculously reasonable — $3 per album. What I mean by the amount of music? Well, Democracy: Consent to Domination is a 12-track album that’s more than 70 minutes in length, and Acts of God – 4000 Years of Phallusy gives you 13 tracks clocking in at more than an hour.
Instead of just embedding the Bandcamp players here, with 31 tracks for you to choose from as a way of testing the music, I wrote Van Zyl Alberts and asked him what he would recommend. He suggested one of the following — “Paedophage” or “The Covenant” from Acts of God, or “God Kill” (their most popular live song) from Manifest Destiny, or “Enslaved” from Democracy: Consent to Domination. Having listened to all four of these, I decided to stream all of them. Life is full of difficult choices already, so why add another one to the list? Hope you dig this music as much as I do — you now know where to find it if you do.