Jul 152011

We’ve run a couple of features in the past about Metal From South Africa and have made some awesome discoveries. We’re waaaaaay late running the third installment of that series, but I’m still on the road in work-drone mode for my day job, and that’s slowing down everything I’d planned to do, including that next installment on SA metal.

But, I do have an update about one of the bands featured previously: Durban’s Contrast the Water. When we wrote about them before (at this location), they were working on completion of their sophomore album and had posted two songs from it for free download. Now, the album (Perseverance) is complete and scheduled for release in August — and the band has decided to put all the songs from the album up on YouTube.

As a selfish fan, I like that strategy — making it easy for people to listen to the album and share individual songs, which is exactly what I’m about to do.  I haven’t yet listened to the entire album. What I did was jump to the last track first, because I’m used to doing things ass-backwards at least half the time (and the rest of the time, I’m ass-forwards).

Track 10 is called “Fallen”, and man, it surprised the hell out of me. It pulls you in right from the start with a hell of a groove and an explosion of jittery riffage — and then it starts changing in some unexpected and fantastic ways. I fucken love the song. Check it out after the jump, and then we’ll give you a link for the rest of the songs. When I get a bit more time, I’m diving into the rest of Perseverance. Continue reading »

May 212011

About five weeks ago we posted a feature on three South African metal bands whose music we’d recently discovered and liked quite a lot: All Forlorn, A Walk With the Wicked, and Bile of Man. Amazingly, it seems that U.S. metal blogs have been neglecting the scene in that country, because our post generated a lot of hits and a bunch of thank-you’s from SouthAfrican metalheads for, y’know, just paying attention. It also generated an avalanche of recommendations, via e-mail as well as comments on that post, about other South African bands that we ought to check out.

So, we decided to do a follow-up post — and we received so many recommendations that we’ll probably make this into a trilogy as soon as I can get my lazy ass in gear to do the next one. How did we pick the next group of bands for Part 2 of this feature? Well, we pretty much let the enthusiasm of our recommenders make the decision for us, because it’s not like we’re experts on the SA scene. Let’s be real — we live in fucking Seattle, which is approximately 10,200 miles from Cape Town (the country’s legislative capital). There must be cities farther away from SA than Seattle, but there sure aren’t many.

Based on the enthusiasm quotient of our recommendations, we’re focusing today on Theatre Runs Red, Contrast the Water, and Pledge Defiance. We picked those names without having heard the music, which is what we do for our MISCELLANY posts, and just as we do for those posts, I listened to a song or two from each band and then recorded my first impressions, while giving you a chance to listen for yourselves and make up your own minds. So dive in with us after the jump and give yourself a chance to make some new discoveries from the world of SA Metal. As it happens, all three of these bands are working on albums that should see release sometime later this year. Continue reading »