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Review: Various Artists - Brutal Africa - The Heavy Metal Cowboys of Botswana
Various Artists
Brutal Africa - The Heavy Metal Cowboys of Botswana

Label: Svart Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 40:30
Tracks: 11
Genre: Various

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: November 4, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
Brutal Africa - The Heavy Metal Cowboys of Botswana

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)
Review


This is an interesting album. Years ago I saw an online article about the dudes in Botswana who wear black leather and studs and have a whole metal subculture down there. Of course, I had no idea if they were actually into metal music or were just digging the look, and when I heard there were actual bands, I was still skeptical, as what most mainstream journalists would call "metal" is likely to be groove or deathcore at best.

This is a collection put out by Svart Records that shows off samples of the work of a half-dozen different bands from the region, and their music ranges from just OK to actually pretty good. Crackdust are a pretty decent thrashy Death Metal band, with a lot of energy and some real riffs. Metal Orizen are not as good, with more groove riffing and a lot of vocal effects. Overthrust have a great name, and also a pretty good guitar sound and an almost grindy Death Metal groove. PMMA (no idea what the acronym means) are the one genuinely bad band on here, or at least this song sucks, with pop-ish sounds and awful, warbling clean vocals. Stane have a sharp guitar tone and some nice, galloping riffs, even if their songwriting is a little stiff. Wrust are probably the most pro-sounding band here, as they have a pretty good line on Vader-inspired Death Metal that would not sound out of place anywhere in the metal world.

So overall, this was way more enjoyable than I expected it to be. I was braced for some ?core bullshit, but I got a lot of perfectly good Death Metal. There are some production issues, which is hardly surprising, but overall a lot of these bands show real potential. Seems the metal cowboys really do know how to kick some ass.

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