unleash your inner rebel with brazil’s black pantera
Since their first singles, Brazilian metal trio Black Pantera has cemented themselves as one of the most vital heavy groups out there. With outspoken social criticism and fiery sound that bridges the gap between punk and metal, the short of it is: if you’re not listening to Black Pantera, why even bother having ears?
Their latest single is a blistering anthem of defiance destined to become an AFROPUNK staple. “Punk Rock Nigga Roll” was timed to release with their appearance at this weekend’s AFROPUNK fest in Brooklyn, and it’s the perfect encapsulation of what they do. It’s explosive, inventive, and it’s as much as a celebration as it is a call to rebel.
shatter those eardrums, courtesy of punk/hip-hop pioneers game rebellion’s ferocious ‘a decade of disaster (2002 – 2012)’
When Game Rebellion burst onto the scene in 2002, they were a necessary antidote to the tedium of nu metal. By the time they parted ways in 2012, they were still frustratingly ahead of their time. Over the past 6 years since their split though, something happened: music caught up.
Released last week, A Decade of Disaster is less a greatest hits album than it is an introductory course. The band opens with “Trapped,” about as clear a distillation of their sound as possible. It’s fiery, ferocious, and tight as fuck. They launch immediately into the Beethoven-riffing “Lights Out.” It grows from haunting to a little goofy to eardrum-shattering in seconds. This was a band that took genre-smashing to its most logical extremes years before the trend took over.
Game Rebellion goes for maximum variety on A Decade of Disaster, mixing in R&B “Laydown,” dub nods “Maria,” and even a little dubstep bass wobble on “GTFO.” Their best cuts close out the album. “Save Me” and “Sun” finds the band firing on all cylinders. “Save Me”‘s mix of classic punk and heavy social criticism could have been released last week (I guess technically it was).
It’s a sad aftershock of how quickly things can change in the age of the internet, that few of the albums Game Rebellion pulls from on A Decade of Disaster are easily available. Luckily the band is clear to mark it as “Part I.” Stay tuned for Part II. And in the meantime, check out this classic blistering video of them performing “Sun” back at the 2008 AFROPUNK Fest.
unleash your fury with trap metal revolutionary scarlxrd’s explosive ‘dxxm’
Behind a veil of distortion, guitars crashing against 808 drums, SCARLXRD calls what he does “trap metal,” but to me it just sounds like the future of heavy music. His last record, the galvanizing LXRDSZN transformed the energy of a radical protest into pure fire. While his latest, DXXM turns down the protest clips, it retains every decibel of fury. DXXM is one of the most uncompromising heavy records ever made by an artist who sounds like no-one else on Earth.
Anchored by tracks like “BXILING PXINT,” and “HELL IS XN EARTH,” SCARLXRD delivers throat-searing raps over blistering thrash riffs. You can play this shit on the lowest volume and it’s still loud. It’s the sound of tearing shit down; it’s the sound of revolution.
DXXM, like LXRDSZN tend to be strongest when SCARLXRD leans into his industrial tendencies. On the punishing “we waste time FADED,” he contorts his voice above a wall of noise delivering the kind of song that Al Jourgensen only dreams about. “a BRAINDEAD civilisatixn” gives a brief respite from the full throttle screaming just to casually toss off that yeah, SCARLXRD’s got bars. While album highlight “BURNS” condenses his sound into 2 minutes of raw destructive power. If you can listen to that song without smashing oppressive systems and running screaming into the street, I don’t know if you’re listening to the right song. That track is an atom bomb.
DXXM is out now. And stream LXRDSZN via Soundcloud:
Picture via Instagram/artist selfie
premiere: be haunted by metal trio vodun’s afrofuturist video for “spirits past”
Everything about UK metal trio Vodun is larger than life, so of course the video for their latest single “Spirits Past” isn’t a video so much as it’s a short film. Directed by Noomi Spook, the video finds a young woman in a sci-fi world subjected to experiments and tests. Intercut with footage of the band rocking the everloving fuck out, she calls out to her ancestors for strength and overcomes her captors.
Noomi Spooks’ Afrofuturist visuals contrasts and plays with Vodun’s imagery, creating something that’s literally timeless; simultaneously ancient and futuristic. Vodun has been consistently raising the bar since exploding out with “Oya,” and with “Spirits Past,” they’ve created their most ambitious statement yet.
Singer Chantal Brown calls the song “a war cry.” She explains, “The song was written by recognising similarities in previous historical global events and our own current state of affairs, and gaining an understanding of what our ancestors did to battle such prejudices. This current feeling of deja vu pushes us to draw upon the strength and tenacity of all peoples, their lives and spirits, who have already laid the foundations for the fight, and the advancement of equality within every corner of civilisation.”
Vodun’s new record ASCEND drops September 7th. You can pre-order it here and get an instant download of the ‘SPIRITS PAST’ single.
premiere: fishbone’s angelo moore tears it up on the latest from funk supergroup the big ol’ nasty getdown “creatures of habit”
Since day one, funk collective The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown has specialized in pulling together the best of the best from the world of funk, soul and R&B. This time around, they’ve added a little funk metal and ska punk into the mix with collaborations from Vernon Reid of Living Colour and Fishbone legends Angelo Moore, Norwood Fisher, and Dirty Walt. Reportedly their forthcoming Volume 2 started by getting all the members together at a cabin in Asheville, NC for a week to jam and just see what happens. And what happened is epic. “Creatures of Habit” rides that chemistry pairing Angelo Moore with some preposterous Vernon Reid shredding and a massive horn section. It’s exactly the kind of jam you need to start your year right.
metal prodigies unlocking the truth go industrial on their massive new single “my chains”
One of the great joys of the scene over the past year has been charting the evolution of Unlocking The Truth. From the kids blowing minds at the AFROPUNK Battle of the Bands on instruments bigger than them and a sound even bigger to playing sold out tours. Their latest single “My Chains” takes the trajectory they’ve been on and makes a sharp turn left without dropping a beat.
Clearly someone’s been dusting off their copy of Living Colours criminally under-appreciated Stain, as the industrial-metal announces itself early. A clicky beat is met with a synth line that somehow splits the difference between a trap riff and NIN. It’s a full minute of buildup before the song announces itself into full on metal riffage. Then Malcolm Brickhouse’s vocals kick in, sounding more melodic than he ever has, but still packing a serious punch. Some older fans might get alienated by the move to industrial-metal, but “My Chains” keeps Unlocking the Truth moving forward without losing an ounce of what makes them great.
metalcore band tetrarch roar onto the scene with latest track “freak”
“LET YOUR PSYCHO LOOSE!”
The latest explosive track “Freak” from Metalcore band Tetrarch gives you the ultimate permission to wild out. Bursting into the rock scene with a sneak peak of their debut album: also titled “Freak”–set to drop September 29th–the ATL-bred/LA-based collective tempt audiences with a melodic spin on a traditional sound.
The track itself is as theatrical as it is raging, with a cadenced intro bleeding into an all-out thrash, and a roaring consistency taking the listener on a cyclone of rhythm and vocals. Audiences are left gasping for air, ready to mosh again.
The metal scene is diversifying; traveling through various ages, ethnicities, and cultures–and as the tangible influences reshape the style, the definition of a “metal band” takes a whole new meaning.
“Freak”, along with other preview track “Break the Trend“, are just the introduction this group deserves, as their modern take on metal is an imminent preview of the genre’s trajectory.
Stay tuned for Tetrarch‘s upcoming album “Freak”, and listen to their sneak peek below!
“ghettometal” rock band throwdown syndicate tackle the criminal justice system in “king of k.i.n.g.s.”
Protest music comes in many forms, and in the case of D.C.-based metal group Throwdown Syndicate and their latest single “King of K.I.N.G.S”, their igniting lyricism blends with a traditional-yet-original formula allowing them to utilize a known genre in wildly progressive ways.
The quartet–prideful of its satisfying blend of Rock, metal, and hip hop–uses their conscious lyricism to bring “complexity and depth” to the heavy metal scene. With the track itself being a musical purge reflecting the pressures of modern-day society, this 3-minute project is more than entertainment, it’s a call to action.
In their own words: “It’s about normal, hard-working everyday people who are caught between the criminals that prey on them and the system that’s almost worse than the crime.”
This type of music always gets you hype, but with “King of K.I.N.G.S”‘s tantalizing riffs and activating message, your ears will be left ringing, but so will your spirit.
Check out Throwdown Syndicate‘s powerful new track below!
video: ice-t fronted metal band body count questions violence and victimhood in gory video for “here i go again”
In one of the darkest videos Body Count has put out to-date, Ice-T plays a man who wakes up in a bloody scene, trying to put together the pieces of his recent crimes before finally turning on himself.
Follow Body Count: Website
metal band divide and dissolve fights colonialism and white supremacy on their massive debut “basic” #soundcheck
By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK contributor
When they describe themselves this way, you know you’re in for something good: “Divide And Dissolve are a heavy two-piece utilising drums, guitar saxophone & live efx music designed to decolonize & dismantle white supremacy.” BASIC is the kind of bone-rattling music capable of shaking the entire world to its core. Deep-tuned guitars battle with tidal drums on cuts with names like “BLACK SUPREMACY” and “BLACK RESISTANCE.” When moments of beauty appear, as on the surprising sax solo in “BLACK POWER,” it’s breathtaking. By the album’s last track, when poet Minori Sanchiz-Fung shows up to deliver the album’s first and only vocal line, the band shows their depth. This is a band that can be just as loud with the distortion turned off, while wind swirls behind them. There’s power in their music, sure, but there’s more in the ideas.
Contact and Follow Divide And Dissolve: Email | Instagram | Soundcloud