An unfortunately popular myth is that Rock music, such as Metal or HardRock, is un-African, a genre for white people in which Africans are under represented. This myth needs to be debunked.
The African continent has birthed several diverse and thriving rock scenes throughout the years, from Zamrock to Nigerian psychedelic rock. One of the most overlooked is the African (heavy) metal scene.
Header image: Edward Banchs is the author of Heavy Metal Africa: Life, Passion and Heavy Metal in the Forgotten Continent (Word Association, 2016) and Scream for Me Africa: Heavy Metal Identities in Post-Colonial Africa (Intellect, 2022).
What draws them to this music, known for its screeching vocals, distorted guitars and nasty drum and bass rhythms, he adds, is that “metal bands are quick to hold a mirror right back to society — and [listeners] are responsive to the raw, human emotion.”
While many African metal bands are heavily influenced by these early pioneers — they put their own spin on the music, writing lyrics that call for social justice and celebrate African heritage and traditions.
Un-African? Absolutely not…