Sunday, October 03, 2010

Obscure Bands: D-Fe

D-Fe was a metal band that's unusual for at least two reasons: one, they're a black metal band (not the Mayhem kind of black metal--the Living Colour kind), and two, they had an odd sound.

Let's talk abou the first of those things. They're not 100% black, but from pictures I've seen it's about half-and-half. They are fronted by a black man, and there is also a black woman in the band (now that is unusual). I haven't been able to tell whether they're from Haiti, France, or somewhere else. Their lyrics are in French, and they tend to put French monologues at the beginning and end of songs.

On a side note, I'm not sure why it is that metal is seen as such a "white" genre. There's nothing about its values that makes it particularly white. I do see why it's considered masculine. I'm just glad to see people outside the metal stereotype embracing the genre.

On to the second factor: their unique sound. They have, thankfully, drawn on their ethnic and cultural background to come up with something new. It's been variously described as Afro-punk, hardcore, tribal death metal, extreme, roots, and urban. It combines primitive Afro-Caribbean rhythms with extreme guitars for a sound which sometimes seems like extreme nu metal, or other times like grindcore. To sum it up, I'll call it extreme avant-garde metal.

Based on their 2008 album Rwanda, my impression is that it's a worthwhile experiment into a fusion genre. The vocals are annoying at times, especially on the opener, but the music behind it is interesting. Like grindcore, it sounds best on the shorter tracks but can get tedious on the longer ones. It's tough to listen to the album all the way through, but I must give credit for originality. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

This track isn't from Rwanda, but it should give you the idea:

Now, if someone else could come up with a more refined version of this, I think they could make it really far.


  1. I always enjoy finding bands with black members in them, because they are so rare. Others include obviously God Forbid and Suffocation, Blasphemy (Canadian black metal), Znowhite (German thrash metal), Mystifier (Brazilian black metal), and Crackdust (Botswana?!).

  2. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I freaking love Suffocation. And two black guys in the band!

    Now Crackdust may have to be a band to check out. I don't think I have any bands from the entire continent of Africa (unless D-Fe is from somewhere on the continent where they speak French).