Friday, April 29, 2011

Atlas of Metal: Algeria

Metal bands in Africa are few and far between. And in Muslim states, they're just as rare.

Algeria, a very large country in northern Africa, happens to have 21 bands listed in Metal Archives. That's quite a few for being outside the normal metal sphere. Possibly, this is because of their former French rule, large size, and being situated on the Mediterranean.

Arkan is an Oriental metal band created by Algerians in France. Whether they're expats or merely descended from immigrants I'm not sure, but their music is extremely good stuff. The closest analog I can think of is Orphaned Land, but I think I like this better, as their death metal influence is much stronger. They had a new album that came out just last week, so check them out.

Litham is credited as being the first Algerian metal band ever to release an album, back in 1999. They play an unusual style of Oriental metal which seems closer to black metal. It's pretty far removed from Melechesh in the following (kind of cheesy) video, but they also have other stuff on Youtube worth listening to. It seems promising, but their status is unknown. Their web site doesn't work, and they haven't logged into their MySpace since 2006, so I'm guessing they're a done deal.

Carnavage is a grindcore band with some death metal elements. I'm no expert on the genre, so you'll have to decide for yourself on this one.

Finally, Devast is a brutal death metal band. They have a trebly sound for the genre, and the guitars play in a blackened style quite a bit. It's not bad, but probably not something I'd go out of my way to listen to.

1 comment:

  1. Huh, I would have guessed that Algeria would have like 2 or 3 metal bands and that's it.