It’s always great to hear something uniquely African in any genre. Being able to immediately identify where a piece of music is from has a certain charm to it, and such is the case with the self-titled debut album from Zimbabwean metal band Dividing The Element.
Blending some traditional metal elements with African flavours and percussion, a few leaves from Metallica’s book (both musically and vocally), and a healthy dose of melody in between the riffs, the band have served up an offering ready to satisfy those craving some good old chugging, lead guitar solos, and frantic drumming.
The band differentiate themselves by being the first in the world to have the majority of the songs on the album written and sung in Shona, which is pulled off in an impressive and seamless way. This could be seen as a barrier for some, especially those who focus primarily on lyrics when digesting music, but this shouldn’t deter you from checking out what Dividing The Element have created with their debut outing. It’s worth your time.
The production is impressive, especially given that it was handled independently and recorded in the band’s garage studio, although the vocals do stand out a little harshly in the mix at times. Standout moments include the percussive drumming and memorable vocal lines of ‘Mibvunzo’, and ‘Mhandu’ which features rapped sections by T.shoC – the two styles blend very well and create a diverse headbanger of a track.
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Listen to the album below.