Saturday, February 29, 2020

Skinflint - "Iklwa" [2010]

Artist: Skinflint
Title: Iklwa
Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: Botswana
Release date: 2010

Track List:
  1. Intro
  2. Iron Pierced King
  3. Mbube the Great
  4. Burning the Soul with Diesel
  5. Iklwa
  6. The Fallen
  7. Profit Making Funeral
  8. When You Die, You Die!
  9. Army of the Dead (Bonus)
  10. Gauna (Live)
Botswana is a relatively developed and stable country (by African measures, that is) bordering South Africa, known for its significant metal scene (probably the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa after SAR, even if it isn't saying much since most SSA countries don't have any metal bands at all) with a pecular love for cowboy stage outfits. The first rock bands appeared in Botswana during the 70s, and the first Botswanian metal band most likely was Metal Orizon, formed in 1990. I personally found out about metal scene in Botswana in late 2000s after stumbling upon a death metal band from there (if memory serves, it was Crackdust), but it was hard to find any further information about such an obscure scene back then.

Out of all metal bands from Botswana, Skinflint is one of the best known ones internationally, yet most of their albums are quite hard to find. So far I have listened only to their sophomore release "Iklwa", and judging from the reviews, it's not their best work, but it turned out to better than I expected. Essentially, it's somewhat repetitive heavy metal / hard rock with galloping riffs, clearly influenced by Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath yet having enough "African" flavour to it. The lyrics are most based on African mythology and were intended to be scary, but in the end turning out to be funny like a bad horror movie. All in all, I should agree with the critics that "Iklwa" would be a weak album if it was released by an European band in 2010, but considering the place of its release, it has the same appeal that poorly recorded yet honest classic metal albums from early 1980s. Get it here.

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