Cape Town, South Africa: the ground trembles with threats of a new onslaught of metal here. Since its subtle live soft launch late last year, Rhakshah has upped the ante a few notches with a single release, a stage appearance at SummerFest’18, and is soon to release a video.
Rhakshah: fresh take, old faces
The first thing to catch our attention – once we’d got over the awesome stage make-up – is the bands composition. Rhakshah is a bone fide Cape Town Metal super group, all save for its vocalist; who, mind you, is not exactly a stranger to the microphone, stage or the public eye either.
On guitars, the band consists of an indelible duo with Justin Ross (formerly from Wargrave) and Arno Van Zyl (formerly from The Broken Result, currently also with Crimson House). The rhythm section thunders to the pulse set by Thariq Taladia (formerly with The Alpha Sequence & The Fallen Prophets, currently also with Creating The Godform) on bass and Jonathan Burgers (formerly with A Price On The King’s Head & Fuera, currently also in Thread Of Omen) on drums.
Leading the onslaught on vocals is a charismatic Nathan McClure. We’ve seen this face and personality across cities as MC at shows, and occasionally guest vocalist for a song here and there with various bands. Nathan feels that his time has come to assert his own artistic contribution to Metal in South Africa. At face value, so far, he has not failed to impress. Speaking of “face value”, we asked him to explain his dual appearance on stage:
“It represents the two sides of my personality as a frontman and as a person. These two sides are more often than not, conflicted. You’ll find that the lyrics usually convey somewhat of an internal battle of wills. Some would say I’m having a conversation with myself and quite frankly, they wouldn’t be wrong.” ~ Nathan McClure
To try and escape our Demons, or to wear them on the left hand side of our faces?
Nathan goes on to describe the aesthetic as being inspired by DC Marvel character Harvey Dent (aka: Two-Face).
“I feel it fits perfectly with my chaotic, fluctuating style of vocal. Theatrics are important to me, as I feel it fleshes out the depth of the music; however, I feel there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. If I were to send a message to the Rhakshah audience or impact them in any sort of way using theatrics, I had to ensure it was done with 150% full commitment. At the end of the day, we all have our demons. I like to wear mine on the left hand side of my face.” ~ Nathan McClure
On the matter of theatrics and adding a layer or two of depth to live entertainment experiences, the band seems to have a specific sense of dress. Actually, they look pretty smart! It’s a bit weird for the style of genre, but Nathan explains:
“Often, when you see metalheads in the corporate world slaving on a 9-to-5, you find that their attire in the workplace would be rather smart or smart casual. When you see them at a show it’s like the opposite side of the coin. Completely different. Untamed. Undone. Uncensored. The real individual! We represent that unhealthy transition; why not wear both sides at once? Show the world what you’re forced to be and what you truly are.” ~ Nathan McClure
Addressing the monologue within, by dragging it into the open
Of course, Rhakshah is boldly putting voice to internalized monologues we’re all familiar with at some stage in our lives or the other. We extended the conversation to another band member to see how it all ties in across the spectrum of individuals within the expressive unit.
“Joining the band much later in its development provided me with the unique experience of interpreting it in my own way. At first I was confused and intrigued by what was being created here. Eventually I came to experience a journey to self discovery and re-evaluation of society as a whole; both within the lyrics and the music. A topic we as a band feel is important to the common problems we are faced with daily, whether it be personally or collectively.” ~ Thariq Taladia
If any Capetonians failed to find themselves acquainted with Rhakshah at SummerFest’18, fear not! Another opportunity presents itself this weekend at ROAR as Rhakshah joins fellow metallers The Fallen Prophets, Thread Of Omen and Holo. The cause is a noble one as the bands unite to raise funds to send The Fallen Prophets to appear at Rockstadt metal festival in Romania later in 2018. For full event details, visit the official facebook event page.
For readers beyond the reach of a live show, you need also not fear! The Rhakshah video snippet previewed in this article is merely a taste of what will be delivered by Juiced Robot in due course. We’ll let you know when this is out.
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