Cape Town, South Africa: some eighteen months ago, South Africa’s League Of Doom presented itself to the public with a something of a ‘manifesto’ to gradually transform the local music scene to become more inclusive of the sounds of Doom Metal and other guises of the genre. The introduction included a fairly extensive interview with chief instigators, Justin Bedford and Malcolm Burger (also members of various bands), discussing the history of the genre in South Africa; and more importantly, it’s current trajectory and plans to bolster it in the foreseeable future. Today we revisit the topic in review to map it’s journey and progress thus far, plus are told about a grand scheme for the ultimate live tribute at the end of the year.
At the time of our previous chat, the organization had hosted two ‘listening evenings’ known as the Symphonaire Infernus series and which included live music components – tributes to the greats within the genre – and were preparing to up the ante with more such events, and to expand the reach of the genre.
“The growth so far has been nominal, but evident and satisfactory so far” ~ Malcolm Burger (co-organizer, The League Of Doom)
The pair describe three events hosted since then, including branching out to other venues in the neighbourhood, as well as adopting a slightly different theme and focus for each event.
“There was a considerable number of new faces at our 2015 December event at ‘Hectic On Hope’, and then our follow-up in April of 2016 was geared more towards the psych-rock and traditional side of the genre. Our last one in December 2016 saw a different pitch where we teamed up with the ‘Gothic Resurrection’ to visit the darker stuff which was a great marriage of events.” ~ Justin Bedford (co-organizer, The League Of Doom)
Whilst the operation has become something of an annual fixture – particularly with the December shows’ focus – which can now be relied upon, the LOD feels that once again it is time to look at new plans. The pair talk about more upcoming subsidiary social events, and again showcasing different aspects of the sub-genres from way-point to way-point, and this time also expanding the geographical footprint and building hype towards December as an annual “grand finale”.
“Our previous events were focused very centrally in Cape Town and Observatory. We’d like to explore taking it to a venue in the Northern Suburbs soon, and perhaps also further South too as you never know if you’re missing people who would be interested by just staying in one place.” ~ Justin Bedford
Three projects for 2017 are on the cards. The first will include another first for the LOD team as they take the first step towards a more national movement. The organization plans to host a Johannesburg-based band in Cape Town with a local act towards late August. Shortly thereafter, towards the end of September, the band Gramlich, old fans, and new interest will be convened for a 20-year live reunion!
However, for the flagship December 2017 event, the LOD is putting heads together for what they’re babbling about as the mother of all tribute. This time the focus in it’s entirety will be on the works of legendary UK band My Dying Bride, and cite the reason as being that this band seems to be something of a key denominator of the genre. Of course, this is not without great challenges.
“We’d like to extend an invitation to vocalists who think that they can pull off a convincing rendition of Aaron Stainthorpe. We’re not necessarily looking for a copy of his style and voice, but we’re interested in anybody who thinks they can capture the feeling of the songs as effectively as the originals.” ~ Malcolm Burger
Any aspirant members of the public are invited to contact the League Of Doom immediately via their facebook page. The band wishes to assemble for early auditions by early May month, and to consolidate a number of vocalists for various songs by the end of June so that rehearsals throughout the following months can be scheduled. Justin and Malcolm regard this as a wonderful way to reach out to the community and to potentially uncover new talent.
“We were all so surprised by our friend Matthew Miller at an earlier Symphonaire Infernus when he volunteered to do a Type O Negative song. None of us had any idea before then that he could – or was even interested – to sing. Now he’s the vocalist for Subvers.” ~ Malcolm Burger
We’ve promised to keep up to date with more news on these event dates as information becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage vocalists to explore their boundaries into the macabre and to contact the League Of Doom.