Harare, Zimbabwe: for a time, other African nations suspected that a void existed in the troubled nation of Zimbabwe; a void in which no such thing as Heavy Metal could be found. Incorrect! In 2015, we found ourselves introduced to Dividing The Element from Harare and since then, the lid seems to have finally come off.
Another Harare act recently released its debut track ‘Drowning’, by hard Rock and metal crossover band Acid Tears.
Drowning: the death before rebirth
Acid Tears was formed in 2014 by Vengai Ota, George Ota and Billy Ngwira. A band member tells us how the journey has been a struggle from the start, but armed with a burning passion within, the project has gained momentum.
“Acid Tears started out as friends who had a passion for metal music but were deprived of seeing local live rock music. We decided to actually do something about it and start a band. We didn’t know if any other rock/metal bands existed in the country, as we had never heard any local rock on the radio.” ~ Vengai ‘Boyroc’ Ota (vocals/bass, Acid Tears)
Vengai explains how he and the others borrowed instruments to learn on and simply made the most of it; practicing whenever they could. Opportunities to perform were scarce and the band met some resistance in its earliest stages.
“Our decision to do rock didn’t go so well with our parents as they called it satanic; some of the metal cds we had were broken but that didn’t stop us.” ~ Vengai ‘Boyroc’ Ota
New friends, new hope, and the path to ‘Drowning’
Things took a turn for the better as Acid Tears‘ social circles increased to include characters like Chris Van (Dividing The Element) and Edward Banchs (Author, Heavy Metal Africa). Vengai speaks of the peer-to-peer knowledge shared with another locally situated rock/metal musician as well as the motivation received from abroad; even having Acid Tears‘ photo published in the Metal Hammer magazine.
“”That’s when our journey really started ’cause that’s when we realised that we are not alone. The road has been rough, but we’re glad we finally have a track out.” ~ Vengai ‘Boyroc’ Ota