Arcana XXII was that most rare of bands – a metal band from Namibia. They certainly opened the gates for metal fans in that country, but I remember catching a CD during their farewell show in Cape Town, and it transformed my perception of African metal forever. They were gutsy, talented, a tad tongue-in-cheek and motivated. (Local bands take note). Spawning in 1997, the band overcame many hardships and recorded 3 albums, 2 EP’s and a remaster released last year. They were invited to play Wacken in 2001 (sadly it didn’t materialize) and eventually split in 2004.
The featured track “Mordor” is from the band’s first album (and Namibia’s first metal album) Fallen From Grace. It has Arcana XXII‘s signature raw and dark sound, coupled with melancholic melody and a blending of genres. It also ticks the “fantasy” box on the list of things most metal bands (those with a more power metal persuasion anyways) tend to sing about. The band has a plethora of material online, and there’s a track to suit any metalhead’s tastes, so go ahead, take a journey into African Metal’s past.