Flashblack Friday: Voice of Destruction – Black Cathedral

Any self-respecting and dedicated South African metalhead would know that there is at least one band who can rightfully claim the title of the ‘godfathers of local metal’: Voice Of Destruction. Birthed in 1986, the band had highly talented musicians and ambition, and a wholly punk, ‘fuck you’, attitude! They gained international notoriety through underground press and in their heyday of the 90s did a tour to Europe and relocated shortly afterwards to the UK. They have since very sadly disbanded, but a 2009 reunion tour was met with great fanfare and delight.

The featured song “Black Cathedral” was recorded for a demo of the same name in 1992 and even reached number one on the Swedish Metal charts in 1994. It starts out with melancholic and atmospheric clean guitar picking, not unlike Metallica‘s “Fade To Black”, and even Iced Earth‘s sombre track from 1996, “I Died For You” springs to mind. It then erupts into their trademark thrashy, fast paced riffing. Before the destructive, death metal styled vocals even hit, the various influences in the band is evident – with catchy, yet hard riffs, blasting drums and great noodly bass lines. The vocals, well, what more can I say – it’s Voice Of Destruction, folks. There are progressive parts, slow and somber passages, and frantic verses all deliciously mashed up in an old-school serving of badass. It tails off with a recap of the intro passage, accompanied with a devilish howl from vocalist Francois Blom and a true thrash metal crescendo ending. This is truly a great piece of South African metal heritage – one from which the nu-
generation can learn a thing or 666.