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African Death from North to South: Scarab, In Oath and The Overmind


African MaskIt may surprise more than a few of you good people to learn how many African countries boast top-quality metal bands. Limiting ourselves to just one genre, the ever-popular death metal, let’s take a short journey from the northern end to the southernmost country of my home continent, with a halfway stop for lunch in equatorial Africa.

Thus our itinerary is mid-morning tea in Egypt, a lunchtime barbecue in Kenya and an afternoon beer or six in South Africa. At these events we’ll say hello to truly world-class bands. I’m not going to say much about each band. Let them tell us who and what they are.

 

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Middle Eastern Magic: Sand Aura – The Sand Aura


For me, Sand Aura puts in all the elements that I love most in prog metal – fire, passion, extraordinary musical variety, excellent and deep clean and dark vocals, changes of tempo, almost operatic passages in counterpoint to powerful driving melodies, and that delicious flavour of Middle Eastern spice. Listening to an album by this band is good excercise for the skin, too – all those goosebumps increase its flexibility.

The band is from Egypt. I love them for more than their fantastic music. They are admirable musical ambassadors. In describing the concept behind their music, they say: “We are all humans, and [we believe in] the unification of all cultures, religions and historical backgrounds of the new age’s concept.”

You’ll find Sand Aura on Facebook. Get to know them better. They’re more than worth it. They may be at the other end of my continent but they make me extra-proud to be African.