Voice of Destruction - _Bloedrivier_
(ENT Entertainment, 2006)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
This is the tenth anniversary re-release of Voice of Destruction's debut and swansong _Bloedrivier_, originally released by German label Morbid Records and now re-released locally for the first time in their native South Africa. _Bloedrivier_ arrives with an obligatory new cover and a video for "Needledive". The inlay states that this is Part I of the VoD archives, and in the absence of any other full-lengths, it seems that the demos will receive a re-release in the near future.

VoD were instrumental in the emergence of a metal scene in South Africa in the late Eighties and early Nineties. Much of the album's material is derived from re-written and re-recorded demo songs, resulting in an album with some excellent moments, but also possessing its fair share of lacklustre songs.

The dominant sound appears to be doom-tinged heavy metal. Small surprise that the brief, noisy and hardcore influenced "JMSP" stands out like the proverbial sore thumb. It is the only song sung primarily in Afrikaans, but the repeated shouts of "jou ma se poes" (literally, "your mother's cunt") hardly endears me to this number. It may have worked well at the end of a live show and may even have been acceptable as a bonus number tacked at the end, but its location midway through the album disturbs the flow. As a break from the prevailing doom numbers, a couple of acoustic ├ętudes are far more effective and maintain the requisite atmosphere. Another song resurrected from the demo days is "Goodbye", which initially started life as "The Bye-Bye Song". The new title is presumably an attempt to give it a more sombre makeover, but remains too upbeat for what is essentially a suicide note set to music. Not all the songs from the demo days are horrible or out of place; "Doom" has been recovered from instrumental status to a -proper- song with the addition of some lyrics. Alongside "A Beast Is Born" and "If I Had a Soul Pt III", it deserves to be a part of metal classic canon from the southern tip of Africa.

VoD were a band that should have been but never were, a band that broke up before they had a chance of realising their full potential. Although the musical skills of their constituent members were not to be wasted (vocalist Francois Blom formed Kobus!, later joined by drummer Paul Blom, and released a stunning album earlier this year), another VoD album never came to be, and demos aside, this flawed album is a solitary testament to their legacy.

Contact: http://www.flamedrop.co.za

(article published 7/10/2007)

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