Black metal is often categorized by the region in which it was created. Different pockets of the world will often produce insular black metal scenes, and each of these communities will have their own unique sound, wildly different from that of another locale’s particular flavour. For example, we all know what classic frostbitten Norwegian black metal sounds like, we can easily pick out the aggressive riffing of early USBM, and at this point I can point of a Slavonic black metal band by smell alone. But can anyone describe to me what Kenyan black metal sounds like?
Most likely not, since black metal is only just starting to take hold in the country; mostly due to the efforts of Nelecc. One of the first (or perhaps even the very first) atmospheric black metal bands from the country to make waves internationally, Nelecc first caught my attention with two excellent singles posted to Bandcamp. I was at first reminded of bands such as Lustre and Shadowland, but crossed with the Legend of Zelda soundtrack. This is excellent music to take with you on a hike into parts unknown.
Now, I have the honour of premiering the band’s lead single from their first full-length release, The Stars. “Forest of Gloom” is a nine minute composition that demonstrates a deft hand at crafting rich, immersive atmosphere. The song has gorgeous symphonic elements, multiple interludes and even features clean vocals. While Kenyan black metal might still be an emerging scene, if there are mosre artists out there with the same talent that Nelecc has displayed here, perhaps we’re witnessing the start of another vibrant metal community, not unlike the Icelandic and Portugese black metal scenes that have been blowing up lately. Either way, “Forest of Gloom” is a provocative taste of what is to come, and if you like what you hear, you can preorder The Stars from Nelecc’s Bandcamp page here. The song can be streamed in full below.