(TheBRHM.com) We dipped a toe into Caribbean metal and had a brief look at Lord Ifrit—or Ohene Ifrit—and his different projects and involvement in bands. One band we breezed past was his most recent project Broken Messiah.
If you’ve heard his material in Orisha Shakpana—and if you haven’t, give it a listen on YouTube—then this will be a departure from that sound. Actually, this band’s demo would be the best introduction to his work.
It’s a stripped-down version of his main project. The lyrical content is mainly about metal and evil with a folklore opener. I’m not too familiar with the belief systems throughout the Caribbean and listening to his main project takes a bit of research.
Then again, some of the best music teaches the listener something. Let’s dive into the project and it’s first demo.
Ohene Ifrit’s Broken Messiah the Project
Instead of the more adapted sound and approach of second wave black metal bands, Ifrit embraced the first wave. This wave included acts such as Venom, Sarcofago, Hellhammer, Sabbat, and Sodom to list a few.
These bands would influence the second wave the world over. It’s always important to know what came from who at least for context’s sake. In the case Broken Messiah, those early black metal inspirations can be heard in multiple ways.
While still a fast-paced barrage of evil, metal, and life the vocals are cleaner and the production is better in that all of the instruments are balanced. This isn’t an improvement in production from the technical aspect.
The production of Orisha Shakpana and a lot of black metal that goes for that raw, unpolished, and gritty sound and vibe in their music do so intentionally. That’s the sound and atmosphere they want for the listener.
That includes some magic with the mixing so that it sounds as if this music is being played in a dungeon, cave, the woods, and abandoned church—whatever. The demo is a generation before that sound where atmosphere was present in recordings but not the focus.
One of my favorite bands Darkthrone went in reverse from black metal to crust punk to speed metal and so on.
And it worked each time. It lit a fire in them or something. I couldn’t explain the mindset but it was the right path musically. That mid-2000s to late-2010s period made me a fan of their music.
Here’s hoping we see the same with Ohene Ifrit because this demo is it. I don’t like to compare albums as “This album is this band’s (album from a more known band)” but this is very much Lord Ifrit’s F.O.A.D from Darkthrone.
Demo #1 was recorded between 2012 and 2013 but released in 2017. It’s available on the band’s Bandcamp page and features four songs but it’s a short listen but really most demos are.
Actually, anything running longer is pretty much an EP or full-length regardless of production quality. Here are the tracks:
-Black Witch of Beauty
-Blood on my Sneakers
-Sl** in the Bathroom
-Leather Jacket Knights
What we have here is some speedy as hell metal without being sonic-fast. Shaking hands with the speed metal here is black metal. It makes its presence known and accompanies the music very well.
The songs themselves are very on the nose with the title telling you what kind of party it’s going to be. “Slut** in the Bathroom” is as it says on the box. “Leather Jacket Knights” hits like an anthem without being overly “anthemic” like Judas Priest’s “Ram It Down”.
My favorite song on the demo is the opener “Black Witch of Beauty” tells the story behind Nyabingi, a belief movement and the central figure of said movement. What works for me here in the folklore approach to the lyrics along with this sound.
While there is length to the songs, they don’t “feel” like long songs. I’d actually drop a minute from all but the first song and that’s how they feel.
These tracks move so fast that the demo is an aggressive but smooth listen. There’s enough atmosphere here to not totally impact the music. If you’re used to crispy production, this might take a bit of an adjustment.
Actually, if you’re able to get an ear for this sound, a lot of thrash metal will be a breeze to entertain. That’s an article for another time.
Standout Tracks: Black Witch of Beauty, Leather Jacket Knights
Head over to Bandcamp and check it out and support the band if you enjoy it. Ohene Ifrit was really on to something in demo. Here’s hoping that he’s still working on material for another release or even a full-length.
Often when songs on a demo are revisited, it’s something of a different song. Tempos, tone, and mixing can all impact a song for better or worse. I’m interested is hearing what is done with these songs and what other ones he’s cooking up.
Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Also, if you’re in or know of an all-Black rock or metal band or a project with Black members, let us know about them.
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Staff Writer; James Swift, Jr.
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.