(TheBRHM.com) Lord Ifrit is an enigmatic artist. It’s hard to find much on him and he prefers to keep it that way. What he wants you to know about him is expressed through his music.
Ultimately, that’s what most musicians want: to express themselves through their music and for fans to know that version of them. In the 21st century, that’s just not enough for most fans and artists tend to serve their base not only via music but social media.
However, Lord Ifrit isn’t your typical artist. He’s literally shrouded in mystery.
Lord Ifrit and Evil in the Jamaican Hills
Hailing from Portmore in St. Catherine, Jamaica, Lord Ifrit is a fifth generation Obeah priest. Obeah is extremely hard to explain and Colonial period laws and views during its formative years have impacted a measured definition of the system into present day.
“System” is probably the safest way to define it as it mixes a lot such as belief, magic, and law. There are rituals and practices but they’re not part of a defined or organized system and are more individualistic in nature.
The practice of Obeah is prosecuted in some Caribbean countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. This stems from laws that have roots in colonialism where such laws were meant to ease the concerns of the white populace.
Because it is framed as illegal, it gets the “evil” tag as well when in reality it’s poorly understood. My own explanation doesn’t go deeply enough into it.
Being a Black musician from Jamaica with its dark colonial history and his background as an Obeah practitioner, Lord Ifrit is a perfect fit for black metal.
No churches needed to be burned, no one had to wear rotting clothes to get the stench of death, and no band mates needed to be killed to establish credibility or an aura of mystique around the bands or the music.
Lord Ifrit was born into it.
Duppyman Black Metal
That makes him more intriguing and extends to his music. Lord Ifrit performs in three bands: Orisha Shakapana, Conrad, and Broken Messiah. His main band, Orisha Shakapana is currently on hold with Broken Messiah being the most recent.
It is his music via the solo band Orisha Shakapana that you’ll find the best introduction to his work. The band features black metal standards such as lyrics on Hell, war, and Satan but via Jamaican culture and culture.
On top of that, he includes African folklore making for a particularly unique strain of black metal. Aesthetically, he embraces the dark perspective of Obeah for a total package.
Finding the albums for any of his bands can be difficult. Broken Messiah’s first release Demo #1 can be found on Bandcamp while some loose Orisha Shakapana tracks can be found on YouTube.
Also on YouTube is Orisha Shakapana’s 2010 full length Spectral Duppyman Black Metal. I will say that it might prove to be a daunting listen if you’ve never listened to black metal.
That said, it’s an experience with the right setting at 42 minutes and nine tracks. Expect a review of that album soon. There are some versions of “Conrad Within” by Emdeka Exuma’s Barbados-based band Conrad on the Tube as well.
The full album can be found on the Carib Metal Horde’s Bandcamp page. Both bands feature a similar direction with Broken Messiah being a bit of a departure.
In Broken Messiah, he drops the black and death metal approach of Orisha Shakapana in favor of a black metal and thrash mix—which I always felt works well for the most part.
Obviously, I don’t want to spoil it but expect a review on Demo #1 as well.
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.