Reviewed: January 1997
Released: 1996, Independant
South Africa’s VOD is perhaps Cape Town’s best kept metal secret. From their punk beginnings in 1986 they have evolved into the metal realm since the incorporation of lead singer Francois Blom. They have yet to make a noticeable impact outside of their region, but with the release of Bloedriver it looks like they will. In September 1995 the band relocated to London England after landing a two-record contract with Morbid Records. In December ’95 they entered Academy Studios (Anathema, My Dying Bride, Cradle of Filth, early Paradise Lost, etc.). On April 13, 1996 the CD was released. The cover artwork was done by one of South Africa’s leading anti-apartheid artists, Norman Catherine.
One of the surprising things about this band is that they have been together since 1986, and have recorded several demos! This is the first that I, and perhaps you, have heard of them but I hope that it will not be the last. Their new CD on Morbid Records sounds like a perfect mix of death and melodic metal. Very few bands can achieve this sound properly, so far most bands I’ve heard that do it well are primarily European based. I’ve always liked bands with versatile singers who can sing the typical death growls but can also sing melodically when needed. Francois Blom, of VOD does just that.
Musically VOD sound like they are influenced by bands like Iron Maiden, Amorphis, and My Dying Bride for the melodic parts and heavier death bands for the aggressive parts. For those of you who can’t picture this look at it this way – Imagine Dave Murry of Iron Maiden decided to write the heaviest music of his career. If Dave played it, it would still sound like Maiden. But if he showed the boys in say Deicide it would obviously come out as something new and original.
If your interested in hearing and learning more about VOD then:
Visit their homepage at www.cs.uct.ac.za/~jbekmann/vod
Greg McEwan – guitars, Francois Blom – vocals, Diccon Harper – bass, Paul Blom – drums.
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