Kobus! - Swaarmetaal

2007-05-28 16:30
Francois Breytenbach Blom (of VOD) and Theo Crous (of the Nude Girls) have concocted a brutal and rebellious record that should show most younger metal bands a thing or two. It looks like these guys plan on growing old disgracefully, but that's the way we like it, right?

If you've ever dreamt of hearing an Afrikaans Motorhead with a wicked sense of humour, then Kobus! Is the band for you. If you have ever dreamt of hearing a good South African metal band, then Kobus! is the band for you. They kick ass live, and they have finally captured that raw energy on their third full length album.

Not to say that "Swaarmetaal" will get much radioplay. It is a pretty rough album, and refreshingly free of horrible turntablisms, sappy emo whining, and anything approaching band wagon hopping. It is this honesty that makes them so likeable, and ensures they stand out above the mass of SA copycat metal bands swamping the landscape. They're not the pinnacle of originality to be sure - there are clear nods towards Motorhead, Slayer, and most of the metal greats - but even when they're thrashing out over an all to familiar riff though, their character comes through clearly. The downside to "Swaarmetaal" is that about half of the songs sound rather samey, in the vein of album opener "Honger" and the single "Witman". They all charge along at full tilt, with meaty guitar, and Francoise's gruff sermonizing, but they lack anything to distinguish them from one another. .

The good news is that there are a number of standout tracks on the album, like the blasting "Witman", the shout-along "Huigelaar", and "Kinderhel", which has a touch of the slower more atmospheric side of Rammstein. The production is great as far as thrash metal goes, with thick chunky guitars, heavy non triggered drums, and a dry vocal sound. In fact, their production compares favorably with many overseas releases in this style, and blows most SA metal CDs out of the water.

The problem with writing a review like this is deciding whether to compare Kobus! to their local, or international competition. They're suitably old school and should appeal to a wide range of metalheads, but at the same time, the Afrikaans vocals provides a whole added context, especially in the light of the darkly humorous songs about anger and alienation.

“Swaarmetaal” is ultimately a breath of fresh air in SA metal, even though it has a familiar sound. It has energy, rage, and humour, and is free of all the pretence and wanna-be stylings of the majority of the SA scene. If you’re feeling patriotic, crack open a Black Label, chow down on some biltong, and give this a spin.

- Ivan Sadler
The Afrikaans monsters of metal return with CD number 3, and they are sounding angrier than ever.

Marthinus 2007/05/29 10:18
Revolutionary Blender Metal K.O.B.U.S! is nothing short of revolutionary on Swaar Metaal. One can't compare them to Mötorhead or Slayer, as K.O.B.U.S! use different aspects of metal that influence them and come to the fore in their songs, like industrial black metal ("Kinderhel"), thrash metal ("Swaar Metaal"), speed metal ("Tienerangs"), doom metal ("Amen") and just plain old school metal ("Doodstraf"), to name a few. They combine all these styles to create a fresh origional sound, which is rare in metal bands today. "Tienerangs" and "Huigelaar" are brilliant examples of their diversity as a band. One term which we can use to describe their unique style of music is "Blender Metal". Raw vocals, fast-paced drums, intense riffing, shredding solo's and anthem choruses. . . Rock on K.O.B.U.S! \m/
Charl 2007/05/29 18:49
Lank mag ons lewe as die VOLK VAN MAIN Blom and Crous are awesome, KOBUS! is, indeed, the best Afrikaans band in the galaxy. Listening to KOBUS! will put a beat in your heart, a smile on your face and may even cure some narrow minded preconceptions about Afrikaans music.
Ger 2007/05/29 22:46
Excellento! 4/5 A 3/5 rating is a little too middle-of-the-road in my opinion. This album rocks out! They themselves said Swaar Metaal was to be sonically more linear than their previous two, but if you think the songs sound samey, Ivan, you don't know your Metal ;-[
Herman 2007/05/30 09:40
MAIN When I got the new album I wasn't that impressed, every song sounded the same wara wara... I wasn't the metal head I was a few years ago. but then it grew on me... On itunes Swaar Metaal is on top of my "Played Most" list with 1113 (10 songs) plays. That just shows you how Frekin Main Kobus! is... If you don't like the new album go listen to it some more. The lyrics, music and production get my 5/5
Jeanette vd Spuy 2007/06/01 23:50
The Distinguishing Element I just wanted to point out to the reviewer that the factor distinguishing the songs he thought sounded the same, is Blom's brilliant lyrics. His commentary on varied topicsrazor are sharp and he displays an acute sense of observation. All this combined with a meaty metal voice.
Kilhra 2007/07/22 11:15
Kobus! = THE BEST "The downside to "Swaarmetaal" is that about half of the songs sound rather samey, in the vein of album opener "Honger" and the single "Witman". They all charge along at full tilt, with meaty guitar, and Francoise's gruff sermonizing, but they lack anything to distinguish them from one another. ." When I first listened to this album this was my reaction as well, but the more I listen to it, the more I realise that the songs isn't as alike as I thought. Each has it's own character. Kobus! is the only music I listen to at the moment...they're the BEST MAIN
Gerhard Bester 2007/11/24 05:30
First too different then too samey. Kilrah mentions his opinion that half the songs sound kind of the same. Well thats 99% of bands in the world! When KOBUS brought out their first two way out, experimental albums some people was of the opinion that it's too 'not-samey' because of all the different styles and moods... and now people complain when they give their new album a uniform sound, just as, as i've said, 99% of all the bands in the world.
jarryd west 2008/09/02 14:55
Kobus drumming Kobus drumming kicks ass! i know 'cos i have seen this dude solo, holy cow the things he can do on the drums! hoe het gese dat boere kan nie die drom speel nie?
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