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Global Music Column – April

Lord Spikeheart – The Adept

Over the past decade vocalist Martin Kanja, AKA Lord Spikeheart, has become a figurehead of the burgeoning Kenyan metal scene: first with frenetic speedcore group Lust of a Dying Breed, then to international acclaim as part of industrial duo Duma, cultivating a distinctive blend of guttural yawps, screeching screams and gravelly rap verses that seep menacingly through headbanging instrumentals.

The Adept is his debut solo album. Across 13 tracks barely lasting three minutes apiece, Kanja displays the breadth and depth of his vocal experience, acrobatically veering from doom-laden growls to falsetto screams, fast-paced verses and textural noise, his voice a penetrating instrument that can compete with the distorted guitars and thundering bass. It is a condensed and relentless listening experience, launching with the scattergun fuzz of warped kick drums and Kanja’s alternating screams of “yeah” and “go” on opener TYVM before speeding through the industrial techno of Rem Fodder, death-metal percussion on Acts of God and swaggering trap rhythms of Emblem Blem.

Read the review in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 19/04/24]

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