So today’s matches in Pool B will go a long way to determine the final 4 teams for the knockout stages. All 4 teams have something to play for, even Zimbabwe who technically can still qualify for 4th spot whilst a victory for Ireland will see them leapfrog the West Indies and overtake Pakistan, if Pakistan lose to South Africa. Meanwhile a victory over S.A. will see Pakistan go into 2nd place behind arch-rivals India. So what will happen? Who will emerge victorious on this day of destiny games? Why am I doing cricket analysis in the opening paragraph? Are my meds kicking in or wearing off? Ah well, cue the music……………..


Up first is guitar shredder Faraz Anwar, who has been active in the Pakistani metal/rock scene for around 15 years and has played in a variety of bands, showcasing his guitar-shred style. Unlike most shredders I’ve come across, Fanzar has a great song of melody and songwriting, most of the songs are in the hard-rock vein and he’s not just shredding for the sake of shredding.

One of the biggest surprises for me has been the discoveries I’ve made exploring the South African metal scene.  I’ve found and enjoyed Crow Black Sky, They Wither and now a symphonic black/death metal act called Gates of Aaru and their debut album, ‘In Retribution of Life and Decay’  a 28 minute solid piece of symphonic black metal with excellent songs, riffs and musicianship. Similar to Dimmu Borgir and Emperor in  places, a great find.

PREDICTION: I feel that it’s going to be South Africa’s game, which could set up a nice ‘winner-take-all-match’ when Pakistan and Ireland meet in the last game of the pool matches on March 15th. Musically, it’s another strong outing from South Africa


More black metal goodness from the Emerald Isle in the form of Slidhr (a river in Hel, in Norse mythology). Evoking mostly the OS Swedish BM style, Slidhr aren’t afraid to take a melodic approach at times and the great production brings through the atmosphere and malevolence of the songs. Another quality BM band to add to my ever growing list of albums to buy!

As previously stated in my lost post about Zimbabwe, there are no metal bands from there, so today’s act is a blast (from my past) and John Peel and Andy Kershaw favourites, the Bhundu Boys. I remember seeing them on TOGWT and The Tube and hearing them played a lot on late night Radio 1 shows (mainly Peel’s and Kershaw’s but occasionally Mark Radcliffe would chip in too.)

From Wikipedia:  The Bhundu Boys played a mixture ofchimurenga music with American rock and roll, disco, country, and pop influences. Their style became known as jit, and is quite popular across Africa with some international success, and has influenced later groups like Nehoreka and Mokoomba. British world music DJ Andy Kershaw said that at the height of their powers they were “…the single most natural, effortless, catchy pop band I’ve ever heard”; the BBC’s John Peel famously broke down in tears the first time he saw the band perform live. The name came from bhundu (meaning “Bush” or “jungle”), in reference to the young boys who used to aid the nationalist guerrilla fighters in the 1970s war against the white minority government of what was then Rhodesia. Lead singer Biggie Tembo (Biggie Rodwell Tembo Marasha) was a Bhundu boy.

PREDICTION: Ireland’s destiny is in their own hands and may only have to win 2 out of their last 3 to qualify. I can’t see them failing against a poor Zimbabwean side.

Musically, whilst the Bhundu Boys was a pleasant trip down memory lane for me, I just can’t say no to strong, intense, malevolent black metal. Ireland for the double win!



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