When a music outfit assimilates a non-universal tongue, it’s easy to only enjoy the music just for the sake of that, without appreciating the lyrics for what they would be worth.

Indeed Najisikia Kuua Tena is enjoyable –  one of a kind. It is metalcore that incorporates and encapsulates slam! To my liking. The breakdowns are so slamtastic you would be forgiven to think this a slam band, minus the technical drum-work on the skins that most slam bands effuse. There are gurgles that rekindle Extermination Dismemberment and Devour the Unborn while the riffs have some thrashy tendencies and licks at points. Just how Bullet for My Valentine infuse a little thrash sweeps to their musical structure. Though they are a little developed here, I would like to hear more of that in the future. Sometimes they have been assembled to be accompanied by cymbal-work which to my ears are a tad unpolished.

The Use of Kenyan Slang in Lyricism

But would a band using an informal language turn you off? A la sheng in Irony Destroyed? – This is amusing since “sheng” is disregarded by either of its parents as not good enough; mainly English and Swahili. Metal is a different kind of breed. Well, the heavier sub-genres that incorporates dark vocals at least. With language, the professionalism of it is left at the door. We are not talking about native tongues. Only the level of professionalism in delivery – gurgles, growls, shrieks… – and instrumentalism is what matters. Not stuff you’d find in a serious sung-vocals band, or adult contemporary music. However, I do not intend to downplay the seriousness of guys like Irony – this being but a comparison of how language can impact a band’s music.

Blood Curdling Track Samples

In this single the quartet tackle an aspect of abuse of power frequently encountered in this country – extra judicial killings. What I do not get from a mid-track snippet is whether the cop in question encourages the executions captured lyrically, or whether the snippet is used for effect to express the officer’s lack of remorse . As the slam-influenced breakdowns carry on the last quarter of the track to closure, a long gurgle is issued. For one, I loved the vocal range variations that rear their tone-shifting head again at this point. Whether it’s some powerful lungs letting out the final gurgle for some ten seconds, or it’s studio magic at play, that I’ll let you decide.

 

Reviewed by The Mad Mane Machine

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