Arka’n Asrafokor – Dzikkuh

Arka’n Asrafokor – Dzikkuh
Atomic Fire Records
Release Date: 21/06/2024
Running Time: 45:32 
Review by: Chris Galea
8/10

Arka’n Asrafokor are from the former French colony of Togo, a relatively small country on the West coast of Africa. Debut album “Zã Keli”, released in 2019, was like a breath of fresh air. It incorporated Metal, traditional Togolese music, Raggae and more besides. On the strength of that album, the band ventured outside Togo for the first time and secured a record deal with Atomic Fire. Enter “Dzikkuh”.

For “Dzikkuh” Arka’n Asrafokor are still looking close to home for musical inspiration. The album fuses Nu-Metal and Groovy Thrash with traditional West African folklore. To be quite honest I’m not very partial to Nu-Metal but Arka’n Asrafokor have such a unique way of putting it across that you can’t help being captivated by the music. Even the lyrics use what I assume to be a native language of Togo… besides English. 

I sensed a genuine passion in the delivery of this music. ‘Not Getting in Line’, for instance, contains some fierce vocals and slick guitar runs. ‘The Calling’, which closes the album, feels slightly different… there seems to be less fury and more introspection. ‘Mamade’, on the other hand, kicks off with some haunting vocals which, together with some great percussion parts, provide some contrast for the heavier parts of the song. Really a great track. Hot on its heels is ‘Asrafo’, a multilingual song with mellow parts, blastbeat fury, rap and tempo changes…all melding together seamlessly. The fact that the band has a hand percussionist in the official line-up reflects the intention of Arka’n Asrafokor to keep the Togolese element, which is very much rhythm-based, in their music.

On a couple of occasions the songwriting stumbles a little bit and I felt that the tone of the rhythm guitar was jarring. But by and large this is an impressive album that pushes the boundaries of Metal just when you thought that that was not possible.

Intriguing and warmly recommended.

Arka’n Asrafokor – Live 2022:

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Truth
02. Not Getting in Line
03. Walk With US
04. Angry God of Earth
05. Mamade
06. Asrafo
07. Final Tournament
08. Still Believe
09. Home
10. The Calling

LINE-UP:
Rock Ahavi – Guitars, lead vocals
Enrico Ahavi – Keyboards, harsh & rap vocals
Francis Amevo – Bass
Mass Aholou – Percussion
Richard Siko – Drums

LINKS:

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