Arcana XXII (1997-2005): a Heavy Metal band from Windhoek, Khomas, Namibia.
rcana XXII was formed in May 1997 with the intent of spreading the heavy metal gospel in a country where music styles like kwaito, rap, and traditional reign supreme. From the outset, the bands' mix of heavy guitars, dramatic vocals and melodic song writing was well received by the local music. Due to the very small circle of "Metalheads" in this southwest African country, their audience consisted of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Especially in the capital Windhoek and the coastal town of Walvis Bay.
After numerous gigs in Namibia, favorable press coverage, and successful stints with South African bands, the album Fallen From Grace with the membership of Sven Heussen (guitars), Johan de Jager (guitars), Johann Smit (vocals), Robert Scott (bass) and Arved Staby (session drums) was released in 1999. It was the first ever heavy metal album recorded by Namibian musicians.
In November of 2000 their second CD, Barren Land, arrived more for promotional purposes than any other with Sigi Mueller now on bass and David West on drums.
After a visit at the 2001 Wacken Festival in Germany, the band hit the studio again on Namibia's Independence Day (March 21) to record the third official release, This Burning Darkness (2002) with Thomas Hoffmann now on drums. Aided once again by Burton Reid of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation the album was recorded live in approximately 20 hours. The result was their best offering to date in terms of musicianship, song writing and sound. Their next album, Your Fatal Embrace (2003), followed before Hartmut Wenk assumed drums, and Willie Grobler took over vocals. This new membership change would not last long for the band split-up in 2005, citing "a severe lack of qualified musicians in Namibia". Heussen and Grobler would soon later form the band Submission. The compilation Return to the Darkland followed posthumously in 2011.
Dashboard for Arcana XXII