Thursday, February 4, 2010
All I can remember about Neshamah was that they were in contact with one of my old bands when they were just getting started. I was super young. They were from Cape Town, South Africa, which is one of the traits of them that helped pushed them immediately to the top of the ladder of the Christian hardcore scene in the early 2000's, temporarily at least. They went from releasing their first record on their own, to be featured internationally (even on Goodlife Recordings), to releasing an ep with Ohio's very own Angry Son Records, to being a part of a split ep on Blood & Ink Records with Kentucky's Rapture of the Meek, to finally releasing their final full length with South Africa's Witch Doctor Records. I saw them play at Cornerstone, liked what I heard then, but I really only got into their first, and self released, full length record titled The Grass Withers and Its Flower Falls. This shit was really good, I thought, and had some crucial heavy parts, but I didn't think very much of their later stuff. The band's old, and now out-of-date, self-run website is still up here. Remember when bands had actual websites rather than just a MySpace page? Speaking of MySpace, Neshamah's MySpace page remains online. The page includes an in-depth look at Neshamah that may be better than myself attempting to write any sort of summary of the band's short career. So, here's the bio:
"Neshamah is Matt Hoyle: vocals Ryan van Rensburg: vocals Jen Roomes: Bass Justin Kruger: drums Russel Aitkenhead : guitar Having been around for more than just a few years, with a massive local, national and international following, Cape based hardcore band Neshamah is showing no signs of slowing down. Their dynamic blend of rock n roll and metal influenced hardcore, their explosive performances and constant touring, and their dedication to the local scene have earned them not only a dedicated fan base, but also extensive media support, their website www.neshamah.com receives between 60 000 – 80 000 hits per month. Neshamah have toured internationally with Norma Jean, Stretch Armstrong and The Culprits, and have also played internationally with bands such as: The Hope Conspiracy, The AKA’s, Figure Four, The Deal, Underoath, Seventh Star, No Innocent Victim, xDisciplex AD, Point of Recognition, Nourish the Flame, Every Time I Die, Thursday, This Day Forward, With Honour, Mortification, xLooking Forwardx, Shattered Realm, Zao, locally they have played with such acts as The Narrow, They have also toured and played locally with to many great South African bands mention. 2001 2001 saw the release of Neshamah’s first full-length cd “The grass withers and its flower falls”. Self funded and released independtly, it managed to hook up both national and international distribution, and was voted into the top 10 releases of 2001 on 5fms Barney Simons national radio show “The night zoo” as well as being selected for cd of the month on Belgium’s Goodlife Recordings (August 2001). Songs from the cd also managed to find their way into numerous local and international compilations. Having played many festivals in South Africa and completing a national tour, Neshamah received an invitation to play at the popular Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell IL (USA). Neshamah rocked a pre fest show with awesome bands such as No Innocent Victim, Figure Four, and Underoath (to about 950 people) and then opened for Luti-Kriss (now norma jean) to a 5000 strong crowd. This resulted in media attention for the band while in the States, including reviews/interviews in local zines and magazines and radio interviews on American Stations. The year also saw Neshamah appearing on various national TV programmes, including playing live to the entire nation on a popular breakfast show and being involved with articles in countless magazines. 2002 From the hard work in 2001 Neshamah sealed a record deal to release an EP on Angryson records an Indy label from Ohio (USA). The EP was released to rave reviews in many local, national and international print and web zines. Effective national and international distribution of the EP helped Neshamah further consolidate their hold on the American hardcore underground. Playing loads of local and national festivals again, Neshamah’s following locally, nationally and internationally continued to grow. 2003 This year was another great year for Neshamah, in February they signed a deal with with hardcore label Blood & Ink Records, a label based in Richmond, Virginia (USA), for a split EP release with label mates Rapture of the Meek (from Kentucky). Neshamah recorded their 6-song contribution to the EP in March that year, and the Ep was released in June, shortly before Neshamah embarked on their second USA tour. Once again exposure was gained through effective distribution and promotion of the release. Neshamah left for the USA. This time round it was a solid month’s worth of touring – including 14 different states. They kicked off by playing with fellow Blood & Ink artists The Culprits, along the way playing with Nourish the Flame, Shattered Realm, Figure Four, xlooking forwardx, and featured on the Blood & Ink showcase festival, once again playing cornerstone festival,(this time on the Rock for Life stage) to an awesome crowd, thereafter hitting the road for 3 weeks with Stretch Armstrong and Norma Jean. Captivating stateside audiences with their live performances and powerful music. American Hardcore fans were pleasantly surprised at level of hardcore to emerge from South Africa. In August Neshamah returned victorious to play 5 explosive shows to local fans on the X-tour. 2004 This year Neshamah are releasing their new full length, “communicating in heartbeats” on South African based record label witchdoctor records with looking at an international licensing deal with a label to release the new cd in the USA and Europe. At home they have already this year toured the country, played fests etc. recorded their new cd in June, been in numerous zines and magazines this year, they also won the award in blunt magazine (a south african music/skate magazine) for best heavy act of 2004, already plans to tour in support of the new cd are in the works as well as tour over to Europe and the states next year… Neshamah are a hard working band and a band to be taken seriously. www.neshamah.com"
The Grass Withers and Its Flower Falls (2001)
In My Heart (2002 - Angry Son Records)
Communicating in Heartbeats (2004 - Witch Doctor Records)