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Underbelly

The year 2001 saw the humble emergence of a Witbank based, nu-metal band, aptly named ‘Underbelly’. The band’s evolution into the 5-piece set that has garnered a credible fan base today, peaked in 2005 after a four-year struggle to secure like-minded musicians. The band’s perseverance paid off. Underbelly forged ahead, steadily carving a niche for themselves within the South African rock/metal scene, in which they have undeniably been embraced with what can only be described as ‘moshpit’ enthusiasm.

Underbelly embody the unexpected, musically manifesting themselves w ...read more

The year 2001 saw the humble emergence of a Witbank based, nu-metal band, aptly named ‘Underbelly’. The band’s evolution into the 5-piece set that has garnered a credible fan base today, peaked in 2005 after a four-year struggle to secure like-minded musicians. The band’s perseverance paid off. Underbelly forged ahead, steadily carving a niche for themselves within the South African rock/metal scene, in which they have undeniably been embraced with what can only be described as ‘moshpit’ enthusiasm.

Underbelly embody the unexpected, musically manifesting themselves with dynamic and somewhat disconcerting elements. Their sound often explodes original perceptions within the context of their supposed genre. Underbelly’s sound denies any exact classification. Self proclaimed as musically and lyrically contradictory, their elusive style was finally captured in the words of ex TUKS-FM DJ, Philip Davies: “Underbelly’s tone is sinister, their delivery fevered and aggressive, technically exact, their songs intricately structured and impeccably timed. Typically their compositions erupt with chugging, grinding guitars, change time signatures abruptly descend into stuttering start/top techniques and swap between moments of subdued Deftonesque menace and absolute sonic disarray”.

For Davies, Underbelly’s technicality stands out as their defining feature; their key to surpassing other acts within their genre. Technicality however, within the band’s ranks, seems to be a somewhat contentious issue. Etienne recognizes Underbelly’s technicality as a progressive element, but in the same breath, shuns the notion of technicality as the band’s definitive characteristic: “technicality is not some marketing tool”, he states, “and it’s not intended to be pretentious. The intention of our technicality is for it to be musically interesting”. Both Hendrik and Etienne acknowledge that Underbelly’s technicality may make it hard for a crowd to relate to the music at a live show. “People don’t understand our music as much as they appreciate it”, notes Hendrik, continuing, “but our album will help people find structure and understanding”.

Long overdue, Underbelly’s first full length album, ‘For a cynical science’, has finally come into existence, and with first single ‘Align’ ready for radio air-play, the album is scheduled for release late July of 2007. For the five members, the wait was well worth it. “So much work has gone into the album and the end result has definitely exceeded my expectations,” comments Louw. Paul expressed his surprise at how heavy the album sounded after its completion: “I couldn’t believe it was us when I heard it”. Excitement about the album’s completion aside, Underbelly’s expectations remain refreshingly modest, albeit hopeful. “I definitely found a listening and breathing space for myself within the album” comments Riaan, “I’m hoping other people can relate to it too”. Reflecting on the album, Etienne remains positive: “I think the album will open doors for people in the sense that it will be easier to relate to than our live music. I think the melody of the album will definitely overthrow the technical”.

The completion of ‘For a cynical science’ marks the attainment of the first of Underbelly’s goals as a band. With future aspirations of making music for a living, all that remains to be seen in the present is the fan’s reaction to this much-anticipated album. « hide

Similar Bands: Deftones, Mudvayne, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Sunk Loto

For a Cynical Science
2007

3.8
2 Votes

Contributors: RoderickINM,

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