Heavy metal is not any type of music that you would think about when talking about music in Suriname. However, the tropical heat seems to pair well with the agressive riffs and staccato percussion and the Surinamese underground rock and metal scene is on the rise. Recently on Saturday April 28, the Surinamese metal band ASYLUM won the ‘Skyyrock meets Wacken Metal Battle’ in Trinidad, a Caribbean regional competition where the winner goes on to represent their country and the entire Caribbean metal scene in the final international Metal Battle at the Wacken Open Air music festival in Germany. Metal bands from across the Caribbean compete for Wacken Open Air every two years, and the event helps Caribbean talent get the rare opportunity to perform for thousands at this international level. The last winner from the 2016 W:O:A Caribbean Metal Battle was Lynchpin from Trinidad and now they have passed the torch or “Wacken Horn” over to our own local band ASYLUM.
The underdog band started in 2012 by friends Owen Junker and drummer Jose Terhoeven, as a hobby, in order to jam together, and enjoy their love for “all things heavy”. That same year they found their vocalist Romeo Nanhekhan, and later on bassist André Jantz. The band now was finally complete. However, Owen had to leave for study abroad in the Netherlands and Chesron Yard replaced him as the band’s lead guitar player. The rest was history. This four piece brutal dynamo play a variety of songs that touch on a variety of subjects, ranging from current world events, political and socioeconomic struggles in Suriname, and songs of personal triumph and overcoming adversity. Their groove metal inspired “Enslaved” highlights the issue of modern slavery and details the torment of a modern slave. “Ascension” is about putting the past behind you and ascending to become a better person. The more thrash driven “Dis na mi kondre” and “Feti” are written partially in Sranan Tongo and are about citizen’s rights and freedom to speak against policy that they disagree with.
ASYLUM has a growing fan base in Suriname, Trinidad and Guyana, and the metal powerhouse has plans to write more music with elements taken from traditional Surinamese styles like Kaseko and Kawina in order to show the world the beautiful different ethnic backgrounds that Suriname has to offer. To be able to participate at the festival in Trinidad the band paid out of pocket for all logistics and has so far covered all their own expenses from recording, making their music video, and printing t-shirts and posters for the fans. Right now they are making preparations to be able to attend the Wacken Open Air in Germany and seek sponsors or donors who want to help them realize their dream of spreading Surinamese style metal abroad and inspiring young Surinamese musicians to see that such goals are attainable and not just a fantasy. They are planning to have fundraising concerts and sponsors can also contact them through their Facebook or Instagram accounts.
When asked about how they feel about everything, bassist Andre says “We want to let the world experience Suriname’s metal scene and all the great rock and metal talent developing in the country, and also the whole Caribbean community from Guyana, Trinidad and all the islands. We do this all because we love it. Metal is very much a part of Suriname, and young musicians can see another raw intense and inspiring part of our musical heritage.” The band is very thankful for all the support they have been getting from their ravenous fans, and acknowledge that their support helped make Wacken a reality.
If you would like to sponsor ASYLUM or give a donation, contact them at www.facebook.com/asylumband
Call at +597 8688750 or +597 8718093.
You can also contact the band for bookings or just drop us a message, as they would like to hear from you.