Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — formed over seven years ago, and in that time, they’ve developed a unique, forward-thinking and boundary pushing sound that sees them pairing elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles like Tsapiky and Salegy with heavy metal.
The band’s sound and approach represents a bold, young generation of Malagasy young people that honors and respects the traditions and practices of their elders but are also inspired by contemporary Western music genres and styles.
Over the past handful of years, the Malagasy metal outfit has been very busy: They released a self-titled EP, which fueaterd “Tandrroka,” a mosh pit friendly ripper, featuring rumbling, down-tuned bass lines, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Ravoajanahary’s feral Karen O-like vocals.
They quickly followed up with their full-length debut LohAmboto, which featured the System of a Down-like album title track “LohAmboto,” another mosh-pit friendly ripper that sees the band refining and honing their unique, global take on metal.
The JOVM mainstays closed out last year with their first European tour — and it included a set at Trans Musicales in Rennes, France, which the band filmed and released as a concert film. The concert film features their debut single Andrambavitany,” the aforementioned “Tandrroka” and “LohAmboto,” as well as material off their full-length debut performed with a feral intensity.
The Malagasy JOVM mainstays and their label Libertalia Music will be releasing a five song live EP from their Trans Musicales set. “Ts’Izy,” the live EP’s first single, is one explosive synthesis of metal, nu metal and hip-hop that channels Rage Against the Machine — but while being decidedly African.