Rumour has it that Manzer Made Magic!

Written by Ruby

Photography by Turquoise Garage

Last weekend turned out to be jam-packed with excitement. The weekend started on a high note at Rumours Lounge JHB on Friday night (17 November 2023) with a lineup featuring the best of the best (in my opinion) in the local metal music scene. One of the highlights for me was meeting the members of the French, Pictavian Black Metal band, Manzer kicked off their SA tour at Rumours Lounge JHB.

The first band to take the stage was a local metal band from Johannesburg, Chaos Doctrine who never disappoints. Theatrically owned the stage and worked the crowd with their old-school thrash/death metal with modern industrial style, true to their word, bringing a unique evolution in heavy metal.


Next up, all the way from Middelburg, Mpumalanga was the Death Metal band, Displeased Disfigurement. Being a bit of a ‘newbie’ myself, in the metal scene, I had yet to see these guys perform and Friday was the night! Needless to say, I was more than a little bit curious about this Hardcore, brutal, in-your-face’ band and had my curiosity more than satisfied with their set which was positively intoxicating. And the verdict? Well…let’s just say that this Brutal Death Metal band, officially have a new follower!


As the night progressed, the anticipation in the air grew, as packed Rumours eagerly awaited Johannesburg-based melodic death metal band, and one of my personal favourites, Nerve Zero took the stage…the buildup was so electrifying I swear I could feel my skin tingle from the atmospheric buzz. Incorporating old school as well as modern nuances in their songs and with the confidence born to those who know they were made to take centre stage, left me, for one, wanting more! They, once again, owned the stage and true to form, had the metal enthusiasts eating from their hand.

Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived as the three-piece Black Metal band, from France, and Manzer, made their way to the stage. Manzer, formed in 2008, and plays black metal inspired by the first wave from the 80’s. Now, I cannot speak for others, but when I think of France I tend to think of romance, great wine, baguette and artists in Basque berets, an emblem of France and its people. However, as it turned out, school was in session. Manzer not only raised the roof but brought the whole house down with their riveting performance which had the crowd captivated, head banging and rocking out to the sounds of progressive black metal and shouting, “We want more!” as their set drew to a close.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Manzer band members, Shaxul -drums, vocals, Xzvrey – bass, backing vocals and Ogma –guitar, who explained that their music is a sound that they call their own “It’s where old school meets progressive black metal,” Shaxul explained. “In short, we added ‘Pictavian’ because it’s our identity; we come from Pictavia, a region in western France where culture and language are dying. We have direct influences from Pictavia in our lyrics. But we don’t pretend we have created a new style, of course. It’s just the simplest way to describe our music”. Shaxul said.



Well, regardless of how anyone would describe it, Manzer taught me a thing or two about letting go and experiencing the thrill of the moment, and had me putting my camera down to get some head banging of my own done! Friday night at Rumours Lounge JHB was definitely a night to remember!

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