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Who listens to the bass in Black Metal?

bass black metalSince I’m always on about aesthetic perfection in everything, I’m going to write a paragraph about the importance of bass in Black Metal. Bass is not only unnecessary but also unwanted in Black Metal. I don’t listen to Black Metal for the bass lines, and I dislike hearing the bass, unless it’s some genius like Varg Vikernes who knows exactly what to play, and even more importantly, what not to play, when not to play, how not… you get it. I attempted to emulate Varg’s bass-thetical perfection on The Darkness Of Being, but there’s something far greater about In The Name Of Satan: the bass can’t be heard. Because bass prevents you from enjoying true Black Metal. Bass is to Black Metal what Rob Trujillo is to Metallica; you wonder if it is aware it’s a complete misfit. The only role bass has in the frosty kingdom of Black Metal is to provide warmth to the fuzzy sound when the icy guitars need a rest. Bass sounds good if you can feel it and realize the band has a bassist, not if it’s muffling the rest of the band and keeping Black Metal from being raw. Unless the bass is evil and is making your Black Metal even more majestic because of how it sounds in the howling wind, this is what it needs to be: inaudible.


Film Review: Ragini MMS 2

Hot Ragini MMS 2 PosterSunny Leone is as bad at acting in Hindi films as she is at fucking in porn movies, and the rest of the cast is worse

Ragini-MMS-2-Movie-Horror-PosterLook, you can’t possibly hold anything against sexy porn actresses except a throbbing cock. It takes a lot of courage to have sex with strangers before a whirring camera, and it’s admirable that a hardcore-porno star is doing something about her Bollywood aspirations. It shouldn’t bother us that Sunny Leone hasn’t yet learned to act; we have male superstars who haven’t acted in years. What we should care about is the horror genre, even if we can only helplessly watch it slowly being pulled inside an open grave by hands that want to count money.

raginimms2-sunny leoneRagini MMS is, by all standards, a perfectly alright scary movie. It has a relatively unknown cast which drags you into its terrifying setting. A couple gearing up for kinky sex in an isolated house haunted by a Maharashtrian ghost. Funny as that may sound, you can’t laugh, because the Marathi-speaking spirit is pissed-off and effectively scary. Ragini MMS 2, the sequel to the sleeper hit, has Sunny Leone, who is as bad at acting in Hindi films as she is at fucking in porn movies, and the rest of the cast is even worse.

Sunny-Leone_blackThe hot babe looks extremely fuck-able in Ragini MMS 2 but watching the film is a bumpy ride. You’ve seen her suck dicks and get banged and take cocks up her ass, so how can you pretend for even a nanosecond that she’s got the lead role in a horror movie?

The makers of Ragini MMS 2 understand this very well, so this is the clever plot they came up with: A filmmaker wants to make a movie based on the true story of Ragini and Uday, the couple who went away for a sex-packed weekend. The director, exactly like some of us, knows that movie stars ruin horror movies and make them seem fake, so he’s roped in… Sunny Leone – the famous porn star! That’s right, Sunny Leone plays herself: an adult-movie actress who wants to make it big in Bollywood. Now, isn’t that clever?

Sunny-Leone-Hot-Sexy-Unseen-Pics-collectionThe Marathi-speaking ghost’s backstory is solid as hell, and whoever thought that up should have scripted all of Ragini MMS 2, because the movie itself is a mess. The film unit goes to the haunted house, and people start hamming it up and getting killed. You can imagine how lousy the acting is if I’m telling you Sunny Leone’s the finest performer of the lot.

Not scary at all, this movie. Despite its cleverness, you still can’t believe Sunny Leone can be possessed. If you think the movie’s original, nope – the climax of Ragini MMS 2 is a ripoff of the climax of The Conjuring, which was pretty shitty anyway. Director Bhushan Patel and producer Ekta Kapoor know the kind of thrills the audience wants from Sunny Leone’s “Ragini MMS 2″ and deliver them by the bucketful. Alas, the audience wants to be entertained and titillated but not scared.

RATING: 2/5sunny-leone 


Beer Review: White Zen

ashwin dutt and nikita shahIt couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. The Bombay summer had just arrived, I was flat broke and trying to get drunk on cheap liquor very unsuccessfully. I wasn’t too keen on getting wasted on bhang because I’ve had some unfortunate life-changing experiences on it that I just cannot forget, but it was Holi (Dhuleti, actually) and I would’ve had it, but I couldn’t procure any. Fresh, unadulterated toddy (taa-dee!) is meant to be consumed at room temperature, and is disgustingly pungent. The fermented alcoholic drink wasn’t doing the trick, and I found myself plonked across a table occupied by two generous souls who have been kind to me on more than one occasion. The last time I was at The Woodside Inn, I had a blast ignoring the women guzzling imported brews. This time Woodside Eatery & Bar was serving their craft beers and the munificent two happened to be lunching there during happy hours. Gateway Brewing Company’s White Zen, as you can see, is a very sexy drink, and is extremely drinkable. Surprisingly, this beer is hoppier than the other hefeweizens I’ve had, but this is hardly a complaint, especially with the clove spiciness making your tongue tingle all over. Not being able to taste the banana flavour at all (probably because of the vile grog I’d had just before), I made the most of White Zen‘s drinkability, enjoying its crispiness and the hints of citrus, and the malts which eventually break through. Say ‘hefeweizen’ aloud and you’ll know how this beer got its name. May Lord Satan bless Ashwin Dutt and Nikita Shah for making a thirsty man very happy.

RATING: 4/5 


The Darkness That Embraces Indian Horror Films

A week from today the sequel to Ragini MMS will be upon us, overhyped because of Sunny Leone in the lead role, the presence of item numbers and the former porn star gyrating to those songs. I’m not sure which is worse, but she looks very hot and one of the songs is catchy. A surefire way to get anybody who watches Hindi movies to jog their memory is to ask them which the last Bollywood horror film that scared them shitless was.

Those who have some understanding of quality in cinema will cite Ramgopal Varma’s Raat as the scariest one, and then they’ll go silent. Raat is brilliant, of course, but not the only horror classic Hindi cinema can brag about. My heart lies buried do gaz zameen ke neeche with the Ramsay Brothers and goes out to you if their films weren’t a part of your growing experience. I won’t even start naming those spook-fests (I already named one, for your information), but even their titles emphatically show their love for horror. Hell, even Zee Horror Show was bone-chilling; you can scare people of all ages in broad daylight just by humming that otherworldly tune.

sunny leone ragini mms 2 baby dollThe last many years of Bollywood horror have been embarrassingly funny because of directors employing half-hearted measures to make scary movies. RGV has himself turned into a joke of sorts, and his own affinity for the genre has not translated into anything eerie. The best thing old boy Ramu did for the style in recent years was getting Milind Gadagkar to not just write but also direct Phoonk 2. I was perhaps the only film critic the movie got a positive review from and you can read it here. Then there’s Vikram Bhatt, another filmmaker who loves horror but always manages to screw it up. Vikram Bhatt suffers from the need to either justify everything or solve the unearthly problems with the help of… wait for it – God. In one of his movies, the ghost kills a Catholic priest but flees when the protagonist chants the Hanuman Chalisa. In another of his films, the demonic force suffers a setback when the hero hides in a dargah. In yet another attempt of his, one that released around Ganesh Chaturthi/ Ganpati Visarjan, the ghost gets killed by a bleeding man who has drawn power from a mangalmurti to kick ass like a leading man. The use of religious angles isn’t a problem (certainly not when crosses are inverted; they look best that way), but you can tell Vikram Bhatt has been doing it on purpose to excite a certain section of people at that time, and that’s no fun.

aniruddh agarwal saamriThe Ramsay Brothers’ offerings, deliberately exaggerated as they were, with the bad songs and poor acting, were wholly enjoyable. The Ramsays were masters of their craft great at what they did because they had embraced the genre and were madly in love with it. They wanted to scare the hell out of you and were successful every time, and what’s amazing is their movies terrified everyone who watched them. My guess is that it always worked because those filmmakers weren’t nursing a latent desire to make a wildly commercial film and focused only on petrifying us all.

Sadly, the latest Ramsay horror releases today (You didn’t know that, right? It’s called Neighbours) and is relegated to seedy theatres, while Sunny Leone’s film will open across multiplexes next Friday. Ragini MMS 2 is destined to be a hit. Manufactured in every way that can be thought of to appeal to audiences that don’t even want to be scared and can be pleased with anything that keeps them entertained for two hours, it makes one think of the tapori crowd that attends metal gigs nowadays. Having no idea what Brutal Death Metal/Goregrind is, they’ll still hop to some slam band because it allows them to stop thinking and simply have fun. Not that that’s wrong, but to somebody who does understand the music, it is very absurd. “Samajh mein nahi aata lekin mazaa aata hai na, buntai!”

Haan, bhamai, haan. The future of everything is scary.


Film Review: The Good Road

the good road posterthe-good-road-stillsThat it was India’s official entry to the Oscars should make those mad about movies go out of their way to watch The Good Road. If that isn’t motivation enough, think of it as the Gujarati film which upset the makers of The Lunchbox. Having watched both the films, I think it’s a shame that I have to think of Ritesh Batra’s brilliant Hindi movie as ‘offbeat’ only because The Lunchbox happens to be one of those rare Bollywood movies that exhibit a different sensibility.

Good Road 2Gyan Correa’s debut film The Good Road relies heavily on Amitabha Singh’s cinematography. As I have traveled to the remote villages of Rajasthan, views of highways and the interiors of any part of India hold much charm for me. As a fan of everything minimalist, I feel the film breathe through the few dialogues there are. Three stories cross paths in/on The Good Road, and poor acting doesn’t come in the way of gorgeous shots of the Gujarat highway. Shamji Dhana Kerasia, who plays the truck driver Pappu (and happens to be a truck driver in real life) and his companion Priyank Upadhyay are the only two in the cast who effortlessly act.

stills the good roadMoments of despair turn to utter desolation in the Rann of Kutch, and Gyan Correa keeps you engrossed in this surreal piece of cinema. Not a minute from this Gujarati film (my first, by the way) is spent getting melodramatic, and even the harsh realities depicted nudge you subtly. Subtlety, yes. This subtlety is what I crave in Indian cinema. This subtlety is what I found missing in The Lunchbox, despite its delicate story and nuanced performances. This subtlety is what The Good Road has in abundance, despite its grim story and incompetent performances.

It’s the unhurried pace at which the story is told and the breathtaking visuals of the rural landscape and all that the movie says by way of saying very little that do it for me. Here’s to more films down the Gujju road.

RATING: 3.5/5

the good road stills


Film Review: Darr @ The Mall

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Pavan Kirpalani’s previous outing Ragini MMS was a triumph of sorts; a found-footage film that did build up decently but didn’t make you defecate in fear, it is still very different from what Hindi horror movies have been. You might have just been glad to watch another scary movie from Bollywood that dared to not have songs, I was overjoyed to see people actually act in it. Even with Ragini MMS 2 being helmed by another director, it’s still a sequel I look forward to, and with Sunny Leone in the lead, we’ll certainly enjoy a few laughs, if not the chills, but that’s a few months from now.

Darr @ The Mall veers towards the commercial side of Bollywood horror, with an item number and other songs, and an amateur cast hammy as can be (it’s good when they’re this annoying; you wait for them to be done away with). Jimmy Shergill, a fine actor who deserves better, is helpless in this horror flick the way he was in Bullett Raja (read my review of that unbelievably bad Tigmanshu Dhulia film here), and he looks bored out of his mind while experiencing occurrences spooky enough to unsettle anyone.

Nushrat-BharuchaBut get it right: Darr @ The Mall at no point manages to even interest you. Pavan Kirpalani takes a horror cliche we don’t find offensive and attempts to make it abstract. (Dude, we would’ve never guessed the damned mall was built on where an orphanage used to be. It could’ve also been a mental hospital or a cemetery, but we movie watchers are incredibly dumb, right?) Still, the problem remains that Kirpalani sacrifices scares because he’d much rather confuse you into thinking the plot (the story, not where the mall is) is deeper than it is. Despite the many deaths, there isn’t one moment that shakes you out of your boredom. Ask the couples who made-out throughout 2014′s first Bollywood horror film.

Who throws a grand bash at an allegedly haunted mall with inadequate security measures? Who attends a party at a mall which is currently all over the news because there have been nine unexplained deaths in it only recently? Along with the apparitions (ghosts of children) is the angry spirit of a nun, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the owner of the mall and his crony have perpetrated one of those crimes that unfailingly get every villain in Bollywood the punishment due.

Too bad that I expected Kirpalani to repeat his successful act; now all I can do is wait and see if Sunny Leone has gotten any better at emoting with her breasts.


Horror Film Review: Question Mark  | Bollywood Slasher Movie: Hide And Seek


Sockweb – It’s Time To Get Bullies


Album: ‘It’s Time To Get Bullies’

Artist: Sockweb

From: Richmond, Indiana, USA

Label: Monolithic Records

Availability: Stream / Download for $1 from theironcouncil.bandcamp.com

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the ones where a second feels like a lifetime, and every hour an eternity? The ones where you check the time every 20 minutes or so, waiting ever so patiently to slink off? You stuff your face with anything and everything, you check emails and chats and wait for people to strike up any interesting conversation? Yet, you remain bored. Bored out of your skull. And just when you’re contemplating the silly travails of life, you find that one stimulant that brings you back in to the real, productive world. And before you know it, you’re jumping up and down like the Energizer bunny.

Yes, this happened to me this week. What was that stimulant? Glad you asked.

Sockweb - 02 - Album ArtLadies and gentlemen, meet Sockweb. An American grindcore project that took the Internet by storm last year thanks to some brilliant ditties about pancakes, Scooby-Doo monsters, bullies, and werewolves. Seems a bit juvenile? Well, pop it in, and trust me, you won’t know what came and hit you.

One listen to the band’s new four track EP “It’s Time To Get Bullies” will leave you bedazzled, stumped, exhilarated, and happy. With a big stupid smile on your face! Lead vocalist Joanie ‘Bologna’ Young is just seven, yes, seven years old. She screams, sings, whispers, rants, growls and more throughout the four tracks, channeling her inner Kat Katz (Agarophobic Nosebleed, ex-Salome). It’s achingly cute, sugary sweet adorable, and at the same time, so, so, metal!

Joanie’s words are backed and bound together by osmium heavy, yet abrasive guitar work, a bass that booms all around, and absolutely wicked drums. All courtesy guitarist, composer, and well, father Adam ‘Blackula Young’, who also jumps in with growls of his own. You won’t need a lyrics booklet to understand the dialogue here. Instead, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement. Unless, of course, you are headbanging away to glory.

Critics will consider the band a gimmick. But the songs are anything but. It’s heart warming and genuine music that you can relate to. Superbly produced by Pig Destroyer mainman Scott Hull, the EP is what good art is. A genuine expression of self that’s easily understood, and appreciated by anyone who consumes it. This is what a quadruple-shot black coffee would be aurally. In one word, awesome.Sockweb - 01 - Band



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