Posts Tagged ‘2013

08
Dec
13

Music Review: Hecate Enthroned – Virulent Rapture

hecatevirulentI first heard Hecate Enthroned years ago when I was starting out as a musician who was becoming increasingly attracted to the more extreme side of metal. The band was interesting back then, and Upon Promethean Shores (Unscriptured Waters), the album I gave those listens to, would at the most be a fun listen now. 2014 fast coming to an end, I couldn’t not listen to Hecate Enthroned‘s latest album and looked forward to the cheesiness and to seeing how this band from my early times had grown.

‘Thrones of Shadow’ begins with a typical symphonic Black Metal intro (this is never a complaint from me; ‘typical’ is just fine if done correctly), and to my utter disbelief George Fisher’s growls emanate from the speakers along with the opening riff which is out-and-out OSDM, and the song is then made to go Black Metal, synths and screams.

This is Hecate Enthroned wanting to stay Black Metal, but influences have strange ways of revealing themselves and the desire to do new things rarely remains hidden. The odd Thrash Metal riff here, and another OSDM riff there, but it’s largely the Corpsegrinder-style growling that’s out of place in this setting. Virulent Rapture is defiantly Black Metal for most part, though – agreeable because of its kosher approach to (cheesy) Black Metal – and it’s the Black Metal sections that delight.

Listen to the title track and you’ll mistake it for a Cannibal Corpse song. So here’s the problem: I love Cannibal Corpse, but I don’t want a Black Metal (or Death Metal) band to sound exactly like another band. It’s cool that Hecate Enthroned can do it (because of the vocalist), but this is the kind of blunder that robs a band of its true identity.

Virulent Rapture could have been a terribly enchanting album from Hecate Enthroned.

RATING: 2.5/5

Review: Deicide – In The Minds Of Evil

Download: In The Name Of Satan

Download: Snowless

Download: The Darkness Of Being

Download: Devil Worship

Concert: Black Metal Krieg 3

05
Oct
13

Album Review: Inquisition – Obscure Verses For The Multiverse

The latest offering from the black-metal masters is as imposing as everything else by them

InquisitionExactly like Motorhead and Mortician, Inquisition is a band that never really changes, and that’s how it should be, as most of their fans will tell you. I’m a fan, too. But, you see, I grow weary of listening to the same album every time. Motorhead everybody loves, and everyone has a Motorhead album that they can listen to from start to end and enjoy thoroughly. Mine is 1916. With Mortician, I don’t have a favourite release as such, but there are quite a few songs I appreciate, and their discography (on those very rare occasions that I have Mortician cravings) is on shuffle whenever it is, and that feels right.

inquisition live bandWith their previous three albums – all very good – Inquisition seemed to be aiming at delivering that one huge album, and that release was Ominous Doctrines Of The Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm (read my review of that masterpiece here), on which Lord Dagon perfected his songwriting technique, and grouped with the blasting that came from Incubus and that dense overall sound, made for a crushing release that was sonically devastating from its first moment and instantly made you raise the horns and move your head in a circular motion.

Inquisition-Obscure-Verses-for-the-multiverseObscure Verses For The Multiverse, the 2013 album from Inquisition, offers more of the same – or as George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher would say about an upcoming Cannibal Corpse album: “Same, same… but different.” At first listen I was blown away, on second listen I compare it to its antecedent and think that this one isn’t that great, but that’s how I usually feel about Inquisition albums, only to be proved wrong later. Third listen onwards I hear Obscure Verses For The Multiverse as what it is: the latest Inquisition album  – and how does one compare albums of a band that never really changes? I’d like to say the songs on Obscure Verses For The Multiverse aren’t as easily catchy as a lot of other Inquisition tracks, but I also can’t stop listening to this album midway, and the more attention I pay the clearer it becomes that it’s yet another magical release from the world where darkness is lord and death the beginning. It’s as imposing as everything else by them.

inquisition bandObscure Verses For The Multiverse is packed with thrashy riffs and masterful drumming shrouded in that opaque sound. There’s a song from Nefarious Dismal Orations (read Dipankar ‘Demonos’ Roy’s review of that album here). Yeah, it’s more of the same, and it’s “same, same, but different,” and since we’re talking about a great band we love for never really changing, I don’t think we’ll hear any complaints.

RATING: 5/5

DOWNLOAD SATANIC BLACK METAL FROM INDIA: Solar Deity’s Devil Worship | Solar Deity’s The Darkness Of Being | Solar Deity’s Snowless | Solar Deity’s In The Name Of Satan

24
Aug
13

Film Review: Madras Cafe

Shoojit Sircar’s film is a political thriller that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously. This movie review doesn’t contain spoilers

bollywood-madras-cafe-posterMadras Cafe is a Hindi movie that has nothing to do with Eid, Diwali, Ganpati, star power. It is a political thriller that isn’t adulterated with romance, and it doesn’t have songs for the masses to hum. Madras Cafe is that rare Hindi film which has nothing in common with the Bollywood fare that is thrown at you every week.

Madras Cafe is about the LTTE (LTF in the movie), why they plotted the assassination of Indian ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, how they executed their plan, and how a few men unsuccessfully tried to stop it.

A peace force is dispatched from India to Sri Lanka to restore calm before the upcoming elections, but the Senalese, who have been wiping out ethnic Tamils, are now constantly being attacked by the LTF – a Tamilian militant outfit created by Anna Bhaskaran (remember LTTE chief Prabhakaran?), and John Abraham, RAW’s most efficient agent, finds himself in Jaffna.

nargis-fakhri-in-madras-cafe-movieIt’s hard to get over how unlike everything else in Bollywood this film is. Shoojit Sircar is an excellent director, and I came out of my hiatus to watch Madras Cafe only because I loved Vicky Donor (read my review of that movie here), and I’m happy to tell you Madras Cafe has no songs, no heroes flexing their biceps and thrashing twenty goons at a time, no flying cars… you get it, but let me go on… nobody’s trying to be witty or macho, and there isn’t even a hint of the possibility of a love angle. Nargis Fakhri (read my review of her film Rockstar here) is a journalist, and nothing happens between her and John Abraham… they don’t even seem remotely interested in flirting or even smiling at each other. Madras Cafe is all about the story, and because of the way it has been told, written, edited and directed, is what you should watch if you’re interested in seeing a Hindi movie that doesn’t embarrass you in any way. It’s a fictional story that takes place in a dark chapter of Indian history.

john-abraham-madras-cafeI tip my hat to John Abraham for, despite being very much a part of Bollywood, having the balls to not make Madras Cafe “salable” at the box office. This is his second triumph as a producer and perhaps his first as an actor (read my review of his action flick Force here). Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafe is a film that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously.

RATING: 3.5/5

READ: An update about my band Solar Deity’s new album Devil Worship on Eight Octaves

19
Feb
13

All-India Strike News: Bharat Bandh on Wednesday and Thursday (February 20, 21)

beerLike it or not, we’re getting a couple of days off this week as India will observe two-day Bharat bandh tomorrow (Wednesday, 20th February) and the day after (Thursday, 21st February). 2013 is already sounding good, and I suggest visiting the nearest liquor store today because wine shops will be shut during the nationwide bandh (duh!) and thirst strikes without warning!

LATEST NEWS: Satanists have taken over Mumbai

05
Jan
13

Trendslaughter Fest 2013 Ticket Prices + Venue Details

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM TRENDSLAUGHTER CREW AND CYCLOPEAN EYE PRODUCTIONS

Buy early bird tickets for 500 rupees only (inclusive of a free beer at TSF III) or feel fucked paying 700 rupees (inclusive of a free beer at TSF III) on Feb 10th at the venue! Feel free to contact us for your tickets today!trendslaughter ticket pass 2013 festival india

NO LIMMITS LOUNGE & CLUB
#8, 2nd Floor, Allied Grande Plaza (Nalli Silks)
Opposite Home Stop Store, Diagonally opposite Garuda Mall
Magrath Road , Ashok Nagar
Bangalore – 560025no limmits

NEWS: Solar Deity announces final lineup

POSTER: Trendslaughter Festival 2013

SLIDESHOW: 10 Indian Metal Bands That Will Kick Your Ass In 2013

06
Oct
12

Ganpati Visarjan/Ganesh Chaturthi

By JANAK SAMTANI

Amongst a lot of things lying on the beach, we found idols immersed on the earlier days lying exposed due to the low tide. Worshipers pitied, expressed shock on seeing the idols stuck on the beach and then went on to immerse the idols they brought with them, which they worshiped during the nine days of the festival. I feel it has all boiled down to ‘this is my idol and has no association whatsoever with your idol’.

By no means am I undermining their devotion. This has been going on for decades and is increasing every year with the politicizing of the festival.

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01
Dec
11

Grilled & Killed: Riju ‘Dr. Hex’ Dasgupta

In the Indian metal scene today, there is no one quite like Riju Dasgupta. Extremely popular with metalheads who wait for Dr. Hex to appear with his fretless bass guitar, Riju has built his avante-garde horror metal band into a force to reckon with and a monster to fear. For the annual year-end interview, Mehta Kya Kehta throws a few questions at the bassist and driving force of Albatross.  
Are you a LaVeyan Satanist?

To begin with, this is the greatest first question I’ve ever been asked in any interview. To answer your question, LaVeyan Satanism is the closest I’ve ever come to identifying with a religion…but I’m not a LaVeyan Satanist per se. I’m an atheist, which is essentially the first step to embracing the religion, and I think Anton LaVey…and more recently High Priest Peter Gilmore are two of the most intelligent men I’ve ever come across, and are probably the two smartest religious leaders in the last 100 years. However I draw the line at the silly rituals, which in my opinion defeat the whole purpose of the beautiful philosophy. As I write this, I’m reading ‘The Devil’s Notebook’ by Anton LaVey, which is incredibly funny. The man’s insightful knowledge, contempt for the world in general and more importantly, how the puts the same across happen to be hilarious.

I think another name for LaVeyanism is ‘common sense.’ We’re currently growing up in a generation which is using its mental faculties to make its own decisions; which is questioning the premise of the deities it worships, of the choices it is forced to make by society, etc.. So in a way, we’re growing towards a LaVeyan state unconsciously. One of my favourite teachings from ‘The Satanic Bible’ is the constant pursuit of knowledge, and I strongly urge everyone, especially readers of this blog to check out Mr. LaVey’s writings. If more people read the Satanic Bible, there’ll be fewer wars in the world.

Dinner Is You was traditional heavy metal. How different is the playing style on Kissing Flies and which subgenres of metal will we hear Albatross playing in the future?

The biggest difference to the band’s sound has been courtesy the anything but stable lineup, and the various influences each new musician brings to the table. Vignesh has taken on the mantle of primary songwriter now and his Schuldiner/Akerfeldt influences have taken our songs towards a more death metal direction. Also Nishith Hegde, our new guitarist, is the best lead guitarist in the universe (and all parallel universes), and the stuff he’s played on the album will make you drool from multiple orifices. Added to this is Biprorshee trying new styles vocally…including a very nice screech. Jay’s played some very interesting patterns too on the album(courtesy his prog. metal leanings) and I’ve finally learnt to play the fretless right. Finally Niklas Stalvind from Wolf is the best producer for our sound. After working with him, we can’t work with anyone else. Wait till you hear his vocals on the album also. (/Brag Mode)

In terms of subgenres, Kissing Flies has thrash, progressive, death, black, avant-garde and (a lot of) doom metal influences, all over a heavy metal foundation. We try not to drift too far into metal subgenres we do not enjoy. So if you’re expecting Electronica on the next album, my friend, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Although I hope you had fun on Day 1 of the NH7 Weekender.

Huh, what? – I didn’t go for that shit! Will we see the other members of Albatross in fancy costumes at live shows? 

Doesn’t look like it. I’ve raised this topic several times with them. So far, I’ve convinced them to not wear 3/4ths on stage and look like Lamb of God…which is something they’ve thankfully not protested against. One thing I can guarantee you is that you’ll not see Jay in any costumes, or clothes for that matter at our live shows.

I like that you’re releasing EPs instead of forcing full-lengths out. Has there been pressure on you to stretch an idea to put out an album?

I’m glad you think so! To be honest, I don’t see the point of releasing a full length album unless we have a good enough story which spans across 10 odd songs without filler tracks in the middle. You know…people tell me that Albatross should release a full length album all the time because that’s what is essential for an upcoming band like ours. But well, unless it comes naturally you’re being untrue to yourself as artists and being dicks to fans by giving them an inferior product. We also work in conjunction with the other band on the split EP to create a kickass product together. For example, for the Vestal Claret split ie. Kissing Flies, our sound is quite doomy, ominous and plodding…and they’re making their tracks quite progressive in line with our sound.

There are 2 more split CDs coming your way by mid 2013, with 2 other kickass bands. Both of them are quite kickass, and we have a great deal of mutual respect. Old school is taking over the world again. I am a happy man.

Albatross is progressing at a comfortable pace. Is this the lineup that’ll take the band where it needs to go?

I certainly hope so. This is the most committed lineup so far, with the most potential. You know, the biggest enemy to metal bands is well…real life. I’m sure everyone’s got a voice at the back of your mind asking you why you’re spending so much time and money on something you can never make your full-time career. The best you can do is ask this voice to shut up and kiss your ass.

Back in 2007, when Old Monks split up for good, I’d decided to quit music and focus on my career. But I know such an existence just makes me miserable. So Albatross will exist until the day I am not kicked enough to continue. And I’m really fond of the current lineup…as friends, as people and as musicians, and I only hope this dream continues for a long, long time.

I’m enjoying Dinner Is You, waiting for Kissing Flies and looking forward to lots more horror metal from Albatross. All the best!

Thanks for all the help from Day 1 man. Horns up! And let’s do a gig when Solar Deity is ready. The world will be a different place post the gig.

Photos by Prashin Jagger

MUST READ: On The Horror Trail With Albatross

ALSO READ: Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija | Rohit ‘P-Man’ Pereira 




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