Posts Tagged ‘underground music scene


Black Metal Releases from India in 2013

Black Metal is fast rising in the Indian underground metal scene, with prominent bands who have been fairly active on the live circuit getting releases ready for this year.

cosmicinfusionbandCosmic Infusion has a new line-up, and an EP scheduled for release in July. The band aims at creating a blend of symphonic and extreme metal with their debut, which they say is a musical journey of five tracks, with each song having an independent storyline to it. The 35-minute EP has been recorded, mixed and mastered at Closed Eye Productions, and will be launched at Blue Frog next month. Says vocalist/keyboardist Sushan, “Our lyrics are about strength, life, holy places, the universe, suicide and death.”

starkdeniallogoStark Denial are secretive about their debut. Frontman Kunal Gonsalves refuses to share anything except the band logo, and says he will reveal the theme of the EP in good time, but considering the man organizes Black Metal Krieg and has titled the release War, we should have an idea of what to expect from Stark Denial. War will be released on Incanned Productions later this year.

solardeity_band_logoBombay’s Solar Deity will crush all holiness with Devil Worship, the second chapter in their ‘Satan’ trilogy and the sequel to In The Name Of Satan. “This is our third big release, and with this EP, we are taking our next big step,” says band-manager/artwork-designer Aakash Dwivedi. Devil Worship, Solar Deity‘s follow-up to last year’s The Darkness Of Being, will be engineered by Ashwin Shriyan and released on Nephalist Recordings, and will contain overtly Satanic lyrics.

judasancestryHaving played several shows already, Guwahati’s Judas Ancestry decided to put some music out, and have ready The Unforeseen Boundaries, their debut album, which has nine songs about fantasy, darkness and negativity. Recorded at Lucid Recess Studios and Dreamcatcher Studios, the album will be released in late 2013. “We have varied influences,” says vocalist Sandeep Sarmah, “and we don’t mind bringing elements of other styles of metal into Judas Ancestry‘s music.”

FREE DOWNLOADS: Solar Deity’s Devil Worship | Solar Deity’s The Darkness Of Being | Solar Deity’s Snowless | Solar Deity’s In The Name Of Satan

Want to buy band merchandise? Solar Deity t-shirts and CDs now available in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata



Music Concert: Solar Deity, Albatross and Reptilian Death at Blue Frog on May 19, 2013

SD flyerIt’s Solar Deity‘s first concert in our hometown and we’ve got kickass bands to share the stage with at the best venue for live shows. Albatross will narrate tales of horror the traditional (heavy metal) way, and Reptilian Death are launching their new album. All three bands will have hot merchandise for sale, and this is the zero-bullshit-only-metal show you’ve been waiting for – a gig which promises you a night of Horror Metal, Death Metal and Black Metal. This Blue Frog Metal Night is probably the only show Solar Deity will perform at in Mumbai this year, so if you want to hear us play all those songs you know where to be on May 19, 2013!

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SOLAR DEITY FREE DOWNLOADS: In The Name Of Satan | Snowless | The Darkness Of Being


Celebrating One Year of Pure Satanic Black Satanic Metal


Music Review: Devoid – The Invasion (2013)

devoid-invasionBeing hailed as the most promising thrash metal band out of Mumbai’s pitiable underground music scene which didn’t (and still doesn’t) have any other thrash band obviously didn’t encourage Devoid to push the subgenre further. After A God’s Lie – a debut that made a mark perhaps only because it was and still remains the only thrash metal album to come out of Mumbai, Devoid has released an EP titled The Invasion, and going by the promos I was half expecting to find Darth Vader in the artwork.

The 5-track EP is, going by the guitar tone and the production, a step into the thrashcore bog.

The clean notes of the opener don’t make for an intro grandiose enough, but the listener is in the mood for a massive thrash attack, only to be scratched by the sterile guitar tone. The excitement can be had from the programmed drums (well, they don’t sound real), but they’re way louder than the thin guitar tone, and all over the place. The vocals, aggressive throughout, move back and forth irregularly between being nasty thrash screaming and the ‘core’ style. The songs would have had some staying power had they been stretched a little, and that would have made the band sound more in control without the music losing its conciseness.

The riffing is effective but produces no memorable results, and Devoid could very well have been the thrash/death monster is was originally meant to be, but such is the lure of a wider fanbase and college-event-headlining gigs that come with being a metalcore/deathcore band in these times.

If you’re looking for doses of thrash metal from India this year, turn to Mortar and Chaos.

RATING: 2.5/5

[This review was originally published on Old Disgruntled Bastard.]

ALSO READ: Prayag Arora-Desai’s rant about Rolling Stone Metal Awards

EP Review: The Riot Peddlers – Sarkarsm (2012) | Versova Koli Seafood Festival


Getting Nostalgic About Kinky Ski Munky And Striking A Deal With The Riot Peddlers

Of all his misdeeds, Ashwin Dutt should not be forgiven for taking such a long break between two fantastic bands. His list of wrongdoings is long and makes for a fascinating read, but not all of you may have been lucky enough to look at it. Those who’ve known the guy from the time he had hair on his head – and that scalp has showed no signs of growth in many years – will love to hear the name Kinky Ski Munky. Looked upon with suspicion by the metal bands of that time for being alternative and loved by girls, and loved by girls for fuck-knows-what-reason, Kinky Ski Munky had clambered up to the top of the scene in their trendy sneakers. I was in Demonic Resurrection back then, and preferred smoking grass in the lane outside Razz Rhino (Once upon a time, when Mumbai was Bombay, there was a discotheque called Razzberry Rhinoceros, which on Thursday nights…) to seeing a bunch of punks the ladies adored. It was while mixing cheap whisky in flat soda that a friend dragged me in. He liked the band and I was too stoned to protest, and that night, as guitarist Michael Lee broke a string and the band had to wrap up after playing Pearl Jam‘s Last Kiss, you too would’ve got a good idea of why Kinky Ski Munky were such a hit.

Over the next year, Demonic Resurrection played shows in and out of Bombay with Kinky Ski Munky, and I got to hang with Siddharth Basrur and Ashwin Dutt a lot. Good guys who introduced me to bad drugs. The band had lots of charm. A quarter of the music scene was ready to play bass for them. Judges at Independence Rock would be creaming themselves as the band launched into Alice In ChainsWould? in the middle of their set, and I swear I saw everybody at IIT Mood Indigo get up from the ground and run to the front even before KSM had finished the first two bars of Stone Temple PilotsPlush. That’s the kind of popularity they enjoyed. Everybody loved them. Even the metalheads who looked perpetually stoic would diss non-metal bands at shows, but they always standing around in their black tees and with their arms crossed during KSM‘s set. Channel V was going apeshit over them. We, in Demonic Resurrection, were more than happy to have filthy, long-haired guys headbanging during our sets. Some female attention would’ve been nice, but this was good enough.

Kinky Sky Munky spiraled out of control after that. Not that there was anything else left for them do. Bands didn’t think about playing abroad back then.KSM had played all the shows they’d been offered, become extremely famous, done all the drugs they could find. They ran away from the nookie, so they could take the cookie, and smoke it with their friends. Mikey, too mellow a fellow, couldn’t possibly have salvaged the situation. Managers were around to score the booze and be famous by association, and the organizers then didn’t know bands could be pimped all the way to Inferno and back. It was all very real, very underground, very small. Bands were just how they were. Not smug assholes who transformed into the united epitome of coolth when they got onstage.

The grunge bands that came after KSM just weren’t as cool. Kinky Ski Munky left a void that is still gaping at the underground music scene. Siddharth Basrur went to rehab and has been clean for almost a decade now, and has shot back to popularity. Mikey plays only and nothing but tasteful guitar to this day. Ashwin Dutt had only wasted his time playing in bands which took him across cities but not places. Until two years back.

How he met Arun Singh Ravi, how they decided to start a hardcore-punk outfit together, why they asked an extreme-metal enthusiast to play bass for their band – these are boring questions they’ll have to answer in interviews after they live up to the hype. The question that needs to be answered is: why the hell are they taking so long to release a collection of songs they’ve always had ready?

I gave a listen to The Riot Peddlers‘ first single only because it was Ashwin’s new band. So he has gone and joined another band, I thought. But there is something to be said about a song that has a chorus so powerful that the band begins the track with it. The force of Sau Rupiya hit hard and I had the damned song on repeat for a long time. The Riot Peddlers was an instant hit with me and I become their fan. Now let me tell you how I become a fan of people and things. I don’t become a fan by ‘liking’ a page on Facebook. I don’t become a fan of every thing people do just because they’re in a band. Everything musicians do does not inadvertently become cool or great. No, it doesn’t.

But it’s easy to become a fan of The Riot Peddlers because they’re not selling themselves to you. They haven’t befriended you on Facebook so that you can join their fan club and learn how “old school” they are and what all you need to do to qualify as a worthy metalhead. The don’t play every show they’re offered in the same city every month pretending they have something new to offer to the same old crowd. They’re too busy spitting cannonballs of gall. The cheekiness that comes out when you sing along with the chorus of Chai Pani will get you slapped and kicked around by cops if they hear you, but then you are tickling greasy-palmed authority’s scrotum by singing that annoying little number. There’s more where that came from: Platform is about being frustrated at railway stations waiting for a delayed, packed train to arrive; Bollywood Song is about how vexing Hindi film music can get. You get the idea – it’s silly and fun but not immature; it’s highly relevant without being anal or obnoxious; it’s great music that pisses a lot of people off.

But The Riot Peddlers are so lazy that they didn’t get a band pic clicked even when Animesh Das joined as bassist – they morphed him in. Animesh, a death/black metal fan, still doesn’t feel the need for it, and is only too happy delivering backing vocals in the most painful way. Arun Singh Ravi doesn’t shy away from putting up a fight when he needs to – he showed it last year by taking on an errant cop who had made the big mistake of picking on him. Ashwin Dutt works mostly under pressure and occasionally on alcohol. I’m not at all worried about how it’s going to sound. With Ayan De as producer, there’s no way anything can go wrong. But The Riot Peddlers should get Sau Rupiya and Chai Pani redone at Midicore Studios and let the whole record blast with consistency. We’ve waited two years for this release, so they might as well take a few months more. We already know how good it’s going to be, so they might as well make it huge.

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The Beggar Mentality

Stomping the Indian Metal Scene further deep in excrement are the ones who cannot make a living off it. While the children bicker about death metal/black metal/other sub-genres and irrelevant subjects like hair, clothing and other trends, I’ll talk about people making the music we worship sound like an unpaid whore.

I realized long back that rock/metal bands might not end up making a lot of money. Guns N’ Roses and Metallica did. And while making shitloads of money, Metallica opened the floodgates for other worthy bands like Megadeth and Slayer.

Most of us work during the day so we don’t need to be unhappy after playing the kind of music we love. Nobody asked anybody to quit studies or working, nobody told anybody that living the rock ‘n roll dream would eventually pay off in cash. Nobody told Lemmy, either. He stuck to it because he believed in it, and it paid off for him much later because he’s fucking Lemmy. I’m sure he didn’t think of it as an investment.

If you’re the one who thought so and aren’t making the kind of dough you’d like to, maybe it’s time to admit it was a failed experiment. The music you make is greatly affected if you’re dependent on it for income. I don’t care how extreme your band is; if you’re making money off it and not doing much else, you will, at some point, have to make it as saleable as possible so that you (and your offspring) can enjoy the luxuries of life. Does that sound cheap? You should have thought of it a long time ago.

The ones who want to create music will do it anyhow. Without a record label, without expecting people to listen to it, without thinking about how to get cash out of every kid once the album is ready.

About CDs and album sales: Ha! I can’t think of one death/black metal album made by an Indian band that is actually worth paying even 50 bucks for. What the hell are bands charging over 200 rupees for? And if that isn’t shameful enough, bands have been using guilt tactics to get kids to pay for the music. Just because you could make a CD of your songs that are not very good, why should some kid pay 200 bucks for it? So that he need not feel awkward about saying hello to you after a show?

And what happened to self-respect? Do you think Metallica went around with CDs of Kill ‘Em All saying, “Please buy the album from me or so-and-so.”? I don’t know about you idiots, but I like my metal heroes to be just that. Metal heroes. Not calculative businessmen. Not door-to-door salesmen. Remember one thing, if your album is really good, people will buy it. You weren’t kept in the dark about heavy metal being even more ‘underground’ in this country, right? Metal empowers you; let it be your strength and not your weakness.

I am certainly not going to part with even twenty bucks to promote shitty music. I don’t give a flying fuck if you’re my friend or enemy; make a good album, sell it at a reasonable price, and I might consider buying it.

I remember clearly sitting on Prashant’s terrace and us deciding that we wouldn’t ‘sell’ our music – some of you may not like our band – but we think of our music as priceless. We decided that day to never put a price tag on it. My heart and ass swell with pride every time someone asks me where they can get CDs of Exhumation’s two albums and I tell them to download them from the Internet. I love how I never have to ask any kid to put his hand in his pocket and remove money because he wants to listen to my band’s music.

When people come up to me and say, “Hey bro, your band fucking owns” and “Dude, your guitarist is a fucking god”, that’s my reward, that’s currency, baby…that’s my money right there.

Want to know what makes me cringe? Bands that say things like “Keep supporting metal”. Are you implying that metal is weak? I don’t care if it’s some cheesy Indian band or the singer of Cannibal Corpse saying it. Heavy Metal doesn’t need support – it is the strongest thing there is. I don’t know what to call this feeling I have for metal, but what I know is there is nothing more powerful than this feeling.

The next time somebody tells you to keep supporting metal, know that what they’re really saying is “please give us your money”. Someone like that cannot be my metal hero.

Your metal heroes write whiney notes and update their Facebook status for fanboys to ‘like’. My metal heroes – I haven’t seen most of them perform live and might never get to – my metal heroes make countless metalheads bang their heads in unison like possessed zombies and then tell them to go the fuck home. That’s called keeping the spirit of metal alive.

Be proud of Indian bands that make quality music instead of being emotionally blackmailed and embarrassed into buying stuff that isn’t really all that great.

I’ll sign off with a request – and I’m not speaking as Aditya from Exhumation – I’m the kid who was reborn the day he understood Metallica, the boy who stopped existing and started living the day he understood the spirit of heavy metal – please stop prostituting the music I worship.

Prayag’s Review: Rolling Stone Metal Awards 

Click here to read the extremely weak and poorly written article that made me write this post.

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