Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Ruins of Beverast - Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite

First things first. Ruins of Beverast are not a band. Ruins of Beverast is a one man project of ex- Nagelfar, (not Naglfar) drummer Alexander von Meilenwald. Taking a bohemian approach of combining unorthodox and traditional elements with complex atmospheric black metal sounds that lends a depressing tone to the music featuring variety of extreme vocals that leaves you totally drenched in the perverse melancholy of its sounds. One play, just one play of the album made me forget the world around me, hooking me to its gloomy sounds. Semen is a feat of absolute pain, agony and horror experienced by its creator, delivered piece by piece to its listener.

If you thought Rain Of Impure was a great album, then Semen is better. Better than a great album that was Rain of Impure. This album tends to draw parallels with acts like Verdunklen and Lunar Aurora, with the way the tracks all have an element of experimentation and contain all sorts of unorthodox bits and pieces thrown into songs, not to mention an interesting new focus on the death doom metal passages that were noticeable in the previous album and which sounded far better too. Plenty of long-doom passages in fact make the album great listening to, also making this the best album of Meilenwald.

That Semen is darker and more complex than his previous album is clearly understood form the track I Raise The Stone As A Ghastly Memorial that treads with doom like melodies amidst Meilenwald's deep chants. Amidst the long tracks in the album, there're several smaller interludes of chorus like Alu present that sets up longer features like God's Exsanguined Bestiaries that succeeds Alu. The track's a crushiong mix of blasting dilapidation with barking growls. Mount Sinai Moloch is another such smashing track that encompasses everything that's evil with its percussion and spine-chilling use of horns. In fact the album seems like the symphony of an ancient,mystical evil force like elder gods in Lovecraft mythology.

Yes, the album is slow and long. But Semen is an depressive black metal project with curious mixes of funeral doom passages. In fact this is exactly how the album should sound. As a one man project, Meilenwald produces another masterpiece album in the form of Foulest Semen of Sheltered Elite. The tones are mightly and lends a primeval feel to the atmosphere. Must hear for any atmospheric/depressive black metal act.

Bloodlines Video From Their New Album



Watch and come hard headbanging to this video.

3 More Days And Then Let All Hell Loose Listening To Dethalbum II

Dethalbum I was a product of such sheer awesomeness that even now metalheads go nuts listening to tracks like Murmaider and Awaken.

And now brace yourself to experience that awesome force that's Dethklok once again on 29th Sept. when Dethalbum II hits the stores.

Inner Sanctum wins I-Rock Bangalore.

Inner Snactum has given has enough sore necks and broken backs in their numerous concerts. And now it looks like they have smashed their way to the top winning I Rock B'lore edition decimating the crowds with their high energized music alongside other competitors Eccentric Pendulum, Theorized and Crimson Wood.

Next stop is Bombay for these guys, where I am pretty sure they're gonna blast through the judges and audiences audio senses once again to win this year's I -Rock edition.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ensiferum - From Afar

That Ensiferum are an awesome band, is a fact well known. That From Afar is one hell of an ass-kicking album, is a fact that can only be believed by hearing it. Staying on top of the game, Ensiferum have made a brilliant album by infusing every element that goes into make that perfect Viking metal album. Victory Songs was a terrific album that put Ensiferum on top of the viking metal pack, but following it many other bands popped up with their music sounding like well what to say - like every other band in the genre. But with From Afar Ensiferum once again shows to every one that they are the leaders of this genre.

Packing all the classic Viking metal elements like haunting keyboard choirs, melodious flute notes, Nordic rhymes, rapid fire riffing at bolting rhythm, listening to the album makes one hell of an epic experience. Instrumental wise, the musicians do perfect justice to the album by playing with panache. The intro track By Dividing Stream contains a masterfully done acoustic piece, thanks to Markus. The towering riffs in Heathen Thrones along with the horns keeps your spirits high by making you headbang as hard as possible. The horns in fact are a part of their elaborate orchestra inclusion that builds around the band's core music. This can be noted in their songs like Elusive Reaches and Longest Journey.

Emmi Silvenoinen , the ban's new keyboardist keeps up to the expectations of the band by playing some fluid melodies in tracks like Smoking Ruins and Longest Journey. In fact the keyboard plays an essential role in keeping the glorious viking era atmosphere throughout the album. Their longer compositions like Heathen Throne, though boring in the end shows that the band is adept even at slower rhythms. Production of the album too is top-notch, due to efforts by their previous producers Janni Joutsenniemi.

Where Victory Songs is a straight forward album showcasingEnsiferum's mix of black, folk, and power metal elements; From Afartakes the song-writing to a different level and is therefore much more diverse in song structures and general pacing of the album. Although a few of the songs from the album do slip below the radar and the long songs are simply not as good as Victory Song,Ensiferum are once again showing the light for other bands to follow within this style. Ensiferum are a band that cannot disappoint

Nile and Textures To Tour India




After the boring cat and mouse game played between the organisers and Guns And Roses came to an end, resulting in a declaration that Guns n Roses 'WILL NOT' be touring India, here's some good news for those waiting for some real adrenalin pumping action in form of an international act playing here.

No, GIR doesn't count as that. Not with Benea Reach, Intronaut and Solstate. I never considered deathcore/metalcore/post-metal music to be chest thumping fist shoving kind of music like BDM/ black metal

So here's the news, Nile had already confirmed they would be playing in India in this specified interview. I took with Karl Sanders for Chordvine.com, this is what I was told when asked whether Nile would be coming tdown to India for a show


''That’s absolutely wicked. So any plans of Nile playing in India after the next album come up?

You bet! Our management is working towards India, Thailand and China shows on the next Nile Tour when we cross the pacific this next time to do our usual Nile shows in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.''

Plus on a chat with one of the DNA organiser back in August, i was told that they planned to get Nile, Textures and another big-name metal act to play in the Bangalore in Oct. Hence confirming the Nile tour once again. For people refusing to believe this too, Nile once again state they are working on a schedule to play in India somewhere during mid-Oct. in the Sept. issue of Rolling Stones India.

As for Textures, flip through RSJ's latest issue where in their interview they state that they too are planning to come down to India for a show somewhere during this year-end.

All and all these are news to be celebrated, as for long time Indian metalheads have not banged their head to some quality international act. And no this doesn't include Maiden and Co., as they were too damn commercial.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dying Fetus - Desend Into Depravity


After some melodies from Insomnium, we have some brutality this month as well, thanks to Dying Fetus' Descend Into Depravity. Going by the album name, the album is every bit explosive as one would expect from Dying Fetus with frenzied pace and pile-driving riffs that invokes the beast within you to go take a leap into insanity. Combining brutality and technicality has been the forte of very few bands, and Dying 'fucking' Fetus achieves that with such flair that listening to it soon sends you to an unstoppable headbanging mania.

After their disappointing fare in War of Attrition and Stop At Nothing, Fetus find their groove back in this album, distantly reminding you of their classic Destroy The Opposition. With explosive riffs playing around sleek tempo that backs the Gallagher's explosive gutturals, Descend Into Depravity succeeds in clobbering your ears to nonexistance. The fact that whole band is so incredibly tight owing to their stable lineup since 01 except for Timlin's departure and Trey Williams arrival. in fact playing with the classic 3 man (Bdm/grindcore) lineup has lent a lot to Fetus' mindblasting sounds. Right from the starting track Your Treachery Will Die With You, the album feels like one big setup for an oncoming moshpit.

Full of blast beats and down-tuned fast riffs alongside growls, the album constantly batters your assault like in the track Atrocious By Nature or the title track that simply leaves you jaw-dropped amidst all that intense bout of headbanging due Gallagher's out-of-the-world riffing or in At What Expense where Beasly's basslines are equally appreciable. The dual vocals of Gallagher and Beasly works brilliantly too in tracks like Ethos of Coercion and Shepherd's Commandment. The songwriting is fluid as well speaking mostly about moral corruption of the society we live in, as is the classic Fetus known for their outspoken political views.

Descend Into Depravity is in short an awesome album that instantly pummels your senses, just like you would expect from any other BDM album. The songs are well written and the tightness of the band is nothing short of an achievement worth praise. Not leaving you poker-faced, Dying Fetus has reached the level where they succeed in delivering constant doses of brutality instead of vague experimentation, just like Autopsy, Nile, Aborted. After Descend Into Depravity one can surely expect more brutal savagery from the band in their next venture.

Insomnium - Across The Dark

If you were to expect anything new from Insomnium's latest album Across the Dark then it would be just the cover art and the lyrics. Save the music, everything else is different in the new album. On hitting the play button you will hear that same melodic leads with those same doom-ish riffs in an equally same despondent atmosphere that you have come across in all their previous albums. When you realise a band like Insomnium, a band that brought along fresh wave of change in the melo-death scene with their fluid melodies are coming out with a new feature you are bound to expect something new in their music. But alas, Across The Dark is no such proof of such statement.

Agreed that the melodies in the new album are best described mercurial and the songwriting has considerably improved, the music more or less feels like an extension of their last album Above The Weeping The World. The only few changes one notices are the addition of synth sounds, courtesy of Aleski Munter of Swallow The Sun that are fused in with most of the tracks to compensate the removal of layers of melodic leads. As a result the impact of the melodies are more forthright and consequently more enjoyable. The other change being inclusion of clean vocals, which have been incorporated into a smattering of songs. Only song where the clean singing makes a difference is in the epic Lay of Autumn, but over there as well it lasts for only a brief period.

The only thing that would appeal to fans would be the fact that its predictable. They can always look to expect some similar elements from their last albums. Some of the tracks that make a memorable listening experience would be fast wavering Into The Woods and Against The Hues. The melancholy of the band is most profoundly felt in Weighed Down By Sorrow. Instrumentally the guys in Insomnium have fared better than before. The bassline in Weighted Down with Sorrow is quite commendable.

Overall listening to Across The Dark is a worthwhile experience. The missing of a standout track like Killjoy is quite disappointing, though Down With Sun comes close to it. More disappointing is the fact that same music is played in the album, in fact the same type of music has been playing on since their debut album. This stereotyped music pretty much begins to bore you as its impact can hardly be said to be consequential. And though they could have incorporated a bit more of clean vocals, for reason I know not they refrained from doing so that only adds to my frustration of my Insomnium have not taken the music to the next level as many of us expected so. After this non-essential venture, I am hoping Insomnium will come up with something ''new'' in their next production.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Inner Sanctum - Provenance(EP)


Inner Sanctum! That one name that instantly conjures up violent images of broken arms, bruised head and limp bodies from a delirious moshpit. Inner Sanctum! Now we've all witnessed the imposing force that is the band in its prime form in their live acts. Channeling their never-ending energy to one huge binding force that soon overwhelms the audience, gripping them in their control when all the while they are furiously headbanging to their thunderous beats; Inner Sanctum,Bangalore based tech death/thrash outfit are unarguably one of India's best death metal bands. They've always kept up to the audience's expectation giving power-packed performance in each of their single gigs, winning many of them all the while playing with an almost God-like stature.

While crowds drove in hordes( by Indian standards) to their gigs, there was a greater expectation to be met by the band for the headbangers out there. And they finally kept upto that likelihood when their debut EP Provenance released this month. Offering the same intensity of their live gigs, Inner Sanctum play a brilliant 4 track set, blowing your ears to smithereens. The production quality of the EP is by far one of the best in any Indian metal releases and this lends an extra credibility that Inner Sanctum are indeed a formidable act. And that's not it, unlike many other numerous Indian metal acts selling their 'original' stuff, Inner Sanctum's authentic sound rides high on the album aping no other acts. This is in fact is one of the many highs of the EP.

Now its not every time you get to hear a song that too a metal one on one of the most influential villains portrayed on screen- Dark Knight's Joker, however Sanctum go on to do just that playing a smashing mid-tempo track in Agent of Chaos. With soaring riffs and lofty double bass beats the track instantly sets up the mood for headbanging. The riffs in fact are razor sharp, slicing through the guitars thanks to their guitarists Chintan and Rajeev. Their pile driving riffs continue to assault your senses alongside Gaurav's guttural vocals in their next tracks Quarantine and Human Disregard. In fact the killer drumming by Abhinav in Quarantine, which was available for streaming on their MySpace/Bandcamp page for streaming, immediately sets you to the temper to mosh. Human Disregard is by far the best track on the EP that plays on a groovy note. The EP ends on a vehement note with the Eye of False that has some catchy riffs in its intro.

No point in the EP will you ever stop saying yourself. 'Wow', 'Incredibly tight' 'awesome' with horns raised in the air, 'cause that's what they actually are - an abrilliant tight act. There's not a single moment in the EP that leaves you disappointed except in the end where you are left standing exhausted from all that headbanging asking for more intense stuff from the band. But then you cant expect more tracks in an EP. The artwork by Gaurav is quite well done too. Overall Provenance is an excellent debut EP which's great to headbang to. After a brilliant venture like this, the band sure has more expectations to live upto in their next album. Till then grab yourself a copy of the EP and break your neck headbanging to it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Inner Sanctum Cover Art

Two Words:

FUCKING AWESOME!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gnr's India Tour Confirmed


Ok now i agree that GnR is nowhere close to metal, but then who hasn't crooned to ''Sweet Child of Mine'' or ''Paradise City'' in their childhood/pre-teenage days!

What was perceived as a hoax in the beginning has been turned to a confirmation. About a week back the website www.rhapsodyinc.in claimed that GnR would be touring India and playing in Bangalore on 7th November.

And now the owner of the site Mr.Raj Sinha has confirmed the news in this specified news article in Deccan Chronicle.

And although we'll see a bunch of musician noobs (Slash,Izzy and mcKagab quit the band long ago) accompanying Axl Rose the sole founding member of the band, watching them live will be a dream come true for many fans of this legendary hard rock act.

Amogh Symphony - Abolishing The Obsolete System


These days its very rare to find musicians who strive to take their music to the next dimension. Its even more rare when it comes to the modern technical Death genre, where every band sounds like every band, falling dreadfully into the pit of recurring sounds. But what makes this particular album in contention even more rare is the simple fact that its from India, a land where most bands are busy aping their western counterparts.

And this where Vishal J.Singh's Amogh Symphony enters the scene, bringing with him a brand of music that has changed the face of technical Death/Progressive Metal genre forever, leaving the listeners in a state of amazement with their jaws dropped. Vishal J.Singh is a musical genius handling all the instruments with adept skills in his first full-length release.The basslines heard in the album are possibly some of the best you can ever come across and not forget the his skillful drumming which simply establishes him as a drumming virtuoso. The riffs heard in the album including the acoustic ones heard in the closing track ''Post War Symphony'' also go on to prove nothing but Vishal's a guitar wizard too. And its not just the instruments which he handles so well, the album's wonderful sound production is all due to Vishal's fantastic efforts again.

What makes the album so different from other acts of this genre is the simple fact that Vishal plays an intricate style of technical Death Metal in the album fusing Jazz elements wonderfully alongside Indian classical music influences as well as techno-synth sounds as heard in tracks like Cyborg Activation and Abolishing The Obsolete System. And its the inclusion of such structures that soon engulfs the listener in a cosmic atmosphere, making him anticipate each track with such a zeal that pretty soon he may find his head banging to the beats of the album.

The whole album unquestionably sounds like one great song where every track sounds like a part of a greater track, with every track maintaining it's own unique identity. And this is where lies Amogh Symphony's beauty. Single masterpieces joining together in greater harmony to form a larger magnum opus. So far as vocals are concerned, they are a scarce commodity in album except in Swallowing The Infected Sun' where its performed by Ramki (vocalist of Chicago based Prog Death outfit Noesis) and in ''Greenhouse Effect'' by Prashant Vadhyar.

And even without all the growling/throaty vocals one expects in a Tech-Death Metal album, "Abolishing The Obsolete System" carries the Tech-Death Metal vibe. In fact the album manages to sound pretty neat minus the vocals. All in all Amogh Symphony pulls off a brilliant masterpiece in his new album without any flaws worth mentioning. The magic Vishal spins with his skills is simply awe-inspiring and I just cant stop imagining how his next album might sound like after his latest venture that was Abolishing The Obsolete System.



Saturday, September 5, 2009

Porcupine Tree in India




Veteran British prog rockers Porcupine Tree are slated to play their first ever gig in India on 21st December in Mood Indigo festival in IIT,Bombay.

After getting Finnish melo-death metallers Ensiferum to headline their fest last year, the nerds supremo at IIT have managed to pull in another heavyweight in their own genre in the form of Porcupine Tree. But then the Ensiferum gig was apparently a big fuck-up considering the negative audience response( that was bound to happen, afterall when free passes are handed out then even your next door neighbour's father is bound to end up in a show, be it even a metal one) and seeing that I am now wondering if the Porcupine Tree gig too is headed in the same direction.

However their Chennai counterparts did a better job in in hosting Opeth, which witnessed a huge turnout and the response too was on a larger and positive note.

Eitherways I am even more perplexed by the fact that bands of such status actually come down to India to play in college fests on invitation rather than performing in their own tours or any music festivals. In short this is another disappointing sign that metal music is heading the commercial way with bands coming here only for the money!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vader - Necropolis




A band generally closes its door when almost all its members walk away maybe leaving behind only a single guy back. But sometimes that one guy is more than enough to carry on the band's legacy. And thats exactly what frontman and founding member of Vader Piotr '' Peter'' Wiwczarek did when everyone quit the band, move on. With new recruits in form of Vogg from Decapitated taking over the guitars,Reyash of Incantation managing the bass and Pawel Jaroszewicz of Hell-Born fame handling the drums, Peter's Vader has delivered another power-packed performance in his 8th full length release, Necropolis. The fact that they have come up with the album within a year of Peter losing his entire backing band makes the album even the more worth giving a hear.

Even after a complete revamp of the lineup, the band manages to retain the same old Vader-ish sounds as seen outright from the starting track Devilizer that contains those usual pile-driving riffs and the throaty vocals alongside the thunderous double bass beats, which had first got Vader noticed. With plenty of furious riffing at chugging fast pace and throaty,dry vocals Vader sound every bit like a polished war machine obliterating everything in its path. Blastbeats too are plenty inducing the perfect mosh atmosphere in tracks like Impure alongwith equally mosh inducing riffs. An interesting aspect about the album is that there are more solos than previous releases and each of these solos are executed with such focus that has been the trademark of the band that it makes you pump your fists against the wall in the pure adrenalin rush you get listening to it.

Also the album is shorter than usual, clocking just over thirty minutes mark. However this does not piss me off as long as tracks like Blast and Anger provide the infuriating moments of headbanging experience. We Are Horde and Rise Of The Dead are some of the tracks that showcases everything that is Vader. There are also some un-Vader points in the album in tracks like Impressions In Blood and XXV where keyboards outline the compositions. Also the band takes a more traditional heavy metal path in the closing track When The Sun Drowns In Dark, also its the only track that clocks over seven minutes. Venom's Black Metal and Metallica's Fight Fire With Fire are executed in pure Vader style in the end after all their own compositions are completed.

Although you would be done through with all the headbanging & moshing listening to Necropolis, in the end you might find yourself asking more from the band. Just over half hour, the album could have expanded more over Vader's style. But nevertheless Vader produces a top notch album in Necropolis without losing any grounds that once again goes on to show why Poland's Vader are still considered as death metal gods.

Metal Priest

video Now everytime we talk about metal, some jackass always screws the conversation up calling it to be anti-religious , against the god and blah blah blah. Agreed black metal has always moved on the left hand path, but that doesn't mean all genres of metal are deemed anti-God.

This video basically trashes all such concept as we see an Italian monk taking up frontman duties for his heavy metal band Fratello Metallo

Thursday, September 3, 2009

RSJ Announce Their GIR 2009 Headliners


Rock Street Journal have announced the international headline acts for the forthcoming Great Indian Rock fest.

US based sludge/prog metallers Intronaut and Norwegian metalcore act Benea Reach are scheduled to headline GIR this time.

The mag has also told they would announce more headlining acts in the forthcoming weeks.

Meanwhile festival dates have been announced as well.

The festival dates and venues are as follows:
PUNE - fri, 23rd Oct - OASIS
DELHI - Sat 24th and sun 25th Oct - Hamsadwhani, Pragati Maidan
KOLKATA - Sat 24th - NAZRUL MANCH
BANGALORE - Sun 25th Oct, Palace Grounds

CLUB DATES: Manipal, Hyderabad, Mumbai - TBA


On a personal note I am really disappointed as of now after reading that some relatively unknown band is performing in GIR this time. That too a sludge and a mallcore one!After seeing them bring along established black metal acts like Satyricon and Enslaved, RSJ have let us down by going commercial and bringing metalcore acts, something that has not been in RSJ's soup before.

For the other acts, I am really hoping they are some extreme ones.
Keeping fingers crossed till then.

Slayer Finally Announces World Painted Blood's Official Release Date

Finally Slayer have officially announced the launch date of their forthcoming album ''World Painted Blood''

November 3 is the official US release date, while its November 2 every where else.

The release also tells us that there will be “a limited edition CD with multiple CD covers, a deluxe edition CD/DVD, and a high-quality, 180-gram vinyl edition.”

This is exciting stuff from the band who have delaying the launch of this album for almost 4 months now!

Its Official : Monkeys Like Metal

Its official now. Monkeys listen to metal. And if you think this is big bluff then there's scientist reports to back iy up as well.

According to the article posted in today's TOI edition

Scientists played a selection of music to a group of cotton-top tamarin monkeys but the only tunes that got a reaction were from the heavy metal band Metallica. They were seemingly disinterested in Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis and Bach, but after the dulcet tones of Master of Puppets by Metallica was played the tamarins calmed down.

"Monkeys interpret rising and falling tones differently than humans. Oddly, their only response to several samples of human music was a calming response to the heavy-metal band Metallica," said Professor Charles Snowdon, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rather than making them agitated or aggressive, the heavy metal tracks had a soothing effect.

And if thats not it, then this particular monkey even resembles a black metal frontman sporting corpse paint!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mid September is the date For Inner Sanctum's EP Launch

Now back to the Indian front and Inner Sanctum have revealed that their EP will be available somewhere around mid-September.

And that's not it, as Sahil Makhija of DSR has announced that the EP shall be sold for Rs.100 in all their Furtados outlet.

In any case, you are out for a brutal treat when the EP hits the store. Hail Sanctum.\m/

Dimmu Fires Bassist and Keyboard Player


More news from the black metal scene, and this time its from Dimmu Borgir. Borgir have apparently shown the door to their bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex and keyboard player Mustis over the weekend. However this wasn't a mutual decision as seen from the post in Blabbermouth.net

Gaahl Announces Retirement


Former Gorgoroth and God Seed frontman has dropped a bomb in the black metal scene by announcing his retirement from the scene after playing just 2 shows with his current band God Seed. As a result things have been put to hold in the band by their bassist King ov Hell.