Jugaa Interview

Jugaa’s guitarist, founder, main songwriter and chief exporter of their heaviness to foreign lands – Vishal Rai – is an important figure in the Nepali hardcore/metal scene, whether he likes to admit it or not. Since 2007, Jugaa has put out 1 demo, 2 EP’s, 2 splits, and 1 compilation. They’ve also shared the stage with Singaporean grindcore act Wormrot at Undergrind fest in India, where Jugaa showed off their Himalayan Hardcore sound to a non-Nepali audience for the first time. He’s also a punk rock veteran, a part of the infamous band I2ST back in the early 2000’s. But at the end of it, Vishal’s just a cool, knowledgeable bloke. I’d like to pretend this interview was conducted at a bar over a few beers, but I hope to have that honor some day when my own band plays in Nepal!

Jugaa Lineup

 

– Hey Vishal. What’s up and how’s the preparation for Silence Festival going?
We’ve barely been able to get together once a week to rehearse and our drummer keeps forgetting his parts. Things are going to be disastrous. Haha.

 

– Tell us a bit about the background of the band and the line-up. What was the purpose behind Jugaa’s formation and is it still on the same track as the early days?
Our old band (I2ST) stopped playing in 2005, I think. After a year or so of inactivity, we were itching to play again but not as I2ST. That band had a time and a place and that time had clearly passed. That’s when the most evil man in Kathmandu, Ranav from Cruentus (the best black metal band this country has produced), stepped in on vocals.

The purpose behind Jugaa’s formation has always been the same – to create dark, heavy hardcore.

 

– You guys were on the Ghalazat compilation. How’s the compilation been recieved thus far?
It’s been received pretty well, I guess. More than that, it was just a relief to get it out after months of delays. It was certainly cool to be on a compilation with our good friends, with a cover designed by an artist who’s worked with some of my favourite bands – Jacob Parmentier of Abernathy Designs.

 

Jugaa2

 

– Looking at Jugaa’s sound, there’s definitely a strange melting pot of influences from black metal to NYHC. How do you make it work, with regards to the songwriting process and individual influences of the members?
Well, it’s an amalgamation of having a myriad of influences and the art of stealing riffs, which I consider myself a student of. Hahaha. I’m responsible for a majority of the songwriting, which I do alone at home, so the influences of the other members don’t really come into play until we get together. And then, what I’ve envisioned usually turns out to be completely different once the drums and vocals come in because they have their own style of doing things.

People have compared us to bands I’ve never heard of, some even obscure (at least to me) death metal, and I find that very amusing and intriguing.

 

– In the last 3 years the Hardcore scene has been harkening back to the days of the 90’s Metallic Hardcore era, but bringing in some HM-2 influences from Sweden too. Where does Jugaa fit into the realm of heavy music today, in your opinion?
I don’t know, man, I’ve never thought of things that way. We’re just a band from a tiny country in the armpit of the world – South Asia – trying to have a good time playing heavy music.

 

– You’re always on the look out for new heavy music and such. What are the best new hardcore bands in your opinion?
I’ll limit this to bands that only have demos so far. Most of them play 90’s style heavy hardcore/metalcore. I’m biased since that’s my favourite style.

Incitement – http://incitement.bandcamp.com/
Below – http://atonementrecords.limitedrun.com/products/516337-below-demo-2013
Jukai – http://jukai.bandcamp.com/
xRepentancex – http://xrepentancex.bandcamp.com/
Pulled Under – http://pulledunderhc.bandcamp.com
Outer Heaven – http://outerheavenpa.bandcamp.com/

 

Vishal

– What about the music scene in Nepal. You’ve been involved in making music for well over a decade now, how have things changed since back in the I2ST era?
Many things have changed and a lot has stayed the same but it’s definitely gotten bigger, that’s for sure. Nepal has to be one of the few countries where attendees at “underground” concerts outnumber those of the mainstream pop/rock variety. A decade ago you were lucky if you could play a show a month, now there are shows every other weekend. Besides that, I wouldn’t know because I’m not as involved as I used to be. Kids do seem to be having fun though, and that’s all that matters.

 

– Do you think people are right to call I2ST a legendary band as far as Punk Rock in KTM is concerned?
I think people call I2ST legendary because of the warped “old is good” belief. In all likelihood, people who call us that are younger kids who weren’t around when we were active. We just happened to be one of the first punk bands in this country. They probably heard about us from older folk or read about us somewhere and, since they weren’t around then, it created an aura of mystique. It’s all good though, who wouldn’t want to be termed “legendary” even when you know you don’t really deserve it? hahaha.

In a way, this is funny because everyone hated us then. The exact same thing happened to our friends UgraKarma. They were despised because of the use of programmed drums on their albums and now there are tribute shows being organized in their honour. The only difference is they actually had really good songs that people overlooked just because of the drums, while ours don’t seem to have aged well.

In any case, I don’t associate myself with the Kathmandu punk scene. I don’t know what it’s like now, but it was terrible a decade ago when it was overtly PC with a holier-than-thou attitude and people trying to force their opinions on you. I’m not apathetic and I like bands that have solid things to say (as rare as they may be), but when shows have hour long speeches between sets, you know you’re deep in No Fun Club territory.

 

Jugaa live

 

– Tell us a bit about your bond with Sangharsha. You put out a split with them a year ago and teamed up once more for Ghalazat.
I’ve loved Sangharsha since their demo. Kshitiz is a terrible guitarist but he comes up with brilliant riffs. hahaha. We go a long way back and we have a lot of things in common so that’s reason enough to keep teaming up.

 

– Same as Sangharsha, Jugaa isn’t too active on the live front despite making some mosh-heavy music. What’s your reason?
It started out due to geographical issues since I wasn’t in the country for a while. Then when we started playing again, we realized we weren’t into it. We don’t tour, so playing regular shows in the same city to the same people tends to get tedious. We also didn’t want to be one of those bands that put themselves on every bill, no matter what kind of show it is. I feel it cheapens the whole thing. I’d rather be in the studio.

 

– How do you see the next 5 years unfolding for your band?
We’re breaking up after the next EP, whenever that may be.

 

– 5 albums that changed your approach to music?
Slayer – Reign In Blood,
Rancid – …And Out Come The Wolves
Ramones – S/T
Earth Crisis – Destroy The Machines
Integrity – Humanity Is The Devil

 

– Thank you for your time. Do you have any last words?
Thank you, Hassan, for all your support these last few years. The rest of you, go download Ghalazat

http://ghalazat.bandcamp.com/

 

Jugaa logo

Jugaa on Facebook

Jugaa on Bandcamp

– Hassan Dozakhi

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Death Inquisition – 918 (2012)

deathinquisition

Death Inquisition are a fun band, and they make some competent thrash that has a feel of its own. What I like about this band, is that they don’t sound “modern” at all (see: Evile, Lazarus AD and their ilk) and they don’t sound too “retro” either, the way most other contemporary thrash bands sound. If I was to pinpoint their exact sound, it would lie somewhere in between Possessed and D.R.I. or Sodom and Crumbsuckers. It’s basically old school late 80’s extreme thrash with a healthy dose of late 80’s crossover injected into the bloodstream.

Despite carving out an individual sound for themselves, the band does not attempt to push any boundaries in terms of song structure and riff selection, preferring to craft songs that do their primary purpose to the point of perfection – the function being to induce front row headbanging and a maniacal circle pit. There’s even some Hardcore style mosh moments here, for those who like to throw some punches.

Deathinquis lineup

The 4 tracks follow seemingly similar patterns. The riff and vocal combination is quite catchy; demonic riffs are employed with the lyrics having a tendency to repeat a lot. However, to the band’s credit and the benefit of anyone catching this band live, that aspect ends up creates a ‘sing-along’ feel similar to a lot of hardcore bands. Another hardcore aspect of the music is their slower mosh parts, but they still feel quite ‘metal’ due to the riff selection, and the constant attack of the solos. This, along with the lengthy nature of the compositions, keeps bringing the band back into the metal zone despite its flirtations with the hardcore side. Rhythm section is tight, as it should be, the drummer providing some interesting fills in the more monotonous parts of the music to keep the track going, but my favorite part of the overall package of the music is the vocals. Special praise needs to be reserved for the vocalist. He has a unique raspy voice and is brilliant with both the lows and the high pitched parts.

Production can be best described with one word. Savage. And the savage aspect of the production makes the already barbaric music even more flesh-severing. It’s not some fancy job with clear-cut drums, nondescripit bass and industry standard guitars. Nope. It has personality, despite the rawness, and in this genre of Thrash Metal where more and more bands lose their personality the second they step in the studio, it’s a breath of fresh air. My only gripe is that the snare seems a bit too pushed back for my liking, but like I said it’s still tasteful. The razor sharp guitar sound is just addictive!

Anyway, this isn’t something you’ll be listening to often. But when you do, you’ll be thoroughly satisfied. Recommended to fans of Thrash Metal, as well as Hardcore Punk fans who like to hear some evil fucking metal.

deathinquislogo

Death Inquisition on Facebook

Death Inquisition changed their name to Dead Beat, you can read our review of their demo here.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Dead Beat – S/T Demo (2013)

Dead Beat previously went by the name of Death Inquisition and played thrash metal.

Dead Beat previously went by the name of Death Inquisition and played thrash metal. They then changed their name to signal a change of sound.

 

When you think of a Dead Beat, what comes to mind? Being a really shitty father figure, perhaps. Or maybe a musical note that didn’t do its job very well and had to be put down. If you said “NO!” to both of those possible explanations, let me introduce you to another meaning of Dead Beat.

 

Dead Beat is a metallic hardcore band hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America. Before you scoff at the hardcore tag, don’t be an elitist conformist and pass them off as a stereotypical chug-core hardcore band. This demo might only a lightweight three-track in length, but it packs a serious punch…enough force to push you through a brick wall.

 

My favorite part of this demo is the guitar work. The tone offers a heavy vibe that is fitting to the rank of hardcore bands, which is pleasing. But what keeps you really listening to each song over and over is the melodic edge that August Harper applies to his guitar riffs. It makes each track creative and pleasant, while still having that heavy edge. His technique took something that could have been simplistic and repetitive and turned it into something very memorable.

 

Aside from the crazy cool melodic touch, Dead Beat offers a heavy jam session in a short amount of time. There are plenty of breakdown sections that make you want to get up and move. Though there may be a few of these sections in the demo, they move at a good pace and don’t get old for the listener. Another nice touch is the abrasive vocals of Brandon Fitzgerald. There’s nothing pretty about his vocal style, which isn’t an insult. His screaming sounds angry and fierce, which gives Dead Beat that “I’m going to beat you to a pulp” hardcore sound. And lastly, when you throw in the technical drum patterns and blasting sections, drummer Chris Peters really drives the music home.

 

My last shout-out goes to the track “Leviathan”. Man, does that bass introduction really kick some ass. You’ll find the distortion to sound like something out of a sludge band, but it’s matched with a punk feel. That’s definitely a moment that gets a few rewinds in this release. Kudos to August Harper, who happened to also lay down bass tracks on this album (bassist Cameron Carrell was unable to attend the recording session).

 

If you’re looking to get into hardcore, or you’re a hardcore veteran, this is something for you to add to your collection. For only being three songs, this demo MOVES. Drop by their bandcamp and invest, you will not be disappointed.

 

deadbeatlineup

pictured above: August Harper (guitar), Chris Peters (drums), Cameron Carrell (ex-bass guitar, helped write bass lines on this release). Not shown in picture, Brandon Fitzgerald (vocals)

 

Dead Beat on Facebook

Dead Beat on BandCamp

– Matt Dorr

Sangharsha Interview

Sangharsha are a Hardcore band from New York with roots in Nepal. I’ve been a fan of ’em ever since a Nepali friend of mine made me hear their split record with Kathmandu based HC goons Jugaa. They’ve been a regular in my playlist ever since, and interviewing them was one of the first things on my mind when I started this blog/zine. I managed to interview Sangharsha’s guitarist and founder Kshitiz Moktan and talked to him about the past, present and future of his band.

Sangharha's self titled EP (2012) is a regular on my playlist.

Sangharha’s self titled EP (2012) is a regular on my playlist.

 

Hey Kshitiz. How’s everything at your end?

Enjoying Life and Fatherhood, dawn of a new era!

 

Despite being around for a few years, Sangharsha remains somewhat of an enigmatic entity. Can you give us a brief summary concerning the history of the band?

One night in the hot summer weather in 2004 in Alabama, a vision struck to me, what if four meteorites would stuck together hit the earth, what would happen, this is when the vision started to take a reality.

 

The sound has evolved quite a bit since the band’s nascent days. The first demo was no-frills hardcore but you’ve flirted with heavier, sludgier, doomier sounds since then. With this in mind, what sort sounds do you see Sangharsha exploring in the future?

Beautiful, minimalistic but powerful and spiritual songs of love and realization.

 

Sangharsha’s lyrics were expressed purely in the Nepali language in the past. You’ve started to incorporate English songs lately, however. What inspired this shift?

So that we can harness and fine tune some of our accentuated, articulated and grammatically perfect Eng-Lish!

 

You recently put out the Ghalazat (Urdu for Filth) compilation with a bunch of rad hardcore, grind and death metal bands from Nepal and Pakistan. What was the purpose behind the compilation, and when can we expect a sequel to it?

Ghalazat was envisioned as a love for humanity with a ray of hope of music to celebrate that we together can co-exist in this world full of extra terrestrial beings. Expect Ghalazat II to be back in 2014 with more songs and bands supporting our vision.

 

Ghalazat featured UgraKarma, Binaash, Terrifyer, Foreskin, Jugaa as well as Sangharsha.

Ghalazat featured UgraKarma, Binaash, Terrifyer, Foreskin, Jugaa as well as Sangharsha.

 

Despite making a lot of noise, you lads haven’t been too active on the live front, though.

We like to write and create history rather than be on the streets preaching about something.

 

Right, now let’s talk about your pre-Sangharsha musical endeavors. You and Vishal of Jugaa were in Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles, a really rad Punk Rock band from Kathmandu apparently.

Four wannabes trying to be hipsters back in those days playing hip punk music which people thought was anti-everything which was quite the opposite when we started it and ended it.

 

Not many people can claim being in kickass hardcore and punk bands in two different countries. What’s the biggest difference you noticed in the scene in Kathmandu and the scene in New York?

Never been a part of a scene, so no comments please.

 

You’re recording your next record in Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) studio. How’d that come across and when can we expect the new stuff?

Well Kurt does a super job of bringing out a Band’s natural sound to a record, since we are going to record songs that are emotional and full of love and realization, it was a natural choice.

 

What’s on your playlist these days?

Listening to a lot of MattyB, that’s all in my list, go check out MattyB in youtube, it’s awesome.

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! Any parting words?

Keep the Faith (George Michael)

 

Kshitiz (L) dedicates this interview to drummer Dipesh Mote (R) as well as Vishal Rai of Jugaa (not pictured)

Kshitiz (L) dedicates this interview to drummer Dipesh Mote (R) as well as Vishal Rai of Jugaa (not pictured)

 

Read our review of the Sangharsha/Jugaa split here.

Sangharsha on Facebook.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Grossty – Self-Titled (2012)

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Over the years, Bangalore has become somewhat of a Grindcore hub as far as South Asia is concerned. The sprawling Indian metropolis is home to a lot of blastbeat worshiping sickos including bands like Bad Taste, Anorectal Ulceration, Semen Commando, Head Splash, Gorified and Nauseate, as well as being home to the annual “Undergrind” festival which featured a headline performance from Singapore’s premium grindmongers Wormrot last year. I don’t know what exactly is about the city that encourages so many people to take up grindcore as a medium to explore their primitive nature, but this place might just become one of the main places for this genre in the coming decade.

Grossty (whose name is an amalgamation of the words Gross and Nasty… makes sense!) assaulted the scene in 2012 with their debut self-titled EP with their own unique style of grind that fuses the musical ethos of the most primitive and pure crust/grind stylings with the aesthetics of more goregrind styled acts, as well as shock-punk like GG Allin. From what I’ve heard from their fans, these guys are perpetually stoned and their live shows are riot-inducing and generally crazy. Listening to the music, I can totally understand why. If I was at a Grossty show I’d be stagediving, moshing, everything!

Grossty Live

They take no prisoners with their audio assault.

The production is raw and abrasive but at the same time it just fits well into your ears. It’s mixed and mastered how it should have been and sounds like a vintage grind record from 89. They don’t try to make it sound glossy and modern, instead choosing to revel in the primitive audio barbarism that music of such extreme nature should always stay rooted in. In fact, the production job on this blows most extreme music from South Asia out of the water, and the live drums are a welcome change from the usual programmed drum fare around these parts.

Instrumentally, these guys come off as being well schooled in everything they do. If there was some fabled “Bangalore Institute of Grindcore” these guys would either be the top graduates, or the top professors there. The music remains blistering fast but it switches from crusty d-beat style modes to joyous blastbeat worship, sometimes dipping into the muddy waters of slower more doomy tempos as showcased in tracks like “Incarcerated, It Seems.” There is so much variety here for a grind record, it’s hard to comprehend in the first place, really. Even the vocal styles keep switching from punky shouts to frantic screams to low gurgles, even some pornogrind style stuff in the second last song. Whatever pot these guys are smoking, they need to send me some of that ASAP! The material they’ve recorded is full of memorable moments, right from the d-beat driven opening of “TV is Full of Crap” to the GG Allin and Charles Manson inspired “Jesus Christ.” There’s even a Cripple Bastards cover here, one that the Italian grinders themselves would be proud of. The lyrics here are crazy and perverted as fuck, so if you’re on some politically-correct tip you might want to stay away. They discuss everything from bestiality to jail-rape rather than the socially conscious themes that bands of this nature choose to dive into. I, however, wouldn’t recommend ignoring this opus. I’d instead advise you to welcome this album into your life with open arms. It’s that fuck-buddy you won’t ever have enough of. When you come home from a shitty day at work or a long-drawn out bus-ride, you’re gonna be thinking “Damn bro. Where that Grossty CD at? I need somma dat.” Believe that.

Grossty Live 2

Going to India to attend a Grossty show is one of the things I plan on doing before I die.

I received a physical copy of it sometime last year along with a free bandana, and everything about the packaging screamed “DIY!” albeit done very professionally as far as the intentions go. The humble 4-panel wallet, with the CD tucked neatly in a pocket surrounded by the band just giving out a bunch of crude “thank you” credits to their crew, is just too fucking awesome. DIY ethos is what keeps extreme music alive in places like South Asia and keeps us all grounded as well. Though you’d be dead wrong to think that Grossty are some amateur band just grinding for the hell of it. These lads know what’s up and you can feel it even before slotting the disc into your computer. They probably invested quite a lot of their time and money into this – same as everyone flying the flag of extreme music in South Asia – and after finishing my first listen of this EP I realized that Grossty does not fuck around! They deliver the fucking goods (in this case, goods being quality grind) like Pizza Hut delivers pizza (though their delivery sucks nowadays to be quite honest, but we’ll talk about that some other time)

Bottom line; if you’re looking for some sick grindcore from India, Grossty should be the first name on your list. Followed by the name of your drug dealer. Indian label Transcending Obscurity sells this, and you can get links to the band as well as the label, below.

Grossty

Transcending Obscurity

Listen to Grossty on Bandcamp

– Hassan Dozakhi

Dead Church/Faction Disaster (2013)

DCFD-COVER

Grindcore, to me, is like a paratha roll. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s something we eat here in Pakistan that’s basically just a circular bread thing that’s filled up with meat, vegetables, mayonaise, ketchup and whatever the fuck you can get your hands on. It looks easy to make, but not everyone can do it right. Sometimes it fucking rules and it’s all you wanna eat. Other times, people tend to fuck it up so bad that you wish the shit never existed. But at the end of the day, all you really need is a paratha roll. Grindcore is pretty much the same, for me. Just replace the food references with the music ones. Now, Mannequin Rein is a budding new record label from Michigan, specializing in Grindcore, Powerviolence, Sludge, Doom and everything that fits the “noisy and abrassive” tag. This split is the 21st release on their roster, having put out a bunch of other crushing splits already. Both bands on this delightfully vile split release are armed to the teeth with some raw, heavy and nasty production that grindfreaks and paratha roll lovers like me love to sink their teeth into. But other than the obvious similarities, they represent two contrasting ends of the genre.

Dead Church

Side A of this split belongs to the Michigan Grindcore/Powerviolence band Dead Church. You could call them Death/Grind as well but the punky spontaneous nature of the music, coupled with a vocal attack that owes more to the HC side of things rather than Death Metal, makes me put them in the same bracket as Infest, Weekend Nachos, Benumb or Spazz. Dead Church don’t hesitate to pull all the stops here, spitting out all their venomous rage right off the bat. These lads know exactly what to do with their music, with all the tracks being tight and feeling like actual songs rather than a bunch of riffs haphazardly joined together with the rhythm section just doing their thing. Dead Church clearly aren’t in for that sort of ill-disciplined stuff, and they focus first and foremost on the almighty power of the riff to make people go apeshit. For less than four minutes they assault you with some grind that’s energetic and catchy as fuck; you’d be hard pressed to stop yourself from moshing especially to the massive breakdown in “At War” or singing (read: shouting) along to “Victims of Praise.” Me, personally, I had to divide my time between couch-moshing and writing this review. Excellent material, not a bad riff or a bad vocal line here.

Faction Disaster

Side B amps up the death metal influences with Faction Disaster, who come out bursting through the gates with a straight up crushing riff-based and guttural vocal-led death/grind assault that brings to mind Mortician and Machetazo in terms of the guitar work, but with a far more comic and random approach to the overall package, that makes me harken back to the likes of Charles Bronson (the band of course!). The song titles (Take “Commander Cody’s Dreads” for example) amplify their humorous approach and put them in contrast with the grim seriousness of Dead Church, but that’s not really a problem, just an interesting contrast. Another contrast is that the songwriting itself comes off as a bit goofy compared to the deadly precision of Side A, but it’s not an actual problem if the riffs are so fucking good. In fact the only problem with their side of the split is that it ends a bit too soon. One more grinding thrashing microsong would’ve been perfect. But hey.. “Moustache.”

Heavy, raw, crazy. Overall rating 8/10, one of the better splits put out this year definitely. Kicks you straight in the nuts and leaves you beggin’ for more. Or if I was to bring another paratha roll reference; gives you indigestion but still makes you wanna gobble down some more. I highly recommend you buy this. Check the details and links below.

dc-banner

Mannequin Rein Recordings

Dead Church

Faction Disaster

– Hassan Dozakhi

Sangharsha / Jugaa | The Sickness That Never Sleeps (2012)

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Ah, Nepal. The land of beautiful folk music, gorgeous women, amazing Himalayan landscapes, brilliant food… and two of the most vicious Metallic Hardcore bands polluting the airwaves in modern times. What am I talking about? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am referring to the unrelenting fury contained within the sound of Jugaa and Sangharsha, two Nepali Hardcore bands. The two groups are musically devastating in their own right but when combined on a split release, the results are just earth-shattering. Really, this is the type of music that could cause an avalanche of epic proportions in Nepal’s native mountain ranges.

Musically, both bands share the same core influences but some key differences ensure that neither band sounds too similar to the other. Even lyrically, the topics discussed are similar – the decay of society seems to be the dominant theme here. The similarities in the two bands are not all that surprising once you take into account the fact that Vishal of Jugaa and Kshitiz of Sangharsha played ina  punk rock band in the early 2000’s as well called “Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles” but as I said there are some differences that set both bands apart and make them unique on their own as well. And with all due respect to I2ST, this is not some fun punk rock. This is dead serious hardcore.

Sangharsha

Since Sangharsha’s side of the split comes in at first, I’ll place them under the microscope first. Sangharsha is total mosh music, barring the second half of Ekata of course – which sees them delving into sludge/noise. Their statement becomes clear with the opening track – a cover of Integrity’s Vocal Test. Crunchy, thick, and howling screams topped off by extremely clear drums and bass. The production is about as good as you can get for this kind of hardcore. Musically, there’s a healthy dose of metal influences but this is heavy hardcore all the way through. No bullshit, no gimmicks, just music to re-arrange faces to. Indeed, compared to Jugaa the sound is probably more definitive of the route hardcore music is taking in the modern world. But along with their extremely potent and witty songcrafting – the middle sound sample in Insaniyaat as an example – and with their exclusively Nepali lyrics, no one would fault Sangharsha of being ‘generic’ or ‘rehashed’ like most dime a dozen hardcore bands. In fact, the way they involved Nepali – a language from the Indo-Aryan family tree (which also includes Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, etc) – into music of such heavy and extreme nature without resorting to generic themes of love, patriotism, and the other generic themes that plague the music made in these North Indian languages – inspired me too. Sangharsha show everyone in the subcontinent that you CAN make extreme music in your own local language.

Jugaa

Jugaa are a personal favorite band of mine these days, let me just say that. These guys have some of the most badass riffs you will find in hardcore music today, irrespective of race, country, continent, whatever. In fact, some of the European and North American hardcore bands should listen to Jugaa and take some notes. Musically they are a lot more metal influenced than Sangharsha. The riff-centric approach to songwriting, the headbangability of the music, the death metal styled vocals, the dark grim atmosphere of their music and the raw production will definitely catch the attention of as much metalheads as it would of hardcore kids. Imagine if Aussie hardcore band Mindsnare and early 90’s metallic hardcore pioneers Ringworm got it on while a younger version of Hatebreed taped it and passed it on to the lads from Obituary and Entombed, and with the tape finally reaching some grim black metallers in Norway albeit in a more low-fi form. That’s Jugaa’s sound in a nutshell. But despite the metalness, this is still ruthless, aggressive hardcore that takes no prisoners. Jugaa fittingly finish their side on the album with a cover of Ringworm’s Birth in Pain, after two absolutely insane songs in Come the Winter and Vultures Will Feed, complimenting Sangharsha’s selection of Integrity’s Vocal Test as their cover.

In conclusion – I say this without any kind of bias that this is one of the finest hardcore/metallic hardcore releases you will hear in this day and age. Doesn’t matter if you’re a thrasher, grinder, hardcore kid, death metal kinda guy or just someone who likes both the extreme wings of metal and punk – listen to this. There’s something for everyone here. AND, after this review I’m gonna be reviewing both band’s individual discographies as well so watch out for that!!

Final Rating: 9/10

Jugaa on Facebook

Sangharsha on Facebook

Download the Split here

(Additional note: I find the selections for their covers pretty interesting. Both Integrity and Ringworm are legends of the Holy Terror scene, but after a lot of extensive listening, Sangharsha definitely comes across as more of an “Integrity” type of band at least on this release, with their more subtle intake of metallic influences while Jugaa owes a lot to Ringworm musically and especially in the riff-based approach that makes them appeal to metalheads. Maybe the two should start a “Hamal Terror” scene, haha!)

Originally written in 2012 for The Bamboo Shots by Hassan Dozakhi.