Systemhouse 33 – Depths of Despair (2013)


Pounding riffs. Pummeling grooves. A hoarse, gravel-throat vocal attack. Mosh-inducing song structures. Album art and production that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Helmet, Meshuggah or Pantera album. Once the senses-lulling intro subsides, Systemhouse33 pull me into their world of pure 90s metal worship. For a second I feel like I’m at a gig from 1994, surrounded by kids wearing Prong and Pro-Pain shirts, moshing it out to unconsciously second-hand hardcore punk riffs played through a thrash/groove metal processor. The odd melody seeps in, then makes way for another headbang inducing groove aided with some crushing drum work. The aggression never subsides. Songwriting, however, seemingly serves a purpose higher than just invoking neanderthal fist-fights. Songs like “Resistance” contrast well with more direct numbers such as “Death Wish” in their layered approach of building up angst through slower tempos then unleashing it with violent intent.

If you’re much of a stage-diver, do take a second out of your busy mosh-life to stand up on stage with the vocalist and shout along the lyrics – or air-guitar to the deliciously tasty solos. It’s a travesty that songs this good are ignored by the metal community, because they don’t cater to the typical thrash audience whose music sensibility has a narrowed periphery not unlike a mule. Listen if you enjoy the materials of say, Fear Factory. Don’t expect tuetonic thrash riffs stolen from a 1984 demo to come up.

Upon asking the guitarist I realized that the production is all home-based and DIY. An obvious advantage can be immediately heard – the band sounds like this sort of industrial tinged groove/thrash should ideally sound. Clear despite the distortion, fluid despite the mechanical sound. The sound of robotic structures smashing through human architectural constructs never sounded more adequate.

The album begins as it ends – with a serene instrumental, displaying the band’s post-rock sensibilities. These guys apparently have an indie band too. Though I can’t imagine these blokes transitioning from such aggressive drunk-drive anthems to playing mellow indie – I willingly indulge in suspension of disbelief when the intro/outro sequence plays with my brain. I haven’t heard their past work and I don’t know what their future material will sound like but this is a solid fucking slab of 90’s style metal made in India, that outdoes all its American counterparts with relative ease. No vulgar display necessary in outdoing the ‘yanks.’


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 – Hassan Dozakhi

Doom Interview

Some bands need no introduction. For over a quarter of a century, Doom have been a driving force in Crust Punk and have put out multiple LP’s, EP’s, demos, and split releases. You cannot play or know of crust punk without hearing Doom – they’re that essential and iconic. Which is why I feel chuffed to bits at having the chance to interview a band that’s had a huge impact on my life since the day I first heard them as a confused teenage lad. Read on to read my interview with founding member Bri!




– Cheers from Pakistan! How’s everything going? Which member of the band am I speaking to?

Hi This is Bri Doom! Hello Pakistan!



– Congratulations on the release of your latest LP “Corrupt Fucking System.” It’s been a long while since the last full length release from Doom, so how has the new album been received thus far?

Really well. We’ve had an overwhelming positive response from people all over the world. People seem happy that we’re still producing a similar style of noise, that’s still relevant & angry as ever!



– The new record harkens back to the early days of Doom by being spontaneous and aggressive as ever – in some respects a bit more, but also with the vintage sounding production that sounds straight out of 1993. What was the recording experience like, considering the long gap since “World of Shit”?

It was very positive but also very hard work for me as I also recorded it! (engineered, produced, mixed & mastered!). It’s a great feeling that we have done it ourselves, but also many, many hours of hard work. I know what we should sound like & in fact what we do sound like & I’m pretty happy with the translation onto “tape”. I’m still not 100% happy with it, but then I’m never entirely happy with anything I record. Can be quite frustrating (especially for my wife!)






– The band has survived for more than a quarter of a century now, and has kept true to its music and ideologies – despite line-up changes, label problems and even the death of a band member. Did you expect the band to last this long when you started it? What’s kept the motivation strong for keeping the band active despite all the troubles?

Definitely not in the beginning, but later on I always felt that Doom would be in my life for along time. Its my “sound”, its what I enjoy playing (on guitar) and the ideologies which the band represent mean a lot to me. Some of the line-up changes were awkward and Wayne’s death was extremely tough, but now we are back doing what we should be. It feels right.



– You chose to release the new record on your own label “Black Cloud Records.” What prompted you to start your own label, instead of going through the tried and tested method of releasing through established labels?

We’ve always wanted to do it. Its now that we’ve had the opportunity (& the money). We’ve always been let down by other labels (Except one occasion), so this time we wanted to keep in 100% control of it ourselves. Its quite hard work, especially the physical act of posting out vinyl & CD?s. Thank fuck Stick is on the case with that, but hey, I did all the recording hard work so I don’t feel bad. Singers & bassists eh?… The easy life!



– Do you plan on releasing records from other bands through your label, or will it purely be to serve Doom as a band?

Maybe in the future, it would be nice to help out bands who we like and share ideals. But for now just doing our own stuff is enough. We all work as well, so have limited time.



– With the rise of fascism and revival of far-right ideologies via groups such as the EDL, do you think that makes anti-fascist Crust Punk bands like yourself even more relevant today?

Always. Punk music with a message is a great way of sticking together and empowering people to stand up to bullies like fascists. Fascism is always there, there’s not really revival with people like the EDL, but they manipulate popular concerns over Islamic fundamentalism to gain support for other hidden fascistic agendas (kind of ironic). There are still groups such as British People Party & New British Union Party as well as Blood and Honour. These goons tend to flitter from one organisation to another, often falling out with each other in the process, but they are dangerous especially when they pretend to be something they are not. There was recent trouble with a band called Pressure28 whose vocalist is a convicted fascist. They supported the UK Subs, which was bad news. There’s also the NSBM idiots around in the UK, under various neo-folk guises who occasionally crawl from beneath a rock to spout their shit.





– Lyrically Doom still continues to cover all the important topics. Anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-war, anti-misogyny, etc. However, looking through the lyric sheet I can hardly find anything against Islamist Extremism/Suicide Bombing. On the contrary, themes like that are for some reason always in right-wing, white supremacist groups. As a Pakistani who has seen Islamic Extremism tear the land apart, it often worries me how all the anarchist or left-wing political Crust and Grind groups ‘avoid’ talking about these things, but the fascists do. Why do you think this is?

I am opposed to ALL religions. They are detrimental to the on-going evolution of humanity & are used (Primarily by men) to control other people. Providing false hope and twisted morality.

If you read some of our lyrics on previous releases you will see this theme reflected in them, such as “No Religion” or “Thanatophobia”.

On Corrupt Fucking System are there various references to our ideology on this subject for example “Prey for Our Souls”.

I have also written some lyrics for a new song (left over from the album) which will hopefully appear on a compilation?

“They Love Death More Than We Love Life”

Verse 1:

Brainwashed, blinded drones of faith,
“Bombs in Mom’s kitchen” recipe of hate.
Explosive-propelled feeble religion,
Nails & ball bearings ripping through skin.


They Love Death

Verse 2:

Sexual utopian dreams of death,
Conspire to eternalise unreasoned last breath.
Suicide vest hides sad insecurity
Sad waste of human evolutionary.


They Love Death

Verse 3:

Murder infidels chop off their heads,
Destroy non-believers, blow them to shreds.
Hardline true face, not “moderate” lies,
Exposes religion & destroys “free” lives.


They Love Death

I hope that addresses the “Anarchist/left-wing-crusty” bias.



– As a band that has had considerable influence in the world of extreme music, what’s your opinion on the International Crust Punk ‘scene’ today as compared to 25 years ago? Any modern bands that you listen to?

Much more global. Its good in some ways, but then in other ways it seems that it has become more of a fashion. People have the “crust” look down to a T, tight black jeans, studded denim etc etc… all a bit hipster to me (we call them “Crispy’s” haha. The other thing that annoys me is there seem to be a lot of younger “crusties” or punks who pertain to be “nihilists”, which I think is just an excuse not to think about the consequences of their actions. They look the part, but they go to McDonalds or the old “Ironic” excuse for being, basically an idiot! I just wonder what these people are interested in punk for? What are they rebelling against? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just buy a track suit and join the masses? I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting old & bitter.

As far as modern “crust” music, the ones I can think of that I like are Afterbirth (Might be no more), Black Code, Putrefaction, Bulletridden, Burning Flag, Infernöh, Napalm Raid.



Picture 2doom



– You’ve played all over the world. Which city has had the best audience?

Blimey. Tough question. Too many great audiences all over the world! Er, dunno



– Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I hope when the situation in Pakistan improves, you guys can come play for all the local punk and metal kids. Any last words for the reader?

That would be amazing.

Take care & Stay Aware. Don’t let the bastards grind you down!

The only good fascist is a dead one!



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– Hassan Dozakhi

Nauseate Interview

Bangalore is one of the rising cities in the world at the moment, for reasons other than economics or whatever. It’s home to a big underground metal scene with the “Trendslaughter Fest” crew but other than the leather-clad metal maniacs, there’s also a bunch of d-beat obsessed and blast-beat proliferating grind junkies there. Nauseate is one of the newer bands in the grind circuit of Bangalore but the members are all pioneers of the scene there, being involved with acts like Gorified and also regularly organizing the “Undergrind” Fest. Also, despite being fairly new to the scene as a band, Nauseate are also doing a split with grind/mince legends Agathocles! Needless to say this interviewer is stoked as fuck for it. I talk to mainman Charlie about Nauseate, his other bands, Undergrind fest as well as future plans in this interview. Check it!



– Hey Charlie how are ya and how are your bands?
Hey Hassan im doing good and so are my bands. Hope your doing good too.

– Before we talk about your Mince/Grind band Nauseate, tell us a bit about your other bands and your history in the Bangalore grind scene such as involvement with Gorified etc.
I am part of 3 bands aprt from Nauseate. My first band is Gorified, we started in 2004 as a 3 piece death/grind band. We played several local gigs and also played Dismembering Asia Fets with Putrid Pile, Wormrot and other local bands from Malaysia. We have our demo Ruptured within seconds released on Sevared Records(U.S.A) in 2006, soon this year we will be releasing our debut full length. Festered Wound is a gore grind/noise band im part of which 2 guys from Head Splash and Nauseate. Festered Wound released demo on Neurotic Anger prod(Italy) in 2012 and 3 way split with Dr.Butcher and Hydropneumothorax released on Regurgitated Stoma Stew Recs(U.S.A). Head Splash is a noise grind project im part of with guys from Festered Wound and Nauseate. Head Splash has a 4 way split to be released on Jerk Off Records(U.S.A) with noise core greats Gorgonized Dorks, Japanese noise core maniacs Sete Star Sept and local grind core band Grossty.

– How and why was Nauseate formed? I understand you weren’t in the original lineup either
Nauseate was started by my brother Cliff from (Anorectal Ulceration, Head Splash and Festered Wound) with couple of his friends in 2010. The other guys had personal priorities and hence couldnt continue with the band. Abhi and myself asked Cliff we can continue Nauseate,he was game to do it. We then found Noah to play drums for us.



– How did Nauseate get in touch with Agathocles for a split, without having any demo or EP out (just youtube and soundcloud songs)?
Jan from Agathocles is a friend of my friend. I got his contact and then wrote to him  saying we are a mince core band from India. He asked me to send our songs, I sent links of our old recording and live videos on youtube. He liked our stuff and agreed to do a split. It an absolute honour for us to do this split with mince core legends Agathcoles!!

– Bangalore Grindcore scene is starting to get an international recognition now especially after Wormrot toured there. Why is there an urge to grind in Bangalore and not in other Indian cities?
Its a very small scene in Bangalore. All of us here always loved lisenting to and playing grind. Its just the same guys playing in various bands and will continue doing it.

– What’s the history of the Undergrind festival? Why did it start, what have you achieved so far and what can we expect in the future?
Undergrind fest was started in 2006 by few of us from local grind/death bands. We  all had to do DIY kinda gig as no gig promoter wanted to support this kind of music. We started of doing Undergrind in a friends apartment basement to have big bands like Putrid Pile, Wormrot and Vulgaroyal Bloodhill(Japan) play at the gig. We would try getting grind/death bands from around the world. The scene for grind in India is still very small yet growing.

– What Indian Grind bands would you reccomend to a foreign listener?
I would recommend bands like Anorectal Ulceration, Colitus Ulcerosa, Perforated Limb, Gruesome Malady, Grossty and all the projects im part of like (Gorified, Head Splash, Festered Wound, Nauseate) ahaahha coz there arent many.

– Back to Nauseate. Any tour plans outside India after the Agathocles split? What about more releases?
We havent planned anything as of now, but yes would have more material written, recorded and released. We would love to do a tour in and europe someday. lets see how things work out.

– Top 5 albums of 2013?
Honestly I havent heard much of the new stuff. Anyways here are few
MEATAL ULCER – Why Won’t It Die?
ROSKOPP – Mutation, Voodoo, Deformity or Disease
Archagathus – Mince core demo

– Thanks Charlie! Hope to see you play live some day. Any final words?
Hey Hassan thanks! for the interview bro.Hope we play in Pakistan someday. Grind forever!!


Nauseate on Facebook.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Dark City (1998) [FILM REVIEW]


When it comes to film makers and their ilk, Alex Proyas is a personal favorite director of mine because I have a soft spot for the cult classic that is his rendition of “The Crow” (1994), from the graphic novels of the same name. Seemingly fascinated with allegorical future-gone-ape-shit-crazy ideas, he is also the man behind “I, Robot” (2004) and “Knowing” (2009).

Yet I must say “Dark City” (1998) is something of a crowning achievement. A mishmash of nostalgic genres, mixing neo-Noir and early elements of Sci-Fi reminiscent of German masterpiece Metropolis, it still managing to remain new and fresh (for 1998 when it was originally released).  The plot of Dark City revolves around John Murdoch (played by Rufus Sewell to great effect) as he awakens alone in a hotel room, and realizes as he further ventures out into the city, that something is seriously wrong. More like unnatural. Suffering amnesia and having no idea why or how he wound up being wanted for several murders, he stumbles around this odd city where everything changes from day to day, where it’s always dark and the sun never shines, and stranger still, no one knows how to leave! Realizing that everything is being controlled by God-like beings known as The Strangers, he must try to piece together his memories before he loses everything. So as not to ruin the movie for you, dear reader, that is all I shall divulge of the plot. But is this does not catch your fancy and drive you to check it out then read on.

Getting back to the themes of the film, interesting elements include the usage of Greek mythology parallels in a futuristic dystopian setting, making for interesting material for discussion. Another similarity between Metropolis and Dark City is the questioning of humanity, what exactly defines us or makes us human and who is in control of our lives. Some observant, and not to mention well read, viewers have also compared the film to Plato’s Allegory of The Cave because the residents of Dark City do not realize that they are, in fact, prisoners of The Strangers. The city itself is a visual treat for the darker of minds, with obvious elements of comic book black ink illustration, world war debris and a bleakness that is expected from any story about a shitty time to come, and is still believable and realistic. I personally found it delightful and just the right amount of dreary, before it might have crossed over into camp which would have been disastrous.


More visual homage to noir is also present. Take the villains for instance, who wear overcoats and homburg hats but look like their faces are pulled out of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (another stunning silent film in the ranks next to Metropolis). Even the situation John Murdoch finds himself in, waking to memories lost, blood, pain, and a dawning sense of dread, followed by the quintessential wheezing voice at the other end of a phone call warning him to run, are all elements we are already familiar with but that which fit so well in Dark City, it is almost like an entirely new experience.

What is surprising is how few people have actually seen Dark City, even though it is arguably standard budget with excellent effects, brilliant acting and a gripping script and story line. The film is only done justice on the bigger screen so please do yourself a favor and get the DVD and watch on a television screen. Look out for brilliant performances by William Hurt, who is always more often than not fantastic, and Jennifer Connolly in a precursor  of her dark role in Requiem For A Dream.

Dark City is an adult adventure for those viewers who want to have their thoughts provoked and who carry a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world they inhabit. “Proyas floods the screen with cinematic and literary references ranging from Murnau and Lang to Kafka and Orwell, creating a unique yet utterly convincing world.” as said by one viewer, and this is probably the best description of the film in a sentence.




– Ramsha Zia Siddiqi

SystemHouse33 Interview

I’ll be honest. I had no information regarding even the existence of this band prior to their name coming on the lineup for Transcending Obscurity’s “Thrashfest” gig in Mumbai. I liked their album cover – reminded me of those 90’s Industrial tinged Groove/Thrash albums by Prong, Helmet, Pantera, Fear Factory etc – and I decided to check them out. Curiosity nearly killed this cat. Their jackhammer-like riffs and howling vocals combined with songwriting that brings in influences from a wide array of music – both metal and non metal –  had me suffering from whiplash long after their album finished. SystemHouse33, ladies and gents, is an Experimental Thrash/Groove band from Nagpur, India and has been active for the last decade or so, maintaining a healthy work ethic and incredible dedication in their effort to do what they love doing – making heavy music. With a decade gone and four albums under their belt, this interview with main-man Daniel D’Souza gives me the impression that these lads still have a lot to say and do. Catch them live on the 9th of February at “Thrashfest sponsored by Transcending Obscurity”


– Hey Daniel. How are the preparations for Thrashfest going?

Hey Hassan, the preparations are going really well, we are really honoured and humbled to be sharing the stage with the killer lineup that Kunal has put together. This is going to be one wild night!


– Not many know about the history of Systemhouse33 despite the fact that it’s been around for a decade now. Enlighten us regarding the formation of the act, lyrical themes and also the musical influences.

SystemHouse33 was formed in the quiet small town of Nagpur in 2003 when we were all just teenagers. The four of us grew up together and hung out a lot and it was just luck that at a college gig a random guy came up to us with a CD with some Pantera on it as well as some other bands and we were hooked on to Metal! Coming from a small town, it was tough to get exposure early on and we had to travel to Mumbai and other places to even get a look-in. However, once we started playing in Mumbai (Freakshow IV in Mumbai was one of our first decent gigs that had a great line up of bands) things started moving and we played a lot of gigs across India. Our lyrics are based around religions and social issues and how easily we devalue everything around us. We are influenced by a wide variety of music from Thrash, Death, Progressive, Blues and everything in between.


– “Depths of Despair” was your fourth full length album, no small feat in a region where most metal bands don’t even have the resources to put out a single album. How does the album compare to your past efforts in terms of musical evolution and production quality?

We started out being influenced by many bands, this has slowly changed as we have grown musically and personally. We started getting a little heavier as we went along and ‘Depths of Despair’ is more Experimental Thrash with elements of progressive metal and ambient themes.



– From what I know, your recording facilities are all home-based. Is recording at a home-studio a matter of convenience or necessity? What is the usual recording process at your studio like?

Its more of a necessity at the moment. Since the band is more like a DIY project, most of the tracks are recorded at Samron’s studio or my home studio and we send out the tracks for mixing and mastering. Akash Sawant has done a brilliant job on our latest album ‘Depths of Despair’. Work begins with Akash on our next album we are hoping to release that in the second half of the year.


– Systemhouse33 appears to have an artistic sensibility about it, something that transcends their music. I found out that the album artwork etc is all hand-painted on a canvas. Tell us a bit about that.

Its great that you asked me about that and thank you for the kind words! Marija Kovacevic from Serbia did the inlays for us, she has been a part of the bands artwork right from the first album ‘Discernment’ and she just understands our music at every level. There is this insane artistic connection with Marija, where even though the band is in another part of the world and we have never met she just totally gets our music and what its about. She is a true artist and the inlays are all her canvas work. We are really really lucky to work with such creative and artistic people.



– The band experienced a period of hibernation when you were in Australia. I find it curious why a musician would want to return to South Asia, while living in a place with a very vibrant and probably superior metal scene. Or am I mistaken?

Australia was great, there is no doubt about it. I saw and met a lot of bands and musicians from a wide spectrum of genres and learnt a lot. I even played in a few bands and worked on some solo-type material, but it was never the same as playing in SystemHouse33. As time passed I found that no other band will ever do it for me the way SH33 did, so I gave it all up and came back to play in this band that I love.


– You’ve been around for a decade. How has the Indian Metal scene changed during that time? Are things better now, or did the old days have a better “charm” about them?

I think with the advent of social media, bands and musicians can get their work seen and heard in a better manner than in the past. I remember in the past though, that the crowd turnout for gigs was way better than it is nowadays. I wish people came out to support live acts more. This is the only way the Indian Metal scene will continue to grow and gigs like the Thrashfest are a BIG step in that direction. Its going to be like a big party. The entire team is doing a great job, even with past gigs like Black Metal Krieg.


– Samron has a reputation for collecting guitars. What are his most prized or rare possessions?

Samron is a Dimebag Darrel freak! He owns around 6 rare Dimebag Darrel Signature Washburn guitars, as well as some Deans and some other brands too. He has been to Texas a few times to Dime’s grave, met Vinnie Paul and made a lot of friends in the wild wild west in Texas. It connects with us as even Pantera was from Dallas and we are originally from Nagpur and people don’t expect Metal from there. Sam also plays Guitar in our other Indie project called ‘Paratra’ check it out, we are playing at Blue Frog in Mumbai on the 28th of Jan.



– A decade gone. Can you last a decade more? What do you foresee for your band?

Time will tell if we last or don’t, we can’t really predict the future. One thing is for sure, we are not going to give up on our dream of playing our music all around the world. In the near future we will be releasing another music video to go with the one for ‘Depths of Despair’, which is on our YouTube channel at the moment. We are also working on our next album and hope to release it by mid 2014. We will continue to make music, life would not hold much meaning without it.


– Thanks for the interview. Any closing statement?

Those were some kickass questions Hassan! In closing I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. Your support means a LOT to us and it keeps us going. Please visit us on our official site, Facebook, YouTube and other sites and please come down to watch us play with some AMAZING bands on Feb 9, 2014 at the Thrashfest, Sponsored by Transcending Obscurity! Cheers!


SH33 on Facebook

Catch them live at Thrashfest by Transcending Obscurity

Listen to their album “Depths of Despair.”

– Hassan Dozakhi

Bauhaus – In The Flat Field (1980) [CLASSIC REVIEWS]



One of the strongest debut albums ever released? Me votes! I want to start by telling how I first heard this band and bla bla bla but what does it matter how or when I came across these masterminds. What IS important though is that after reading to this 2 or 3 pages of junk (junk is attractive believe it or not) I might be successful in bending you to listen to this record.

Although Bauhaus is popularly believed to be a proto-goth band, I personally think they have a lot common with experimental music and art rock. Having said that, this album is their most gothic release to date and one which I adore the most.

“Dark Entries” as the opening track could not have been an accident. In many ways, it does set the tone for the rest of the album: Murphy’s weird, flat chants and yelps set against the unsettling backdrop of guitar feedback and squeals, heavy bass, and marching band drumbeats. Say what you want about Bauhaus and their frequent pretentiousness: they were fucking COOL.

After the pummeling beats of “Dark Entries,” the next song, “Double Dare” almost seems leaden, like some ridiculous version of an old Black Sabbath tune. It all sounds atonal and unhinged; something that would certainly drive parents crazy. Murphy ramps up the crazy vocal acrobatics and there’s scarcely a chorus in sight. (This style would later reach its apex in the almost-unlistenable “Swing the Heartache” from 1982′s The Sky’s Gone Out.)

Both David J’s bass and Kevin Haskins’ drumming are just fantastic on “In the Flat Field,” like some kind of controlled, bubbling cauldron. (Although I didn’t consciously realize it at first, Haskins’ style is awfully similar to the “Burundi Beat” drumming of Adam and the Ants, who I genuinely adore). Here we are also introduced to Murphy’s terrifically ludicrous, nonsensical lyrics: Yin and Yang lumber punch/Go taste a tart, then eat my lunch. What the eff, dude. Still, it sounds really good.

It puzzles me that “God In An Alcove” didn’t make it onto 1979 – 1983 as it’s definitely one of Bauhaus’s best songs, both lyrically and in terms of Daniel Ash’s guitar playing. (Okay, maybe the “Now I am silly” bit is a bit . . . silly.)

Damn it if “Dive” doesn’t full on rock, as much as a band like Bauhaus could rock, with cacophonous saxophone courtesy of Daniel Ash (and lyrics not unlike Duran Duran’s “Late Bar” from their own debut album). I’m also particularly enamored of “Spy in the Cab” with its squelchy, squirt-y keyboard flourishes and flair for espionage. Here Murphy actually sings instead of screaming. The ending vocalizations must have influenced a very young Brian Warner a.k.a. Marilyn Manson.

“Small Talk Stinks” is next, and the title says it all. You can also hear David J. on vocals. To me, this is an archetypal Bauhaus song, the kind that separates the casual fan from the hardcore one.

I must have listened to the radio broadcast of “St. Vitus Dance” dozens of times a year before I heard the record, desperately trying to discern what the hell Peter Murphy was singing. The Jew’s-harp-style keyboards fascinated me to no end, as did Murphy’s ability to shriek like a crazed banshee at the end. (The TeamRock radio RJ who played this called it “St. Vitrus Dance,” which still makes me laugh.)

Still, in terms of sheer self-indulgent lunacy, nothing can top “Stigmata Martyr.” David J’s low, insistent bass, which would later come to comprise most of the post-Bauhaus project Tones on Tail, is omnipresent. As a recovering Catholic and someone who simultaneously adored and was terrified of The Exorcist (I had to search this trivia though), it was impossible not to be totally enthralled by Daniel Ash’s outlandish guitar feedback and Murphy’s Latin chanting.

The album ends with the seven-minute-plus “Nerves,” featuring more of that rolling Haskins drumbeat offset by plinky, out of place piano. There is also something completely satisfying about Peter Murphy’s voice here.

Although I had more than one argument with people back in the day over whether or not Bauhaus sucked or was truly awesome, I like them, even though in retrospect, I admit that the arguments of pretentiousness are not without some merit.



– Shams Uz Zuha

Stark Denial Interview

Stark Denial are a black metal band from Mumbai, India, established in 2009. They specialize in playing a brand of ferocious, uncompromising black metal with a strong emphasis on playing live. In terms of work ethic, they’re no slouches and they’ve taken their time honing their craft and perfecting their trade – the result of which can be heard on their debut EP released at the end of 2013. The vocalist is also famous for organizing a national Black Metal fest called “Black Metal Krieg” which is a testament to the band’s dedication. This is my interview with their vocalist and founder Kunal Marie Gonsalves, ahead of a gig in Bangalore called “Human Garbage” where they play alongside Dormant Inferno, Shepherd, Djinn & Miskatonic, Gypsy, among others. Enjoy!


– Hey Kunal, how are you doing?
Hey Hassan, doing great 🙂


– For those of us who are unaware; can you tell us a bit about how the band was formed, who handles the songwriting and the brief history of the act, up til now?
Stark Denial was originally formed back in 2006 but due to lack of musician’s who wanted to play black metal in the scene we went dormant, then in 2009 we got our first good line up we went on to do a few shows then, song writing in the band is basically handled by us all as our homework then we jam and execute it and make the changes as per how we want the final output.


– Despite existing since 2009, the band released its first and only physical release – the “War” EP at the tail end of 2013. Why the long wait?
Yes even since 2009 we have been active in the scene, but inspite of that we had major line up changes. Me and Ruark are the only 2 member’s from the start, but joining us are Paresh on bass, Sunny Heith on guitars and Vineet on Drums and all of them are hardworking and dedicated with their roles in the band.


– One thing I’ve noticed about Stark Denial is that they have, compared to other Black Metal bands, more of a focus on playing live. How does this affect the type of songs you create?
Stark Denial has always believed weather its a crowd of 10 or 100000 we will still play with the same energy and passion as we have always done, we like to create songs which are full of aggression but at the same time making sure that they also contain the element’s of Black Metal.


– I read that you drew some influence from games such as God of War and the film trilogy Lord of the Rings. Isn’t this a bit of a novel approach for a black metal band, to be influenced by games and movies instead of the usual stuff we are accustomed to?
Black Metal has just one main area where its focused on and that is Satanism, we wanted to do something different and that’s why for the EP we chose the concept of WAR, even before we ever planned for an EP we had songs composed on the war theme which are now on the EP. There are many international black metal bands who have also taken the same approach and create music with different themes.


– You’ve had your fair share of lineup changes since the inception of the group. Do you expect the current lineup to last in the long-term?
Yes as i mentioned the current line up is a pretty strong one and dedicated one, we have member’s traveling like almost 2 -3 hours coming for jam and also our drummer also leaves from work comes for the jam and then head’s back to work so its pretty awesome to see such kind of dedication which gives us the inspiration to go on as a band together.



– Tell us a bit about your relationship with Doom band Dormant Inferno. I understand you share a bassist and drummer, as well as doing live vocals for them in the absence of Gautam Shankar.
We had played a gig with Dormant Inferno which was their 1st gig @ Metafest way back after that they were not active as their vocalist moved to the US, then Ajaya who runs the label Incanned Production through which Stark Denial’s EP has been released had Entombed Metal Fest in Mumbai for the 1st time and he approached me to do session vocals for Dormant Inferno, I’m a huge fan of doom metal and i really liked the music that Dormant Inferno had, this was the first time i was going to do growls live with any band. Yes Paresh and Vineet also play for Dormant Inferno.


– You’re also known as the chief organizer of the Black Metal Krieg gigs in Mumbai over the years. How has it progressed over the years and how did Transcending Obscurity get involved in the organizing of the most recent show?
Yes I had started Black Metal Krieg in honour of my parents, I wanted to do something different when it came to organizing shows, so it came to my mind what better way then to do a gig for a genre which is really not given any attention which is so deserves…!!!. This year i had alot of friend helping me out with the show, namely i know Kunal Choksi as a close friend for year’s now, he wanted to get into organizing show’s as well so that’s how we spoke and he got involved in BMK 3, also my band has always been halping with all the leg’s of BMK till date also Ajaya Bhatt, Itihas Shetty & Narayanan Haridas were instrumental in organizing BMK3.



– Black Metal has grown in India substantially during 2013. How do you see the genre expanding in 2014?
Yes its amazing to see band’s emerge from all part’s of the country supporting thie genre and im pretty sure now the path has been laid down for more upcoming band to ba a part of the fantastic genre, and BMK will always be helping and supporting new upcoming band’s as well.


– You’re playing in Bangalore at Human Garbage! What are you expecting for the gig?
Bangalore has been a place we always wanted to play and spread our music in, we are all pretty geared up to play @ Human Garbage which is organized by Simon. As of now we are not expecting anything, but we will leave a huge mark on Bangalore for sure.


– How important is it for an Indian metal band these days to play in cities outside their home-station, considering the sheer size of the nation?
Its really important for people outside our hometown to be familiar with our music which helps band’s in connecting to the crowd even more and also seeing people enjoying your music.


– Thanks for answering my questions. Do you have anything else to add, Kunal?
Your welcome Hassan, its been a pleasure. Thank you to each and everyone who have always supported us in all the ways possible and keep supporting the bands across the world stay true cheers……. \m/


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– Hassan Dozakhi