Blackhour Interview

 Blackhour are one of the few Pakistani metal bands to have broken out of the local scene’s limitations and instead promoted their music to metalheads worldwide. Their debut album “Age of War” was recieved to a host of great reviews and they’ve continued to hone their craft since then, playing gigs and accumulating a rabid loyal fanbase in their hometown of Islamabad/Rawalpindi. This is the first time I’m interviewing them, as a part of a short series on Paki Metal. Check out my conversation with band founder Hashim below.





– Hey there lads. How’s everything going?
As our manager would say, “not as much and much as all”.




– Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band – its formation, any lineup changes, key moments?
The band was started in 2007 by me (Hashim Mehmood). Started of like any other college band, loads of line-up changes. We literally had 4 to 5 different vocalist before TayyabRehman joined in. A few more members left and a few joined and in the end only the serious people remained in the band and the current line-up has stayed this way since the debut album in 2011. Although we now have a Co-manager, Chaudhry Ali Hassan alongside our main manager, Hassaan Ahmed.




– You put out “Age of War” on a now-defunct label a few years ago. From what I understand, the distribution was not good and the CD’s themselves were mostly defected – despite that, the album got a great following through your own promotional efforts and live shows. How do you feel about the whole thing now that some time has passed since?
Well, “Age of War” album really went out viral despite all the label and CD drama. The album put up a great name for Blackhour not just in the local markets but since it was released internationally also, it gave us a big boost and surely made a name out there. One thing good about our previous label was that it gave us the push we needed to get things rolling, we completed the album very quickly and we got out in the market. We experimented a lot with our sound and to a point that now we know what the BLACKHOUR sound is.
The road since then till now has been amazing and things are moving in the right direction for Blackhour. In a way it was not too bad working with a label/distributor, after all we were one of the  few heavy metal bands to come out with an album, which is pretty amazing.






– A key thing about Black Hour is the power of the vocals and how they compliment the music without taking over the reins completely. Clean vocals as well isn’t something you see often in local Pakistani Metal bands. What motivated you guys to give more emphasis to more traditional metal/rock elements rather than the extreme edge of things?
I personally am a song person, so I kinda listen a lot to what the singer has to say and I find it easier to understand when he isn’t screaming all the time. Hahaha
If you think about it in a way, clean vocals mixed with those metal/rock elements is the Blackhour sound.




– You guys tread a fine line between hard rock and heavy metal, is the future stuff gonna be more rock-ish or more metal?
The future sound will definitely by more heavy metal but we still want to experiment with some rock side of music also. What may be heavy for someone else might be soft rock for the other. Even if our songs do get translated into other genre’s, they will still remain true to the Blackhour sound.
– Black Hour is playing at Hellfest. What do you feel about the festival and its organizers, considering you’ve played at it before too? Are you playing any new tracks this time around?
The organizers are awesome people and mostly they are all very good friends. They know how to pull off a great show, they have been doing an amazing job since the last two festivals and the third one is going to be kickass!
Blackhour will definitely be playing new tracks again and I think we always end up playing a few new tracks with some old classics because I believe it keeps things fresh, see you don’t want to be a cabaret band or a circus band playing the same old tracks again and again. But yeah do not mistake the band for an MP3 player, there’s only so little we can memorize at one time. Hahaha







– How does Hellfest help the local Pakistani scene?
It’s the biggest metal festival of Pakistan. My message to all the young upcoming metal bands, If you’re a metal act then come down to Hellfest and be a part of the biggest metal concert of Pakistan. Because Hellfest gives u the opportunity and the stage you deserve \m/


– What Pakistani bands would you recommend to a foreign reader?
All good metal bands that are active in making new music, playing live and whatnot.
Well, to sound selfish I’d say people should check out Blackhour, just kidding … but really if people are to explore Pakistani metal bands, I can’t start naming all the bands because the list would go on and on. But still to any foreign reader they should check out the data base at Iron Markhor because every metal band has their unique taste to offer and they all are the reason why Pakistan’s metal scene is what it is today!




– 3 albums that changed your approach to music?
For me it’s, “Dance of Death” by Iron Maiden. For Tayyab its, “The sound of perserverance” by Death, for Salman its “Volume 3” by Slipknot and for Mashoo it is “Reload” and “Black” by Metallica.




– Thanks so much for your time. Hope to see you at Hellfest!
Thank you so much for interviewing Blackhour and see you at Hellfest 2014!










Blackhour Facebook

Blackhour Soundcloud

Eternal Abhorrence presents: Foreskin / Irritum / MxCx LIVE @ “Lounge Act”



Tickets: 350 rupees. Available at the gate only.

After the success of our last show at BNU, we’re putting on another show on Friday 23rd of May! On the lineup are 3 of the same bands that played at Unsilent Death.

Foreskin – Thrash Metal/Hardcore Punk crossover. Witness the Lahori THVG’s slay the audience with their brand of crossover thrash. Listen to their jams:

Irritum – Funeral Doom. Ghastly riffs, apocalyptic bass-lines, haunting drums and horrific vocals is what you’re in for. Pakistan’s only Funeral Doom band, this is their second live show after Unsilent Death. Their EP is coming soon, check out a promo track at:

Multinational Corporations – Grindcore/Crust/Hardcore Punk ensemble. Screaming about the political and social issues of Pakistan over an array of grinding rhythms and destructive blast-beats. The gig will mark exactly 2 months since their EP “Jamat-al-Maut” was released – which got rave reviews and had kids moshing in their bedrooms all over the world. It’s amassed 9000+ plays on the bandcamp and has been issued on CD by Salute Records:

The gig is taking place at Lounge Act in DHA, Lahore. The address is as follows:
3rd Floor, Plaza-13, S-block, DHA (behind Attock CNG)
Lahore, Pakistan-54810

Contact details:
0300 4351551, 0323 4699594


Eternal Abhorrence is a webzine based in Pakistan that caters to various forms of Metal and Hardcore music. The zine also serves the local scene by organizing shows wherever and whenever possible.
We are also in coalition with Hellfest – an Islamabad based metal festival taking place on the 21st of June.

Violation Wound Interview

Over the years, Death Metal pioneer Chris Reifert has involved himself in many projects, from Autopsy to Abscess and a million bands in between – even being a part of Death early on. He’s one of the few fucked up individuals who have actually profoundly affected the extreme metal scene. But in his new project “Violation Wound” Chris steps away from the drums and picks up the guitar to let out some ripping early 80’s hardcore punk style tunes. I heard some jams from his new band on Soundcloud and was immediately hooked – being an avid punk fan myself. I hit up Chris for an interview and he responded in his classic witty fashion. Read on!






– Hey Chris, hope everything’s well with you!

Doing well here, thanks. Got my second cup of coffee almost dumped down my gullet and my stereo is wailing away!



– So your new project Violation Wound is putting out its debut album soon. I realize you’ve always been a fan of old hardcore punk – some of those influences have seeped into your work with Autopsy and moreso in Abscess. But what was the main motivation behind starting Violation Wound at this point in time?

Seemed like a cool and exciting idea, that’s enough of a reason for me. It’s nothing to overthink or anything….it’s straight from the gut and nothing to do with modern polished and perfect punk. And yeah, the album is gonna be out May 26th officially, though I think you can order it already at

If old style rockin’ and raw punk is your bag, this just might scratch the itch.



– If you were to explain your new band’s sound by comparing it to classic bands, who would you compare it to?

I don’t think we sound like anything in particular, but there’s no shortage of bands we like. Rather than trying to sound like any certain bands, I prefer to go for the vibe of a certain era. I really dig late 70’s early 80’s punk/HC and that’s what VW is aiming for I’d say.

As for the type of stuff I like, I can easily mention the Ramones, Dead Boys, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!, Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs, X, DRI, Anti-Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer, Christ on Parade, Ill Repute, the Dickies, the Damned…..on and on and on.



– How did the record deal with VIC Records come about? Have you worked with them before?

I got in touch with them through Bob from Asphyx who knows Roel. Never worked with them before, but VIC seemed enthused and willing to believe in this unknown possibly sore thumb of a band. Haha!

It’s been great and I’m really happy with the way things are going. Hell yezzz!






– Do you plan on playing live/touring with the new band? Will you take it along on Autopsy tours or are you going to keep the two bands seperate from each other?

They are definitely two very separate things, so they’ll probably remain that way as far as live purposes go, but hey….stanger things have happened. Haha! We haven’t played live yet, but we’d like to. I do think this stuff would be a blast to play on stage with some other really good bands on the bill.



– As someone who has been involved in the extreme metal movement from the very start, did Punk/Hardcore influence you guys back in the day too or was it something that people in the metal scene just got interested in later? Are there any new metal/punk bands that you would recommend?

I actually discovered metal and punk around the same time way back when. I don’t remember thinking about catagories at the time, it was more like a quest to find the most aggressive, fast or heavy bands I could get my eardrums around. As far as Autopsy goes, we really didn’t let any punk influences get in there….we just wanted to be the most brutal and heavy band around. And yeah, there’s always good new bands coming out of all types. I really like OFF!, Burning Monk, Sordid Flesh and Gluttony to name a couple.



– Did you expect metal and punk to get proliferated out in regions as far away as Pakistan, India, etc when you first started out? Planning on an Asian tour anytime soon with either Autopsy or Violation Wound?

When we first started out, we had no idea of where this kind of music would be appreciated. It’s amazing to know that there are people all over the world in all sorts of places who share the passion for underground music. What a cool thing, eh? As for tours, that’s something that’s just not possible for Autopsy or VW since we have too many responsibilities at home. But one off gigs here and there have happened and could happen some more. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I don’t think any of us will be doing any long distance travelling too soon.







– You’ve been involved with a lot of bands in the past and continue to do so. You’re not getting any younger, so what’s the main motivation? Are you as pissed off as you where 30 pr 20 years ago?

I have no rational answer for this one. Haha! I guess it’s something that’s enjoyable still after all these years. I’m actually not a pissed off person by nature, oddly enough. Maybe I can get all of my frustrations and aggressions out through music instead of acting like a knucklehead. On a good day, anyways. Haha!



– Horror movies kinda suck these days, and I know you’re a big horror film fan. Is there any horror film in recent years that kicked as much ass as the old classics?

I agree with you on that one. I still go back to my old faves time and again if I’m in the mood for horror. The Romero, Fulci, Universal and Hammer stuff still do the trick for me. Anything with atmosphere, which is something modern horror films neglect too often.

I’m pretty tired of endless remakes, ya know? There’s a real lack of original ideas it seems and too much emphasis on CGI crap. That said, I did love the Human Centipede and the first two Saw movies. There’s probably more good stuff out there, but I haven’t exactly been seeking it out I guess.



– Thanks a lot for the interview. Hope to see you play live one of these days!

Thank a bunch, it was really cool to hear from you. I hope the underground scene continues to thrive in your neck of the planet. Cheers for the support and stay tuned for whatever’s next!






Violation Wound on Facebook

Buy the CD on VIC Records

– Hassan Dozakhi

Snuffx Interview



– Hey, how’s it going? Introduce the band’s lineup please!


MK: hey man looking good, Snuffx is Cris Allin on Guitar and Vocals and Mohammad Kabeer on Drums.




– You guys were born out of the ashes of a grindcore/noisecore band called Necrofilth, with whom you recorded an album. Why abandon it and start over?


MK: Well, Zack Massacre from Nekrofilth had messaged us telling us that our name was causing a lot of confusion among listeners and requested us to therefore change it. We were planning to change it anyway because of our change in sound, so it wasn’t really a big deal.


CA: We had plans to throw in powerviolence elements into the mix for a slight change in the sound anyway. I wouldn’t say we abandoned the old noisecore/grindcore style there’s still that nasty raw feel to the tracks and in our recent release “Phencyclidine” we took the sound back to the Necrofilth days.




– What bands is Snuffx influenced by the most?


MK: Sea of Shit has definitely had a big influence on Snuffx when it comes to our slower, sludgy stuff like Legalize Krokodil and Genocide, especially in the use of feedback and creepy guitar wails. Sex Prisoner has been a big influence as well on our sound, which can be seen in songs like Religion is Slavery, Power Trip and No talent, when it comes to the faster stuff, I think the bands which we are most influenced by are Infest, Chainsaw Squid and Mellow Harsher. And ofcourse our early influences of Fear of God and Anal Cunt will always be there.




– Is Snuffx the first Powerviolence style band in India? How’s the general Grind/PV/Hardcore/Crust/etc scene in the region?


MK: There is this one band called Abolish Mornings from Bangalore which play some pretty neat old school powerviolence from Bangalore, I also like Grossty and Nauseate from the same city, Delhi on the other hand is pretty dry, people haven’t even heard of these things, they think punk is Green Day and hardcore is Lamb of God, haha. Which is quite strange actually because Delhi is a pretty Powerviolence place if you look at it, complete chaos everywhere with some parts of the city looking like an urban wasteland.




– You guys are pretty prolific, with releases happening every now and then. Can you tell us all your releases in chronological order up til this point?


CA: We’ve had our fair share of noise, so far including demos splits and singles, starting with Necrofilth we had Comprehension of a Grindcore Opus which was our first album after which we did put out quite a few singles. Moving on to Snuffx there were 3 demo’s then we did Human Beard 4​-​way Split with Water Torture, Swallowing Bile and Phosphorus Rex, followed by a split with Frame313. Third World Powerviolence, 120 Minutes, split with Noxious Threat. PV Poems, Noise Violence, Spiritual Ecstasy and finally our most recent Phencyclidine.




snuffx release




– How do you guys prepare your material? What’s the jamming process like?


MK: Very free flowing, there is no specific plan, sometimes I have some ideas which I explain to Cris mostly by just playing the drum parts of the song, most of the time which he understands completely and plays exactly what I had in mind, sometimes when I want something specific, I explain things to him verbally(which can be quite funny at times making the riffs sound like a Bollywood song haha!) , and then there are times when Cris has his ideas which he explains to me , on the guitar, sometimes the drum parts that I have to his riff’s are exactly what he wants, other times he challenges me to do something different and be more creative with my drumming. And then there are times where we just improvise on the spot and have a lot of fun doing so, most of the Necrofilth songs were made like this, most of the times we decide to do covers beforehand, although it is quite common for us to descide doing covers on the spot, we listen to the song in the jamroom , analyse the parts and then begin covering it, Fear of God and Anal cunt were done this way.




– Do you guys play live? If so, what is the response usually like?


MK: We have only played once uptil now, at the Pandemonium : The uprising which was held in 2012,people were pretty shocked and didn’t really know how to react, haha. We haven’t really played a gig here since then because there is no audience for this type of music here.




– What do both of you do in your daily life when you’re not making deafening noise?


MK: I am a freelance video editor,I edit corporate films, I am a total sellout haha!


CA: I work for Amercian Express, that’s right corporate world homie. Representin’ the C, nah it sucks balls, I’m serving notice and will be done with it for good in about 15 days.




– What are your future split/demo/ep etc plans?


CA: We are working on a new sound so definitely have a demo lined up, we’ve got an upcoming split with Nihilist Holiday.




– Thanks for the interview, good luck with your band!


CA and MK: Thanks!



Snuffx on Facebook

Snuffx on Bandcamp

– Hassan Dozakhi

La Dispute – Rooms of the House (2014)

La Dispute album


When I first heard “Such Small Hands” by the band La Dispute back in 2010, I was blown away by the eclectic blend of poetry-grade lyrics, their relatively heavy sound, and the emotionally-driven style of lead singer Jordan Dreyer’s vocals. That song and the rest of the album “Somewhere at the Bottom of the River between Vega and Altair”  are my favorite releases by the band. Now, the quintet from Grand Rapids, Michigan, is back with another full-length album. Released March of this year, “Rooms of the House” sufficiently separates the band from their first full-length release with a cleaner, more mature sound.

If you’re anything like me, you’re sad to see the sounds of “Somewhere at the Bottom” fade away. But the changes were evident even in the band’s second release “Wildlife”, which in my opinion, is a solid middle ground between the band’s first album and this latest one. Change, however, isn’t something to fear as La Dispute’s roots and defining characteristics are still there. The vocals are still emotional and passionate and they still have their critically acclaimed “un-categorizable sound” that fuses many influences of different heavier genres and even outside styles like blues and jazz on previous albums, along with their tension-building compositions–a La Dispute staple.




While many that have already reviewed the album call it “mature”, I say that it is in fact just much more simple than their previous releases. More than in Wildlife, Rooms of the House loses some of the lucid symbolism that I thought was their best feature from Somewhere at the Bottom. Instead, the band replaces this with more straightforward emotional feedback and sheds its literary symbolism. Still, Dreyer is an excellent writer and this shows within the band’s lyrics as they compose songs with imagery and narrative, which can be seen clearly in the album’s opening song “Hudsonville, MI 1956” and another song titled “35” which also exhibits Dreyer’s spoken word style (dominant in the songs “Woman (in Mirror)” and “Objects in Space” too.) My personal favorites of the album are standouts “Mayor of Splitsville” and “Stay Happy Here” which is one of the album’s singles. It seems that, more in this album, the band unfortunately scaled back their out-wright heart wrenching preferences like in their past songs “King Park” and “Andria.”

Except for some songs like “Woman (in mirror)” and “Objects in Space”, the songs on this album are structured around a basic crescendo as most songs by La Dispute are. Listeners become familiar with the areas where tension builds by following the vocals and the band as they lead up to culminate in some emotional outburst—sort of like a pattern of calms before a strong storm—rather than relying on verse/chorus structures. On this album, there aren’t many gaudy riffs, that has never seemed to be the intention of the band on any of their albums anyway. The riffs and melodies in their songs always seem mainly foundational especially in this latest album where the band seems to take a more simplistic style. They rely more on strong rhythmic variations to capture their audience. There isn’t anything flashy to cling onto. Just pure and strong instrumental use and deep, emotional lyrics.

Even though it’s not the Somewhere at the Bottom of the River follow-up that I wished for over these last 4 years, Rooms of the House is still a great album that simply shows the evolving style of a very talented band that never disappoints.





La Dispute on Facebook

La Dispute on BandCamp

– Alli G.

Gutslit – Skewered In The Sewer (2013)




Brutal Death Metal is a bit of a self-parodying genre these days. The bands are either too “slammy” or too “technical,” with intelligent songwriting being put aside for either an over-abundance of slams, or pointless technical guitar wankery. There are pockets of scenes worldwide that still manage to hold down the crafty nature of the mid-90s til mid-2000s era of Brutal Death Metal – Indonesia certainly springs to mind – but the genre generally fails to keep the interest of the average metal fan these days. This is where Gutslit come into the picture. Hailing from Mumbai’s reputed metal scene that has spawned the likes of Exhumation, Albatross, Solar Deity, among others, Gutslit manage to do more than just casually grab the listener’s attention – they force him/her to take notice.



Starting off their debut full length album with a typical metal album intro, Gutslit get straight into the pummeling with the track “Pustulated Phallic Enthrallment.” The song gives a good window-view into the world of Gutslit. Catchy chunky riffs aligned with a truly inhuman rhythm section lead the way for the entirety of the proceedings. The rhythm section in particular needs to be given props – the drumming is truly barbaric, and the bass-playing is equally eloquent… a word that doesn’t pop up much for the bass-guitar in this genre of music. Immediate hints of Dying Fetus or Benighted can be caught by the average metal ear, and there’s a subtle Cryptopsy element in the name (“Slit Your Guts,” anyone?) that manifests in the technically strong bass-playing as well – but Gutslit is pretty much Gutslit most of the time. The song structures are fairly simple – keep it bulldozing through, keep the vocal patterns simple, add in the sudden little technical flair for variety, keep the music grooving no matter what, and then throw in an absolutely colossal breakdown. A perfect formula, when you get the riffs right – and the riffs here are ridiculously infectious, especially the well-placed breakdowns/slam parts that could rival even the best in Devourment‘s debut album. Speaking of breakdowns, the ones on “Offal Barter, “ and “Atrophic Cranial Disintegration” almost had me couch-moshing and charpai-jumping in my kurta and shalwar. As far as individual tracks go within terms of overall memorability, “Maze of Entrails” takes the entire bloody cake. That’s not to say the other tracks are overweight slouches. They’re all excellent and the replay value for this little album is immense. The fact that it’s just around 26 minutes means that it’s guaranteed repeated listens. If you find yourself blasting this album continuously, don’t be surprised. Gutslit combine individual skill with compact, aggressive and deliberately catchy songwriting in a manner that most metal fans probably haven’t seen since the early works of Gorerotted or Aborted.



I have no qualms with the production either. I’ve heard some criticism about it before, but it’s suitably clear and filthy at the same time for this kind of music. The mixing and sound-levels here are near-perfect, among the best kind of mix job I’ve heard in an Indian band to be honest. Though with this band, the quality shouldn’t just be compared to other Indian metal. Hell, with this level of technical proficiency and expert songwriting, replete with catchy and crunchy breakdowns – this band could easily be from anywhere in the planet. When you’re listening to music as good as this, location becomes secondary. The only thing that matters is the bludgeoning force of the music.






Gutslit on Facebook

Listen to Gutslit’s “Skewered in the Sewer” on Bandcamp.

“Unsilent Death” gig review

As you may know, Eternal Abhorrence recently tried to step out the confines of just being a webzine, and attempted to put on a show named after the Nails album. The show was a staggering success and honestly the best show I had put on in my 4 years of experience. Below is a review by one of the attendants of the concert, Hassan Altaf, who traveled all the way from Faisalabad to bang his head and mosh it out. Check out his review – we hope he continues to write for us in the future!

unsilent death

Faisalabad is the third largest city of Pakistan, with a population of about 8 million people. Mostly known for its high-end textile products, funny- bone, and general bigotry, so it would be strange for you to hear if not ridiculous that people appreciate metal here too and to extents as far as trying to play it. Now when me and my younger brother, first heard of a gig, that was going to take place at Lahore, we were over the moon. We got to know 6 days before the actual happening, and thence, the pressure and the urge to be there started mounting up. We wouldn’t shut up about it. Between making our beds, between meals, we’d either ask what shirts we were gonna wear, or what date it was.



Finally the day of reckoning came, it was morning of April 26th and what happens, my brother’s phones alarm doesn’t go off. Finally we made it to the realm of the awakened at 9 am, and we had to reach at the designated place at 1pm. Manageable, I wondered. Well far from it. Ever had to ask for the family car to be loaned to you from your dad? You know how it is!



“Well, the piston’s short”, he said while chewing on some toast while his eyes never moved from the newspaper.

“Stupid reconditioned Margalla” I thought inwardly.



So it was going to be the dreaded bus, but we would have hitch hiked if it were to come to that but we did manage to get a bus at about 10. You know how bus journeys are like? They are the worst form of travel, you fix the air conditioner a bit, and the whole bus starts fiddling with it. If by chance you get a good movie playing, then either the headphones are messed up or the guy in front of you is too damn tall, or he is just on his toes cause he does not want to miss that particular scene, which afterwards extends to the whole movie. There are old bastards that try to flirt with the hostess by asking her twice for the Pepsi and laughing their asses off, like they did something very daring. (You wanna know what’s daring? Weighing 140 pounds only, and thinking I can headbang all the way through the concert for about 4-5 hours)



Well, I slept through most of it and got the details from my lil bro. One more thing, when we were on the M2 just about to enter Lahore district, there was an army convoy, and there were army trucks, and toed to them were canons. I had a foreboding feeling seeing these things (being a Pakistani, another coupe or another war?) I made my concerns vocal, and my brother he said “of all the days they could chose to start a war, who told them that today was perfect? We have to get to that concert!!!” He looked determined, and I was determined.



We were in Lahore and did not know where the venue of our little gathering was actually located. I took out my phone, and typed in Beaconhouse National University, Tarogil campus. having located our destination, we looked for auto rickshaws to get there.



“We have to go to BNU” I said in Punjabi, trying to intimidate the guy into discounting our fare and not think of us as outsiders who did not know jackshit about where we were headed (which was all true).

“250 Rs” He said.



“Ok”, and we set off. Well BNU Tarogil is way out like thirteen and some kilometers out of Lahore, it’s like going to Jaranwala from Faisalabad. The landscape is dry, and surrounded by new developing sites. Couple that with heavy traffic and a rather non-agreeable road, you get the Raiwind Road. Well after a lot of head banging before even reaching the venue, owing to the unstable nature of rickshaws, and asking about a 13 people about BNU, we finally reached Beaconhouse National University, Tarogil campus. We were greeted by Syed Sadam, and Ramis, outside the gates, and so we entered the University while the day was high, and our blood pressures higher.



“This is going to be like all those concerts we saw on the computer” I said, beside myself, and as we were about to enter the enclosure, a rather jovial looking guard asked if we had cigarettes. “Yeah” said Jahanzaib and opened up his pack of cigs. The smile turned into a frown, and he asked us to leave the cigarettes outside.

“This is not gonna be like one of those concerts that we saw on the computer” I told Jahanzaib. Boy was I ever so wrong.








The enclosure was air-conditioned so thankfully we were relieved of our bus-lag, quite instantly, and thrown into the brutal yet pleasantly cool, metal gig. The fun started at about 3, 3-30 pm, with the first band “Wreckage” from Rawalpindi, started to bust some tunes. It was really exhilarating. They played their first song, which got us really going. Everything a startup performance should be. The music was the ideal kickstart to a metal gig. They sounded way better than they did in the sound check. Right from the first song, the crowd seemed to have hit the ground running, or headbanging. They did 3 songs, two originals (“Damage Returned” and “Vengeance”), and a Pantera cover (Walk) that was very good (how cool is that?). Plus the vocalist Waqar Ghayas was very involving, and full of energy. Running around growling like a beast from hell let loose, rolling his eyes, and all that.







After that was Foreskin, hardcore punk/thrash metal band from Lahore, took the stage, manned by Hassan Umer, with Sheraz Ahmed on lead guitar, Umair Ahmed on the bass, Hassaan Gul aka the ingenious Sam Morbid on drums, and Amar Ali on rhythm guitar in the Dead Kennedeys t-shirt, which was awesome. To start things off, they started with an unnerving riff, which heralded the start of my personal favorite from their songs, “How To Fight.” The lyrics stood out, which was a great thing for a metal newcomer like me, and I sang along, and when the lyrics stopped the brilliant solo ensued from the fingers of Sheraz Ahmed. Whenever this solo is on I just can’t help and admire the simplicity and the beauty of it, headbanging like mad, and I did not care if I had only seen it on screens before. The crowd was enjoying and seemed to be getting a taste of hardcore metal, right on their tongues. Heads rolled and not in the negative sense. Song after song, the grip of Foreskin, grew only stronger. “How To Fight” was followed by a staggering cover of the Gates of Ishtar classic, “Where the Winds of Darkness Blow,” again a crowd pleaser in all aspects, a little miscue but nothing unforgivable. After that they played “Hack N’ Slash,” another song with energy like an atomic fusion in a tin can. Then they played Celtic Frost‘s “Dethroned Emperor,” another good one in the mix. Ending their part with their single “Anger Management.” Another song that needs to be appreciated more.








Act three of the show was taken hold by Irritum, based in Lahore too, with a few common members from the other Lahore-based bands on the show. The ensemble consisted of Ahsan Shahid, and Farid Munir, both wonderful artists, on guitars along with Sheraz Ahmed, the drums were played by Sam Morbid, and the vocals were the responsibility of another amazing talent, Ahmed Malik. The band is a funeral doom band, and has that melancholy tinge to it that makes it click. The first song they played was a cover of the song “In Silence Enshrined” by Katatonia, I know a huge undertaking, but executed, I can say being a live witness, pretty damn well. Next they played their own track, “Treading the Lands Unknown” which again was a doomy track, and might have raised a few demon heads in hell too.






Multinational Corporations was the next band to perform, with killer vocals from Hassan Umer, partnered by Sheraz Ahmed, Adnan Gillani, and Umair Ahmed on the guitars, with Amar Ali doing justice to the drums in he background. The first song to come around was L.P.C. named after the #trending short form of Lun Pe Charh (which just means flipping you off in other words). MxCx is the kind of band that takes the gig to another level. Hassan Umer’s cool performance antics seemed to breathe new life into the aching necks of the honorable members of the moshpit. They looked like they had forgotten their pains and were ready for another round on the metal trail. LPC was followed by Jamat-al-Maut, a satirical work of art in my humble opinion, that portrays the Pakistani youths frustration rightfully directed at the self-exploding Taliban. The track is full of emotion and zeal, and truly portrays the inner monologue of every sensible youth of Pakistan. True to its agenda the next track to be played was Stratum Slave, a shout out to the capitalist oligarchs in their castles of sand and chalk, that they were soon to crumble.



The next song was cover of a band called Inquisition, which the connoisseurs of metal tell me was awesome. The ritualistic “Empire of Luciferian Race” featured an ‘all-star’ lineup of members from different bands on the show with Ahsan Shahid and Sheraz Ahmed sharing guitar duties, Adnan Gillani on bass and Sam Morbid yet again on drums.






After that when everything was near its end, just one song away we were told that people all the way from Gujrat, as far from Lahore as Faisalabad, known for its fan industry, had arrived. Them being there albeit later in the piece, proved that ceiling fans were not the only fans made in Gujrat, they made pretty dedicated music fans too. This inspired us all to welcome them and Foreskin was ushered to the stage again for an encore performance. The weird thing was that Foreskin, still found the energy in them to play two tracks again, and with the same pomp and circumstance.”How To Fight” was played in the encore aong with “Dethroned Emperor” cover. To end it all up, there was a little surprise lined up for all those present and all those who have feelings for Dionysus, no not the Tyrion Lannister of Greek mythology, the local favorite Lahore band that could not play due to original member Waleed being in Karachi. Their anthem “Bathing In Unholy Blood” was played with Ahmed Malik doing a great job on vocals, with original Dionysus members, Sheraz Ahmed and Umair Ahmed, with Hassan Gul.



To tell you the truth, by the end of this gig, I was unable to even complete simple tasks of common courtesy, like the good bye wave and the handshake, and when I approached a certain Ramis, he was lying on the floor, and lying there he extended his hand, saying, “I am afraid I can’t get up” to which I replied extending my hand in reply “I am afraid, I can’t sit”. On that meeting halfway note, we set off for home. It was an experience of a lifetime.








Multinational Corporations



All picture credits go to Zeeshan Malick. Except the Wreckage ones, which go to Sheraz Ahmed.