Mentally Murdered – featuring MxCx, Takatak & Irritum

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Time to dust the cobwebs off this rotting city’s heavy music scene. Three acts on the bill, names as follow;

Multinational Corporations – Grindcore/Hardcore Punk. Performing new cuts from upcoming splits as well as crowd favorites from last year’s “Jamat-al-Maut” EP, this grindlashkar is poised for another deadly aural assault on the senses.

Takatak – Instrumental Prog/Groove Metal. Veterans of the Lahore music scene by now, and well renowned for their technical abilities, they are on the cusp of releasing their first EP after a great response to the single “Placental.”

Irritum – Funeral Doom Metal. Masters of the almighty riff, conjuring atmospheres equally haunting and majestic. Hear tracks from their upcoming full-length album while they doom you to eternity.

Live at Opositive studio’s (308 Ravi Road, opposite Badshah Mosque NEXT to the Ufone Franchise)

Call for further details
0345-4064728 (Hassan)
0322-5345356 (Sheraz)

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Irritum Interview

Over the period of the last 4 years, there has been somewhat of a resurgence in Pakistan, or at least a fresh surge of interest, for the art known as Doom Metal. Though early Pakistani Metal stalwarts Dusk had already paved the way for a future interest in Doom with their mournful sounds, it wasn’t until recently that things started to kick up. A few bands mostly centered around Karachi and Lahore emerged – Dionysus, Myosis, later on Khorne, and recently Munkar, helped foster further interest with a series of releases. Made up of Dionysus mainman Sheraz Ahmed and aided by his former guitar students, Irritum emerged as a new Doom force in Lahore and are all set to release their debut album next year after a series of live shows and well-received songs on Bandcamp/Soundcloud. 

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– Hey lads, how’s everything going?

 

Sheraz: Its all good, thank you.

 

 

– Since it’s the first interview of the band, a little background info on Irritum, the inception of the band into the current onset of the debut release.

 

Sheraz: Irritum was formed when Farid and Ahsan got to know about their new found joy for Doom metal and came to me asking to form a band and since my older band Dionysus was on hiatus due to our vocalist moving out of town. I thought what could be a better outlet to fulfil my love for this slow and murky style of art that we call Doom?! We later recruited Ahmed Malik on vocals that had never done growling vocals in his life before Irritum, but he’s the best vocalist I’ve ever worked with.

 

 

– Sheraz you already made waves with your other band Dionysus’ debut EP. What seperates Irritum from Dionysus musically and aesthetically, especially since both fall under the broad category of “Doom”?

 

Sheraz: Dionysus was doom initially but then it started delving into more black/death style while still having the doom moments. Dionysus’ music cannot be categorized under one style, it’s too diverse. While on the other hand Irritum is strictly all about doom. But then again, it’s not just one kinda doom. We’ve songs like Crossing the gates which is a goth/doom song in the vein of bands like Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, Draconian etc and we’ve songs like Treading the Lands Unknown which are remnants of the early 90s UK death/doom, for me it’s all about atmosphere and the feeling. Most of the doom bands are diverse in songwriting. That’s why it’s the most interesting music ever made!

 

 

 

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– Did either of you imagine having a band together when Sheraz first started giving you guitar lessons?

 

Sheraz: When I started giving guitar lessons to Farid with Ahsan coming by occasionally, I never thought we were going to be recording a whole album together. But it’s funny how things turned out and I am proud of these guys!

 

Ahsan: At first we never did. My man Farid used to take formal lessons from Sheraz I just went along and day by day we picked up bits and pieces of inspiration and understanding of Doom metal from our bro. We started making our own riffs and showing them to Sheraz, then we made some songs together and here we are!

 

 

– The song you guys put on Soundcloud – Crossing the Gates – has 2 guest appearances, from Olga and Rauhan. Are you going to involve other musicians on the album as well?

 

Sheraz: Don’t know about other musicians, but Olga and Rauhan will be appearing on more of our songs in the future.

 

Ahsan: As Sheraz said so I don’t need to repeat the answer but yes featuring both of them was a brilliant decision.

 

 

– How have live shows been for Irritum? Has the Pakistani metal crowd adapted well to the usual crawling pace and horrific atmosphere of Doom?

 

Sheraz: We started playing live earlier this year. We’ve played 4 shows till now and that’s a lot considering the frequency of live metal shows in Pakistan. One of them was in Islamabad at an event called Hellfest (not the French metal festival). lol. All of our shows have been phenomenal, we were able to introduce a lot of people to doom metal and we always include some essential doom classics in our setlist to let the crowd know about our roots. Like we played Saint Vitus’ born too late at our last show and we’ve been playing a lot Katatonia, Saturnus’s covers at our shows alongside the original songs.

 

 

 

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– Speaking of Pakistan, there’s been a sudden interest in Doom in the last few years with bands from Karachi and Lahore starting, as well as veterans Dusk returning to the eve. How would you explain this paradigm shift from the general groove/mallcore tastes to Doom?

 

Sheraz: Dusk has been there since the beginning and I owe them a lot for shaping my thinking for the underground metal and how it’s supposed to be. I think the shift started with the release of Dionysus’ Hymn to the Dying. Dusk was there since the beginning but a lot of new kids in Pakistan didn’t know about them and Dionysus with our live shows were able to re-introduce the pakistani crowd to this art which was long forgotten due to overload of modern metal on the live front. I am happy to help and be part of this new movement of bands in Pakistan trying out different stuff, it’s not just doom. Like we’ve sludge bands like Munkar and death metal bands like KBC and grind stuff like Throttle instinct etc. It’s all good as long as they keep evolving.

 

 

– Sheraz, all your bands have so far achieved physical releases on a variety of formats. This includes Flaw and Ilhaam as well. How do the physical releases fare in general, especially within the context of our region?

 

Sheraz: I think physical releases are really important. Although most of the promotion is done on the online streaming sites but to own the music in substance is the whole another thing. I think we’ve a lot of enthusiasts in this part of the world who still collects CD and hold formats like tapes and vinyls in high value. And you can expect Irritum’s CD release soon! 😉

 

 

– Top 5 Doom albums that have had a profound impact on the band’s sound and style?

 

Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Asphyx: Last One on earth
Anathema: Crestfallen EP
Katatonia: Dance of December souls
Decomposed: Hope Finally Died

 

– Thanks for your time! Eagerly awaiting the album.

 

Thanks for the support!

 

 

Irritumlineup

Irritum on Facebook

Irritum on Soundcloud

Irritum on Bandcamp

Multinational Corporations – Jamat-al-Maut (2014)

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South Asia has a surprisingly small punk scene, considering the social and political condition of the countries in this side of the world. Multinational Corporations – a duo comprised of Hassan and Sheraz, who also happen to be members of several metal bands in Pakistan – are among the handful of grindcore bands in South Asia who understand the roots and the original intention of this genre of music.

 
On their debut EP, Jamat-al-Maut, MxCx play the most unadulterated form of grindcore, drenched with undeniable crust punk riffs along with deathgrind tendencies, akin to Terrorizer. Even though grindcore is known for its spontaneous style of songwriting, with bands mostly being content with rather mindless, simplistic style of playing as long as it serves the purpose, this is not the case here. The songs are espcially crafted to be catchy and memorable which makes Jamat-al-Maut less isotropic than From Enslavement to Obliteration. Musically, this is very competent crust punk/grindcore, however, the duo never intended Multinational Corporations to merely be a “grindcore band that plays brutal and catchy riffs”. The theme and content here are of utmost importance, as with any punk release. The lyrical content of the songs deal with several social and political issues plaguing the country including but not limited to the acts committed by taliban, the endless race for more money, naivity and hypocrisy of so called upper class “communists” and general hatred and misanthropy. The aforementioned is vocalized in a growled fashion, very similar to that of Assuck and Brutal Truth.

 
Unfortunately, Jamat-al-Maut is only 13 minutes long, which is short even for a crust/grind release. This is not a complaint, however, since even in the short span of 14 minutes, the EP is very satisfying, especially with the closing track which is similar to some of the darker neocrust/hardcore songs from the 90s. A very competent and enjoyable release which any fan of the genre will enjoy.

 

 

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Multinational Corporations on Facebook

Multinational Corporations on Bandcamp

 

 

 

– Rohit Chaoji

Eternal Abhorrence presents “UNSILENT DEATH”

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Eternal Abhorrence presents ‘UNSILENT DEATH’ – a metal/hardcore gig in Lahore, Pakistan! It will be taking place on Saturday the 26th of April at Beaconhouse National University in Room 125 (Choreography Studio) of Seeta Majid Block.

 

 

Final band line-up:

 

 

Foreskin – Violent and heavy Hardcore Punk/Thrash Metal crossover from Lahore with a reputation for brutal moshes and crazy circle pits at their shows!

Multinational Corporations – Politically aware Grindcore/Crust/Hardcore Punk from Lahore – just released their debut EP ‘Jamat-al-Maut’ and are set for their debut gig!

Irritum – Funeral Doom from the bowels of Lahore, who will be introducing a live audience to the eternal cult of doomentia for the first time in their history!

The Mothership – Lahore based Jazz/Blues and Prog influenced vintage Rock band The Mothership will be making an appearance at the gig. Prepare to be thrown back into the good ol’ days of virtuoso rock music!

Wreckage – Islamabad/Rawalpindi metal band who play a groove-friendly style of modern death/thrash metal. Despite chugging away in the capital area for five years, these guys are playing in Lahore only for the second time in their history!

 

 

 

Ticket price: 100 rupees!
Timing: It’ll start at 3pm and will end whenever all bands are finished playing their set. Show won’t go on longer than 7pm!

CONTACT:
0345-4064728 (Hassan)
0322-5345356 (Sheraz)

This little gig is presented by ETERNAL ABHORRENCE – a metal/hardcore webzine from Lahore, Pakistan.
https://eternalabhorrence.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/EternalAbhorrence

This is just the beginning of Eternal Abhorrence as not just a webzine, but also a DIY gig/promoting service for local bands. Hopefully we’ll grow from strength to strength once we pull this off.

Dionysus / Dormant Inferno Interview

Doing something different today. The following is an interview of two of South Asia’s finest exporters of quality doom metal, done together. The first is Pakistan’s Dionysus who play a majestic, and insanely memorable style of music that blends black metal, old school death metal, neo-folk and even some post-rock with a strong foundation of doom that has blown away audiences in their hometown of Lahore. The second band, India’s Dormant Inferno base themselves in Mumbai and play a heavy, crushing, keyboard aided brand of pure doom/death where every guitar riff is dipped in melancholy and every growl comes from the most miserable places of the human mind. These two South Asian doom titans are on the verge of releasing a colossal split release that will be unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses soon by Transcending Obscurity India. The following is my interview of Sheraz Ahmed (Dionysus) and Sunny Bhambri (Dormant Inferno), who are the chief guitarists and songwriters for the aforementioned bands.

Dionysus Logo

Dormant Inferno

– Hello boys. How’s the songwriting for the split release going?

Sheraz: Hey, songwriting for the split is still in progress. We’ve wrote 2 songs so far, its coming into shape nicely. We’ve put out a new songs which is named “Beneath the skies of war” on Doom metal front zine’s Tunes of the rising sun compilation.

Sunny: Hey Hassan! Well we are going to record next month. We are going to have to re record one of the songs which was mostly recorded but we lost it due to a computer crash!

 

 

– For the benefit of those being introduced to your bands for the first time, a brief bio please, and how you two came into contact with each other.

Sheraz: Dionysus was formed in summer of 2010. We released our first demo named Burial Ground in June 2011. After that we started working on “Hymn to the dying” EP which was released by Salute records (Sweden) in October 2012 and was later reissued by Total Annihilation Record (Holland). Our music can be best described as Black/Doom. But there are a lot of other elements present in it, all in all our main aim has always been to write something that’s memorable, something that you can fucking sing along to. haha. I got to know about Dormant Inferno when I started getting into undergrounds from across the border. I was totally hooked to In Sanity EP, mainly cause I could relate to the songwritings and song structures that these guys follow. Its my kinda doom. haha. I got to know about the band members through facebook, of course.

Sunny: Dormant Inferno is a Doom/Death Band from Mumbai, we started back in 2009. Our focus is to play simple but dark and crushing music with melodic and ambient elements. I had heard about Dionysus through our vocalist Gautam Shankar, then one day Sheraz just happened to ping our facebook page..And we’ve been in contact since then.

 

 

– It’s been an interesting journey so far for both bands. Both bands have an EP under their belt, both of which got rave reviews by Doom enthusiasts and subcontinent metal fans in general. Did you expect any of this at the start?

Sheraz: I knew where to promote my music and how to do it, so it wasn’t that much of a surprise to be honest. Thanks to all the zines/labels/internet blogs who have supported us in one way or another.

Sunny: We for sure were just playing and making music for ourselves. Simply because there was no band in the Indian scene which was playing the music which we were looking out for.. so Gautam and I decided to form a Doom/Death band ourselves! You know so there was no pressure of ‘presenting’ the songs to an audience, we just made the music the way we would want to hear it. Totally unadultrated with any genre boundaries or expectations.

As for the appreciation, it was certainly a surprise. The listeners from India as well have been very open minded and welcoming towards our music. It is definitely a good thing, especially in a place where the scene is mostly dominated by the noisier, faster types of metal.

 

 

Dionysus - Hymn to the Dying EP. Released 2012.

Dionysus – Hymn to the Dying EP. Released 2012.

Dormant Inferno - In Sanity EP. Released 2011.

Dormant Inferno – In Sanity EP. Released 2011.

 

 

– Of course, the two of you are now poised to do a split together on Transcending Obscurity India. Who’s idea was it in the first place to put Dionysus and Dormant Inferno together? Do you see more India-Pakistan metal collaborations happening in the near-future?

Sheraz: Sunny and I were talking randomly on facebook about music etc and he tossed the idea of doing a split someday and I wanted to do that already. After that he talked to Kunal Choksi and he showed interest in releasing the split which resulted into both bands getting signed to Transcending Obscurity for the split release

Sunny: Actually we were talking online once, I was just about to ask him regarding the split, just then Sheraz stole my words. So technically it was Sheraz’s idea Lol. But it was bound to happen I guess, because Dormant Inferno and Dionysus are kind of on a same page, like you said both bands have on release. We also do have a plenty of favourite bands in common, so it was only natural for us to collaborate. And both bands have been patient with this. We had planned this last year, its materialising now. About the Indo Pak collaborations, I can only speak about the metal genre, Dying Embrace and Dusk split is happening simultaneously I guess. There was this Rise of the Eastern blood CD a few years back with bands from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I dont think nationality matters when 2 metal bands are collaborating and more collaborations should definitely happen.

 

 

– Dionysus and Dormant Inferno each have a defined sound by now. People are now aware of the type of music you guys make and they’ll be expecting stuff in a certain vein. With that in mind, how are you going about composing the new material?

Sheraz: We’re not afraid to come up with something totally different than what we do already. haha. Its always good to keep things spontaneous and let the music come out naturally and not bound yourself. If we like it, its good! Other people’s opinions are secondary. But yeah, you can check out the new song Beneath the skies of war on the compilation to get a hint of what’s new to come.

Sunny: To be honest with you, the 2 new songs which will be up on this split were supposed to be on our EP ‘In Sanity’ But due to time constraints we could not complete writing these songs. So if someone has enjoyed ‘In Sanity’ they will definitely be getting a similar vibe from these 2 new songs. As for the composing, its pretty much random. We don’t limit ourselves with any genre boundaries and just let the music come out naturally.

 

 

– Doom Metal has grown in the sub-continent over the years. Some of the older bands from the region also tended to play Doom/Death Metal, but nowadays there seems to be a real thing for Doom on both sides of the border. Why do you think Indians and Pakistani metal fans are gravitating towards Doom?

Sheraz: When we started playing Doom back in late 2010, I only knew about Dusk who played Doom/death from Pakistan. There was no other band. And I’ve always loved Doom more than any other form of metal. Doom and old school death, that’s my metal. Even though I also play in a thrash, black and also in a grind core band but doom is where I feel most comfortable. A lot of people in Pakistan have been getting into doom after the release of the Hymn to the dying EP, bands like Irritum, Khorne who also have demos/EPs under their belts and are still developing their sound. Its really good to see people taking break from covering Metallica and Iron Maiden over here on the live front and also putting out proper material, not just one single over a year. Now, talking about India/Pakistani metal fans, it also has to do with the “old school wave” going on all over the world. Its not just doom, its every old school form of music actually.

Sunny: I really do not know the exact reason for this surge of doom metal listeners. One reason could be that there are more bands playing this genre now. Or maybe people are appreciating it because its just something totally new to their ears! you know? Its better than listening to 10 death or black metal bands all sounding the same. There’s so many awesome bands in the Doom Metal genre, its amazing.

 

 

– Both bands have members spread out across different cities. With that in mind, how do both of you go about composing your bands’ songs and playing live?

Sheraz: It was of course better when Waleed lived in Lahore, and we had our own studio. But now since he has moved to Karachi, we’ve to cordinate through internet and phone calls and the studio is divided into two parts, I’ve my own recording equipment over here in Lahore, Waleed has his own setup in Karachi. Umair and I do the guitar/drum parts and then send them to Waleed and he edits them and add his own parts. That’s how the song comes into being. I’ve been doing the same thing with my black metal band Ilhaam and my experimental band with Olga, Flaw. So yeah, its nothing new for me.

Sunny: Well we haven’t written anything new in the last 3 years that Gautam has been away so I can’t tell much about that. But we did participate with our cover in the Motorhead Tribute album, we recorded our instruments here and Gautam tracked his vocals from the US. It was a very smooth recording to be honest. But its ideal if all the members are present at once, its easier to make new stuff that way. As of now we are having Kunal Gonsalves as our live vocalist.

 

 

Dormant Inferno dooming the audience.

Dormant Inferno dooming their Mumbai audience

 

 

– Since I just touched upon the subject of playing live – how do the live shows usually pan out? How many live shows under your belt and what’s the general situation in the metal scene as far as gigs are concerned?

Sheraz: As you know, there is a dearth of proper metal gigs/organizers over here in Pakistan. Dionysus has played 2 shows, one was in early 2012 and other was in July of this year. We’ve had a great fucking time whenever we played live, the crowd is always great! They also know our songs so its really cool. We’re gonna be playing at Hellfest 3 in Islamabad in early 2014 along with my other band Foreskin, so really looking forward to that.

Sunny: We have only palyed 2 gigs till now, Black Metal Krieg will be our third gig. We are learning with every gig and we are excited to be playing our originals in front of a live audience. Not many gigs are happening here, venues are scarce, funds and even turnouts are a concern. In such a situation Stark Denial and Transcending Obscuirty are pulling out a gig, its remarkable. Once BMK is done, we will be heading out Bagalore to play at Human Garbage, along side our brother Djinn and Miskatonic. Also on that roster are Shepherd which im keen on seeing live. So we’re packed for now.

 

 

Dionysus kicking up a doom-storm at The Catacombs, a gig in Lahore.

Dionysus kicking up a doom-storm at The Catacombs, a gig in Lahore.

 

 

– Any chances of either band crossing the border to play a show, in the future?

Sheraz: Kunal has tossed the idea of getting Dionysus to play in Transcending Obscurity’s shows in India, we’re looking into that matter.

Sunny: We could just play at the Wagah Border hahahaha.

 

 

– Since a lot of non-Indian/Pakistanis will be reading this hopefully: Which metal bands from your respective countries would you recommend the “firangis” to check out?

Sheraz: Lohikarma, Irritum, Dusk, Foreskin, Marwolaeth, Multinational Corporations, Ilhaam.

Sunny: Infernal Wrath, Exhumation , Djinn and Miskatonic, III Sovereign, Kryptos, Bevar Sea to name a few.

 

 

– A lot has been said about how “digital” albums are the new thing and physical copies are dead. Most of this has been said by metal artists from North America, Europe, etc. As people from this part of the world who’ve released EP’s, what’s your take on the future of physical albums (CD’s, Tapes, Vinyls) as far as metal music is concerned?

Sheraz: Physical format is the only thing that matters for me. If its not out on physical, it kinda doesn’t exist for me. And I love collecting CDs of underground bands from different parts of the world, I’ve a couple of Cds of bands from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Finland, Thailand etc. Though its hard to get CDs over here in Pakistan, but I buy physical releases whenever I get a chance.

Sunny: For me personally I’d go for digital albums. Physical albums are a costly affair to print and distribute, but if people are looking out for a total package of artwork and all then I guess physical CD’s are required.

 

 

– We’ve talked an awful lot about metal so far. What about the non-metal music that you like? How far do non-metal influences seep into your music?

Sheraz: I listen to almost every type of music. I am a big Camel fan. Its my favorite band over all. You can listen a lot of Andrew Latimer’s influence in my lead playing and chord structures. Besides that I listen to a lot of classical stuff as well. Dire Straits, Corpus, King Crimson, Wishbone ash. Other than that I am also a big fan of neo/dark folk, early 90s rap, darkwave etc.

Sunny: We are open to all kinds of music. I personally listen to alot of ambient and melody oriented music. Bands like Irfan, Enigma, Karl Sanders solo albums etc. Gautam and I share liking for underground rap! Aurko is a calssical singer, so you know we are into all types of stuff.

 

 

– Favorite albums released this year?

Sheraz: Haven’t heard anything that interesting this year. Kataonia’s Dethroned and Uncrowned is the only I remember liking.

Sunny: Haven’t heard anything new this year.

 

 

– Thank you so much for the interview. Any parting words?

Sheraz: Thanks for everything man. Keep it up! Eternal abbhorrence is doing a good job and its one of the few blogs that I follow regularly.

Sunny: Thanks for the interview man, thanks to all the listeners for their support, new music coming very soon!

 

 

Transcending Obscurity

Dionysus on Facebook

Dormant Inferno on Facebook

Dionysus – Hymn to the Dying EP on Bandcamp

Dormant Inferno – In Sanity EP on Bandcamp

Transcending Obscurity India

– Hassan Dozakhi