Vishal Rai’s Top 5 of 2014

Albums

 

 

Sangharsha1

 

Sangharsha – Bayou

 

Album of the year. When Kshitiz, my old bandmate and current Sangharsha riffmeister, told me they’d be recording with Converge’s Kurt Ballou, I knew something special was brewing. But I didn’t expect the album to be this damn good! For those who came in late, Sangharsha is a New York based hardcore band, with members who all hail from Nepal. Apart from a song or two, all their lyrics are in Nepali.

 

The S/T EP Sangharsha recorded with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations in 2012 was great, but this one took it up a few notches. I can’t even describe the sound here. Besides the hardcore/sludge that they’ve made their base, there are elements of death,black, and even post-metal. Heavy, introspective, and peppered with absolutely beautiful moments.

 

The album takes a turn during the second half of the second last song, Aseena. In a way, it brought to mind what Pulling Teeth did with Funerary. Knowing Kshitiz’s love for PT, it might have even been deliberate.

 

AlertaAntifascista Records from Germany released the vinyl version of Bayou a few months ago; you can stream and order a copy at http://bayou1.bandcamp.com

 

ffo – Bands on the Deathwish roster, Russian Circles, etc.

 

 

 

Ringworm2

 

Ringworm – Hammer Of The Witch

 

Ringworm is one of my all-time favorite hardcore bands. Even if HOTWhad sucked, it would still have made it to my top five. But it doesn’t.

 

Stream: http://ringworm.bandcamp.com/album/hammer-of-the-witch-digital-deluxe-version

 

 

 

bane3

 

Bane – Don’t Wait Up

 

Bane is one of two bands (the other being Shai Hulud) that can choke me up. There’s just something about Aaron Bedard’s lyrics and vocal delivery that can transform me into a naive kid, the way I used to be before things went to shit. Haha. Don’t Wait Upwas an even more emotional affair than usual because it’s the last Bane album. It has some terrific guest spots (Calling Hours) and possibly some of Bedard’s darkest lyrics (Wrong Planet). And I must confess, I did get teary eyed when I first heard Final Backward Glance.

 

Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENKYdxEByY

 

 

 

CodeOrange4

 

Code Orange – I Am King

 

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the new Code Orange. I didn’t really understand the hype around them when they still had the Kids suffix, and I wasn’t too fond of their old material. But holy shit, I Am King was something else. Definitely one of the most intense albums of 2014. They even sound like they’d fit right in with the Victory Records roster of the 90s (my favorite era in hardcore) a lot of the time.

 

Stream: http://deathwishinc.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-king

 

 

 

EHG5

 

Eyehategod – Eyehategod

 

I don’t believe I even need to elaborate. It’s no Take As Needed For Pain or Dopesick, but it’s still top stuff.

 

 

 

Other albums that ruled – Today Is The Day – Animal Mother, Skinfather – None Will Mourn, Crowbar – Symmetry In Black, Comeback Kid – Die Knowing, Full Of Hell &Merzbow – Full Of Hell & Merzbow, New Found Glory – Resurrection, Hang The Bastard – Sex In The Seventh Circle, Sumeru – Holy Lands, Homewrecker – Circle Of Death, Hollow Earth – Silent Graves, Generation Of Vipers – Coffin Wisdom, Pharaoh – Negative Everything, Rot In Hell – Ruined Empire, The Banner – Greying, Baptists – Bloodmines, Young And In The Way – When Life Comes To Death, Yautja – Songs Of Descent, Indian – From All Purity, Nothing – Guilty Of Everything

 

 

 

Demos/EPs/Splits

 

 

torn1

 

Torn – Demo 2014

 

Spirit-Filled hardcore fronted by the singer of Advent and other Christian hardcore bands. Catchy and heavy, with lyrics that have a lot of thought put behind them, this demo should appeal to anyone with a love for 90s metallic hardcore. There are parts that sound like Turmoil and others that wouldn’t be out of place on a Buried Alive record. Don’t let the “Spirit-Filled” tag put you off, there’s nothing preachy here.

 

Stream: http://tornhardcore.bandcamp.com/


 

 

gatecreeper2

 

Gatecreeper – Gatecreeper

 

Swedish death metal (or DM influenced hardcore) from Arizona. One listen was all it took to get me hooked, in a manner similar to what Skinfather did with Atheos a few years ago. Members of Gatecreeper also play in Territory.

 

ffo – Dismember, Grave, Entombed, Unleashed, Black Breath, Skinfather

 

Stream: http://gatecreeper.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

keeper3

 

Keeper – MMXIV

 

So damn heavy!

 

ffo – Burning Witch, Grief, Meth Drinker, Moloch

 

Stream: http://keeperxdoom.bandcamp.com/releases

 

 

 

Forced Order4 GodsHate4

 

Forced Order – Eternal War / God’s Hate – Divine Injustice

 

Forced Order and God’s Hate belong to the vibrant Southern California hardcore scene, and, if I’m not mistaken, both bands recorded at The Pit with Taylor Young. Forced Order features members of Twitching Tongues, Harness, Soul Search and Disgrace; their sound is a throwback to 90s Cleveland hardcore. Think old Integrity and In Cold Blood. God’s Hate has members of Twitching Tongues and Skinfather, and probably a few other bands. Divine Injustice is Troycore-worship at its finest (the band’s even named after a Dying Breed song).

 

Stream: http://forcedorder.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-war-2

Stream: http://godshate.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

xibalbasuburbanscum5

 

Xibalba/Suburban Scum – Split

 

Nothing much to say.Both bands just keep getting better, although I’m more partial to the Xibalba tracks.

 

http://closedcasketactivities.bandcamp.com/album/split

 

 

 

Others that ruled: New Lows – Abhorrent Endings, Blistered – Soul Erosion, Jagged Visions – Beyond The Serpent’s Touch, Annulment – Celestial Mother Of The Handless Path, Graves At Sea – This Place Is Poison, Of Feather And Bone – Adorned In Decay/False Healer, Incitement – Hyena, Converge – Live At The BBC, Benchpress/Martyr’s Tongue, Soul Search/Minus, Graves At Sea/Sourvein, Primitive Man/Xaphan, Whirr/Nothing

 

 

 

EA

 

 

(we’d like to thank Vishal for this write-up. you can check out Vishal’s own Hardcore/Metal band Jugaa here)

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Xibalba Interview

Xibalba-Logo

 

 

– Hey Brian. Hope the preparations for the Suburban Scum split is going good. Can you introduce yourself and what you do in Xibalba for the readers?

 

Everything with the split is going great, I can’t wait for it to get released next month. It should be being pressed as we speak. I’m Brian Ortiz, I play guitar for Xibalba.

 

 

– You put out your debut LP – Hasta La Muerte – 2 years ago on Southern Lord. Do you feel its aged well on your own self, considering you’re the guitarist of the band?

 

I definitely think it has aged pretty well, the influences that we’ve taken from over the years are timeless bands with a timeless sound, so I’d like to think what we’re doing and our sound will age well.

 

 

– Xibalba’s sound has consistently evolved since the early days, getting heavier and incorporating more Doom and Death Metal influences as time has went on. With that in mind, would you say that the influences have changed compared to when the band first started out?

 

I don’t think our influences have changed by much, I listen to the same stuff I was listening to when we first started, but I do think that we have gotten a little better in song writing and knowing what we want before we do it. When we first started it was, lets get some of the heaviest riffs and make a song out of them, which is what we still do, but there is a little more structure behind it. The death and doom metal elements will always be a part of Xibalba, it’s not the only type of music we listen to but, it’s what we know how to write.

 

 

xibalbaalbum

 

– The emphasis on the band’s hispanic roots is something that has stuck throughout. Is the Hardcore/Metal subculture strong within the Spanish-speaking community in the US? I ask this because you have some songs written entirely in Spanish.

 

Hardcore and Metal are strong with all types of backgrounds, ethnicities and creeds. We’re from the Los Angeles area and there is a lot of Hispanics and latinos of all kinds. In southern California you will see a lot of latinos and Hispanics at shows. I love it, our parents might not “get it” or understand it, but it’s all good. I can’t speak for the entire U.S. but in Southern California the Hispanic and latino community is a huge part of this music. We are proud of where we come from and where our families have originated from and will incorporate it in our music.

 

 

– Your upcoming release is with East Coast Hardcore band Suburban Scum. Both promo tracks for the split are dark and heavy as fuck. How’d the idea for the split come together?

 

I’m not really sure exactly how it came to be, but Suburban Scum and us have been friends for a few years now and it’s been talked about since we became friends. Closed Casket wanted to do a split for Scum and asked us if we were down to do it will them. Of course we said yes because those are our boys.

 

 

– Closed Casket Activities is putting out the upcoming split. You’ve also worked with them on the Incendiary split. How do you feel about the label?

 

I think it’s a great label with some of the best records in the past 5 years. They have a badass track record and have kill bands on that label. I feel they are one of the best labels out right now.

 

 

– California has a badass scene these days – some of the newer bands are among the best bands ever to have come out. Who are your current favorites from your region?

 

We have so many but my personal favorites are Skinfather, Nails, Twitching Tongues, Gods Hate, Forced Order, Soul Search, Downpresser, Take Offense, Disgrace, there are many more too.

 

xibalbasplit

 

– There are a few big Hardcore festivals going on every year in the States, and you’ve played at This Is Hardcore too. What’s the main difference from playing small venues to moving to big stages at festivals? Is it better or worse for Hardcore bands?

 

There is a big difference, smaller venues are a more intimate then the big fest shows. But I will say that both are fun to play. Seeing a grip of people in one big ass room watching you is pretty crazy and makes you feel good. But playing small spots where the kids can actually feel your music and go ape shit is something special too. I don’t think fest are bad for hardcore bands at all. Fests bring people from all around the world to them and makes kids have the time of there lives meeting new people from around the globe, its pretty badass. Fest and Small shows are two different atmospheres and are fun, but just different. I love playing both.

 

 

– What albums/EP’s/Splits are you looking forward to this year?

 

I’m drawing a blank but the new Crowbar record, new Skinfather LP is killer and I can’t wait to get my hands on that press. The new Mournful Congregation EP. That’s all I can think of right now.

 

 

– Thanks for your time Brian, much love and respect from Pakistani extreme music fans!

 

You’re very welcome! Thank you for you this interview and supporting us! Xibalba/Scum split drops May 13, 2014 on Closed Casket, get it when it drops!

 

 

xibalbalive

 

Xibalba on Facebook

Closed Casket Activities

– Hassan Dozakhi

Integrity Interview

integrity_tour_splatterlogo

– Greetings Dwid. Hope all is well at your end.

Hello Dozakhi, yes. all is ideal here in Belgium. Thank you.

 

 

– 2013 was a big year for Integrity. The release of the much anticipated Suicide Black Snake album, and then an unexpected remixed version of Systems Overload which was widely hailed as well. Other 7-inch releases were put out as well during that year. How do you feel about 2013 in retrospect?

We had been working on those recordings for a while, so it was rewarding to see them finally come to fruition. The Systems Remix worked out better than we had anticipated. Much better than the original version. Robert Orr and Aaron Melnick did a perfect job on the remix.

 

 

– One thing that struck me about Suicide Black Snake was how – despite having a dedicated fanbase and a trademark sound – how you never cater to what the audience expects. The song “There Ain’t No Living In Life” in particular was something I never expected. Can we expect more songs of that nature in the future by Integrity?

It is difficult to ever say what to “expect” from Integrity. Only time will tell. We do have some unreleased, older recordings that are finally making their way to vinyl via A389 records in 2014. The 1st will be a split 7” with VVegas. We recorded that song a few years ago. And in the Fall another split 7” will emerge from A389, this time its an unreleased song from The Blackest Curse session from 2008.

 

 

– Much has been said about Integrity’s musical influences and the likes of GISM, Septic Death and Misfits. Though the band isn’t exactly a purely musical entity – it comes off as being a very visual act enamored with certain aesthetic qualities. What artists, writers and thinkers have helped influence you and the atmosphere you try to create with your music?

Francis Bacon, DeSade, Andre Breton, Bruno Schulz, Patrick Bokanowski, Arthur Rimbaud, Felicien Rops, Vordb, Ismaelta, Robert Johnson, Tristan Tzara, Sakevi Yokoyama, Blind Willie Johnson, Vincent Price, Charles Manson, Oscar Wilde, Max Ernst, Danzig, Guislain, FW Murnau, Peter Levenda, Al Columbia, Kenneth Anger, Howlin Wolf, Rozz Williams, Pushead, Son House, Boyd Rice, Kent Williams, Robert W. Chambers, Mike Mignola, Jaromil Jireš, E. Elias Merhige, Aleister Crowley, Genesis P’Orridge, Theodore Roszak and many, many more.

 

 

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– You mentioned once that Belgium provides you with the isolation necessary for you to make music. I had always assumed that claustrophobic, crowded environments are better breeding grounds for music as intense as Punk/Metal. How does isolation help in making music with Integrity?

I am not a social person, and I do not enjoy my mind to be cluttered with the distractions of crowded environments. Imagination is something that is often born from silence and darkness.

 

 

– Speaking of Belgium – You did vocals for a Belgian Metal/Hardcore/Punk band called “Congress” and their song called “Dogma” many years ago, and also did a video for another song of theirs. Are you still in touch with them or any Belgian Punk/Metal bands?

Yes, Congress hired me to direct their music video, and also asked me to also do a guest vocal on their album. They are a great group of guys.

 

 

– Can you tell us a bit about your label, Dark Empire Records, and the upcoming Gehenna record?

Actually, my label is, Holy Terror records.
http://www.HolyTerror.com
My son, Max’s label is Dark Empire records and he has released the new Gehenna 7”
wwww.DarkEmpireRecords.com
The new Gehenna record is brutal Neanderthal destruction that only G can deliver.

 

 

– You have always been a prolific musician, stretching your claws out to a variety of different genres. Are you working with any side-project these days? And is there any chance of you doing another Roses Never Fade record?

I left Roses Never Fade 6 or 7 years ago. I believe that a new incarnation of Roses Never Fade eventually plan on a new recording. However, I am no longer a participant of that project.
I have a project titled, Vermapyre

 

 

dh001

 

 

– Integrity’s music has evolved over the years and with a quarter of a century of experience with the band, have the motivations behind the music evolved as well? And on a personal level, how much do you feel your own personal growth is indebted to the band?

Integrity has always been a source for my own private entertainment, to make music and imagery that I would like to experience. The rest is just a falling away.  It is an exorcism of my demons and a means to question the mysteries that obstruct our view of human existence.

 

 

– Before we end this, I have always wanted to ask you about the religious symbols – especially the usage of the Islamic shahadah – in the Holy Terror logo. As someone from a predominantly muslim country, seeing it made me intrigued. Isn’t the amalgamation of religious symbols a little contradictory?

I am not certain how religious symbology and my music could ever be viewed as contradictory. Even the label name, “Holy Terror” itself expresses  religious connotations. The main component of my lyrics has always been interwoven with religious overtones and inquiry towards lost knowledge of the humans existence. I would say that my music is foremost a religious outlet decorated in the trappings of a dark aesthetic consumed by the horrors of life.

 

 

– Thanks for the interview. Has been great talking to you. Good luck with your future art.

thank you for your kind words and interest in

 

 

integrity skull 14inch

Integrity on Facebook

Holy Terror Official Website

– Hassan Dozakhi

Jugaa Discography

Jugaa logo

Jugaa. Killer Hardcore/Metal band from Kathmandu, Nepal. For fans of Integrity, Ringworm, Earth Crisis, Eyehategod, Disembodied and Arkangel. Get their discography here. All links are band-sanctioned and provided by Vishal Rai, the band’s guitarist.

Track from Ghalazat compilation – Eternal Sleep (2013)

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/10294812/file.html

Split with Sangharsha – Jugaa side only (2011)

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/26076712/file.html

Hamal Hardcore [EP] (2010)

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/60830313/file.html

Fuck The Scene [EP] (2008)

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/58905826/file.html

Split with Shannon Scam – Jugaa side only (2007)

http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/67739698/file.html

Jugaa Lineup

Other links:

Jugaa on Facebook

Ghalazat Compilation on Bandcamp

Sangharsha/Jugaa split download link with both sides

Shannon Scam/Jugaa split download link with both sides

Jugaa’s interview with Eternal Abhorrence

Skinfather Intervew

A few years ago, a new ‘wave’ of bands blending Death Metal with Hardcore started coming out. However, this new crop had fuck-all in common with the skinny jeans and mascara deathcore bands before. Bands like Nails, Xibalba, Black Breath took the HM-2 sound of old Swedish Death Metal and fused it with their roots in the Hardcore scene to create a completely fresh, and musically authentic sound that pleased metalheads and hardcore kids alike. This was stuff you could circle pit, headbang, and mosh to. Enter Skinfather from California, a band that takes its name from a Dismember song and plays some crushing death metal while being relevant in their local hardcore circuit as well. I heard their Atheos demo last year and was instantly hooked – I was listening to them in my car and in university every day. They got signed to Life and Death Records (who put out the new Goldust record) and further cemented their place in my playlist with an EP “Succession/Possession” that further developed their unique take on old school death metal. Imagine my elation when they agreed to answer my interview questions!

Skinfather logo

– Hello, and thanks for the interview! Which member of the band am I speaking to and what role do you play in Skinfather?

My name is Scott and I play guitar.

 

– Not much is known about the band’s initial history. How did you guys come to form, and what was the initial purpose?

The band was formed by our drummer and our first singer who wanted to create a band which paid homage to classic Swedish death metal. I actually joined the band after the release of Atheos, and since then Skinfather has continued its growth into our current form.

 

– Skinfather plays a curious mix of styles. Though the name stems from a Dismember song and the music armed with a classic Swedish style production, the band’s roots come off as being in the hardcore scene. Even now you share stages with bands like Nails, Alpha/Omega, Soul Search, Xibalba and the like. How does that affect the music you create?

We all grew up going to hardcore shows and playing in hardcore bands, and I’ve been booking and working shows for some time, so that’s how we all know each other. It’s just a part of who we are. Musically we are a death metal band, but I think that coming from a hardcore/punk background gives us a certain sound. Playing live is the most important thing for a hardcore band, and that brings a certain energy and a level of intensity to the music which I think you can hear in Skinfather, even if we’re not a traditional hardcore band.

 

– 2013 heralded a bit of a change in your sound from the Atheos release. The coming of your 2nd EP “Succession/Possession” on Life and Death Records brought with it a musical evolution, with the Old School Death Metal side becoming more apparent. The logo and artwork also came off as being more ‘Metal.’ To top it off, an Unleashed cover was thrown into the mix as well. Was this a deliberate, conscious change or did it come naturally?

Both. It was the only logical direction for the band to take, really. Me joining the band definitely had a big impact on the songwriting, and I think that the 7” is much more in tune with Skinfather’s original intentions as a band. That old school death metal element was there on Atheos but it just needed to be fleshed out and brought to the forefront. We were very pleased with how the record turned out.

 

cover

– Tell us a bit about your relationship with fellow local Hardcore/Thrash band “Creatures.” I believe the two of you shared some members in the past and continue to do so; often performing in the same gigs.

We have a very close relationship with Creatures, we played our first shows with them and they’re close friends of ours. As for shared members, our drummer Taylor started Creatures, and Stephen (vocalist of Creatures) recently took over vocals for Skinfather and he has been crushing it. Sadly they’re no longer a band but you haven’t heard the last from those guys…

 

– You guys recorded both your EP’s at “The Pit” – Taylor Young’s studio. I’ve always been a fan of his production work and his ability to take a band to the brink of ultimate heaviness. How was the experience of recording with him on either occasion?

I love working with Taylor and couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. He’s a hardcore kid and a metalhead who likes and understands the music on a deep level. He really knows his shit when it comes to dialing in the right sounds for a record and can bring out a band at their best. He also won’t hesitate to tell you if something you’re doing sucks, and I appreciate that level of honesty.

 

– Considering that the new EP has been released on a German label, what are the chances of you guys taking your hate-drenched riffs outside North America into Europe soon?

I hope so! After we release our new record there will be more touring, and hopefully we make it to Europe sooner than later.

 

– So, two releases and two appearances on compilation albums, one of which spawned a cover of Dismember’s Casket Garden. But what’s next? Another 7″? A split, perhaps? What about a full length?

We will have a full length record out first half of next year.

 

– Favorite releases from 2013?

Nails, Inquisition, Grave Miasma, Magic Circle, Carcass, Tribulation, Hatred Surge, Impalers, Power Trip, Warmaster, Portal and Acualli.

 

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

Thanks for the interview. Listen to Disgrace.

 

Skinfather band

 

Skinfather on Facebook.

Skinfather on Bandcamp.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Jugaa Interview

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

Jugaa Lineup

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Jugaa2

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Vishal

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

 

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

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

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

 

Jugaa live

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

http://ghalazat.bandcamp.com/

 

Jugaa logo

Jugaa on Facebook

Jugaa on Bandcamp

– Hassan Dozakhi

Dead Beat – S/T Demo (2013)

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

deadbeatlineup

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

 

Dead Beat on Facebook

Dead Beat on BandCamp

– Matt Dorr