Vishal Rai’s Top 5 of 2014

Albums

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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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/


 

 

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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/

 

 

 

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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/

 

 

 

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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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“My lil’ Murrican Adventure” – MDF retrospective

Guest writer Shruti Kumar wrote about her experience at Maryland Death Fest and wanted us to put it up here. It’s a nice little read that gives some insight into the things people are willing to do to see the best extreme metal festival in contemporary times. She’s an Indian who currently resides in Australia as a permanent citizen, and regularly attends local shows as well. Read on:

 

 

Asphyx

Asphyx

 

 

So here I was, looking at the Maryland Deathfest XII lineup for the first time. I’m your typical overseas-based university student, with only a fast food job to sustain my gig needs and this wasn’t even a local show. I’d always wistfully gazed at MDF lineups every year but this time the lineup was so fucking unreal that I just HAD to be there. Mostly for the fact that I’ll get to see Immolation twice because I’m a massive Immolation fangirl and by massive I mean being-at-the-front-taking-pictures-screaming-for-autographs fangirl. I hardly ever feel like that for a band because let’s face it, band members are probably just as fucked up as you are, if not more. So anyway, to make this work, I’d have to sort out money, flights, visas, university, immigration and parents (yes, that is actually a legitimate concern for an Indian kid). I had traveled internationally before, but never alone. Thankfully, I have super liberal and highly educated parents, who even though were initially reluctant to let their little girl go alone to a foreign country for an extreme metal festival, eventually thought that this would be good to make me self-sufficient. For money, I worked my arse off and saved up cash. Stopped spending as much, worked full time for the three months I had off after my second semester finished. One thing I had decided right from the start was that I’ll have to make this happen by myself so I didn’t burden my parents financially. Money and parents sorted. Now for the worst part, immigration. Immigration was the one thing that made organizing this trip a massive pain and a lot more difficult than it should’ve been. I lost my passport so I had to deal with cops and some really nasty people at immigration but once my application was finally in, it was just the wait. Oh, the fucking wait. It took about a month for me to get it back but little did I know that my problems had just started. Because bam! As you can guess, it was time for me to get visas. Since I’m a permanent resident in Australia but actually an Indian citizen, I had to get two visas. I won’t bore you with the details, but long story short, the US tourist visa was the reason that led me to be uncertain if I was even gonna make it till the last minute. Literally. I really wish I was kidding, but nope. My visa interview was 2 days before my flight was supposed to leave. Thankfully, I didn’t buy tickets and decided to wait till my visas came through ‘cause I’m smart like that. Anyway, my visa got approved but I read on the US immigration website that my passport won’t be sent back to me within five days. BA DUM TSS! All my hopes of going to the US crushed in a minute. All the months I spent working hard and dealing with immigration gone for nothing. It affected me more than any break up I ever had and it was just plain awful. So much so that I tried to find solace in alcohol when I don’t even fucking drink. But life had something else in store for me. The very next day I found out that my passport had been shipped and I would be able to go to the US afterall! So I did end up going, albeit three days later than planned. It was pretty outrageous, I got my flight tickets at 4 pm and my flight left 7 am the next morning. But as you would’ve guessed by now, I’m a pretty crazy person. It was a jampacked trip, with so much to do and see in just a week. But I was up for it. I admit, I’ve been a very naughty girl to make this work, I skipped uni and rescheduled a few assessments. But look at the fucking lineup! Can you blame me? In a matter of four days I saw Immolation, Incantation, Asphyx, Gorguts, Necros Christos, Mgla, Pseudogod, Coffins, Noothgrush, Crowbar, Agalloch and so many others. Phew! And I was right at the front for almost everything because if you haven’t experienced a band up front, I highly recommend it. I also got to meet Ross Dolan and Rob Vigna of Immolation which was an absolute dream true and made my US trip worthwhile straightaway. I also had great company, my friends Gautam and Nikhil, who were so much fun to hang with! Here’s a few day-to-day updates/diary notes from the time I was in MDF and then came back:

 

 

Noothgrush

Noothgrush

 

 

After the prefest gig: Got to see Immolation in a private gig environment and being practically on top of the stage for the entire thing. Had a super long chat with Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna and it really is amazing to know that your favourite band is comprised of really down-to-earth people instead of dickheads, which they very well deserve to be considering the unreal music they make. They played Into Everlasting Fire! I think now I can die happy.

 

MDF Day 1: Coffins were so fucking good! It’s that amazing feeling you get when you finally see a band you’ve been obsessing about for ages. Every track they played off their Buried Death album made their set exponentially great. Crowbar were insanely heavy and other highlights included Whitehorse and Sourvein. Bring on tomorrow!

 

MDF Day 2: Watching Incantation, Bölzer, Agalloch, Mgla, Necros Christos, Cancer, The Ruins of Beverast, At The Gates and Taake back to back on the same day. FUUUUUUUUUCK. This lineup has ruined every music festival for me. Also, bumped into Ross Dolan again and he recognized me. Fuck yeah. Winning.

 

MDF Day 3: HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Asphyx were fucking perfect. Reformed Pungent Stench and Hooded Menace were really tight and so were Tankard, Dark Angel and Noothgrush. Got my hardcore/grind fix from Victims, Dropdead and Birdflesh. Machetazo destroyed the venue and there were many others I can’t be bothered mentioning. I’m gonna have some serious psychological depression after this festival ends but fucking hell, so many happy feels right now.

 

MDF Day 4: Candlemass. Owned. Everyfuckingthing. So much stoner/sludgy/doomy goodness today with My Dying Bride, Bongripper, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and Soilent Green. Inquisition rocked my socks and so did Pseudogod and Gorguts. Immolation ending the festival with a second set was probably the best farewell to MDF. Can’t believe I’m flying back to Sydney tomorrow, it’ll take me some time to readjust to drab ol’ life again.

 

On my way back to Australia: Homeward bound. Maryland Deathfest was amazing, never did I see so many bands, have so many people stage dive on my head and have so many guys come up to me and tell me they thought I was gorgeous (which included this creepy Argentinean guy who wanted to get a picture of me). Even though I’m now drugged on painkillers because I headbanged too much and have heaps of overdue assignments and a raging jetlag to look forward to, there’s nothing in my life I want to change right now.

 

So I’m back home now , with 0$ in my bank account and having some serious MDF withdrawals. Everything is dull in comparison to the time I had. After some of the shit I pulled to make this happen, I don’t know if I’d ever get to do this again. But hey, it was totally worth it.

 

 

 

Immolation

Immolation

 

 

– Shruti Kumar

The Grim Mage Interview

The Grim Mage are a really rad doom/sludge/stoner band from Bangalore, India. If that surprises you – well it shouldn’t in the first place, cuz the city is home to a number of sick doom bands and The Grim Mage is just one of the latest additions. Despite being fairly new, these lads have all the ingredients necessary to become a major band in the Asian Doom scene, if you read my review a few days back. I contacted the band’s founder Sashank to talk about gigs, weed, doom, and Paki pop sensation Taher Shah.

grimlog

 

– Hey guys. Hope your preparations for the upcoming gig are going good!

Sup’ Hassan, How you doin? And oh yeah things are going great. We have rehearsals everytime we can fit one into our really busy schedules. We like to laze around, but unfortunately there are colleges and jobs to go to.
The upcoming ones would be our 4th and 5th gig, Also both the gigs coming up this weekend are pretty big(Supercoven fest being a gig where we get to share the stage with some of the doomy people whose bands we like a lot and the other one, Impending Doom Fest, is a really big stage), So we are kinda trying to work our asses off to sound good on these stages.

 

 
– You guys pretty much came out of nowhere and not much about the history of the band is known. How was it formed, what were the influences/circumstances/quality of weed behind the band’s creation?

So once during our excursions we happened to find this dark doomy dungeon which later we came to know was the lair of a super weedian mage. And we saw him invoke some of the doomiest and stoned fiends from the land of the greens. And now we go under cover dressing up like those fiends and attend the shamanic bong rituals the High Mage conducts.
Hahahaha. Syed met me at an acoustic show a couple of our friends from a hard rock band were doing(it was at a restaurant with only 5 guests) and we got talking about heavy metal music and shit like that. Which led to him and me planning on forming a band that would play stuff like that, yeah. And then after i think about a month or two we actually started working on it. It used to jams on my terrace with just the both of us working out on riffs on the acoustic, the bass and the guitars. Once we were sure of the riffs and arrangements, we had a real tough time finding a line up. We went through a lot of mutual contacts and called a lot of friends and fellow musicians to try out and have jam sessions with us. It all turned better when i met with Vishnu and asked him to give a try and have a jam with just me and Syed. Vishnu was not into this music at all, but he hit it off well and enjoyed playing this stuff a lot(he still does, and surprisingly he is digging through a lot of the modern doom and sludge bands). And for a week or two we were seiously considering playing as a 3 piece band with the distorted bass and no guitars. But then i got in touch with Anway, again a super old friend of mine. We got talking, had a jam session and we played our first gig the next day.
So this is how we were actually formed.

 

 
– You put out your first demo “Worshipper” quite recently which has been well recieved in the local doom circuit. What was the recording process like for a rookie band as yourself?

When we were about 2 weeks old and were going to play our second gig, We seriously wanted to have a demo or some recorded samples of our material available at hand so that we could tell our friends and people who had watched us to spread it around and too see their reaction on how it is. So we went ahead and contacted a couple of recording studios and did a research on how to record the material with resources available at hand. And frankly, the studio thing worked out to a big fat huge amount which we couldnt arrange, neither wanted to. Just the same week, we were having a rehearsal at a jam room and came to know that the place has facilities enough to help us record a live jam session. We then got talking with the guys who were managing the studio. Which in our luck happened to be Jake from Dark Desolation and Grossty. He and Yogesh(he too works at the studio) had the right idea about stoner-doom-sludge metal and knew exactly what we wanted to sound like and immediately helped us record a live demo. Super thanks to them! The recording process was very very simple and we had absolutely no issues while we were at it.
It was an attempt to get in touch with the right doomsters from our town, and boy it did work out.

 

 

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– How have the live gigs and general reception been for you since coming into the scene?

Man, the live gigs are fun. Its fun to be on stage, be it for a bunch of five people or even frikkin one hundred people. The reception i’d say has been generally good. I mean the first gig we played, there were a lot of people who had no idea about what we were doing(cause may be we were super high) or they just never had heard to any of this music. Only about 5 out 40 people at the gig genuinely enjoyed us and were slightly nodding their heads in approval when our sludgey parts came on. They even spoke to us after the gig and told us they enjoyed us. But then we had our second gig which was super fun and there were only about 8 people in total watching us(all being our friends of course). The third being Operation Grindcore, where we shared stage with some of the finest Grindcore and Hardcore punk bands from Bangalore like Scally, Rip Off and the super fun Grossty. This gig was till date the best we have had.
So i’d say, we have had a decent time so far. There are a lot of people who do not approve of our music and consider it to be not something fun and great, but hey! who gives a flying fuck? As long as we have 10 likers among a hundred haters, we will keep going.

 

 
– Man, Bangalore seems to have a great music scene, from grindcore to doom metal. What is it about the city that draws more and more people towards heavy music? Or am I mistaken and the reality is a bit different from what foreigners like me understand?

I would say, what you see is something that is ten thousand times post processed and filtered of all the shitty stuff and is posted on the social media. I mean, its really too long to explain how the heavy metal music circuit sucks here. But in short i’d say, there are some really KICK ASS bands here that deserve some bigger and heavier platforms to play at and they are seriously not getting them. And yeah, there are a lot of new people getting into heavy music everyday in bangalore. There are the genuinely true fans and then there are lots and lots of exhibitionists. So in a nut shell, Bangalore has superb bands-Lots of fans(posers apart)-No stages and gigs happening to help them grow.

 

 
– So let’s say a Pakistani or European/American/Japenese/whatever is coming to Bangalore. How can he get the finest weed? Any tips when scoring from dealers in your city?

Weed kills. Hahahahaha, but yeah there are fine spots. You can always give Anway a buzz when you are around. He has a better idea than me when it comes to this.
I mean, i too get some fine stuff. And i have had a lot of floopy adventures as well. I can surely help you with that stuff when you are around. But be ready, i am going to state a disclaimer as well. Cant assure anything about the quality. Hahaha, it keeps fluctuating from good to bad.

 

 

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– Coming back to the music. Pedals and other equipment counts for a lot in Sludge/Stoner Doom. What stuff do you guys use to get your desired sound?

The weed mage gave us some magic staffs and holy strings that we use to make the super fuzzy music, hahahahahahaha.
The funny thing is we have no dedicated equipment or gear as such. I know stoner-sludge-doom requires a lot of that but we just dont have anything.
We use two super old multi effect pedals, digitech rp35 or zoom g1 or some shit like that. Its funny i know, and i use a guitar multi effects box for the bass. But as long as it is giving us that heavy heavy tone we like, we have no issues. A lot of people do not like the concept of distorted bass guitars, i was once among them too. But this heavy heavy tone works wonders.
Also a Gear upgrade is in the books. Only when we are financially set.

 

 
– Outside of Doom Metal, what other genres do you guys regularly listen to?

Now that is a tough one. Rather, its a biggie.
We as a band and together dig death metal, almost any kind of death metal(from the primitive bands to the new modern death metallers, every form of death metal). We collectively enjoy a lot of black metal, Anway and me being ardent fans of the genre.
We like a lot of hardcore punk, the early hardcore punk bands i mean. And then we have our individual preferences and likes. I personally like all kinds of music. I mean i like everything from country to 60s and 70s pop-rock-hard rock to 80s glam to reggae-hip hop-funk-grunge to brutal death grind and nasty music that can make your ears bleed.
All this influences my playing too, which influences The Grim Mage.
I LOVE THE PAKISTANI SENSATIONAL EYE TAHER SHAH TOO.
RESPECTS TO THAT GENIUS.

 

 
– Before we end this interview – any future plans? Splits, EP’s, full length albums? Or just taking it one joint at a time?

The Grandmage of Boom has advised us not to go on further exploits till we master our prowess on demonic 420 smoking fiend summoning rituals hahahahahahaha.
So, We already have 4 new songs(one 12 minute tale) ready apart from the demo stuff.
Planning on recording them as a garage demo again sometime super soon. Going to work on a full length after that, with the right financial backup and sound. Till then we are clueless and will keep playing live shows. Its always a joint at a time, you never rush into these things. But expect some stuff from us super soon. But not too soon. Hahahaha.

 

 
– Cheers dudes, thanks for the time. Hails from Pakistan.

The dudes had no time, so i had to myself get to do this hahahaha. It was super fun. Hails from India. Much respect to the land of Taher Shah. Hahahahahahahahaha.
Stay metal, cheers! \m/

 

 

 

grimband

The Grim Mage on Facebook

Worshipper Demo on Soundcloud

My review

– Hassan Dozakhi

The Grim Mage – Worshipper (2014)

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The weed must be really good in Bangalore, India, because the city keeps churning out one quality doom band after the other. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Djinn & Miskatonic and Shepherd, the aptly named The Grim Mage is the latest in a line of Bangalore based doom bands… and boy, these lads do kick up quite a fucking gust of smoke with their first demo entitled “Worshipper.”

 

On the surface, The Grim Mage fall prey to, or rather consciously adhere to all the obvious stereotypes of Stoner and Sludge doom of the modern era. It’s there in the band name, it’s there in the choice of the demo title, even there in the artwork and rears its stoned, misanthropic head once again when you look at the tracklist and spot the Electric Wizard / Eyehategod covers. You can’t avoid those blatant homages to the stoner cult even when you start the demo – movie samples dominate the music between the heavy riffing and psychopathic screams. It’s safe to say that this band wears its influences on its sleeves – depending on which side of the divide you lay on, that could be either a massive turn on or a colossal turn off.

 

The choice of cover tracks is interesting, because the music appears to be primarily indebted to “Dopesick” (and onwards) era Eyehategod and “Dopethrone” (and onwards) era Electric Wizard – a mixture that is by no means uncommon in the doom world of today, but the way in which this ensemble blends those two primary markers together is of more interest to this reviewer. In terms of the riffs and vocals, the Sludge element remains more prominent than the Stoner element. The vocals especially seem to bow at the altar of Mike Williams, save for the final track – where he should have continued prostrating at the same altar, rather than attempting the singing style. However, key proponents of sludge style riffing – the crushing, percussive stops and the faster hardcore-influenced sections – are never triggered, and the band ends up relying on stoner grooves to keep the music going – and keep the joints rolling. Their original songs “Sweet Demon Sugar,” “Worshipper” and “I Am Not Dead” are very well composed, from the bass-breaks coming in at the right time too to amp up the psychedelia, to the vocalist’s vocal delivery, and the group ends up concocting three very memorable tracks – even if the craving of a little tempo upcharge in the vein of Melvins, Iron Monkey or even “Holy Mountain” era Sleep lingers on til’ the end.

 

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Though many may be put off by the production, I personally love it. Frankly, there is nothing more suiting to this kind of Sludge/Stoner Doom than basement level production. The heaviness of the riffs is not at all downplayed or relegated, it just takes on an altogether different form. A mundane wall-of-sound style heavy doom tone would have stripped all identity from this demo, to be honest. Instead, the in-your-face sound here, highlighted well by the garage vibe of the drums, makes the music even more nefarious and evil – as if a satanic ritual were occurring as you light your afghan hashish blunt. Not too dissimilar to the effect conjured up by most of Ramesses’ material.

 

Individual performances are great here, but the vocal performance drops as the tracks go on, perhaps the vocalist should give his throat a little rest before assuming control of the microphone. The samples are a little overdone here, and there are moments such as in “I Am Not Dead” where the sample just drags on and distracts from the crushing weight of the music on display. Overall this is a nice little demo, with some amazing original tracks showcasing the potential of these lads to go on and do some nice things in the scope of Indian Doom Metal. Less focus on covers and more focus on honing their own craft would help take them a level higher and really stomp some ears.

 

supercven

 

The Grim Mage Official Facebook

Listen to their demo on Soundcloud

Catch them LIVE in 5 days!

Sangharsha Interview

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

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

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

 

Hey Kshitiz. How’s everything at your end?

Enjoying Life and Fatherhood, dawn of a new era!

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

What’s on your playlist these days?

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

 

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

Keep the Faith (George Michael)

 

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

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

 

Read our review of the Sangharsha/Jugaa split here.

Sangharsha on Facebook.

– Hassan Dozakhi

Corrupted – El Dios queja (1995) [Classic Reviews]

Corrupted – El Dios queja (1995)

Japan has come to be associated with the perverse. Be it Unit 731 or censored rape themed pornography, Japan will always have something worth mentioning when it comes to the macabre. One of these sick treasures is Corrupted. An infamous name in doom metal circles, they are famous for extremely long, minimalistic compositions and singing in Spanish despite being Japanese. However the Corrupted you will read about in this interview is a band in its infancy. Barely a year into their existence, they released a few EPs in 1995. This is probably their second release. A tribal sort of beat slowly fades in before we hear that characteristic drone shriek which signals the commencement of riffs, and Corrputed begin on a maddening attack of hate which can apparently not be expressed in Japanese. “Riffs” would actually be an inaccurate description by thrash standards, but not by mine. ‘Hay que joderse’ loosely translates to ‘fuck it all’, so bonus points for that. Uninhibitedly primitive, you don’t need to understand Spanish to know they’re angry. The second track, ‘Renir a Existencia’ (‘scold existence’) features one of the best drumming performances in doom, providing an excellent backbone to the guitars. The vocal performance is exceptional as well. Sisto (‘I stand’) is the longest track on the EP, and does not disappoint. Tracks like this make Corrupted, Corrupted. Progressive yet primitive, horrifically minimalistic and entrancing, Corrupted create a gloom that cannot be ignored. With each repetition a sort of clarity is achieved, a very easy track to immerse yourself in. Towards the end however, the riffs change to a quasi-black metal style, leaving me with the depressive feel of the earlier riffs, both of the same track and the previous ones and a new feeling of emptiness. The track itself reminds me of their debut full length, ‘Paso Inferior’. Even at this early stage Corrupted were dedicating themselves to sounding how they wanted to and not how people wanted them to. A dedication to an extreme is apparent, and this release provides a worthwhile experience for those that prefer their metal grimy.

– Rahul Menon