Albatross started as a project of Riju “Dr. Hex” Disgupta in 2008. “The idea was to create music inspired in the traditional side of metal; with different sets of musicians. But after a while, I realized that back in 2008, there was only 1 set of musicians who were actually into this kind of music. Those guys eventually became Albatross.” said Riju about the origins of the band. “Those who heard us back then were confused. ‘Werz the growlz bro?’ ‘Hi hatz ned 2 be louD’ ‘So mani soloz lulz’. But by the grace of Odin, today people not only get the music but look forward to catching us live as well.”
The horror themed music got the attention of King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque who mastered their first EP ‘Dinner is You‘ that released in 2010. In 2012, they released ‘The Kissing Flies’ EP as part of a split CD with American doom metal band Vestal Claret. The EP featured guest vocals from Niklas ‘Viper’ Stalvind (Wolf) and Sahil ‘Demonstealer’ Makhija (Demonic Resurrection).
2015 is going to start off with a bang for Indian metalheads; the biggest metal festival in India, BIG69 will take place in Mumbai on the 17th & 18th of January. The headliners are British death metal legends Carcass, British prog metal band SikTH, Italian death metal band Fleshgod Apocalypse and British rap metal band Hacktivist. The festival will feature Indian bands like Demonic Resurrection, Kryptos, Undying Inc and many more. Bombay Metal Project and Joint Family will put on special performances. The latter are performing live after 5 years. With a total of 22 bands over 2 days, it’s going to be indeed a “Heavy” metal festival.
I spoke to Sikth’s vocalist Mikee Goodman about their reunion and also playing at the BIG69 Festival for Pepsi MTV Indies
(Photo taken from the sikTh facebook page)
All metal (almost Indian) list this time around
Skyharbor – Guiding Lights
The sophomore release of the international progressive metal group is their first as a band. The album continue with the melodic elements first heard on “Aurora” from their debut album “Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos”. Forrester Savell bolsters the songwriting with great production. Progressive metal fans will not be disappointed.
Gutslit – Skewered in the Sewer
The first album from Gutslit, death grind band from India is miles ahead of their split with Pulmonary Fibrosis and I have been listening to it a lot lately. The slam parts might put off grind purists. After a short tour of Europe earlier this year including a set at Obscene Extreme, things are looking promising for the band.
Pangea – This is NG, taking
Instrumental progressive metal band Pangea are one of the underrated bands from India. Their new single “This is NG, taking” has some trippy riffs. Keep an eye out for more awesome music from this band in the coming year.
Bhayanak Maut – Man
‘Man’ is one of the few concept albums released by an Indian metal band. Bhayanak Maut take a very different approach to the concept of serial killers.The band are a twisted lot; reading the journal that accompanies the album will send chills down your spine. Easily their best release yet.
Woods of Ypres – Against the Seasons
As the days get shorter and winter sets in, this is my go to album. The debut album of Canadian band Woods of Ypres is one of my favourite black metal releases. Here is my favourite track from it
Blastasfuck Records is the only extreme metal label that I know that releases only grindcore music. The label and also distro was started by Roby (The Kill) over a decade ago in Melbourne, Victoria. I spoke to Roby recently and found out more about Blastasfuk, the metal scene in Australia and the upcoming releases from the label.
Hi Roby, you have been running Blastasfuk Records for nearly a decade. How did you decide to start a label?
Roby: Yeah, it’s been a long bloody time. I was trading & selling records before I decided to call the label BLASTASFUK! It all came about from trading THE KILL demo with labels around the world. From there on I went mad!
What was your first release?
Roby: UNDINISM – Live At The Green Room 01.05.04 DVDR & NOISEAR – Red Tape Agenda MCD
When did you decide to release only grindcore music?
Roby: From day 1 mate… I can’t recall exactly what year!
What do you look for in a band before you sign them to your label?
Roby: Good composers who play fast music… Only bands I love!
What have been the most memorable releases so far?
Roby: That’s a very hard question. I think I’ve probably listened to the first HATRED SURGE collection CD more than any other BAF release.
You also play in The Kill. How do you balance being in a band and running a record label?
Roby: In moderation now. We usually jam once a week, but at the moment we’re taking a little break, whilst I’m trying to get this new KILL album out: “KILL THEM ALL…” whilst in the mist of writing new tunes & spending quality time with the family.)
What are bands from Melbourne and Australia that we should check out?
Roby: At the moment, bands like SEWERCIDE, INTERNAL ROT, SPLIT TEETH, MORBID ANAL, BLACK JESUS, PISSBOLT & shit loads more, I just haven’t been out for a little while… Old!
What are the upcoming releases from your label?
Roby: CAPTAIN CLEANOFF – Rising Terror CD GROTESQUE ORGAN DEFILEMENT – Body Horror CD EXCRUCIATING TERROR – Divided We Fall (Re-press) CD & more.
Here are a few releases by Blastasfuk that everyone should check out
This is a bit late but here it goes…
Scribe – Hail Mogambo
The third album by the post hardcore band from Mumbai continues where it left off on “Mark of Teja”. Named after the famous Bollywood villain Mogambo from the late 80’s hit film, Mr. India; the band further experiments with their sound on this album with the introduction of synths and also Vishwesh rapping on most of the songs. Listen to their first single “Cops, Cops, Cops, Cops” to find out why I have been listening to this album on loop lately.
Dhwesha – Sthoopa
Dhwesha are an anomaly in the Indian metal scene as their lyrics are in Kannada. The band play straight up death metal and wear their influences on their sleeve. The songs on the album sound a lot better than on the Yuddhabhumi demo that I heard a couple years ago. Sthoopa is a promising debut album from the Bangalore band. They are definitely a band that I will keep an eye out for in the future.
Phobocosm – Deprived
Deprived is described as “a suffocating and beastly dark death metal album with injections of doom, black and ambient elements throughout.” A few listens into the album you will understand exactly why. Phobocosm like to keep things simple unlike their peers from Montreal. Those who prefer listening to death metal with clean production should avoid this album.
Zero Gravity – Holocaust Awaits
Zero Gravity are from Indore, a city I least expected to have a metal band especially one with a female vocalist. Their first album has 8 tracks of death metal with catchy riffs. The album sounds good courtesy production by Ashwin Shriyan (Demonic Resurrection). A gem of a release by Transcending Obscurity Distribution.
Non – metal
Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti
Empty Yard Experiment are one of the few progressive rock bands from the UAE. The band have matured as songwriters on their sophomore album, which is getting them attention across the world. I feel this is the best release from the UAE this year, along with Aramiac who were featured last month. The band put on a great show live with a lot of visual elements. They are touring the UK next month check the dates and more here.
Skrat – The Queen
The Chennai rockers are back all guns blazing with new album. Their latest album Queen continues with their style of uptempo rock that we heard on their previous album, Bring Out The Gig Guns. You can’t resist singing along to the infectious riffs and hooks. Skrat are at the moment my favourite rock band in India along with The Supersonics.
Who: Progressive metal band, Verse Vica. The bands consists of Paul Meisner (Guitar), Spencer Brunkhorst (Vocals), Tyler Shehan (Bass) and Greg Marcon (Guitar)
Where: North Carolina, USA
What: The band released their debut album ‘Endeavor’ last month. “We mostly wrote the songs in the order that they appear on the album.” said Paul Meisner about the songwriting process for the album. “We usually start with a guitar riff and then build other ideas off of that. Sometimes we’ll try to carry a theme of a repeating rhythmic pattern throughout a song, presenting it in different ways, or we’ll use polymeters to change how a section feels. Even though our song structure can be complex, we wrote the songs with the intention of having occasional sections that we’ll repeat and come back to later in order to tie the song together. It took a long time to write and record the whole album, the project took over 1 year. We’re glad to finally have it out for others to enjoy it.”
How: The album was recorded at Paul’s studio. “This made it a very laid back and enjoyable experience, because we were able to take our time and not rush things.” said Paul about the recording process. “We’re very happy with the final product, and we learned a lot in the process”
Renowned producer Jaime King (BTBAM, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit) mixed the vocals and also mastered the album. “Even though we didn’t record any of the music with him, having him mix the vocals and master the entire record was a great experience.” said Paul about working with Jaime. “He did a great job with making it sound how we wanted, and he had some great advice and input on things that helped us improve the whole package. Hopefully next time around we can record an entire record with him from the ground up!”
‘Endeavor’ sounds awesome and is a must listen of all fans of progressive rock/metal. Listen/Download to the album for free below
Iran is not a country known for metal music, so when I got an email about Death metal band Azooma, I knew I had to feature them here.
The band are from Mashhad, the second largest city in Iran. They released their first EP “A hymn of the vicious monster” after being together for nearly a decade now. I spoke to about their vocalist Shahin Vaqfipour about their EP , recording it and being a metal band in Iran.
“It feels great. Because you do the thing which you know is right at your heart, No matter how wrong it might seem in other ones’ opinions.” exclaimed Shahin about being in a metal band in Iran. “It is something we know deep inside and we really love what we do.”
In a country where music is banned and you can get arrested for having long hair, it would definitely not be easy to meet like minded musicians and start a band. “We are lucky because we have known each other since we were teenagers” said Shahin about how the band was formed “I think, We got absorbed to each other by our minds, feelings and our thoughts. Not just the band members but everyone who has helped us through our journey which is a never ending story by itself.” The band consists of Ahmad Tokallou (guitar), Farid Shariat (bass) and Saeed Shariat (drums).
Last month the band put out their first release, a concept EP titled “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster”. “It is about a person who thinks he is a victim of situations and all his misery is due to a monster who he has always afraid of and get chased by” explains Shahin. “But slowly it becomes clear to him that, he is the monster that he has been afraid of all his life. It is in everyone. Everyone has this opportunity to turn to a monster. The true power is not to let this essence, this instinct grow.”
“The whole process took almost a year and a half. We specified the story and we gathered in our practicing place and told each other our ideas and opinions about it. The music and lyrics has created and made during those sessions and got matched together. We recorded guitar, Bass and vocals lines in our rehearsal room and the drum parts in Minus One studio” Shahin describes the songwriting and recording process for the EP.
The EP was mixed and mastered by Iranian producer Ehsan Imani in Mixter Blaze Studio. “It’s really enjoyable and great to work with him” said Shahin about working with Ehsan. “Because he listens carefully to you and get closed to your ideas and do exactly what you have in your minds.”
“A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster” has been released by Xtreem Music, a label that recently has been releasing bands from countries not known for it’s metal scene. “We have this great friend, Mohsen who is the Chief Editor of Metal Shock Finland and he runs Stargazer Consultancy. We told him that we seek a good record label company for releasing our EP and signed a contract with him. He found this great company, Xtreem Music, which supports and has interests in real music.” said Shahin about how they got signed to Spanish label.
The band last year co-headlined the Persian Metal Fest 2013 along with french death metal band Gorod. “We had listened to Gorod songs and albums before Persian Metal in 2013 and we really liked them and were interested to perform with them and meet them.” said Shahin about the festival. “It was a really great experience and we learned many things from them.”
Some of the metal bands from Iran recommended by Shahin are Ehsan Imani ‘s Rager Blaze, Kahtmayan, 5GRS, Scox, Mordab, Acrovaya, Reza Rostamina, Arsames, Master of Persia, Armaiti.
“Thank you for giving us your time and we hope to see Metal fans in India soon. Be sure that you will hear more about AZOOMA. Keep on going. Keep Metal alive. Stay crazy” said Shahin ending our interview.
Listen to “A Hymn Of The Vicious Monster” below