Trendcrusher

Amorphia

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Thrash metal is the most popular metal subgenre in India. 3 of the “Big 4” of thrash metal royalty (the exception being Anthrax) have performed in the country in the past decade. There are thrash metal bands across the country including smaller towns like Cherthala in Kerala where Amorphia(https://www.facebook.com/Amorphiathrash) hail from. The band formed in 2012 and have released 2 singles so far,  Master of Death and Lieber Code. The latter features on their debut album Arms to Death, which will be released on April 15

Find out more about Arms to Death, recording the album and also the Indian bands that have inspired them in my interview with the band below.

Read the interview on Unite Asia 

Written by trendcrusher

April 13, 2018 at 11:00 am

Unscene – Bear in Mumbai

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Belgian metal band Bear kicked off their Indian tour a couple days ago in Mumbai with a smashing set. The band performed tracks from their latest album /// and also Noumenon. Known for their energetic live performances, the band put on a show that will be etched in the memories of the audience present for the near future. Guitarist James Falck got into the mosh pit towards the end of their set.

 

Escher’s knot, the support act for the tour played in Mumbai after 3 years. The band played a 4-piece and their set featured tracks from their EP, Tesselations and single The Grand Design. It was great to see the band live after a while and they really got the crowd going, starting a few moshpits. They ended their set with a cover of Meshuggah Humiliative.

 

False Flag started the night off with their political hardcore sound. Their set comprised of songs from their recently released self-titled EP and soon to be released split EP. I felt the young band need some work on their stage presence which could be ironed out once they play more gigs.

Bear performs in Bangalore today, in Delhi on 12th April and their tour ends in Ahmedabad on 14th April (All details in poster below). Metalheads in the respective cities don’t miss the gig, lest you regret it later.

Written by trendcrusher

April 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

The Earth Below

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A couple of years ago Deepak Raghu, best known as the drummer for bands like Shepherd, Bevar Sea and Mad Orange Fireworks resurrected his solo project, The Earth Below. He released Window Lights for Wanderers, an EP that featured an experimental sound, a departure from sludge/doom metal of the bands he performs with.

I spoke to him about the origins of The Earth Below and the release of his latest EP – Dreams of a Thousand Stillness.

Read my interview with Deepak on Red Bull

 

Written by trendcrusher

April 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

Now Playing – March 2018

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No April’s Fool joke, this feature is back on the blog after over 3 years. Will attempt to publish it monthly. Here is what I have been listening to the past month.

(in alphabetic order)

The first release in 3 years from the Heavy metal act is a belter. The track follows the storytelling vein of their previous material and is a commentary on the current state of the Indian metal scene. By the end of the track, you won’t be able to resist singing along with the chorus “We are all sheep”.

 

Purge is a crushing debut from the Mumbai based death metal quartet. A lethal mix of technical and brutal death metal with sleek production. The razor sharp riffs of Keshav Kumar are complemented by the growled vocals of Nitin Rajan. The Bombay Death metal Legion lives!

 

I somehow missed out on Empires of Ash, the debut album from the International black/folk metal band. Their latest album is a cracker. The guitar playing is accentuated by the dual vocals and sublime production. The album avoid the avoids the cheesy cliches of most folk metal ensuring multiple listens for the rest of the year.

 

The third release from the solo project of Deepak Raghu (Bevar Sea, Dying Embrace) features an artsy and experimental sound. I was surprised to hear a completely different side of the purveyor of doomy and sludgy music. The EP features a refined sound and introspective lyrics, not your typical sappy singer songwriter music. Buy the EP on bandcamp for an exclusive lyrics booklet with additional art by Simon Fowler.

 

The 4th album from the one man thrash act is a relentless assault on the senses. The catchy riffs and raw production will leave you unable to resist headbanging along, wherever you are. Easily the best material from the long standing act.

 

 

Written by trendcrusher

April 2, 2018 at 1:07 am

Mike Low (The Artisan Era) interview

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The Artisan Era is an American extreme metal label. Started by Mike Low and Malcolm Pugh (Inferi) the label has created a formidable roster of artists like Augury, Inanimate Existence and Dark Matter Secret and put out some eminent releases in the past 4 years.

I spoke to Mike Low about the origins of the label, balancing between bands and the label and more.

You started the label in 2014 How does it feel looking back?

We didn’t really know what we were doing, haha. It has been quite a learning experience and has come a long, long way. There was no planning, no promotion game, and just a less professional feel all around. Fortunately we were only releasing our own bands at the time and didn’t have to subject anyone else to that. As we grew and decided to start taking on other bands, we got our ducks in a row and have everything down to a T now.

How did you decide to start a label? Why did you decide to start a label that releases only extreme metal music?

Extreme metal is about 95% or more of what we listen to, so that wasn’t hard to pick. We originally started the label just to release our own music. Actually way back in the day, we had discussed just releasing one-man (or woman!) bands. Malcolm had ALR and I was working on a solo project after I quit ENFOLD DARKNESS. That project never came to fruition because I joined INFERI and ended up using the songs I was working on for The Path of Apotheosis. It was then that we scrapped the strictly one-man band idea and released INFERI and my other band OUBLIETTE. In summer 2015, we had a meeting with ENFOLD DARKNESS about releasing their second album, and that’s when we decided to expand and start working with other bands.

What has been your most memorable release so far?

The Path of Apotheosis. Without that album, The Artisan Era would probably not be succeeding as we are today.

What do you look for in bands before signing them to your label?

Originality, creativity, and not just a run-of-the-mill extreme band. We have to see something in the band that we don’t see in other bands. We don’t have a certain formula but Malcolm and I have to agree on them 100% before we sign them. We have been approached with some more known bands that we are not into… stuff that would have sold well, but we want to stay true to what we like.

What are the problems that you have faced?

Typos and misprints are the bane of our existence, haha. No, there really aren’t a lot of problems.

You are a part of bands like Inferi and Oubliette. How do you manage between the bands and running the label?

I just have to remember to play guitar as much as possible in between mixing and meeting deadlines. Malcolm is the head honcho of INFERI, so I do what he tells me to do. OUBLIETTE has not toured yet, but I do most of the manager-type work for us, as well as all the audio work too (for both bands).

What are the changes in customers and bands you have noticed?

Vinyl is killing right now!

Do you have advice for anyone planning to start a label now?

Don’t do it.

What is next for The Artisan Era? What are the next releases from the label?

Keep an eye on our page!

Here are some releases from The Artisan Era that you should check out:

 

 

 

Written by trendcrusher

March 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

Jakub Zytecki

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Jakub Zytecki is a guitar virtuoso from Krakow, Poland. Know for his work in progressive rock act DispersE, Jakub released his first solo release Wishful Lotus Proof in 2015 to much acclaim. His recent release is a double album Ladder Head/ Feather Bed is soothing on the ears and mind alike.

I spoke to Jakub about his latest release, writing alone and more.

Hi Jakub, you recently released a double album ‘Ladder Head’ / ‘Feather Bed’. How does it feel?

Hi! Feels nice man! The idea was to have these two little releases mostly as a sonic introduction to the possible musical futures of mine. It’s awesome to have it out there, but there’s that constant desire to do more and more, so it’s hard to sit and appreciate the previous work haha.

‘Ladder Head’ / ‘Feather Bed’ has a mellow sound compared to your previous release. ‘Wishful Lotus Proof’. What inspired the change in your sound?

I just got really fixated on songwriting and presenting the core idea of a track in the simplest way I possibly can. I loved working on ‘Wishful’, but when that album was often about how crazy I can go and what else I can try here out, the new EPs are more about what I should not do here, in order to not break the spell. The EPs also represent my love to sound design and production which was not that obvious on ‘Wishful’.

Your band DispersE released an album Foreword early last year. How did you manage between writing and recording the album and your solo releases?

It was not that difficult since when ‘Foreword’ was finished in June 2016, I had more than a half of a year just to just chill out. Then, 2017 was only just for tweaking my solo stuff. The tricky part starts now actually, where there might be two albums in the making simultaneously, but I don’t want to plan anything or set a deadline this time. Even if it takes two years to write any of the albums, it will probably have to be like that.

Do you prefer writing and recording lone or as part of a band?

I spend more time making music alone, so it’s naturally easier for me. But still, working with other people can sometimes spark the ideas that you alone would have to be looking for 10 times longer or would never actually thought of. We’re really striving for stepping up our game in terms of band communication. Hard to say what I prefer though, it depends on how I feel and on what my current state of sanity is haha.

What have you been listening to lately? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

I’m currently smashing the new The Neighbourhood album, really awesome stuff. Can’t get enough of Jon Hopkins too, especially his new single, I’m really looking forward to his new LP. I really dig Zoology, new Four Tet and I’m rediscovering my love to the old good Trifonic.

Do you have any plans of performing your solo material live or will it stay a studio project?

I don’t really push to be able to take my solo material on the road, but if the right opportunity comes, we’ll see what happens.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Just making the new music really. I’m also doing a Summer Camp in Czech Republic in August. Plini, David Micic and many of people I know are gonna be there, should be fun! Besides that, DispersE has a gig on Euroblast and we might have a few shows around that time as well, we’ll see where it all goes.

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Simply thanks for being interested in what we do! All the best.

Written by trendcrusher

March 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

Calligram

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Calligram are a blackened hardcore band  from London. They put out their second release, Askesis via Basick records in November last year. The EP is a dark and bleak listen.

I spoke to guitarist Tim Desbos about their latest release Askesis, the origins of the band and also their plans for the year.

Read my interview with Tim on Moshpitnation.

Written by trendcrusher

March 19, 2018 at 11:54 pm