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Demonic Resurrection

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Demonic Resurrection is one of India’s oldest metal bands. Frontman Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija has kept the band going with his dogged determination despite multiple lineup changes over the years. The band have performed at festivals and even toured the UK. On their fifth full length album Dashavatar, the band have expanded their already full sound with the introduction of Indian instruments and further experimentation in melodic death metal mixed with black metal and even strains of epic power. I spoke to Sahil about Dashavatar, their new sound and their plans for this year.

 

Read my interview with Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija on Nine Circles

Written by trendcrusher

April 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

Now Playing – August 2014

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It has been a while since I posted here thanks to my day job,  and I’m resuming with a new feature that I’d like to kick off. I first saw it on Milliblog where is it called “Top recent listens” and today, I decide to finally get it done. Since I listen to a lot of music (Indian and International bands), I thought of featuring a few bands on the blog that I really enjoying without interviewing them. This is going to be a monthly feature (if work permits) from now onwards.

Here is what I have been listening to this month.

Metal

Dying Embrace/Dusk – “Through corridors of dead centuries”

Two of the oldest extreme metal bands from South Asia have come together on this long awaited  release by Cyclopean Eye Productions. The Dying Embrace (India) side features new material from them in over a decade. Being a fan of the “Doom” avatar of Dusk (Pakistan), I really enjoyed their side of the split. This is death/doom metal recommended for those who preferred metal that sounds “raw”. Read my interview with Dusk here.

 

 

Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King

Demonic Resurrection from Bombay are one of India’s most popular metal band. I did a story on them recently for the BC/MC zine. Their latest album “The Demon King” which released last month is a story about Good and Evil and how Evil triumphs. Each song on the album tells the story from a different character’s perspective. I feel this is their best album as yet, in terms of songwriting and production.  After their appearance at Wacken Open Air earlier this month and their UK tour last month, they ought to be playing gigs across India in support of the album.

 

The Down Troddence – “How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You”

The Down Troddence from Bangalore took the Rolling Stone Metal Awards by storm in June by winning 8 awards and also putting up a great performance. This album released in January and I only heard it much later in March, since then it’s been on heavy rotation. The album has a good mix of Indian melody and aggression. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for in the future.

 

Animals As Leaders – Joy of Motion

The latest album from Animals As Leaders is one of my favourite albums of the year. I have been listening to the album constantly ever since it released.  “Another Year” is a stand out song. Tosin Abasi, Javier Reyes and Matt Garstka have released a masterpiece that will be very hard for anyone to top this year.

 

Non – metal

Until we last – Earthgazing

In the past couple of years, there has been a surge in the number of post-rock bands in India. One of the best bands among them are Until We Last from Bangalore . Earlier this month they put out their first release “Earthgazing” and it sounds great. A short release of just 4 songs,  I was left wanting for more; looking forward to a full length released from them soon.

 

The Supersonics – Heads up

The Supersonics from Kolkata are one of my favourite Indian rock bands. I have been waiting for the release of their new album since they got back together in mid-2012 after a short break up. After the first couple of listens, I was not disappointed at all. My favourite track is “Strawberry“, can’t help singing along to their chorus. The album is 10 tracks of straight up rock and roll. Easily one of the Top 10 releases by an Indian band this year.

 

Dying Embrace/Dusk – “Through corridors of dead centuries” is available from Cyclopean Eye Productions

Demonic Resurrection – The Demon King is available in stores across India. 

The Down Troddence – “How Are You? We Are Fine, Thank You” and The Supersonics – Heads Up are available from OkListen.com

Ten Years Later:A Darkness Descends

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Last month at the Metal edition of Control Alt Delete, the guys behind Bhenchod Madarchod zine decided to release a special zine. I contributed an article to the zine. Read the entire article below.

The number of releases by Indian metal bands has increased rapidly since the year 2000, and that can be easily attributed to both the home recording tech revolution and the rising popularity of the genre. One of the first such albums that I recall buying was 2005’s A Darkness Descends by Mumbai based death/black metal band Demonic Resurrection.

A Darkness Descends

If you’re a scenester from back in the day and own the album, I’m sure you’re reading this and wondering “Huh, it’s almost 10 years since it released?”

The album was a landmark release for its time when it came to the production, artwork, marketing and promotion. In fact, the promotional aspect came to be synonymous with Demonic Resurrection front man Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija. I caught up with him recently to find out more about the album, its recording process and a lot more.

“We started writing material after the new line up of the band (Mephisto and JP) came together in 2003,” says Sahil reflecting on the early days. “We started jamming on new material as they said they did not want to play any of the old songs.”
‘A Darkness Descends’, ‘A Frozen Portrait’ and ‘Spirits of a Mystic Mountain’ were the first few songs recorded. The first 2 tracks also featured on the Resurrection compilation that was released by Demonstealer Records.

The line-up for the album was Demonstealer on Vocals/Guitars, Mephisto (Keyboards), Husain (Bass) and JP (Drums). “We used to jam every weekend back then and spent the rest of the year writing the rest of the songs except ‘Where Shadows Lie’ and the ‘The Summoning’ which were completed in the studio.” says Sahil, describing the writing process for the album. The album was funded by prize money from college festivals such as RAIT, Mumbai and NSIT, Delhi.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Makhija, an upcoming music producer then was working at Farhad Wadia’s Power Studios at the time. Havin recorded demos for nu metal band Pin Drop Violence, 90’s alt punk act Kinky Ski Munky amongst other bands, it was a no brainer for him to produce the album himself. It was the first time for most of the band members at a professional recording studio.

“The idea was not to hold back on the production. It was not about can we do this live or not, we wanted the album to be the best that it could be,” reveals Sahil. “Working at Wadia’s studio gave me a chance to collaborate with a lot of people.”

Some of the collaborators were: Warren Mendonsa (Blackstratblues/Zero), Pozy Dhar, Prashant Shah (Scribe) who played guitar solos and Taufiq Qureshi and Nimit did guest vocals.
Complementing the production of the album was the exceptional artwork that was designed by Prashant Shah. Each of the 16 pages of the album inlay had a different design, a first for an Indian metal band. “We wanted to create a product that was of international quality,” says Mephisto. “The initial idea for the cover art was a concept that Sahil had in mind, however Prashant’s idea of a Dark Lord overlooking an army and its rendition is something that blew us all away.”

The album was released on 29th October 2005 at the 4th edition of the Resurrection festival at Vashi Marine Centre. The festival was organized by Barcode Entertainment [a venture between Sahil and Husain] and had an impressive line-up featuring acts Exhumation, Kryptos and Myndsnare (both from Bangalore). The show saw a good turnout and everything went off quite smoothly, by Indian metalhead standards. Sahil reminisces of the camaraderie he shares with the Bangalore metal bands. “It was so much easier back then; all we had to do was book their train tickets”.

I-Rock Flyer - Merged JPG

Prior to the album release the band had a pre order sale at a special price of Rs. 120 (Rs. 150 for those who lived outside Mumbai), something that was done for the first time by an Indian band. The album went on to sell out their initial print of 1000 copies within the first year, an impressive feat for a metal album that was self-released, and one that most bands can only dream of in today’s ‘industrialised’ scene. In the days before blogs, NH7 (the website or the festival), Rolling Stone, Pepsi MTV Indies or any of the music-related media and infrastructure we take for granted these days, it was Sahil’s incredible drive to succeed and his unabashed commitment to promoting his band and his music that led to such numbers

“I sat at home every weekend writing to labels across the world and do trade with them. A lot of CDs went out there. I think we sold around 500 CDs in India,” says Sahil about his distribution strategy for the album. ‘’Ï made sure all the Futardo’s had the album, also another other music stores. There was even Musicyogi.com, if anyone remembers that website”.

Sahil also deployed Facebook, e-mail campaigns and even a short-lived forums in his efforts to get his music out to as wide an audience as possible. At a time when few bands were interested in putting in time and effort towards self-promotion, Sahil not only made it an important part of his regular routine, he also experimented with a lot of the ideas that are now de rigeur for artists trying to get noticed. Of course, at the time he faced a lot of flak from scenesters annoyed at his ‘spamming’, and not all of those experiments worked out well, but the album did go on to sell another 1000 copies in the next 3 years.

Since the release of this album Demonic Resurrection went on to release an EP “Beyond the Darkness” (2007) and a album “Return to Darkness” (2010) to complete the “Darkness” trilogy. The band also played at some of the biggest metal festivals in the world like Inferno (Norway), Brutal Assault (Czech Republic) and Bloodstock (UK). Next month, the band will be releasing their most ambitious album yet, “The Demon King” which is being distributed in India by Universal Music and in Europe by Candlelight Records. The band will be also be playing a 6 day tour of UK and will also be performing at the Mecca for metalheads, Wacken Open Air. All of which would not have been possible without the success of this album, and the promotional strategies he came up with in trying to sell the record.

In conclusion, when asked if there anything he would like to change about the album, Sahil remarks “As a musician and producer, I wish I could re-record everything to match a different production, not necessarily a modern one. Maybe one day down the line, I will do a classic re-recording of the album.”

Cheers and stay demonic.

(Thanks to Bhanuj Kappal for his inputs and also editing the article)

Written by trendcrusher

July 28, 2014 at 1:26 am

Domination – The Deathfest

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Around 10 years when I lived in Canada I bought the second issue of the Metalindia Magazine and got to know about Domination through a extensive report about the 2003 edition of the festival. I was quite surprised that there were extreme metal gigs in India. The music scene in India and Bombay was a lot different then.

“Bombay mainly had rock show not metal shows.” Says Nitin Rajan, organiser of Domination – The Deathfest “ Thursday nights at Razz and college competitions were the only avenues open to extreme metal bands. We started Domination – the Deathfest with The idea to get a band from another cities, a couple of bands from Mumbai and an upcoming band together.”

Audience at Domination - The Deathfest 2000.

Audience at Domination – The Deathfest 2000.

The first edition of the festival took place on the 24th of June 2000. The bands that performed were Morticide, Kryptos, Threnody, Yama, Blasphemy and Nemesis and the venue was Razz Lawns. There was a tremendous response from bands and audience alike.

Demonic Resurrection performing at Domination - The Deathfest in 200.

Demonic Resurrection performing at Domination – The Deathfest in 200.

“It was an awesome experience.” “It was the first open air gig that DR had played and it was at the pituresque razz lawms. We were a new band and got to open the show, it was a huge honor for us. It was a great scene” – Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija (Demonic Resurrection)

“I remember it being one of my first shows – I couldn’t care less about the others. This being the mighty ‘Deathfest’ was a war call for someone like me. I don’t remember seeing a much better line-up in years.” – says Kunal Choksi of metal webzine/record label Transcending Obscurity.

“Back in 2000 Domination was one of those gigs that we were totally excited about and it was great to be part of something that helped shape the scene in one way or the other. Those were great times, exciting times, because we were just kids stepping out into the great unknown and Domination broke a lot of barriers for us back then and now 13 years later it comes full circle.” – Nolan Lewis (Kryptos)

Kryptos in the early 2000's

Kryptos in the early 2000’s

“The first few editions of Deathfest featured Kryptos, and for us, back then, it was a totally crazy fucking idea! We’re were totally blown by the organising, the reception we got, Razz and the scene that was being built in and around it. We’d travel by train (or bus) from Bangalore, general compartment, and upon arrival we’d be usherd into a 3 (4)-star hotel in Ville Parle. We had the fucking spa, steam room, pool and all else at our disposal. And, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was on the house and taken care of. Nitin I, Nitin II, Nishant, Scrotum, Chirag, the rest of the Fate/Morticide gang and the support crew were not only good lads, but they pretty much set-up a support platform for all that there is today. Kudos! Feels great to be back at the original underground extreme fest. Only wish it was at RAZZ.” – Ganesh Krishnaswamy (Bevar Sea)

In the years to come, Domination also took place in Pune and Bangalore. However in 2003, the members of Intune Entertainment (the company Nitin co-founded) had to split up due to personal reasons. Check out the old Domination website for the line-ups and more information.

DV After almost a decade, the 5th edition of Domination – The Deathfest will take place and it stays true to its initial vision. The bands performing are Orion, Atmosfear, Insane Prophecy, Witchgoat, Gutslit and Exhumation. The line-up is quite diverse and should please all extreme metal fans. I will be seeing almost all of the bands for the first time hence really looking forward to the gig.

“I’m Excited and thrilled” says Nitin “Also extremely lucky to have people like Riju & Yash around who are putting in tremendous amount of effort for the gig. Of course the bands who are extending total support for it the fest to make a decent comeback!

“I’ve always been part proud, and part envious of Bangalore’s DIY metal scene, where the underground is very much alive with regular club gigs.” says Riju “When Nitin proposed bringing back Domination – The Deathfest for its 5th edition, it just seemed like the ideal avenue for bringing that experience to Mumbai. Every aspect of the fest will be an experience- from heritage to the music, and finally the awesome merch. We’ve been through a lot of shit to make this particular event happen, but its extremely rewarding to see such a great response for an exclusively underground lineup. Support the underground, and keep it alive!”

For interviews with the bands and review of Deathfest V, check out my friend Kunal website Transcending Obscurity.

Written by trendcrusher

March 9, 2013 at 12:48 am

Demonic Resurrection + The Supersonics

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Last week I did a couple of interviews for Indianrockmp3 with Demonic Resurrection and The Supersonics.

Mumbai metal band Demonic Resurrection are performing for the first time in UK at the Bloodstock Festival. I spoke to Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija about their plans for the Bloodstock festival, their live DVD and also their 4th album.

Demonic Resurrection 2012

Hey Sahil, next week you will be performing at the Bloodstock festival in the UK. What are your thoughts about it? Excited? Nervous?

Sahil: We’re definitely excited about this gig, the UK is a place we’ve been wanting to play for a long time and last year we were gutted when our visa’s didn’t get approved and we had to cancel our appearance at Sonisphere and also our subsequent UK tour. We’ve been wanting to play Bloodstock for a while and since Sonisphere got canceled this year we’re very fortunate that we were able to get booked for Bloodstock and so stoked to be making our UK debut at the festival. The bill this year is amazing with big names like Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Testament, Machine Head etc it’s going to be EPIC! We’re really looking forward to kicking some ass and giving the UK metal heads a taste of Indian metal.

Do you have anything special planned for your set at Bloodstock?

Sahil: Not really, we’re just going to get out and and play our best gig. We’ve put together a setlist that we think best represents Demonic Resurrection and we’ll let the UK metal heads see and hear what DR is all about.

Which artists are you looking forward to see perform and meet at Bloodstock?

Sahil: The entire festival lineup is really awesome and I think we want to catch as many bands as possible including many artists we’ve not heard off, but definitely I’m personally looking forward to meeting George Kollias again and I want to definitely catch Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Nile, Testament and Iced Earth among the list and probably even catch some local UK talent like Flayed Disciple, Ancient Ascendant, Aanal Nathrakh etc.

You plan on releasing a Live DVD with video footage from Bloodstock along with footage from you gig at Blue Frog on 22nd July. What else can we expect on the DVD ?

Sahil: When we say DVD we’re at this point only referring to the content because our fan funded music video got a little side tracked due to logistical issues and some financial issues as well but we collected a large part of the funds despite hiccups and we asked the fans if instead of a music video they’d like to get a copy of our performance at Bloodstock UK and they were all excited about it since it costs quite a lot for us to get the footage but it’s going to be 6 camera shot with multi-track audio so we’ll have a nice little package for the fans. We also shot the Blue Frog gig which we’re giving as a nice little add on so fans will get these concerts if they’ve contributed. When and how we release the footage later on a DVD is yet to be planned out but if it’s happening it will be along with our new album, probably in the form of bonus material. We’ll probably have a UK video blog series like we did for our Norway trip but that again will be online most likely.

How are things shaping up for the 4th album ? When can we expect it to be released ?

Sahil: Things are going well we’re more or less done writing the music for the album and we’re going to start the recording process once we return from the UK. We’re doing a much more elaborate production this time in terms of moving out of the more conventional way in which we record. I can only say that fans can expect the album early next year most likely.

Any Final words ?

Sahil: Cheers & Stay Demonic!

Kolkata post-punk quartet The Supersonics toured 4 cities around the country in the first NH7 Roadkill Tour this past week. I spoke to the band about the tour, their set list and also the new album they are currently working on.

Hey guys, what are your thoughts as you start a 4 city tour as part of the “Nh7 Road kill”?

Well we’re pretty excited. It’s the first tour since we got the band together again so everyone is charged up and looking forward to it. Also there have been a lot of guys who have wanted to see us around the country, and with this tour at least well get to hit most of the big cities so a lot of these people will get a chance to catch a gig.

Do you have a special set for the tour?

Well we’re going to use this tour to bring out some of the newer stuff so they get some stage time. Also we’ve reworked some of the older songs and opened them up a bit so there’s more room for us to play in. So you can expect a bit more jam oriented stuff. We’ll also be playing some stuff from Maby Baking so on the whole you can expect some old, new and some unexpected stuff

‘The Evil Fly” is a new song you recorded for the vinyl only compilation to be released by Puma. What is the song about?

Well it’s a commentary on how theres a lot of people who go through their entire life without a basic belief and value system, starting from your crooked businessman to your dirty politician. It’s a pity to see its these people who run our country and are systematically destroying it.

You are currently working on a new album. Tell us a bit about it.

Yeah we’ve been working on it. Like I said earlier, we’re going to be playing a few of these on the tour so they get some stage time. It’s important for us to play the songs out a bit on stage before we record them so that we understand every nuance of the song. Also it’s the only time you can really gauge the dynamics that exist in the song as the audience adds an energy that can really propel the song to the next level.

How does it compare sound wise to Maby Baking?

Well we haven’t started recording anything yet so it’s too early to compare and like I said earlier, we need to play these songs on stage a bit before I can define their sound as such. However, from a songwriting perspective I can say these songs are more straight ahead rock n roll tracks and as a band we’ve tried to treat them in that fashion.

Do you have any tentative release date for the album?

We’re hoping to get everything done by March next year.

Any final words?

Yeah we’ve released an ep in support of the tour. “We Are, We are” from Maby Baking has been totally remixed by our producer Miti Adhikari and all I can say is that a lot of people will be totally shocked when they hear what he’s done with it. It’s pretty amazing, even I was shocked haha. We have also released the second song that we worked out as a band, and even though it’s just a demo and we stopped playing that song six years back, it’s something for people to have till the second album comes out. There is also a song called Mundane Sunday which were putting on the same ep as well as a hidden track of sorts. You can find the ep on NH7.

Written by trendcrusher

August 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Demonic Resurrection

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Demonic Resurrection are India’s leading metal band. Over the past 12 years, the band has released 3 albums, 1 EP and played countless gigs across India and even Norway and Czech Republic. This summer they will be performing at the Bloodstock Festival in UK.

Heres an extensive interview I did with the Demonstealer in 2006 which appeared in the Trendcrusher Zine # 2.

Hailz Demonstealer!! How are things in the Demonic Lair??

Demonstealer: Hailz!! Things are good in the Demonic Lair, we are about to start working on new material and we playing a few festivals and shows in the coming months. The album has been doing well too, so everything is going really well.

How did you get the name THE DEMONSTEALER??

Demonstealer: A young enthusiastic 16-year old boy named Sahil Makhija had a dream to form a black metal band and spawned the name Demonic Resurrection. This strapping young lad, being positively influenced by bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and especially Old Mans Child, noticed a common factor between all of them, which was members having stage names like Galdar, Ihsahn, Shagrath etc. The lad too felt that a stage name would give him an identity and also set apart his normal self from the raging beast he turns into on stage (much like the incredible hulk only not so incredible). And being a Lord Of The Rings virgin at 16, he at best could christen himself as The Demonstealer. So thats the story on how I got the name. Of course, after that in the most light hearted way I came up with the concept of stealing demons and collecting them for my army which will be resurrection by Demonic Resurrection.

Are you religious? What are you thoughts on Religion, God, and Satan??

Demonstealer: I am not religious. I am an atheist. I think religion is like a business, it is a bastardized form of what it was originally meant to be. I wonder why people dont question religion, I dont really bother with it anymore but just wonder why people dont ask the simple question like ‘why does my religion tell me to do this or not do this?’. Also religion has become an excuse for anything at all to rape, plunder, loot, kill…. which just sickens me. Satan however is just a cool concept and is also very misunderstood the only thing I have to say is visit http://www.churchofsatan.com and read their principles and most of them make a lot of sense and are not the ‘evil’ thing they are perceived to be.

Demonic resurrection has been through many line-up changes in its 5 yrs of existence. Tell me a bit about the History of the band.

Demonstealer: Make that 6 years, but yes weve had more line-up changes than Michael Jacksons got nose jobs. The band first formed in March 2000, when I was able to find the right members. I had the band name and the songs ready and I wanted musicians to play it, therefore DR came into being. After the numerous lineup changes we managed to settle on a constant lineup from 2001 till 2002 which was Yash(Drums), Nikita(Vocals/Keys), Aditya(Bass) and myself(vocals/guitars). Our style then was more doom/gothic with a mix of female vocals and growls and ambient keyboards. Sometime in 2002 the band fell apart and I was more or less the only remaining member. Around Jan 2003 I was able to reform the band with the current lineup. Husain from Reptilian Death joined on bass, Mephisto tried my patience with a cocky email because he thought I was rather swollen-headed and after much chasing and finally an audition, he joined the band. A spontaneous jam at a local competition between JP, Husain and me got JP interested joined to complete the line-up. The bands sound went through a complete overhaul as we decided to scrap the old material and compose new material together. The last piece of the puzzle was completed when Pradeep joined the band in January 2006 and we are looking forward to his contribution on the next album. I guess that covers the history of the band in the shortest possible way. A 300 page story is available on our website for anyone suffering from insomnia.

You released the Demonic Resurrection album DEMONSTEALER after being together for about 9 months as a band. What was the response to the album? Were you satisfied with the production?

Demonstealer: I can safely say the initial response to the album was great. When it came out there were few precedents and hardly any bands releasing material independently. There wasnt a single Indian metal album then. We released it at the prestigious college fest Strawberry Fields 2000 in Bangalore and I was overwhelmed by the support we got. Almost all the members of all the bands there like Kryptos, Myndsnare, Threinody, all bought a copy of the CD and gave us positive feedback. I remember selling about 60 CDs at that gig with the help of these two metalheads Sandesh & Kiran both of whom wed just met but their support was tremendous. They took our CDs and went out into the crowd and sold them all. The reviews on the websites were good and we were happy with the feedback. We even sent the CD abroad to Vampiria Records and they gave us a very positive response but eventually, those plans didnt work out. Of course the bad reviews came later. Production-wise when I listen to the old album today and compare it with not just the new DR album but even demos released by bands today, it is rather terrible, but when it came out it was my 1st recording and I was happy with it then and even though it wasnt great most people looked past it till other bands set better precedents. I feel those songs deserve to be re-released with the production capabilities available to me today, which is the reason I am re-recording the entire thing.

Tell me a bit about your debut album Demonstealer. How did you go about in the Songwriting process, recording etc.

Demonstealer: This was something I more or less did single handedly and it was done in a hurry because I wanted to release it at Strawberry Fields in 2000 so it was a bit hurried and because of my lack of knowledge it didnt quite come out the way I envisioned it in my head. Also we had to use programmed drums because of no recording budget and with it being an independent release. It was a quick photocopied cover slapped on a plain CD-R and truly looked like a bands demo. But it was good for the band and it was a learning process.

In October 05 you released A DARKNESS DESCENDS, 3 years after DEMONSTEALER. Do you feel you did anything different this time?

Demonstealer: The whole process this time was different. We took a more professional approach to the recording and production. I worked as a sound engineer for the last 3 years so it definitely helped me make sure the production quality was top notch. We also took a long time to record the entire album and we experimented a lot with the recording. It was a 5 month long process and we got a lot of guest musicians to play on the album, which gave the sound a whole new dimension, and it was a totally exhilarating experience. Even the artwork was an insane process and I spent many nights awake sitting with Prashant & Deepti getting the design right. So it was truly an experience and having that finished product in our hand felt fantastic.

What was the response this time around?

Demonstealer: Unbelievable is the word. The reviews weve received have been fantastic. Some of the biggest webzines like The Metal Observer and Metalstorm have rated the album highly. Our fans have posted tons of great reviews on our website. I can safely say that we have achieved what we set out to — putting out a killer album.

Tell me a bit about A Darkness Descends. Songwriting process, recording etc.

Demonstealer: This was a complete band effort. All the songs were composed together as a band and it took us 3 years to write these 10 songs. We took a lot more time in the studio and we recorded everything and everyone put in their ideas. We also were able to record live drums on the CD which was great because it would have been incomplete without having JP actually drumming on it. Even the artwork was a lot more detailed and a lot of time was spent working on it. Full credit to the design team of Prashant, Deepti & Pratik. We also got the CDs professional pressed so we managed to release a quality album this time and we were all very happy with the result.

Your song Frozen Portrait is like Hit single off A Darkness Descends. Tell me a bit about this track. Your thoughts on why people like this track so much??

Demonstealer: I originally wrote this song for my girlfriend (the lyrics) and even most of the riffs were meant for a song we were supposed to record together but it ended up becoming a DR Song and I guess our most well known song. Since it was the most popular song live and because it was the perfect song to break people in to our music, we recorded it first as our demo. After that there was no looking back. It was being downloaded and we were getting good feedback and also it featured on the Great Indian Rock IX compilation, which helped us tremendously. I guess people like the song because its melodic, catchy and (modestly) just a damn good song.

A Darkness Descends had sold more abroad then in India. How the hell did that happen??

Demonstealer: Well that took a lot of hard work. I compiled a list of over 200 distros & record labels and mailed every single one of them and thanks to good reviews we got, most of them responded positively and were willing to take up distribution. Thats how most of our copies got sold and that is how we got our CD on most of the international distros & labels. The sales in India however are not far behind; they are roughly the same as the international figures. We are only a few copies away from touching the 1000 mark for worldwide sales.

What are the themes behind your songs? I see a lot of Fantasy and War themes in them.

Demonstealer: Fantasy is the main theme of all the songs. I would say they are a translation of pictures I see in my head. A lot of it is Lord of The Rings inspired, and when I say this I mean in concept rather than just direct influence. More than anything the medieval era of knights, dragons, kings and castles has always fascinated me. I have my own visions of demons, dragons, warriors etc but basically its fantasy and fiction. Occasionally I write something different, for example on the album, the song Behind The Mask Of God deals with my views on religion and God which was something I wrote when I was 16 but still carried the lyrics 8 years down the line to the new DR album. However for my next album Im looking at spatial, abstract themes.

From your music I can tell you have varied influences. Which artists have influenced you individually and as a band?

Demonstealer: when I started listening to metal, bands like Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, Fear Factory were huge influences and later on its been artists like SYL, Dimmu Borgir, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Kamelot, Behemoth, Children Of Bodom, Susperia, Dark Tranquility, The Crown. The band members have very varied influences as well, the common ones being Dimmu Borgir, Emperor etc.
Mephisto listens to a lot of black metal like Immortal, Dark Throne, Burzum and Death Metal like Nile, Hate Eternal, and Deicide etc. Husain listens to a lot of Pink Floyd along with assorted underground death and black metal bands. JP listens to everything from Hate Eternal & Cannibal Corpse to Jazz to Rush & Dream Theatre. Pradeep listens to a lot of music from different genres as well.

Do you guys have Day jobs?? What do you do for a living?

Demonstealer: Everyone is working. Husain is an MBA and works in Grey Worldwide as a Media Planner. Jetesh works in Mudra Advertising. JP works with his dad in his family business. Pradeep teaches guitar and I am in between jobs, am set to join Furtados Music to handle all their Artist and Event Management.

What do you guys do to chill out, relax?? Watch movies etc.??

Actually we dont really get time to hang out because we all are working and live really far away from each other. Even when we practice it is mostly late at night and since we live really far away we generally just head home.

Do you guys get drunk together often?? Indian beers and other alcohol to check out

Demonstealer:We go drink together once in 6months but dont really get drunk because Mephisto & Pradeep dont drink, Jp can hold his liquor and I dont drink enough and well Husain is just Husain.

Tell me a bit about your record label DEMONSTEALER RECORDS.

Demonstealer: In 2000 when I released Demonstealer, the album, I put Demonstealer Records somewhere on the CD. I went on to release Reptilian Deaths Total Annihilation and Barcode Entertainments Resurrection. Finally I said its time to do this seriously and got myself a logo and released A Darkness Descends under the Demonstealer Records banner. I realized that there wasnt a single label for metal in India and especially not one that would promote Indian underground bands. Also the sale of DR worldwide encouraged me even more and I decided to sign up bands and start a full-fledged label. That is how it came about, though its still a work in progress.

Have you singed any bands to your label?

Demonstealer:I have currently signed Scribe, Bhayanak Maut, Skincold, Bitchslap, Amidst the Chaos, Exhumation, Reptilian Death, Narsil, Devoid & Black Hole Theory.

What plans do you have for the bands signed to your label?

Demonstealer: Well I am currently focused on releasing a few split CDs with most of the bands and following that, full-length albums for those bands that I feel are worth it.

You also run a Distro.Tell us about your trade policies etc. Do you have any criteria? How can bands get you to stock their cds/merch?

Demonstealer: Demonstealer Records has a distro section as well and I basically am willing to trade anything at all as long as its a pressed CD. I dont really have an interest in CD-Rs and Im open to any genre of Rock or Metal. If bands want me to stock their CDs or merchandise they just need to send an e-mail to demonstealerrecords@gmail.com with their request.

You are also part of Barcode Entertainment which organizes Resurrection, Indias only extreme metal fest amongst other things. You have held 5 Resurrections so far, highlights from those gigs??

Demonstealer: Basically the highlight would be that we have set up a platform for extreme metal. We have got a gig where the best of Indias extreme metal bands come perform to a packed house of people. We also put out a zine for the event which is something that we use to promote the event as well as the bands. We even released the compilation of the same name featuring extreme metal bands from all over India. So it has been a good thing that happened.

Future plans for Resurrection??? When is the next Resurrection going to be held??

Demonstealer: Well Resurrection, like any festival that is successful, will grow and we certainly are looking at making each Resurrection better than the previous one. As our audience size grows, we will move to bigger venues. Currently we are looking at bringing out different bands, making sure we can release a zine at each gig. Of course our future includes getting foreign bands and taking Resurrection to Bangalore & Delhi. Currently we are working on Resurrection 6 to be held on Oct 1st 2006 and we got a big surprise.

India is not a country know for metal; tell us a bit about the scene there? Are people supportive of the bands?

Demonstealer: The Indian scene is forever growing and evolving. The scene which was once infested with cover bands, maybe 1 album released in 2 years and rock shows being an infrequent affair has suddenly got tons of bands, a lot more albums being released, lots more events being organized. It has taken the audience a while to adjust to the change, from hearing their favourite Iron Maiden cover at a gig to bands playing all original sets. The support is there and its growing.

Metal bands from India that people should know about.

Demonstealer: There are quite a few but definitely I feel people must know Kryptos, Exhumation, Narsil, IIIrd Sovereign, Myndsnare, Acrid Semblance, Cosmic Infusion, Black Hole Theory, Devoid, Bhayanak Maut and many many more..

Are there many gigs in India? How expensive is it to organize a metal gig in India? Average attendance for a show?

Demonstealer: Off late theres been a whole bunch of gigs in India spanning a variety of genres. Definitely it is expensive and not easy because most companies either dont relate their bands to the style of music being played or they simply dont want to spend money on a gig. Hence getting the required sponsorship for a show is very hard. It is because of this that we dont have international metal artists coming down. There are 3 types of shows really. College gigs/competitions which have most of the money because theyre large institutions, so they have good shows but they feature amateur bands with maybe one professional headlining band and mostly they arent extreme metal. Then there are the club gigs, which have an attendance from 100 people to 500 people. Resurrection is Indias only extreme metal fest, which is held at Razzberry Rhino, the only club thats open to rock shows in Bombay and draws over 500 people each time. Then there are the big open air gigs/festivals like Independence Rock which is a 2 day show thats on its 21st year running and Great Indian Rock Fest which just completed its 10th year and these shows have an attendance of 5000-7000 people each day. Thats the scene more or less.

Are facilities like studios/jam rooms etc easily available to Bands in India?

Demonstealer: There are no professional jam rooms available, its mostly people jamming at their homes, garages, warehouses etc and finding a place to practice is a hard task. With regard to studios, there are top notch facilities available but engineers who understand this music arent easy to find. Also most capable engineers and studios cost more than the average band can afford. However things are changing for the better now. I myself have a home setup where I record & produce bands and the number of engineers who now understand the music is growing and are recording bands at affordable rates.

The city you are from Mumbai/Bombay (as I like to call it) is home to the Indian Film industry Bollywood. Would you compose music for one of the Indian movies if given the opportunity?

Demonstealer:As Sahil Makhija I would be open to doing it but frankly I dont think I have the skill to do it though but sure I’d give it a shot and give it my own style and sound.

Finals words and thoughts

Demonstealer: Well, as always. To all those reading, download our music at http://www.myspace.com/demonicresurrection and do pick up a copy of our album from any of the distros stocking it. Till then, Cheers and Stay Demonic The Demonstealer.

Written by trendcrusher

May 6, 2012 at 4:00 am

Mid March Updates

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Just realised its already the mid of the month so time for some updates.

One of the interview I did is now online, it was with Ameeth Thomas frontman of the Indian Rock band Junkyard Groove . The rest of the interviews will be online in the coming days.

I’ve also decided to add my concert write ups here since I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some really awesome concerts in the past few years. Heres one of the concert write ups I did that is online, Demonic Resurrection Live at Brutal Assault Lots more to come soon.

Up next is a couple of album reviews from UAE based bands…..

Written by trendcrusher

March 16, 2011 at 1:24 am