Posts Tagged ‘Dhaka

Zoheb Mahmud (Maximum Noise)

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The previous 2 gig organizers featured here were from India, this time around I decide to look to the East, Bangladesh. The metal scene in the country has been growing for some time now, the first band I heard was Severe Dementia; they were a part of on the Rise of the Eastern Blood split released by Demonstealer Records

I have gotten to know Zoheb Mahmud through his PR company Qabar PR over the past year. He also has been organizing gigs in Bangladesh, the most recent being the first edition Dhaka Metal Fest. Find out more about metal scene in the country, the Dhaka Metal Fest and the upcoming events from Maximum Noise in my interview with Zoheb below. 


Hi Zoheb, you recently wrapped up the first edition of the Dhaka Metal Fest. How did the show go?

Hi Peter. Dhaka Metal Fest – 2017 was fabulous, considering the first edition of this fest, I am contented with the turnout and massive support from the crowds. Each and everyone associated with Maximum Noise and The Rock Project Dhaka put their best efforts to make this fest successful. The performing bands enchanted the crowd with jaw-dropping performance. We had promised to donate the amount of profit from the ticket and merch sales to the victims of the landslide of Rangamati district, and we have been able to donate an amount. Maybe it was a small amount, but we are definitely pleased.

Yes, there were some disturbing memories, actually because of some jealous, perfidious persons, we had to handle some critical situations. Some people tried to stop our show by influencing the higher authority and police. Things were crucial, we had very hard time, but we were the ones who got the police permission before organizing this show, and in the end, their shameful intention to sabotage the show failed miserably. We got to know from the Special Branch of Police that person(s) who recently failed to organize show with two foreign extreme metal bands was/were responsible for influencing them to stop our show, having political or administrative power, they tried their level best to stop Desecravity — the headliner — to perform at the venue, and that was their main intention. In the end, it was a slap to their face when Desecravity brought total vehemence at the stage, and made the crowd insane with their technically crafted death metal numbers. I can’t remember if any other extreme metal organizers from our country had to face such kind of trouble to host a show.

We are not accusing any person as we do not have any written evidence, hence, our source of information can’t be neglected.

For those not familiar with the metal scene in Bangladesh, could you tell us a bit about it.

It’s a pity Bangladeshi metal scene has failed to reach to the international scene in a larger scale, even though the scene started back in the early 80s when heavy metal/hard rock band Waves initiated the journey. Later, in the mid-80s, bands like Rockstrata, Warfaze, In Dhaka and Aces started to develop the phase of Bangladeshi louder sounding music scene. Bands like Artcell and Warfaze are very popular all over the country, they belong to the list of the most renowned bands of the music scene. Aurthohin is another popular band, yet they focus on different genres, but have some metal numbers as well. Cryptic Fate and Powersurge are not as popular as Artcell, Warfaze or Aurthohin, but they have a strong number of fans and have gained mainstream success as well.

Not all of the fans of Artcell, Warfaze or Aurthohin are into metal music, let alone underground or extreme forms of metal music, Maybe, Artcell has close to half million or even more fans all over the country, but it doesn’t mean that all of those fans are serving anything significant for the metal scene of our country.

The main metal fans of the country belong to the underground, be it extreme metal or non-extreme metal scene. Whereas the above mentioned giant bands of the Bangladeshi metal scene have hardly tried to reach to the international scene, many of the underground metal bands, mainly the extreme metal bands are trying their best to reach outside the border. After 2009/10, the scene has changed a lot, our bands are touring outside the countries (not in a larger scale though), and a few bands from other countries have come here to perform.

The country is still not having a proper record label, a proper metal or music related zine/blog, and we still lack promoters who are capable of hosting foreign bands. So far Primitive Invocation has been organizing gigs with foreign bands successfully since 2009/10, maybe they are not bringing the popular metal bands, but still they have paved the path. Maximum Noise/The Rock Project Dhaka together brought Desecravity this year at Dhaka Metal Fest, apart from that Get Amped Series and Archaic Reincarnation, successfully hosted shows with foreign UG metal bands.

I think we also lack expert sound engineer with a good understanding of metal sound. In my perception, we have many amazing sounding bands, but in most of the cases their music can’t blaze properly because of poor recording, mixing and mastering.

Dhaka is undoubtedly the most important places for Bangladeshi metal music, but for the last couple of years, metal scene inside Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet have prospered a lot. Most recently, we have seen the rising of Rajshahi, Habiganj and Rangamati metal scene.

How did you get involved in organizing shows?

Back in the mid-2012, I joined in Primitive Invocation. Thanks to the main guy Iftekhar Faiaz (Nafiz) for letting me in. Primitive Invocation organized Death Skull Ritual II, which featured bands like Orator, Enmachined, Warhound, Nuclear Winter and Purgation from India, in early 2013, and that was my first ever show as an organizer/crew member. After that, I have worked with Primitive Invocation for some other gigs and all the editions of the infamous yet prestigious Banish the Posers Fest.

Dhaka Metal Fest has been undertaken from different platforms. Maximum Noise and The Rock Project Dhaka had jointly initiated and organized it. I am the founder of Maximum Noise.

How do you select the bands that will perform at shows?

At Dhaka Metal Fest, we select the bands who are having decent music and stage performance within their style of music, so we usually do not ignore a band because of its genre. I am personally strict with the lyrical aspects of a band, I will never take a band on the bill that spread racism, fascism, misogyny or support toward rape through their music. Before choosing a band for the gig, we seek the opinions of each and every major person involved in both Maximum Noise and The Rock Project. It is true that we, the folks of Maximum Noise. mostly like the heavier and extreme sounding bands in the realm of metal music, so we give our priority to our own taste.

Primitive Invocation mostly invites the bands having old school extreme metal sound; of course, mediocre or worthless bands are ignored.

What has been the most memorable show you have organized so far?

Having a successful gig after fighting against the conspirator and influenced authority is always an outstanding venture, for this reason I am definitely going to pick Dhaka Metal Fest – 2017.

But, I want to mention the last edition of Banish The Posers Fest (2016) as well, everything went close to perfect if I evaluate the show from the perspective of an organizer.

What are 5 independent bands from Bangladesh that the readers should check out?

Picking 05 independent bands is definitely a tough choice. Still trying my best to put the name of 05 most deserving bands who are currently active, have at least a release and play the type of music I do enjoy.

Orator (Death/Thrash)
Enmachined (Old School Thrash)
Nafarmaan (Black/Death)
Nekrohowl (Old School Death)
I am having hard time to pick the 5th band (laugh); Check both Warhound (Old School Death Metal) and Eternal Armageddon (Black/Thrash)


Do you have any more shows planned for this year?

Maximum Noise is in talk with some metal bands from abroad, still nothing’s been confirmed yet. But, The Rock Project Dhaka is organizing the first edition of “Dhaka Rock Fest – 2017” featuring Bumblefoot (Sons of Apollo, Ex – Guns N’ Roses) on this September 15. I am working with The Rock Project for this show.

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?

Can’t thank you enough for this interview. I expect Bangladeshi metal scene to have more extraordinary bands and the music of all the decent Bangladeshi bands to reach to every corner of the world within a few years.

Written by trendcrusher

September 27, 2017 at 10:00 am

Introducing: Surtur

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Surtur band photo

Who: Surtur The band is Riasat Azmi(Vocals) Shadman Omee (Guitars) Masnun Efaz (Bass) and Rifat Rafi (Drums)

Where: Dhaka,Bangladesh

What: Surtur released their EP “Descendant of Time” last month. “The EP has four songs, one of which is a guitar instrumental. All of the three songs have different backdrop but they all share a common theme.” said vocalist Riasat Azmi describing their debut release. “That is making a stand for what you believe in and holding your ground. The title track is a fantasy about a heavy metal messiah who will put an end to all the hypocrisy we see around. Maggot Filled Brain was written with the shitty political culture of Bangladesh we keep seeing everyday here. And Demolisher is a song about a grave where the members of a tyrant regime will be buried after being overthrown by a revolutionary insurgence.”

How: “Our guitarist, Omee , is the principal songwriter of the band. He had the riffs all worked out in the mind so that created the skeletons of the songs. They took the entire shape after we rehearsed them altogether.” said Riasat about how they wrote the songs on the EP. “Rifat put his inputs, Efaz inserted the low ends and lastly I (Riasat) added the vocal portions. The songs were ready almost a year ago and we played them live before releasing the EP.”

“We started tracking the drums at June of this year. For various reasons, the recording process was a bit slower than usual. The whole process ended at September and we started pressing the physical copies after that.” said Riasat explaining the recording process.

Listen to “Descendant of Time” below

Written by trendcrusher

December 8, 2015 at 10:00 am