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Posts Tagged ‘heavy metal

Knight

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Knight are a heavy metal band from Silchar, Assam. The duo of vocalist/guitarist Shibam Talukdar and bassist Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan have been working on their EP High on Voodoo for quite some time now and it is out via new label Slaytanic Records.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Shibam Talukdar about their influences, their soon to be released EP and plans for the coming year.

Hi Shibam, you have been working on your EP High on Voodoo for some time now. How does it feel now that it is releasing soon?

Hi, Peter. Thanks for the interview. Yeah, the release of High on Voodoo has been on hold for quite some time now. It feels great to know that the EP will finally see the light of the day. I’m pretty excited about the release since it is the debut offering by my band.

Why did you decide to start a heavy metal band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?

I have been a fan of heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Running Wild, etc. for a long time and I think heavy metal as a genre appeals more to me than any other form of music. Around 2013, I was listening to a lot of NWOTHM bands like Skull Fist, Enforcer, Cauldron, etc. That’s when I decided to form a traditional heavy metal band. As clichéd as it may sound, I wanted to keep the spirit of heavy metal alive, and that was the sole motivation behind the formation of Knight.

A number of NWOTHM bands have formed over the past decade or so, and I think I can connect to the movement because these bands are trying to play music true to the roots of old school metal. I cannot go back in time to the glory days of heavy metal when steel and thunder reigned supreme, but this movement, for me, is the next best thing because it is happening right now – at this moment. I can follow releases, read interviews, and watch shows by my favourite bands in real time. It feels like I am, somehow, a part of the entire movement, and that’s an awesome feeling.

As you are a duo, what is the writing process you follow?

I write all of the music and the lyrics. Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan helps in arranging the songs.

The first single from your High on Voodoo EP, The Ventriloquist is reminisce of the NWOBHM sound. Do tell us more about the EP.

Thank you. The EP consists of four tracks which are in the same vein. All the four tracks deliver unrelenting traditional heavy metal assault from start to finish. The EP was written and recorded around two and a half years back, but its release was stalled for a long period of time. Thanks to Brijraj Agarwal, the EP is finally getting a proper release via Slaytanic Records. So far, the response has been phenomenal and I am really grateful for that.

The EP was produced by Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

The best part about producing it ourselves is that we had total control over the sound. We wanted the EP to sound like it was straight out of the 80’s and I think we could achieve the sound we were looking for. However, since the EP was recorded around two and a half years back, there may be a few issues here and there. Rest assured, the next release, which will be a full-length, will have better production as we have better equipment in the studio right now.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

I like to listen to different genres of music. I don’t curate a list of albums for a month or week. I just listen to whatever I feel like at a particular point of time. Currently, I’m discovering some of this year’s retrowave releases along with listening to some heavy rock and proto-metal.

I draw inspiration from anything that sounds good to my ears. Like I said, while I was writing the EP, I was listening to a lot of NWOTHM and I still do. The greats like Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, Scorpions, etc. are sources of endless inspiration for me. Newer bands like Black Magic, Eternal Champion, Black Trip (now VOJD) have also influenced me a lot which will probably show in the full-length.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you have any shows/tour planned in support of the EP?

I have already started working on a full-length and hopefully will wrap up the entire process by the end of next year. As of now, we are only two people in Knight. As soon as we have a full line-up ready, we’ll start touring.

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

It was my pleasure. I would like to say that people should do what they love doing, without harming others. I believe heavy metal is a sanctuary for many people from the crummy things in life. For others, it is a source of strength to stand against any problem life throws at them, and flip the bird to it. I am not saying that people should support all the artists they come to learn about, but if one comes across an artist who truly inspires them or adds meaning to their life; it’s only fair that they support them in whatever way they can.

Also, our debut EP is releasing on the 25th of December, 2017. If you like traditional heavy metal, you may want to give it a listen, and I hope you will dig the music.

Band Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KnightOfficial
Label Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/slaytanicrecords
Email: slaytanicrecords@gmail.com

Written by trendcrusher

December 26, 2017 at 10:02 am

Kunal Batra (Neon Black Prodcutions) interview

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The response to the interview with Bantering Ram was great so I’ve decided to feature more gig organizers here. The next one to be featured is Kunal Batra of Neon Black Productions. I first got to know Kunal when I met him a few years ago at the Bangalore Open Air. In the past couple of years he has organised metal shows in Delhi like Domination the Deathfest and also Jeff Loomis’s tour across India.

I spoke to Kunal about the recent Domination the Deathfest show, what’s he currently listening to and also their upcoming shows.

Hi Kunal, organised the 9th edition of Domination – The Deathfest in Delhi earlier this month. How did the show go?

Hey Peter! The show went really good. This was the second DDF in Delhi and the response was as phenomenal as the first one. We had a killer lineup and people loved it. Hoping to continue this tradition yearly now.

How did you start organizing shows and Neon Black Productions ?

Neon Black Productions is a collaborative effort by me and Mayur Jalan from Hyderabad. We both were independently organizing shows from past few years and we thought of joining forces as the bands and artists we were thinking of bringing down were quite similar. So I quit my day job of being an engineer and got into this full time. And we successfully launched this effort in shape of Jeff Loomis India tour that we did last year in December.

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

A lot of it depends on a number of factors, really. Starting from the financial aspect and which bands would people like to see performing here to what bands are free to come down here and if we are not coinciding with any other shows that’ll be happening in the same time frame in the country. A lot of planning and effort goes behind each and every show/gig we do.

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

Although each and every show I’ve done till now has given me some good memories to cherish, I’d say it was the Jeff Loomis tour in Dec ’16 that we did. It was a dream come true for us as both Mayur and I are legit fanboys of Jeff and Nevermore in particular. So seeing him play day after day on tour was just surreal.

What are 5 bands that the readers should check out?

Oh it’s a tough one haha. Well for me, currently I’m listening to a lot of Gojira, Sulphur Aeon, Converge, Immolation, Savatage etc. So yeah, definitely those.

Do you have any more shows planned for this year?

Yes! We are planning to bring down a few more international acts this year and something big is in plans for early next year. So keep an eye out!

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

Thank you for the interview man. Really appreciate it. Just want to add for the readers that keep supporting your local shows and local promoters. That’s how we all grow.

Written by trendcrusher

August 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Interview: India’s Thrash Metal Powerhouse Kryptos

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Nine Circles

kryptos

With just over 2 months to go for the end of the year, there’s been another killer release from the Indian metal scene; Burn up the night by heavy metal band Kryptos. The band are one of the oldest surviving metal bands in India. Over the past 18 years they have released 3 albums.

Burn up the Night released through AFM Records features a straight up 80’s heavy metal sound which will appeal particularly to “old school” metal fans. I enjoyed the album as the songwriting and production contrasts with the sterile sounds of upcoming bands

I (Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.) spoke to vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis about their change in sound, music videos and their recent European tour.

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Written by trendcrusher

October 12, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Mythra

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NWOBHM band Mythra have been cited by Lars Ulrich of Metallica as one of his his early musical influences. The band reunited last year after 30 years and released a compilation album Warriors of Time: The Anthology via Skol Records. Mythra are now signed to High Roller Records and are heading to the studio to record a new album album titled Still Burning.

mythra

I spoke to the band about their The Death and Destiny’LP, their deal with High Roller Records and also what to expect from their upcoming album.

Read my interview with Mythra on Transcending Obscurity 

Written by trendcrusher

October 5, 2016 at 12:47 am

Blackhour interview

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In the past couple of years, I have discovered quite a few killer metal bands from Pakistan. I interviewed Multinational Corporations and Dionysus last year. I heard about Islamabad based heavy metal band Blackhour through my friend Kunal Choksi.  He has released their second album “Sins Remain” through the distribution arm of his label Transcending Obscurity. I was reminded of bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon listening to the album .

I spoke to the band about “Sins Remain”, being a metal band in Pakistan, performing with Bumblefoot and their plans for this year.

Blackhour
Hi guys, you started the band in in 2007. How did you’ll get together? Are you’ll from the same school/college?
Hashim: So Blackhour started in 2007 when I was in college and recently started playing Iron Maiden licks. At that point I had a vision to make songs that people would sing along to and me along with a few friends got to gather to form a band which had no name… Just a school band to be honest. As luck would have it, we were that one bad band which was boo-ed off stage but it wasn’t going to kill my passion for making music

One year later, me and my brother Diam (Drummer) decided to take things seriously and by late 2008 BLACKHOUR came into existence and it wasn’t until 2010 that the final line-up as our fans know it now, was formed with Tayyab Rehman as vocalist, Salman Afzal on Bass, Mashoo and myself on guitars and little baby bro on drums.

Blackhour indeed started as a bedroom project but with newer musicians from outside our college social circle joining in, Blackhour became bigger and in the early 2012 after release of Age of War album, when Manager, Hassaan Ahmed joined the band… shit just went serious Hahaha!

It is not easy being a band in Pakistan. What are the struggles you faced so far?

Tayyab Rehman: I guess to say at a broader perspective, it is not easy being a musician in any corner of the world, and being in Pakistan brings about a whole new level of challenges. With the local music scene mostly dominated by classical and pop genre, to be a musician in a heavy metal band is like playing in a hockey team with a cricket Bat.

To our surprise we had support from our loved ones but some close friends always forced us to adopt urdu as our lyrical content and make songs more “Listenable” but we knew what we wanted to achieve with our music and we took a big leap of faith. At the end of the day the biggest struggle of being a heavy metal band from Pakistan, is the exposure. The music never gets heard at the level we want it to… but we would try our best to break the boundaries and make a mark!

Your second album “Sins Remain” is out now. It takes further the sound from your debut release “Age of War”. Tell us more about your latest release.

Hashim: The second album was a challenge for the band. With Age of War, it was just me, Tayyab and Hasan Rauf (ex-member) who were involved in the writing process so it was easy to carry. But with this one we decided that each member should bring about their creative process into the songwriting and thus, each song is so much different from the other that you get to hear the versatility of each member.

The title track Sins Remain, is by far our favorite track and it is the brainchild of the most silent member of the band, Slaman Afzal, and I will let him talk about the concept and what not.

Salman Afzal: Umm… well I had this melody which I made back in college and me and Hashim used to jam to it, and it just had a nice ring to it.. When Hashim came with the idea that each member has to put in an individual song in the album, I was actually taken aback. I tried working out various licks but nothing had the “IT” factor, so one night while randomly playing my acoustic guitar the riff for Sins Remain was unleashed on the fret board and I knew it, THIS WAS GOING TO BE MY SONG! We experimented a lot on this song and perhaps spent the most time in structuring it and relating the music with the lyrical content. In fact it is the first song from Pakistan and I dare say from Asia that utilizes the Pashto folk instrument “Rubab” in a metal song which added to the progressive feel of the song.

It is the combination of the whole band’s involvement and the versatility that the song had to offer that we went with Sins Remain as the album title!

Sins Remain

How did you go about recording “Sins Remain”? Are there many recording studios for metal music in Pakistan?

Mashoo: The Sins Remain recording process was a rather interesting fatigue because at the time we had tied up with other bands to experiment on different live concerts, and while handling concert/show organizing, our manager was up our asses to finalize the recording for Sins Remain album. We started by setting up our own recording studio, so this was a first for Blackhour to record its own music on their own. Two upbeat songs, Battle Cry and Wind of Change were produced at a good friend, Fahad Humayun from Dissbeleif’s (an alternative rock band from Islamabad) studio – Bracket Productions, who did an amazing job at handling them and the raw feel that we wanted out of these two songs.

For the remaining three songs, we recorded them through a series of ups and downs at our own studios. The writing process had been finalized during the start of 2015 and we were perfecting our songs via live performances to know the studio sound we want. Finally in late September we collaborated with Mr. Saiban Khaliq – Vocalist/Guitarist for Revolt (A death metal band from Islamabad) for the production of the three songs and I still remember the late nights Hashim and Daim used to spend at the producer’s basement to perfect the sound we wanted and I think if not a 100%, we managed to get a good 80% of the raw/live feel in our produced songs.

Hashim: As for recording studios for metal music in Pakistan, as mashoo highlighted, such studios are majorly operated by metal band members… because they understand the music and given the resources are able to extract that sound for other heavy metal bands, and these studios are usually home studios. Don’t get me wrong though, there are formal recording studios as well, but for a metal band like ourselves, affording the formal studio is through the roof so it is the community that helps each other with production, recording etc. And pretty sure there will be a Blackhour Studio to look forward as well.

“Sins Remain” is being released by Transcending Obscurity distribution. How did the deal come about?

Hassaan: Well Blackhour is all about creating a community for metal music and with this, we tied up with Tejali, a good friend from India, to act as Blackhour’s representative in India. It was her brilliant efforts while working as a full time Architect that she linked up Mr. Kunal Choksi with the band and I guess he liked our music which took further our deal. What’s interesting is that the relationship with TO Distribution is more of a very friendly and collaborative venture as opposed to a suit and tie formal business deals. Mr. Kunal understands well what the band is capable of and has helped us out reach a bigger audience.

The metal scene in Pakistan is slowly picking up in the past couple of year. I’ve really enjoyed listening to bands like Multinational Corporations and Dionysus. What are other bands from Pakistan that you recommend?

Diam: Pakistan’s metal scene though very underground is still enriched with some really amazing bands ranging from death metal, grind core to some really progressive alternative rock bands as well. Some of the amazing bands that I would recommend anyone exploring the Pakistani Metal Scene will be; Blackhour (have to tell them about my band lol), Revolt, Inferner, Tak-a-Tak, Ehl-e-Rock, Dissbelief and Qayyas.

Bumblefoot ft. Blackhour

In August last year, you performed alongside guitarist Bumblefoot at Lok Virsa Open Air Theater in Islamabad. How was the experience?

Tayyab: FUCKING AMAZING! These are the words that kept repeating in my mind, as I went around answering this question. I guess there are no words to define how out of the world it felt. Bumblefoot is indeed a legendary guitar player and to be alongside on the stage with him, well again FUCKING AMAZING. Despite being on stage, the interaction with him off stage and during jam sessions was an eye-opener for the band. We have never met a musician so down to earth and true to music as him. We really hope to share the stage with him soon. And for us it was an honor, that he flew all the way to Pakistan, despite how the country is portrayed in the media, he took the risk and performed and interacted with the musicians here! Honestly, I did not want that show to end to say the least!

What are your plans for this year?

Hashim: We are planning to go about promoting Sins Remain via performing live. In fact last year in November 2015 we did a national launch of the album by organizing Pakistan’s first ever theatrical concert, where each song of the album was complimented by live on-stage theatrical performances (directed by The Insane Production House), while the band performed live. So we are planning to take this setting and perform this show across all the major cities of the country. Along with that we are trying to perhaps play live across the borders as well.. I guess our Manager can help us with that if he moves off of his lazy butt! Other than that, we are also playing at an upcoming music festival of Pakistan (One of the biggest in the country), Music Mela, in late April.

But beyond the live shows we are also planning to start working on a new album. The Writing process has already started during the production of Sins Remain… So there is a lot more of BLACKHOUR to witness this year and the years ahead to come!

 

Stay up to date with Blackhour on their facebook page and check out their video for the track “Battle Cry” below

Written by trendcrusher

January 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

Introducing: Against Evil

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Against Evil

Who: Against Evil The band consists of Shasank (Guitars), Sravan (Guitars/Vocals), Siri Sri (Bass/Vocals) and Noble John (Drums). “All of us are from the same city and since there are a very few people who listen to metal in our city, we all knew each other.” said Shasank about the origins of the band. “We formed a classic/hard rock cover band called Echo in 2009 and played a lot of gigs since then. We wanted to compose and play heavy metal music but couldn’t do it cause Echo was already popular as a classic rock cover band in the city. That is when we formed Against Evil in 2014 to compose and play our own style of heavy metal.”

Where: The band hail from the Vishakapatnam, a coastal city in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. “We are the only metal band in Visakhapatnam. There are a few cover bands here, but none of them are really into making original music.” said Shasank describing the metal scene in their city.

What: The band recently put out their first release, ‘Fatal Assault’ EP through Transcending Obscurity Distribution. “Well, its not a concept album or anything like that. It’s titled “Fatal Assault” and has 6 tracks. The lyrics are about war, fighter jets, street racing, etc.” said Shasank about the EP.

How: “We released a song named ‘War Hero’ in April 2015. That was the first song that we had written and recorded. The response that we got for that song exceeded our expectations. Thats when we decided to record more songs and release an EP. It took us three months to write, record and get it mixed/mastered.” explains Shasank.

“After the writing process was completed, we immediately hit the studio to record the EP. We recorded all the songs at a local studio owned by our friend. It took us a few weeks to record all the tracks.” Shasank describes the recording process for the EP.

The EP was mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni (Domination Studio). “It was great working with him. He is a very friendly guy and an incredibly talented guitar player!” said Shasank about working with Simone.

A special mention to Andrej “Maggotmeister” Bartulovic for the awesome artwork. “Our vocalist is friends with the band “Toledo Steel” from Europe. They told us about him. We saw his work and got blown away! We wanted comic book style artwork for our EP which even Andrej was a huge fan of. It was a blast working with him!” said Shasank about how they got Andrej to work on the artwork.

Buy ‘Fatal Assaulthere and stream the EP below

Written by trendcrusher

September 19, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Introducing: Corpse Garden

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Corpse Garden

Who: Corpse Garden The band consists of Felipe Tencio (Vocals), Carlos Venegas (Bass), Federico Gutierrez (Guitar), Esteban Sancho (Guitar) and Erick Mejia (Drums)

Where: Heredia, Costa Rica

What: “First of, ‘Entheogen’ is a chemical substance that is used in spiritual rites or such to aim for transcendence, so,  under that premise the record talks about the stages that are performed in the Alchemy’s Magna Opus and also about theories of Individuation by psychologist Carl Jung.” said drummer Erick Mejia describing their second album.

How: “It was extensive, it took from mid 2012 to late 2013 to compose and write the songs for the record and to come up with the concept.” said Erick about the songwriting process for the album. “In between we got the line-up changes that were good for the band but there’s always a little bit of a ‘learning curve’ so to speak, musicians need to get used to the band and hopefully that was incredibly fast.”

“A lot of hard work, we really wanted something very specific for this record and that had a lot to do with our performances on each instrument so we needed to play as good and precise as we could.” said Erick about the recording process for the album. “Also we experimented a lot with effects, ebows, synths and so on and so forth, so, those we needed to be very careful not to over do something and get it just right and just the right amount.Recording took around 6 months all together:  recording, mixing and mastering.”

Listen to ‘Entheogen’ below

 

Written by trendcrusher

July 10, 2015 at 10:00 am