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Midhaven

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Midhaven are an upcoming metal band from Mumbai,India. They released a promising EP “Tales from the Tide” last year and their debut album “Spellbound” will be out later this month via Universal Music India. I spoke to their vocalist/guitarist Karan Seven Kaul to find out more about the album.
Midhaven

Could 2014 turn out to be another big year for the Indian metal scene? With forthcoming releases from heavyweights like Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, Undying Inc and Scribe (long overdue) amongst others, I personally wouldn’t bet against it.

Last month, I got an email from Sahil ‘The Demonstealer’ Makhija about a new, full-length release from Midhaven, an upcoming band from Mumbai. I’d never heard much apart from an EP called Tales From The Tide from 2013 that suggested a band with some promise, so I was curious as to what they sounded like now. After a couple of spins through their debut album Spellbound (buy here), I realized their combination of clean and growling vocals plus a lot of melodic riffage sets them apart from their peers in the country. I was hooked and just had to find out more.

Midhaven started out in 2011 and now comprises Karan Seven Kaul (guitars, vocals), Shreyas Rane (guitars), Abhishek Sawant (bass, vocals) and Viraaj Saxena on drums. “It feels really amazing!” said an excited Karan Kaul about the release. “We’ve wanted to launch this album from the day we wrapped up at the studio, the day is finally coming! After months of hard work, it feels good to see that it’s paying off.” Describing the album Karan said, “the album consists of nine tracks, each placed in order to tell the listeners a story of rage, rebellion, loss and the death of the Sun God. It also focuses on the Indian God of Destruction – Shiva. This is a concept album which might be a bit hard to understand at first, but I guess if you give it some time, the songs will speak the story out to you.”

While their concept might be similar to Rudra from Singapore, their sound is unlike the vedic metal band. The writing for the album commenced after the release of 2013′a Tales From The Tide. “As the year went by, we wrote a close to 14 tracks (including ones written at the studio),” said Karan describing their writing process, “Four were scratched while a song of ours called ‘Altair’ was merged with another new one which in turn gave birth to ‘Fall of Olympus’. The song ‘Death Row’ has our producer, Jordan Veigas, on guest vocals.”

Spellbound

Spellbound sees the band move in a direction heavier than that of their last cut. “It wasn’t really decided that we’d go to the heavier side.” explains Karan. “The riffs came out sludgy and we got Abhishek to handle half of the album’s vocals along with Karan as well as breakdowns and guitar solos. So in a way, we basically started making music that we wanted to, that we enjoyed, and that just happens to be metal.”

The album was recorded at Jordan Veigas Music Productions between June and September last year. “Honestly, it was loads of hard work plus Jordan’s amazing connection with us that made the album.” said Karan about recording with the Reverrse Polarity bassist. “He’s a brilliant producer and an amazing friend who guided us, stole my cigarettes, loved to have a drink with us, believed in our music and wanted to make the best metal album out there.”

Midhaven are the third Indian band to have their album released by Universal Music after Reptilian Death and Coshish, no mean feat for a band that have been around for just over two years. “We’re still bare chest and celebrating all day because of the signing *beats chest in excitement*” exclaims Karan, “Universal Music dug our EP and the minute we got a call from them, we knew we had to speed things up. So, after four months of being in the studio and another two months of waiting for it to be mixed and mastered, we finally went up to their office with the album. They loved it and the next thing you know, we struck a deal! We’re honoured that a major label is backing us, it really does feel amazing.”

The band will be spending the rest of the year playing shows, starting with their album launch tour which is currently being put together. Catch them on tour when they hit your city, till then check out the lyric video for ‘Seeking The Divine’ below. Also, check out a recent review of Spellbound by fellow scribe Ritwik Deshpande, who called it “the most consistent and satisfying Indian metal release of 2014 so far.”

Written by trendcrusher

April 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Interview with Reptilian Death

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Sahil Makhija is the most dedicated musician I have met in India. This weekend his death metal project Reptilian Death will release their 2nd album ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ with a new line up.

Find out more about the album, the new line up and more in my interview with Sahil below.

RD

Hi Sahil, your album ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ releases this weekend. How does it feel to be releasing a Reptilian Death album after 7 years?

It feels great man. This has been a long time coming. As a musician I want to release songs the moment they are done but we took a really long time to get everything in place with this band apart from the music as well and I practiced my ass off for the last 2 years on the drums so that I could record live. So it’s all come full circle and it feels great to have this album on the shelves.

The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence

The album sounds brutal and twisted. What inspired you during the song writing process?

For me the music writing process happens over time when I sit down and play guitar. There is nothing specific for it. I listen to a lot of music and metal over the years and that is what inspires me. I think I just write songs and then go okay this is more suited to DR or RD or Workshop and just get those songs to the respective bands. With RD the first draft of all the songs got done and we had 12 songs from which I actually dropped one and wrote a new one right towards the end of the writing process. Vinays lyrics and vocal style added a completely different dimension to what I envisioned and in a good way because it probably gave the album that slightly different flavour.

You were responsible for the recording and production of the album. How long did the recording process take?

This album was a task because I recorded 10 songs and my amp blew after which I re-recorded all 12 songs and then after a while I was not happy with the sound of it. Same for the bass we recorded the bass twice because we wanted to get the best possible sound for the album. I’d say it was over a period of 12 to 18 months of actual recording. In the end I think am very happy with the result.

How did Vinay and Ashwin become part of Reptilian Death?

I had seen Ashwins bass videos online when Daniel Rego (DR) shared it with me once and I also jammed with him for the DR All-Star gig so when I asked if he was interested in auditioning he readily agreed. Probably the best audition ever. He walked in plugged into the computer, I loaded up track 12 and said are you ready and he said yes and I he recorded the entire song in 1 take. It was flawless and I said you’re hired. As for Vinay I knew I wanted someone else to do the vocals and lyrics because I was creatively drained and also I wanted to focus on just playing the drums. I’m very picky about my death metal vocals and I wanted someone who was a commanding presence on stage and could give Reptilian Death the frontman it required and Vinay was an obvious choice. I asked him and he readily agreed.

The first live performance with the new line up was a surprise set at the 5th edition of Domination – the Deathfest that was held recently. How were the preparations leading up to the gig?

It was pretty intense, we practised our asses off. I was extremely nervous about dropping my sticks during the set and we did many rehearsals with the mask on to ensure we would be stage ready.

Do you have anything special planned for the album launch at Blue Frog in Mumbai this weekend?

No one has seen us before apart from the few at deathfest. The songs are all new. We don’t need anything special. Just come and experience Reptilian Death.

Buy ‘The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence’ here and here

check out ‘O’ from the album below