Silence Fest: Jindabad, Divine Influence & Day 1

BHRIKUTI MANDAP. On a rather hot, autumn October, Silence Festival-V has kick started. In the morning Nepal Inked, a tattoo fiesta for those who were interested to ink their skin, took the center stage. In afternoon the annual concert was held.  And thus, Silence has now gained its unabating momentum.

After a notably lengthy, tuning session and paraphernalia decorative, opening act of the Festival, Antyesti, a Kathmandu based Experimental/Technical Death metal band stormed the venue with its shrilling vocals and fast paced tracks.  With their original songs (including Alien Invasion) they also covered Necrophagist and Dying Fetus. When the sun is high and the crowd is languid, Antyesti commenced with a fine performance for other bands to follow. Continue reading Silence Fest: Jindabad, Divine Influence & Day 1

Divine Influence – ScareCrow

On the eve of Silence Festival-V, Kathmandu based Groove Metal band, Divine Influence has released their new video ‘Scarecrow’. They have raised the stakes higher for tomorrow and metal fans will surely be looking forward to see them perform after this bombshell of a song. They have been listed to play on Day 1 of this annual festival.

The Festival will be headlined by Djent pioneers SIKTH.

YouTube Channel: Divine Influence Nepal

Like them on their Facebook Page: Divine Influence

Ma Ra Malai: Albatross Album Review

(Alternative Rock band, Albatross has released their 4th studio album Ma Ra Malai on March 29, 2014. The new album, more than meets the expectation set by their previous albums.  Being one of the most recognized band in the country, Albatross have delivered with their new album setting a new standard not just for themselves but for all other rock bands in Nepal).

The album starts with the album-titled track, Ma Ra Malai. It truly captures the essence of the album. Through fetching philosophical lyrics and exquisite musical composition, the track should appeal to music fans across the country. One can easy expect the delicate and profound nature of tracks that are impending along the way through this track,

The next track, Gari Khana Deu, is a wonderful rock experience. Live and Let Live.

The third track of this album is a slow rock song which is completely different from rest of the tracks. Bhool, unswervingly appeals to one’s soul. I personally caution you guys not to listen to this track when inebriated.  It will sting and leave a blistering effect. The Narayan Gopaesque lyrical composition and perfectly synchronized music gives this track the power to beguile the audiences of all age groups.

Aadhar, epitomizes song writing in this album. If Joe Strummer and Narayan Gopal were to have collaborated then this track should have been the conclusion. It is aggressive and meaningful. I would say it is a ruthless poem by a libertine author.  It also has a heavy metal element to it which makes this song, a prodigious experience.

 

Next track, Manav Nai Danav, depicts the mass masquerade of our society. There is a folk rock element to this track.

The fifth track, Afanai Sansar Mai Kina is very sprightly. One can’t see a reason as to why it cannot be the new anthem for progressive issues pertaining to women.  The music just frolics its way into the mind. It just caper cuts and banters us men.  Again, the song writing reeks of awesomeness.

Gari Khana Deu II is all about rock. The track has a great start to it. It is one of those pouty track without which a rock album is always incomplete.

Ma bhanda yaha koi janne chaina, manne chaina……….malai gari khana deu”.

The last track, Sagar, depicts the wonderful musical journey that this album is. What better than to end the album than with a track with a splendid guitar solo.  This track is pure rock and more songs like this one needs to be composed.  It’s one of those pleasant song that you always end up putting on your device and listen to with your casual flits and nods.

Great musical composition, majestic song-writing and precise drumming is ubiquitous.  The album has put up an applaudable effort which targets contemporary Nepalese culture, youth aggression, dejection and masquerades that has been defining our generation for some time now.

 

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Pictures taken from their Facebook Page Albatross Nepal

Encouraging Advice: Show some respect to Nepalese musicians and buy the album instead of being a pirate that you are. 

WELCOME TO THE UNDERSIDE: A REVIEW

(Formed in 2010, Underside is a metal band from Nepal with influences from retro rock to old school thrash. Their much hyped debut EP, Welcome to the Underside was released on January 14, 2014)

It Begins. To kick things off this track is a great start to the album. The psychedelic element is observing and enthralling. At the outset, it is a fitting title to the album, like calm before the storm. There is an immaculate synchronization of all instruments.

Next track is Welcome to the Underside. One would probably be right to assert that it is their anthem. The thrash element is affluent while the song has the catch to be replayed again and again. After all, tracks like these have ascertained Underside as a diverse metal group. That’s the beauty of this well crafted album and of Underside as we have come to know them throughout the years, the dynamic undulation of sounds. The tracks All Notes Off and Pride affirm it. The lack of monotonous tracks that most metal albums on any genre tend to have is absent here which befittingly establishes them as the new “gotta listen” band in Nepal. Reveling in the success of their concerts for a couple of years, Underside has fulfilled the expectations that were laden upon them.

The highlight of this album is All notes off. Where does one even begin to extol this track?  It’s sweet yet brutal and it’s soothing yet vehement. If the devil himself gave me a punishment that I could only listen to one freaking song for the rest of my long, insipid, miserable life, this would be that song. I mean, forget the Scandinavian or American metal groups, this is a proof that Nepali bands can now deliver.

Out of seven tracks to this EP, Underside have recorded an amazing video to their fifth track, Disconnect.

The next track Prototype is a neatly done track. It is tense, free flowing, pouty and beguiling. This is the coolest track on the album– I am an architect, I am my own prototype.

To end things, Part Animal/Part Machine has inkling of atmospheric metal. The psychedelic quintessence to this outro certainly slithers into your mind. And you think you know these guys? Welcome to the Underside.

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(Photos taken from their Facebook Page the Underside)

You can listen to full Welcome to the Underside EP in their official website here.

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Silence Festival IV – Behemoth, Underside and Kathmandu

On a quiet winter afternoon, metalheads from Kathmandu reached the melancholic and apathetic venue of Bhrikuti Mandap. Like the heading of this music festival, it was ironic that this venue was selected as it was surrounded by big sturdy tropical trees and was adjacent to a number of social service centers; the festival reeked of Shakespearean comedy on the outset.By the time I had set foot on the venue Jugaa was already on stage. They labeled themselves as metallic hardcore band but they sounded more like old school black metal. They didn’t disappoint, headbangers aplenty already. The show had merely begun.  

The next act of the day was from Newaz. When they finally tuned up their guitars and actually began playing, it was only fitting that they destroyed the mood of the audiences with some insipid rock songs and unwarranted guitar leads although the bassist was later acknowledged for his talent and non poseur ease.  I say it was only fitting because all programs in Nepal are imperfect. It’s like… the quintessence of our lives are based on jangling chords.  Apart from such deviant music that metal heads were not expecting, the wanna be “Kirk Hammett” should be shown gratitude to, since, afternoon tea could be well enjoyed by dark long haired doppelgangers as well.

Events like these leave memorable mark on the audience and as always, from the oblivion, a band always manages to rise above expectation. To tell you the truth, Derrick was a band unheard of. The three members had performed at the pervious Silent Festival from different bands and this time around they had managed to put an awesome show ranging from techno to deep death metal shit. At times I had absolutely no idea what genre the song fit into, like as if they were the three pagan sons of Vikerness himself. These three guys lifted the throng up and although there was time for Wall of Death, it was sava time.   This is what the official website of the event described their music as:

“A vitaminized powertrio ( drums, guitar/bass, box ) composting all rock’n roll references, Derrick is an u.f.o which produce vibrations in the air that your eardrums never felt before… excepted if you saw Primus on amphetamines… or Converge playing traditional french folk”.

I hope they come again next year.

Sunday morning love you, Monday morning love you……. I thought they were going to perform a metal cover of this song when they said the audience were in for a surprise. The crowd responded, with a deafening snarl which demanded them to perform once more.

With the warm up now firmly done and dusted, Kathmandu was now finally in for a treat. Welcome to the underside.

Though, legendary Polish band was the highlight of the festival, Underside, the new favourite band of Nepal came in like a carcinogenic plague, unleashed by some uncanny dark force and into their grip metal heads clung on. It was as if the whole of the crowd had some kind of seizure.  It wasn’t a mere time for headbanging or sign of horns, mosh pit finally swept across and into the disparaging pit as ardent and dauntless metalheads collided. It was truly phenomenal to note as to how the crowd reacted to Underside and their mouth watering, acid popping and adrenaline rushing music. It was time to go wild, run naked, throw beer bottles, throw up on strangers, start a fight, rape someone. It was that moment of time when all you know is absurd, all you are is meaningless.

They sure gave an orgasm.

The Indian powerhouse Zygnema then followed up and it certainly was a majestic performance. Political and social issues were addressed mostly. They surely made a name for themselves among the petulant and fastidious metalheads in Kathmandu. The heavy metal riffs did it all.

As always, Ugra Karma never disappoint. The pioneers of metal music in Nepal, the buda’sperformed some of their old songs while the new ones were vehement but short, almost fanatical. The crowd was zealous as the band came back from the grave. And only they, but they, could end the local show, prior to the legendary Behemoth performance.

The big boys had finally arrived. The night was nigh, ominous moment to witness a celebrated performance they are known for, the likes of which Kathmandu had never perceived.

Never had I seen blackened death being performed so effortlessly and with such theatricality. Never had Kathmandu seen it, actually. The sheer tenacity to challenge musical barriers and archetypal metal music was lucid. They even paid a tribute song to goddess Kali which should give an inkling to the brutal nature of the show. The horns were raised and pit moved mercilessly, sweeping everyone on its path and into a ruthless dance, the dance of Shiva, ferocious and callous. On the pulpit, Behemoth, clad in their portentous outfits, impeccably painted faces and barbaric gait, fed on our spirit and performed with imposing theatricality. It was an epoch in history where Kathmandu was all drenched in sweat and booze but alas, by mid-show the headbangers and moshing had obliterated, everyone had wilted. Horns were raised by drained out hands but the thunderous applause were incessant. Behemoth, had come and conquered the Gurkhalis.

The seven hour metal marathon finally came to an end. The scars of a brutal show will take time to heal but for those who witnessed the whole show, shoulder to shoulder, eye to eye and fist to fist with their fellow metalhead brothers, it was a beautiful dream; a dream that we dared to live.

 

This review was first published on MadeInNepal