Archive for the ‘Band Watch-outs’ Category

Black Metal ist Krieg (or Black Metal is War) was something that a German band Nargaroth had put an album title of. When noticed the early 90s’ Norwegian movement, black metal indeed was more or less a war, an association that tried to make an impact, defying all organized beliefs and evoking the history and the primitive. While most (or all) of those acts, I feel, were pathetic and should have never occurred, they never succeeded anyway, never became able to make that ‘impact’ they were in seek of, other than being able to publicizing the Norwegian metal scene to an extent. Even Varg Vikernes explained he purposely called police about the murder of Euranymous in order to caste some light to popularize the Norwegian scene back then, ultimately putting him behind bars for years (haha, ridiculous).

Music could be a revolt, a repulse or a revolution. And when the sources of expression are blocked by the most difficult societies possible, some minds trying to convey their resentment see music as the only outlet. So here begins the story of Janaza…

Janaza is a black metal band from Baghdad, Iraq, influenced from acts like Nargaroth, Carpathian Forest, Nattefrost, Graveland, etc. When a circle of Norwegian youths were trying to discard the conventional beliefs and religions and trying to employ their individualism, let’s put it in this way – IRAQ DOES NOT HAVE THAT INDIVIDUALISM. So let’s not compare the two societies anyway. In a place where heavy metal is often cited as satanic music, and if known that someone’s performing such music, the obvious consequence could be death sentence.

And to make it more interesting, Janaza is a project intended towards slaying the trace of everything Islam. And to make it further more interesting, it is a solo project of a 26 year old lady named Anahita. In a country where females are regarded as second citizens, in a society where it is often disallowed for women to get out of house without male companion, it is nothing less than a bold courage to step for something like this.

I discovered this band through a random wander in Encyclopaedia Metallum and I could also read two interviews with the lady (I could have given the links but they’re both dead for now), and it was nothing short of shocking/amazing. The lady had her family killed in an explosion in 2005, which she says to be a turning point in her life.

Just a while ago, I was having a thought of how lame the whole corpsepaint thing in black metal has become. Even the pseudonym names sounded lame. But again, I had a feeling that those couldn’t be any more helpful than in Janaza’s case to hide the actual identity of the person behind the music. Here’s some of the only excerpts of her from the interview I had copy-pasted a while ago:

MC: “What would the punishment for you be if you were caught blaspheming by law?”

Anahita: “Hahaha, I think about that all the time, and this makes me hate Islam more and more. Sure, they will kill me and spread my corpse pictures all over the media to show the brainwashed people that Islam is strong. I will be killed with a smile If I got caught, because I know many people will enjoy the blasphemy of Janaza over the next few years and during the living of the lies of Islam.”

MC: “Islam is often violent and oppressive in Arab countries, but western Muslims are mostly peaceful by comparison. Do you think that Islam can be a peaceful force? Do you think that Islam is any more/less dangerous then other religions?”

Anahita: “To me, Islam is very dangerous because it wants always to dominate the world. The western Muslims are so weak in the western countries. That is why they want to convince the world that they are good. That’s why they act peaceful… But believe me, if Islam dominated the world someday, it would make the greatest of slaughters.”

By the way her 2010 demo “Burning Quran Ceremony” was on free download. Check out her work yourself here.

And here is an Metal-Archives review for the demo.

And above I’ve talked about her corpsepaint thing and all, see her beauty yourself and get some more information about Janaza here.

Fleshgod Apocalypse. By the time I was chuckling at this name, I had already been intrigued by the talks going on the internet about the Italian band gathering together the brutality of death metal and the artistic splendor of classical symphonies (as I am also an admirer of western classical music), but little had I imagined that it would be something entirely different from sounding like another Lykathea Aflame (which I haven’t been able to dig into easily in months).

Okay here’s what happened: “Oracles” was the first album of theirs that reached me. The first 30 seconds or so had slightly treated me a wtf! – a pile of guitars had provided me the metalcore/groove metal sensation, and I was starting thinking of some Beneath the Massacre technical DM already, and the altered state gave me some grindcorish impression (fuck me for this one – I was really thinking of Misery Index when the second riff was introduced).

And suddenly, what I was offered was something totally different I could envisage from the band’s freaky name and the gay 30 seconds – the skull-crushing death metal, technical in a mean that it was straight-forward in the speed of X-43. Delectable riffing, splendid skin slamming and all sorts of bizarre yet spicy twists thrown in (the solos, the classical singings, the beat flipping and all those wild stuffs, you know), every vile ingredient to make a splendid DM album, still embracing utmost originality, and a whole lot of epic feel lurking around to mark them THE Roman Behemoth, to speak, haha.

The most interesting aspect >>> the amalgamation of keyboards. This, on the whole hadn’t made it any cheesy, but it was just there to form a separate part in itself, and I couldn’t applause less on how well these parts were fit in amid the viciousness of death metal, while the nay-sayers of keys in brutal DM could also be convinced there, as keyboards were only plaguing once in a while.

The album was on the list of my best finds of the year, and just after sometime, I learned their second album had released already – an EP this time, called “Mafia” and the album art…

…got an instant wow from my side. Upon listening, I could sense that the intensity has just increased in this record. I totally tended to focus on the strength of the drums, which have now magnified its might, the guitars that have offered being rather as a derivative of Hate Eternal style, and the overall music which is twice as headbangable as it was in “Oracles”. But alongside, the song structures employing more of the verse–chorus–verse formula and a little bit sloppy arrangements were the things to dissatisfy.

Three originals, a cover and a title-track classical piece was the album. Slightly not as up to the debut, but surely has some highs to it, so as to be liked or owned.

So…

Fleshgod Apocalypse is one of the most recommended bands by me. They are one of the recent brutal/technical death metal powerhouses to watch out for. And as for the technicality aspect, the music authentically goes in the league of Hate Eternal, Nile or company that may make you think for a while that Necrofaggot are real pussies if you’re counting a real technical extreme music with senses. Just mind the fucking velocity!!!

Here is a more detailed info of the band.

You may catch Fleshgod Apocalypse in their Myspace or Facebook as well.

– Samyam Shrestha

(Originally written for KtmROCKS Emag 08)

Hatebook is a death metal band that derives its sound from the mixture of old school death metal and technical death metal, influenced by bands as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Decapitated, Nile, The Faceless, Meshuggah, Necrophagist, etc. with the prominent insertion of Opeth-styled melodic segments. Formed in 2006 as a thrash metal outfit, they had begun with performing especially Pantera covers in gigs. But just after two years, they split up and have recently reformed in 2010 under a new line-up, shifting their direction towards death metal. The band say since the new line-up consisted of members who are from death metal background and since they also wanted to increase their level of technicality, they have turned towards playing death metal. The band name was drawn from a website of the same name, where users post things they hate.

Hatebook consists of:

Navin Pokharel on vocals, who has been growling for about two years and is influenced from George Fisher, Muhammed Suicmez, Chuck Schuldiner, Prabin Shrestha, Avishekh KC, The Faceless, Sikth, etc.

Rojan Ranjit in guitar, who has been playing the instrument for about eight years, and is influenced from Fredrik Thordendal, Steve Vai, Muhammed Suicmez, etc. He had also been a guitarist for Taamishra.

Prajwal KC in guitar, who has been playing the instrument for about three years, and is influenced from Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Bikash Gurung, Anil Dhital, etc.

Bhufan Limbu in bass, who has been playing bass for about four years, and is influenced from Victor Wooten, Rizu Tuladhar, Ryan Martin, Pink Floyd, Bijay Shrestha, Flea, etc. He also plays in Psychic Tower and a blues band from Nepal Music Centre.

And Bivesh Thapa in drums, who has been playing them for about two years, and is influenced from Surendra Koirala, Thomas Lang, Derek Roddy, Virgil Donati, Abhaya Shrestha, etc. He is also in Gothica.

The band has played about half a dozen gigs since it has reformed, among which they cite “Deification of the Saboteur” and “Gig III” as their best concerts. When asked about the problems of having a band in Nepal, they share, “The main problem right now is the hectic load-shedding hours which is really hurdling us to practice properly. It’s really frustrating that we can only practice once a week these days. The other problem could be the lack of proper instruments and practice rooms. We had wandered around different locations until finalizing our final practice room in Anil Dhital’s basement in Anamnagar.”

“First of all, the guitar riffs created by Rojan are shared with the band, after which everyone gives his own input. In a sense, he’s the key songwriter for the band” says Bivesh about the songwriting process, “Every time we play the songs, they tend to keep on changing their structures, as we try to add more stuff into it. The new output always sounds better.”

Currently, the band has composed four songs entitled “Revenge”, “Saw”, “Precipitation of Human Flesh” and “Hedonist” and they have a plan to record a full length album soon but without any hurry. Vocalist Navin Pokharel is also the lyricist of the band who pens contents that embrace perversion and torture and also on true historical events on such matter. For example, “Revenge” is based on the 19th century massacre known as ‘Boyd ship massacre’ and “Saw” is based on the movie of the same title.

The band is happy that the number of people who listen to death metal is increasing by the day, and more bands are playing more extreme forms of metal with varied influences. “2010 was a massive year for the underground, considering the increase in number of gigs and also improvement in the overall ambience of the concerts. There were also many band competitions held. One good thing about participating in such musical competitions for us is that we have really learned how to efficiently manage the time onstage, because of the time limitation. Besides, we have also gained some popularity participating in those events.”

“Although the number of people in the crowd is increasing, there is still less people who actually understand the music. Nonetheless, we are happy with the amount of support we are getting from them. One of the most negative points here is that there is an increasing enmity between the local bands. Also, the older bands who have been in the scene for quite a time don’t count newer bands as capable, and there’s a lack of consideration from them as well, which is really disappointing. The thing is that we are a small scene and we must all be as a family without all those bullshit”. The band cite their favorite local bands, past and present, as Binaash, Atomic Bush, Jindabaad, 7th Gravity, E.quals, Taamishra, Ushma Weg, among others.

You can check more about the band in their Facebook page.

– Samyam Shrestha