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I am a sucker for brutal music that’s catchy and that’s not a mere technical wankery, and this album agreeably fulfills and defines that block of my taste. In outright drought of brutality of this sort from the local geographical sphere, I had been religiously waiting for this record to come out. After a series of failed attempts of the band trying to record their material, Binaash could finally do it in the beginning of 2012, and here we have – death metal full-length no. 3 from the Himalayan nation.

Having seen the band live and having been dehumanized by their wicked sets, I could only have anticipated more from this album. First listen and I had mixed feelings about this, especially due to the sloppy sound production values. It moved on, and the music was growing on me; and I was eventually picking up on ‘how’ to listen to this one.

I used to take Binaash’s music to have been concentrated with more percussive emphasis, with the drummer offering his wicked versatility and jazz fills and fusions, and it providing a distinct part of a listener’s focus. But here, after listening to “Binaashkaari”, I conclude it’s all riff-driven death metal that’s been forwarded. One could accuse the mixing that has done quite an injustice to the vile drumming, which has drowned under the heaviness of other instruments. But nonetheless, apart from that is above par, with the thick buzzing of guitars implementing the aural molestation. It is also evident that there is a distinguished difference in the sound quality in acoustic intros and metal tracks, the acoustic intros having a very neat touch.

As said, music is catchy as fuck, where the rudimentary formulae in brutal death metal have been twisted with synchronized atypical grooves, and most of the tracks have the distinct distinguishing sound that could discern it apart from others, e.g. “Swaagat” has this Gorguts tech-death meets thrash appearance, “The Wests” more or less reminds of Cryptopsy with a grind edge, “Eerie Sentiments” appears as a more groove-orientated manifestation, etc. The band’s key riffmeister, Prateek Neupane, although coming from old school death metal background seeks to experiment with newer ideas extending to putting breakdowns, ranging from Cryptopsy-like (“The Wests”) to Dying Fetus/hardcore breakdowns (“Eerie Sentiments”) and slam passages (“Waak”). So it’s all jumbled within and in display through the fifty-one minutes record. The Macabre/Gorerotted/Birdflesh styled humor that is put in has been a refreshing facet as well. Intros precede all tracks, which are mostly in forms of acoustic guitar presentations that don’t particularly go with the themes of the songs that follow, but add as chilling breaks amid the unrelenting brutality. The ‘fun’ element could be observed in these parts mostly, but lyrics of “Binaash Momo Pasal”, “Bancharo”, etc. also do emit that spark. For example, “Bancharo” is actually a conversation between a bird and a hunter (sick, amusing vocals for the bird’s part there). Lyrical themes of tracks vary from real-world serial killer stories to nihilism and from personal experiences to a tribute to the fans (the title track, “Binaashkaari”, meaning ‘destructor’ or ‘destructive’ is actually a reference to the band’s fan-base, where Binaash means ‘destruction’ in Nepali).

The immediate bands that come in mind to explain the musical style are early-day Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus and even Aborted with some grind on it, but the references are far more, with regular aforementioned breakdowns and old school tremolo-picked spices been used up. “Gravitational Imbalance” has a robust Deeds of Flesh glow with its technically played mosh-driving riffs. This track demonstrates the actual technical proficiency of the band.

Again about the drums, it is quite superbly done, yet it falls weak with the existing production. Rishav’s beats, since he’s come from jazz background, are pretty versatile and full of ideas, but it doesn’t save from its weak output. It’s hard to follow them at moments, and the sounds of cymbals are just blunt. The bass drums are nearly non-existent at times. What’s impressive though, about the production here is the furious bass of Bijent, the thick existence of which marks an impression, and is clearly and distinctly audible. The vocals range from grunts to growls (backing vocals). I have more preference over those sadistic low growls here, but the lead vocal is pretty interesting as well, that also contain screams to occasional squeals. Prabin has notably changed his style quite a bit compared to his days with Arachnids, which I take as a positive note.

In nutshell, this is some creative brutality, with lots of ideas being put up within. One may notice a slight shift of the songwriting style that varies between songs in the first half and the relatively newer songs in the second – the newer songs being shorter and more… ‘fun’! “Binaashkaari” doesn’t attempt to do anything new but they’ve fairly put forward a warm demonstration of their style of death metal with the groove, the fun particles and unrelenting brutality and catchiness, still pertaining to the members’ raw influences. Regardless of its cliched (yet raw) album art, some vicious music is in display, but it would have been more striking and have added much crisp if it was wrapped and presented with a bit better sound. Although a generic contender in the global death metal circle, it’s still quite a remarkable album of this style from the subcontinent, and which doesn’t apply programmed drums.

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SARV is Kalodin’s second offering after their debut “The Bestial Ritualism of Harlotry” two years ago, and as Davin Shakya, the band’s guitarist has put it, the band’s first real debut after their experimental full-length. And it sounds. Kalodin have been more straightforward this time, stretching their affiliations with the assigned black metal moniker, while experimenting with Hindu themes in superficial levels. Their sound has turned pretty darker and colder now, consequently.

There are plenty of black metal standard tremolo riffs that are neatly crafted, alongside the groovy interruptions, which in alliance have created decent transitions providing a flow. While Kalodin’s past compositions had rather centered on symphonic components than brutality, the two facets are in harmony here. Moreover, guitars have the ability to stand on their own creating an ambience without the aid of the keys. Davin’s Alexi Laiho influenced lead solos add additional flavors to it. And while the DimmuBorgir orchestral influences are still imminent, the keyboard has also been utilized to penetrate the style of Emperor in brutal segments. The significance of keys seems to be lesser than in their last record though. In general, Kalodin have dealt with a more straightforward black metal sound with these formulae, demonstrating an amalgam of old-school and modern ingredients, while the production has helped it incline towards a primitive black metal approach.

I was expecting the EP to embrace Hinduism theme exclusively, because of the album title, the cover art and the pre-release news of addition of sitar in the EP. But contrary to what I was anticipating, Hinduism marks its entrance in the latter half of the final track “Trishula” alone, with the inclusion of the harmonious sitar and a ritualistic hymn. This is where the eastern scales are introduced, with the ending part sounding as a symphonic black metal equivalent of Singaporean Rudra. And since I took it as just experimentation on what the band’s newer sound could be like, I welcome this step in their upcoming releases as well.

There are three vocalists in the record. The lead vocals is done by the man Davin himself, displaying his chaotic and hateful high-pitched screams, which sound akin to that of Shagrath of Dimmu Borgir. Similarly, Sanjay Maharjan and Pranav Panthi have provided additional punches and growls. The drumming by Gobinda Sen is quite solid as well. I like how the drums sound in the mix.

All in all, this is a commendable record – fast, furious, melodic and dark. The tracks seem to have been ordered in accordance to increasing splendor, the opener track “Fallen Empire” being quite weaker compared to what it is followed by, while the ending track “Trishula” being the one standing out, perhaps because of its differing theme and songwriting method. The EP runs nearly 20 minutes, and if Kalodin persist on what they’ve done in “Trishula”, they got plenty of new and interesting sounds to bestow the listeners.

I, for one, am pleased for now.

 

NAPALM DEATH Live in Nepal

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

The English grindcore legends Napalm Death will be playing a show in Kathmandu, headlining the Metal Mayhem IV gig on March 17.

OH. MY. GOD!!!

The venue is the same Jawalakhel Ground in Lalitpur, where Vader had played last year.

My dear friend Hassan Umer from Pakistan has assembled some awesome hardcore/sludge/grind/metal tracks by bands from throughout south Asia and beyond, and has released this compilation called “Rebellious Damnation Theories”. It’s just an online released (released Oct 28), you can download it via HERE.

[Track List]:

01. Jugaa – “Vultures Will Feed”
02. Bonecrushing Unity – “Open Your Eyes”
03. Sangharsha – “Insaniyaat”
04. Moron Crew – “Unity”
05. Foreskin – “Anger Management”
06. Pataca – “You are Dead to Me”
07. Dementia – “Sworn Annihilation”
08. Tormentstorm – “Slaughtered for Pleasure”
09. Nuclear Winter – Thrasher’s Cult
10. Herodah – “Hivemind”
11. Mysosis – “The Uncaring Strokes of the Master”
12. Bvlghvm – “LPC”
13. Bruxism – “Absolute Control”
14. Abusive Father – “The Epic as Fuck Tale About How Some Random Paki Dude on the Internet Asked Us to Do a Track for This Compilation”
15. Chillar Killer – “Bari Gal Kiti, La Lao Littar”
16. Ha5h on Death Drive – “Mango Juice”
17. Masturbate – “Methods of Ejaculation”
18. Gorified – “Obliteration Quandary”
19. Multinational Corporations – “Inhumanization”
20. Unholy Sermon – “Genocide Nations”
21. Necroticon – “Necrotic Truth”
22. Sledgehammer Autopsy – “The Cosmic Horror”
23. Death Inquisition – “Death Comes Ripping” (Live Misfits Cover)
24. Takatak – “Giant Song” (Live)
25. Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles – “Fuck Off Metalheads!” (Live)

The facebook event page for some more information if you wish…