Posts Tagged ‘Binaash’

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.

This review is not available. Go listen to your cunnin’ metalcore bands that I love to bash. So that I could take a chillful nap. Wake me after the ’12 apocalypse or something, ya’ll. Cheers!

Bands: Hatebook, Jugaa, Binaash
Venue: Aussie Bar (Old G’s Terrace), Thamel
Ticket: Rs. 100

[Photos: Umes Shrestha (KtmROCKS)]

March 12. The weekend had two metal gigs in Kathmandu. First, “Deification of the Saboteur II” that featured some relatively newer bands from the city. And the other – this DIY show with such an awesome title. The decision was easy. And the reason too. Could I be eating a ‘kera’ not being there anyway?

Firstly, it was a super-rare Jugaa concert, who had played two gigs in last three years, and I hadn’t seen them live a single time. Secondly, the other two performing bands were Binaash and Hatebook, both executing ‘my’ kind of music – brutal death metal. Thus, I couldn’t miss this infrequent chance of seeing three of my favorites up on same stage.

Well, to start with, the name itself is an epic win – simple, amusing and to-the-point. The gig was scheduled to commence at 3 PM (3:27 perhaps) but as usual, it was pushed to 5 or something. More or less about a hundred people gathered, and the (mini) hall setup was loose enough that there was no barricade between the bands and the crowd. In a sense, there was no stage at all.

With an immense amount of time consumption, Hatebook were on their gears. For me, they had become a band to watch out for, as they are among the very few groups who play death metal here, in comparison to the mushrooming metalcore devotees. They had recently won the Nepfest All-Nation Music Competition and I was already looking forward to catch them up this time too.

Couple of originals and two covers of “Sphere of Madness” (Decapitated) and “Unleashing the Bloodthirsty” (Cannibal Corpse) were what they had to offer. Navin Pokharel is really growing as one of my favorite vocalists in the scene and he was lively as always – liberating low death growls that perhaps go in the league of The Faceless, fused with some animalistic pig squeals. And about the instrumentations, I could actually feel the technicality in riffing, by figuring out the guitarists’ fingerings. A mixture of old school and technical death metal is their arena.

All in all, they had a decent set that I won’t consider their best but they had pulled it well nonetheless. By the way, it was in their final song when the bass drum was cracked and that had brought another one hour of void.

The delay kept me and my friend converse with an Israeli metalhead who had come upstairs just by hearing the noise from outside. Talked about trekking, Orphaned Land, beers, prices, Abed, Ides of March gig, Jugaa, the army training, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, the Greenday songs on speaker, Iran and couple of other stuffs.

So… After a long wait for another bass drum to arrive and after a super-duper wait of seeing Jugaa live, the band were finally on their set. I have been a fan of Jugaa for quite a long time now. The split and the two EPs – they are probably the only Nepali hardcore band I absolutely dig (may be the only hardcore band in the world I absolutely dig). So without much ado, they totally began slaying. About half a dozen songs from their two EPs and the pit went wet and wild as fuck. The band members were real fun guys – kicking each other at instances and making a joke or two in between, making the ambience all good. Ranav was doing vocals and moshing with the crowd at the same time and that was a moment to behold. That guy is a MONSTER. Overall, great stage persona, hardcore for life, true till death, explosive set.

The last band to play was Binaash – the local death metal powerhouse, initially formed by the ex-members of Ugra Karma, Arachnids, 72 Hrs and Naramurti. It was noticeable why they have this self-named genre of ‘ramailo death metal’. Warm interaction with audiences and cracking jokes here and there is the typical Binaash style, and this time was no different. An even sadistic mosh arose and they did about six (or seven or so) originals.

Another grand stage presence, another set of powerful vocals, the super-aggressive hardcore mosh in the crowd, the brutal semi-technical death metal riffs, super-fast blast beats and a super-talented bassist – that’s Binaash’s death metal. Now all I am waiting for is their upcoming studio full length so that I could scare off some metalcore kids at my backyard.

That was the gig. Awesome day. Awesome evening. Fun was had by all. Hope to catch these guys soon.

– Samyam Shrestha