Posts Tagged ‘Melodic Black Metal’

[This interview was originally taken for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09. Caught these guys up in their great practice space at Sanepa. This is not the full version of the interview.]

Hello guys, what’s up with the band lately?

We’re currently working for our sixth studio album. We’ve added a new bassist, Kundan Shrestha (ex-Wings of Spasm) and our former bassist Bhaskar will now be the second guitarist for the band.

A new album? Could you enlighten us a bit about this?

Yes, we have started working on it. We’ve just finished composing one song, which we’ll be playing in the forthcoming gigs. Musically, we’re up to some straightforward black metal this time, with a bit of funeral doom influences. There won’t be any death/grind elements as in our last album “Putrefaction Eternity”, but you could observe some raw black metal and brutal black metal influences within. This will be some primitive, cold and depressive black metal, to speak.

Any concept the album will embrace?

As said above, this time our lyrical theme will revolve around the depressive side, the melancholy of life, built in with dark fantasy.

So when do you think will it be out?

We’re not in hurry for that. This time, we’ll do the thing slowly and steadily. We’ll attempt to achieve the best quality music no matter how long it’ll take. We’re just in the songwriting process and there is no any rush at the moment.

You guys had recently played in Deccan Rock, Hyderabad in your first ever performance in India, which was headlined by Decapitated. How did the tour go? What was your anticipation before the tour, the actual gig and the responses?

Well, it wasn’t any minor thing for us. The anticipation was really huge for all of us. It was an honor to play alongside one of our favorite bands, Decapitated, whom we are following since their debut release. The crowd was a little thinner than what we had expected, about 500 (in the first day), but the gig went awesome, and it was one of the best performances we’ve ever given. After our set, we were stunned with the reaction of people. Those weren’t just “you guys were pretty good” responses, but “man! you guys surprised me, I didn’t know good metal bands existed in Nepal” sort of responses. Obviously, there was a bit of underestimation from the crowd before, thinking that we’re from Nepal. But later, they were literally shocked through our performance, and we were shocked through their reviews. Gaining “the best band of the day” title (in some review) is obviously a huge thing for us. A great appreciation was there for our drummer Surya and guitarist Pankaj, who had better stage presence than rest of us (haha).

After the gig, we could also converse with the guys of Funeral in Heaven (Sri Lanka) and Violent Eve (Spain). They were really cool guys and we have become good friends with Funeral in Heaven.

About the upshot of the gig, I guess it could be an opening of the door for other local bands to the international metal arena. We’ve given them a hint that we have a decent metal underground here and it could be good for our local scene as a whole. So overall, it was a tremendous achievement.

Also, few promoters in India have shared their desire to invite us there, in cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, so hopefully, we’ll be playing there soon. Also, we might be playing in Sri Lanka as well, with the help of our friends in Funeral in Heaven, and we will also be trying to bring them here in Nepal.

Having released five albums, you have a lot of song options to select for a gig. How do you normally select songs?

Well, it’s all in random. There’s no such criterion at all. But sometimes the wish of crowd would drive us pick few songs as “Forever Winter”, “300” and “Infected” which have always been the local crowd favorites.

What was your set-list in Deccan Rock like?

In order, “Pashu Samrajya”, “With Vengeance I Bleed”, “The Ruin of Immortals”, “Winter Blossom ov Ceremonial Grief” and “300”.

So what are the upcoming performance dates in your diary?

The three confirmed are KtmROCKS Black Tour, Nepfest and Silence Festival, the latter one opening for the mighty Vader. Under the Black Tour, we’ll be playing in Pokhara, Dharan and Kathmandu, that’ll take place around Dashain/Tihar. After these concerts, we would probably stop focusing much on playing live for a while and concentrate on our next album.

Your last release “Putrefaction Eternity” had received some critical reviews from the listeners. What do you say?

Our last album was a total experimentation. We had brought together black metal, brutal death metal and grindcore elements all in one mixture. So there was a greater risk of disappointment for the listeners who would want some regular Antim Grahan stuff. It wasn’t purely black metal and it wasn’t purely brutal death metal either. So, with many listeners taking it as a total shocker album, most of the fans of the typical Grahan melodies/symphonies could be dissatisfied.

Nearly 23,000 likes in Facebook. Had you guys expected that you would have such a number of fans when you first started Antim Grahan?

First of all, we hadn’t even expected that there would be something called Facebook, haha. And no, we seriously hadn’t expected this at all, since we were formed just as a college band for the sake having fun without much seriousness (in the beginning that is).

You’ve definitely come a long way observing a drastic change in the local underground. Any new band in scene that you really like?

Yes, there are a lot of excellent bands lately. One of them is Hatebook, who look really promising. Although not so new, we really like Binaash and their straightforward no-bullshit brutal death metal blended with some grind. Also, the black metal band Garudh, whose raw and primitive sounding music we like. And how can we forget Define Mental? Haha.

(I was interviewing there and Surya was playing keys and Niraj was with a guitar so…) You guys seem to be multi-instrumentalists, right? What instruments can each member play?

Parash (vocals): I can play drums.

Surya (drums): I also play guitar, madal, flute and keyboards.

Niraj (keyboards): Flute and guitar.

Pankaj (guitar): Well, I can growl and can also give some drum beats on pop songs, haha.

Bhaskar (guitar): I also play bass and drums.

Kundan (bass): Drums and guitar.

Alright, thank you very much for the interview, guys, and all the best for the upcoming album and the gigs.

– Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

(Originally reviewed for KtmROCKS)

Those of you who aren’t aware, Misanthropia is a Dutch melodic black metal band that features drummer Sarban Grimminck, who had thrashed the Kathmandu metal scene in the late 90s with the band Dead Soul. I was thrilled to learn that the band had recently opened for Mayhem. They have also played in Hellfest, France, one of the bigger metal festivals in Europe.

“Slang Des Doods”, meaning Snake of Death, is Misanthropia’s second full length studio release after their 2006 album “Rise of Necropolis”. The debut was a testimony bold enough to garner worldwide attention, and I couldn’t discern much of the divergence between the two albums, but can sense that the variations enclosed within each song have just increased this time; hence the progressive tendency in the flow of music is up as well.

The sound of Misanthropia could be said to go along the vein of early Dimmu Borgir and I could also catch some faint Bal-Sagoth and Amorphis feels at times. You could have guessed it already – the keyboards are a fundamental element of Misanthropia’s music, which forms a backbone to and outlines the general sound. They range from plain organs to extreme orchestral string ensembles, binding the gloomy yet epic ambiance. The keys seem to be the major focused instrument here and the guitars are just there to aid it, it appears. But the arrangement seems welcoming and well portrayed, regardless that couple of points with abrupt shifts of direction sounded sloppy to me.

The guitar riffs tend to have originated from death, melodeath, traditional heavy and epic/power metal grounds as well, apart from the labeled black metal. I could also hear some later Cradle of Filth in it. To say, this band was formed from the ashes of Throned by Tyranny, a gothic metal project, but here’s no any bothersome Dani Filth, double bass rolls switching up to one-two beats and power chords that are of hold ‘em down and move ‘em around mode.

The songs mainly center at the melody and mood of the music rather than brutality or technical lines, which is mostly a nice thing. “The Light Bringers” is in fact some sort of slow ballad, in a Dimmu Borgir styled ‘romantic’ symphonic metal fashion. At times, I was questioning if the band name went along with the nature of the songs, but fuck that already; the lyrics are sadistic.

Bram Koller’s vocals are remarkable as well. Although he has released some generic black metal screams and the vocals do not range much apart, they are still enough to keep up the fires. The production is clean and superb, and this catches no old school dirty grimness to hide half of the notes played, though I’ve become sort of a fan of the dirtiness in recent times. The band had got around with Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, et al) who mixed and mastered the album.

The closer track “Tremolo Funeral” is an interesting one, as the band goes acoustic this time, and thus ends forty minutes of “Slang Des Doods”, which is a slow to mid tempo melodic black metal, and even though this variety of genre can hardly strike me enough, I think this one’s a commendable effort by the band nonetheless, who have disclosed a brilliant level of musicianship and much greater potentials.

7.5/10

…and yet again, I’m chuckling at the cover art 🙂

– Samyam Shrestha