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ALBUM PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: Greek Death Metal Band Ectoplasma

Ectoplasma- Cavern of Foul Unbeings

Memento Mori had a pretty packed year in 2017, releasing a considerable amount of quality death metal from all around the world.  The label isn’t slowing down at all this year, as they’re putting out three albums today that are sure to catch your attention if you’re a fan of anything death metal related.  One of these is the sophomore effort from Greece’s Ectoplasma, ‘Cavern of Foul Unbeings’ which comes two years after the group’s full length debut and ‘Skeletal Lifeforms EP’.  Fans of murky, horror influenced death metal will want to take note as this album has some killer writing, and today we’re premiering the entire release so you can hear for yourself.

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EP PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Indian Heavy Metal band Knight

Knight are a heavy metal band from Silchar, Assam. The duo of vocalist/guitarist Shibam Talukdar and bassist Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan have been working on their EP High on Voodoo for quite some time now and it is going to be released next week via new label Slaytanic Records. We’ve got an exclusive stream to it below.

I spoke to vocalist/guitarist Shibam Talukdar about their influences, their soon to be released EP and plans for the coming year below

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Hi Shibam, you have been working on your EP High on Voodoo for some time now. How does it feel now that it is releasing soon?

Hi, Peter. Thanks for the interview. Yeah, the release of High on Voodoo has been on hold for quite some time now. It feels great to know that the EP will finally see the light of the day. I’m pretty excited about the release since it is the debut offering by my band.

TO: Why did you decide to start a heavy/power metal band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?

I have been a fan of heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept, Running Wild, etc. for a long time and I think heavy metal as a genre appeals more to me than any other form of music. Around 2013, I was listening to a lot of NWOTHM bands like Skull Fist, Enforcer, Cauldron, etc. That’s when I decided to form a traditional heavy metal band. As clichéd as it may sound, I wanted to keep the spirit of heavy metal alive, and that was the sole motivation behind the formation of Knight.

A number of NWOTHM bands have formed over the past decade or so, and I think I can connect to the movement because these bands are trying to play music true to the roots of old school metal. I cannot go back in time to the glory days of heavy metal when steel and thunder reigned supreme, but this movement, for me, is the next best thing because it is happening right now – at this moment. I can follow releases, read interviews, and watch shows by my favourite bands in real time. It feels like I am, somehow, a part of the entire movement, and that’s an awesome feeling.

TO: As you are a duo, what is the writing process you follow?

I write all of the music and the lyrics. Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan helps in arranging the songs.

TO: The first single from your High on Voodoo EP, The Ventriloquist is reminisce of the NWOBHM sound. Do tell us more about the EP.

Thank you. The EP consists of four tracks which are in the same vein. All the four tracks deliver unrelenting traditional heavy metal assault from start to finish. The EP was written and recorded around two and a half years back, but its release was stalled for a long period of time. Thanks to Brijraj Agarwal, the EP is finally getting a proper release via Slaytanic Records. So far, the response has been phenomenal and I am really grateful for that.

TO: The EP was produced by Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

The best part about producing it ourselves is that we had total control over the sound. We wanted the EP to sound like it was straight out of the 80’s and I think we could achieve the sound we were looking for. However, since the EP was recorded around two and a half years back, there may be a few issues here and there. Rest assured, the next release, which will be a full-length, will have better production as we have better equipment in the studio right now.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

I like to listen to different genres of music. I don’t curate a list of albums for a month or week. I just listen to whatever I feel like at a particular point of time. Currently, I’m discovering some of this year’s retrowave releases along with listening to some heavy rock and proto-metal.

I draw inspiration from anything that sounds good to my ears. Like I said, while I was writing the EP, I was listening to a lot of NWOTHM and I still do. The greats like Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, Scorpions, etc. are sources of endless inspiration for me. Newer bands like Black Magic, Eternal Champion, Black Trip (now VOJD) have also influenced me a lot which will probably show in the full-length.

TO: What are your plans for the coming year? Do you have any shows/tour planned in support of the EP?

I have already started working on a full-length and hopefully will wrap up the entire process by the end of next year. As of now, we are only two people in Knight. As soon as we have a full line-up ready, we’ll start touring.

TO: Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have any final words?

It was my pleasure. I would like to say that people should do what they love doing, without harming others. I believe heavy metal is a sanctuary for many people from the crummy things in life. For others, it is a source of strength to stand against any problem life throws at them, and flip the bird to it. I am not saying that people should support all the artists they come to learn about, but if one comes across an artist who truly inspires them or adds meaning to their life; it’s only fair that they support them in whatever way they can.

Also, our debut EP is releasing on the 25th of December, 2017. If you like traditional heavy metal, you may want to give it a listen, and I hope you will dig the music.

 

To order a copy of the EP on cd email: slaytanicrecords@gmail.com

Knight Facebook

Slaytanic Records Facebook
 

 

SONG PREMIERE + INTERVIEW: Indian Crust/Hardcore Band False Flag

False Flag are crust/hardcore band from Pune, India. The band are one of the the few current independent metal/punk bands releasing politically inspired music in India.The others being Heathen Beast and Chaos.

We are glad to premiere Spectrum Disorder, the first track from their self titled EP. The track is reflective of the current political environment in India which can be summed up with the lyric, “As many opinions as many Assholes”. 

Find out more about origins of the band, theirs soon to be released EP and the unique cover art in my interview with guitarists Rohit Chaoji and Shaunak Phadnis below.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): For those who are not familiar with the band, could you briefly tell us about your origins?

False Flag (Rohit): Few years ago, Shaunak,Prathamesh and I started jamming randomly to on-the-spot improvised grindcore.  We abandoned the idea for the band mid-way, partly because we shifted our focus to a death metal project that never materialized and also because it was uninspired. However the inspiration came during Bangalore Open Air 2015,when a part of the would-be band witnessed Napalm Death live. Thus, False Flag was formed with Pushkar, Prathamesh, Shaunak and I as the first lineup.

TO: Why did you decide to start a crust/hardcore band? What about the sub genre appeals to you?

False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): To be honest, hardcore/crust is very stripped-down, no bullshit, honest music to me. We appreciate things that don’t have a pretense. I remember thinking around that time why there aren’t ANY crust punk bands around when the climate was ideal for it. I still don’t understand why but i guess subconsciously that led (at least me) to this.but also we were listening to a lot of Negative approach, anti-cimex, skitsystem & rakkaus at that time and ended up wanting to make songs like those bands. the songs fell in place quite fast and easily haha. The napalm death gig was a MAJOR catalyst as well. Sonically, this sound can be blended with almost every form extreme music. its fascinating. there is A LOT of scope to experiment i think since a very bare-bones stripped down crust punk song is very simple in structure etc.

TO: Your Self titled EP is quite political especially the track Spectrum Disorder. What is the inspiration behind it?

False Flag (Shaunak): Yes, This song was a response in the aftermath of the JNU incident so its more anti-right i guess. FTII,JNU,HCU,JU,Ramjas. it just seems like one or the other kind of smear campaign from either end. also,repeatedly calling a certain something fascist does not gain you any traction at all. that much should be obvious. It seems as if the  function of an ideology is to choose which “facts” should matter & justifying oppression of certain values/speech,violence of certain kind. especially the latter part does not help establishing any communication or successful dialogue at all. you can’t talk censorship and close down screenings of films in theatres or college campuses. You can’t claim to be tolerant and shut down someone because they criticized you. Also,its just fucking frustrating when we are too caught up in calling out people as bhakt/libtard/presstitute/anti-national/sanghi/fascist. like, to what end are we doing the things that we are doing? I don’t care if you are right or left, or what the state is; a strong and vehement critique of the state should always be established.      

TO: The cover artwork by jonty paul is quite unique. Tell us a bit more about it.

False Flag (Shaunak): haha yes. so, jonty likes to design hypothetical album covers. I have no  idea how he comes up those things but i have seen him do it. He sent this image to me one day randomly(he hadn’t even heard the songs or any demos) and it just made complete sense. We did not want to go for usual high contrast black & white aesthetic in the first place. This gritty/dark style

just fell in place with the overall mood of the songs. it resonates quite well with it. In my imagination, The Album art reflects with the second song on the EP “sisyphus’ lament”. In some sense the image is the depiction of the words of the song.

TO: Do you have any shows planned in the coming year?

False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): We don’t have any shows planned as such yet. but we would LOVE to play as many shows as we can. actually, It would be GREAT to play a gig in bengaluru(*hint hint b’lore friends haha*)

TO: Thanks for answering all the questions. Do you have any final words?

False Flag (Shaunak/Rohit): Thank you for doing this interview with us! to everyone reading this i am sure you’ll enjoy this small piece of emotive hardcore/crust music we put out! Please listen to it and read the words. We would love to hear your thoughts/ideas/stories and be inspired from them! Cheers!

False Flag’s self titled EP is out on 25th December. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more details.

INTERVIEW: French Death Metal band Benighted

In the past year, foreign bands have started touring across India not only playing one off shows. The first was Australian technical death metal band Psycroptic and this weekend French death metal band Benighted will embark on a tour across the country.

Benighted are one of the well known metal bands from France. The band have released 7 albums over the past 2 decades. Earlier this year, they released a concept album, Necrobreed through Season of Mist. The album continues in the death metal vein of their previous albums and is a ferocious listen. 

I spoke to vocalist Julien Truchan about Necrobreed, their tour of India and also their upcoming plans.

 

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band first started out. How does it feel looking back?

Benighted (Julien): It’s a huge pride for me that we went so far with what was just a funny project with friends rehearsing in my father’s garage at the beginning. We have now the opportunity to tour around the whole world, meet always more people and share our music on stage with a bigger mass, which is absolutely awesome! We have recorded 8 albums, toured with so many great bands that I admired so much when I was a teenager and that now became friends… I really live a dream with Benighted and we will continue to go farer in our music to give all people who support us what they deserve and unleash our rage on stage during the tours.

TO: You are performing in India for the first time. How did the tour come about?

Benighted: Yes, and I am so excited about that! Actually our manager got contacted by an Indian booker who appeared to be very motivated to organize this tour, which seemed to be a huge thing to settle because a lot of offers from local bookers when he announced we will tour Asia. He had to make choices and already think about a second tour next time to play in the countries we can’t for this one. That’s how was born the Necrobreed indian:Asian Tour.

TO: You are the only member from the original line up. What has kept you going despite all the lineup changes?

Benighted: Yes, I am. And trust me; it costs a lot of energy to assume all the line-up changes. But Benighted is in my blood and I can’t give up on it just because of fatigue or too many changes in the band. The passion still burns in me and I will give everything I have in my guts to keep this machine going on. Being on stage is such a unique sensation and our first purpose is to share the energy we have with the crowd.

TO: Necrobreed, your 8th full length album is a ferocious listen. Tell us a bit more about the album?

Benighted: Yes, it was out in February this year and it received and amazing welcome from everywhere. This album is actually the most vicious and brutal offering we ever made, it’s exactly like a horror movie that you watch with your ears. I work as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital in “normal life”, and all the lyrics and concepts in our albums come from my professional experience. For Necrobreed, it’s about a schizophrenic man who wants to build his own-family with dead animals he finds on the side of the road. Once at home, he stitches them to his belly to simulate like an “extra-abdominal” pregnancy, and once the infection gets his tissues, he feels like the animal is alive again so he cuts the stitches off and give him birth. The concept fits perfectly with the very insane parts of the music that you will find between very brutal and fast ones and breakdowns which are perfect to break your neck on it! Ah ha!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Benighted: I discovered recently the German band Der Weg Einer Freiheit which inspired me a lot of emotions listening to their music, and those guys are amazing musicians and such great dudes, I love them! Concerning my personal influences, the bands that inspire me the most are for sure Napalm Death, Dying Fetus, Aborted, Anaal Nathrakh and Shining.

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of death metal?

Benighted: You can find now so many good bands from every country, it’s amazing! Each time I play at some festivals, I discover new ones with a very personal and effective way to play death metal! My crush recently would go to the Swedish band Cut Up whose music is so effective with this typical Swedish sound!

TO: Do you have any shows/tour planned next year?

Benighted: Absolutely, we will play the legendary 70 000 Tons of Metal on the big boat in February, then lots of festivals like mighty Obscene Extreme (Czech Rep), Party San (Germany). Also a US tour in July, and a European one in autumn 2018 with one of my favorite bands that will be announced soon…

TO: What has been your favourite city/venue to perform in so far?

Benighted: I always love to play in Paris in France, and also Tilburg in Netherlands. But there are too many I love to play every time to tell them all.

TO: What are you looking forward to at your shows in India?

Benighted: I am very very impatient to see how crazy the crowds can be in India, I only heard great stuff about metal fans here and I can’t wait to be on stage and also meet our fans here, it will be fantastic!

TO: Do you have any pre show rituals?

Benighted: Actually I don’t, we just talk a bit between us and I try every vocal style for fun with one of my guitarists, it’s a joke between us! Ah ah! He counts until five and I try each of my vocal styles.

TO: What can fans expect from your set?

Benighted: They can wait for a huge blast of energy and savagery on stage. Stage is the place where we express ourselves the best, we move a lot and we love to share this with the crowd! For example, I try to make people scream with me the chorus, etc. Our gigs are like a huge party where the crowd reactions are as important as the band on stage!

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Benighted: Thank you very much for this interview, we live in 2 days now and I can’t wait to discover your country, culture and what metal is made of in India! It will be unforgettable for sure! Stay sick!

Check out all the dates of Benighted’s India tour below

 

REVIEW + INTERVIEW: Japanese Post Hardcore/Metal Band heaven in her arms

heaven in her arms- White Halo

Japan’s heaven in her arms has been together for close to twelve years now, but depending on where you live you may not have come across them before.  While they’ve had regular distribution in their home country and Europe, North American listeners have been limited to imports.  That’s changed with this year’s full length ‘White Halo’, which following releases by Daymare Recordings, Moment of Collapse Records, and Dog Knights Productions has been given official U.S. distribution courtesy of Translation Loss Records.  Whether you’ve been a fan since early on or are discovering heaven in her arms for the first time, the group’s take on older screamo, post hardcore, and metal impresses throughout.

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ALBUM PREMIERE+INTERVIEW: Greek Death Metal Band Pile of Excrements

Pile of Excrements- Escatology

Memento Mori’s already had a standout year with killer releases from Ruin, Soulrot, and Ekpyrosis (to name a few), but they’ve still got some more quality death metal to unleash upon listeners as we approach the end of 2017. This includes the debut full length from Greece’s Pile of Excrements, ‘Escatology’.  For the type of filthy, sleazy death metal that these guys play I couldn’t think of a better band name, and while you might come in expecting third-rate death metal or low budget goregrind there’s a considerable amount of substance and hooks underneath the grime.  ‘Escatology’ is the type of death metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously (as evidenced by song titles like Cult of the Unibrow and Buttfucked by Giant Cockroach) but brings plenty of killer riffs and a ton of energy to the table.  With the release date of October 23rd a little under a week away, today we’re pleased to bring you a full stream of the record.

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INTERVIEW: Nepali Hardcore/Crust band Neck Deep in Filth

Nepali hardcore/crust band Neck deep in Filth features members from bands like Jugaa, Squirtguns & Asphyxiate. The band have released an politically driven EP, the cover art depicts a member of a minority community surrounded by bullets and the Nepali flag. Over multiple listens, the EP has become one of my favourite grindcore releases from the region.

I spoke to Vishal Rai about the origins of the band, their self titled EP and also the metal scene in Nepal.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): You recently released your self-titled EP at a show called The Pit. How did it go?

Neck deep in Filth (Vishal Rai): It went great. The Pit was put on by our old friends in Ugra Karma at the best venue in town, so it was excellent. They have air conditioning! Sold more merch and CDs than we thought we would too haha

TO: You have all been in bands previously like Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles, Jugaa, Squirtguns and Asphyxiate. How did you decide to form a band together?

NDIF: Well, we all shared a practice space that our bassist ran at one time, and with the underground being so small, we’ve known each other for awhile.

I’ve played guitar in all of my bands so this time I wanted to try my hand at vocals. All I wanted was to start a fast, raging hardcore band. Sushil, our bassist, was down. He and I have been playing in bands together since 2002. As for guitars, I knew “Straight Edge” Sandesh would deliver what we wanted. He also plays in Squirt Guns, which is probably my favorite Nepali punk band. Sandesh delivered a bit more than what I was looking for though thanks to his crust influences haha He brought in a melodic aspect to our music too, which I’m totally fine with now. We later got Sanjay a.k.a. Jeson to join. He comes from a death metal background but he fit in perfectly.

TO: How did you get into this style of music?

NDIF: I got into metal in the early/mid 90s, the regular Metallica/Slayer stuff. The Indian magazine Rock Street Journal had a huge part in shaping my early musical tastes. RSJ was the only music mag worth reading in the pre-Internet era in this region. Then, in 1996/97, I heard Rancid’s “…And Out Come The Wolves” and dove headfirst into punk. Formed my first punk band in 2001, started getting into heavier hardcore around that time, played in a few more bands, and here I am today, 35 and more into this music than ever.

TO: Reading through your lyrics sheet, it is clear that the EP is inspired by the current political situation in Nepal. Tell us a bit more about it.

NDIF: Where do I even start? Over the years, hateful, jingoistic ultranationalism has become more and more common. Then there are the privileged who are committed to maintaining the status quo, people who keep downplaying the legitimate demands of minorities. There’s the bigotry that’s on constant display. There’s the sexism and the complete lack of equal rights. And, of course, there’s the corruption.

If nothing else, it’s cathartic just screaming about the issues that piss me off.

TO: What was the recording process for the EP? Where was it recorded?

NDIF: All of it was done at our main practice space at Mr Music and another rehearsal room called Advent. We didn’t have the need to enter a proper studio. Our bassist Sushil has gotten pretty good at recording bands. He recorded my old band Childwife’s EP as well as Squirt Guns’ full length, and his work on both was great. I realized I had underestimated him all these years haha turns out 25 years of constant weed smoking hadn’t messed him up that bad yet. So yes, it was natural and, more importantly, cheap just letting him record us.

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

NDIF: I wouldn’t say I’ve been inspired by anyone, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Kesha, Lana Del Rey, Nicole Dollanganger, the new Incendiary, Power Trip, All Out War, Propagandhi, and Integrity albums, along with Beast Jesus, Veils, and Barred from the Philippines, as well as this great Indonesian band called Children Of Terror.

TO: Nepal has quite a few upcoming bands. What are the bands that readers should check out?

NDIF: Nepal has a bunch of great bands these days. However, I’ll limit my recommendations to those that have at least an EP out.

Strangle – Straightforward hardcore with crossover influences. Great band! strangle1.bandcamp.com

Nude Terror – Possibly the best grindcore band in the subcontinent. Amazing live. nudeterrornepal.bandcamp.com

Disorder – Old school thrashers will love them

Rog – Intense powerviolence from Pokhara – https://grindviolencerog.bandcamp.com/

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any more shows or a tour planned?

NDIF: Yep, we’ll definitely play more shows this year. Then, in early 2018, we’re dropping a split with a friend’s band.

TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

NDIF: Thank you for the questions. Visit neckdeepinfilth.bandcamp.com and buy our EP.

INTERVIEW: Canadian Grindcore legends Mesrine

Mesrine are a legendary Canadian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore. 

Find out more about Source of Hatred, the metal scene in Québec and more in my interview with Fred and Seb below.

Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): It has been 20 years since the band started. How does it feel looking back?

Mesrine (Fred): yes, already 20 years, time goes on…When we begin Mesrine it was first all for fun by keeping it simple and efficient, 20 years later, it’s still the same deal haha! We are still making short songs with 2 riffs and 3 chords! On theses days we are a little less active than the previous years, we all have day jobs and 2 members are now dads (I’ve got a son and Steve just got twins 2 months ago!). I think we can continue a few years with our new lineup (which is stronger than ever)

TO: How did the band get started & how did you get into this style of music?

Mesrine (Fred): It started with Dan asking me you have a guitar and an amp??? you don’t need to know how to play, you just need the biggest string and 3 notes it’s enough! So Dan dusted off his old drum kit and started blasting and mincing! Mesrine’s first name was Bean (in honour of Mr Bean) but we weren’t completely satisfied… Since we have both a fascination about criminals and serial killers we though having a name more in that range would be more appropriate so we switched to Mesrine, we thought (and still think) that name is killer.

TO: You latest album, Source of Hatred is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. Tell us more about the album.

Mesrine (Seb): Thanx, we are really happy how the album went out! Our guitar player Jack recorded, mixed and mastered it. We don’t have that much things to tell him about any of those things, he knows what he’s doing ! haha Another thing that’s great about this album is that it’s our first release who will be out in all 3 physical format (CD on PRC Music, Vinyl and cassette on D7i and Doomsday Machine Records)

TO: It’s been 6 years between the album and your previous full length,Obsessive Compulsive. What was the songwriting process for the album?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, the band had a few lineup changes, Jack went from being the bass player to a second guitar player, so they ask Decalisse (ex G.O.D/Fuck the facts) to join the band to complete the lineup. After the last Euro tour and recording e.p’s he left for various reasons and to start a new band, so Mesrine asked Crocko to come back in the band. The writing process for the album begun, Crocko left, so I joined the band and we continue writing the album. Sometimes Fred came in with a riff and we work on it, and most of the time we find riffs ‘’on the spot’’.

TO: You share a couple of members with fellow grinders Fistfuck. How do they manage between both bands?

Mesrine (Seb): Steve and I play in both bands, it’s quite easy since both bands are not that much active, we play 2 or 3 shows a year, jamming almost every 2 weeks, so on my side, I have enough time to play in various other bands hahaha

TO: You have worked with a few record labels. What do you think are the role of a record label in this digital age?

Mesrine (Seb): I run a label (D7i Records) since the last 12 years, a label is very important for indie underground bands, yeah we can listen to everything when we can now, but there is still people who likes physical formats, and underground labels can help distribute, sell and helping bands to get a little more known everywhere else. I am still trading stuff, so people from Quebec can get 7’’ of European bands at a cheaper price than ordering from the internet (postage feeds are killing us lately) !

TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of grindcore?

Mesrine (Seb): I think grindcore is doing great, When you meet bands from anywhere it’s like you’ve been friends for years. There are great new bands with the old school attitude. Grindcore will be healthy as long as Agathocles will release split e.p we are in business I guess! hahahah

TO: Québec has a well known extreme metal scene. Could you recommend a few bands that the readers should check out?

Mesrine (Seb): Well I can say Badass Commander (another band with me and Jack), it’s an old school death metal band! Non affiliate with Mesrine we got Saccage (labelmates from PRC), Mortlach, K.A.V, Nevrose. Outside of Quebec city we have deboned, Soil of Ignorance, Hard Charger and many more!

TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Mesrine (Seb): I know Dan would say the same fucking things I was listening back in the early 90’s haha, on my side, I always been into sludge and fuzzy bands and it’s what I listen the most. We are all into Old school stuff (death metal, thrash, crossover, heavy, doom) I think on Source of Hatred we can ear and feel the various influences of the band more than on previous releases.

Mesrine (Fred): Agathocles, Blood, Impetigo, Extreme noise terror, Johnny Cash, Confuse, Terveet Kadet, Carcass Grinder, Psycho, AC/DC, SOD ect…..

TO: What are your plans for this year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Mesrine (Seb): Well, we just played with D.R.I in our hometown, and played the Earslaughter in Montreal with Blood and a few more amazing bands. We are talking about doing a local show with our buddies in Fistfuck and another of our side projects haha. We have no plan concerning touring, ect in the near future.

TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?

Mesrine: Keep supporting everything that’s old school!

Mesrine

Interview with Dubai-based band KAIHON playing progressive metal

KAIHON from Dubai, UAE have put out a stunner. No one really expected an album of this calibre to pop out, let alone being of this ilk. Surprisingly forward-thinking and cutting-edge, KAIHON’s debut ‘Terraform’ is up for free download and streaming in its entirety. Guest interviewer Mebanaibor Aier Nengnong talks to the band in an attempt to reveal more information about how it all happened.

 

TO: Greetings fellas, congratulations on your debut EP ‘Terraform’. It is definitely an intriguing record with a variety of elements merged together. What was the most challenging part of it?

KAIHON: Thank you for the kind words! The most challenging part of the EP was trying to make a record that sounded interesting and fresh while trying to set the base for a sound that would define KAIHON. Plus the fact that we’re all working professionals really stretched out the recording process. Time can be your biggest enemy.

TO: It seems that the band isn’t afraid to experiment with a wide palette of sounds which is substantiated by the EP, but would you say that you’re more of an experimental metal band even though you’ve been termed as a progressive metal band?

KAIHON: We’re not sticking to any labels when it comes to our music. All the pigeon-holing of bands into genres and subgenres just makes the whole scene convoluted. We never really took up the progressive metal mantle, but if I had to classify our music, I’d call it Modern Metal.

It’s true that we do love to mix it up as far as writing music is concerned. Jude (Mascarenhas) is the main songwriter in the band, and his influences range from metal bands like CROWBAR and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD to more eccentric acts like FAITH NO MORE and LAZER/WULF.

TO: Correct me if I’m wrong but Pathological has influences from modern metalcore as well as groove metal, with a touch of just the right melodies. Is it safe to say it has become a fan-favourite?

KAIHON: Pathological has definitely been received well.  Metalcore really wasn’t the goal when the song was being written. If anything we were trying to channel a more straight-forward song that was anti-thesis to the chaotic nature of Awaken and D.T.A. People like something they can tap their foot along to. And Pathological was written keeping that in mind, while trying to keep the song memorable.

TO: Let’s talk about the EP as a whole. Can you please take us through the writing as well as the recording process? How long did it take?

KAIHON: The writing and recording process took a little over a year. Our jobs got in the way a fair bit, but with a lot of sleepless nights and pulling through the graveyard shift, the record was written and finally recorded sometime in 2016. We don’t really remember when though. Everything’s a blur of work, record, sleep, repeat.

TO: The EP has guest appearances from Keshav Dhar of SKYHARBOR and Shashank Bhatnagar of UNDYING INC. How was it like working with them?

KAIHON: Working with Keshav and Shashank was AMAZING. For being such stalwarts of the metal scene in India, they’re very supportive and it was a fun experience working with them! Keshav as a producer is a mad genius, as a guitar player it’s like watching a wizard. And watching Shashank record is an experience unto itself! WHAT A VOICE.

TO: What is the core concept of the EP? Can you explain the theme behind it?

KAIHON: The EP does have a pretty elaborate backstory. It involves parallel dimensions, a Planet-God, and a lot of old-school sci-fi elements that we drew from our childhood. Most people write songs that come from experiences and emotions. We wanted to step away from that and create a soundtrack to a story that we wanted to tell through our music.

TO: How difficult is it to self-release a debut album? What are the pros and cons?

KAIHON: Thanks to online distributors like Distrokid the whole online distribution part of the EP was pretty straightforward. However being a new band in a scene filled with amazing bands, it’s hard to get noticed. Thankfully, we have had the amazing fortune of having a few amazing people who’ve bought our album and the support we’ve received keeps us going.

TO: Can we expect KAIHON to perform live in the near future? Shuffling between two countries, India and Unites Arab Emirates, must be difficult but are there plans to hire session musicians to play live?

KAIHON: Well, with Lalit being in Dubai, it does make things a little tricky in terms of playing live shows. We’re playing Unscene Edition 7 live on 13th July with GODLESS and ANTAKRIT. For this gig, Lalit won’t be able to make it. Hence, we’re have Shashank Bhatnagar (UNDYING INC./SOUL INCLINATION) filling in for him.

TO: To KAIHON what comes first, the lyrics or music (Melody)?

KAIHON: Neither. The first thing that comes to mind is the theme of the song. For instance, Awaken was supposed to be about majesty. More specifically, a mountain emerging out of the ocean. It helps when you visualize things, it helps to add structure to what you want the song to end up sounding like.

TO: As a band, do you follow any ideology? If so, does that influence KAIHON lyrically and musically?

KAIHON: There is no ideology. The main thing that we keep in mind is that we’re not restricting ourselves to writing music that fits in A or Z. If it’s across the spectrum, then all the better.

TO: Surely you must have other hobbies besides writing and metal, what are those? What are your other expertise besides music?

KAIHON: No, we’re all pretty much losers stuck in our bedrooms.

Just kidding. We do have our hobbies. Lalit loves getting his football fix and venturing out into the nightlife of Dubai.

Jude cooks and writes and is a video game nerd, along with Shantanu who is also a graphics designer.

Adi loves playing his bass and attending gigs and Aranyak is about to complete his second year of his Bachelor of Dentistry degree.

For the most part, we’re just easygoing guys who crack horribly lame puns and try to have fun.

TO: How did the band come about? How did you meet all the members?

KAIHON: The band actually started with Jude finding Lalit on YouTube of all places. After that it was pretty much just filling in the rest of the pieces.

Finding the remaining members wasn’t easy. Apart from the amount of technique and skill required, it was also important that they had the right vibe. Once Jude moved to Bangalore, he pretty much went across the scene trying to find people.

Guess we got really lucky. We’re still looking for a session vocalist to fill in for Lalit when he can’t make it for gigs. So if anybody’s interested, you’re more than welcome to try out!

TO: Is KAIHON working on new material? Do you have any plans to put out a full-length album?

KAIHON: Yes, we’ve already got 4 new songs lined up. The only question right now is do we release it as an EP or put more time into it and release it as an album. Both have their pros and cons, but for the most part, it’ll probably be another EP. It’s easier for people to digest a 4 track record that’s all-killer/no-filler.

TO: Thank you very much for this interview. Last words are yours.

KAIHON: Thanks for having us! We hope to play a gig near you guys sometime soon!

 

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