Track Record (March 2010)
Review by: Navjot Kaur
Welcome, guys. This month, I’ve got four bands, from all reaches of India.
Demonic Resurrection – “The Unrelenting Surge of Vengance”
Drawn from the depths of their 2010-released Return to Darkness, “The Unrelenting Surge of Vengance” kicks off with synth melodies, which set the tone with an eerie dimension that is emblazoned by the entry of carnal death metal vocals. The vocals themselves flux between a poetic output of verse, fused with equally mature yet abrasive lyrics that comment on the primitive instincts of humanity. At the 3:00 mark, we are espoused by guitar parts that communicate and add a Gothenburg flavor, reminiscent of Opeth’s Ghost Reveries, bringing a measure that’s as emotive as humanist in what it brings to the preceding, unabashed fury of the song. It’s during the last minute that we are kept on our toes, as the drum beats dish out the blasts typical of black metal, stepping up the intensity of the already crushing(ly) heavy guitar parts. Surrounded by and filled with the frenzy of the instruments, it is towards the end of the song that the tempo slows down, conducting us into the cold, desolate throes of lethargy. It’s with this interplay between melody, abrasive vocals, pounding beats and wonderfully unexpected tempo shifts that we are directly, slowly but surely, into the bottommost strata of hell itself. For more on Demonic Resurrection, hit up:
Inner Sanctum – “Quarantine”
As soon as I hit the band’s myspace and the tunes started playing, more than any eloquent or brutal inner thought, the one word that came to mind was “woah.” How are these guys not signed? Testament, Machine Head, Kreator, all the greats – those legends who conceived and carried the torch for the old school thrash sound as it were – came to mind, with the added bonus that the tune I was hearing, “Quarantine,” was a product of Bangalore’s very own Inner Sanctum. The song is fast-progressing, with vocals that vary its styles, between the familiar death metal grunt, to the mix of melodic abrasive sound we get from such modern greats as Randall Blythe himself. The solos, which appear in brief and non-overdone, tasteful (“let me just boost my testosterone levels”) dosages, evoke the Gothenburg touch that takes this band beyond the realm of thrash metal. You can feel the chemistry between the members, all of whose instruments (and larynx-churned brutality) collide to form a track that’s as refreshingly melodic and tight as it is inflammatory to the senses. Here in New York, I can only imagine the intensity of their stage presence, and the circle pits to be set off by the sub-three minute composition that is this short but more than sufficiently thrashin’ tune. The band released their EP, Provenance, in 2009, and continues to inflame the stages of India with shows. If I were not in New York, do note that hitting ‘em up, for me, would be far from an “option.” To get the audio accompaniment to your [here] Inner Sanctum reading, visit:
Eccentric Pendulum – “The Sculptor of Negative Emotions”
With this title-track, the moment you press “play,” you may think you’ve embarked your way into a straight death metal tune, but its then that this Bangalore-based five piece catches us by surprise; swaying back in forth between crazy time signature switches reminiscent of modern technical greats (ULCERATE, ORIGIN), while dishing out riffs that are heavy and raw a la Lamb of God and the thrashiest of thrash bands hitting the scene today. The initial growl that commences the song brings all rage to the surface, chiseling against guitar parts that speed up with the thunderous drumbeats. The band’s vocalist, Nikhil, creates a tension between the guttural noises of death metal with the screeching viscerality of black metal, while still jiving well with the almost thrash-like fast tempo of the instrumentals that espouse it. You can tell the drummer’s having a good time, alternating between metronomous to thunderous, muscle-shattering beats, through to the jazzy drum solo that appears at the 3:50 mark. The lyrics are mature, exploring such themes as human desire, despair, existential questions, and mental disarray.
With bridges that are distinctively melodic, which is as gutsy as it is diverse: waking us up from any possible, dormant expectation that we’re listening to a “predictable” modern death or thrash metal tune. It is after the bridge at the four-minute mark that there is a shift towards all that is atmospheric – a phase-shift reminiscent of modern technical bands like Dillinger Escape Plan. Moreover, grooves and jazz elements call to mind the experimentations of Cynic and Textures. And to those who embrace the technical aspects, you’ll surely get your fix from the last minute of the song, which embraces all chaos; with instrumental torrent that brings to mind Meshuggah’s Catch Thirty Three, transitioning then into a surreal and tripped out bridge that draws us into the sonic atmosphere of films like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. The guitar returns, speaking to us of the darkest facets of the human conscience through melodic yet understated sound. To get more on Eccentric Pendulum, visit:
Blind Image – “Allegiance to Defiance”
Straight off of their 2009 More Than Human, “Allegiance to Defiance” commences with a 20 second, sweet dosage of sweeping and thrash meets death (think: Max Cavalera) type vocals, all laced with a subtle yet undeniable rock’n’roll vibe to the riffs in the backdrop. With this, they shove us into the barricades of sorrow and anger with melodic vocals that are superimposed over death metal growls: a stimulus that’s inflammatory enough to get the adrenaline pumping through the veins. As David sings of his ode to self-empowerment against the authorities and calls for self-definition, the song is accelerated and provoked further by the torrent of aggressive sound that builds up, degrading your composure at a pace that’s fast enough to get a circle pit going dead-center in your living room. With such lyrics as “we don’t give into their accusations / we must be strong and hold our inner tribulations,” (if I got ‘em right) we can feel the demons rise and lurk along the tips of our fingers, down to the tissues our spinal cord as we sway frenetically, headbanging to the powerful beats and infuriated calls of this five-piece, Chennai-based outfit. The pockets of melodic vocals segway into heavier riffs, while striking the same chord we have not have released since the early Machine Head days. Staying true to their earlier work, it’s at the 2:50 mark that we get a domino-release of time-signature switches, staying true to the band’s infamous(-ly glorious) influence and regard for such modern technical and groove-driven groups as Meshuggah and Textures. If you’re looking for anything between the melodic, thrashy, technical, or metal that straight embraces the rock’n’roll roots, Blind Image will be right up your alley. To hear more from the band, visit: