Undying Inc – Aggressive World Dynasty (2010)
Review by: Madhav Ravindranath
It’s been more than a year since I reviewed Undying Inc’s debut EP ‘Evilution Of A Manimal’ and at the time, I was quite frankly blown away by the ‘manimalistic’ tendencies. The band’s full length ‘Aggressive World Dynasty’ continues in the same vein and I assure you, if you loved the EP, you will not be disappointed.
The intro ‘In Vacuo’ is expectant and when ‘Concept Error’ begins, you know why. The music is angry, very angry and when the first assault of technical riffs hits, you’ve got to hold on tight to prevent being washed away in a blur of guitars, drums and vocals. Shashank Bhatnagar sounds like a man possessed by the hellhounds of Satan. His screams are unearthly and cowering under my bed provided no respite from his vocal onslaught. The guitar playing was crisp, flawless and the drumming is quite intense with loads of groove and some very nifty footwork. ‘Concept Error’ moves on to ‘Membraneous’ and ‘After-Math’ and the onslaught continues. Riff after riff, polyrhythmic patterns drawing heavy influences from bands such as Meshuggah, Tesseract and Coprofago and yet, not sounding like the scores of clone bands out there.
‘Breeding Gods,’ which is up next is one of my favourite tracks from the album. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’ve listened to the earlier releases of the track so many times, but this song really put me into the groove. It was only after ‘Manimal’, midway through ‘Aggressive World Dynasty’ that I realized I was quite lost in the frenzied guitar and drum work. Whether that was the intended effect, I do not know but there was too much chaos in the music, each element distracting me from the other, not giving me a chance to pinpoint anything. It was at this point that I also felt that there were many unremarkable ‘filler’ riffs between the awesome, groove laden ones, and that was a disappointment. The only ‘musical’ shortfall on the album, I thought. But the actual realization about the album hit me quite late after I was done making other observations.
My only qualm of Anupam Roy as a producer is that he tends to make the music sound too ‘slick.’ I noticed this in JF, BM and now, here with UI. I personally love the raw emotion behind the riffs, the expressions of anger that emanate from the distorted notes but the crisp, clean production that he specializes in wipes all that clean off. Another observation; the album artwork is quite fantastic. Reuben’s bass playing presence on the album might’ve been hidden behind the rest of the instruments but the artwork pretty much makes up for it as far as the entire package is concerned.
Back to the music; the last track on the album was ‘Existence Failed V3.1,’ a re-recorded track that the band has released before. It was here, at the end of all things that the realization hit me: this is an album that you really have to ‘get-in-to’ to appreciate. The first 5 listens are merely a task, a violent frenzy of sounds that you have to get past. What comes next is truly skull-crushing. You start to make sense of all the violence, all the destruction. Each scream gives new meaning and each riff speaks to you in a way only music can. Behind all the chaos and aggression, there’s an evil beauty of sorts and therein lies the real magic behind the music. Each song is like a clamp on to your testicles, squeezing harder and harder until the end of the album when you pass out with perverse pleasure. A truly fantastic album, not without its faults but that’s what gives so much value to the music.