When I hear of a death metal band from India, I usually think of bands playing the same old school riff that has been done to death. But Gaijin’s self titled EP came as a pleasant surprise. This five piece from Mumbai play a form of technical / progressive death metal that does not compromise on the riffs for the sake of technicality and does not adopt the tired old djent tricks in the name of progression. Their sound follows the path of Gorguts, Death (Symbolic era) and the likes. Their debut EP is a refreshing breath of death metal in the Indian death metal fraternity.
Often times I find myself giving up completely on certain sub genres and then I end up listening to one album that gets me hooked again. I thought I had given up on the genre of brutal death metal and it’s horde of dumbed down slam bands. That perception got destroyed with the very first spin of Carnivorous Voracity’s debut full length, ‘The Impious Doctrine’. This record is not a revelation in this tried and tested genre. Rather, it’s a statement that music can be made to sound viciously brutal without packing in slam after intolerable slam.
Given the choice between a band that makes the same type of music on every record and a band that experiments and attempts new things, I’d choose the second band every time. Though new experiments might not always be successful, there’s something satisfying about seeing a band grow from album to album. Take Sweden’s Sideburn for example. Their 2012 release, ‘IV Monument’ was a stoner rock record filled with delicious riffs and a hard rock attitude. While the band’s newest release, ‘Evil or Divine’ continues to harbour these same ideas, it also expands on it with moments of experimentation. Sideburn show that they’ve matured as a band and as songwriters.
It becomes a tough task to review an album under two circumstances. The first is when the record is jaw droppingly amazing, that it becomes hard to put into words the experience of listening to that album. The second, as is the case with Sloth.’s new full length, is when the record is so repetitive that the music kind of melds together in your mind, making it hard to describe. The title, ‘Slow as Shit’ does a good job in warning the listener of the contents of the record. It’s not that the music itself is bad, but the fact that there is not much in terms of variety or innovation makes this record hardly enjoyable.
Off late, I’ve been going through this spell of lethargy where I don’t feel compelled to write about anything that I listen to. Lucky for me, I came across Tanned Christ and it is just what the doctor prescribed. The non stop barrage of eclectic grindcore featured on the band’s second full length ‘Antipodean Sickness’ is the perfect cure to my laziness. The music is challenging, weird and is totally out of left field. And being a grindcore album, lack of attention results in the album zipping by in an instant, without the listener realising what happened. In fact, in the first few spins of the record, I found myself barely hanging on. Repeated attempts helps in appreciating the nuances and it is a rewarding experience.