Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: An Abstract Illusion - Illuminate the Path


Running through the infinite new releases, one might miss An Abstract Illusion, but we at Metal Melancholy would definitely advice you to pause and lend them an ear. The Swedish progressive death metal band, has been around since 2007 (source Metal-Archives), but it seems that they have been honing their skills at the back end, as its only in 2016 that their first full length – ‘Illuminate the Path’ sees the light of the day.

The debut album sees the band bring out an interesting mix of ambient and progressive death metal. The lyrics are mostly in English, with a few Sanskrit and Swedish proses thrown in between. The topics mostly deal with the abstract (as if the name was not enough to know this!) of human notions on nature and mankind. Although the music does trudge on known paths heard before, and comparisons to fellow countrymen – Opeth are bound to be made (which is not a bad thing, eh?), the band does manage to hold its own ground in terms of overall sound and dynamics.


What helps the band standout, is the expert musicianship on record. The drums sound very solid and take the centre stage through the record, they bring in the balance between the progressive odd time signatures and the rapid tempo changes of a technical death act that fits perfectly with the music. The dual attack of the distorted and acoustic guitar creates an enchanting mix, not too silent, not too loud, but still very HEAVY! The further addition of keys helps in giving this band a sound that would've probably been stale without it. Complimenting all this are the perfectly energized vocals! Their clean and growls are equally articulate, and create a fantastic soundscape in the listener’s mind. Needless to say the modern-polished production on the album is top-notch.

To wrap it all up, An Abstract Illusion is a band that has a very great sense of melodies and ambience which makes them capable to write amazing music, sometimes even while being as simplistic as possible (good example would be 'Abode of a God'). A fresh sound of beauty meeting brutality that one must definitely try.
  

Rating: 8.0/10
Reviewed By: Jay Bhatt

Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

Saturday, May 28, 2016

GIG GUIDE: Bangalore Open Air 2016


Bangalore Open Air is back for its fifth edition! The festival that has hosted some of the biggest names, including Iced Earth, Napalm Death, Kreator, Rotting Christ, among many others returns for its fifth consecutive edition on 9th of July at Royal Orchid Resorts in Yelankha, Bangalore.

This year, the show is headlined by the legendary Polish death metal band VADER. Also on the line up are Canadian heavy metal act SKULLFIST and Egyptian-American artist NADER-SADEK (which also features Tom Geldschlager – Obscura, Thor Anders Myhren – Morbid Angel, Hannes Grossmann – Necrophagist and Dominic Lapointe- Beyond Creation). Also on the line-up are Bangadesh based death metal act SEVERE DEMENTIA, the local death-thrash act INNER SANCTUM and Mumbai grove act PROVIDENCE.

Sadly, Soilwork who were previously announced to be a part of the festival will not make it, as seemingly their visas have been denied by the embassy.  The band took to social media and addressed the fans, promising to try their best to come to the country soon.


Tickets are now live on BookMyShow (Early Bird – INR 1700 / Phase II – INR 2000 / At Venue – INR 2200. Limited VIP Package - Pre Party Artist Meet n Greet + Festival Ticket + Exclusive VIP after party – INR 5000).

For details log on to bangaloreopenair.com.

Friday, February 19, 2016

GIG GUIDE: Metal Assault 2016 [Bangalore, INDIA]


Bangalore Open Air, has established itself as one of the biggest metal festival in the country over the last few years, bringing down some of the biggest international acts to the country. The organizers of Bangalore Open Air are back with another festival called 'Metal Assault' which will see its maiden edition at Pebble - The Jungle Lounge on 6th March 2016.

The fest aims to bring together the very best of Indian metal bands and promote the local metal scene. The maiden edition will host the legendary Demonic Resurrection from Mumbai, Undying Inc from Delhi, local heroes Kryptos, The Down Troddence, Inner Sanctum and Chaos from gods own country.

Passes are available on BookMyShow. This one is not to be missed!

Monday, February 15, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Primitiv - Immortal and Vile


“Other bands are old school, we are Primitiv,” with such a grand tag line the war lords of PRIMITIV, a death-doom metal band from Mumbai [India] march into a barren land of dead man’s desert. Having followed the band closely ever since their inception, with having seen a clear growth in overall cohesion, song writing, and musicianship, I was quite interested in what the debut album - Immortal & Vile would bring forth. Needless, to say the album does not disappoint!

The band with the misspelled anthropological age, instead of dwelling into the past as its name would suggest is actually peeping into a future land. The band talks of the future where humanity has been nearly wiped out after post-nuclear war fallout (what is referred as World War Zero). The few, who survive have to re-learn the ways of the old. It’s a time when man, machines and nuclear mutations all rule the earth! The concept, with the lyrics by Dr. Hex (of Albatross) make for a really interesting tale as the album unfolds. What was really pleasing was that even while laying down the plot, the band leaves certain elements of the story to the listener’s interpretation.

With a grand (and slightly prolonged) symphonic intro ‘Clash of Gods’, the band introduces their theme and then gets straight down to business with ‘World War Zero’. The track in a way represents exactly what Primitiv is, some well written lyrics, heavy doomy- distorted riffs, packed together with haunting death metal growls. The later mentioned growls of Nitin Rajan really stand apart on ‘Dead Man’s Desert,’ as the track comes to a crawling end midway before the echoing deep vocals once again awaken the spirits from their slumber.


Praise must be given for the production on the album, as it perfectly matches the kind of music the band puts on display. While all the instruments are clearly audible, it’s the bass and vocals that stand out on the mix. The sound on the record is heavy, crushing and loud, but never comes across as one of the many brick-walled albums one comes across these days.

The album with its good music and even greater production, does have a few trivial flaws. Firstly, the band at times tries to creep into old school death metal territory, with not-so perfect results. Secondly, the album on few repeated spins comes off as a bunch of single’s jammed and recorded around the theme, with the flow from one track to the other being jarred at times and breaking the overall continuity. This does not come as a surprise, as the band has just come together a couple years back and are still perfecting their sound.

Nevertheless, the band clearly showcase the potential within them, and given how good the music on the record is, they are bound to get even better with time. The debut album, with its death influenced doom metal sound (or is it doomy death metal? Heck let’s just call it Primitiv!)  would be a treat to anyone who loves their music to be heavy, yet slow and broody. It’s time to gather around the sign of the bull, and let loose the war lords of Primtiv!


Rating: 8/10
Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Melancholy Picks - BEST BLACK METAL ALBUMS OF 2015


Welcome back to the second edition of Metal Melancholy picks of 2015! As explained in the previous post, we are breaking it down into sub-genre’s to ensure that every good album gets a mention. After covering the lands of doom, we are now grazing into the territory of pitch black metal! 2015 was really big for black metal, but it was the underground bands that really caught our eye. Without further ado, here are our picks for Best Black Metal Albums of 2015:



NOTE: Click on the album title to listen and/or click on the band name to head to their Facebook page. 

10. FALSE - Untitled.


The US based sextet got a lot of attention following their debut full length album, which brings in a fresh approach to the genre mixing melody and elements of punk into their atmospheric black metal music.

Every time the Finnish black metal crusaders announce a new album, one knows what to expect. This album is no different. Its beautiful, yet totally crushing. Their is a raw intensity about the album, that just brings out extremities of the music! This is a must listen!

This album oozes out darkness through it grim atmosphere. It's musical tunes can bring the worst nightmares into the listeners mind. For anyone who thinks symphonic black metal is soft, this will change your opinion in a single listen!

This one is for those who love their metal to be raw and filthy! Some of the best blasphemous chants you will come across, as they hurl their burning spears towards the old gods and the new.

Although many will cry blasphemy, for including this record on the list, its hands down the perfect post-black metal (cringes for making up more sub-genre's) record of 2015. Its much darker and heavier than the outstanding Sunbather. 


Lucifer's Child is a band out of Greece that was formed in 2013 by George Emmanuel of Rotting Christ and Stathis Ridis of Nightfall. The Wiccan is their debut release, and one of the best melodic black metal release of 2015. It brings in the grandiose greek black metal atmosphere, with some spirituality and a dose of occultism. One of the best underground release of 2015!

4. MYRKUR - M


One of the most controversial black metal album of 2015, one either loved it or totally hated it. Nevertheless, the album leaves its mark on the listener. Some of the best clean vocals intermingled with classical black metal riffs makes for a wonderful composition!

3. HEATHEN BEAST - Trident.


Heathen Beast have emerged out of nowhere and taken the world by a storm! Hailing from India, the band instead of following the footsteps of the masses leaves Satanism and Anti-Christianity behind, and delves into much more local topics, of riots, cultural rituals, etc. The music also has a local touch, with some beautiful use of traditional musical instruments. Did we mention its raw as hell!?

2. DOWNFALL OF NURUmbras de Barbagia.



Umbras de Barbagia, is simply put a masterpiece. Its grand atmosphere, builds up the perfect mood of melancholia. For the 60 minutes of the album, one is transported to another world where nothing but a state of gloom and sorrow exists. An engrossing journey into the landscapes of blackened folk metal! A must listen for one and all!

1. OUTRE - Ghost Chants.


One more debut full length on the list, and what a debut it turned out to be! Outre from Poland play some of the finest black metal one can come across. The album has the rawness, as well as the atmospherics. But, what really strikes right from the first spin is the originality that the band brings forth, in a genre that has started to become a bit too stale. A must listen for one and all!








What were your favourite black metal releases of 2015? Let us know in the comments below!


Melancholy Picks - BEST DOOM METAL ALBUM OF 2015


Thursday, January 14, 2016

GIG GUIDE: Reverse Scenario Announces "The Next Chapter" [Pune, INDIA]


I have said it numerous times in person and over the net, for any good metal scene to grow in a country it need more and more bands releasing their own music and a good live scene. India, which has been good on the first point in the recent years, has had a mixed bag result when it comes to the latter. Sadly for the last few years,  I have seen a steady decline in the number of gigs and the attendance in the few that take place across the country. The good part is that all this seems to be changing with 2016, with more DIY gigs happening all across the country these days.

One such commendable DIY project is the "Reverse Scenario". The organisers plan to pull off regular metal shows in Pune, and if the first edition was something to go by, the lads are doing a great job! The organisers have just announced the second edition, titled "The Next Chapter" to be held on 21st of February. The line-up features Dark Helm, Sceptre, Albatross, Reptilian Death, Bhayanak Maut and Kryptos!

So to all the metal heads in Pune, or even Mumbai, Nasik, Aurangabad, or anywhere across the country, DO NOT MISS THIS!  Its time to show your support and only when such DIY projects survive, will we see a good growing metal scene in the country!  

EVENT RSVP + DETAILS: HERE


Just in case you are still thinking of missing this, while sitting in front of your digital mirrors. Check out the music, if that does not convince you I don't know what will!

1. Kryptos: One of the finest heavy metal bands from India! Spearheading the Indian metal revolution with their no nonsense attitude and music.



2. Bhayanak Maut: I don't have to say anything for this band. Their total destruction and havoc attitude has made them one of the crowd favourites!


3. Reptilian Death: Yes, you read it right! The reptile is awake from hibernation. This one is not to be missed!


4. Albatross: The band are an amazing treat when they play live! Their new album is just one of the best Indian metal album of 2015. Do you need more? 


5.Sceptre: One of the oldest Thrash metal bands from Mumbai. Their live shows have the reputation of bringing total destruction along!


6. Dark Helm: Some good death metal from Pune itself! 


P.S: This also marks the start of "GIG GUIDE" on Metal Melancholy. If you have a gig coming up, drop us a mail, and we will try our best to feature you here!