Sunday 21 September 2014

Ten Indian Metal Songs

This is a sort of taster of some of the better things to come out of the Indian metal scene.

1. First, a lesser known song from the pioneers of Indian metal, Millennium. The first Indian metal band to have a video on MTV and torchbearers for the whole Indian scene as well as the still-thriving Bangalore underground. There are more famous songs like Only Be One and Peace Just In Heaven, so for people who've only heard those big hits, here's something else, one of the most hard-hitting tracks from their self-titled album. I apologise for the sound quality.

2. Another Bangalore band, Dying Embrace brought the extreme metal ethos into the scene. Rude, crude and unafraid, they took it further than anyone else I'd heard at the time dared to. Extremity in Indian metal begins with this doom death band. Again, the sound quality is not the best, although there are better recordings by them on youtube.

3. Myndsnare was India's first and still finest tech death band, that's all there is to it. Yet another Bangalore band, they started out with a fearsome mission to take metal to new realms of precision and complexity. Along the way, they developed the songwriting chops their earliest material lacked. Here is a good example of their style:

4. Threinody stood head and shoulders above the late-90s, early-00s thrash scene in Bangalore with their tight, catchy compositions, musical prowess and hard hitting lyrics. Back after a long hiatus, they could have been titans of what passes for the local scene if they'd stuck it out, but will hopefully make up for lost time.

5. Finally, a Mumbai band! I make no apologies for my parochialism - but YMMV. In any case, this band's King Diamond-inspired horror-tale songs and the mix of thrashy aggression and classic metal in their music, along with a healthy helping of lead guitar glory, make them one of my favourite live and studio acts.

6. Another Mumbai band, Solar Deity has released three EPs of some of the finest black metal from India. They sound truly dark and massive, with a moody, melancholy edge, but without slipping into the lachrymose realms of out and out DSBM.

7. Mumbai's Dormant Inferno play intensely melodic and haunting death-tinged doom. A formidable, all-enveloping experience live, they are currently working on a new batch of recordings. In the meantime here's one of their best songs from their old EP.

8. This isn't the kind of metal I usually fancy but Amogh Symphony's absolutely insane level of technical prowess and compositional maturity make them impossible to ignore.

9. If stoner and doom metal are here to stay in India, Bevar Sea are probably responsible. Here's one of their best songs.

10. And finally, here's some battle-themed death metal in the tradition of Bolt Thrower:

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