Category Archives: Reviews of Indian albums

album review : Firdous (2013) – Coshish

album : Firdous

artist : Coshish

genre : Progressive Rock

year : 2013

The idiosyncrasies of a band that has been hard at work, silently, has been perfectly captured on Firdous. Coshish is not giving away music here, they are coming towards you with a flame of emotions.

coshish firdous logo album coverWith the underlining strength of Firdous being undeniable melody, and a lot of soul, Coshish‘s vigorous storytelling ability is a fresh departure from the aisle of oft heard rock, that all seem to be a product of the same flock. After clambering out of life’s unpredictable trenches, day in and day out, putting your life in the hands of some purposeful work of art doesn’t just lift one’s spirits, but that is also the only way of life I’ve known. Firdous is a carousel that has heaps of images from your past, present and future on-board. Let’s start the ride.

The poetic carnival kicks off with the title track Firdous, and is a very post-rock influenced song where the vocals also act as an instrument. They are all on the same layer, so to speak. Hence, the intro builds up a range of possibilities, where the lyrics act as the nuts and bolts of this emotional bridge. It’s a comfortable song, and you’ll be absorbed by the tune. The grace lies in the details. Listen carefully…

The progressive aspect of the whole prog-rock thing becomes visible on Raastey, complete with oscillating patterns, vocal range variations, tightly in-sync instrumentation and unexpected guitar tunes. You ought to be aware of the fact that you definitely do not know where the songs are headed. The songs don’t hit you in-the-face nor do they befuddle you. What they do is heighten the pleasure of the sonic enlightenment you are up against. The odd timings are carried forward on the tracks CoshishMuktiWoh Kho Gaye and Maya.

coshish music video

Rhythm is like the cornerstone of Coshish‘s sound. Pick any song and try to dodge the rhythm sections. It is very prevalent, it is very necessary and it is in the context of the entire scenario. I would most definitely want to highlight the work on RaasteyWoh Kho Gaye, Firdous and Hum Hai Yahin. So, we’ve established that the life of the band lies in the strings. The guitar solos on CoshishWoh Kho Gaye, Rehne Do, Raastey and Hum Hai Yahin animate the whole experience of hearing Firdous.

While the versatility on drums is all over the album, hear Maya, Raastey, Coshish and Mukti to remove the tag of a procrastinator, if you carry one, because the throbbing will get you going!

shrikant sreenivasan  guitars coshishThe opening piece on Behti Boondein initiates acoustic strumming, accompanied by sitaresque samples and the band goes onto induce a trance-like state. The innocence is inevitable in the vocals, so are the active beats on the percussion well complemented by the bass, thereby liberating you from the shackles of some self built mystery.

Maya means illusions, but the irony of the track is very evident in the words. The band uses the route of reality to replicate a similar world of illusions through the song. It is a hard-hitting composure, bringing you face to face with a mirror, and you have to decide which side you are on. Luscious harmonies dominate majority of the album, and I swear by the tracks Rehne Do, CoshishBhula Do Unhey and Raastey.

Your allegiance to memories would be tested on Hum Hai Yahin and Rehne Do. A lump in your throat would be an apt metaphor to this song’s adroitness at handling you. And since everything comes with two sides, you could also be vivaciously looking forward to the future. The entire track has been knit together as one entity, with the libretto breathing life into it. The more you hear it, the harder it gets, if you know what I mean. I’m in love.

An epic closure to the album, comes in the form of an instrumental titled Mukti – the longest track out of the ten gems. Supreme play of instruments, unconventional mind-bender moments and varied temperaments best describe this song. The outro, being an instrumental, gives you time to reminisce about the entire record thereby playing a series of events in your mind that you were actively part of.

coshish band live

The production on the record, by all means, is as clean as a hound’s tooth. A very essential need for bands recording their material is to find the right sound, and Coshish could not have asked for a better launch. The bass gets its ass kissed on CoshishWoh Kho Gaye, Maya, Rehne Do and Bhula Do Unhey. Some twisted vocal talent, inclusive of high range is displayed on Raastey, Woh Kho Gaye, Maya and Rehne Do. I have to add there is a lot of room for experimentation in the vocal department.

Well, if love means to you what power means to a politician, what erroneous situations mean to superstition and when looking after her doesn’t mean obligation then Firdous is right on money with the sound and worth every penny you want to spend because you’ll fall in love with the record. Impactful songwriting aside, Firdous contains some of the most heavenly lyrics. Coshish talks about stuff you already know. But, every now and then we require some means through which we can relate to anything and everything around us, and that is what Firdous successfully achieves.

hamza kazi drums coshish workshop

Picture this: A mug of your most-liked beverage, overcast skies and light drizzles outside while you make yourself comfortable in one corner of your balcony. That’s when you’ll want Firdous in the background. You wouldn’t want to trade all of that for anything, would you? Go ahead, pick up the record and swim in a pool of dreamlike melody…

Rating: 4/5

Coshish is:

Mangesh Gandhi on Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Mouth Organs
Shrikant Sreenivasan on Lead Guitars
Hamza Kazi on Drums, Xylophone
Anish Nair on Bass

coshish band 2013

Firdous has been produced by Zorran Mendonsa.

Coshish‘s facebook page:

Coshish‘s website:

Raastey‘ official music video:

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album review : Resurfaces (2011) – Goddess Gagged

album : Resurfaces

artist : Goddess Gagged

genre : Progressive Post-Hardcore

year : 2011

Post-Hardcore is exclusive, when weighed against any other genre of music. There is a hint of every aspect of life being touched upon. It’s music for the strong, for the weak, for the deprived, for the heartbroken, for the aggressive, and for the emotional lot. Many might be dampened by progressive music, for the way it reeks of twists and turns, doesn’t let the music to settle down. A combination of these two super-adverse genres is what Indian band Goddess Gagged plays. With élan.

Let’s keep aside my love for post-hardcore (my new muse, by the way) and how I love experimentation in the music I listen to. The first time you play Goddess Gagged‘s debut record Resurfaces, it assists you in taking away the claustrophobic limitations that many a times is experienced by listeners. Questions like “why did this just happen?“, “why did they do this bit?“, etc., are answered, one by one. The double guitar effect, as i would like to call it, ensues.

Very few post-Hardcore groups believe in having an intro, and the reason being they cannot wait to communicate. The outburst of riffs is deliberate so you don’t have to zoom into the happenings. Modern Machines is a torch one can use to find out the band’s hidden influences. From what they already are playing, they even touch jazz, for starters, and hence they easily tackle hurdles of amalgamating different aspects of music.

If you’ve got a bizarre fetish of grooving along with the music, even that is fulfilled by the quintet. They’ve got Rosemary’s Baby, which makes you tumble by getting into your head, banging itself and the track’s groovy. So is Sink or Swim with an innate depth in the words. There are soft moments that leave you buzzed. I love this track!

Oh, what they’ve done with Inspire is commendable, as I am holding the inlay and reading the lyrics while the song is being performed by the band on the disc. Up and down all through, and the band could have altered the way Inspire ends. Very abrupt. An epic eight minute song Preliminary Stages of the Master Plan, it sounds like another one of the songs from the same album at places. Sluggish at other times, the band would want to spend more time writing longer tracks.

Dreamer should make it to every kind of compilation album that will come out going forward. This song is the safest nest where every dreamer can lay their eggs. Be it the lyrics, the weather inside the track, the gushing out of a person’s mental state, and the music of course. While Dreamer and Visionary mean one and the same thing, there are subtleties that only a music enthusiast can spot after hearing the two tracks on Resurfaces.

Completing Resurfaces told me that progression is so evidently a key ingredient in the band’s songwriting. The complications can be heard on all their tracks and Goddess Gagged unites all progressive routes on the tracks Modern Machines, Sink or Swim and Visionary. Especially Visionary is co-operative, with a switch between clean and harsh vocals. The last one and a half minutes make the most impact, I bet.

Resurfaces was awaited for the right reasons. It’s a record that encapsulates so many things that revolve around your existence. Hence, it’s a flow. Produced by Zorran Mendonsa, the album has a sound that only helps the songs shine and as a listener I’m satisfied. And Siddharth, you take the listener on a trip with your vocals, man.

By buying Resurfaces you are not helping the band, but yourself, to know your capabilities, to dream, to achieve, to inspire and to emerge out of the shell of asinine notions. Yes, Resurfaces is metal, but no, it is not just for metal lovers. That’s an assurance. And hey, they’ve dropped a hint about their next release here, which hopefully would be their master plan.

Rating : 4/5

Use protection the next time you have sex, else the album won’t be delivered to you. Order it from here. The album, I mean.

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Compilation review : Indiean Volume II (2011)

Three years of associations with the people from the music fraternity, selflessly writing and promoting all that is underground and more than two years of friendship with me. This is all it took Santhosh Lobo (owner, IndianRockMp3) to make a family away from his own. When the site completed two years there came Indiean Volume one, so on account of his website turning three we have part two of the compilation.

The compilation contains nine tracks, touches upon as much as seven genres and sub-genres combined together. Not something that happens all the time. Well, I think it’s a wonderful idea to join acts from across the country and merge them on a single playlist. And, then give it out for free download just to make sure everyone listens to it. You can get it here.

1. As Soon As it is Over by Barefaced Liar – This varied band from Delhi is taking giant steps towards acceptance on an altogether different level. This track As Soon As It Is Over is kind enough to touch you, but there are slippages which go unnoticed.

2. Jihad by Motherjane – This track somehow makes me go, ‘dude, I really love old-Motherjane man‘. Those first two albums by this above par band traveled through my senses, very slowly. Jihad, for that matter, did not live up to my expectations.

3. Polymorphic Infection by Amogh Symphony – Bands make music, but Amogh Symphony adds several dimensions to their songs. State of the art production with the most intricate musical values imbibed together make up tracks from this band. Polymorphic Infection is from their second album, The Quantum Hack Code.

4. Visionary by Goddess Gagged – Progressive Post-Hardcore is what Bombay-based Goddess Gagged has been committed to. But, before they got to this genre there was something else they played which too was welcomed with arms wide open. A band to watch out for with a debut album and a music video scheduled.

Goddess Gagged, Bombay

5. Need for Sleep by Noiseware – Holy mother of all! Noiseware is loud and they have every reason to feel proud. Their jam laboratory would be equipped with every complexity there is and they aren’t wrong when they call their music experimental metal. This is what avant garde stuff is made of!

6. De Engineer by Eccentric Pendulum – I have always maintained that if a band can write a track like Cut Through the Light, they are capable of everything. Well almost. De Engineer is not one of the best ones by the band but it has its signature Pendulum moments.

7. Dear <Name> by Bhayanak MautMetastasis was a dangerous Ep that was give out by Bhayanak Maut for free, because it was so brutal, so metal that it’ll chase you till you accept your defeat. They are established, they know what they are doing, so only good things coming our way now. I had fun penning down my thoughts about Metastasis.

8. All That Is by Exhumation – Whether it is writing riffs that nobody else around can, or playing death metal with vigor, Exhumation has been doing the right things for eight years. Consider This was a laid back effort, yet had death metal content with accuracy and speed.

Barefaced Liar, Delhi

9. Xenophobe by Undying Inc – Delhi-based metallers have their own story to tell, are merciless when it comes to making the speakers feel attacked and the listeners feel harassed. All for a good cause, and Undying Inc bless you with a lot of metal. If you think this is exactly what you look for in your metal then they have a full-length that was out this year, go get it.

The compilation even has an album art for the front and back cover, and I think I have a thing for this art. It is apt, and if you look closely, it is detailed too. Done by Akhila Shankar who handles most of the things at IRMP3 now.

Here’s wishing the entire crew of IRMP3 (which includes me, but I have no hand in this compilation) the very best of everything. After all, trolling got a new meaning through this website. Jests aside, even I write and doing this apart from the normal shit you do is tough. Balancing is one of the things we humans are definitely bad at, and if IRMP3 has been doing this for three years and still continues doing it then there is a better tomorrow for the ‘scene’.

Rating : 4/5

I’ve said what I had to, now you vote for your favorite tracks –

album review : Ek (2011) – Faridkot

album : Ek

artist : Faridkot

genre : Funk / Pop / Rock

year : 2011

Mounting on Delhi-based band Faridkot‘s musical extravaganza was an eye-opener. With more than fourteen thousand fans on their facebook page they are sure to be getting several things in order. Their debut record Ek (meaning one in Hindi) is an album for all the seasons with all the correct reasons. They do not hide anything at all, much like what a band should be doing to move forward. Faridkot abbreviate the definition of their music to something as simple as confused pop, but they catch you right there. There is absolutely nothing you can make out when you read that, let alone the variety that is actually in store.

For starters the album is full of solos. The melodic quotient of this group would put life into the dullest of places, unlocking several mysteries that go on in our minds regarding India’s pop scene. There is a heavy rain of melody on Meherbaan, Laila and Madho. Rhythm and funk on Madho, Haal E Dil, Khel Khel Mein kiss your feet enough to get them to move. Darker issues are tackled on Jashn, Patjhad and Khel Khel Mein while Banjaare has the narrator expressing self to a nomad.

There are songs for your lover, there are songs for life, there are songs that simplify the most complicated issues done through Faridkot‘s songwriting and lyrics. No usage of unusual words that will make it difficult for you to sing. Even the most cliched lines are sung by Mr. Singh as if it’s the first time we are hearing them. Vocals are exclusive, and with that kind of a throat Inderpreet can bring a lot of favor in the future compositions.

Ek‘s production wins the listener. Mixing (by Fali Damania) and mastering (by Ashish Manchanda) of the album has been gentle on the instruments, allowing one to hear even the body movements made by the band members while adoring their equipments. The album has been produced with a very rock influenced sound as it’s backbone.

This debut offering by Faridkot also has a very tender name for it’s title. Speaks ounces about what goes on in their mind because whatever it is that has helped the band to reach here it all boils down to one thing and that is music. And, the popularity they are enjoying amongst the masses is Faridkot‘s right as they have catered to all our needs. Ek, my friends, is a dissection of your true being with a full fledged conversation with someone who is within you. And that is the real you.

Rating : 3.5/5

Check out this review at Indian Rock Mp3 here : Album Review: Faridkot – Ek

Ep review : Abominate. Annihilate. (2011) – Dark Carnage

ep : Abominate. Annihilate.

artist : Dark Carnage

genre : Melodic Death Metal / Progressive / Math Metal

year : 2011

Written entirely to get back at everything that is wrong around us, Guwahati-based Dark Carnage has dived into the scene with their own brand of logically progressive and melodic dark metal. A leaf out of their book will amount to several genres being payed tribute to, each of them being allowed into their record through this band’s personal invitation.

When musicians have mood swings they produce an extended play that sounds like Abominate. Annihilate. The Ep begins on a blissful note with strums at a brisk pace, accompanied by harmonious keyboards. I wished for The Unfolding to continue but then I realized that this is not what Dark Carnage is here to do. Ironically enough the first forty seconds on Tyrannical Generation go easy on you. Post that there is an undeniable surge where in things take a sudden dark twist. In true metal-style, Dark Carnage plays host to a ceremony of fast-paced darkness. Mind you, dark here is a blend of goth, black, melody and math.

While the song does start to give one a feeling of heard-this-somewhere, the band holds the harness and begins playing the unexpected. Now that is where originality steps in and we sight progression. Undead Redemption and Deathmarch Destruction are hurried math metal tracks. The manner in which the pawns are toppled here is illustrious with the credit going to those ballsy riffs. A derivative of all their influences, the last track Acrimony of Terrorism sets the record straight. I love this track for it’s complexity, the originality, the flow and for it’s replay factor. I can play this track over and over again considering it is beyond just metal, it is a lot of music.

Through controlled structuring the neatness is maintained in the tracks, and I now have a lot of expectations from this band. Few vocals variations would do good to the band. The drummer hits it hard enough for Dark Carnage, and the synth plays the same role for this band that our heart plays for us pathetic humans. If this is the level of math-ness the band has imbibed on their debut then up next it should be totally over our heads and I am seriously hoping for a cracker. I personally like the sound produced by Lucid Recess Studio and they’ve used their hands well on this Ep.

Abominate. Annihilate. is an instance of noteworthy metal from the north-east and all those people who cry foul on forums about bands from their area not being favored should just relax. Because if the music and determination is on display from the artist’s side then all attention automatically shifts to them. So if someone, by will, does not want to fill themselves up with metal that has been done justifiably well then the least that can be done by you is to just pick up the album and play it as loud as you can. Then it would serve every purpose.

These youngsters from Dark Carnage are out to get you. They promise to abominate you with their instruments, they have decided to annihilate you with their music, so it would only be fair on your part to just surrender.

Rating : 3.5/5

Check out this review at Indian Rock Mp3 here : Ep review : Abominate. Annihilate. (2011) – Dark Carnage

Also read : Ep review : Dirt Beyond Beauty (2010) – Silver Tears

Ep review : Act I Scene I (2011) – Weird Anxiety

ep : Act I Scene I

artist : Weird Anxiety

genre : Progressive Dark Metal

year : 2011

Straight from the Himalayas, Act I Scene I accumulates the better amazing bits of the beautiful forests and most importantly does not come across as a debut.

The production crowns the thought that the band – Weird Anxiety – is looking to conquer, but is a little extra neat if you know what I mean. I’m wholehearteadly surprised at the song-writing as I continue to let myself fall for each of the tracks over and over again.

The band auctions it’s existence on the first track Just When it Started to Darkout in Heaven, which has chunks of warm synth and guitar layers. Vocalist cannot be not liked as he is exerting a lot of required force. The title of the next track, God Still Hates Me had me hiding my smile as I couldn’t care less about it, but the composition is ace. More synth, more guitars here, drums are more or less spread out.

Of the three songs, they’ve left the best for the end with Maid of the Mist packing off for a depressive vacation while the other two are working things out. Maid of the Mist is nothing less than those better sounding depressive bands that I’ve heard, this one’s a nailer for a debut.

Just so non-dark music listeners too come into their reach the music has been made with several floors of breaking up in between. The advantage of this is that you wouldn’t ask for directions in case you don’t know what is going on, you’ll just continue listening.

Weird Anxiety‘s Act I Scene I is like a still photography session with a few totally bereft souls where they are crying their heart out for some hope, they beg you to listen to them while they screech about how god still hates them or how darkness takes over the assumed place where all losers want to land up. Smoking pot while playing Act I Scene I will make you more anxious and more weirdly so. This dark progressive release doesn’t just seem dark, it is dark at every fucking step.

If I place the album alongside other global releases in the same genre only then will I say they aren’t too unique but they are extremely promising. Act I Scene I is a proud release from India.

Rating : 3/5

demo review : In Sanity (2011) – Dormant Inferno

demo : In Sanity

artist : Dormant Inferno

genre : Death/Doom Metal

year : 2011

This is a first of it’s kind release to have come out of India assembled by newcomers Dormant Inferno. Their debut demo has forced me to jot down a few words so I can keep reminding myself of them. In Sanity has recorded the challenging genre of death/doom and I’d say better late than never.

Everything from production to the arrangement gets a thumbs up from this doom-loyalist. While Failed Experiments is the most tragic of them all, Ashes leaves you even more alone. Expecting anything bright to come out of Total Negation would not only be lame but a mistake too. Also, there are some serious raw melodies coming out of the synth. Obviously the collective effort has worked on In Sanity but the vocals hog more limelight for being fittingly killer.

All three songs on In Sanity appear to have been produced by veterans, and this short note is to get right back at Dormant Inferno for their brave attempt. If not anything else the tracks are registered in the part where I store my gray matter. The band has put it up for free download, so get the demo and you’ll be led into making the most out of it. Solid doom this is!

Rating : 3.5/5

Ep review : Elements of Brutality (2011) – Blood Meridian

ep : Elements of Brutality

artist : Blood Meridian

genre : Death Metal

year : 2011

Identifying the need for some quality death metal has driven the members of Blood Meridian to record and release their debut Ep Elements of Brutality. Five individuals with a boastful list of influences have tried to push the limits, doing things in their own fucking way. The end product of this band’s well sounding music conveys enough about their abilities and intentions.

The Ep stocks five tracks, is a carefully prepared pulp of raw technical death metal and it tastes of some heavy gore-oriented riffs. Blood Meridian knowningly or uknowingly revists the old times while not indulging in the wear and tear of their metal. Not that they create some new style of death but we aren’t even interested in having some alteration being done to this style of the genre. The album also has a cover of Decapitated track Spheres of Madness which has the band’s stamp on it.

Listeners will be chased with both growls and squeals as the vocalist displays variety for his parts on each track. The drummer’s sections could be tweaked and experimented with at several places. Also there should have been some more complexity introduced within the songs as the guitarists have shown their prowess in holding together the ends. Trying to chug the entire album will leave your asking for more bass, so hang in there and be patient.

The entire production was done at MotorG studios. While an upward trend can be noticed with every MotorG release (Indian band Devoid‘s debut A God’s Lie and now this), several potatoes are yet to be mashed. Though the band’s logo seems familiar, veteran designer Saloni Sinha provides an acceptable visual insight into the album.

Dirty death metal with a rugged touch of technicality closes the first chapter for Blood Meridian. Although Elements of Brutality is not something that would lead you into shoplifting it but the album should be received with whistles and claps. All the efforts that have gone into Blood Meridian‘s debut will be noticed. Starting now.

Rating : 3.5/5

album review : The Quantum Hack Code (2010) – Amogh Symphony

album : The Quantum Hack Code

artist : Amogh Symphony

genre : Experimental, Progressive, Technical Metal

year : 2010

What gets hard to interpret should be allowed to just pass. As only when that happens does the soul thrive and the meaning is found which goes beyond the customary concepts. Music coming out under the name Amogh Symphony is a world in itself and you look beyond reality. Allowing oneself to voice a follow-up to the body-bending Abolishing the Obsolete System lets the mind stray, just that you aren’t left with any outcome. The album itself was full of complexities that all the assumptions took a backseat. The Quantum Hack Code is just that, it is not what you think it is.

With the start elaborating the base on which the album is built,  Intro – The Fall Of World Defence System has a voice-over. The galaxy of shreds begins right after. Dvorzhetskii’s Prophecy is a cross between technical, progressive, electronic, blues and Indian sound. But so is the rest, puts your cells to some real test. Voice-overs are a part of the album and Osiris 1 again has an explanation. You are trapped thereafter. Vishal Singh maps your mind with his instruments. The Quantum Barrier Code Interpretation By Mainframe and Polymorphic Infection : Releasing Proteus are too progressive fellas. The chilling sections just grow.

Disintegrating the tracks at several points polishes them for a greater shine. This along with briskness shapes several other tracks like X – Karna : Activated and The Nullification Method : ONI VS Proteus. The track that has it all is Decoded : Karnosiris. It is as much Amogh Symphony as we are ourselves. The outro The Collapse Of Q-Web And Osiris 1 is neat. Another puzzling factor are the percussions which would be handled live by Jim Richman. All the best, Jim. Translation of the concept into sketches and the album design has been done by Saloni Sinha.

Full marks to production on this album wherein science and metal exchange pleasantries. The Quantum Hack Code is a wake up call. Receive it lest you miss a chance to attain enlightenment.

Rating : 4.5/5

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