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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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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


Metal Decade for India

Prelude –

Coming December would mark the last month of the decade and such things have never elated me. But this year it would be different. I have been a part of a movement, I have seen it all happen and I feel proud. Rounding up an epic decade for the Indian metal scene are some bands that had to be watched before resting in peace.

Two Thousand and Seven : The Penetration –

Although the first half was sulky it was 2007 when Iron Maiden decided to seal each of those person’s ass who thought metal does not exist in India. It was Rock in India’s first gig and it turned out to be a massive gig that got down metalheads not only from our nation but the neighbouring ones. I was infact almost crushed in that hysteric crowd. In 2008, they followed it up with another gig that marked the start of a world tour of the kind even they had not done before. And this brought all the remaining and much needed attention to India. Everything was noticed and things got to the other side of the world too. Thanks to Sam Dunn. Since then Maiden has played thrice in India. Both times I attended Bangalore and had missed the Bombay one. Sepultura did a three city tour in two thousand and seven itself and are yet to make their second trip.

Back in 2006 Great Indian Rock had invited Enslaved to Delhi and I was not as fortunate as the ones who saw them then. That ofcourse is history now. And we owe a lot to the first Maiden concert.

Since then we have had a spate of international gigs featuring bands that had made us pull out our hair and left us frustrated for not being blessed enough to be able to watch them. But now when I look back and think about the 3 years that have passed by I realize that a lot has happened around me. I no longer feel negative about the fact that I was born in India. If I chronicle the bands that arrived with their gears to perform in India I read a whole bunch of names – Iron Maiden, Megadeth, SepulturaLamb of God, Opeth, Satyricon, Ensiferum, Amon Amarth, Enslaved, EluveitieSahg, Machine Head, Hammerfall, Nervecell, TexturesRudra, De Profundis. Totally not bad.

Two Thousand and Eight –

In 2008, Dave Mustaine and troupe hit India to play a one-off gig following the release of United Abominations. This was the second edition of Rock in India and they were going strong. The only band out of the big four to have played India, Megadeth have not returned yet so I haven’t been given a chance to make up for my mistake of not going for their 2008 Bangalore gig. American band Machine Head had played alongside Megadeth. Although I had not heard more than one album of Machine Head before their gig, I did have the hangover of missing the whole event.

The same year India got a taste of how a live Norwegian black metal act looks and seems when they perform live. Satyricon headlined GIR-2008. I remember posing as a fake journalist and roaming around the lobby of this hotel they were put up in. Sick days. Saw Frost and did not get scared. Drank beer with King and even felt like one. Heavy doom band Sahg had supported Satyricon for the tour and I had comfortably made it to the front row for their set as only a few were interested. Thanks a lot, Amit Sehgal. Two months from then Ensiferum took the stage at this event named Livewire which is a part of a popular annual festival Mood Indigo hosted by IIT, Bombay. Along came some folk/viking music and many around me did not have as much as a clue of what this genre is. But they sure did dance to the tunes. It was the last song when a twenty-something me jumped the barricade, climbed the stage, headbanged and even exited with them. Good fun.

Two Thousand and Nine –

Opeth played the Saarang fest at IIT Chennai (early-2009), Hammerfall played the same venue in early-2010, Rudra played at ISM Dhanbad in March-2009. I missed all three of these gigs as they happened at godforsaken places. Rudra played at Dhanbad, Jharkhand. Really? But Rudra had played Bombay and Delhi in 2001, something I did not of and The Demonstealer did.

Swedish-band Amon Amarth headlined Deccan Rock Festival ’09 and melo-death came to India from where it should have come from. Also sharing the stage were progressive metal band Textures.

Two Thousand Ten and onwards –

By far 2010 has been an eventful year. Folk metal band Eluveitie travelled from Switzerland to IIT Guwahati’s annual festival in February. Rock in India organizers with a metal history paid Backstreet Boys to perform on the same platform as Iron Maiden and Megadeth. To overcome this serious blow Overture India debuted with an event as big as Lamb of God for the Summer Storm festival, Bangalore ’10. And it’s not been long since Nervecell‘s Preaching Venom India tour. I can wait for the next international act as my culture has taught me to wait. 2010 even saw Indian bands DR, Scribe and Kryptos finally breaking the mould when they went international. DR played a dream gig at Inferno festival Norway along with Scribe. Then DR played Brutal Assault festival Czech Republic. Kryptos left for a short European tour and have their dates booked for gigs next year too. All this happened in this very decade.

In the coming two months we have a lot of super gigs lined-up and I am totally kicked about them. Dates for Cynic, Meshuggah, Enslaved and Katatonia’s gigs are fast approaching. Maybe work commitments would not permit me to attend each one of them but then this is what is the state of Indian metal scene in the initial few years of it getting noticed. Don’t I have a lifetime to attend all the concerts that are definitely going to happen in India? Finally I have something good to say about our nation.

And the article would be incomplete without mentioning Katatonia separately. Totally my kind of music and so damn abundant. Hats off to the people who know of such music’s existence and are getting them down for us. There might be a tepid response for Katatonia but that would not in any way reduce the significance of this milestone event.

I would again say all this is just the beginning. It’s been just three years and bands are eager to make it to a new destination – India and fans here say they were always as loyal as they are now. Cheers!


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