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1833 AD’s Nishant Abraham: “The usage of chord progressions that typically define Black Metal, come to me naturally”

1833 ad band logoAhead of 1833 AD‘s headlining gig in Bombay, Nishant Abraham – frontman of Indian black metal act 1833 AD talks about the challenges faced by the band, their 2012 debut record ‘My Dark Symphony‘, why they love playing in Bombay and tackles a few other questions that need a credible black metal band’s opinion.

Read on…

Imagine a world completely devoid of black metal. There is no reference point and such a genre doesn’t exist. Would 1833 AD still have existed.

NishantTo a certain extent, yes, but I wouldn’t have been so creative to term it Black Metal. I would have gone with something cheesy; Dark Metal, at best. The darkness that Black Metal creates, like any other form of music, is because of the arrangement of notes. And the usage of such chord progressions that typically define Black Metal, come to me naturally. Instrumentally, would we have sounded similar? Definitely. In terms of vocals? No chance in hell. I came from a very mellow vocal background and wouldn’t have considered screaming into a microphone even in my wildest dreams.

Three members in Delhi, and one member in Bangalore. Two different cities. Considering the obvious issues of management and lesser jamming sessions you guys still manage to pull off a tight gig. What does it take to make that happen.

Nishant – It is tough. With the distance, we have to practice regularly on our own to ensure we know our parts like the back of our hand so that it all comes together as one fluid piece when we perform. We feel it’s important to jam together at least once before a show. For this, we usually try and reach the city a day before. Sometimes it’s on the day of the show. Once, all we had time for was on-stage sound check. It was the biggest challenge we ever faced but we pulled through and were extremely proud of ourselves.

1833 ad black metal

A band wants to cover obscure underground songs that they truly believe in. And often it is overheard that the choice should’ve been a mass favorite. Your thoughts.

Nishant – Hmm, interesting question. Maybe it comes down to the band’s ideology. Are they trying to win points with the crowd? Or are they showcasing their music and influence? Personally, I wouldn’t mind either and we have done both in the past. We would do a song that no one knows if we feel the audience could use a good lesson in Old School Black Metal, but we would never play a song that we don’t believe in just to please the audience.

I’m aware of the staggering numbers that went into the production of ‘My Dark Symphony’. Resulting in a product that is top notch. No compromises there. What was going through the band’s mind when it came to the financial aspects of recording the album.

nishant abraham 1833 adNishant – How are you aware of that?

I know everything (laughs). Anyway…

Nishant – We had spent a lot of money just to get the music ready. But the concept we went with was incomplete without the artwork. Did we really have to spend so much on artwork? Maybe. Maybe not. Why settle? We wanted to create something that was never done before. The artwork has a vague storyline going on which is a mystery in itself. Trying to understand what each page means, how it possibly relates to a song, division of the chapters, et cetera are some of the alluring things My Dark Symphony has to offer. Something our fans could buy and feel that they got their money’s worth. And I think we did that with My Dark Symphony. If you are reading this and have no idea what we’re talking about, shame on you!

Alright, there are people who take 1833 AD’s music seriously, and that’s where the true fanbase comes into picture. Any upcoming gigs these people should know about.

Nishant – We love our fans! We get emails from our fans asking us for lyrics, tabs, minus tracks, etc. Everything we do, every penny we’ve ever spent, it all seems worth it with each of these emails.

We are playing two shows at the end of this week. Chandigarh on the 26th and Delhi on the 27th. We are also talking to few organizers in Jaipur and Pune. If something materializes, we’ll announce it on Facebook.

Bombay is going to play host to the third edition of Black Metal Krieg (BMK) event on the 8th of December, 2013. Sign-off the interview by telling us how do you plan to captivate your audience at BMK 3.

Nishant – We love playing Mumbai. The fact that it’s BMK just makes it more special. Getting to share the stage with so many other Indian Black Metal bands is a great privilege and we look forward to it. The Mumbai crowd returns the passion with which we perform. We will be throwing in a few surprises, some of the unforgotten classics perhaps? It’s gonna be wild!

1833 ad band live

1833 AD is:

Nishant Abraham on Vocals/Guitars
Rahul Mehalwal on Guitars
Sushmit Mazumdar on Bass
Raghav Sehgal on Drums

http://www.1833ad.com/

https://www.facebook.com/1833ad

If you want to contact the band directly, shoot an email to: 1833ad@gmail.com.

[ Black Metal Krieg 3 (featuring 1833 AD, Stark Denial, Solar Deity, Cosmic Infusion, Winter Gate, Dark Desolation, Winter Prophecy, Dormant Inferno and Spiked Crib) is the only event in India that pays tribute to black metal. The event is going to demolish a venue in Bombay on the 8th of December, 2013. Stay updated here: https://www.facebook.com/events/626388167400031/ . ]

Also read:

In-depth review of 1833 AD’s debut album ‘My Dark Symphony’

Dormant Inferno’s debut demo ‘In Sanity’ reviewed

2010 article about the Indian Black Metal Scene

gig review : Black Metal Krieg (December, 2010)

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album review : My Dark Symphony (2012) – 1833 AD

With the Indian black metal scene starving to a painful death, one band has managed to break open the vaults and is making it difficult to be ignored. Open your ears to 1833 AD.

album : My Dark Symphony

artist : 1833 AD

genre : Black Metal

year : 2012

Introductory thoughts

We are living in an exciting time when metal bands from across the globe are waking up to the fact that they still haven’t played a gig in India. Move over how the Indian Premier League united cricket aficionados from everywhere and how our country is now posing a missile threat to far off nations. The evolution of the Indian metal scene, which includes the bands and the fans, has been expeditious. But obviously metal being the devil’s best friend, popular and hence shitty media in India do not tilt the torch towards it. There has also been a rise in the number of instrument players ready to take on their neighborhood with their own brand of metal. Amidst all this the genre of black metal seems to be in a deeply unconscious state. To the point that one can count the reliable providers on one finger, if you know what that means.

My Dark Symphony – True to the roots

The above paragraph gives you a fair idea of the lack of inspiration, and the crisis surrounding black metal in India. Picture this. It took a good eight years for a band like 1833 AD (they do have fans) to release their debut effort My Dark Symphony! The motivation had to come from the notorious Norwegian scene, which itself is burning out, has a handful of passionate releases and can only boast about a diminishing graph of the quality of albums. 1833 AD‘s first studio full-length My Dark Symphony has stamps of several bands on it. If you’d find a Burzum portion staring down at you, there is another place where Watain would knock on your door. The classy old-Immortal makes an appearance,  with Emperor and Darkthrone sprinkled here and there. Now, although inspiration is important for any band, it should not reach a point where the band is not taken seriously. Here, thankfully, only a leaf or two have been smoked. Exactly why you’d be able to relate to this record is because along with the aforementioned bands you’ll see that there are traces of some underground depressive black metal outfits you might have heard sometime.

When all this is frozen, and the tracks are wrapped with several layers of originality, that’s when you’d get the product that is named My Dark Symphony. Do not expect to understand what true to the roots means unless you’ve spent considerable amount of time putting yourself through the sweet torture that is black metal. The drug of darkness will eclipse all the non-sense in your life, and this record would come across as a stranger to you if you want just music. Because My Dark Symphony brings forth a certain state of mind which is not within everyone’s reach. Apart from being a tribute to the originators of the genre, it is a gift of rage for the fans of the genre too. 1833 AD‘s influences are in place.

Vocals

Although 1833 AD has an inspired sound, the members have held their own. The shrieks incorporated on My Dark Symphony are an assurance that the band doesn’t want to be typecasted. Vocalist Nishant Abraham is as unique as unique can be and can be best described as scraping. One cannot make a mistake in identifying Ihsahn‘s vocals, nor can you not compliment Jon Nödtveidt. There is style, and there is exclusivity. 1833 AD has both. Style that cannot be cloned, and exclusivity that will be remembered.

Well, it’s okay to get confused between Quorthon and Abbath‘s vocals. Get over the resemblance already.

Nishant pulls off a Dani scream on a song, that obviously happens when you aren’t noticing. Guess the song, and you will win nothing. The scream seems logical though unlike Dani Filth, who is nowadays seen screaming for no reason whatsoever. You agree, don’t you? You will get your money’s worth on Sephiroth’s Curse where a million dollar scream gives birth to a mysterious situation. Be prepared…

Guitars

One striking attribute carried by 1833 AD is melody. If all will fail it is the singlemindedness shared by the band and melody that is sure to provide them blowjobs. On a serious note, the shortage of black melody in India has been supplied through intense tremolo riffs, produced by the intertwining of supremely raging instruments that we know as guitars, handled by Nishant and Rahul Mehalwal. The guitar tone vents out a strong mirage of the band’s ideology. Shrilly caricatures all painted in black, will haunt the listener’s mind.

The synopsis of My Dark Symphony lies in the melodic ripples of oppression which is sure to keep you glued. Hell, the solos seem like a result of years of research as to when and where they should fit what. Go figure…

Bass

The ravenous kingdom of bass has always been tricky. While the rest of the band walks away with top honors, it becomes a difficult job for a bassist to slyly assist the drummer. On this release Sushmit Mazumdar hits the strings, and is equally dominating but could have been louder. Blame your speakers for being a bit unfriendly with the bass, or blame yourself for liking 1833 AD‘s music…

Drums

For an unrelenting black metal band, finding a drummer who shares a passionate firmness is as important as a hunter who knows when to pull the trigger. The hunter here is Raghav Sehgal. Fact is that anything (drums played perfectly, maybe?) can be recorded on an album to gel with the on-going proceedings of a song, but another fact is that this very band has reciprocated their songs during their live sessions, gathered all those horns raised towards them and have looked back with a grin. So, the drumming isn’t ‘virtual’, it is for real and is like a dagger pressed against your weak god’s neck. Heard a groovy black metal album before? My Dark Symphony would be out soon. Don’t keep your senses closed…

Songs, production and artwork

My Dark Symphony is a concept driven album (the inlay would have it all), does not contain time wasting fillers, all tracks are written to fit within a radio-friendly time period and has been produced by the fine hands of Anupam Roy (Grey Studios). Apart from the four songs that were previously released online, the album has five more full length tracks. The twelve songs are broken into three separate chapters and each chapter has one inductive song for the other three tracks that follow. Holding the written concept in your hand when being musically entertained by the record would definitely be a smart move. Speaking of which, the inlay artwork by Reuben Bhattacharya crosses borders of imagination and delves deeper into the subject of visual art.

The songs have more strengths and less weaknesses. Ma Nishada, Ten Gods and 1833 AD deserve special mentions, as they go on to show how the band has branched out post their Ep ‘End of Time‘. The song which, according to me, is a complete embodiment of venomous darkness, winning musicianship and detailed songwriting is Wiser Than The Wisest. If someone would come and ask me to name one song that defines the sound of Indian black metal I’d recommend them this herculean song. Period.

1833 AD is now confidently carrying a bright torch for the up and coming Indian black metal artists who wish to follow suite. They provide you a slice of well-adorned black metal without the gimmicks of anti-christianity, have no corpse paint to cover their weaknesses, do not encourage naked whores dancing around them on stage, and they give a fuck about their metal.

All said, I do not want to remember one of India’s only active black metal band as just a mere by-product of my favorite artists. Getting My Dark Symphony out was necessary for the band, to break even, to put forth their version of ‘ancient art’. I hope next up on the agenda is sharpening up their skills, crossing the border more often to play bigger gigs (which has already kick started), churning out another album that would take the band straight into Fenriz‘s band of the week, and the clock has already started ticking.

Rating : 4/5

[ And, this band, right here, is promising and yet unsigned. Are the record labels taking note of this? ]


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