Tag Archives: USA

festival review: Animals As Leaders live at Bangalore Open Air, 2013

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A major chunk of the population that was there to attend Bangalore Open Air this year was for Animals As Leaders, which could be easily seen from the excitement in the crowd. Now that excitement was because they were all fans of extreme progressive instrumental metal or because Animals As Leaders were the first international band to hit the stage after Demonic Resurrection‘s slot is something I’d like to leave for the readers to interpret. I’ll add this for some assistance – “Arey wo foreign wala band chalu ho gaya hai” was overheard while I was walking towards Jeff Hanneman stage with my beer in tow. For readers not versed with the language Hindi the statement translates to “That band from abroad has started performing”.

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Frankly, I wasn’t there at the festival for Animals As Leaders simply because I don’t understand them. Before everyone draws a conclusion about the writer here, I merely implied that their music is not supposed to be understood. Such level of progressiveness is a gift of Animals As Leaders‘s sensory abilities. Keeping up with the marvelously frequent change in the pace and shredding of the guitar, and neatly done so, watching the drummer communicate with the rest of the troupe at the same speed and watching the coordination between the trio from the United States is not anyone’s piece of cake. It is enjoyed because it is not something everyone can do.

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Toshin Abasi is a genius, and let me re-iterate, he is a genius. He doesn’t even look at his guitar strings while animatedly scribbling his fingers through them. Instead, he smiles at the audience and humbly gathers all the affection that everybody has to offer. Well, let me put it this way – You cannot not love someone who is so precociously talented, be it a musician or a writer for that matter. That knowledge of the unknown, that confidence of the unheard and that guitar playing unlike anyone cannot be ignored.

Javier Reyes is no less, folks. Going hand-in-hand with the complicated instrumentation, Javier aided in getting those fists high up in the air while drummer Matt Garstka fucking broke the bass drum by bashing the kit inhumanly. Matt does his shit with complete concentration, and that’s what happens when so much awesome intensity gathers at one place and all of it culminates into an explosion. New bass drum please…

crowd during animals as leaders set at bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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Animals As Leaders possibly got the best reception as it was during their set that we saw maximum mayhem. No, bodies weren’t flying but hell of a lot of metal love was bestowed upon the band. So, it would be safe to say that Animals As Leaders left the stage and the country with a lot of satisfaction, and we, the crowd are still trying to understand what happened during their majestic set with only one question on our minds – How the fuck do they play all that?

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[ Pictures – courtesy of Khushboo Sinha. Everybody head over to the link to check out more of her work here: Khushboo Sinha’s tumblr page ]


album review : [id] (2010) – Veil Of Maya

album : [id]

artist : Veil of Maya

genre : Technical Progressive Deathcore

year : 2010

Just one word – wow!

Do the members of Veil of Maya play their instruments in a way not known to the rest of us? Or, do they plug the instruments into their nerves and then transform their thoughts into songs? These and many more questions arise when you listen to [id], their third studio album. There are so many ‘bands’ coming out of United States that being noticed would really take something. And Veil of Maya has stood out as their music is as intricate and interesting as their name. Technical progressive deathcore is what defines their music, and the band is true to the core as they are ever so technical and ever so progressive deathcore.

[id] is, according to me, their best work till date and the technical complications are seen in their intro track [id] itself. The album progresses rapidly as there are short and very much bearable tracks. Some of the songs that I remember by name and have swept me off my feet are Unbreakable, Dark Passenger, The Higler, Resistance and Mowgli. And the one track which shines the brightest is Codex. It is placed at the end of the album and hence makes maximum impact.

Drums and bass for Veil of Maya are like blood and cells for humans. While I try not to get too carried away by their music, I have another question when the album winds up – is Veil of Maya actually playing on the album or is it another cloak of illusion?

Rating : 4.5/5

movie review : My Name Is Khan (2010)

If you are good at yawning you’ll pull through this crap.

I have no words to describe what I went through in those 2 hours and 40 minutes I spent watching the most anticipated movie of 2010, My Name Is Khan. I have to begin somewhere. Firstly this movie is a mockery on filmmaking and story-telling. I expected this but don’t get me wrong. I went inside the hall with a no-bias frame of mind. With a cast as experienced as this the last thing you would do is not expect.

My Name Is Khan is the story of a certain Rizwan Khan (SRK) who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome (autism). The movie is set against a post-9/11 US backdrop and how the muslims became victims of circumstances. It tells us the story of an ordinary man who is put into a bizzare plot in this completely unrealisitic script directed by Karan Johar. Agreed you said everything in the movie is fictional but dude to what extent. After all you chose to talk about a subject that is anything but fiction.

The only hope in the sinking ship is Kajol (Mandira) who plays Rizwan‘s lover/wife. So graceful. Had she not been there, I would have walked out, and considering I have never done that !

i am a terrorist…

The movie is going nowhere and it has no message. It neither gives you proper insight into autism nor victimized muslims. It ends up as  a love story. Then why the title My Name Is Khan ? The only thing I liked, if I have to, is the way Rizwan-Mandir relationship has been treated.

What the hype was all about is something beyond my understanding. You do not feel for an autistic Schezwan Khan who in a quest to make you understand autism almost snatches away your sanity. Fuck so irritating. I knew this was coming because after watching the dumb promos I obviously did not expect some miracle to happen in the hall. Also be ready for the most ridiculous climax I have seen in a longtime. You will have mixed emotions – you will laugh at what is happening and cry because you cannot believe you are seeing such a brainless thing happen.

Karan Johar has had his chances and he has fooled the audiences enough. Just because you have a legacy in the name of Dharma Productions and a superstar is your acquaintance does not mean you are entitled to torture billions. And after watching this level of cinema I am somewhat convinced that Johar had a tie-up with two studios – Fox Studios for distribution and Shiv Sena Studios for publicity and marketing. Next time try having no K in the title. The dialogue writers Niranjan Iyenger and Shibani Bathija get away easily here as they had to pen down the dialogues for only half the movie – Because Schezwan Khan says everything twice. Whoever said autism meant repetition of words. With such dialogues that have been heard over and over again where was this going ? And come to think of it Times Of India rated this piece of shit five !

buddy just one more script !

Music was average and probably one of the very few reasons working for this movie. Cinematographer Ravi Chandran delivers as always. I don’t have anything else in praise for this movie.

After Devdas, Swades and Chak De, SRK did not want this. The only time I was completely alert was when the trailer of Kites was played during the interval. Guys be ready for this one. And after Khan my wait for Karthik Calling Karthik increases even more as I need some good cinema to get over this shocker.

My Name Is Khan is not a movie, it was a desperate attempt to pass time by a man who failed to convince his producers to make the next season of his Koffee. And SRK cannot rescue everyone all the time just by saying Main Hoon Na.

Rating : 1/5

also read :

movie review 3 Idiots

movie review Milk

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