Category Archives: Heathen Beast

Engraved Invitation-LUCID RECESS-2010


My first clue was the fact that you had to “LIKE” the band on their Facebook page before you could download the songs. No integrity. Minus a million points. The album cover reminds me of Seether’s Karma and Effect for some reason. Minus ten points. Then I saw the self-description of the kind of music they play. “Metal/Alternative”. Alarm Bells. I also noticed that this album was recommended by those poseurs, Rolling Stone and RSJ Online.

Finally I came to the music. Oh my gawd, the music. First thing I noticed was that its not metal. Not an iota. It is not metal in this or any other universe. Power chord riffing, the occasional chugga-chugga does not metal make. Minus 100 points for misrepresentation. Then I heard the vocals. It sounds as if he is singing karaoke with the song playing on Youtube in the background. The guy tries the power metal range in the first song, realizes that he can’t do it and stops. Bad, bad. Minus another 100. Somewhere in the album he tries to do the metal shriek at the end of a line, doesnt make it. The whole album is bunch of generic mid-90′s alternative rock chords (think Candlebox, Love Battery, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots..no wait, STP had some good songs.) The guitar playing is competent and everything, but that doesn’t mean that this stands a chance of sounding right. Not a chance in hell. Minus another 1000 points. Oh, and they had the friggin audacity to call themselves METAL of all things? This standard, mundane post-grunge affair? Minus another 100. I could point out a million other things that I despise about this record, but wth, my point has been made.

But at least they had the good sense to give this away for free. Plus 10. Anybody keeping score?

-Baba T   

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Ayodhya Burns EP – HEATHEN BEAST – 2010


Ok, I have a couple of confessions to make. Firstly, I’m not a huge listener of Black/Death/Extreme metal music. Sure, I do the occasional CoB, AxCx or Cannibal Corpse song, but Muse and the Chili Peppers are more my speed.

Secondly, I’ve never really understood the proliferation of Christian imagery/wording in Indian bands. I find it funny that little Hindu and Muslim boys go around screaming about angels and demons and upside down crosses and what not. Of course, there are a lot of Christians out there rocking out as well, but even then, it does amuse me a little.

I thought the same of Heathen Beast (baap re!). But thankfully, once you get past the name, you come to a refreshingly Indo-centric take on black metal. It’s been released to coincide with the second anniversary of 26/11, and is a tribute to its victims. Points for relevance there. There is also the interesting thing this band does of the members remaining faceless with given identities of Carvaka, Mimamsa and Samkhya (what? Not Judas, Demon and Succubus!?). 

Nice cover, except the guy seems to be holding a lightsaber!!

So, these guys have the right image, the right idea and don’t seem to be pretentious. Now it all comes down to three songs to make or break all this layering of intent.

“Blind Faith” starts with a huge, powerful groove, which I quite like. What is clear in the first song is the incredible drumming, with double bass drumming which can only be described as – ahem – br00tal. The vocal treatment on this album is a bit like the vox is singing through a megaphone into the mic. Kinda radio-ey. That said, the guy is a genuine screamer, with an ear-splitting metallic tinge to his screeches. Good shit. And the song? Well, I’ve already said I’m not much of a black metal listener. But I do like a few melodic breaks. “Blind Faith” is great, but I wish they had reprised that melodic part in the beginning a couple of times.

The vocalist is a genuine screamer, with an ear-splitting metallic tinge to his screeches

The weak link here is “Religious Genocide” for me. Not much by way to melody, and it’s frankly a little one-dimensional for my tastes.

Things quickly improve with the third and final track. There is this fantastic bass intro, which is somewhat like “Wherever I May Roam” by Metallica, but still great. It’s the most listenable song on the EP, and is the shortest as well, I think. Or maybe I just perceive it that way. Whatever the true length is, I do believe this is a good yardstick for the best elements of this band (when they choose to use them). Good melodies when they try, insane tremolo picking, the aforementioned br00tal drumming and that vocal treatment I talked about earlier. It’s a compelling dish when they get it right.

Flaws? Well, the riffing can get a bit slab-sided at times, like on “Religious Genocide” and the bass should be more audible to give the songs more drive and balls. Apart from that, I can’t really point out many flaws. Here’s to the rise of Indian Black Metal! This sounds right.

- El Bajista

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