Best New Metal Acts
Six crushing bands from across India that you need to listen to right now
Modern prog might have its truckload of overdone experiments around polyrhythmic riffs and ambient passages, but there’s hope yet. Bengaluru band Tangents, as archetypically djent as the name might sound, are taking the spiralling brutality of heavier bands such as Meshuggah and pushing it in a different direction. Formed in 2014 and currently comprising vocalist Siddharth Nair, bassist Abheet Anand, drummer Daniel Ancheril and producer Yogeendra Hariprasad, Tangents are working on their debut seven-track album Motion/Emotion. With riffs compiled by former guitarist Milind Yohann and inviting a few collaborators, ranging from New Delhi guitar noodler Moses Koul from math rock band Kraken and violinist Shravan Sridhar, Motion/Emotion is due April.
Karan Katiyar and Jayant Bhadula struck gold when they combined the best of both worlds—the nostalgia of popular Bollywood tunes and the familiar ferocity of djent/deathcore style riff attacks. Working under the moniker of Bloodywood, the New Delhi-based metal musicians have not only achieved mini-virality and international attention with their metal parodies of well-known tunes, but are also (unknowingly?) making a bigger statement by taking potshots at the hopeless materialism of Yo Yo Honey Singh and Fergie, to name a few.
3. Last Ride Home
Alt metal, post-hardcore and much more, at a time when Mumbai’s metal scene still favors the old guard of extreme and heavy metal, is probably a sign of how much of a mark Last Ride Home want to make. With their debut album Signs, which released last April, the band introduced meaty riffs and floor busting breakdowns to the world, finding themselves a spot on the last metal night ever at the Blue Frog. Impressing the Mumbai faithful, Last Ride Home need to make the trip outside their comfort zones now.
Bengaluru black metal band Antakrit have been waiting in the wings for quite some time now. But on the day of Winter Solstice last December, the five-member band released a hell-raiser of a debut single, titled “Purity.” At their 2016 shows in Bengaluru and Mumbai, Antakrit present all the makings of a grim band—from the corpsepaint to the ominous drum work and hulking vocalist Sibarshis Dutta’s theatrics.
5. Mute The Saint
Amidst scoring local metal gigs and college fests, a few TEDx talks and an opening slot for jazz/rock power trio The Aristocrats, last year saw experimental sitar player Rishabh Seen gain international popularity faster than you can say “sitar-fronted Indian classical-progressive metal.” Which, incidentally, happens to best describe the stellar self-titled debut record by Seen and his Indian/American band Mute the Saint, comprising drummer Jared Sandhy, bassist Shashwat Kapoor and guitarist Josh Seguin.
6. If Hope Dies
If Hope Dies present themselves as proof that metal can exist anywhere in the world. The band is based out of the tiny, Panchayat-administered village of Sukna, which is equidistant from Darjeeling and Siliguri in West Bengal. Vocalist Aakash Sherpa started out with guitarist Abinash Moktan and drummer Rupsang Lama in 2010 and slogged until 2014 to get all his own gear and his own studio to begin recording their ruthless, feral debut EP, which they named Sukna. They get the best of the Darjeeling and Nepal scene right now, but it’s about time the rest of India hears If Hope Dies.
Compiled by Anurag Tagat and Nabeela Shaikh