Exclusive Premiere: Alien Sky Cult Return with ‘Last Stand’
The New Delhi metallers first release in four years combines prog, post-hardcore and metalcore
If we had to pick a city whose metal bands have especially had it difficult staying active, it would be New Delhi. Stand-out heavy acts such as Rabbit is Rich, Pyramids, Iafway and more go record lengths without gigs or activity despite strong releases.
It’s a curse (of sorts) that befell metal band Alien Sky Cult as well, who struggled to stay active a year or so after their debut EP You Are Not Alone released in early 2013. They wrote their (now) latest single “Last Stand” almost anticipating an end to the band. Drummer Siddhartha Goswami says, “We weren’t sure if the band was even active. At this point, we are. We didn’t have live members and we kept changing members and it totally ruined our setup and the idea of playing live. So we never thought of releasing it then.”
After several lineup changes, the band now comprises founders Goswami, guitarist Shung Brahma, vocalist Akkshit Kumar and two new members, guitarist Farhat Hussain (from metallers Dark Carnage) and bassist Jishnu Chakraborty. Ask Goswami why there was a fluctuating lineup, he says, “I think mainly because nobody in Delhi was up for outstation shows. We had gigs in Bangalore and Kolkata. We didn’t want to keep canceling shows. We were fed up. It’s better that we tell them we’re not available. Mostly when people come in, they have an idea of doing djent or something else, they didn’t understand what we were trying to do.”
While You Are Not Alone—nominated at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in 2013—captured Alien Sky Cult at their heaviest and most hard-hitting, “Last Stand” leans more on shimmering, melodic guitars, post-hardcore style sing-alongs and all-round emphatic songwriting in the vein of metal bands such as Underoath, August Burns Red and more.
For their upcoming material, scheduled to be out as an eight or nine-track album, there’s a melodic influence from punk. “I think most people didn’t have that punk vibe when they were kids – they were into Metallica or Megadeth or Eighties music,” says Goswami. “At this point, we’re not less heavier, but we’re more melodic.”
The drummer adds that with their current lineup, they’re now on the lookout for gigs across the country to get back in the game. “Both of these guys [new additions Chakraborty and Hussain] are freelancers, so they can travel. At this point, if we get gigs, we want to make it.”