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Exclusive Premiere: Heathen Beast Rage against the Government on “Rise of the Saffron Empire”

The anonymous black metallers call out religious distortion and governmental manipulation on the title track off their upcoming fourth EP

Nabeela Shaikh Mar 24, 2016
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Artwork for Heathen Beast’s fourth EP ‘Rise of the Saffron Empire’ by Mark Riddick.

If 2015’s The Carnage of Godhra saw Heathen Beast establish their stand on the ruling government by addressing the 2002 Godhra train burning incident, the latest EP Rise of the Saffron Empire from the black metal band [whose members remain anonymous] is a no-holds-barred reiteration of what the band calls “manipulation of Hinduism by extremist forces.” “There is a growing power in this country, one that is completely destroying everything that Hinduism stood for,” says a member from the Kolkata-based trio over email. “The worst part is [that] they [the government] have distorted the truth and their goal is to show their supremacy and power.”

The sepia-toned lyric video for the first single and title track employs stock footage of legions of karsevaks in a military-style parade alternated with watermarks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and finishes off with a poster for the 2014 “Swachh Bharat” campaign. “Rise of the Saffron Empire” is a trademark Heathen Beast rager that pits groovy, noisy riffs against the beating of dhols, while vocalist Carvaka screeches aphorisms like “Harness the power of the ultimate weapon/It is religion”. A member of the band explains, “We wanted to go back to our black metal roots and explore that more, but at the same time, give the space to the Indian instruments. So the riffs in this one are slightly different than the last one [The Carnage of Godhra].”

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Rise of the Saffron Empire—which releases on April 25th through Transcending Obscurity Distribution—will be the band’s fourth EP. Apart from the saffron-tinted album cover which shows RSS leaders in a Zogist salute, the band also roped in American illustrator Mark Riddick for alternative artwork. Riddick has previously worked with bands like American death metal acts Dying Fetus and The Black Dahlia Murder, Italian tech death metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse and most recently, even pop sensation Justin Bieber.

Watch “Rise of the Saffron Empire” below.

Pre-order ‘Rise of the Saffron Empire’ here and here.

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