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Exclusive Release: What Escapes Me Showcase Their Diverse Best on ‘Empty Signs’

The Kolkata experimental band are ready with their debut album ‘Egress Point’

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Apr 17, 2016
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Kolkata experimental metal band What Escapes Me at their listening party for 'Egress Point'. Photo: Margub Ali

Kolkata experimental metal band What Escapes Me at their listening party for ‘Egress Point’. Photo: Margub Ali

After some inertia, Kolkata’s metal bands and fans alike have something to be proud about – experimental metal act What Escapes Me are releasing their debut album Egress Point later this month. The band, who came together in 2009, already made waves with their trippy animated video for the first single “The Truth of a Lie” and now have the genre-melding second release “Empty Signs.”

The release reps Kolkata’s struggling metal scene, which was recently backed by metallers Yonsample, with their own award-winning album Extropy. Says What Escapes Me Drummer Sambit Chatterjee, “Gigs drying up and not enough volume of bands coming up with substantial things to talk about has really affected the scene. Plus, there haven’t been many bands who have stood the test of time, unfortunately.” Chatterjee, who also plays drums for pop rock band The Ganesh Talkies, has played the tabla on “The Truth of a Lie”, among a few other Indian classical elements on Egress Point. The band recorded sarangi maestro Alla Rakha Kalavant [“Coalesce” and “My Reality”] and sarod player Prateek Shrivastava on their 2012 single, “Section 66 Part 5”, which is also included on the album.

“Empty Signs”, however, starts off with a jazzy/funky opening before the chunky metal riffs lead back into the band’s familiar sound – between harmonics and chaos. Like their contemporaries in Yonsample, vocalist Shourav Kumar Dey switches between clean hooks and growls, adding the hook “Can you find your salvation chasing the empty signs of life?” just before the band quieten down for some guitar noodling.

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The 10-track album, mastered by Melbourne-based mixing engineer and producer Forrester Savell [whose previous stints include albums by prog bands such as Karnivool and Skyharbor], is about as diverse lyrically as it is sonically. Says Chatterjee, “Some [songs] are about recovery, some about not going astray, some about revenge and pure hate and some about our own egos clashing.”

While the band says they have been staving off all gig offers until the album was complete, they are now looking to put together a tour. A listening session took place earlier this week for friends of the band, and there’s also a launch gig set in Kolkata later this month. Says Chatterjee, “Right now, it still is difficult getting gigs. Somehow venues freak out whenever the genre metal comes up!  We are in talks to plan a tour in a few major cities in India.”

Listen to “Empty Signs” 

 

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