Listen: Bengaluru Sludge Band Shepherd’s Debut Single “Bog Slime”
The band, comprising members from thrash/death metallers Inner Sanctum and stoner/doom band Bevar Sea, release their first album ‘Stereolithic Riffalocalypse’ in March
In 2013, Bengaluru sludge metal band Shepherd‘s plans to release their debut album went off kilter. They had finished recording with thrash metal band Threinody’s guitarist and producer Premik Jolly. Vocalist Mahesh Raju left the band and Shepherd took a brief hiatus and returned as a three-member group, comprising drummer Deepak Raghu [also from stoner/doom band Bevar Sea], bassist Abhishek Michael [from thrash/death metallers Inner Sanctum] and guitarist Namit Chauhan and are now ready with their debut album, Stereolithic Riffalocalypse.
With pre-orders set to begin on February 1st and the album slated to release in March, Shepherd, who won the Best Emerging Band award at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in 2014, are giving fans a taste of studio material with “Bog Slime,” their first single off the album. Says Raghu, “We just picked ‘Bog Slime’ out because it’s one of the shorter songs on the album and it came out a lot better than we’d all expected. We could’ve honestly gone ahead with any song on the album and it would kind of sum up what we’re about.” The drummer-vocalist adds jokingly, “Just hoping to God this’ll be our ‘Enter Sandman’.” While a launch gig is in the works in Bengaluru in March, Raghu says they might release another song off Stereolithic Riffalocalypse depending on the response to “Bog Slime.”
With Chauhan and Raghu now sharing vocal duties, the band spent the last year keeping their sludge sound heavy as ever, with influences drawn from hardcore punk and doom. Says Raghu about spending over the year on the album, “[It was] slightly frustrating because we had been kind of done with the album but had to redo the vocals and some guitar parts. It took us some time getting used to singing and playing at the same time. [We are] still working on that! Mixing the album took quite some time as well, but it was worth it. We’re very happy with the results.” In addition to roping in record engineer Rahul Ranganath [guitarist from psychedelic rock band The Bicycle Days] to mix Stereolithic Riffalocalypse, Shepherd enlisted American sound engineer Brad Boatright, who recently worked with doom metallers Yob on their critically-acclaimed 2014 album Clear the Path to Ascend, to master their album.
Stereolithic Riffalocalypse tracklist
- “Spite Pit”
- “Black Cock of Armageddon”
- “Stereolithic Riffalocalypse”
- “Bog Slime”
- “Wretch Salad”
Listen to “Bog Slime” here