Listen: Metallers Kaihon’s Rattling Debut EP ‘Terraform’
The Dubai/Bengaluru-based band talk about their sci-fi-inspired record which also features homegrown heroes Reuben Bhattacharya and Shashank Bhatnagar
A strong thematic narrative, be it on a single, an EP or a full-length album, is always a bonus. Clearly, Dubai/Bengaluru-based band Kaihon (the name means “the universe in one” in Esperanto) know how to please even the most seasoned of metal fans; the band display some serious sci-fi leanings on their debut EP Terraform. Guitarist Jude Mascarenhas says, “Philosophically, there’s an elaborate backstory to the EP, but to avoid sounding like I’m on some bad acid trip, I’ll summarize.”
He gives us a rundown that involves space-time continuum, aliens and a girl’s wish to save her home planet. If that’s not complicated enough, there’s Kaihon’s blend of modern, extreme and old-school influences in rock and metal. While vocalist Lalit Mehta is a hardcore fan of the likes of American metallers like Slipknot and Killswitch Engage, Mascarenhas lists out everyone from eclectic metal pioneers Faith No More to sludge act Crowbar and extreme metal act Strapping Young Lad as influences. The guitarist adds, “As the name implies, Terraform was about setting the stage for a sound that people would one day (hopefully) attribute to Kaihon.”
They released their debut single “Pathological” in 2015 and continued working with New Delhi-based go-to producer Keshav Dhar (from prog metallers Skyharbor) on Terraform. From the chaotic prog of “Awaken” to the groovy “Pathological,” Kaihon invites New Delhi growler Shashank Bhatnagar to spar with Mehta on “D.T.A,” the razor-sharp guitars meeting the Undying Inc. vocalist’s anguish juxtaposed with Mehta’s clean vocals. “Vocally, both of us have a very different style and range, and Keshav worked his magic in spite of dealing with us both at the same time, and making it sound the way we wanted it to,” says Mehta.
With Mehta working in Dubai, Mascarenhas moved to Bengaluru in 2015 and began putting together a band for shows – that includes drummer Aranyak Das, bassist Adithyashankar Ajith and guitarist Shantanu Chakravorty. Mehta adds, “This year, what I really want to do is; travel to Bangalore and meet these guys and get a photoshoot done, jam with the boys and see where we stand. Also, we’re focusing on going live with gigs as a full-fledged band, not an instrumental band.”
Listen to Terraform