New Music: From New Delhi Stoner Rock to Bengaluru Math Rock and more
This month, we round up the latest must-hear releases from Visakhapatnam heavy metallers Against Evil, Kolkata singer-songwriter Debajyoti Biswas, Gangtok rock/metal band Arogya and more
Z by Bleachead
It’s massively rough around the edges and it won’t check all the boxes for a fan of desert rock, but New Delhi rock band Bleachead are unpredictably good on their debut album Z. They go from steely riffs on “Tokyo Earthquake” to nu metal-esque leanings on “Squanch!” (inspired by animated show Rick and Morty) and then campy ballad (“Home”), but also sludgy weirdness (“FMFG”). It’s manic, it’s hit-or-miss (sample the Nirvana hangover on “Ginger”) and it’s driven by almost Orwellian themes, but it’s fun.
“This Is War” by Warmarshal
Hyderabad-based death metallers Warmarshal are unmistakably visceral on their second single “This Is War,” released by Indian distro/label Slaytanic Records. Just about a year into the game and gearing up to release their debut EP, the trio stick to swift riffs and gruff vocals about the nature of war, which is always an important lesson in these times of conflict.
All Hail the King by Against Evil
If going from strength to strength was a trait we could ascribe to any heavy metal band in the country, Visakhapatnam might just be first in line. Their just-released full-length album All Hail the King is polished, pissed off and bound to get traditional metal fans to raise a fist or four. On their nine-track release, they call for war, sing praises of ruthless rulers and gnash riffs with a little guest solo from American shred master Jeff Loomis (“Sentenced to Death”) and toast biker culture (“Mean Machine”).
Nexus of Dreams by Debajyoti Biswas
On his debut album, Kolkata singer-songwriter Debajyoti Biswas teaches us that being multilingual is a good way to make your music accessible. He starts off Nexus of Dreams on an optimistic note (“Rooh”) in Hindi, gets pleading on the warm “Please Don’t Go” and becomes quiet and serene on “Mother” and then adds a folky touch with flute and percussion on the dreamy “Boundule Mon.”
Moronic Outbursts by Breakdownpanda
On their first EP, Bengaluru experimental/math rock band Breakdownpanda are delightfully weird and intentionally obscure to the point of drawing you in with each repeated listen. In four tracks, they dip in and out of patterns, time signatures and tempos, throwing in vocal samples that make for an eccentric listen and perhaps a sort of art rock that the country hadn’t seen so far.
Arogya II by Arogya
Gangtok, Sikkim rock/metal band Arogya have an audience unto themselves, like many bands in the state. And in this particular case, they might just have more bands in Nepal than they do in India, considering the six-member group sing in Nepali. On their second release Arogya II, there’s grand-scale, arena rock with plenty of electronic and metal flourishes, driven majorly by vocalist Rain Jong Fudong, who also fronts for Guwahati metallers Rectified Spirit.
Stream ‘Arogya II’ here.