Theorized release new album, ‘Psychosphere’
Madhav Ayachit, frontman of the Bengaluru-based thrash metal band talks about how the new album includes prog metal influences and is a departure from their last release Hope Of Tyranny
For Bengaluru thrash outfit Theorized, the release of their debut album Psychosphere, at the Inferno Metal Festival last week, was a long time coming. It’s an album that the local metal scene has been waiting for since 2011, when Theorized put out their single, “Genetic Variants.”
Says vocalist Madhav Ayachit, “There were plans of releasing an album in 2011, after “Genetic Variants,” but that was a phase when everybody was caught up with work. Then we wanted to launch it during the Summerstorm festival in 2012, headlined by Opeth, but not everybody could put in time again and doing a full length takes a lot of effort and commitment.”
Last summer though, Ayachit and guitarist Ankit Suryakanth finally sat down to work on tracks for Psychosphere, the follow up to their 2008 EP False Hope of Tyranny. This time, they came at it with a “completely new approach,” broadening their sound from straight-up thrash to include progressive metal influences. Ayachit admits that they let go of a few songs during the process and the album is a slight departure from the last release, attributing this to “how open-minded we’ve become as listeners over the years.” Adds Ayachit, who also plays bass for prog-metallers Escher’s Knot and composes film scores, “Ankit’s into stuff like Jamiroquai and electronic music, Sankalp [Narayanan, the bassist] is into a lot of funk music. And Yash [Kumar, the drummer], well, the good thing is that he doesn’t listen to any music, so he brings his own unique thing to the sound and that really works for us!”
Theorized have also seen a reshuffle in the lineup after their second guitarist, Sandeep Prasad, left the band last year. Ayachit, who started out as a rhythm guitarist in Theorized, took on Prasad’s role, along with vocals and fit in seamlessly since he has been a part of the writing process with the guitarists from the time the band formed in 2007.
But these changes aside, the band’s older material is still a big part of their sets, and tracks like “Venomous Tormentia,” from the EP, have also been included on the album, along with older singles like “Genetic Variants.” The first single off the album “Riptide,” with its heavy breakdowns, offset intermittently by twin guitar melodies, bears all the hallmarks of their brand of melodic thrash. As far as lyrics and concepts go, they’d rather the listener figure it out for themselves, although Ayachit mentions the album artwork by Gaurav Basu from Bengaluru thrash/death metal band Inner Sanctum along with the inlay notes are the key visual cues to extrapolating Psychosphere’s lyrical themes.
Basu’s involvement, he adds, signals a sense of community among a group of metal bands in Bengaluru, who have all played at college competitions together and came of age at the same time. “We produced Eccentric Pendulum’s album,” says Ayachit, referring to the Bengaluru prog-metal act’s debut album , Winding the Optics, which went on to win Album of the Year at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards in 2012. “Now we have Gaurav Basu doing our artwork–we’ve watched and played with these bands many times and we’ve learnt a lot from them, it’s a bit like a community.”
Listen to “Riptide” from Psychosphere