Album Review: Midhaven â€“ Spellbound
The Mumbai progressive rock/metal band put their sloppy debut EP behind them with a louder, heavier full-length debut album
It was in May last year that Mumbai progressive rock/metal band Midhaven made their mark, rather unremarkably, when they launched their debut EP Tales From The Tide. The four-piece bandâ€™s performance was far from flawless.
Their debut full-length album, Spellbound follows the story of Shiva as he battles gods from Greek and Norse mythology, a concept inspired by video games such as God of War. Straight from the second track â€œSeeking The Divine,â€ Midhaven donâ€™t disappoint. Reworked versions of songs from their 2013 EP â€“ â€œTales From the Tide,â€ â€œWhitewashâ€ and the meditative metal track â€œThe Third Eyeâ€ â€“ sound much more polished. The bandâ€™s nine-track debut definitely leans more toward progressive rock with hints of sludge and death metal, with vocalist-guitarist Karan Kaul alternating his clean vocals with vocalist-bassist Abhishek Sawantâ€™s growls.
New compositions such as â€œFall Of Olympusâ€ sound like a heavy mash-up of progressive death metal and alternative metal, minus the done-to-death [pun not intended] clean, delay-laden bridges. Midhaven cut straight through all that to bring heavy riffs. With help from hardcore band Reverrse Polarityâ€™s bassist and producer Jordan Veigas and sound engineers Jason Dâ€™Souza [from alt rock band The Koniac Net] and Viraj Saxena [who also doubles up as the bandâ€™s sessions drummer on Spellbound], Midhaven sound as diverse as ever. The closing track â€œDeath Row,â€ on which Midhaven bid goodbye to prog, recalls American alt metal band Deftones with chugging riffs courtesy guitarist Shreyas Rane over Kaulâ€™s melancholic vocals. But â€œDeath Rowâ€ moves into a somewhat post-grunge space, which would disappoint metal fans waiting on a breakdown.
Midhaven are yet to pass the litmus test on stage, though, with a tour of North East India in the works to promote their album.
Key tracks: â€œThe Third Eye,â€ â€œFall Of Olympus.â€