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Bhayanak Maut Pack Fun, Melody and Groove Into New Album

Album Title TBD
Due Out July
Producer Anupam Roy

Deepti Unni Jun 21, 2009
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There’s a monster loose in Bhayanak Maut drummer Rahul Hariharan’s sitting room in his Mumbai home ”“ that’s one possible explanation for the thunderous roaring emanating from it. A pile of mattresses lies in the centre of the room, guarded on all four sides by sturdy chairs. I cautiously lift a mattress to check and find a large tube amp strapped with microphones. “We borrowed the amp to record. We saw that the volume knob goes all the way up to 11, so we thought why not?” says Hariharan with all the relish of a schoolboy with a magnifying glass who’s found an anthill. At least the monster’s been explained away. Almost.

Bhayanak Maut have embarked on their first “proper” and ”“ judging from the chaos in Hariharan’s house ”“ very ambitious (and as yet unnamed) full-length album. It’s a long and arduous process: Producer Anupam Roy’s flown down from Delhi with a mobile recording setup; the band’s spent almost a week just shopping for all the extra equipment they’ll need and are going into a month-long virtual lockdown. All the band members ”“ who are as dedicated workaholics as they are musicians ”“ have taken time off from their jobs to work exclusively on the album. “We’re very stoked about this. This album has been on the cards so long, it’s frustrating. It got to a point where we thought it was never going to happen,” says Hariharan, “But now I’m very happy it was postponed. We sat, we mulled like idiots, like old grandfathers, but we’re finally happy with what we have.”

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BM released Hell is All People in 2004 and followed it up with a 4-song EP Malignant in 2006, the songs from which they flogged for two years, till they wearied of their old set-list. About a year ago, the band seemingly went into hibernation, playing very few shows and putting out no new material, but all the while quietly overhauling their sound and composing new tracks. With the addition of Aditya Gopinathan on guitars and Sunnieth Revankar as second vocalist, both from Amidst the Chaos, they changed the songwriting around to accommodate them and found that it changed the dynamics of the songs completely. Explains Hariharan, “It’s been quite a journey from Malignant till now. It wasn’t exactly a contrived sound then ”“ I won’t say it was clichéd ”“ it was definitely BM but it did have very strong influences of all the bands we were listening to at that point of time: There was Darkest Hour, there was Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Mudvayne, some of that Slipknot aggression. But then, after eight months of gestation, playing shows, just understanding what these new songs sound like, I believe now we’ve found our niche. I won’t put a genre on it but I think I can comfortably say no Indian band has a sound like this.”

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Not fitting into a genre seems to be another of the band’s favourite themes. “How do you put a genre on utter and complete randomness? It’s just fun, it’s got melody, it’s got groove, it’s got dance beats, it’s got growling and screaming. I don’t want people to start moshing when they listen to this. Just have fun with this music; it’s not all ”˜aarrrrghhh lets go kill somebody,’ it’s nothing like that. It’s just big positive vibes.”

So is it positive vibes that are driving their songs with names like ”˜Ranti Nasha,’ ”˜Blasted Beyond Belief,’ ”˜If It Bleeds, It Leads,’ ”˜Two Victims, One Slaughter’? “There’s nothing to it. Most of our songs are about getting high. We’re just having fun.” says Hariharan. Venkatesh agrees wholeheartedly, “There’s no meaning behind this, there’s no message, the lyrics are trash, the music is just fun. We’ve just had a ball,” he says with complete conviction, “It’s utter and complete randomness.”

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