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The Demonstealer Readies Second Solo Album ‘This Burden Is Mine’

Multi-instrumentalist Sahil Makhija is all set to release a solo album this year, his most “emo” release yet,
featuring American death metal band Nile’s drummer George Kollias

Anurag Tagat Feb 24, 2015
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Sahil Makhija aka The Demonstealer at BIG69 in Mumbai in January. Photo: Prashin Jagger

Sahil Makhija aka The Demonstealer at BIG69 in Mumbai in January. Photo: Prashin Jagger

When he was just a teenager, Mumbai vocalist, guitarist and drummer Sahil Makhija aka The Demonstealer wrote songs such as “Crestfallen” and “My Misery,” which were high on metal melodrama, for his extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection. Makhija’s second solo album This Burden Is Mine, which the vocalist describes to be “emo” will include a reworked version of “My Misery” besides new tracks such as “When The Hope Withers And Dies” and “An Unforgiving Truth,” both of which recall DR’s debut album. Says Makhija, “This is, lyrically, a very personal album.”

While there will be comparisons to his other albums, working with the likes of guitarist Daniel Rego and bass­ist Ashwin Shriyan has changed his song­writing, says Makhija, especially compared to his 2008 Demonstealer debut, ”¦And Chaos Will Reign. Says Makhija of the last album, “I sat down and said I would finish it by my birthday and I did, but with this album [This Burden Is Mine], I didn’t set a deadline.” While his solo work still remains in the death metal realm, taking the most melodic elements from DR’s music, Makhi­ja says the new album has “a lot more sing­ing.” The guitarist adds that the “killer sin­gle” from This Burden Is Mine will probably be the album’s last track, “From Rubble and Ruin.” Says Makhija, “There’s actually very little brutal stuff.”

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Makhija has spent the last four years working to release DR’s The Demon King, death metal act Reptilian Death’s The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence and com­edy rock act Workshop’s second album, Made Love To The Dragon. He says the solo Demonstealer album, This Burden Is Mine, was also slated for release last year along with DR, but he decided to spend more time on it. In addition to crowdfunding for the album, Makhija has also roped in Ameri­can death metal band Nile’s George Kollias, widely known as one of the world’s fastest drummers, for his solo release. Says Makh­ija, “I was always debating getting a drum­mer to play on my solo album. I’ve been talk­ing to George for a long time and I sent him the album’s songs at the end of last year and he was on board.” Kollias will record his drum parts at his home studio in Greece and former Demonic Resurrection guitarist Daniel Rego and current DR lead guitarist Nishith Hegde may contribute guest solos to the nine-track This Burden Is Mine. Adds Makhija, “The original plan was to have a different bassist, guitarist and drummer on each song on the album, but that didn’t make sense since the music was already written.” He does mention that while he’s finished recording his guitar parts, rough vocals and a few keyboard textures,

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This Burden Is Mine is slated to release in May, with the first copies going out to those who contributed to his crowdfunding campaign, fol­lowed by pre-orders and a single release every month. Graphic art designer Michal ”˜Xaay’ Loranc has also been roped in to work on the album art. Says Makhija, “For me, as a musician, the aim is to get better with every album. This is a way for me to finesse my songwriting for all my music.”

This article appeared in the February 2015 issue of ROLLING STONE India.

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