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Demonstealer’s Collab-Heavy New Album

Sahil Makhija on how he went from EP to album by enlisting members from Decapitated, Aborted, Benighted, Ne Obliviscaris and more

Anurag Tagat Mar 23, 2018

Makhija's new record features a host of drummers from around the world Photo: Prashin Jagger

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It’s been about a few weeks since Mumbai’s most well-known metalhead, Sahil Makhija aka The Demonstealer, took his personal life off Facebook (he’s back for now). For someone who posted album updates and marketed his work with extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection, comedy band Workshop and death metal band Reptilian Death, Makhija says his Facebook account was “doing more harm than good.”

He says with a laugh that he’s getting more work done, even as he stays connected on other major platforms to promote his up-coming third solo album The Last Reptilian Warrior, which is being released track by track. Crowdfunded via PledgeMusic pre-orders, it originally started out as a four-track EP that Makhija wanted guest drummers on. He originally had this collaboration album planned for 2016 album This Burden Is Mine, but then drummer George Kollias (from American death metal veterans Nile, whom Makhija first contacted) decided he wanted to play on the entire album.

This time around, he reached out to French drummer Kevin Paradis (part of death metal unit Benighted), who had posted a video practicing a song at an incredulous speed of 270 BPM. “I saw 270 BPM and lost my shit. I thought, ”˜I have to write him a song,’” Makhija says. “The Grand Collapse of Humanity” opened the gates for Makhija to mail more drummers about working on songs, even as Paradis said he’d record play on one more track for The Last Reptilian Warrior. Makhija says, “I actually wanted to play drums on a song I wrote but then thought, ”˜I’m getting a better drummer, why should I play on it?’”

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Watch the video for “The Grand Collapse of Humanity”

After a few emails back and forth, The Last Reptilian Warrior expanded from four to eight tracks and became an album whose contributors reads like a who’s who of global metal. There’s Austrian drummer David Diepold (also a live sessions player for Benighted at one point), Polish drummer Krimh (formerly of tech-death veterans Decapitated, now part of Greek death metal band Septicflesh), Dubai metal band Nervecell’s guitarist Rami Mustafa, French drummer Romain Goulon (formerly of tech-death metal legends Necrophagist), bassist Arran McSporran (from U.K. metallers De Profundis), bassist Stefano Franceschini (from Belgian death metallers Aborted)  and Australian drummer Dan Presland (from metallers Ne Obliviscaris). Makhija says the song by song format of releasing the album also helps keep the spotlight. “I feel like everyone will know each song as a single than just part of an album.”

Thematically, some songs, including the slightly doom-influenced title track, took root in writing sessions for Reptilian Death, which has now been put to rest. He says, “They got updated as I went along, I wanted to use these riffs.” It’s not as emotional as This Burden Is Mine lyrically, but Makhija says he watched cult supernatural show Stranger Things and Sci-Fi alien flick District 9 and took influence. “A lot of ideas and themes build from these shows. I built a story around it””it’s like a futuristic fantasy,” he adds.

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There’s plenty of content coming up to keep the album promo cycle in motion””from playthrough videos to each drummer sharing the video on their own channel. But Makhija says he’s drawing the line on the online sphere for promoting The Last Reptilian Warrior. “There’s no tour or playing it on stage. It’s just what I can do online to market it.”

Watch the video for “Sculpting The Archetype” . Pre-order ‘The Last Reptilian Warrior’ here

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