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Djinn and Miskatonic Channel Hindu Epic In New Album

After regrouping last month, the Bengaluru doom metal band plan to enter
the studio to record five epic-length songs for their second album

Anurag Tagat May 06, 2014
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Djinn and Miskatonic. Photo: Courtesy of the band

Djinn and Miskatonic. Photo: Courtesy of the band

“The whole quit­ting thing is quite silly,” says guitar­ist Sriram K.R. from Bengaluru doom metal band Djinn & Miskatonic. The group abruptly announced in December that they had disbanded. Sri­ram, who joined as the band’s guitarist in late 2012, says it was more of a much need­ed hiatus following the release and pro­motion of their debut five-track album Forever In The Realm.

According to the guitarist, the band re­corded their album in three days, and had originally intended it to be an EP. Addi­tionally, Djinn and Miskatonic played more than 10 shows in Bengaluru and Mumbai across eight months. Says Sriram, “Three of us [including vocalist Gautham Khan­dige, drummer Siddharth Manoharan] wanted to continue even after all that, but JP [bassist Jayaprakash Satyamurthy] had a breakdown.” Among the metal communi­ty, the band’s label head Kunal Choksi, who had signed them onto Transcending Ob­scurity India, an independent metal label in August last year, was the most shocked. Says Choksi, “I had to talk to them and con­vince them to think about it.”

By March, the band was back to signing up for gigs, playing alongside sludge metal band Shepherd and doom metal bands The Grim Mage and Witchdoctor. This month, the band performs in Mumbai, at the day-long Transcending Obscurity Fest, orga­nized by Choksi. Sriram jokes about the gig being billed as their big return gig, “The poster makes us look like the headline act, but we’re actu­ally just playing last. I think every band is headlining the festival.”

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Following their break, Djinn and Miskatonic want to take it slowly. After they play anoth­er gig in June in Bengaluru, the band plans to enter the studio to record their second full-length album, comprising five songs. While Forever In The Realm was originally meant to be doom minus the chunky guitar riffs, Sri­ram joined the band to rework their old songs such as “7 Year Witch” and “Weird Tales.” Two of their older tracks includ­ing “I Zombie” and “Mortal Science,” which Sriram was tasked with writing guitars for, have also been shortlisted for the second album. Says the guitarist, “It’s got a dark funeral vibe to it, and more guitar solos.”

While Forever In The Realm was an ode to the band members’ shared interest in literature by American horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, so far, there’s more of a philo­sophical overtone to their second album. “Mortal Science,” which clocks in at about 10 minutes, is about creating gods, while “Hangman’s Hope” is about an executioner who is sent to the gallows. Then there’s “Bones Of My Brothers,” which follows the story of Shaku­ni, from the Hindu epic Mahab­harata. Says Sriram, “We got into a lot of mythic stuff, and were originally thinking of doing a Mahabharata-themed EP.”

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The band will return to record with producer and thrash metal band Th­reinody’s guitarist Premik Jolly at his Bengaluru studio Area 51 in July. Sri­ram adds, “A two-year gap between al­bums is generally accepted, so we’ll take six months to record the whole album this time.”

This article appeared in the May 2014 issue of ROLLING STONE India.

Djinn and Miskatonic perform at Transcending Obscurity Fest on May 11th at United 21, Thane. Entry: Rs 500. Event details here.

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