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Exclusive Premiere: Maneating Orchid Tear Through Enablers of Authoritarianism on ‘Double-Crosser’

The Bengaluru-based prog/mathcore band’s second full-length album ‘Hive Mind’ arrives on March 17th

Anurag Tagat Jan 27, 2022

Bengaluru metal band Maneating Orchid. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Bengaluru metal band Maneating Orchid – previously known just as Orchid – bring madcap, visceral energy and a damning takedown of authoritarian regimes on their latest single “Double-Crosser.” The second track off their sophomore full-length Hive Mind (out March 17th) sees the quartet notch up on their unsparing style of prog meets mathcore.

Fed by guitarist Vinay Prasad’s wiry riffs and dissonant fretwork, Kaushal L.S.’ vocal shred, bassist Rahil Ahmed’s agile rhythms and drummer Mayur Nanda’s unpredictable work behind the kit, “Double-Crosser” has been in the band’s song vault for about a couple of years now, occasionally making it to their setlists. “We did our best to keep the sound as raw and close to the original recording as possible. That was sort of the idea from the beginning,” Prasad says.

Thematically, the song follows suit with all of Hive Mind — and their 2019 album Miasma — in taking a tab at topics that range from neo-fascism to fake news, despotism and government surveillance. “Double-Crosser” is an acerbic view of the idea of snitching and citizens who are subservient to the country’s powerful elite. “It’s all quite bizarre if you think about it. And this seems to be even more amplified in the digital world,” Kaushal says. The vocalist growls at the end of the track, “The all-seeing eye’s installation is now complete.”

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The song is paired with a disturbing, claustrophobic visual created by Anusha Menon. Counted by the band as among those who “gets” their music, Kaushal says they sent over a few references to Menon (inspired by abstract expressionist filmmaker Stan Brakhage’s films from the Sixties) and it helped the abstract, chaotic visual pulse. “The video is the ‘rambling incoherent world of the double-crossers’ (from the lyrics), a sensory overload-inducing brew of text and image that we interface with,” Kaushal adds.

The unhinged sonic footprint of Hive Mind is owed in part to Mumbai-based producer and artist Apurv Agrawal, who engineered and mixed the album. “Apurv did a stellar job with the mixes in this regard by maintaining the true characteristics and personalities of each instrument and bringing out the overall aggression in a controlled and cohesive manner,” Prasad says. They turned to American engineer Brad Boatright at Audiosiege to master the record.

Among the surprises on the 10-track album that we know of so far is Prasad and Nanda adding harmonium into the melee. The guitarist says, “Mayur had a harmonium with him and at some point, he went, ‘Let’s use it on the album.’ – I think it was as simple as that. It makes an appearance in many places on the album as dissonant ambiance, and at times, to make certain movements and sections denser and darker […] It’s got a demented quality to it that just goes with the kind of music we play.”

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Watch the video for “Double-Crosser” below. Pre-order ‘Hive Mind’ on Bandcamp and Instamojo.

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