In The Studio: Demonic Resurrection
The Mumbai extreme metal band on their game changing fourth new album
When we drop by at the garage-turned-sound proof jamroom and studios, Demonic Studios, the conversation topic seems to be fingernails. Unfortunately, they’re not the subject of a new Demonic Ressurrection track on their fourth album. Nothing so intriguing. Lead guitarist Daniel Rego, who is tracking and recording guitar parts with the extreme metal band’s vocalist Sahil Makhija, complains that he can’t play the tapping solos because of his overgrown fingernails. “The solos are too difficult,” adds Rego, before recording five takes over a melodic solo that includes dreamy, delay-laden sweep-picking on a track that has been tentatively titled “Promise.” The guitarist listens to the finished product on his headphones and shouts “Nailed it,” after which the producer in Makhija wryly reminds Rego that he has two more solos left to record on the song.
While Rego spent all of last year listening to mostly jazz, the one song he’s written entirely by himself is quite metal, he assures. “I’m very proud of it because there’s a slight change in the overall sound of the album. It’s probably one of the more complex and musically challenging and interesting songs [by DR],” says Rego.
DR’s fourth album, the follow up to 2010’s Return To Darkness, is the beginning of a new story after the end of the Darkness trilogy. “The themes and concepts are still a work in progress, but there’s always the idea of darkness. The album is more character-based this time, and each song is like a chapter,” says Makhija, who started recording drumming, bass and keyboards in March. His own vocals will be added last, in mid-June. Drummer Virendra Kaith took three days to finish his songs, recording on a live acoustic drum kit for the first time as a metal drummer. “I’d done it before with Sridhar/Thayil at Blue Frog studios, it’s a first for me with a metal band,” says Kaith.
Bassist Ashwin Shriyan is the new addition on the fourth album. “It’s not too complex, but it’s faster, pretty intense and I’ve kept it groovy, simple and melodic,” says Shriyan, who wrapped up his bass recording in two days.
Keyboardist Jetesh Menon aka Mephisto, tried out new gear to record his parts on the Korg Kronos. “The idea was to give the music everything it deserves, even if we can’t pull it off live. The orchestrations on this album are more severe, layered and thought-out. I basically wanted to outdo (Italian extreme metallers) Fleshgod Apocalypse in terms of orchestra,” says Menon.
Like Return To Darkness, DR hasn’t road-tested or performed any of the songs on their new album, tentatively slated to have 10 tracks and clock in at a little shorter than an hour. There’s nothing as lengthy, grand and indulgent as “Lord Of Pestilence,” and instead there is a four-minute dark, melodic song currently titled “The Complex.” Says Makhija, “We have shorter songs than last time. It’s more compact. You’ll know from the first song itself that DR has changed the game.”
This article appeared in the June 2013 edition of Rolling Stone IndiaÂ