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India and Pakistan’s Underground Metal Veterans Dying Embrace and Dusk Bring the Doom on Split CD ‘Through Corridors of Dead Centuries’

The combined forces of Indian death/doom band Dying Embrace and Pakistan doom band Dusk is gritty, dark metal

Anurag Tagat Aug 15, 2014
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Dying Embrace - (from left) Deepak Raghu, Vikram Bhat, Jimmy Palkhivala and Pritham D’Souza. Photo: Dhruva Suresh

Dying Embrace – (from left)
Deepak Raghu, Vikram Bhat, Jimmy Palkhivala and Pritham D’Souza. Photo: Dhruva Suresh

[easyreview cat1title = “Through Corridors of Dead Centuries” cat1rating = 3.5 cat1detail = “Cyclopean Eye”]

'Through Corridors of Dead Centuries' artwork

‘Through Corridors of Dead Centuries’ artwork

All trash talk and scene feuds aside, bands are ultimately judged on their music. So how, then, does Bengaluru death/doom metal band Dying Embrace fare on their first new material in over a decade? They feature on five songs, alongside Karachi-based doom metal veterans Dusk on a new 10-track split album called Through Corridors of Dead Centuries

On Through Corridors of Dead Centuries, Dying Embrace seem to aim for that archaic, gritty, old school sound, with noisier riffs from guitarist Jimmy Palkhivala and drummer Deepak Raghu pounding away on the drum kit straight from the rumbling opener, “Ascendance of Namtar.” Palkhivala’s dirty riffs match vocalist Vikram Bhat’s guttural growl, a staple on most old school death metal. Bhat has previously mentioned that despite the decade-long gap, Dying Embrace have been rooted to their sound. They celebrate that old school spirit on “Horns of the Divine,” with Palkhivala’s solo shining through. Although the lo-fi recording does lend to the doom, underground rep of the band, some parts on songs like “Ravagers of the Lamb [March of Bohemond]” sound out of sync at times. After building up the doom times, Dying Embrace bow out with an instrumental, noisy filler [“Sky Chariots of Annunaki”] and a tip of the hat to death metal veterans Autopsy by running through a cover of “Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay.”

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Dusk, on the other hand, start their side of the split in true doom fashion: slow and eerie. Starting off with the acoustic, atmospheric “The Light of Thy Countenance,” the Karachi metallers deliver what might be the shortest doom song on “Shadow Poet.” The rest of their EP ”“ including two full-bodied brooding tracks “Forged By Fires of Duality” and the psychedelic nightmare that’s “For Majestic Nights” ”“ are perfect examples of why Dusk, who formed first in 1994 by guitarist Babar Sheikh, are still a strong force in the underground metal scene in Pakistan. Like Dying Embrace, they too bow out with a customary cover, picking up the pace with a cover of Motorhead’s “Bomber.”

It’s unfair to look upon both bands as competing with each other on the split CD, but Dying Embrace and Dusk aim for the same audience ”“ the old school metal faithful who like their metal to be dirty and reckless.

Key tracks: “Horns of the Divine,” “Forged By Fires of Duality.”

Listen to the Ascendance of Namtar by Dying Embrace here. Write to [email protected] to buy Through Corridors of Dead Centuries

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