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Inside Zygnema’s Groove-Heavy New Album

The Mumbai thrash/groove metal band takes a more cautious approach to their second album, due in July

Anurag Tagat Mar 19, 2014
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Zygnema at Blue Frog, Mumbai last year. Photo: Siddharth Dugha

Zygnema at Blue Frog, Mumbai last year. Photo: Siddharth Dugha

Besides an all-out diatribe on social issues and the politics sur­rounding the 26/11 terrorist at­tacks in Mumbai in 2011, Mumbai thrash/groove metal band Zygne­ma decided to slip in a break-up song, “Theo­ry of Lies and Negation,” on their 2010 album, Born Of Unity. Guitarist Sidharth Kadadi says, “Even breaking up is a social issue.”

For their second album, Zygnema has decided to weed out the mush. New songs from the band aren’t even solely concentrat­ing on political or social issues. Says Kada­di, “We’re not really consciously focusing on making this album like the last one in terms of lyrics. Like ”˜Invidious Eye’, for example, is about alter egos.” Drummer Mayank Shar­ma adds, “We’re looking at 10 or 11 tracks max, but we’re not going to push anything for number’s sake and throw in stuff we don’t need.” Kadadi adds that the band has been very cautious in their approach to making an album this time around and he consid­ers the process it took to release of Born Of Unity “quite hasty.” Says Kadadi, “With the last album, we got the CDs just before we were supposed to go on stage.”

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This time around, the band members have even been getting together for listening ses­sions to make sure every song fits in seam­lessly. Says Sharma, “Every time we finish [writing and tracking] one or two tracks, we see what we can add when we get into record­ing.” It will take another four or five months until the record is out, but Sharma wants to get out and play live with Zygnema. Says Sharma, “The thing with playing shows is, if you do even one or two, you start working on your setlist and then writing new songs takes a backseat.” Kadadi adds, “We’ve learnt a lot over the last four years and I think the big dif­ference in this album is that we’re being a lot more professional about it.”

That the new album keeps the grooves heavy is an indication Zygnema knows what has always worked for them. Says Kada­di, “We started out [in 2006] playing at too many colleges. There were young, angry kids who wanted heavy music.” Kadadi picked up a classical guitar and even wrote Latin Bossa Nova grooves on “Invidious Eye,” which the band has been playing since late 2012. Says Kadadi, “Grooves are our main forte, so that’s something that’s not compromised.” Other songs confirmed to be on the album are “Shell Broken, Hell Loose,” which continues the groove metal styling of Pantera and “En­dangered,” a more chaotic outtake from Born Of Unity, which features slap bass.

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This is also the first time that the band is in the studio with their new bassist Leon Quad­ros, who replaced Ravi Satpute in March last year. Kadadi says Quadros has been contrib­uting more thrash metal-influenced ideas for the album. Says Kadadi, “He’s younger than us and he definitely has his own inputs.”

Zygnema performed at the Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo, Norway in March last year and opened for black/death metal band Behemoth in Nepal in November, but haven’t played a gig in India for the past four months. One of the reasons for their absence is vocalist Jimmy Bhore’s head in­jury in July last year. Says Kadadi, “While Jimmy has been recovering, we have spent more time on tightening the music.” So far, Zygnema have written eight songs and hope to launch the album in July.

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

Stream Zygnema’s new single “Shell Broken Hell Loose” 

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