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Listen: The Minerva Conduct ”“ “Unearth”

The Mumbai prog metal band comprises members from Demonic Resurrection, Albatross and Gutslit

Rolling Stone India Oct 27, 2014
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The Minerva Conduct - Nishith Hegde, Ashwin Shriyan and Prateek Rajagopal (from left). Photos: Prashin Jagger

The Minerva Conduct – Nishith Hegde, Ashwin Shriyan and Prateek Rajagopal (from left). Photos: Prashin Jagger

They’ve spent the last year jamming together for the live section of death metal band Reptilian Death, but only few know that under the hooded masks on stage were guitarists Prateek Rajagopal [also part of death grind band Gutslit] and Nishith Hegde [from heavy metallers Albatross], along with bassist Ashwin Shriyan [from extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection, which also features Hegde on guitars]. In addition to becoming friends, the three members also began working on their own new prog metal project, The Minerva Conduct, late last year. 

Unearth artwork

Unearth artwork by Roshan Shakeel

Currently an instrumental band, The Minerva Conduct is still looking out for a vocalist. The band, which includes 16-year-old Mumbai drummer Ranbir Kapoor [not the Bollywood actor, the band members are quick to point out] began jamming in August this year, drawing from Rajagopal’s solo material. Says Rajagopal, “I’ve been writing these songs since January 2013. I was in [experimental metal band] Chronic Phobia back then, and that band was almost never active. So I decided to just chuck all that and start writing my own songs.” The guitarist recorded the tracks and sent them to Shriyan, who is also a producer and studio engineer. Says Shriyan, “I was going to play in his band until he found a suitable bass player because I wanted to explore some other genres. But then I gradually started loving his songs and we decided to form a band and hunt for a drummer and a second guitarist.”  Rajagopal says they might even take The Minerva Conduct to stage and perform without a vocalist. Shriyan adds, “I’ve always been in favor of keeping the project instrumental, because I love it that way. We are open to looking for a vocalist, though, be it someone from a different locality, city, state, country, continent, planet, galaxy, and so on.”

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The Minerva Conduct serves as an outlet for the members to go beyond extreme or death metal, drawing from prog metal acts such as Jeff Loomis and Periphery. While Hegde mentions he’s always been a big fan of progressive rock and metal bands such as Dream Theater and Nevermore, Shriyan adds that he’s never restricted himself to listening to any one genre. Says the bassist, “I listen to all kinds of music ”“ metal, rock, psy trance, electronica, techno, etc. Even though this is my first prog band, it wasn’t that difficult for me to absorb the vibe of the music. And I get full freedom to fiddle around and compose bass lines that aren’t just following the guitars.” 


Listen to “Unearth” here. Follow the band here.

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