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Members of Bhayanak Maut, Undying Inc, Aberrant Form The Silent Offensive

The metal band talk about “everything dissonant and comforting” that goes into making music with a new project

Anurag Tagat Mar 21, 2018

The Silent Offensive comprises Sunneith Revankar, Reuben Bhattacharya, Jerry Nelson Ranee, Teji Toko and Imti Kharkongor (clockwise from top). Artwork: Visual Amnesia

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Earlier in March, Shillong metallers Aberrant decided to call time on their band, but it’s turned out to be a move that’s paved way for a new project, The Silent Offensive, featuring former Bhayanak Maut vocalist Sunneith Revankar, former Undying Inc. bassist Reuben Bhattacharya and Arunachalese drummer Teji Toko.

Aberrant guitarists Imti Kharkongor and Jerry Nelson Ranee, who have been writing material for a year,  did toy with the idea of continuing after introducing Bhattacharya, Revankar and Toko, but decided to start over as a new project. Bhattacharya says, “We unanimously agreed that this was a fresh start for us all, minus any past baggage. There is no old reference point to go back to. The energy was different as was the sound. Fresh material, new beginning. Nothing left to lose, nothing to prove, that’s the vibe. In every aspect of the band, this is a new birth.”

Kharkongor and Ranee had already enlisted Bhattacharya first, and then asked Revankar to join even before he announced his exit from Mumbai metallers Bhayanak Maut. The vocalist says, “I’ve wanted to make music with Reuben for over twelve years now. The day Reuben and the Undying boys bid farewell, I reached out to him and told him that we need to make music together and that we should talk six months from then. Cut to about a year later and I find myself bouncing off the walls listening to and demoing some of the freshest metal I’ve heard in a while.” They asked Toko ”“ the drummer for Itanagar death metallers Sacred Secrecy and an old friend ”“ to join. “Getting a call was a pleasant surprise as I looked up to Aberrant. Later I got to know the other people that are also involved in the project. Sunny and Reuben was big news for me,” Toko says.

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With about eight songs in the works for an upcoming album, a short snippet of a song called “Paper Brace” gives a good insight into The Silent Offensive’s direction ”“ it’s bathed in dissonance and chaotic groove, and not too far removed from Aberrant’s sound. “There is a fucking knife in the logo right there,” Bhattacharya says. Although Bhattacharya worked on the EP artwork for Aberrant’s debut release (2015) and merchandise design for Bhayanak Maut, this is the first time everyone is working together as musicians. He says, “You should hear the fucking guitars on this man, both Jerry and Imti have managed to write parts that span everything from tech to prog to big hardcore riffs to bluesy country licks so seamlessly. It’s phenomenal.”

Lyrically, Revankar and Bhattacharya are taking influence from their common love for authors such as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Hunter S. Thompson. The bassist adds that he’s taking on more than just visual design, bass and lyric-writing duties for The Silent Offensive. “Three years ago, I wouldn’t have even considered arranging synths or programming ambient background scores. But I spent time learning that when I was away from being in a band, so I’m glad I can bring that flavor into the mix,” Bhattacharya says.

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Revankar notes that the first priority is to complete writing and recording their upcoming album, although he adds that they are keen to “get this on the road.” He adds, “Everything else will follow. Angry and jaded is the new black. Bring on the young.”

Hear a teaser to The Silent Offensive’s “Paper Brace.”

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