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Mephisto Quits Demonic Resurrection Over Creative Differences

Keyboardist Jetesh Menon, one of the earliest members of the Mumbai extreme metallers, won’t be part of their upcoming fifth album

Anurag Tagat Sep 20, 2016
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Demonic Resurrection keyboardist Mephisto live in 2014. Photo: Prashin Jagger

Demonic Resurrection keyboardist Mephisto live in 2014. Photo: Prashin Jagger

After being a part of Mumbai extreme metallers Demonic Resurrection [DR] for 14 years, keyboardist Mephisto has announced he has quit the band, citing creative differences. The announcement comes at a time when DR are just wrapping up their fifth full-length album, which will be their first to exclude Mephisto since 2000’s debut Demonstealer.

The band’s frontman Sahil Makhija posted an update to contributors to their PledgeMusic crowdfunding campaign earlier today, “While this has been extremely hard, the wheels of the band haven’t stopped turning and we’re not slowing down. While Mephisto is an integral part of the band’s sound, I trust the new album will not disappoint you in any way and it will still sound every bit like a DR album, synth and all.”

Mephisto’s statement in the same update spoke about the hard times he’s spent when the band was facing brickbats (and stones and cigarette butts, literally, too), while talking about their 2005 album A Darkness Descends. Fast forwarding to their upcoming fifth album ”“ due by the end of this year or early next year ”“ the keyboardist says “It sounds very good.”

He adds, “But the creative differences are far too great for me to ignore. And I cannot have that on my conscience. Which is why after 14 glorious years, I’ve decided to step down as an active full-time member of the band.” The statement also mentions that things remain amicable between him and the band. “The times I’ve spent with the band have been the best. But at this point I believe this is the right thing to do.”

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The keyboardist, who won the Rolling Stone Metal Award for his work on their fourth album The Demon King in 2015, has left the door open as well. His statement includes a mention of his future plans, outside of DR. “At some point I would like to release some music on my own. I wish the band more success. They are not only talented musicians but amazing people too and if they ever need my services to perform live again, I’ll always be available.”

It was at Independence Rock in 2002 that Mephisto ”“ a classically-trained vocalist and harmonium player was warming up to metal by tuning into the likes of Slayer and Dimmu Borgir ”“ saw DR for the first time. For our 2014 cover story on the band, Mephisto told this author, “I did a quick background check and learnt that Nikita had left the band.” While writing to Makhija to apply for the band, Mephisto had heard that the DR frontman “had a lot of attitude,” and ended up writing a “nasty email.”

Says Mephisto, “I told him [Makhija] that the band’s music was bad and they should hire me.” Makhija didn’t reply to Mephisto’s email. Says Makhija, “I read it and thought, ”˜Who is this douchebag?’ Who has so much attitude? I pretty much avoided him.” Mephisto, still keen to play in a band, tracked Makhija down at IIT Bombay’s annual cultural festival Mood Indigo in late 2002 and auditioned in January. Says Mephisto, “At that point, I thought if I could play songs from Cradle of Filth, I could play with a proper band.”

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