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Albums Reviews

Pentagram

[Four stars]
Bloodywood
Counter Culture Records

Bobin James Apr 05, 2011

Few bands would have the truckloads of gumption required to release an album with 14 tracks. But then Pentagram isn’t any other band and Bloodywood – their 4th album – isn’t any other record. From the slamming opening, ‘Identify’, to the mesmerizing closer, ‘Nocturne’, Bloodywood is an album crammed with great music and zero fillers. And as the launch gig for the album at Mumbai’s Hard Rock Cafe very ably demonstrated, most of these songs make for solid crowd-pleasers when played live. While the sound on Bloodywood remains largely trademark Pentagram, guitarist-producer Randolph Correia seems to have gone easier on the electronica part of it, especially compared to 2007’s It’s Okay, It’s All Good.

Taking inspiration from the sights and sounds around them in the city of Mumbai (the name itself a twist on Bollywood), this album is a pounding modern electro-rock offering that, in vocalist Vishal Dadlani’s words, “could not have come out of any other city and from any other band.” ‘Nocturne’ was inspired by the empty streets he encounters late at night. ‘Nutter’ was born of the people’s reaction to bassist Papal Mane’s waist-long hair (he has cut it short since). ‘Identify’ is all about looking within. And that sense of introspection is, by Dadlani’s admission, a theme running across the album.

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While Pentagram might have written Bloodywood for themselves, they have made sure that the album has enough catchy choruses for you to sing along to, and enough bouncy riffs to jump along to. And that’s perhaps what makes Bloodywood one of the best releases by an Indian band in a while. From the beginning to the finish just under an hour later, it’s an album that you will be forced to pay attention to.

Key Tracks: ‘Identify’, ‘Nocturne’, ‘Lovedrug Climbdown’

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