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Poetic License: Rectified Spirit

Guwahati metallers Rectified Spirit base their second album on T.S. Eliot’s iconic verse, ‘The Waste Land’

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Nabeela Shaikh Oct 23, 2015
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Rectified Spirit’s second album The Waste Land is based on T.S Eliot’s poem by the same name. Photo: Courtesy of the band.

When he was still a child, guitar­ist Samudragupta Dutta discovered Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner through British heavy metal veter­ans Iron Maiden’s eponymous single from their fifth studio album Power­slave [1984]. Intrigued by the heavy metal adaptation of a literary classic ever since, Dutta, who is part of Guwa­hati band Rectified Spirit, resolved to attempt one himself with his band.

Rectified Spirit’s second album The Waste Land is based on T.S Eliot’s poem by the same name. The seven-track album, conceptualized by Dutta, was released last month.

Mixed and mastered by New Zealand producer Zorran Mendonsa [who has previously worked with bands such as Mumbai-based prog-rock act Coshish and Delhi rockers Barefaced Liar], The Waste Land addresses the themes of moral degeneration, chaos and the futil­ity of modern life. Says Dutta, “The title track is a musical adaptation of the poem; there isn’t much lyrical variation from the original piece since we have taken lines from the text itself.” The other six tracks on the album too revolve around the cen­tral theme, with the underlying idea being to unite Western and Eastern philoso­phies, much like the original poem.

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Sonically, Rectified Spirit’s style is tough to neatly categorize under any particular genre, what with drummer Nishant Hagjer’s prog metal leanings on “The Art of War” and the power-packed, heavy metal riffs and vocals on “Winter In Thine Eyes,” to the comparatively more mellow, alt-rock bent on “Afterthought.”

Just like in their self-titled debut album [2012], the band has adopted in The Waste Land what they call a “crossover approach”. Says Dutta, “We always have a classic metal influence in our music, whether it’s old school thrash metal or heavy metal, but we have also tried to make a crossover to the North Eastern metal style. We take a very liberal approach in constructing our sound since we are a genre-less band, but at the same time we ensure that it sounds cohesive.”

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