Premiere: Pune Guitarist Mradul Singhal’s Posthumous Release ‘Oceans and Woods’
The guitarist-bassist for metal bands KillKount and Dead Exaltation, who passed away unexpectedly last month, was working on a solo album which will release in May
When 24-year-old Pune musician Mradul Singhal passed away tragically in a road accident last month, he was just prepping to head out for shows with metallers KillKount, whose just-released album Konflict and Terror he had contributed towards.
Also part of Pune metal band Dead Exaltation and prog rock/metal band Schwa, Singhal was working on solo material as well. Due to efforts taken by his girlfriend Swagata Khargharia and Dead Exaltation bandmate Satyajit Gargori, a full album called Beyond:Life comprising six songs will be released this May. Gargori says, “Mradul was a patient, enthusiastic and a very hard working musician. He was totally dedicated in composing new original music and was always up for trying new styles and incorporating them in Dead Exaltation.”
While he channeled metal with all the bands he was part of, Singhal was clearly aiming for something different and calmer with his solo material. The first release off the album, “Oceans and Woods” gives listeners a glimpse of laidback, layered fretwork, supported by Brazilian bassist Samuel Chacon, who’s also mixed and mastered Beyond:Life.
Chacon tells Rolling Stone India that he connected with Singhal in May last year, the guitarist telling the producer he was following his work avidly, keen to work on an “only guitars album.” Chacon adds that there was complete freedom in the processes and calls Beyond:Life “the best album I’ve worked on in my entire life.” He adds about Singhal, “He looked like a very honest, simple, straightforward, peaceful dude.”
Khargaria, who has helped ready the album for release on May 13th, recounts how Singhal told her he was in a “trance” while recording this material. She adds, “It was kind of external and the harmonies also came to him, which even if he tried to reproduce later he would not be able to make it. He wanted to experiment with other styles, he was also listening to a lot of jazz and wanted to get into it. He had also been listening to [American ambient project] Chords of Orion a lot and got some inspiration there.”
Listen to “Oceans and Woods” below. ‘Beyond : Life’ releases on May 13th