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The Minerva Conduct Reveal Tracklist for Debut Album

The Mumbai prog metallers have roped in American drummer/synth artist Navene Koperweis and are crowdfunding part of their upcoming album

Anurag Tagat Oct 22, 2016
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The Minerva Conduct - Ashwin Shriyan, Prateek Rajagopal and Nishith Hegde (from left). Photo: Parizad D

The Minerva Conduct – Ashwin Shriyan, Prateek Rajagopal and Nishith Hegde (from left). Photo: Parizad D

When Mumbai-based guitarist Prateek Rajagopal says they decided to get started on recording their debut full-length album in January this year, he’s only setting the opening for what seems like a saga for his instrumental prog metal band The Minerva Conduct.

The band, which came together in late 2013, comprises Rajagopal (the shredder for brutal death metal act Gutslit), bassist Ashwin Shriyan (from extreme metallers Demonic Resurrection) and guitarist Nishith Hegde (also from DR and heavy metallers Albatross). The trio also play for death metal act Reptilian Death, but with Minerva Conduct, their drummer woes abound. Says Rajagopal, “We thought of options in India and figured no one could match the vision we had. Our expectations were really high.”

To invest in a studio drummer based anywhere in the world, they ended up calling on a Hong Kong-based drummer, but faced unexpected ego clashes and let go. Last October, they contacted a bigger name, California-based drummer and synth artist Navene Koperweis, whose previous exploits include tech metallers Animals As Leaders, tech-death band The Faceless and is currently with prog metallers Entheos. He says over email, “I never would have thought I’d be working with a band from India! Working with them was great.”

American drummer and synth artist Navene Koperweis. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

American drummer and synth artist Navene Koperweis. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Originally intended to only provide synth, while the band was still hunting (now with even more precaution after past experience) for a drummer, Koperweis, unknowing of their travails to find a drummer, offered to record drums. Rajagopal says he never thought to ask Koperweis for drums as well, presuming it would be a bigger spend than their budget. While Koperweis admits he tends to take over and let loose over a track that he has to add drums to, Rajagopal adds, “I told Navene I wanted things a certain way and we got that out of the way first.”

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The nine-track album features previously-released singles “Appetence,” “End Creation” and “Unearth” as well as live staples such as “Metanoia” but Rajagopal says the album’s newer material is shifting moods more than time signatures. “Vile,” for example is a 2013 composition that’s turned into a “riff city song”. While “Exultant” has a “slightly happier vibe”, Shriyan adding a post-rock outro. Rajagopal adds, “It’s just experimental.”

Mixed and mastered by German record engineer Lasse Lammert (who also worked with Bengaluru thrash/death metallers Inner Sanctum), the band is crowdfunding to recover costs of production, already closing in on their Rs 1.5 Lakhs target. Says Rajagopal, “We knew we were going to spend a lot of money. We’re releasing it via Transcending Obscurity, because Kunal [Choksi, label head] is giving us a good deal.”

The Minerva Conduct tracklist. Contribute to the album here.

  1. “Vile”
  2. “Disertion”
  3. “Metanoia”
  4. “Upshot”
  5. “Exultant”
  6. “Appetence”
  7. “Trip Seq”
  8. “Unearth”
  9. “Grand Arcane”

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