10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
ktmROCKS e-mag issue 08, march 2011 www.ktmrocks.com http://www.facebook.com/ktmrocks http://www.facebook.com/ktmrocks.page copyleft @ ktmrocks
Cobweb, Third Eye Concert, March 2, 2011 - Photo: Umes Shrestha
FEATURED BANDS: INTERVIEWS:
Garudh Hatebook Horny Monks Gothica Define Mental 7th Gravity Psychic Tower Wings of Spasm Symbol of Orion
ALBUM REVIEWS: Plastic Heart EP – Jindabaad A God’s Lie – Devoid The Quantum Hack Code – Amogh Symphony Jupiter - Atheist 2012: A Luminous Odyssey
Davin Shakya, Kalodin Binaash Sangharsha STS (USA) Rohit Shakya, Jindabaad The Innercore (Hong Kong) Diwas Gurung, Ayurveda Parash Shakya, Antim Grahan Zero Transition Artillerie (India) Skrypt (India) Enigmatik (Switzerland) Severe Dementia (Bangladesh) Ayurveda (USA) Arsames (Iran) Cerebral Bore (Scotland) Bikrant Shrestha, Silence Studio Kishor Lama, Black Sins Immortal
Sunny Manandhar (Albatross) Pramithus Khadka (Bitter Euphemism) Diwas Gurung (Ayurveda) Pankaj Shakya (Antim Grahan)
FEATURED BANDS GARUDH, HATEBOOK, HORNY MONKS, GOTHICA, DEFINE MENTAL 7TH GRAVITY, PSYCHIC TOWER, WINGS OF SPASM, SYMBOL OF ORION
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
GARUDH is a band from Kathmandu inﬂuenced by Norwegian black metal bands like Mayhem, Immortal, Satyricon, Emperor, Dimmu borgir , Marduk, Darkthrone and others. The band has been playing since 2006.
essence of Black Metal. Basically, we play Satanic Black Metal and our compositions do have such ambience and feeling.”
In the beginning, Garudh used to cover songs like “Empty”, “Mother North”, “De Mysteris Doom Sathanas”, but now the band has been working on their own original material, which are in pure black metal vein.
Talking about the Black Metal scene in Nepal, Sanjay says, “a lot of the bands name their genre as a black metal but they don’t possess the feelings of black metal in the reality. Just playing black metal music is not enough and sufﬁcient, the message we are trying to give must be meaningful at the same time.”
Claims frontman Sanjay, “In Garudh, we have been working on our originals which reﬂect the true
Talking about the lyrics, the band says they are much more concerned about sending a message
to the people. “Essentially, black metal is much deeper in the lyrics and we are trying to continue the culture of black metal. The words we included in our lyrics are almost anti-religious. Our song titles clearly reﬂect that - “Cursing Them”, “Engraining the Fingers of Prayers”, “Lying Besides the Bramble of Thrones”, states guitarist Bijain. Members: Guitar: Bijain Keys: Ashish Lead vocals and Bass : Sanjay (Drummer: Gobind Sen has just left the band to join Kalodin)
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
HATEBOOK is a death metal band that derives its sound from the mixture of old school death metal and technical death metal, inﬂuenced by bands as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Decapitated, Nile, The Faceless, Meshuggah, Necrophagist, etc. with the prominent insertion of Opeth-styled melodic segments. Formed in 2006 as a thrash metal outﬁt, the band started by performing especially Pantera covers in gigs. They split up after only two year, but have recently reformed in 2010 under a new
line-up, shifting their direction towards death metal. According to the band, since the new line-up consisted of members who are from death metal background and since they also wanted to increase their level of technicality, they have turned towards playing death metal. The band name was drawn from a website of the same name, where users post things they hate.
Hatebook consists of: Navin Pokharel on vocals, who has been growling for about two years and is inﬂuenced from George Fisher, Muhammed Suicmez, Chuck Schuldiner, Prabin Shrestha, Avishekh KC, The Faceless, Sikth, etc. Rojan Ranjit in guitar, who has been playing the instrument for about eight years, and is inﬂuenced from Fredrik Thordendal, Steve Vai, Muhammed
Suicmez, etc. He had also been a guitarist for Taamishra.
ﬁnalizing our ﬁnal practice room in Anil Dhital’s basement in Anamnagar.”
Prajwal KC in guitar, who has been playing the instrument for about three years, and is inﬂuenced from Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Bikash Gurung, Anil Dhital, etc.
“First of all, the guitar riffs created by Rojan are shared with the band, after which everyone gives his own input. In a sense, he’s the key songwriter for the band” says Bivesh about the songwriting process, “Every time we play the songs, they tend to keep on changing their structures, as we try to add more stuff into it. The new output always sounds better.”
Bhufan Limbu in bass, who has been playing bass for about four years, and is inﬂuenced from Victor Wooten, Rizu Tuladhar, Ryan Martin, Pink Floyd, Bijay Shrestha, Flea, etc. He also plays in Psychic Tower and a blues band from Nepal Music Centre. And Bivesh Thapa in drums, who has been playing them for about two years, and is inﬂuenced from Surendra Koirala, Thomas Lang, Derek Roddy, Virgil Donati, Abhaya Shrestha, etc. He is also in Gothica. The band has played about half a dozen gigs since it has reformed, among which they cite “Deiﬁcation of the Saboteur” and “Gig III” as their best concerts. When asked about the problems of having a band in Nepal, they share, “The main problem right now is the hectic load-shedding hours which is really hurting us to practice properly. It’s really frustrating that we can only practice once a week these days. The other problem could be the lack of proper instruments and practice rooms. We had wandered around different locations until
Currently, the band has composed four songs entitled “Revenge”, “Saw”, “Precipitation of Human Flesh” and “Hedonist” and they have a plan to record a full length album soon, but are not in any hurry. Vocalist Navin Pokharel is also the lyricist of the band who pens contents that embrace perversion and torture and also on true historical events on such matter. For example, “Revenge” is based on the 19th century massacre known as ‘Boyd ship massacre’ and “Saw” is based on the movie of the same title. The band is happy that the number of people who listen to death metal is increasing by the day, and more bands are playing more extreme forms of metal with varied inﬂuences. “2010 was a massive year for the underground, considering the increase in number of gigs and also improvement in the overall ambience of the concerts. There were also
many band competitions held. One good thing about participating in such musical competitions for us is that we have really learned how to efﬁciently manage the time onstage, because of the time limitation. Besides, we have also gained some popularity participating in those events.” “Although the number of people in the crowd is increasing, there is still less people who actually understand the music. Nonetheless, we are happy with the amount of support we are getting from them. One of the most negative points here is that there is an increasing enmity between the local bands. Also, the older bands who have been in the scene for quite a time don’t count newer bands as capable, and there’s a lack of consideration from them as well, which is really disappointing. The thing is that we are a small scene and we must all be as a family without all those bullshit”. The band cite their favorite local bands, past and present, as Binaash, Atomic Bush, Jindabaad, 7th Gravity, E.quals, Taamishra, Ushma Weg, among others.
You can check more about the band in their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Hatebook/127956803915571 Written by Samyam Shrestha
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
HORNY MONKS While most of the other local bands are into their metal stuffs these days, Horny Monks has recently stood out as a band with a distinct taste. Their self proclaimed genre of “Super Duper Aggressive” has been an instant hit to the underground audiences. When asked about their musical ﬂavor, the band simply replied that they are still in search for a deﬁnite genre that suits their music. Within few months of their formation and some 10 original songs under their belt, this band has been the talk of the town especially among youths who are more into hardcore music. Songs like “Ghanta Jasto” and “Monkey’s got a red ass” were loved by the audiences from the start. The band has Niroj Shrestha as their front man, Abhishek Rai on guitars, Manil Shakya on bass and Gautam Tandukar behind the drums while it’s been currently managed by Nirupam ‘Dhoj’ Karki. They draw inspirations from bands/musicians like, Rage against the Machines, Nirvana, Jack Black & Kyle Gas project, AIC etc. Their ﬁery on-stage attitude and aggressive music has left an impressive mark on the viewers.
“We’ve been receiving lots of support and suggestions from people through blogs and social networking sites. The crowd has lot more expectations from us and the majority of them want us to be more horny while playing our stuffs haha” adds Abhishek Rai, the guitarist of the band. According to the band, their unique compositions, sarcastic & humorous lyrics and their full on energy stage presence have been the key features for their growth till date. The past couple of months were real good for the band as they were able to pull out some awesome shows in gigs and musical competitions. The band is working out on their upcoming songs and planning to hit the studios soon to record their ﬁrst album. Gautam Tandukar, the drummer, expressed his worries about the prevalent musical scene which despite some momentum towards success is still hovering with an uncertain future. Talking about their own future, the band had a unanimous say: “Our ultimate goal is to record at least one album before we die and to penetrate and break some more stages in days to come just to make things hornier, seriously guys!!!” And now for the HM fans and supporters let’s hope we will witness some more gut busting power performances from Horny Monks in the near future. Written by: Deepesh Paudel
Gothica - Photo: Umes Shrestha
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
GOTHICA Starting out as a black metal band, GOTHICA has played most of the underground concerts at Kathmandu in the last few years. The band covered Cradle of Filth and Iron Maiden a lot in their early days, and since music was mostly a hobby for the band members at that time, they jammed only from gig to gig. However, they did come up with some originals - but never got around to recording them. Plagued by band members going abroad to study, this metal group has seen a constantly changing lineup. On the bright side, it did bring a different sound to every gig the band has ever played. All this time, one man, Prashant Shrestha, has been screaming and shouting his lines in front of wild crowds all over KTM. Recruiting new musicians after his old friends left, he has kept Gothica alive. The current lineup has been stable for over a year now. Jamming and playing at various gigs throughout 2010, the band prepared to record their ﬁrst
album. They entered Phoenix Studios, Bagdol, towards the end of last year. However, a dispute with their record label and load-shedding has postponed their upcoming album by a couple of months. Their ﬁrst single from the album, “Cyborg Cataclysm” was released around Dashain ‘10 and received a fair amount of airplay at the few programs that play metal music such as Kantipur FM’s Extreme
symphonic keyboard ﬁlls, heavy drum blasts, fast bass line, melodic solos and high pitch screams and growls. They experiment a lot with different styles and techniques in their jam sessions and the result can be seen in their new songs. The band’s lyrics revolve around Nepal’s political past and present - the royal massacre, the Maoist insurgency, all the destruction and chaos. Hoping to overcome all odds in their way, the band is determined to release a complete studio album by the end of this summer.
Inﬂuences: Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth, The Faceless, Iron Maiden Favorite Local Bands: Atomic Bush, Karmaavalanche, E.quals, Albatross
Show. The upcoming album contains tracks like “Deiﬁcation of the Saboteur”, “Salvation from Eternal Sorrow, Death” and “2012”, which received a good response at their live gigs.
Lineup: Prashant Shrestha (vocals) Umang Khadka (guitar) Tarif Maharjan (guitar) Prashant Pratap Shah (keys) Animesh Shrestha (bass) Bivesh Thapa (drums) Bartika Rai (vocals)
Gothica’s music can be heard to put in a single subgenre of music, with their power metal guitar riffs,
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
DEFINE MENTAL DEFINE MENTAL is the result of ﬁve young students jamming and playing for welcome and farewell programs at White House College. What adds to this bunch of talented musicians is the experience garnered by two of the members, Yudhir Gautam and Surya Pun, who are also members of Antim Grahan, and have been playing for several years. “Someone shouts ‘Deﬁne mental!’ somewhere in the movie ‘Shutter Island’ and that’s when it clicked to us as a band name, sounds unusual but that’s the story behind the band name”, explain bassist Prashant Maharjan and guitarist Yudhir Gautam. Outside the college, Deﬁne Mental performed
for the ﬁrst time at the “Gig I” concert at the House of Music, where the band played only covers, for it was only later during KEC Inter College Competition that they were to compose their ﬁrst original, Disaster in Making. The band, since then, has been performing the original along with few covers of Decapitated and Dying Fetus from which they draw inﬂuences for their music. Deﬁne Mental made it to the ﬁnals in their ﬁrst ever participation in KEC Competition and also saw Surya Pun emerge as the Best Drummer of the event. Next, they got invited as a guest performer in KCM Band Competition, but the band entered the competition instead, and eventually seized the ﬁrst place.
Deﬁne Mental has recently earned a lot of rave reviews as a promising death metal band, with their technicality and energy during the live shows as evidence. Even though the band started out and made a name for itself as a Death Metal band, Sulav Nepal (vocals) informs that with originals coming up, the band is experimenting with the music as well. Deﬁne Mental continues to deﬁne themselves and the music they play! Members: Dipesh Shrestha – Guitar, Prashant Maharjan – Bass, Sulav Nepal – Vocals, Surya Pun – Drums, Yudhir Gautam - Guitar Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/deﬁne.mental
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
7th GRAVITY When seven students from Nepal Music School sharing a common passion for music came together, they formed 7TH GRAVITY. The band consists of Almoda Ballav Uprety- Vocals/Keys, Jeevan Lama Guitar/Vocals, John Shrestha- Guitar/Vocals, Nabin Thapa Magar - Percussion, Daniel Rasaily- Drums, Kushal Karki- Guitar/Vocals and Prem Gurung - Bass. The band performed for the ﬁrst time at NMC’s Annual Function of 2010. Thereafter, the band has played several gigs in town, including Boudha Fest, KCM ICMC and Chevrolet Concert Series. Now, after a year of its formation, the band is planning to release its ﬁrst three albums together: one with a western theme, a Nepali folk album, and a fusion. The albums are produced by Studio Mandala and Rec. Studio. The band’s ﬁrst original is titled “Latino” and has occasional vocals with instrumental foreground. According to the band members, they have completed most of the work, and are planning to release the albums by April at the latest. Furthermore, the band is also planning a music video for its track “Samay”.
7th Gravity has often been mistaken for a progressive rock or a technical band. However, the band informs that it is experimental with its music and doesn’t follow a speciﬁc genre. “7th Gravity promotes quality listening and is not a stereotypical band,” says Almoda Ballav Uprety.
awareness about Right to Information and corruption.
The band has also been working for social causes through its music. Together with Aagan Foundation and Studio Mandala, it has provided assistance in sectors like agriculture, health and transparency. The band has also done some radio-acts to create
For more details www.7thgravity.co.cc (Ofﬁcial website) www.7thgravity.com
7th Gravity, hence exists as an “independent organization” in itself, contributing academically and socially.
Written by: Renasha/Nikita
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Psychic Tower A nu-metal band from Kathmandu, PSYCHIC TOWER is highly inﬂuenced by Rage Against The Machine. The band’s sound is combination of nu-metal and funk rock often resembling that of Red Hot Chili Peppers and RATM. Initially formed as a RATMcover band in 2009, Psychic Tower began doing their originals with the change in the band’s lineup. Now, with a ﬁxed lineup the band has been performing in various gigs around the city, with Hell awaits, Christmas Core and Gig III, to mention a few. All the band members highly draw inspirations from bands like Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, RHCP, The Time, Atomic Bush, but mostly from RATM. Talking about their compositions “Generally, we compose songs together” states guitarist Manav Shahi “Whenever someone comes up with an idea
we jam together and ﬁll the necessary things with the ﬂow. We work as a unit”. “Our lyrics are often political. It deals with hate against the system, government and is general statement to the ordinary people” says vocalist Prashidha Roka who jots the band’s song. With Politically charged songs like “Revolt”, “Nobody knows my name”, “M-16” and “I want my shoes back”; the band is soon recording an EP. “Being in a band is hard in Nepal” the entire band claims. “There are lots of problems. For now, the main obstacle is power outage that really cuts our time of practice and some of our parents are not supportive to this music.”
The band afﬁrms Jindabaad, Stairs of Cirith, 7th Gravity, Hari Mahajan Project and White as their local favorite bands. Members: Vocals- Prashidha Roka, Guitars- Manav Shahi, Paras Sharma , Bass-Bhufan Limbu, Drums-Kevin Tuladhar http://www.facebook.com/pages/Psychic-Tower/152509739564
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Wings of Spasm
WINGS OF SPASM Ashim Shrestha - Vocals Ankit Shrestha – Guitars Bijesh Shrestha - Guitars Kundan Shrestha - Bass Sujal Shrestha - Drums Anup Thapa - Keys Genre: melodic/new age death metal The origin of Wings of Spasm dates back a couple of years ago when three school friends Ankit, Ashim and Sujal decided to form a band and start creating music. The project was then called ‘Killer on Call’. But it was only in the winter of 2009 that the transformation from ‘Killer on Call’ into ‘Wings of Spasm’ became complete as the three original members met with their soon to be bassist (Kundan) and guitarist (Bijesh) in college. The band made their live debut in the Kathmandu
underground scene when they got the opportunity to play during the ‘Christmas Core’ gig, where they shared the stage with acclaimed bands like E.Quals and The Time. This was followed by few other gigs after which they decided to add an additional band member, Anup, to handle the keysboards; thus, completing the current lineup. With the addition of the keyboardist into the lineup, the band could ﬁnally do what they had always wanted to do, that is, playing symphonic/melodic metal a la Children of Bodom. Along with numerous COB covers, they also started creating and performing their originals which have, till date, won them numerous titles in different Inter College Music Competitions held in Kathmandu. Most notable among them was during the ACE Music Festival when they bagged the ‘Best Band’ title. Asked about how the band goes about creating songs, the band-members reply, “We ﬁrst come up with the main riffs and melodies, which we then
roughly record using software along with basic programmed drums. We all then get together and discuss the overall direction of the song, improvise our parts and then perform the whole thing in our practice room. The vocals are added in the end.” Even during the current power crisis, the band manages to practice three to four days a week and has, till date, come up with four originals titled “Shades of a dusk”, “The Circus Tyrant”, “The Delirious Moth” and “The growing Finger”. Despite countless problems, the band remains optimistic about themselves and about the scene as a whole. They are planning on recording a couple of their originals soon and they hope to continue contributing to the scene by sticking together, making more music and constantly evolving. “We hope to see us grow in the years to come. We want to live up to what is expected of us. We want to keep adding our own unique ﬂavors into our music and we want to keep evolving.” Written by: Pranjal Ghimire
BANDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Symbol of Orion The term “Orion” was drawn originally from the Ancient Greek Mythology as a “Hunter” which utterly reﬂects the bands sound. This “Sound” is deﬁned as an Epic Voyage driven by menacing Thrash Metal with intelligence. Songs comprise of huge, angular guitar riffs with solid foundations of precise drumming and commanding bass led by dynamic vocals. Hailing from West London UK, Symbol of Orion are not here to recreate the 80’s thrash vibe, but, are on the verge of developing their own trademark sound. In other words, they aspire to be a true “Forward-Thinking Thrash Metal” act indeed!! Members: Yugal- Drums Saugaat- Guitars/Vox Manish- Bass Saujan- Guitars Websites and links: http://www.myspace.com/symboloforion http://www.youtube.com/symboloforion http://www.facebook.com/symboloforion Beyond Perfection Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOUaKCw7qhQ
Antim Grahan - Photo: Umes Shrestha
KALODIN -- BINAASH SANGHARSHA STS (USA) -- ROHIT SHAKYA THE INNERCORE (HK) -- DIWAS GURUNG -- PARASH SHAKYA ZERO TRANSITION -- ARTILLERIE (INDIA) -- SKRYPT (INDIA) ENIGMATIK (SWITZERLAND) SEVERE DEMENTIA (BANGLADESH) -- AYURVEDA (USA) ARSAMES (IRAN) -- CEREBRAL BORE (SCOTLAND) BIKRANT SHRESTHA -- KISHOR LAMA
Kalodin - Photo: Umes Shrestha
KALODIN KALODIN is a symphonic black/death metal band based in Nepal and Singapore. Here’s an interview taken by SAMYAM SHRESTHA with the band’s guitarist and the ‘brain of Kalodin’, DAVIN SHAKYA:
ktmROCKS: Hi Davin, thanks for granting me this opportunity to interview you! For those who haven’t listened to your music yet, could you please deﬁne Kalodin brieﬂy – the band, the sound and how it all got started? Davin: Greetings Samyam! We appreciate your effort in this brother, and thanks for the interview. “Kalodin”, is a word play of Nepali language literally translating “Black Day”. At the time when I was trying to brainstorm on our band’s name, I thought of few other possible names until I found out that those were already taken. And I knew I had to sort of imprint our background onto the name, hence the name, “Kalodin”, which metaphorically means “Dark Age” in Nepali. Kalodin consists of: Davin Shakya: Guitars, keys, backup vocals and sound engineer Rai: Bass, graphic designer OmEO: Guitar, video editor Gobinda: Drums During our “torture” era, we were just starting out as a metalcore band and as we aged, we started getting heavier and heavier – from metalcore to thrash metal to melodic death metal to symphonic black/death metal. And now, we have ﬁnally found our ‘signature’ touch that we establish in all the
songs that we write. Spanish/Arabic vibe is a part of our whole song writing process not forgetting war/the downside of humanity/sex/religion. Speaking of sound, we played with different musicians during our growth towards the present – different drummers, different guitarist and bassists. But we soon realized that in mean time, we will have to part ways due to my visa issue in Singapore. So I had to decide whether to stick with the lineup or move on, and decided to move on. Thus, explaining why we used MIDI drums on our whole production in “The Bestial Ritualism of Harlotry” and the parting of our ex-vocalist, Kiew Jay Joel from Singapore who played a huge role in Kalodin. We recently recruited an ofﬁcial member once from Garudh, Gobinda on drums. But Ashis and Sanjay, from Garudh are also sessioning for us for our tours in Nepal. And we have the luxury of a home recording studio so I can’t deny that we cut cost during our production stage but trust me, my balls grow white hair upon completion. It’s not fun anymore man. It’s our way of life. Kalodin is our legacy and our destiny we can’t afford to fuck up. And I’ll do whatever it takes to honor this name and watch it go really far with the help of our members and fans!
ktmROCKS: It’s been sometime that Kalodin released the debut studio album “The Bestial Ritualism of Harlotry”, which was produced independently by the band itself. How have been the responses till now? Davin: The responses have been all positive so far besides the MIDI drums!
ktmROCKS: Any interesting moment in the tour you’d like to share with us? Davin: Haha, there are many moments that we won’t be able to forget! Kalodin’s version of “Eddie”, LIGU! was kind enough to buy some spaghetti and rub it all over the hotel room’s wall and puking all over the toilet, getting fucked up with great friends! Ligu nearly threw a TV set out of the window but I guess he realized we were all there on budget, hahaha! We also got to explore the beautiful places of Pokhara! It was awesome.
ktmROCKS: Kalodin recently played in Pokhara Putrefaction Gig in Pokhara and you said it was the best thing that has happened to you. You want to share something on it? Davin: It was in fact the best live gig we ever played in our history! Our ﬁrst make-up attempt was a complete success! The stage was outdoors with just sky as the ceiling! The lighting was pretty good. We FINALLY got to tour with our good friend, Antim Grahan. And most importantly, THE FANS WERE ABSOLUTELY CRAZY!!! Those guys were fucking awesome, supporting us from the start till end, taking photos with us! We did feel like rockstars in that moment! But what makes a rockstar? The answer is simple – our family, our friends and fans who keep supporting us in every move we partake to strive for the better!
ktmROCKS: And you guys are also touring a couple of other towns in Nepal with Antim Grahan? Davin: Yes, It’s an honor! ktmROCKS: The Singaporean metal scene, as I know, is fucking huge, with frequent visit of world famous groups. What do you say about the Singaporean metal scene yourself? Davin: Well yes the ‘scene’ there is great. Great international bands tour Singapore all the time.
Maiden’s coming on February. People do not mind paying ALOT for these bands. But I am very disappointed with the local scene there. Bands playing in front of a crowd of 10. Let me just put it this way – the local metal scene there is bad. But some bands there are amazing! They truly are. ktmROCKS: So till now, what differences have you noticed in between playing in Singapore and playing in Nepal? The atmosphere? The bands? The fans? Davin: Well yes, the atmosphere is entirely different. As mentioned before, Singapore’s local metal scene is pretty bad. But that didn’t really affect us because we were the headliners. As for the bands that we played with in Singapore, they are awesome! But a little more attention from the audiences’ side would be great! These bands deserve to be heard man! In Nepal though, everything was different. The fans were crazy! The stage set-up, and the unity of metalheads in Nepal! And that is important. Unity! For in the family of metal, we are one! ktmROCKS: Since the band members are/were dispersed in two different countries most of the time, how did you manage the making and recording of songs all those time? How did the whole process go?
Davin: It started when I was in India studying Audio Engineering. Our vocalist at that time, Joel and Rai were in Singapore. So being the main songwriter, I compose something and send the mp3 ﬁle over to them by email. Upon receiving it, they will add their own stuff on it and send it back to me. The songwriting and recording process were done through these means. Joel recorded his vocals in a professional studio in Singapore while Rai bought an audio interface and recorded using that. They then send me all the completed ﬁles and I’d mix and master them altogether. It was a long, dreary process but we still pulled it off. ktmROCKS: Kalodin’s music has symphonic, black, death, melodic death, progressive, power as well as heavy metal elements. Was it a sort of experimentation? Who are your primary inﬂuences behind the music? Davin: We weren’t really experimenting. Instead, we tried to evoke different emotions in different parts of every songs thus the perception of various sub-genres of metal in our music. Our main inﬂuences are Dimmu Borgir, CoF, Behemoth and artists from Roadrunner Records. ktmROCKS: There had been a lack of stable drummer with the band since the beginning, which had also led the band employing programmed drums in the album. In the mean time, Kalodin recently
added Gobind as the ofﬁcial drummer of the band. Anything you want to say on the drumming department?
to see the market ﬂourish in due time! It’s about the art’s integrity and yes, we do need money to upgrade our gears, don’t we?
Davin: Well, like I mentioned above. We went through a great deal of changes in the past and because of geographical difference, we had to resort to MIDI drums to ﬁll up the void in our production. But now that Gobind has joined the band, we will be releasing an EP with live drums intact! We want to brush away any doubt that we can’t do without a drummer which is going to require a hell lot of work and experimenting on the audio production side.
ktmROCKS: We’ve learned that the band is working for the next EP already, which is said to come out in few months, probably. How’s it going?
ktmROCKS: And Kalodin also released “The Divulgence”, a promotional package/compilation set of the album in Nepal? Davin: No, “The Divulgence” isn’t an ofﬁcial initiation. We did this so that we can market our music for much cheaper rate. It is basically a compilation of 4 tracks from the album. ktmROCKS: So how many copies of the album/ package do you think were sold in Nepal? Davin: The music industry here for metal isn’t up to the international caliber. And our price is too expensive for the market here so we didn’t really sell much. In fact, it was below 20 copies. We hope
Davin: We have already started writing new materials but it’s going to be a total surprise! So I won’t spoil it now. But we are going to make it such that fans will be able to download it!
ktmROCKS: That’s great. It suggests the band is going to shift a bit of direction in the EP musically?
genre is going to be well suited with our appearance.
Davin: Yes deﬁnitely! That’s the whole point. It’s going to be more brutal and darker.
ktmROCKS: While talking about the philosophy behind Kalodin’s music, are you guys really into all those Satan stuffs personally?
ktmROCKS: Well, we were stunned (hehe) to get you playing with corpsepaint in Putrefaction Gig. I can say that you guys were the ﬁrst in Nepal that actually did the make-ups for a live show. How were the comments? Davin: Haha! It took balls of steel for us to do that man! We were certain that “golveda” (tomato) was gonna be all over our attire at the end of our set! Amazingly enough, nothing happened! Instead, fans respected that and took lots of photos with us which was an honor! We thank our fans for their support! ktmROCKS: So what does the corpsepaint actually try to signify when talking about Kalodin? Davin: Right now, it’s just a new face of the band. I know that our current music and the corpsepaint don’t match. But the whole make-up situation was implemented so that we can make an appearance as KALODIN instead of 6 different individuals. When the make-up comes off, we’re simply who we are outside Kalodin. But when the make-up’s on, we rock out as ONE. For our upcoming EP, our
Davin: I can write about this the whole night, but I’m not going to. Every individual is subjected to their own beliefs. Before answering your question, look around what’s happening in this world. It’s good to be optimistic in life but one has to be pessimistic too, to embrace the way of life. We are NOT Satanists but we do not overlook its teachings either. Our music is mostly about Atheism which is presented in the most metaphorical way possible using religion, sex and war as the references, rebelling against the ones who put you down. Against the fucking system, the transition of the old world and the new world in which, during the process has been deﬁled by men and lastly the APOCALYPSE which awaits us! Our goal is to instill our music and lyrics in different minds, interpreting our words in 100 different ways. Everyone’s got a different story after all. ktmROCKS: Lastly, few words you’d like to share with fans, friends and foes?
Davin: We, Kalodin embrace our friends’ and fans’ undying support from the bottom of our hearts. We will keep the brutality alive and spread our music… Worldwide! We will not disappoint. As much as we’re enjoying, creating our work, we’d like you to enjoy it MORE listening to it! We’d like to thank all our supporters! And as for our foes, who gives a fuck about them? Kalodin thanks KtmROCKS, Antim Grahan and all our fans for believing in us and aiding us in every way possible! And thank you Samyam, for the interview! ktmROCKS: Thank you, Davin. We wish you all the best for your upcoming EP, the tour and everything that’s ahead! Samyam Shrestha
White- Photo: Umes Shrestha
form a no-nonsense, pure Death Metal band had never died out. Thus, Binaash was formed out of my love for Death Metal. ktmROCKS: How did you guys meet each other, though? Prateek: I had a little talk with Sunil Pant (Anthrovore/ex-Ugrakarma) to see if he could help me ﬁnd someone. He instead suggested me to talk to Sarthak Upadhyaya, who has good contacts with a lot of young, talented musicians. So I talked with Sarthak, who then introduced me to my soon to be band-members. That is how we all got together. Binaash L to R: Rishav Archarya (drums), Shashank Shrestha (guitar), Bijent Shah (bass), Prabin Shrestha (vocal), Prateek Neupane (guitar)
ktmROCKS: First of all, what was the motive behind the formation of Binaash? What inspired you?
Within a short span of time, BINAASH have established themselves as one of the best death metal acts in the Nepali metal scene today. The band is in the process of recording their debut album now and ktmROCKS caught up with them to talk about the upcoming album, the nepali metal scene and lots of other things. (Unfortunately, their guitarist Shashank couldn’t make it to the interview because of personal reasons.)
Prateek: Death Metal has always been my passion. The music itself is my inspiration. Ever since the Ugrakarma days, I’ve always wanted to be involved in a project like this. In fact, my other project, 72 Hrs was supposed to be a Death Metal project as well but because of other band members’ personal differences, things had to be changed and we started drifting towards a more old school thrash metal sound. Despite that, my original desire to
ktmROCKS: When exactly was the band formed? Binaash: It was in 2009. We still remember exact date because it was a peculiar one – Friday the 13th. (laughter) The month was November. ktmROCKS: Binaash was previously called Kaal, right? Binaash: Yes. At that time we didn’t know that there were other bands with the same name. We named it Kaal because we found the word Kaal really interesting. It sounds really direct, yet it can be explored in many different ways. You know, Kaal means death but it may also mean time. It may also depict a face, a person. So, it sounded
like the perfect band name for us. But then, we later realized that there were lots of other bands with the same name. So obviously, the name had to be changed. ktmROCKS: Now let’s talk about the recording of your upcoming album. How’s the process going on? Binaash: We had already ﬁnished recording the guitar parts for all of our songs. But later we realized that we had recorded them in a much slower tempo. I guess lack of practice was the reason behind that. Anyway, we haven’t made much progress after that. Our producer, Bikrant Shrestha [Silence Studio], has been busy with Silence Entertainment’s upcoming ﬁlm “Batch No. 16”. Plus, he’s been involved with a lot of different businesses of his own. So he’s ﬁnding it hard to manage his time. Let’s see. Hopefully, the recording process can resume soon enough. ktmROCKS: Are you planning on releasing a full length album or is it supposed to be an EP of some sort? Binaash: No, no. We’ll release a full length. We had 8 songs lined up originally but with the delays we’ve come up with few more songs which will also be included. ktmROCKS: So it is still uncertain when the album
will be ﬁnished? Binaash: (laughter) Our producer is a busy man. As said before, it all depends on him. He realizes that it’s taking too long, but then he has his responsibilities. As soon as he ﬁnds some free time, we’ll hit the studio again. ktmROCKS: Okay let’s move on. Musically and lyrically, does Binaash follow a particular philosophy? Binaash: The main philosophy behind Binaash is FUN. We call our music ramailo death metal. Some people take Death Metal too seriously. We want to make a statement that it’s basically for fun and something to be enjoyed without taking things too seriously. I want to recall an interesting event from our Ugrakarma days. During this gig at Gaucharan, we had played “Popeye the Sailor Man” as an intro just to add a little humor. It’s the same with Binaash. We just want to have fun. ktmROCKS: What exactly are the lyrics based upon? Binaash: There is not a single theme or concept as such. We have lyrics about a lot of different things. For example – the song ‘Gravitational Imbalance’ is a gloriﬁcation of the might of gravity. It’s a fantasy about what gravity could do if it had an evil brain. ‘Eat is My Pleasure’ is a true story about this cannibal named Armin Meiwes who
had consumed a live man named Bernd Brandes. Brandes had volunteered himself to be slaughtered and be eaten. ‘The Wests’ is another song based on shocking true story about the infamous British serial killer couple – Fred and Rosemary West. ‘The Butcher’ is just a basic typical Death Metal song. We have another song called ‘Binaashkaris’, which is dedicated to our supporters. And we even have one song glorifying mo:mo: (laughter). So you see, we sing about anything that might seem like fun to us. ktmROCKS: Okay. It’s clear that as a band, Binaash is pure death metal. But as individuals, what are your inﬂuences? What are you guys listening to these days?
Prabin – I take inspiration from a lot different artists. I try to be as open minded as possible. From Metallica to grindcore stuffs, if the music is good, I listen to it and take inspiration from it. Bijent – Well, I’ve been listening to a lot of Suffocation these days. Meshuggah as well. I love Origin too. Basically, any brutal blast beat laden music. (laughs) Rishav – Like Prabin said, I try not to be stuck with a particular genre. Since I’m in a death metal band, obviously I focus a lot on Death Metal music. I love Cannibal Corpse. ‘Butchered at Birth’ is a forever favorite of mine. I’m listening to Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Cenotaph as well.
Also, I’m into a lot of jazz. Actually, I play with a jazz band every Wednesday at the Jazz Upstairs.
Prateek – I am an old school metal guy. I can listen to pop, but I cannot tolerate modern nu-metal. I think modern metal is actually killing the spirit of metal. I’m very old school by heart and metal is something very dear to me. Among the newer bands though, I like Origin. Necrophagist’s effort in bringing something new is certainly admirable. They’re amazing instrumentalists but I always feel something is lacking in their music. Also, I know they’re really popular these days, but I do not like bands like Meshuggah. Anyways, I’ve been listening to a lot of Cenotaph stuff these days. Especially their albums ‘Puked Genital Purulency’ and ‘Pseudo Verminal Cadaverium’. ‘Butchered at Birth’ is still in my favorite list. That album is just perfect. I’m also listening to ‘Diabolical Summoning’ from the Dutch band Sinister. Pestilence is another band from Holland that I really like. I love their old school sound, especially in the album ‘Testimony of
Binaash: First of all we want to release our album. After that, we want to go with the ﬂow. We will keep on creating music and we will stay a death metal band but we don’t want us to stay limited on anything. We want to explore a lot and we’re open to any idea. We don’t want to be close minded just because we’re a death metal band. Even disco beats are welcome! We may even come up with some other project to play some different fun ﬁlled music. Same members, but maybe with a different name. Anything can happen, let’s see.
ktmROCKS: What are your future plans as a band?
ktmROCKS: What are your takes on our underground scene these days? Binaash: Sano sano bhanda bhandai hamro scene ta thulo bhaisakyo jasto lagchha. (laughter) I think lots of positive changes have taken place. Lots of good concerts are being organized and we’ve even managed to get some international bands to play here. So it looks good. Another very positive thing that we have observed is that the newer bands are focusing on originals these days. You know, the ‘cover songs mentality’ was a big problem back then. You wouldn’t get noticed if you played originals but if you could play, say ‘Rock Bottom’, then you could be a ‘hero’. It’s not the case these days.
That, in itself is a very signiﬁcant development. ktmROCKS: We’ve deﬁnitely improved a lot in that sense. Still, what are the things that you’d like to see changed in the scene? Binaash: Well, it would be great to see the audience being more appreciative. Honestly speaking, we lack a musically literate crowd. It can get really difﬁcult sometimes. ktmROCKS: Maybe we’re also to be blamed in this case. Maybe we don’t give the audience a chance and educate them properly? Binaash: Well, there’s a Nepali proverb – ‘You can wake up a sleeping man, but you cannot wake up a pretender’. Probably, our culture itself is to be blamed somehow. You know, we’re used to being spoon fed from our birth. We are all brought up being really dependent, and we are used to “readymade” things. So we’re used to taking things for granted. This attitude brushes off during the concerts as well. They want the bands to be readymade and some of them don’t take us seriously just because they’ve paid for the ticket. They just don’t want to understand and end up taking the artists and their efforts for granted.
ground music that they come up with are really disappointing to say the least. Of course, what we’ve just said doesn’t hold true to everyone. We do have our core supporters who really understand the hardships that we bands go through. They’re just amazing.
gig featuring pure death metal bands like us, Deﬁne Mental, Hatebook among others. Maybe after the album release we’ll have a few promo gigs but nothing is conﬁrmed as of yet.
ktmROCKS: Are there any other local bands that you guys admire?
Binaash: Well, we all need to stick together. All the metalheads in our little scene should unite and support each other and maybe be a bit appreciative about things. That’s it.
Binaash: Antim Grahan is admirable for a lot of things, especially for sticking around for such a long time. ‘Ruin of Immortals’ has to be one the best albums from a local band. It would have been great had Taamishra not broken up. We were really looking forward to their album. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out that way. Jindaabad and E.Quals are very tight live although their music is not really our cup of tea. Jugaa is great as well. Hatebook and Deﬁne Mental look really promising. Another band we’d like to mention is ‘Horny Monks’. They don’t exactly play our type of music, but we just love how they have so much fun on stage. That is what it’s all about. In that sense Binaash and Horny Monks follow the same philosophy. That is, playing for fun. ktmROCKS: Any upcoming gigs?
Maybe our ignorant mainstream media are also to be blamed here. Some of the articles about under-
Binaash: Well, we’re planning on a little DIY sort of
ktmROCKS: Any last words?
Band: Weevil. Battle of the Bands (Aus) 2010. Oxford Factory, Sydney. Photos by: Kewal Rai
SANGHARSHA STS 2010 belonged to SANGHARSHA and you suckas better know it! They came out of nowhere (well, Queens NY to be precise), blew a lot of minds and yet remained relatively obscure for some reason. Not much is known about the band, other than the fact that they absofuckinlutely rule so to shed a little more light on STS, here’s an interview, done by Vishal Rai, with former Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles singer, current Sangharsha riffmeister, all round legend and man of many nicknames, Kshitiz “Dhobi” Moktan a.k.a. Muji Mungeri. Okay, ﬁrst off, please introduce yourself to people who may not be familiar with you. Who’s your favourite Nepali comedian, what’s your current nickname and why is Washingtown better than New York? K - To all you guys who do not know me, you will never want to know me for my spit will bomb your face. My current nickname’s Master Bhude which should have been my name when I was born but thanks to Baam for changing it. Sunil Thapa is my favorite comedian for the beautiful terror he portrays in ﬁlms. Washingtown’s much better than NYC because it has bigger pile of shit inside it than NYC.
What’s is the actual name of the band? Are you familiar with the 90’s Sanjay Dutt classic Daag: The Fire? K - The actual name of the band is ShitEaters but we changed the name to Sangharsha for better media image. And yes I am familiar with Daag:The Fire but Prahar-The Final Attack featuring my cousin Nana Patekar was better.
A short history of Sangharsha for the history geeks.
When you started out you had 2 members of Normal Academic. You don’t really think of hardcore when you think of NA (although they do share initials with Negative Approach), so how did this come about? How down with the core are they?
K - Throughout this era, enough had been said about rescuing people out of their misery of love and peacefulness. But what the heck we started Sangharsha just to destroy it. Sangharsha The Struggle or just Sangharsha, I’m confused.
K - NA were a mediocre band if you asked me for a straight up judgement, especially Negative Approach as they come from Detroit where they only bring big dudes with big GM trucks but Normal Academic rules as they
bring all the NYC beautiful ladies (Trust Me...Beautiful...) to their shows. So I had to hire these 2 lads from Normal Academic to bring some fresh aroma of ladies in the mix of our sweaty ﬁlthy shows. If Core is a question- it is like asking Harley(CroMags) and Freddy(Madball) how core are they?
K - Yo Lovestoned was aptly selected by Itunes as the name of the song as it rightly sounded like Lovestoned sung by Justin Timberlake. For a little info my boi JT was in a band called NSYNC from the boy band era which I totally digged and so we were down with that title of the track.
Who’s in the current lineup?
Since the Sangharsha catalog is pretty small at the moment, let’s go through all your material and tell us what each song is about and whose riffs did you steal.
LoveStoned - Stoned with love of the plant and it’s unselﬁsh love. Once again proudly stolen from Eyehategod-Depress, Eagles-Love Will Keep Us Alive,Rot in Hell-Barrens/chlorothrax, u ﬁgure out the chords coz I forgot it.
K - Master Bhude, The Khode, Rakhsyas and Bhim dai are in the current lineup. The demo and EP were in my top 10 picks of 2010, both blowing a lot of minds. However, they also sounded radically different considering the short amount of time between them. What made you go from a regular modern hardcore sound to a more sludgy, powerviolence-like direction? K - A big warm thank you for putting our ﬁlthy shit in your top 10 list and big fuck you to us for changing the directions of the band in a span of so short time. But I might stress that the change has to do with the multiple personality disorder that we have in times of extreme hallucination (Green Stuff). You’ll probably want to share how the track name “LoveStoned” came about...
K - Honestly speaking all the riffs were stolen from various bands of various genres. Check out riffcycle.blogspot.com, awesome riff stealing info going on which might add an xtra note for your next riff! GYC - A true testament of the brother hood of Gorkhays from NYC truly stolen from ChampionDifferent Directions D-F-C-G. Prasna - who am I? A living Legend. Stolen from the riff of Madball-Fall this time and MI-2 movies riff, F#-C-F#-E-F. Astitwa - Destiny of greatness. Stolen from Toxic Holocaust-War is hell and TUI-Soul Vice/Reality
Nepali Bol Ya Morr - Speak Nepali or Die. Proudly stolen from Terror-Keep Your Mouth Shut and Crowbar-Like Broken Glass A-G-A-Bb, A-G-A-G# and E -G all the way homie.
A couple of weeks ago you told me you were planning an east coast tour. How’s that coming about? K - A short East Coast tour is on the way March with a crew full of plants, monsters and babes. There was also talk about a split with Albatross which would’ve been strange but awesome. What happened? K - Me and boi Sunny ( Albatross) had a small talk of doing a split with them, but eventually they fell off as they were busy in Nepal doing all the great shows plus their album which is going to be a killer, yo Sunny I haven’t still got my pass for the album release gig! Mail it Bitch! But we still have the song for the split in our back catalog, hopefully they agree in the future and we can release it proudly, it is called ....
In which direction are the new songs heading? Will it be a surprise or can we expect something similar to the Bidroh EP? K - The new songs are heading into the same shit we have been doing for years. It is going to sound the same, nothing different, no surprises.
K - Churpi Ko Achar Bishal Bazaar ko pani puri or Peanuts ko agadi ko chiya? K - Kumari ko Ginger Tea Katshop or Suwal?
How long do we have to wait for a Sangharsha fulllength? Besides that, any EPs or splits that you’ve been planning?
K - Prabesh Man Shakya’s CD Pasal KCHC or NYHC?
K - Our ﬁrst and the ﬁnal Full Length album will be released in Dec 21st 2012, we have already started tracking them and it is called SamaVedana(Condolences) and will be a 4 Cd Deluxe Edition with about 36 songs in it. Splits on the way with InkBlot, I Ate Satan and Shannon Scam. BTW if u guys wanna know about I Ate Satan, it is a bone thumping metal blasting grind/hardcore/ power violence band from Pokhara with the Infamous Asis Subedi on drums. Third World Chaos or Nastik? K - PURU DAI KO XMANTRA Rai Ko Ris or I2ST? K - Jhilke and the Rockers Kinema or Gundruk?
K - DHC (Dhobighat Hardcore) For Life! Any last shout outs or comments? K - Yo I wanna give a big shout to all my peeps in Ktm to Pokhara to London to Melbourne to NYC reppin it in true HC fashion. NSK crew, Nepsydaz Crew, Nepunity Crew, GHC crew, Ktmrocks crew, the Jai Metal Crew, black metal crew, death metal crew, nu metal crew, all metal crew, OVC Nepal Crew, KCHC crew, Thasikel Hardcore Crew (Umes) and at the end the Don of all Dons Vishal Baam Crew. We out Babe!
Sangharsha STS - Photo: Bikash Rajkarnikar
ROHIT SHAKYA ROHIT SHAKYA is currently the vocalist/guitarist for super rock group Jindabaad!!!. Earlier, he was involved in lots of bands like Unholy Menace, Holocaust, Naïve, Baking Space Cake, and so on. He also works a recording engineer and has produced albums for Astha Tamang Maskey. That’s quite an amazing proﬁle for a guy who is still in his early twenties. Here’s an interview with Rohit, where he talks about music, band and his future plans.
ktmROCKS: Here’s a straight question – What are the things Rohit Shakya is good at? Rohit Shakya: Well, I like to explore things. I want to learn anything that would help me express my musicality in a better way. All the things that I’ve learned, from guitar playing to electronic programming, are born out of my love for exploring. So yeah, rather than calling myself to be good at this or that, I’d say I try to explore and become good at anything that would help me express myself better. Of course, there are lots of other things that I wanted to be good at but somehow things didn’t work out – break dancing for example. (Laughs)
ktmROCKS: What are you listening to these days? Rohit Shakya: I’ve been really into a lot of electronic music these days. Bands like ‘The Prodigy’ or ‘Pendulum’. Lots of Avant Garde/Experimental music as well. Radiohead too. ktmROCKS: What are your major inﬂuences though? Any speciﬁc bands or musicians that you really look up to or get inspired by? Rohit Shakya: Well, my roots are deﬁnitely classic rock/blues and metal. Artists like Jimi Hendrix and Metallica. Those are my main inﬂuences. But, as you grow you tend to become more open minded and take inspirations from a lot of different direction. As time passed by I started loving bands like King Crimson and Pink Floyd. Also, Textures – they are great. These days I get lots of inspiration from artists like The Prodigy. Also, I have been exploring a lot of new bands through several independent music websites, searching for new and good music. So basically, if I ﬁnd any good music, I get inspired by it. ktmROCKS: Jindabaad released its debut EP recently. Apart from that, what are the updates on the band? Rohit Shakya: Well, the latest update is that we’re
working on another music video. We did a few gigs promoting the album. We have a few live recordings which we are in the process of editing. We’ll release them when it’s done. ktmROCKS: Apart from Jindabaad, what other projects are you involved with musically? Rohit Shakya: I’m involved in my own solo project which is completely different from what I’ve been doing in Jindabaad. I mean the genre is different. Lots of electronic stuff. Nothing has been conﬁrmed yet but I have been thinking of releasing my solo EP. ktmROCKS: You also work as an audio engineer in a studio, right? Rohit Shakya: That is true, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve worked in the studio though. You know, the massive power cuts have taken its toll. I’m doing some work for marketing companies from the US and Canada though.
People do not like to buy an album when you can easily download it for free. I think that’s only natural and I really do not have a problem with that. outsourcing if you will. ktmROCKS: So how did the Plastic Heart EP do in the market? Rohit Shakya: We’ve already managed to sell 80% of the copies and this is without the help of any distributing companies. All the sales were done during our promo gigs. So considering that and the fact that no one buys a CD these days, it did well, I have to say. Good enough to break even the production cost.
ktmROCKS: What kind of work?
ktmROCKS: Looking back at your EP, production wise, how satisﬁed are you with the ﬁnal outcome?
Rohit Shakya: Well, I create beats for them and send it to them through the internet. They then market it to other artists and hopefully, if they like it, they’ll buy it from me. Call it some sort of
Rohit Shakya: I’m satisﬁed. We took a long time, almost a year, to complete the EP. We gave it our best effort with the limited resources that we
had in order to come up with the sound that we wanted. But of course, if you compare it with mega budget production of the foreign artists, you will ﬁnd a few shortcomings. ktmROCKS: You also have uploaded your EP on iTunes. What has been the response for that? Do you have any statistics on the sales through the internet? Rohit Shakya: We haven’t received the statistics from iTunes yet so we don’t really know as of yet. But, I don’t have too many expectations. People do not like to buy an album when you can easily download it for free. I think that’s only natural and I really do not have a problem with that. I would have done the same thing if I was the listener. I download all of the international albums that I listen to, and it would be hypocritical of me to expect all people to buy my album. The internet has made it possible for everyone to share their favorite music and that’s not a bad thing at all. Artists really don’t earn much of their income through album sales anyway. Even the biggest artists of world earn most of their income through tours and merchandising. So, it’s only foolish to expect to make much money only through album sales.
ktmROCKS: Does Jindabaad have any plans of touring in any foreign country?
things to be done. A room for improvement is always there.
Rohit Shakya: We’ve been trying to perform in India but it’s really difﬁcult. I guess it will still take some time. It’s difﬁcult to rely on a third party, especially for a band from a country like ours. Call it discrimination or whatever, but it’s difﬁcult. Let me give you an example. We had sent VH1 our video and they had agreed to provide some airplay as an International act. The processing for that was going on. But at the last moment, they came to know that we were from Nepal and soon after, they actually started asking money from us for each time the video would be played. That is just one example. The point is, it’s pretty hard to go to a foreign land and get you heard. Let’s see. Hopefully, we can do something about it.
ktmROCKS: Are there any local bands, mainstream or underground, that you’ve found particularly noteworthy?
ktmROCKS: Let’s talk about the local scene now. Have you witnessed any development? Rohit Shakya: Deﬁnitely. I think we’ve improved a lot. In the last few months itself, we have seen massive improvements in terms of quality of concerts. The recording quality has improved as well. Thanks to the internet, we’ve also found ourselves a very reliable promotional tool for our gigs, albums or whatever. Having said that, I think there still are a lot of
Rohit Shakya: I think E.Quals are particularly noteworthy just for the fact that they brought something new in the scene. They introduced the ‘new wave’ sound and tried to do something differently. Previously, the lack of variety was very visible in the scene. That is changing these days, which should be taken positively. I love Stairs of Cirith. And then there are bands like Binaash as well. I may have missed out on lots of other bands as well, but they’re all good. When it comes to mainstream though, I don’t have too many expectations. I’ve acted as a session musician for several prominent mainstream artists so I know how it’s like. There isn’t any improvement at all. In fact, the quality is degrading. There is serious lack of dedication from what I’ve seen. ktmROCKS: You’re a self taught musician, right? Rohit Shakya: Yes. I learn whatever I need by myself. That’s probably the reason why I’m not that theoretically strong. I research a lot about whatever that is necessary to express my musicality but
I have less idea about other extra things. ktmROCKS: Talking about theories, how important do you think theoretical knowledge is for a musician? Rohit Shakya: Very important. I sometimes feel inferior to my band members in that sense. Everyone knows their theory, especially Abhishek Bhadra who has come from a piano background. But then, I try to take that as an inspiration. There’s a positive competition in Jindabaad and that is a huge source of motivation for me, to keep exploring and updating myself and to keep learning and getting better. ktmROCKS: All the band members of Jindabaad are top notch musicians. Along with you, Abhishek Bhadra, Sunny Tuladhar, Rajan Shrestha and Kiran Shahi – all of them are considered to be one of the best in their respective department. How difﬁcult is it, in a band, to keep them all satisﬁed? Aren’t there any compatibility issues, or ego clashes? Rohit Shakya: Well, of course that happens in any band. Ego is always there. But like I said earlier, one needs to take that positively. If there’s no competition or friction going on, one becomes lazy and that’s not a good thing. In that sense, I’m glad that I’m in a band like Jindabaad where I can
keep getting better because there’s so much positive competition going around. ktmROCKS: Apart from your own band members, are there any other musicians that you’d love to work with particularly? Rohit Shakya: Mukti Shakya is one of them. I grew up admiring him and it’s such an honor that he comes to our gigs sometimes just to see us. Apart from that I really admire Shirish Dali (Albatross), as a singer/ songwriter. But there’s no concrete plans as of yet, let’s see what the future holds. ktmROCKS: Bryan Adams performed in Nepal a few days ago. Did you attend the concert? Rohit Shakya: Yes, I did. I had a front row ticket, but when I got there, the gates had already been closed so I had to be seated in a really bad section at the sides. I got the ticket for free so I didn’t mind, but if I had paid for it, I would be pissed off. ktmROCKS: So what did you think of the concert? What difference did you ﬁnd between them and other Nepali artists? Rohit Shakya: They were really very professional. The sound output was just amazing. It was fantastic. It was clear that they had put in so much effort and hardwork behind their performances and the result was self explanatory. Foreign bands don’t get to the
top of the game just like that, only years of hardwork and discipline can put them there. In contrast, I must say that our Nepali artists were embarrassing. Some of them hadn’t even bothered to tune their guitars! The gap in professionalism between our artists and them (Bryan Adams band) was clearly evident. It’s sad really. ktmROCKS: So what do you think is the reason behind that gap? Rohit Shakya: Lack of hard work. Plain and simple. ktmROCKS: So what’s next for Rohit Shakya? What are your future plans? Rohit Shakya: I’m going to Bangkok soon in order to study Audio Engineering. It’s a one year course after which I intend to return to Nepal and continue as a record producer. There already are some interested bands for that, like Stairs of Cirith and Deﬁne Mental. I’ll also continue with Jindabaad after I return. Hopefully we can continue exploring more and continue creating new songs. I want to keep on progressing, and the band members share the same opinion. I’m interested in doing what bands like Faith No More have done. That is, to continue evolving and creating new sounds album after album. I hope things work out well. ktmROCKS: All the best man, we hope to listen to your solo stuffs soon !
Jindabaad!!! Photo: Umes Shrestha
THE INNERCORE (HK)
When did you start up? INC- We started as a band two years ago. From scratch we should say. Formerly, there were other guys in the band; Sujan on drums, Samrit on guitar and Royhal on bass, but they quit. We were just jamming for the love of music then. Who are the members now? INC- Sansar Gurung is on vocal, Nishad Subba and Ranjit Gurung are on guitars, Calvin Laganzon is on bass and Pratik Man Gurung is on drums. Oh! Calvin you are the only non-Nepalese here in the band. How does it feel to play with them?
Formed in 2009, THE INNERCORE is an uprising hardcore metal band in Hong Kong metal scene. Even though there have been changes in the members since they started, their musical journey is still carried on with present members and is quite active as well as popular among the metal bands here in Hong Kong.
What is The InnerCore? INC- There is no speciﬁc meaning actually. At the time when we didn’t have a name, we all of us gathered together to pick a name and this came up. So it’s just a name to represent ourselves. The InnerCore means us only.
Who writes the lyrics and music? And what inspires you to write songs? INC- Lyrics are written mostly by Sansar, the vocalist. But all of us add or minus when some words are not right or missing at the end. As for music, we all make it together. Talking about inspiration, mostly every basic thing that is happening around us inspires us. For instance, global warming is a big issue. Likewise about being strong, politics and even heartbreaks. Yes! Heartbreaks too, but in our own way. Everything has been done before, but we are doing it just our way. What makes you play hardcore metal the way you guys play it?
INC (Calvin)- At ﬁrst it was weird, as I was the only Filipino among them. But now I feel much more comfortable and I think in this way that The InnerCore is 1/5th Filipino.
INC- It’s all those heavy riffs, breakdowns, growling and screaming that makes us what we play. Better to say, it’s a kind of music, where one can show energy by jumping, moshing and head banging. It’s not like other music where you just sit down and look.
It’s been two years since The InnerCore started its journey. What do you feel?
How do you see metal scene here in Hong Kong?
INC- It feels good. In two years time, we have gained much conﬁdence. We are composing original songs now, getting more opportunities, more concerts and people are recognizing us.
INC- Metal scene is not at the best condition, but we can assure that it is lot better than what it were 3 or 4 years back. More people can be seen coming out to support in the concerts and likewise more metal
band are coming up too.
By the way, do you guys get paid in the gigs?
So how challenging it is for The InnerCore in Hong Kong?
INC- Oh yeah, we do get paid, but so far we just have been paid couple of hundred dollars. We hope we will get paid high sooner (laughs!). Actually if more people come to watch our concert, the more payment we will get, that’s how it works here.
INC- As we come from ethnic minority communities here in Hong Kong, it’s not as challenging as it is for other local Chinese bands ‘cause we are not many in numbers here. At the same time, we represent something new, something different from what they have. How about support from family? INC- So far, yes they are supportive. (Calvin) But I don’t think they won’t come to our shows (laughs). (Pratik)- They bought me a drum set. I think that means they want me to rock more! Did you guys ever feel that you want to give up the band? INC- Yes, once we thought of it. Money is the problem here, because we have to support our family at the same time. So since we have to pay rent for the room where we practice, once we had some ﬁnancial crisis and it was really difﬁcult then. Anyway we overcame it and we don’t think of giving up easily now.
Heard you guys are coming up with EP album, tell us more about it. INC- We started recording from this February. I think it will take few months to come out. Till then, you can check us out on our Myspace, http://www.myspace.com/theinnercoree YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/theinnercorehk and Facebook, www.facebook.com/theinnercorehk Any inﬂuences or interests that you listen to? INC – (Pratik): Blink 182 & One Ok Rock (Japanese) (Nishad & Sansar): Slipknot, Lamb of God, King Lychee, As I Lay Dying (Calvin): Shepherds the Weak (Ranjit): August Burns Red What gears do you use? INC – (Pratik): Yamaha drum set with Iron Cobra twin pedal (Nishad): Ibanez and Les Paul Epiphone
guitar, DigiTech RP500 (Calvin): Ibanez and Fender bass (Ranjit): Ibanez Guitar, POD X3 Live Ok guys, one ﬁnal question. Any plans on music tour? INC- Well now we are working on our EP, and after we ﬁnish our EP, we are planning to tour China in June. We’ll be covering up Wuhan, Nanjing Suzhou, Shanghai and Beijing in 7 days, but this really depends on how quick we’re done with our EP. Then hopefully we are planning to head out to Nepal in around August and we hope to get a chance to play with Nepalese crowd who are fucking awesome, then lastly to The Philippines. Interview by- G. Dhiraj
Horny Monks - Kalodin at Nepfest Concert. Photos by: Utshav Singh Adhikari
5 RECORDS THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
2. G3 LIVE
This was the ﬁrst one with Vai, Satriani and Eric Johnson. I remember when I ﬁrst saw the album cover; I thought it was the coolest! The guitars they were holding caused a yearning I had not known before that moment.
DIWAS GURUNG is the guitarist of Ayurveda, a
band based in Ithaca, NY (USA). He is also into making music which he calls – “NeoNepalese Folk”. Here he talks about the ﬁve records that changed his life, musically.
1. RANGEELA- A.R REHMAN Even before I was into guitar and western music and whatnot, I was really into the Bollywood music thing as a preteen/teen. When Rangeela came out, it caused quite a storm. Not only was there the risqué aspect, but the music was moody, minimalist and very intense. After all these years and following Rehman’s career for most of the time, Rangeela is still my favorite, who knows how deep it has been scarred into my psyche.
The cassette I owned had the wrong track sequence, where the mega three song jam were the ﬁrst songs on the A side. It opens with Satriani introducing his fellow players and playing some of the sickest blues licks I had ever heard. It took me months to ﬁnish listening to the album as I would keep listening to each lick over and over again. This album set me on a heady path of “shred” guitar and I was seriously obsessed with it for a while. Nowadays, I hardly listen to that style of music any more but I keep coming back to these three players and their body of work.
3. REVOLVER- THE BEATLES It’s shameful to admit but it took me a long time to get into the Beatles. Sure, I loved the older poppy stuff, but the later stuff did not grab me for a while. When it did, I think it rearranged my DNA. For me, as probably with a lot of people, even
though l know that a band is great I don’t always get it at ﬁrst. It always takes time and then you hear that one song which unlocks the mystery; the gateway song. With the Beatles it was “Tomorrow Never Knows” after which obsession ensued. I was in Ithaca College at that time and their library had a lot of books on them everything from historical to analytical, and I wolfed them down.
Savane was the last album he recorded before his death and it is without a doubt the best I’ve heard from him. Whenever you get bored of copping SRV licks, put “Beto” on, and watch those pores exfoliate.
I still remember the day Mike (drummer of Ayurveda) showed me a video of them playing “Elephant Talk” on some TV show, I freaked out. Immediately, I was taken by Adrian Belew, and the casualness with which he has making sounds that were inconceivable, and then there was the groove, it was so thick yet so nimble, you could almost taste it, and it was scrumtrulescent.
I think Revolver is my favorite of all their albums because it possesses some kind of rawness, almost an unﬁnished quality, which makes it extra palatable and much more open to interpretation.
4. SAVANE- ALI FARKA TOURE I was introduced to Ali Farka’s music at a point when I was getting pretty bored with the guitar and the way that I had always approached it. Ali’s playing was like a slap in the face, a jolt that said “look! he is playing pentatonics too but it sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before” Although that is not entirely true, his music reminded me a lot of Nepalese folk tunes. And what tone! Sharp and stinging in all the good ways. I would have never thought chorus could sound cool to me again after its overuse through the 80’s and 90’s! His life story and his music has a lot to do with my own pursuit of Nepalese music, both in terms of inspiration and musical content.
Don’t get it------>Listen to it more---->Gateway song!------>All consuming obsession. (provided of course that the music is not fundamentally shit)
When I ﬁnally got my hands on “Discipline” I was ready for it, and it did not disappoint. I had been listening to Tool and Porcupine Tree, and hearing this album made me understand where they got those riffs from. The track “Disciple” on “Being” is a direct homage to this album and the phasing guitar method of Robert Fripp.
5. DISCIPLINE- KING CRIMSON I had heard their name before and heard some of their older “prog” stuff, but as usual, i did not get it. That’s a common pattern with me and music:
This album had everything, it was quite intricate yet was very catchy, the musicianship was astounding and best of all the music seemed to take the best of world music and modern music and blend them in a special way. One day, I hope I can achieve that effortless balance in my music as well.
5 RECORDS THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
PARASH SHAKYA PARASH SHAKYA is the frontman and the vocalist for Kathmandu’s black metal band ANTIM GRAHAN. Here he talks about the ﬁve records that changed his life forever.
3. CRADLE OF FILTH -V EMPIRE OR DARK FAERYTALES IN PHALLUSTEIN
1. METALLICA - KILL ‘EM ALL
4. DEICIDE - ONCE UPON THE CROSS
I think this was probably the ﬁrst album which was metal that I got my hands on. It was a very odd record when I ﬁrst heard it, and couldn’t ﬁgure out what it was. But I think it eventually grew on me, permanently!!
This is one of the few albums which I still keep on going through. This never gets old on me somehow. This was most probably the ﬁrst death metal band that I was stuck into.
2. SEPULTURA - ARISE This was probably THE album that started getting me into more heavier stuffs. The song Dead Embryonic Cells became my anthem even after the long years that followed.
The band has now taken a more user friendly mode and are all together a different band now. I don’t listen to them anymore, I despise their new stuffs. Yet, this album however was a classic for me and perhaps, it will remain. The elements of black metal and goth was exquisitely processed.
5. LORD BELIAL - KISS THE GOAT This was an ultra rare album those days and a guy somehow convinced me to exchange it with 3 “cassettes” of not so rare albums. But I think it was a worth while deal since this album gave me a different perspective on the black metal music. Cold, Dark and Melodic.
Sunny Tuladhar (Jindabaad) Photo by: Pranav Manandhar
Gautam Tandukar (Horny Monks) Photo by: Aayam Shrestha
come along for the ride.
You guys were quite busy playing shows during the early/mid part of 2010 when G.H.C. was going full swing. I understand you lost quite a few members since then. What happened?
Kathmandu based hardcore/post-hardcore band ZERO TRANSITION released their debut EP on the 13th of February 2011. Here’s a short interview, done by Vishal Rai, with ZT mainstays Bishal and Rashta. I’m sure the majority of the ktmROCKS audience is quite unfamiliar with Zero Transition since you haven’t exactly been in the public eye. Give us a short history of the band. Bishal - “Zero Transition came to the music scene in early January Of 2010. Members from “The Pending Trax” & “Gaida Taskar” came forth with one common goal, to play loud aggressive music and to make the Hardcore scene known in Kathmandu along side with the G.H.C [Gorkhali Hardcore] Community. Even though we all came from different music genre background, we some how managed to gel our ideas perfectly.” Rashta - Well we needed a drummer and a guitarist back then to start a band. That’s when I found Dipesh (drummer) and Anil (guitarist) in my college. i ask them if they would like to start a band with me and Bishal, and they were more than willing to
Bishal - Yeah. Before the G.H.C gigs, we actually took part in a inter-college band competition called “Save The Planet”. That was the sole purpose why Zero Transition formed in the ﬁrst place. Just for the kicks and nothing serious. It was like a “side band/project” back then. Later on, we started to meet up often, started to practice our own originals more and slowly it just became like a permanent band. Amidst the gigs, our guitarist left for the UK for further studies and the drummer wanted to take a break from music and we respected his decision but that didn’t stopped us from abandoning Zero Transition. So then, both of us [Myself and Rashta] concentrated more into recording a EP than gigs.
What was it like having just 2 members recording the entire EP? Was there any contribution from the old members? Bishal - Well it was a bit difﬁcult with just the 2 of us when it came to ideas and composing melodies.
Twice the work. Every track we recorded, we asked feedbacks from friends which helped us in a certain level nonetheless. Our drummer did a vocal tracking for “Bringing You Down” and drum tracking for “Breaking Point”. Rashta - Well ideas were difﬁcult to come by with just the two of us. it was better when there was the 4 of us. Everyone brought something on the table with the two of us, we did run out ideas and made our task even more demanding. You seem to have an interesting sound, particularly when it comes to the local scene. Mid-2000’s style metalcore with some pop-mosh and some synth thrown in would be my description. Would you agree? Who are your major inﬂuences? Bishal - Yes deﬁnitely. We don’t really like to say, we want to be different from the local bands since every band is different in their own way musically. But the main idea for Zero Transition was the genre and style which bands here have not approached or experimented with. For example maybe some electronic synth mixed with heavy guitar riffs or perhaps guitar breakdowns instead of guitar solos in the middle. Just going crazy with the sounds and experimenting. Our major inﬂuences are bands like “Parkway drive”, “Asking Alexandria”, “Blind Witness”, “As I Lay Dying” and
“August burns red”. Rashta - well we did want to sound different from the start and we have been trying different styles to suit ourselves. If you had heard us the ﬁrst time, you would not believe how different we sound now and how much we have progressed since day 1.
in Australia. While Bishal will be here for the time being. We have been looking for members to ﬁll in the vacant posts but we were too engrossed in the EP that we just let it go. So maybe in the future when we are in full swing again and ready to play live shows, we will have a full band with us o hit the stage. Last words, shoutouts and comments?
You don’t have lyrics up on your pages (or maybe I haven’t been looking right), but judging by the song-titles there seems to be a political stance in the lyrics. How about giving us a brief lyrical background behind the tracks on the EP? Well lyrics will be posted shortly. We just wanted to release the EP ﬁrst and see the outcome of it. So far the responses have been good and better than expected from the both of us. Yes, there are some political stances in the titles of our tracks like, ‘Demise of the Empire’ and ‘Nothing to Say’. Well there are only two. Haha... The lyrics are very inﬂuenced by the local political scene.
It’s been a wild ride. Took longer to record the EP cause of the loadshitting (power cuts) and me (vocalist\Bassist) applying for Aussie. But none the less we thank you for listening to our EP and supporting us. We will be back soon. Keep supporting us and spread the word around. We will keep posting new songs before the next album. A big shout out to fans who supported and waited patiently for the EP to be released. It was you guys who kept us going. And to our friends who have supported us since we started doing this and for being involved in the process. To our families who have been supportive of us playing music.
When can we see ZT back playing live again? Have you been looking for members? It will take some time to see us play live again. we had enjoyed playing live in the past with our former members. I will be leaving for further studies
Visit Zero Transition’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zero-Transition/113534955332312 and download the EP - it’s free!
Avishek KC (E.Quals) Photo by: Umes Shrestha
ARTILLERIE (INDIA) BY : ABHISHEK RAJAN ktmROCKS: Hey guys greetings from KtmROCKS, Nepal. As this would be the ﬁrst interview of Artillerie to be published in Nepal, please give us a brief history on how Artillerie came into existence? Raul - Thanks a lot ktmROCKS for featuring us and greetings from New Delhi. The current line-up comprises of Noble Luke on vocals, Raj Das on Bass, Aadhar Malhotra on drums, Raul Bellgard and Alvin Jose on guitars. Long story- cut short, the band started with me, Luke and Rajdeep in 2004 by the name of Artillery and then disbanded after taking out a single in 2006. Me and Luke however remained in touch and decided to restart the band in 2008,
that’s when Alvin Jose and Raj Das came into the picture and the band name was changed to Artillerie. Our drummer Punti was later added to the line-up in early 2009 with whom we recorded our Ep ‘New Offensive’ and tracked our Album “Eradeﬁled” in early 2010. Currently we’re working on our second album with Aadhar on Drums. ktmROCKS: From metalcore to Progressive/ Thrashcore, how did the change happen?
Raul-Well, we never really started the band as a metalcore project, we were always inﬂuenced by heavy thrash bands and wanted ourselves to sound more like it with a bit of experimentation, may be our ﬁrst EP sounded a bit generic metalcore but other than that we have tried to stick to our musical roots and that is what mostly reﬂects in our debut album “Eradeﬁled”. ktmROCKS: You guys have already earned a lot of respect and good reviews for your album “Eradeﬁled”, what was the concept behind the album and the name “Eradeﬁled”? Raul- Our hearty thanks to all the people who have appreciated our music and given us good reviews on it. Luke - About the Eradeﬁled concept, we wanted our album to have a 3 dimensional approach literally that’s why we came up with songs which were linked with concept arts and a story blog. In order to understand Eradeﬁled it is desired for the listener to read the blog and keep the images in mind while listening to the songs. This way the listener can have a larger experience
“ Drink beer and stay Metal \,,/ of Eradeﬁled and understand it much better. We basically talk about the story of a demon tyrant called Himshasha and his personal army called the phalanx of chaos who are about to destroy a city called Cerenia (http://artillerieblog.wordpress.com/) And about its name, when we were thinking of the album name we wanted a name which could allow people to be ﬂexible and interpret what they wanted from the name. Like some could say that the name suggests “Era” and “Deﬁled”, which is in line with the concept of the album, but then it could also suggest an amalgamation of the words “Eradicate” and “Deﬁled” which is also again in line with the concept. ktmROCKS: Though very much appreciated by all the fans, any speciﬁc reason behind the free download of the album? Raul- Well yes, to keep it simple – we just wanted
our music to reach out to everyone in a faster way because we had been wasting a lot of time in getting a sponsorship deal and funds to release the album in a conventional way. ktmROCKS: A gig in Nepal, how would you guys like that? A Friggin YES! Also we really want to check out the metal scene and the crazy metal heads in Nepal about whom we’ve heard a lot. ktmROCKS: It’s always tough especially for metal bands to make it big although things are on the brighter side nowadays, and Artillerie has certainly achieved quite a lot. What do you think are the must for metal bands to make a mark? Raul-Yeah, the scene has been growing gradually for metal bands here in India. It is almost hard to believe that now, people love listening to original
music from different genres, and give due respect to local bands. Though I must say that there is still a long way to go before the Indian metal scene can truly become self-sustaining and globally signiﬁcant. What every metal band needs is the strength and creativity to create this into a lifestyle rather than just college time frenzy because if they are not convinced by their own music, no one else will ever be. ktmROCKS: Thanks a lot for your time guys and thanks for the Interview. Any message for the metal heads in Nepal? Thanks a lot ktmROCKS for featuring us and a big cheer to all the metal heads out there in Nepal. Download our album for free from our ofﬁcial website (www.artillerie.in) Drink beer and stay Metal \,,/
Yudhir Gautam (DeďŹ ne Mental) Photo by: Sagar Tamang
Rohit Shakya (Jindabaad) Photo by: Mukesh Maharjan
We started off doing a lot of covers and just getting comfortable with the instruments and trying to ﬁnd a style we’d like to play. We used to cover a lot of Pantera, Death, Opeth, Gojira, etc. Once we found our sound we started writing a lot more originals and ﬁnally picked 4 songs that represented us the best and recorded them. You can hear those on our EP called Discord. ktmROCKS: Your EP “Discord” has been reviewed and acclaimed as one of the best releases of 2010! Obviously the band would feel great about it, tell us in brief about the tracks on the EP and the hard work behind launching it.
ktmROCKS: Hello guys, thanks for your time and the interview. To start with, please tell us a bit about Skrypt. Hey man. Thanks for having us. Well as of now Skrypt is a 5 piece metal band based in Hyderabad. We’re a metal band with varied inﬂuences. Thrash, Death, Groove, Progressive and melodic elements can be found scattered all across our songs. The band started back in December 2006. The current lineup is – Scenic Gopi – Vox, Ravi Nidamarthy – Guitars, Ramya Rao – Guitars Abbas Razvi – Bass, Rajiv Kumar – Drums
The response we got to the EP was overwhelming. We knew people would like it but not this much. Haha. The EP consists of 4 tracks – Artiﬁce, Anathema, Supremacy, Constructing the Absolute. There was a lot of effort put in while recording the songs. The hardest part was that the band members were living in 3 separate cities. Band practice was really hard and recording was even harder. We wanted to make sure we could put the best possible record out. We paid a lot of attention to
detail and every aspect of our EP, from the songwriting to the artwork and production. The artwork was designed by Kim Crosland of Chaosart in Germany. She did a brilliant job of recreating what we wanted. The album was mixed and mastered by a good friend called Josh Hughes from Auckland, New Zealand. We were amazed by the quality he managed to get out of the recording that we did. All in all it was a great experience and we are completely satisﬁed with the output. ktmROCKS: Skrypt has come a long way and you guys have had your share of good times and not so good times, how do you guys make it through the not so good times as a band? Just like every band, we’ve had our ups and downs. The hardest times were during the lineup changes. When we lost our exguitarist Joel, it was really hard to bounce back from that. We looked for a suitable guitarist for ages but couldn’t really ﬁnd anyone. There have been ﬁghts among the band. Called it quits on more than one occasion, but then we realized that things like these happen and we’ve matured together as a band. We put in a lot of effort
into this and don’t want to let it all go to waste. ktmROCKS: What are the bands inﬂuences and why the name “Skrypt”? Some of our biggest inﬂuences are Pantera, Death, Opeth, Slayer, Gojira. There’s some really brilliant bands in India too that we’ve seen live or played with and are just brilliant. Some of them are Eccentric Pendulum, Undying Inc, Devoid, Infernal Wrath, Escher’s Knot, Inner Sanctum, etc. When we started there were many bands around and most of them did the same thing or played the same kind of music. We had this vision of scripting something new and didn’t want to be like just another band who formed a band just for the sake of playing something. Hence the name Skrypt. ktmROCKS: Are you guys aware of the metal bands in Nepal and the metal scene there? To be quite honest, I haven’t heard a lot of the bands from Nepal. Heard an odd song here and there by a few bands though. No names that I can recall really. Antim Grahan is one band I’ve heard about. Seen a music video of theirs as well and heard that they’ve been around for quite a while. I know that there’s quite a big metal scene there though. Lot of black metal and grindcore if
I remember correctly. Would love to come down there sometime and maybe even play to the crowd there. Would be interesting to see what people would think of our music. ktmROCKS: What would you advice the bands there in terms of making it big or promoting their music? Aim high and promote your music, but don’t sell yourself. If you believe in your music then half the work is already done. Let the music do the talking. So play a lot of gigs and try win people over with the music. ktmROCKS: When can we expect the full length album? We’ve already started work on the new material. We keep writing songs whenever we get a chance. We’re aiming at releasing a full length album by the end of 2011 or maybe early 2012. ktmROCKS: Heard that you guys are launching your merchandise too? Yep. Got our t-shirts designed by a friend called Arun Natrajan. He did a brilliant job of it. So we’re getting it printed and should have it by day after. We’re playing a gig in Pune followed by one in Mumbai and releasing them there. We’re keep-
If you believe in your music then half the work is already done.
ing it a very limited edition tee so printing very few copies and don’t think we’d print them again either. ktmROCKS: All the best and once again thanks for your time. Any message for the metal heads in Nepal? Thanks a lot man. Hope you guys in Nepal can stop by and check out some of our music. Let us know what you think of it. Find us at – www.reverbnation.com/skryptband www.myspace.com/skryptband www.facebook.com/skrypt Beers, Skrypt Interviewed by: Abhishek Rajan
Kalodin Photo by: Nikhil Gurung
ENIGMATIK (SWITZERLAND) ENIGMATIK is a brutal death metal band that hails from the underground scene of Switzerland. The band recently played in Kathmandu during Silence Festival. Here’s an interview with one of the vocalist of the band - Ben Plüss.
Loic and his brother Pierrick who was playing drums at the time, and thus Enigmatik had come into being.
Hello guys, greetings from Nepal! You guys recently played your ﬁrst show in Nepal. How was the experience?
Pretty much everything, but the main thing is that the people are happy to meet us, and that’s
Amazing. Lovely police ofﬁcers with big sticks, great stage and a very motivated crowd!!! So for those who missed your gig plus who haven’t listened to your albums too, please tell us a bit about Enigmatik. Brutal, fast & technical. So tell us, when and how did Enigmatik happen? The band was formed in 1996. In the very ﬁrst years, it was a brotherhood project between
How did the experience in playing in Nepal differ from playing elsewhere?
pretty strange. We’re not that friendly, are we? Which is the best gig that you guys have played till now? Silence Festival... it was probably our worst performance ever. Even a school band would have played better than us that night but it was still the greatest experience for a western band to be on stage in Ktm. Has the lineup changes over the years effected the band much? How does the band deal with it? The changed has been in a positive way. We have more energy with 2 front vocalists and a real lead guitar. Benoît (ex-vocal & guitar) had to go. He couldn’t handle the practices and the live set anymore because of his medical situation. The new lineup is doing great, we’re writing a new page in the history of the band. We just need little bit of time to
come up with a new album and a new energy! Upon listening to your album “Slitherin”, I could ﬁnd a huge jazz inﬂuence too? All musicians of EK, exempted one, have been studying jazz for years. Inﬂuences in jazz? Pretty much everything on Zorn’s label: Tzadik records! And what inspires the band’s music? Pretty much everything that’s brutal. What about the lyrical inﬂuences of Enigmatik? None, I bet. I can’t really answer to that question ‘cause I’m the new singer. I haven’t written anything that EK has released so far. So what has Enigmatik been up to lately? We’re writing the next album... and missing Nepal! What do you think of the metal scene in Kathmandu? The music scene in Ktm is very strong, it just needs a few pulses and a bit of structures to come out of the woods! And that’s exactly what Silence Entertainment is doing right now.
The band also conducted a workshop in Nepal Music Centre. How did it go? It was amazing! 12 hours after we got in Ktm. We were surﬁng on the chaos of the culture shock. We didn’t expect to have so many people that day. Hopefully, the people who came were happy about it. A special thanks to Shubha Bahadur Sonam for welcoming us in his music school and for his great coffee! So how do you see the upcoming/emerging generation of musicians here in Nepal? I see it very good. I still don’t understand why E.Quals opened for us and not the opposite? We’re keeping in touch with them. We’re planning to write a few songs in commune with E.Quals and they’re coming to Switzerland at the end of this year to play with us!!! Also, you guys back in Ktm are not gonna get rid of us so easily :-) Any last words to end this interview? Thanks a lot for your presence, Kathmandu. We’ll come back stronger & louder than ever. And ﬁnally an HUGE thanks to Mr. Bikrant Shrestha and everybody at Silence Entertainment! We love you guys...
Antim Grahan Photo by: Nikhil Gurung
SEVERE DEMENTIA (Bangladesh) Current Lineup: Shawki – Vocals, Nahian – Guitar, Hytham – Guitar, Tonmoy – Bass(live), Rafa - Drums Genre: Death Metal
There were like 50-60 supporting us and the rest of the 200 trying to ﬁgure out what’s going on, 3 or 4 out of them actually knew what we were playing.
When did you guys start out?
So, what do you have to say on the scene right now?
The band was formed in 2004 and we’re one of the ﬁrst extreme metal bands to come out in Bangladesh. And your releases? We’ve released two singles and one EP titled “Epitaph of Plassey” in 2007.
Interviewed by: Siddartha Verma (Dhaka) I ﬁnally got a chance to meet up with Severe Dementia (death metal band from Bangladesh), the band who has made it big in a country where metal is all but well..voodoo. I was invited for a casual ‘get-to-know’ meet up by Nahian, the axeman of the band who very kindly had called up band members of a couple of other bands (Mirrorblaze and Bloodlust) as well for me to get treated with umm…whiffs of pot and of course the interview.
Looking at the culture and traditions of your society, how difﬁcult did you ﬁnd it to, you know.. get the audience’? Its very difﬁcult if you think that way. We started among clueless people. We had a few of them coming to us after the show and asking us ‘what song was that?’. That’s how it all developed. How many people did you play in those times?
Its funny how it is, though. You might think we’re such a small country, but we’re growing faster than we think. Although they might not seem active, but there are a lot of underground bands popping up here and there. But quite a few have what it takes to… take it, and actually DO the death metal music, with proper opportunities, you know, living double lives and everything. What’s the difference you’ve found between your ﬁrst release and your latest release? The sound’s changed. The lyrical concept has developed. Our ﬁrst release, yeah, we had a lyrical concept about that, but when started working on our EP, the lyrical concept it was on the Battle of Polashi, but now, we’ve started working on our full length album, and its based on Sumerian Mythology.
Ok, your most successful release? Our EP deﬁnitely. We all fuckin’ love the sound of our EP, done in a few days, but still… Developments on new album?
As an established band, how do you feel about new bands taking inﬂuences from you? I always wanted to see more metal bands coming up in my country. We’d love them to appreciate the music for what it is.
It’s untitled yet, but as we said, based on Sumerian Mythology. We’ve released a track out of it. You can ﬁnd it on our myspace and get a glimpse of how the album’s gonna be.
Have you heard about any bands from Nepal?
How often do you do gigs?
How would you like it given an opportunity to play in Nepal?
Nowadays, its getting hard for most metal bands to get gigs, lack of sponsorships, reluctance, you know, they don’t wanna provide sponsorship. When we started, in 2004/05/06, we had a gig almost every weekend and on a regular basis. Now, it’s more like 1 gig a month. Any memorable moment? The gig in India. But unfortunately, we didn’t have all our band members, Shawki was missing, and we had to do with a session guitarist as well. So have you had changes in inﬂuence? Over the years, yes. We started off covering Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, Lamb Of God as well. But now we’re more into technical stuff.
I checked some links out a guy from Nepal shared with me. I don’t remember the names right now.
We’d love to, we’d deﬁnitely love to. It’d be an amazing experience. Because the only chance for exposure a metal band in this region has is to travel around, do shows and bring their music to the people. We also want Nepali bands to come and play here, and by that time, we’ll hopefully be able to organize something big. Countries like India have brought in big names like Opeth, Maiden, Lamb Of God and developed. If they can, we can too, and it all starts if we do stuffs like this, as long as all the metalheads stick in together that is. Check the band out on their myspace and facebook: www.myspace.com/severedementia www.facebook.com/pages/Severe-Dementia/18888424791
Ayurveda Photo by: Bikash Rajkarnikar
Interview By: Gagan Atreya For anyone who’s in touch with the underground music scene in Kathmandu, “Ayurveda” is probably a familiar name by now, so I’m not going to spend much time ‘introducing’ them, except saying that you have been missing out on some super awesome high quality music if you’re somehow still in the dark. For more information about this amazing band.
You can go to their website http://www.ayurvedamusic.com/ For a little band that started out at a college, you might say that they have come a long way; but if you have ever been to one of their shows and seen what these guys are able to do on stage, you’ve probably wondered how these guys are not selling out stadiums (not to say that is what deﬁnes a good musician).
This is the interview that I conducted with them via email. I would have loved to do it face-to-face but that is just how things turned out. Ayurveda is: Tom Burchinal - Vox, Keys Diwas Gurung - Guitar, Vox Shikhar Bajracharya - Guitar Dan Halperin - Bass, Synth, Live Drum Sequencing Mike Parker - Drums
First of all, congratulations on achieving everything you guys have gotten so far. You have toured the entire country several times, played in Festivals with artists from all around the world, released three albums, numerous EPs and continue to gather more admirers every day. And you just crossed 3K fans on Facebook; D. Tell us how the journey has been like. Did you guys have any idea when you ﬁrst started that you would come as far as you have? Mike - Ayurveda has never been a hobby. We are all working hard every day, pushing ourselves and each other to be better musicians, and better people, learning from our victories and mistakes. We love what we do and we are always striving for more. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, but I feel like we are just getting started. Diwas - It is easy to get wrapped up in daily tribulations to realize how much of an “impact” we have already made. When we started we really had no idea what shape or form the band would take. Any development we have had has been organic and at a slow and steady pace, like the preparation of a succulent biryani. Dan - Thanks, we absolutely thought we would make it at least this far. The plan from the beginning has been for the ﬁve of us to live off of our music. So there’s still ways to go. Tom - Frankly, I thought we’d be a lot further in our career by now, but it certainly has been an interesting ride.
Shikhar - I didn’t have any idea how far we would go when we started out, which was in the beginning of college. I just ﬁgured if we stuck together and wrote good music, then good things would eventually happen to us, which they have. The journey has been extraordinary. I consider myself lucky to be able to pursue a dream with four other like-minded individuals. Still, my Hajurma and Hajurbuwa think I’m crazy. And so do my parents. Your ﬁrst full-length record (Being) was produced by Alex Perialas, who has worked with such artists as Testament and Bad Religion. And yet you decided to do everything (from recording, mixing, hand-printing the covers to distributing your subsequent records to even printing your merchandise) yourselves. And I believe you all have your day jobs on the side, but still tour the whole US twice a year. Not to forget that you’ve released four albums and an EP in less than three years (counting Diwas’ Rato Mato CD). Tell us what makes all of this possible, and what it is like working with such a ﬁgure as Alex? Mike - Well, I am actually a Producer/Engineer. That is what brought me to Ithaca and eventually lead me to Ayurveda. Or should I say lead them to me? I ﬁrst met Alex in 1999. He produced a record for a band I was playing drums in at the time. About a year later I left the band and he asked me to come and work with him at his studio. And that is exactly what I did. For several years I just produced and engineered project after project. However, I was also playing as a studio musician
on about half of the records we made. And that is how I ended up in Ayurveda. Having Alex produce “Being” was a lot of fun, and it took a lot of the weight off of my shoulders. It gave me a chance relax a just be a musician for a change. Alex and I are very close friends and it always a treat when we get to work together. It just made sense for me to step back into the producer’s hat on the subsequent albums. On “Down the Staircase”, we were really ready to move on from the heavier sound that had deﬁned our earlier work. Being a member of the band, I knew our new sound was very intimately. It was a natural part of our evolution. I’m sure that someday we will try other methods and work with different producers, but for now the formula just seems to work. Diwas -I think the months preceding the “Being” sessions, a few things happened. First, business wise, I think we all woke up from the fantasy of the “record label fairy tale”; the classic “get picked up by label-get famous-have nervous breakdown”, routine. And second, musically, we knew what we liked about our sound, and what we hated, and most importantly what we wanted. We believe that it’s better to be small but to have full control of everything that includes shows, merchandise, art, design, and the whole thing. And what makes it possible for us to do all that is commitment and priority. The band is the number one priority for all of us, and once that part is solidiﬁed between all the members, everything else is a lot easier. However, if you were to get to the heart
of it, I think the biggest factor is love. Love for the band, the music, the fans and for each other. Working with Alex, personally, was an incredible opportunity to be schooled. It was like recording boot camp, but I loved every minute of it. The things I learned from him will always help me. As a producer he is amazing, but as a person, he is a legend. The sweetest, warmest and the raunchiest person you will ever meet. Dan - We have a great relationship with Pyramid Sound Studios and Alex Perialas, who’s allowed us to do tracking and mixing in the studio for little cost on the last two records. Alex has also gotten us up to the studio at Ithaca College, which has turned into some released material. In order to release as much material as possible, we all work together and force ourselves to learn new skills, like screen-printing and show booking and web design. No one has our interests in mind more than us, so it’s important that we can do it all ourselves. Tom - Well to answer the ﬁrst question, I would say it’s possible because it’s what we want to do. That’s all there is to it. When you have a goal, you ﬁnd a ﬁnd a way to make it happen. No one else is gonna do it for you. To the second question, I think each member of the band has a different relationship with Alex. For me, I see him as kind of an old-school sonic Guru. He knows way more about the studio process than I could ever dream. The ﬁrst record we made with him was my ﬁrst record ever, so I was really just trying to soak it all in and learn as much as I could. But it was a little overwhelming for me - it’s a lot
to learn. The main thing that wore off on me was his work ethic - which is unparalleled - he works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. But in addition to that, he’s just entertaining. He has a way of keeping high-work-load-intense-situations very light hearted and fun. His sense of humor is wacky to say the least. It just so happened that our Mike Parker was his principle studio-disciple for years before Ayurveda ever came along. So Mike had the best training you can get, direct from the master himself. Which I guess goes back to the ﬁrst question. That’s a big advantage, and certainly helps us do what we do. Shikhar - Our collective attitudes and our ability to work together has been vital to our success, and everything we’ve achieved thus far has been a result of that teamwork. That, plus having a recording engineer in the band really helps. And having money…lots of money. I’m kidding, we don’t have any money. But our parents do. Working with Alex was a great experience. He has a no-bullshit approach to making music which I love and he’s got a great sense of humor. I had never recorded a full-length record before “Being,” so I learned a great deal about how the recording process works. Your latest record is just heavy-duty in so many aspects. Please describe the making of H. Luminous. Was it a conscious decision to come up with a concept album or was it just something that happened?
Mike - H. Luminous just sort of happened… and fast. We were just sort of working on some ideas and boom... there it was. We went into the studio as soon as it was ﬁnished. We tracked the music together, live in the same room. One continuous take with no overdubs (Of course we didn’t get it on the ﬁrst take. It took several tries). We then tracked the vocals the next day in one 4 hour session. We wanted to keep it as raw and as real as possible. No studio magic. We just let that piece speak for itself. Dan - At ﬁrst we started writing one song, and we just kept adding parts. After a few parts were strung together, we just decided to go for a concept piece that just ﬂows as one work. We were just off of our ﬁrst tour and feeling antsy to produce something new, so we hunkered down last winter and wrote the whole thing in a few weeks. Tom - When we started writing that record, we intended it to be a 4 or 5 minute single that we could release online before the winter break for our fans (what was essentially the ﬁrst track, “serpent & shaman”). But we just couldn’t ﬁnd a way to end the damn song! Each new riff that was intended to be the conclusion just turned into another segue - one after the next after the next. And before we knew it, we had 12 consecutive minutes of music, and another part of about 8 minutes, or something like that. At that point we just decided to give in and make a whole record. I think it was mutually understood by everyone that it would be some kind of concept record in the end, but the speciﬁc concept came a bit
later, and primarily from my head after a few very late nights with some very interesting books and internet videos. I shared the general concept with the fellas, but they mostly just trusted me to get it done, and do it well. And I trusted that the Universe would help me write what would need to be written when it should be written. I don’t believe in forcing creativity. When inspiration strikes, it strikes. And you have to be ready to jump on the impulse. But that trust was a really inspirational part of the process for me. In fact, I left town for almost a month on a personal trip just to separate myself from the whole process and clear my head. I came back with nothing written. I remember Mike asking me if I was going to be ready to record in two weeks, and I had nothing. The guys hadn’t heard any of my ideas at that point... it had to be pretty crazy for them. But about a week before we went into the studio, I spent two consecutive nights in seclusion and had a very deep and profound connection to the piece (or perhaps it was something else?), and wrote the whole thing in one fell-swoop at the end of that second night. The Universe provides, my friend! That’s been the easiest and most natural record to write yet :) Shikhar – H. Luminous just happened. There was no plan to make piece that spanned 25 minutes while integrating many styles of music at the same time. We started with a chord progression that Mike had, then we just kept adding parts to it. Everyone had riffs, sounds, and ideas that eventually gave birth to a concept piece. At the same time Tom had been researching Mayan culture, speciﬁcally the
prophecy of the year 2012, and brought that to the table as a narrative to the piece. This was also the ﬁrst recording that we did live in the studio in order to capture the raw experience of listening to the band. Diwas, tell us about the whole Rato Mato experience. How it came about, what your expectations were, and how you see it in retrospect. Also, when is it going to be available in Nepal? Diwas - Rato Mato was born out of the Nepali Folk nights we used to do in Ithaca. The reason we started those nights was partly out of necessity, and partly out of trying something new. I think it all kind of congealed in me when I went back to Nepal for a couple of months and learned from some amazing musicians there. My father had a harmonium in the house so I would come home from the lessons and practice my vocal exercises pretty much daily. After I got back to the U.S we started recording the album. When we were recording it, there really was not a lot of expectation. I knew that some people would like it but as far as the general public, I was unsure, because I really was not a good singer then, I was still learning, and I still am. As far as the music goes, I and Mike did most of it and it seemed quite obvious, there was no time spent on the proverbial drawing board, to try and come up with a “new sound”. In retrospect, I am quite fond of that record, it seems effortless. We have been steadily working towards a Nepalese release but things are tough
when you don’t have a deadline. But sufﬁce to say 95% of the work has been completed. What can we expect in terms of a new ‘Veda record? Have you guys started working on it yet? Mike - We’re always writing, but there are no ofﬁcial plans for a new full length album at this time. I can say that we are thinking about recording a song at a time as they come and releasing them online as soon as each one is ﬁnished... but that’s just something we’re talking about. I guess we’ll just all have to wait and see. Diwas - No not yet, we all have ideas; sufﬁce to say it’s going to be different. We are deﬁnitely embracing technology, but that’s a good thing, I promise. Dan - In fact we started listening to some song ideas last night. We’ll probably be writing the rest of the month, but no solid plans for a release yet. I think we’re going to have a lot of new material. Also, as a reminder, Diwas and I are working on 3 new Nepali songs that may be released digitally in March. Tom - We are always working on something. Shikhar - We haven’t started writing any songs yet, but everyone has ideas for the next record. Dan, Diwas, and I are all utilizing computers and midi controllers in our rigs now, so I’m sure there will be lots of crazy sounds. But other than that, I have
no idea! That’s half the fun though. What advice do you have for young and aspiring musicians? Mike - Practice hard and work hard. No one is going to come along and make something happen for you. You have got to do it yourself. You must truly love what you do or you will never be happy. Diwas - Stay true to yourself, your vision and your music. It may take time and patience, but time ﬂies by when you are doing what you love. And practice your craft whatever that might be; it could be writing lyrics, practicing modes or just listening to new music and try to understand and appreciate the things that you might not get right away. Most of all, get out there, form a band, practice hard, play shows, make albums and make sure people hear it! Dan - Find other like minded musicians. Preferably who are more experienced than you, who will constantly motivate you to improve. Tom - My ﬁrst advice would be to make sure this is really what you want to do. Think hard about it. It’s a decision that will consume your life to a point you never imagined. If you are even hesitant answering yes for one second, you won’t make it. The old-school scenario of “getting discovered” and then having a huge record all of a sudden that millions of people love, just doesn’t happen anymore. The people out there making real music,
and having a career, spend years of hard work building up to that point. I would also recommend not studying music as a degree. If you go to college, get a degree in business or money management or something to do with the business world. The bottom line is that music is a business just like anything else, and you’ve got to learn how to work it. The learning curve was slower for us, because we didn’t understand that for a long time. Today’s musicians are truly renaissance men & women. You are the creator, the writer, the manager, the booker, the promoter, the merchandiser, the recording engineer, and on top of all that you have to still ﬁnd time to progress as a person and musician. But start with smaller goals and don’t try to build up too fast. As long as you always continue to grow, no matter how slowly, you’ll be doing ﬁne. If what I just wrote is overwhelming to you, then perfect! It is overwhelming. Think about it. And then follow your intuition. Shikhar - Practice, practice, and practice. Don’t limit yourself to one style of music. Listen and appreciate different kinds of music. Play with other musicians. Don’t do too many drugs. Listen to your parents most of the time. Don’t clip your ﬁngernails or cut your hair at night. [ This is a shorter version of the interview, for the complete one, visit the ktmrocks website www.ktmrocks.com/site ]
Rage Hybrid Photo by: Umes Shrestha
For those who haven’t listened to your music yet, could you please describe Arsames brieﬂy? Arsames is the ﬁrst Persian ancient death metal band formed in 2002 in Mashhad by front-man Ali Madarshahi. Most of our songs are based on ancient Persian mythology. What does the band name Arsames actually mean? Arsames (520 BC) was the king of Persia during the Achaemenid dynasty, who was the grandfather of Cyrus the Great. He was the ﬁrst instructor of human rights in the world. So how do you deﬁne Persian ancient death metal? Well, it’s not a separable genre. All death metal elements like heavily distorted guitars, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, etc. are used in it. The only vital distinction lies in our lyrics and the use of Persian scales in songwriting.
ARSAMES is a (Persian ancient) death metal band that rises from Mashhad, Iran. The band had played in Sikkim Music Festival last year alongside X-Mantra, and they will also be touring Darjeeling for the Underground Unleashed Festival in September later this year. Here is a short interview done by Samyam Shrestha with the band’s front-man Ali Madarshahi and manager Mohsen Faiiazi.
You guys had headlined the Sikkim Music Fest last year, sharing stage with X-Mantra from Nepal. How was the whole experience playing in this part of the continent? Yeah, that was really a good experience. To meet new people has always been lovely for us and we met many nice people there too. Metalheads in all corners of the world have the same attitude – they always look like a strong Army full of emotion and
kindness. We really liked the behavior of Nepali bands especially X-Mantra. Their music was really awesome. And the band is also playing in The Underground Unleashed Festival in Darjeeling later this year? Yes, we are already excited to travel there once again! Well, the band had released the debut album “Immortal Identity” in 2010. How have the responses been so far? We got well regards from fans and it has helped to keep us working and working. And I’ve learned the album was dedicated to Ronnie James Dio, R.I.P.? Yes, Ronnie J. Dio was a great person – the voice of metal, and his career was so huge and honorable that we decided to dedicate our album to him. And also, we wanted to show our sympathy to his family and his fans. The band has announced the start of work for the next album, “Epic of the Kings”. Has the work started already? How is it going so far and when will it probably come out? Yes, we have started it recently and we will effort
hard to release a good album for our listeners. We are satisﬁed with the process of our work and we hope the album will be released at the end of 2011 or early next year. Could you explain the philosophical/lyrical content behind Arsames’ music? As said above, we focus on cultural and ancient background of Persia for the lyrics as you know most of pop bands focus on shallow topics such as materialistic love and have ignored some deep meanings such as culture, identity, humanity, etc. And what are the band’s primary inﬂuences, musically? Our musical inﬂuences include Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Kreator, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Opeth, Arch Enemy and many more. We think we are also looking for something from our ancient Persia to create an epic music that no one has done before. Could you name few of the notable concerts you have played? In 2009, we performed in an international threeday Unirock Festival in Istanbul, Turkey, where we opened for Amon Amarth. We had shared the stage with famous acts like Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Kreator, etc. then.
We’ve learned that heavy metal music is illegal to perform in Iran. So is it that there is no live scene there? Have you played any live show there?
of music that they like and listen to, like heavy metal, jazz, rock, blues, hip-hop, etc. How are the metal recording studios?
Yes that’s right. Metal music is illegal in Iran and there is no any metal performance here. We haven’t played any live show in our own country, and we are not going to do that till the day the government accepts to give us the permission of doing it with vocals.
There are some underground recording studios here but they are limited in hardware and software. And what about women into heavy metal?
So what do you say about the overall existence of heavy metal bands in Iran? How hard is it?
We have some female metal vocalists in Iran and they are trying hard to prove that Iranian females could be good metal vocalist as well!
It is very hard to play metal music in Iran but we think it’s a good chance to practice and work harder for being great bands and make some new music in this situation.
Well, I read somewhere that you (Ali Madarshahi) are into heavy metal music for more than twentyﬁve years. How did you discover the music (and the western music in general) at ﬁrst?
In fact, Iran is one of the hardest places to play metal music but don’t forget, this hardest situation has made us to be stronger, heavier and louder. We love to see metalheads grow up in our country and be a main part of the metal world. When we talk about 3,000 years of culture, we have to stay and ﬁght for it!
(Ali-) I ﬁrst discovered rock music. When I was a kid, one of my family members gave me some cassettes from Pink Floyd (“The Dark Side of the Moon”). I was inspired by their music, and it was an awesome moment in my life to listen to something different than what I have listened before in radio, so I decided to discover more of this kind of music. Then I slowly started to ﬁnd records by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Sodom, Testament, Megadeth, Kreator, Venom, Exodus, and more and more, so the METAL side of my life began to grow. I was fourteen when I started with heavy metal.
What about the western music in general in Iran? Most of the Iranian people like pop music; they follow the news about their favorite superstars and their new stuff. Moreover, they try to keep themselves up-to-date. There are a lot of genres
Cool. So what do the band members do besides playing in Arsames?
people and all metalheads in Nepal.
We do individual works for money â€“ teaching music, graphic designing, etc.
Thanks for the interview! HORNS UP TILL DEATH!
Finally, any last words you want to throw to the metalheads here in Nepal? Well, we wish good days and luck for our fans and other metal bands around the world and also we hope a peaceful year for all
You can check out more about Arsames in their ofďŹ cial band pages: http://www.arsames.net http://www.myspace.com/arsamesmetal http://www.facebook.com/pages/ARSAMES/111288558020
Jugaa Photo by: Umes Shrestha
ever recorded before signing to Earache records in December 2010. Our line-up went through a few changes before it settled on our album line-up. Som is Dutch and is the only non-Scottish member of Cerebral Bore. She joined the band in July 2010 and has already played more than 10 countries as our vocalist.
CEREBRAL BORE (scotland)
Personally I have always wanted to see the world, and just knowing that it could be possible with my own band has always given the inspiration needed to keep going and to work hard. So how has the band’s music evolved since CB ﬁrst began?
CEREBAL BORE is a Scottish death metal band currently signed to Earache Records. They have recently released their debut full length album “Maniacal Miscreation”, garnering a worldwide attention. Here’s an interview with the band’s guitarist Paul McGuire. Hi, thank you for your time. To start with, could you describe Cerebral Bore’s sound for those who haven’t heard your music before, in just one sentence? Hard one, as this person could possibly be a death metal fan who hasn’t heard us, or a strict fan of pop music who hasn’t even heard death metal let alone Cerebral bore. So my descriptions would differ depending on the person. To the Death metal
fan, I would say we are a fast paced, brutal band with a modern sound and guttural vocals. Alright freely describe your music and please tell us about your musical inﬂuences as well. We are brutal but catchy I would say. Not too over the top but not gentle in any way either! Musically, I’m not sure who inspired us, just the genre in general I think. I always ﬁnd this question hard to answer! Could you tell us brieﬂy about how the band got started? We started out in 2006 in Glasgow, Scotland, and recorded a demo which became the only demo we
I would say that we have got a lot more brutal and a lot groovier! There was a much more old school vibe to our older stuff, I’ve tried to go for a fresh sound always but I would say that we have come closer to it in the more recent songs we have done. CB released the full length album “Maniacal Miscreation” last year and was very much well received by the fans. Tell us a bit about the album concept and production. The album was recorded and mixed/mastered in Wales at Foel studios by Chris Fielding. We didn’t have an overall concept but we tried to get a lot of Scottish references throughout the artwork and lyrics as well as the samples. The album will be ofﬁcially released in April 2011 by Earache records.
Several lineup changes in terms of vocalists, has that affected the band in anyway? And personally how do you manage your time with different projects? The vocalist problems have only made us stronger to be honest, it taught us to keep working and not be held back by anyone. I don’t have any other project that take up any of my time, as being the manager of this band takes every minute of my spare time. How did you get along with Earache Record Label at ﬁrst? I sent a link to their website and got a reply within the hour saying that they were already preparing a contract proposal for us, so it turned out to be a strange coincidence, considering it was the only label I personally approached. How’s the songwriting process like? I don’t have any kind of recording gear or even an actual guitar setup at home, so it mostly comes down to us having a band rehearsal the next day, so I stay up for an hour or 2 and write something and go jam it with the other guys the next day. But other times when I have access to a drum kit, I can write a lot faster by playing the drum part and then playing the guitar part over it to make sure it works then way I imagine it in my head.
which is a Jackson Rhoads model, which I got for free from Jackson in 2008 when they gave me an endorsement. I also have a few boss pedals including noise suppressor, Metal core, and tuner! I am also endorsed by Spectraﬂex cables, In Tune guitar picks, and EMG pickups, which I also use regularly!
I know that it’s great from what my friend Shaun (Putrid Pile) told me about his recent show there. I don’t like to get my hopes up or have high expectations of shows, which usually makes them far better than they may have been if you built them up too much!
What are the immediate music career goals of the band?
And have you guys ever thought of doing a gig in Nepal?
Hoping to get to Asia and South America, also to maybe get our video on MTV!
I can honestly say that I have always dreamed of the thought of a show in Nepal! It is a country I have always wanted to visit, with awesome stuff like the Himalayas and Mount Everest. Which I am told I can see from Darjeeling! So anyone in Nepal who wants to book us...we are available!!
So when’s the next album supposed to release? Any plan or update already? The next album will be ready for early 2012 I think, but who knows. It all comes down to the music being ready and not rushed for the sake of a deadline. We have already begun writing and I just bought a new drum kit to help the process. How much are you guys into playing (video) games? Cerebral Bore is a weapon in some Turok game right? Yes! Our drummer is probably the biggest gamer, but none of us are actually fans of Turok!
Could you give us an idea about the gear you use?
So we’ve learned that you guys are also playing in Underground Unleashed Festival Darjeeling this year! Are you familiar with the metal scene in India? And what are the band’s expectations out of this gig?
I don’t have my own amp, but I have 1 guitar
I am not overly familiar with the Indian scene but
Once again thanks a lot for your time and the interview, any last message to CB’s fans in Nepal? Thank you! People of Nepal, come see us in Darjeeling or demand a CB show in Kathmandu !! We hope to come blast your faces off one day! Keep making that awesome hashish!!! Interview by Rashree Singh
Gobind Sen (Kalodin) Photo by: Umes Shrestha
Surya Pun (Antim Grahan) Photo by: Tripti Dhungana
BIKRANT SHRESTHA (silence studio) BIKRANT SHRESTHA is the owner of Silence Studios, a new, state of the art recording studio situated in Tangal, Kathmandu. An avid music lover, He’s also a very good metal guitarist who has performed in concerts and festivals in several different countries. For this issue, ktmROCKS caught up with him to get information on his studio as well as music. Let us begin with the Silence Studios. When and how did it start? The plan for Silence Studios was conceived even before I went to Switzerland; probably around the year 2000. I always had a desire to do something in the Nepali music scene, and even during my stay in Switzerland, I would always think of coming back to Nepal and investing my time, money and effort here. But plans do not become reality by themselves. So I started collecting all the necessary materials like high quality ampliﬁers, guitars and other equipments that would be necessary in order to realize my goal. Of course, since all these equipments are really expensive, it certainly took me quite a while. It’s been almost ﬁve or six years since I’ve been collecting all these instruments. Nonetheless, I’m just glad that things worked out for me. I guess I should consider myself really lucky that I got the support and necessary resources.
Was there any particular motive behind it? Well, we have lots of talent here that have the potential of matching even the good foreign bands. But then, there is virtually no support for them here. Plus, I listen to a lot of records from our local bands, and all of them would be of very poor quality, production wise that is. So, I felt I should do something about it and that is the primary reason and motive behind Silence Studios. Plus, it’s also about personal happiness for me. I am a music guy and I’m really passionate about it. It’s the only thing that I consider myself to be good at. When I feel that I’m doing something for our scene, it makes me happy. Now that I’ve set up my studio, I intend to continue promoting and producing good bands. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to help a few bands play abroad. Let’s see how things work out. You’re also involved in the movie production. ‘Batch No. 16’, the ﬁrst ﬁlm under your banner ‘Silence Entertainment Pvt Ltd’ is in the process of releasing soon. How did you get into this business? It’s a long story but to make it short, I have a couple of friends who are really close to me, and it was because of them that I got into movies. Together, we decided to make a movie but the question was about the production. Do we make
it in the traditional manner as practiced in the Nepali ﬁlm industry, or do we make something more advanced? We decided on the latter but then we realized that the high tech equipments that we required were not available here. Luckily, I had a friend in Switzerland who happens to be a distributor of the high tech SI-2K cameras and he offered me a very good deal on it. So we got the necessary cameras and equipments and started working on our project. That is how I got involved in ﬁlms. However, like I said, I am a music guy and although I am earning decent revenues from the movie sector, I am not entirely happy with it. I’m only happy when I’m doing something music related. Therefore, I intend to focus entirely in the music scene in the future. I’ve already decided to split the operations of Silence Entertainment into music and movies. I’ll look after the music business while my friends will look after the movies. While you were in Switzerland, you were also involved in a band there, right? Yes, I was involved in a metal band called ‘Law of Silence’. So how was the experience? How was the band formed? Any memories that you would like to share with us? It was fun. After I reached Switzerland, I had posted a little announcement on a local website stating that I was looking for a good vocalist, bassist and a drummer to start a band. I had also posted my details as a guitarist, my musical direc-
tion and so on. But it was only after a year or so that someone actually contacted me. It was the soon to be vocalist of my soon to be band. So we met and discussed our future as band members. He was more alternative rock inﬂuenced: stuffs like Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters; while I was more into progressive metal. Anyways, two or three days later, the drummer of my band contacted me. He was a Brazilian drummer based in Switzerland. Luckily enough, he also happened to have a friend who was a bassist. Having completed our lineup, we all got together and started practicing. We never did any cover songs. We started creating our originals right from the start and after six or seven months of rigorous practice sessions, we were able to come up with fourteen songs. The end result turned out to be pretty good, I must say. The music was primarily metal, but also drew inﬂuences from several different genres. After that we started touring and managed to perform in several different festivals in France, Germany and Switzerland. We also entered a band competition organized by the Caribana Festival, which is a pretty big music festival held each year in Switzerland. Out of 150 bands, we managed to secure the 3rd position. So it was a pretty big deal for us at that time. Talking about Silence Studios, what sorts of bands do you intend to focus on? Is it just for rock/metal, or are you open to other, more ‘mainstream’ genres as well?
It depends. Since I am from a rock/metal background myself, my focus will primarily be on our underground rock/metal artists. But if any other good artists come along, why not? I’m open to anything, provided it’s good. Any other future plans that you’d like to tell us? Like I said, my aim is to get our underground bands to perform abroad. I’ve been trying to get good Nepali bands like E.Quals, and few others to perform in Europe. Hopefully I can do that in the coming years. I’m also trying to invite some Indian bands to perform in the next Silence Festival. As we all know, Indian scene has progressed a lot in recent years and I think it would beneﬁt us a lot if we could establish proper relations with them. Let’s see. ** ** ** ** ** Bikrant Shrestha is an avid guitar collector and has numerous gears in his studio, and there’s one particular rig that he particularly likes to follow as a guitarist. Guitars: I use multiple guitars but my favorites are from ESP and the PRS custom. Bogner Fish Rack Mounted preamp: This is my main pre ampliﬁer. It’s a rare, very high quality amp manufactured by Bogner. It consists of 4 channels, namely ‘Country’, ‘Shark’, ‘Strato’ and
‘Brown’, which can go from crystal clear cleans to monstrous high gain tones. It’ an all tube preamp which consists of eight 12AX7 preamp tubes. VHT G-2902-S Two/Ninety/Two Power Amp: My Bogner Fish preamp then drives my VHT G2902-S power amp. It’s a dual channel ninety watt tube power amp with 2 matched pairs of Russianmade Sovtek KT88 power tubes. Very clean, very powerful. Bogner (2x10 + 2x12) Cabinet: I use a unique Bogner cabinet with two ten inch speakers and two twelve inch speakers to get a unique sound out of it. It’s a very powerful speaker cabinet perfect for some heavy high gain sounds. Behringer FCB 1010 midi foot controller: My rack mounted preamp channels and other effects are switched with the help of a Behringer FCB1000 midi foot controller. It’s a very effective gear which lets me control different effects and tones from my rig with the help of simple foot switchable buttons. TC Electronic GMAJOR multi effects processor: For all the effects, from compressor to delay, chorus and reverb, I use this very reliable and high quality rack mounted processor from TC Electronic. Other than that, I also have the tried and tested high quality DTR-2000 digital tuner from KORG and the Furman PL-PRO DMC Power Conditioner in my rig. The power conditioner is there to protect my equipments in case of damaging power surges and ﬂuctuations.
1 2 3 4
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Guitar Wireless System, Furman PL-PRO Power Conditioner, KORG DTR 2000 Digital Tuner, Bogner Fish Preamp,
5 6 7 8
– TC Electronics GMAJOR, - VHT G-2502-S Two/Fifty/Two Power Amp, – Behringer FCB 1010 Midi Foot Controller, – Bogner 2x10 + 2x12 cabinet. :by Pranjal Ghimire
BlackSins Immortal Photo by: Umes Shrestha
KISHOR LAMA Kishor Lama is the vocalist for metal band BLACK SINS IMMORTAL, who apart from fronting the band, has been engaged in organizing small indoor concerts simply named “Gig Series”. Here’s a short interview done by Pranjal Ghimire with Kishor about the Gig Series and his band. Give us a brief introduction of your organization Mortem. How and why was it formed? Mortem was formed by Deﬁne Mental, Black Sins Immortal and a few of our friends. We’re just a group of guys organizing gigs and “Mortem” is just a random name we kept. Till date, Mortem has organized three gigs under the GIG series, right? What was the motivation behind them? After we had our ﬁrst event, there weren’t much or any gigs happening but we were desperate to play. ktmROCKS did not have events frequently during those months and since their’s were the only gigs we did, we kind of remained inactive. Deﬁne Mental was just formed back then and they wanted gigs too and we knew that there were many other bands who were looking for an event to play in as well. So, Mortem was just formed to help promote new aspiring bands who wanted to be a part of the local metal scene. We planned on making our event a series before we did Gig I, with a following gig every 2-3 months. The primary motivation was, and still is, the fact that all new bands have a hard time getting good gigs to play in. Secondly, we really wanted to promote the DIY ethics
and spread the word that anyone with the correct resources and management can successfully organize an event. Plus, it may sound obscure but if groups of teenagers and college students can keep the clubs of Ktm running by having parties every week throughout the year than why can’t it be the same with small-mid scale metal gigs!
a good amount on promotion, the bands and refreshments for the guests. The expenses are all collected from ticket sales and the amount is all spent to further entertain everyone in the gig. For a small scale event we have been fortunate enough and successful as organizers thanks to all the bands and more importantly everyone who attend our gigs.
How difﬁcult is it, considering the fact that there are virtually no ﬁnancial rewards?
Let’s talk something about your band, Black Sins Immortal now. Any updates on that?
First of all, the Gig Series is not proﬁt motive. Further, the House of Music has been kind enough to give us the venue, Mr Bishwo of Bishwo Sound Service gives us all the required equipments for almost half the usual price and we sometimes have drinks sponsored by United Spirits Nepal Pvt. Ltd. so we really don’t have to spend much. We spend
Currently we are inactive due to academic pressures but are also composing new stuffs as well and will be hitting the practice space soon. It seems that in recent days, Black Sins Immortal has changed its musical direction. Why was that? Well, when we started the band, we got gigs easily and frequently which you can say was both a blessing and a curse. Blessing in a sense that we always had gigs to play in but since we weren’t musically mature and were just starting out, we fucked up sometimes and learnt from them. As we continued we thought about many other sub-genres, bands and elements which we had not experimented with or even tried. We got more into Death Metal, and into bands such as Decapitated, Meshuggah, Dying Fetus, Ion Dissonance and so on. So now we are back to basics with the new direction with experience from our past. So, what are your future plans? Mortem- the Gig Series will continue as long as the people involved are here and we hope there will be more such groups in the future. As for BSI- we will keep experimenting with new stuffs and hopefully will have a good number of tracks for future events.
Kalodin Photo by: Tripti Dhungana
ALBUM REVIEWS PLASTIC HEART EP - JINDABAAD A GODS LIE - DEVIOD THE QUANTUM HACK CODE - AMOGH SYMPHONY JUPITER - ATHEIST
PLASTIC HEART EP (2011) jindabaad!!!
During the EP Release gig on January 22nd 2011, Jindabaad’s vocalist Rohit ‘Sahu’ Shakya proclaimed that his band is not a metal band. It is not a progressive or rock band. It isn’t a jazz band or an alternative band either. It is just Jindabaad. It is art. Those who have seen Jindabaad live will deﬁnitely agree with this statement. Plastic Heart is a conﬁrmation of this; Jindabaad’s music cannot be generically classiﬁed, and the freshness of this EP is deﬁnitely a benchmark for the Nepali music
scene. Plastic Heart is a celebration of the genius that is Jindabaad!!!, and ﬁnally gives this group a means of ‘going global’. Plastic Heart is groundbreaking in every way. On the musical frontier, it presents a peerlessly fresh and cohesive sound that clearly shows that the musicians have grown more mature since their axeslinging days with Atomic Bush and Baking Space Cake. Jindabaad carries the virtuosity and merges it with maturity to concoct a whole new blend of eclectic genres of music which is unique and strong in itself. Jindabaad’s music is full of variety; their songs are full of everything from melodic glissando solos to maniacally intense rifﬁng to jazzy breakdowns. An example of this variety is the song ‘Spoilin’, which starts with Rohit Shakya crooning to a clean guitar melody, progresses to a ﬂeeting slide line, then to a heavier passage and culminates in a bone-crunching rifﬁng section that are accentuated by Kiran Shahi’s Thomas-Haake-like drumming. None of this seems forced or unnatural and the progression from one genre to the other is very smooth and musical. Each instrumentalist is a local legend in his own right, and their comprehensive collaboration creates a wonderful blend. This smoothness in their musical variety (and the obvious virtuosity it takes to create the blend of music that Jindabaad have) sets Jindabaad apart from
many local and international bands. On the production frontier, this EP is the best sounding material the Nepali underground has seen for a long time. Mixing and mastering was done by vocalist-guitarist Rohit shakya, who had made a name for himself as a great session musician and producer prior to his starting Jindabaad. Although the keyboard parts are somewhat inconspicuous in many sections and the spectrum is slightly dense in the heavy passages the overall mix sounds fantastic. A decade ago, one could only dream of hearing locally composed and recorded music of this quality. The EP is composed of tracks that have been gradually reﬁned to their present state through meticulous composition and expertise. The intro to ‘Shades of You’ is likely to stay in anybody’s head for a long time to come. The drum and bass groove that follows accentuates the hypnotic nature of this song, and the vocal sections are very conﬁdent and apt for the trance-like state the music is designed to leave the listener in. Rohit Shakya’s rap-like vocal style makes a brief appearance in the second verse of this song, and the rapid words conveying the unsettled mind-frame of the persona in the song add more depth and power to this already powerful song. ‘Preset’ starts with a haunting piano melody and maintains the eerie vibe throughout the soft and heavy passages, with vocal variations from soft crooning to anguished
shouts about a mechanical, synchronized life. ‘Rewind’, the inspired anthem which had already garnered much popularity because of its much acclaimed video, sounds as fresh as ever, with the catchy intro and heavy riff and great grooves which make for a wonderful listen. Vocals are very conﬁdent and powerful, and Rohit Shakya’s Zack De La Rocha-like rap sections make the song a treat to listen to. ‘bfm’, a censored acronym for Big Fucking Mess, has a series melodic piano executed chords that set the theme for the lyrics about our failed system. The verse sounds as angry as the lyrics, with frequent bursts of rapidness that are executed expertly by Sahu. The chorus of this song is particularly anthemic, crowds often ﬁnd themselves shouting ‘BIG FUCKING MESS’ at the top of their voices when this song is performed in concerts.
Jindabaad brings a brand of virtuosity that is not limited to intricate guitar or keyboard solos; it transcends the idea of musical expertise being limited to instrumental ﬂair. 10/10 By Apoorva Lal
A GOD’S LIE (2010) devoid
slight twisted route to pull things off – for this, either the bands are seeking to step up the extremity or experimenting to trigger newer sounds, like one of my favorites, Vektor are doing. And then are some self-proclaimed thrashers who ‘mistakenly’ have played groove metal instead. Well, lets not get to that point. But anyway… The band in hand, Devoid, balances well to put themselves between the retro-sound of thrash metal with a strong blend of originality that offers a slight touch of death metal and hardcore/groove metal intersections. Devoid come from Mumbai, India and “A God’s Lie” is the band’s debut full length album which was released in September 2010 through Demonstealer Records. Great song patterns and a whole lot of brilliant rifﬁng, and I was being ass-kicked already. So…
‘Spoilin’ is arguably the most diverse of the tracks in this EP; it begins with soft crooning questions and culminates in a maniacally intense and heavy passage after the dark ‘transformation’ of the persona (which carries a vibe of Meshuggah inspired Mathcore). The last track, ‘Inmotion’ is the most psychedelic of their songs, with no lyrics other than shouts of ‘Inmotion’ in the latter part of the song. It is very spacey and emotive storms are evoked through the creative use of guitar effects. This EP is highly recommended to everyone.
Well! Thrash revival happens to be a sprouting movement lately, trying to invoke the misdirected 80s’ darling – the music that could defy any other metal genre in its content of pure aggression and antagonism. Modern thrash bands though, have a
The album commences with an acoustic intro, “A Silent Death”, which soon ﬂourishes into the upfront thrash strike of “Battle Cry”. With sirens and gunshots to welcome a listener, the ﬁrst introduction of the distorted guitars and bass had given me a sort of “Pierced from Within” feel, but soon the sound spreads off in tone that could fairly be derived from any of the traditional thrash records. Although Devoid cite Slayer as their foremost inﬂu-
ence, they have managed well to mark their sound away from them, and hell! I haven’t found any signiﬁcant amount of Slayerism in here actually, not even any chug based riff. There is also an apparent persuasion of hardcore/grindcore. For example, pop into “Possessed” (00:38) for instance. These hummable melodic parts in amid the avalanche of forthright brutality make this album so pleasant. To speak, I adore moments as such that tempt us bang heads. And hence melody points its existence throughout. You may think of “Enemy of God” melodic thrash but forget it already; this album doesn’t worship Gothenburg sound half its way anyway. Along the play, there were also Lamb of God, Death/Atheist and NWoBHM and groove metal inﬂuences felt. The title track grasps a bit of progressive shape as it tends to go for a few tempo changes with (somewhat) erratic ﬂow here and there. The band members too do not hesitate to mess around a little bit at times before actually hitting off towards full-on thrash. Well, the instrumentations incline a bit towards technical concentrations too, and the complex arrangements from the multiple genre ingredients still are mixed up well, which are proﬁcient to build an in-your-face assault. Philosophically, the songs are tilted towards ‘new world order and the evils of a prehistoric setup of the social norms and social deities’. The end-
ing track “Beer Song” is actually a distinct one that plays homage towards… beers! “Beer Song” caresses a bit of Megadeth spark, comprising some traditional heavy metal within it. (Why is the song called ‘bonus’ anyway? May be because of the very reason of its concept unﬁtting with those of others? Perhaps!) Drumming is a creative territory in the album as well – precise and very well executed ﬁlls, rolls and few blast beats providing the rest of the music a robust backbone. And I’ve got another thing to admire – Arun Iyer’s vocals – violent and hateful. We’ve heard a lot of this type before in thrash (or any other extreme metal), but hell I’m really impressed by the aggression he has released. Think of Kelly Shaefer’s work in “Piece of Time” and you already know what I’m talking about. Anyway, the growls are a bit more accurate and deeper than Kelly’s. Sharp! is the word. The production is near to ﬂawless, which roughly summons the vibes of old school atmosphere. This makes the release unashamedly modern yet grasping the primitive touch. Amogh Symphony, Devoid, Hydrodjent. Man, the Indian bands are just getting better by the day in regard to handling the production facet. The bass drums could have been switched a bit louder in the mix though. All in all, it’s an excellent display of virulent
thrash (/death) attack. This is a ﬁve-year-in-making album and the motive and seriousness of the band are further clariﬁed by the super-consistent line-up, to pursue the common aspiration to making the top-notch thrash music possible. The release has already won a great deal of attention worldwide, which suggests the band is really up for a huge run. And so let me revise myself once again – “A God’s Lie” is one of the best metal albums India has to offer lately. Yeah! 8/10 By Samyam Shrestha
THE QUANTUM HACK CODE (2010) amogh symphony
Vishal J Singh is a mad genius. He’s able to shove everything from jazz, eastern classical, electronica, industrial, funk, blues and what not into one single pot and then come up with some of the most brilliantly crafted, ferocious heavy metal. Add to that a healthy dose of science ﬁction, and there you have it – Amogh Symphony for you! This project of his has been creating waves all across the subcontinent’s metal scene for quite sometimes now and deservedly so. At the moment, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call Vishal J Singh
the listener had to read the song titles and leave everything else to his/her own mind, each song in ‘The Quantum Hack Code’ begins with a short narration of respective chapter of the story. If that has made things clearer or even more confusing is up to the listener’s judgment.
as the best multi-instrumentalist in the region. ‘The Quantum Hack Code’ is the second offering from Amogh Symphony, after the much acclaimed debut ‘Abolishing the Obsolete System’. Musically, it treads the same path as its predecessor, focusing on a wide range of genre blending guitar theatrics and a frenzy of electronic programming. Although this time, it’s done in an even more cohesive and polished manner. Also, like ‘Abolishing the Obsolete System’, all the songs in the album are bound together by a single futuristic concept. The difference, however, is that unlike ‘Abolishing The Obsolete System’, where
The concept is based on a distant future, “when Earth can no longer handle the Sun’s rays”. The machines have taken over and human beings are preserved in a state of ‘samadhi’ with their bodies safe in ‘vitalators’ and their memory coded into the Q-web. The machines are learning to replicate human society using the Q-web. The story then moves on explaining scenarios of programs battling against each other until their nulliﬁcation and the revival of the humans. For the drums, Vishal J Singh has trusted the services of Virginia based drummer Jim Richman, whose dexterity behind the drum set just add to the complexity of the overall sound. Couple that with layers of electronic percussion, and you get the most interesting ‘acoustic meets electronic’ rhythm section. With a solid backing foundation like that to stand on, Vishal J Singh then goes on to unleash his full potential, be it in the form of guitars, bass, keyboards or electronic programming. The guitar work in this album is quite easily one of the most versatile ever. The primary sound is deﬁ-
nitely that of crushing technical metal, but Singh manages to blend in subtle bluesy licks, smooth jazzy passages and clean classical parts in such a manner that it never sounds forced. In other words, it’s a work of pure genius. The slap bass is performed brilliantly and every nuances of the playing easily cuts through dense multilayered mix. Top notch production. Again, Vishal J Singh is the man. The electronica side of the album is masterfully done, creating layers insanely chaotic mix. Never does it sound dull, fake or forced. The man knows what he is doing and he does it amazingly well. On the whole, apart from the mind boggling complexity of the concept with a rather confusing ending, there is very less room for complaints in this album. Yes, the highly multilayered and technical instrumentation may overwhelm at ﬁrst, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the technical/ experimental genre. It deﬁnitely takes more than a few listens to fully grasp the beauty of it. But , it is well worth the effort. Once you grasp it, you will realize that Amogh Symphony’s ‘The Quantum Hack Code’ is a masterpiece in it’s [its] own right. Highly recommended for any open minded listener or anyone who admires experimental/technical/instrumental metal. This is the new standard. 9/10 By Pranjal Ghimire
JUPITER (2010) atheist
Here’s a little story: When I ﬁrst listened to “Piece of Time”, the debut album by Atheist, I decided that this band destroyed every other band I had known till then (which, I admit, were not many) before the ﬁrst song ended. Something similar happened with “Unquestionable Presence” as well. “Elements”, on the other hand, didn’t do much for me. It felt like a weaker album compared to the ﬁrst two, a view I hold till this day. And then “Jupiter” was released. I listened to it for a few times and hadn’t formed any concrete opinion on it when I felt the urge to listen to their previous
albums and perform some comparisons. I started with “Elements” and BAM! much more enjoyable than “Jupiter”. So, even though this is my least preferred Atheist album, it is still good. The most important thing about this is that it sounds like an Atheist album and reminds the listener of their ﬁrst two fulllength releases. For an album released after a gap of 17 years with some key line-up changes, that’s pretty impressive. The drums are next on the list of impressive stuffs from this album. Atheist albums have always had amazing drum performances and this one doesn’t disappoint at all. If you’ve listened to any other Atheist albums, you already know that non-stop blasting is not their thing. The drumming here is fast, yes, but it is so much more than just that. Variation is the key element and they know it very well. That is the reason the drumming remains interesting throughout the length of the album. I believe that it is the excellent drumming that saves this album from mediocrity because the riffs are just not powerful enough to carry this album on their own. They get the work done, sure, but are not very memorable and lack the catchiness and groove that was found abundantly in their previous albums. The songs don’t ﬂow as smoothly as they did previously as well. The vocals sound different but that was to be ex-
pected; 17 years can do a lot of things to a man’s vocal chords. While I don’t really like the vocals here, it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the album too much. What does affect my enjoyment here is the bass. On previous albums, they were very strong and almost dominated the albums and that was one important reason why those albums rule so hard. But here, the awesome bass is all gone and even when you can hear some, they are nothing special and just follow the guitar most of the time. That’s my biggest complaint with this album. All things considered, I’m pretty satisﬁed with “Jupiter” and would love to hear more music from them in the days to come. If you like old Atheist, you’ll probably think of this album as being somewhat decent at the very least. But if you haven’t listened to any of their older albums, “Piece of Time” might be a better starting point. 8/10 By: Kishor Gajurel
2012: A Luminous Odyssey Last march, Ayurveda released their third record, “H.luminous”, a concept album envisioning mankind’s progress as we collectively climb the Darwinian ladder of life. In their own words “This (album) is about the next evolutionary step we need to take as a species if we wish to survive in harmony with our planet, ourselves, and one another. From Homo sapiens to Homo luminous. It is intended to be a shamanistic journey of transformation”. Relying heavily on Mayan ﬁgures, rituals, and the infamous long-count calendar as a vehicle for their message, the 26 minute long journey takes you through the transformation of the protagonist, as he evolves and transforms into a higher, nobler being. [For more info on how the album came to be, and how the band feels about it, read the Ayurveda interview, page 62] The very ﬁrst thing that struck me when I ﬁrst read about and heard this record was its similarity to the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Arthur Clarke – the undisputed pioneer of science ﬁction literature and a mesmerizing storyteller, and Stanley Kubrick – arguably the best director ever – collaborate to create this masterpiece, and it would not be a stretch to call this movie the apex of their respective careers. Charting the development of humans from early cave men to a star-faring species, the movie provides a big ‘what if’ scenario and suggests an alternate evolution path, one propelled by a gentle push from a higher consciousness.
So when I listened to “H. luminous”, I realized that there were many parallels between the movie and the album. Surely, the ‘Starchild’ at the end of the movie – the next evolutionary step for humans, according to Kubrick/Clarke – was deﬁnitely the same Starchild that results from the transformation of the serpent at the end of H. lumnious, I thought (which was actually true, read on). But I kept my thoughts to myself and did not venture further along that interesting ‘co-incidence’. I was gladly content that one of the best concept albums this side of “Amused to Death” had a story similar to one of my favorite movies of all time. Then, on a not-so-busy Friday afternoon at work a few weeks ago, on a random ‘recommended videos’ surf on YouTube, I came across a video that had synced Pink Floyd’s Echoes over the last chapter of 2001: A Space Odyssey (the ‘Jupiter and beyond the inﬁnite’ chapter, or what most may refer to as ‘the part where the movie went cuckoo’ chapter). Now, I’ve never really been a believer of all the sync stories, where people try to put together and make sense of anything that seems to have even the slightest resemblance to each other. The infamous ‘Dark Side of the Oz’ sync (the movie ‘Wizard of Oz’ but with audio from Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon) was pretty interesting, but anything else I’ve heard/watched has been sort of a reach. And the Echoes/2001 video was no exception.
The only thing that caught my attention was the run time of the video. Roughly 26 minutes. Roughly 26 minutes. That was also the length of H. luminous. I felt a sudden ‘ting’ on the back of my neck. My initial comparisons between the two came back into my mind. Can it be? I stopped the video, took out my mp3 player, dug up “H. luminous”, hit mute on the video, and played the video and the album at the same time. Sufﬁce to say, you would not be reading this piece here today if that ‘sync’ went the way of most other videos. Did the band do this on purpose, maybe as a tribute to 2001? It would still be quite an achievement to do something like that, albeit deliberately. So, I ﬁred away a couple of messages to Tom Burchinal, the lead singer and the man responsible for the words in “H. luminous”. He did agree that, yes, the Starchild was a direct reference to 2001, his favorite movie of all time (surprise!), but nothing beyond that, and deﬁnitely nothing consciously or deliberate. I then made a rough patchwork video combining the two together and send it to the whole band. They were pretty thrilled by the result, and Tom was ‘speechless’. To further quote the guy, “you know, that album felt like it ﬂoated down into our awareness
from somewhere else... and it was Kubrick conspiring from the 5th dimension the whole time! haha”. Or was he? Was it just mere co-incidence that made these two ﬁt in so well with each other? Or was it a work of something else, something ethereal and belonging of a higher consciousness, something that we cannot make sense out of. Yet. We shall do the evolution and ﬁnd out, in due time. Till then, sit back, relax, and enjoy this luminous ride. (Full screen and headphones highly recommended). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NmTzc-wZlc
[For those not familiar with the movie’s storyline, I suggest you watch it ﬁrst (or better, read the book), or at least read up on the storyline: http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001:_A_Space_Odyssey_ %28ﬁlm%29 http://www.ﬁlmsite.org/twot.html And for Ayurveda album’s lyrics and more, http://ayurvedamusic.com/Music_HLuminous. html. ] by Bikash Rajkarnikar
Manil Shakya, E.Quals Photo by: Tripti Dhungana
Cobweb Photo by: Umes Shrestha
GEAR-TALK SUNNY MANANDHAR, ALBATROSS PRAMITHUS KHADKA, BITTER EUPHEMISM DIWAS GURUNG, AYURVEDA PANKAJ SHAKYA, ANTIM GRAHAN
Sunny Manandhar, Albatross Photo by: Tripti Dhungana
Sunny Manandhar guitarist, Albatross When did you start playing? I had a guitar lying around at my house when i was in grade four. It was a Chinese classical guitar. I used to strum whatever I could, which in musical terms did not make any sense. Around 1993 when I was in grade ﬁve I got a Beatles song book which had all the chords structure so I learned how the chords formulated through that book. From then on it was listen and learn. What was the ﬁrst tune(s) you learned? One of the ﬁrst tunes I learned was ‘All Apologies’ by Nirvana. It wasn’t really exact but it sounded somewhat the same. What advice would you give to beginners? For beginners who want to learn I would suggest them to have a lot of patience .Because it’s not something you learn overnight. Also if you have determination you will have the patience itself. Now a days it isn’t hard to learn how to play the guitar as everything’s laid out for all through the internet.
One favorite instrumental album? Instrumental album bhanda I really can’t think of anything but I really love ‘To Live is to Die’ by Metallica, the instrumental song from “And Justice for All” album. This particular song builds up from a sad beginning takes to a more aggression feel, and it plays all kinds of emotion that I can relate to. It’s an awesome song. There is ‘Call of Ktulu’ from ‘Ride the Lightning’ and ‘Orion’ from ‘Master of Puppets’ of Metallica. All these songs, though didn’t have any lyrics on them I could feel it so much. I think these would be the soundtracks of my life. If you were to put these up in one album that would be my all time favorite INSTRUMENTAL album. Something about the rigs you use. Right now I am using a Sunburst American Standard Fender Telecaster with Seymour Duncan Hot Rails humbucker for the bridge and stock for the neck pick up. For the ampliﬁcation I am using a Vox Night Train all tube amp head with Marshall AVT412 cabinet with Celestion speakers. As for the effects I use a Vox Tonelab ST which generates most of my sound and with that I use a Electro Harmonix Small Stone, Electro Harmonix Big Muff and a TC Electronics Nova Delay. The strings I usually use is D’addario EXP110 Regular Light 10-46.
When did you start playing?
guitarist, Bitter Euphemism
It was at the end of class 9. I started playing keyboards at a very young age, so I knew about basic chords and stuff. At the farewell party, some of my friends played guitar. I just wanted to know how the instrument worked so I asked them if they would teach me a few chords and they did. That is how I started playing guitar. I didn’t have a guitar at home though, so I couldn’t practice. So whenever I saw a guitar or someone would let my play their guitar for a while, I would start practicing those chords over and over again hehe. I ﬁnally convinced my mom to buy me a guitar at the end of class 10. So I started to spend a lot of time playing guitar after Class 10 (SLC). What was the ﬁrst tune(s) you learned? Going back to the farewell party, we covered two Nepali songs. One of them was “Dekhe timilai” by “The Axe” (the other was “Bidesh jaane mayalu timilai” by Deepak Thapa). A friend of mine taught me the chords for “Dekhe timilai”. It was easy to learn because the song had only four chords altogether (changing between the chords in rhythm was another frustrating issue though). Then onwards, it was playing Nepali pop songs and old folk songs. I went through the book by “Ram Thapa” which had lots of chords and lyrics for Nepali songs. I didn’t know what 2/4 or 4/4 was in that book, I played the songs that I knew. I also played “Madal” in school assembly from class 2/3 to 10 haha so I had the sense of basic timings by ear so I felt at home playing Rhythms on an acoustic guitar. What advice would you give to beginners? Hmm, I don’t think I am in that position yet. However, from what I’ve been through trying to learn the instrument, I will certainly share what was most difﬁcult and the way I would have tackled it now. The ﬁrst thing is the chords. I think learning chords and getting the idea of basic rhythm guitar is a must. Try old Nepali songs!! I always had problems ﬁnding a person who could help me answer a question that I had (When
I ﬁrst started listening to Pantera, the monster pinch harmonics caught my ears instantly but I could not ask anyone what it was). So learning music from a good teacher is always a great idea. I had the privilege of learning guitar (music) with Iman dai and it was an amazing experience. I learned a lot. So after chords, rhythm guitar and guitar teacher (if possible), scales are also very important. They are like words and you need them to express yourself. Listening to all kinds of music and getting ideas about using your instrument is also very important in my view. Finally practice is a must. One all time favorite Instrumental album: Hmm, it’s really tough to just choose one, there are so many of them. If I do have to choose one, it is “Sol Niger Within” by Fredrik Thordendal”. It has everything from aggression, grove to beautifully phrased melodies. It’s pure genius. I just can’t say anything else. You have to listen to it to know what I am talking about. Something about the rigs you use. I have a “Tronad” acoustic guitar (It was my ﬁrst guitar), a Indonesian Yamaha F335 BL acoustic guitar, a Korean B.C Rich platinum pro series warlock electric guitar with factory stock pickups, a Japanese Ibanez Rg470 series electric guitar with V7/V8 pickups and a Japanese Ibanez Rg1527 Prestige 7 string electric guitar with Dimarzio Blaze pickups. I use a Peavey Vyper 15 Watt combo amp. It’s a small practice amp with effects on it and has some decent tones. I have a Line 6 POD xt live guitar effects processor. These days I just use the amp though. Not picky on any particular string set, I usually go for D’Addario XL125 super light strings (0.009 to 0.046) or Ernie Ball Super Slinky (0.009 to 0.046) strings for the six string electric guitars. I did use Dean Markley strings a lot too. I always use Martin MSP-4000 extra light (0.010 to 0.047) strings on my acoustic guitar. On my seven string guitar, I use D’Addario EXL 120-7super light (0.009 to 0.054) strings.
What was the ﬁrst tune(s) you learned? I think the ﬁrst on that I decided to learn note for note was “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica. The intro of that song had been haunting and taunting me for years, so one day I got the tablature for it and decided that I would learn it inside out, so I did and so it goes. What advice would you give to beginners? Play along to your favorite songs! And make sure you are always in tune. One favorite instrumental album?
guitarist, Ayurveda When did you start playing? I actually learned my ﬁrst chord which was a G major when I was in 5th grade, however the frustrating nature of guitar really took a toll and I was never really serious about it for years. Then for some unknown reason, I became obsessed with it when I reached the 9th grade to a point where my parents had to hide my guitar during exams.
That has to be “Who Else” by Jeff Beck. What can I say; it is the deﬁnitive guitar album for me. This was the album that made whammy bars cool for me again, his mastery over it is inimitable and legendary, just check out “Blast from the East”. True, this album has no shredding on it, but it has space, dynamics and above all “heart” and I think that is why I keep coming back to it (check out “Brush with the Blues”). Sufﬁce to say, this album, and Jeff Beck in general, has deeply affected my outlook on the being a guitarist and a musician. Something about the rigs you use. I have two main guitars; one is a home assembled start style with a whammy bar, and the other is
a G and L Asat which has the best pickups in the world (not even joking) They each have their place in the songs we do and are dear friends. I use a Voodoo amp head made by voodoo amps which is a local amp builder. It is basically a modded 50 watt marshall JCM 800, its simple and sleek; one channel, no reverb, no effects loop. I love that thing and will be devastated when it dies, which it will soon, judging by the abuse it takes on tour. I also use a vox pathﬁnder combo which is a 15 watt solid state amp, it’s a dinky little thing but it is dripping with mojo. I usually use it as a solo boost or for a stonesy/beatlesy tone. For pedals, I can’t live without my cheap Ibanez De-7, which I have had for years but has one of the best echo sounds I have heard. I also use the whammy pedal a lot. Apart from those two everything is always changing on my pedal board. A new thing that I am doing is that I am using my computer to generate effects via an interface that I can bypass. This basically gives me an unlimited number of plugins that I can use as effects. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, really. And as for strings, I use d’addario 10.5-52’s, I can’t stand super thin strings and super low action on guitars, they make me feel dirty and yucky. Since we got the D’addario endorsements I have been lucky enough to experiment with string gauges and a 10.5 on the high E is the way to go for me.
When did you start playing? As far as I remember I was 12 when I seriously started playing guitar. Before that, I used to play my cousin guitar, like around at the age of 8 or 9, and often I used to break his string. The reason why I wanted to play guitar was, once I saw this concert video of Guns N Roses in some music channel and became a huge fan of Slash right away. And I always wanted to play like him….(yeah, what a thought) that dream never came true). But the credit goes to Slash for inspiring me to be serious.
guitarist, Antim Grahan
One all time favorite Instrumental album. I listen to every kind of instrumental music. There is a dozen of instrumental albums coming in my mind right now but for me, all time favorite instrumental album has to be “Inquisition Symphony” by Apocalyptica.
What was the ﬁrst tune(s) you learned?
Something about the rigs you use.
“Come As You Are” by Nirvana, because it was the easiest tune to learn. Back then, everyone was a huge fan of Nirvana. The best part was - I used to be treated like a rockstar in my school whenever I played that tune. Everyone was like - WOW!!! he is playing NIRVANA, hahaha, sounds funny but that’s true.
I have a “Kibson” acoustic guitar, my ﬁrst guitar; a Tronad electric guitar; HOHNER classical guitar and a WashBurn Dimebag signature model guitar (Dean Razorback series).
What advice would you give to beginners?
you playing it because you really want to? For the ones who really want to play, whatever you play, play it from your heart and the music you create. One more thing, try to learn by yourself ﬁrst, and then take any guitar classes.
I don’t think I am ready to give advice yet, but still here is what I would say to the beginners. First, before you want to hold your guitar, think thrice. Are you playing it just to show off or are
About amps I use Lestion stack 120 watt. My processor: Zoom G9.2tt, Boss ME – 70 , Line 6 Pod X3 Live. I use Earlie Ball Super Slinky (9 – 42) strings and my pick is Dava (ﬂexible and very comfortable to play with).
Gear Talk series - done by Gokul Atreya
Anil Dhital, E.Quals/White Photo by: Tripti Dhungana
OUR READERS WRITE:
RATM’s Music and Art of protest! -
Music itself is expressive. It works best as role of a liaison between one’s soul and expression. A therapy, when you’re stressed, angry or mentally depressed. Music stirs a soul and carries all way, makes one laugh, enjoy, cry, rise and rebel. There are happy songs, sad ones, sappy, parody, self-destructive, depressive and energetic. But many of us forget a Protest song. Protest songs are frequently situational, having been associated with a social movement through context. Whether it may be about civil rights, anti-war movement, abolition, feminist or an outrage against socio-political dysfunction it talks about change. Many songs deal with personal emotion like love, hate, depression and darker aspects. But they tend to forget the most important part, Politics. We are captured by its melody and make a song our favorite cause some lyrics incidentally strikes our personal feeling but if we considerably think about mass, Politics is solemn concern of all the people. The main reason which hinders our development is that we are politically messed up. Probably, I was in seventh grade when I heard ﬁrst Rage against the machine’s song. A friend of mine lent me their album. I went home, put it in my computer. Damn, they were awesome. When I began to dig more of them, I began to understand their lyrical aspect. Having listened to Limp Biz-
ket, Linkin Park (and other similar bands), their music was not new to me, though they were somehow different. There were songs that straightly bullied the authority, the political movement and the government. From the closing statement of “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me” from Killing in the name to Bullet in the head’s openly anti-capitalist message, I was amazed to know they were an American band, as America being one of the most developed countries, in the world enjoys a abundant freedom than us, politically, economically and socially. How come mainstream artist in Nepal produce and promote same catchy happy-songs when halve of us live in absolute social, economical and political instability. If you’re heart-broken, it may waste your whole life but if you’re socially discriminated it may waste whole life of your seven siblings. RATM is surely a blend of hip-hop, yes Zack de la raps but unlike other rapper the songs are not about fancy car, a sexual fantasy, or gangster rap- the artist immodest about his or her street reliability. His lyrics are of grave concern. They were not just another love song or larger than life statements rather they were rage against racism, discrimination, capitalism, unjustiﬁed movements, mass media propaganda and uncontrolled government. Making music is fun, but making music for a cause is more fun. Apart from their Polemics, RATM can be considered as extremely inventive band. A blend of traditional rock, metal noises with hip-hop rhythms and funk.
Morello being straight-driving force of the group is highly experimental. With the help of plain instruments he can create real manufactured electronic sounds, and combine them with more traditional rock and raw clamors to create a sound that is out of the ordinary mix of modern and old. On other hand, RATM was a huge commercial accomplishment with its product of heavy angry music; it also used the stage as a platform to broadcast various causes and had done a pretty good job of providing the soundtrack to much of the nation’s disaffected youth.
Chris Cornell (ex-Soundgarden) on vocals. Audioslave were not a political band but the most basic thing that they did was to confront the US blockade of Cuba in 2005 to put on a free concert in a show of solidarity with the Cuban people. Morello also formed a solo project “The Nightwatchman”. He describes himself as ‘a political musician and a musical politician’, and he even has his own uniform – a Nightwatchman heavy black clothes and baseball cap with a union logo on it. There are always two sides to a political argument but there’s always a two side to everything.
Being a huge RATM fan, I was highly disappointed when, Zack de la Rocha left the band, citing musical and political difference but shortly, then after other remaining members formed Audioslave with
Zack de la states” We’re more a Political agenda than a band”. He further adds “We’ve no fantasy of living a rockstar life; all we want is all the people to live a normal life, which should be guar-
anteed by government. If not, we’re always angry and so will be our music. ” Nepal also needs a serious political musician in the scene rather than just another high-class political leader. And also needs a high deﬁning political song rather than just another personal sappy love song. So, a change is must. Music made millions aware of starvation in Ethiopia than any speech. We can learn a lot from Ethiopia. There’s no need to ﬁght because you don’t need bombs, bullet and guns, when the weapon you choose is a great lyrics, Vocals, guitars and drums. Check out, Rage Against the Machine - Revolution in the Head and the Art of Protest. (Documentary)
OUR READERS WRITE:
My Favourite Instrumental Albums -
Bimo Chan N
In these last few months, I have been introduced to some mind-blowing instrumental albums. With no lyrics to pay attention to, the complex music can leave one feeling very artistic, enigmatic, and psychotropic. The beauty of an instrumental album is in its ability to conceive dreams out of sounds and carry you to another atmospheric realm. Of course, most people have their ways to describe instrumental, not paying attention to those who said “music ta thik cha k, geet chai khai?”
Instrumentals need not necessarily be the knighting of the guitars, though guitars undoubtedly are akin to ‘geisha’s in music. Mindjobs by Sunny Tuladhar Band and Animals as Leaders are some great guitar works speaking for themselves. On the other hand, some songs of Kutumba and Night are timeless beauty, deep and carrying. Here are 5 instrumental albums that I found to be most worth listening. Note that these aren’t recent releases, but they are deﬁnitely some of the best of their years.
1. SAURIAN EXORCISMS - KARL SANDERS (2009) The atmospheric instrumental by the founder of the great Nile takes music to another world. Egyptian themes behind songs of Nile meet elements from the Mideast, South Asia, and Tibet. This folk and ambience album is one of the few of its kind and conjures fascinating sounds that are part hymn, part chanting and part brilliance at the strings. Creating from world-music to extreme metal, Karl Sanders amazingly played all instruments for this album by himself. 2. WHEN THE KEYBOARD BREAKS: LIVE IN CHICAGO - LIQUID TRIO EXPERIMENT (2009) During a concert in Chicago, the much acclaimed band Liquid Tension Experiment lost its keyboard due to technical problems. While waiting for the keyboardist to get the problem solved, the other members of the band begin playing impromptu and an hour something later, create this brilliant instrumental album. With John Petrucci on guitars, it is no surprise that the guitars are splendidly hypnotizing. The album is second to no studio album
and although the musicians play and talk with no index or set list, the songs are all as good as others. The catch: the keyboard was never mended the night, so the audience was somewhat cheated, and somewhat treated. 3. INK COMPLETE - SPASTIC INK (1997) Spastic Ink is a raw, tight slap on the face. The music is hard, and progressive technical at its most unique. The drummer is insane but the guitarist is inhuman, and just when you think you know the song, you don’t. This album deﬁnitely stands out against everything else in its abundance of twists, turns and punctuations. Although my limited knowledge about guitars and chords is very minimal, it is noticeable that the songs are generally centered towards a certain range of tones, yet without any clichés or predictable parts. Truly, this is progressive metal’s most outstanding album. 4. THE FEAR IS EXCRUCIATING, BUT THEREIN LIES THE ANSWER - RED SPARROWS (2010) The title is long, but therein lies the yard. As an
Isis fan, I am much enticed to the post-rock music of Red Sparrows. The album features unique songs that are long, but never boring, and transient but not constant en drone. There is a lot of dense ambient element and mood deﬁning build-up to the songs. This album upholds much of the psychedelic post-metal approach of Isis alongside a different form of soundscape and ends with the most brilliant post-rock instrumental ambient music ever. 5. TRIBUTE TO BURZUM: WHEN THE NIGHT FALLS - BETHLEHEM STRULUCKT (2009) Like the name suggests, this atmospheric ambient instrumental album is completely based on works and words of the Varg himself. Like his own works, this album also takes a rudimentary record approach, is created and produced by a single individual – Struluckt, and is strangely surreal. The ambience is a deep set work of mostly keyboards offering dark atmosphere and light melodic pieces. It is not Burzum, but it reminds us much of it. And it deﬁnitely is the best lullaby.
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Mukti & Revival - Bujhai Deu http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?c0gyf2dc6x3068o#1
X-mantra - Kurshi http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?d65phddqi16scli
Jindabaad - Plastic Heart Ep http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?pdijjuc54nhaxpz
Newaz – Kichkandi http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?035b6y52dp539ys
Noid Acid - Dot EP http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?09hubu1d28hgm8t
Noid Acid - Out of Context EP http://www.mediaﬁre.com/?ah72mavaxa6lwnh
ktmROCKS Emag Issue 08: ktmROCKS was established exactly 10 years ago with a single vision of supporting the underground and non-mainstream scene of Kathmandu. In these 10 years, ktmROCKS organized and supported hundreds of big and small concerts in the capital Kathmandu, released several albums through its record label, endeavored in print magazine - Nepal’s ﬁrst and complete rock/metal magazine - for 14 issues, and most importantly, helped the underground scene develop and evolve. A huge thanks to all the bands and the fans – without both there won’t be any scene; huge thanks to all the friends, family and supporters for their unceasing and uncompromising support; and to all the past and present team members and contributors who have selﬂessly bestowed their sweat and knowledge for the sustenance of ktmROCKS. ktmROCKS feels honoured to have served the scene, the bands and the fans ! : Umes Shrestha
I have had the misfortune of being one of the few that never got a chance to witness one of those “cult” ktmROCKS gigs, despite being a team-member. I was already out of the country when ktmROCKS fully took off, so all my involvement has been over the internet. For the last 10 years, the ktmROCKS website, and specially the forum, has served as a portal and a thirst-quencher for me and my nepali-localmusic-deprived self. Although virtually not there, I was able to know all about the new bands, keep tab on the old ones, listen to some amazing local music ﬁrsthand, and interact with like-minded and like-hearted people. From the rustic beginnings of the messageboard days exchanging expletiveladen rants with random strangers, to a fully functional and alive forum and website backing up a relentless gig organizing effort and an (e-)magazine to go along with (not to mention the plethora of copyleft sights and sounds), ktmROCKS has deﬁnitely come a long way.
While there is not a shred of doubt that the biggest bulk of credit for this tremendous achievement goes to Umes, he, and we all, have always maintained that ktmROCKS has always been, and will always be about the fan, the listener, the observer. It has always been about the people; the people who played in the bands, the people who attended gigs and bought magazines, and deﬁnitely the people who interacted, shared and contributed in all possible ways. Without the overwhelming support and the selﬂess enthusiasm that has been poured into this effort by so many, we would not be here observing the 10th anniversary of ktmROCKS. And to that tune, I’d like to say that my best moments/memories related to ktmROCKS are undoubtedly the hordes of wonderful people that I got a chance to meet and interact with, both personally and in the forum. The people I met here and the fellowships formed has become an integral part of who I am. Thank you all for being, and hopefully we can all collectively kick several more decades’ arses along the way.” : Bikash Rajkarnikar (USA)
Editing/Designing/Photographs: Umes Shrestha Editing/Photographs: Bikash Rajkarnikar Writers: Pranjal Ghimire, Gagan Atreya, Samyam Shrestha Contributors: Siddartha Verma, Vishal Rai, Apoorva Lal, Bimochan Neupane, Prashidha Roka, Gokul Atreya, Abhisek Rajan, Renasha Ghimire, Nikita Tripathi, Kishor Gajurel, Rashree Singh, Deepesh Paudel, G. Dhiraj
Photo Credits: Pranav Manandhar (for Rohit Shakya photo) Tripti Dhungana (for Binaash, Rohit Shakya, Enigmatik photos) Spellbound Misfits (for Gothica photo) Renasha Ghimire (for 7th Gravity photo) Gagan Atreya (for Diwas Gurung photo) Rest: Credit mentioned, otherwise Facebook Pages and Internet www.ktmrocks.com www.facebook.com/ktmrocks www.facebook.com/ktmrocks.page email: email@example.com copyleft@ktmrocks, 2011