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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raanjhan Yaar Di...

Since I found the lyrics and meaning to this song, might as well put it up. Brilliant song, gotta love it.

यार दी दीद मंगां . . रांझण यार दी

संवरी हाँ ते मैं निखरी हाँ ... रांझण यार दी
होर तों होई होर हाँ ..... रांझण यार दी
तांग तेरी वे आ वेहड़े , सोहणे सजण
यार दी दीद मंगां . . रांझण यार दी
यार विच असां , लब्बी है खुदाई

छम्म- छम्म नचां , इश्क कमाई
कमली हाँ मैं , सोहणी जग-हसाई
मीठा भाणा तेरा , मिठ्ढ़ी जुदाई
यार दी दीद मंगां. . रांझण यार दी

Yaar Di Deed Mangaan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di
Sanvri Haan Tey Main Nikhri Haan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di
Hor Tonn Hoyi Hor Haan , Raanjhnn yaar Di 
Taangh Teri Vey Aa Vehdhey ... Sohney Sajjan
Yaar Di Deed .......

Yaar Vich Assaan , Labbi Hai Khudaai 
Chamm-Chamm Nachchaan , Ishaq Kamaai
Kamli Haan Main , Sohni Jagg Hasaai
Meetha Bhanaa Tera , Meethdhi Judaai 
Yaar Di Deed Mangaan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di "

Some important meanings
(Deed - Jhalak , to see someone)
(Raanjhnn - Heer's lover )
(Sanvri-Nikhri - Groomed)
(Hor tonn hoyi Hor -- Tranformation , to reach some other Level)
(Taangh - Longing for someone)
(Vehdhey - Aangan, Courtyard)
(Assaan - Mainey, I)
(Khudaai - Moksha,)
(Kamaai - Earning, Achievement)
(Kamli - Mad Woman , Crazy, Unmaad)
(Jag-Hasaai -- When The Whole World Laughs At You)
(Meetha Bhanaa - God's Ways of Doing Things are Accepted)
(Meethdhi Judaai - Sweetness of Separation)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Elysium Metallum - part 4

 The Indian metal scene is truly exploding with world class releases and better bands coming up on a daily basis. May this flourishing continue.

Undying Inc - Aggressive World Dynasty
My Verdict - 7.5/10

Undying Inc are India's entry into the world of brutal groove metal and these lads hailing from Delhi, have been at it for a long time. If anything, their previous releases have been setting the world up for this opus, Aggressive World Dynasty.

 Highlights for this album are very evident - Brutal and energetic vocals, where Shashank Bhatnagar has really made a name for himself as the best vocalist in the Indian metal scene. The precise and skillful drumming by Yuvraj Sengupta, the killer bass playing by Reuben and the fiery fretwork of Biswarup. So as a 4 piece, they are tight as tight can be.

 Coming to the album, I think, the best thing I can say about it is that is a consistent album. The lyrics and the loose theme of the album are the different and more often aggressive facets of humans and their anger. And because of this, separating two songs often becomes difficult. If you are doing something like homework while listening to this album, your head will be bobbing and moving and weaving for the entire duration, but you will hardly have a clue as to which song you are actually listening to.

 Don't get me wrong, the musicianship is there and it is excellent. And so is the emotion and the energy in the album. There are a bunch of amazing riffs and pieces in there, but there also slides in some mediocre pieces. My favourite tracks on the album are Manimal and Membraneous and it is with a little sadness that I say, that if you have heard these two tracks, that you will definitely love and embrace, you would have heard the album.

 I do recommend this album, for it is a consistent and a groovy metal album. But alas, I am not convinced enough to strongly urge you to buy it.

Do Not Look Down.....

Finally got my hands on Meshuggah's latest album, Koloss. Yeah, they are bloody awesome.

Meshuggah. That band that mesmerized everybody with their musicianship. Their polyrhythmic structures, brilliant drumming, diabolical low end guitars and guttural vocals, they spawned an entire race of fans and musicians, most of whom have started ripping them off and started the whole djent movement. But when there are millions of good, mediocre and bad copies floating around, how do you identify the original?

 This is where the cerebral side of Meshuggah comes in. What people have duplicated is the sound and song structure. What they have not, is the attitude, intelligence and ideas that Meshuggah put into their songs. They know when they have to play slow and chug and when they have to pace up and poly rhythmisize the space time continuum. And that cerebral side is what shines through on Koloss.

 From the supercharged "The Hurt Finds you First" and "The Demon's Name is Surveillance" to the slow chugging on "Do Not Look Down" and "Marrow" to the doom filled ambient notes of "The Last Vigil", Meshuggah do not let the current movements in metal influence them. While the instruments are already known for their prowess, Jens Kidmans' vocals definitely do shine through and stand out.

 My favourite tracks on the album still are the ones that were leaked intentionally by the band, "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" and "Do Not Look Down", especially the latter with its slow groove and jazzy guitar solo.

 So those who are worried that Meshuggah will sound dated and obsolete, can rest easy. This is the most accessible Meshuggah album yet, at the same time being a logical evolution to their speed and riff crazed Obzen. The excellence and the essence that made Meshuggah the favourite metal band of the metal world, still remains. Buy it. For sure.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Elysium Metallum - part 3

 The Indian metal scene is truly exploding with world class releases and better bands coming up on a daily basis. May this flourishing continue.

Guillotine - "The Cynic"
My verdict : 8/10

"The Cynic" is the first offering from New Delhi, India, based progessive death band Guillotine. And when you say progressive death metal, what is the first word, that stands up screaming at you, inside your brain? Yeah, exactly. Opeth.

The album opens with the track "The Alchemy : Tears of Despair" and oh my word, what a cracker of a track! All the elements that shall make this band great one day are right here. The deep growls, the incredible musicianship, fantastic arrangements, incorporation of Indian classical scales and arrangements, incredible bass playing, tight ferocious drumming and good clean singing. Now I say, it shall make them great, because, for me, the album does go slightly downhill from here on.

Don't get me wrong when I say downhill. Its not bad. Not at all. Any of the rest of tracks would be a righteously proud member on an Opeth record. The tracks really are great. "Revisiting Faith", for me is the next most interesting track on this album as it flaunts the ultra progressive side of this band. Synths do a great job on this track and so are the arrangements. "To The Heavens" is another must listen with its funky grooves and melody-counter melody plays between the vocals and synth/guitars.

But that is all there is to differentiate them from Opeth. I mean, the progressive label is as broad as it gets and being called equal to Opeth is a terrific achievement in and by itself. But that is a double edged sword that kills the vibe that it started out with. There isn't another track on this album where I thought , "Ok, Opeth never did that. Guillotine own this thing". It just falls short on the identity front, something that the first track had in spades. Ok, maybe it isn't as bleak and dark as Opeth albums are throughout. There are bits and pieces from other things that influence this band, but it comes back to the same thing.

And that is the only beef I have with this album. It would make any fan of this band and genre proud, The Cynic really is a good album. Well worth the money. I hope they establish their identity much more strongly on their next album. But what a track that album opener is!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Elysium Metallum - part 2

 The Indian metal scene is truly exploding with world class releases and better bands coming up on a daily basis. May this flourishing continue.

Dark Helm - "Persepolis"
My Verdict : 7/10

While India isn't the hotbed of the metal-core genre, this band does not let the side down. Very young these lads, from the city of Pune, they have succeeded in forging their own sound in the Indian Metal scene and struck a chord and record deal with the fine folks at Itchy Metal Entertainment, a metal label based in LA.

This first effort "Persepolis" is a concept album, based on an ancient warrior from Persia. More details can be found in a band interview here, http://www.metalwani.com/2012/03/interview-destructive-dark-helm.html . The sound is typical metal/death core with bits and pieces of melodic death thrown in for good measure. Where these lads have really established firm ground, is in the use of eastern instruments, like the Sitar and the Santoor in their songs and made them sound amazingly well. Almost all songs feature Sitar/Santoor interludes embellising the guitar solos or providing a counter melody to the vocals. The strongest tracks on the album are "Persepolis", "Borrowed Time" and "Cymbeline" - the best coming together of the tight guitar parts, brilliant drumming, vocals and the eastern instruments, and hence an establishment of identity.

The weakest cog in the works has to be the clean vocals, audibly limited in range and runs out of depth very quickly with the growls coming in almost as a sigh of relief. For people who expect a lot of the nerdiness in the lyrics, they will be put off, not me though. There is a lot of double bass and two finger tapping guitar solos and plenty of interesting arrangements to counter the shortcomings and make it sound good.

There is a video out for "Origins II (Endings)", which is another one of my favourites and is very tastefully done. All in all, a solid debut and do expect much more of this good stuff from this band. Album interesting enough to shell out money for, without worry of being ripped off.

Eccentric Pendulum - "Winding the Optics"
My verdict :  9.2/10

"Winding the Optics" is the first full length album from those geeks from Bengaluru and is more than a logical evolution of the being from whence came the EP, "The Sculptor of Negative Emotions". One look at the track listing and the nerdiness is visibly all pervasive. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Because, in a very simplistic way, to quantify this band, would be to describe them as equal parts of Meshuggah, Thrash, Groove and a lot of weirdness. With djent and extreme metal exploding in all directions, there are a lot of sub standard djent and melodic death metal bands out there. What Eccentric Pendulum do on this album is, take all of that fake stuff, tie it up, gag it and blow it into the middle of the last century.

The opening track itself, "The Axioms of Aphotic Expressions", is my favourite and is an ample representation of all that makes this band so awesome. Kickass drumming (a lot of double bass ala Tomas Haake and some really crazy drum fills), odd time rhythms, eerie clean vocals, excellent growls and a guitar tone that is so reminiscent of Rob Flynn and Kerry King at the same time. Growling vocals have real depth to them and so does the guitar playing."Anonymous Existence", which stretches for a better part of 10 minutes, the bass playing really shines through, the solo passages on the keyboard with crazy drum fills and guitar interludes, is really a testament of how mature this band is in its outlook and musicianship.

The production values speak for themselves, because there are very few albums in this style of music with such clarity and balance. There is never a moment where, you would think, that one instrument overpowers others for no apparent reason. The artwork is another gem of an effort, real eye candy. Makes the album worth having. And with all that great music, thinking is not an option.This is a must buy, must have and must play album.

Elysium Metallum! - Part 1

 The Indian metal scene is truly exploding with world class releases and better bands coming up on a daily basis. May this flourishing continue.

Amogh Symphony - "The Quantum Hack Code"  
My verdict : 9.5/10

There aren't many bands around, about who, you can say with all the confidence in the world, are perfect. No flaws in the them and the only shortcoming being the listeners subjective taste. On the musical front, this album has no peers and has no faults.

Vishal J. Singh has somehow managed to conjure up all the best bits from his favourite genres viz jazz, flamenco, death metal, classical, djent et al and tool them into a sonic maelstrom. A concept album, loosely based on The Matrix, the narration for which is done by Chela Rhea Harper and done beautifully at that.

As for the tracks themselves, there is not one that I can criticize. I am not being paid for this review or sucking dick. Its just the plain truth. All tracks, must listen, chief among them, "Osiris I', "Decoded : Karnosiris" and "Polymorphic Infection : Release". Crushing riffs, electronic sounds, haunting flamenco lines all punctuated by the sheer skill and savagery of the drums. Skin duties are being handled by Mr Jim Richman aka Drumblast. His drumming is the stuff legends are made of, unbelievably good, unconvetional and always right for the groove. Production values are top notch as is the requirement for progressive metal albums of today.

In so many words, it is difficult to imagine and describe how Vishal and Jim, came up with this masterpiece and also, is impossible not to have this album in your collection. Go get your copy right now. It is that good.

Bhayanak Maut - "Metastasis (EP)"
My verdict : 7.5/10

This is the third EP by Mumbai based groove/thrash/deathcore band Bhayanak Maut have released thus far in their career. It comes with a three track listing and is a very pleasant (!!) slab of metal that you would want to listen to - uncomplicated, intense and in your face for the entire duration.

The guitar sounds are what you notice first and foremost. It is a dense wall of great downtuned riffage and does not stop the unrelenting attack till the end. Baba and Aditya do have a guitar sound that they own and flaunt. And as the BM trademark twin guttural vocals kick in, things become even more ferocious and head-bangey. The twin vocal attack achieves a unique type of layering effect, especially in live situations, where most bands run out of depth on vocals. More power to Sunneith and Vinay.

The bass lines by Baba and drumming by Rahul (Chakna For Church) and Jai (Dear and Confucius) are extra tight and fluid and as is the production, which makes every angry moment of the EP enjoyable.  Artwork, which is merely an old yellowing family photograph, compels you to think about the title and is something I definitely do appreciate. Overall, a continuation in the same vein of heavy skullduggery that BM have been doing for so many a year. And this EP is available as a free download from the BM website. Go. Get. Head. Bang.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In Sound and Within......

In times like these
When words are too heavy ,
to take form
and thought is expression.

When waves of sound
are loud enough;
to drown out everything.

In the maelstrom
is everything quiet.
and the only escape
is within.

To tap into your nerves
Impulses minute
and stitch together a mosaic

Lie down in the myriad colours
and find comfort
for you, amongst all,
can stand on your own.