As the world’s economic axis turns in upon itself, switching its power base from the colonialist West to the formerly subjugated and colonialized east, could it be argued that the crux of the metal world is about to shift in the same direction?
Over recent years, the encroachment of acts from ‘east of Heaven’ has been both inevitable and welcome, as acts from a part of the world previously seen to have been a fertile pasture for the visiting ‘giants’ of the scene have stood up to be counted in their own right – leading in turn to a plethora of new support mechanisms, including record companies and websites.
One of the progenitors of this burgeoning scene, at least on the sub-continent of India, have been Demonstealer Records, who have almost single-handedly helped to realize the potential of acts from that part of the world by forging invaluable relationships with international distributors and media to great effect. Their latest offering onto the global stage is accomplished debut album from a band who take their name from some weird spirit spied on a shelf while founder Samudragupta Dutta was visiting his mother in hospital…
The overall sound of the album veers from the classic rock and metal to more progressive moments, with short bursts of traditional thrash and, predictably, elements of Near and Middle Eastern folk music. The songs are built around the impressive double guitar sound of Dutta and Dishankan Baruah, who lay down their marker right from the beginning of the NWOBHM/Euro power crossover of opener ‘To Hold A Sabre’, a song which runs the entire gamut of the band’s sound within a few minutes.
Lead single ‘Bloodrush’ takes them down a more energetic groove metal path, which is accentuated on the angst-ridden ‘Paradigm Lost’, which is emotionally heavy yet magnificently melodic:
‘The Magician’s Birthday’ is the first track to introduce the more mystical theme which characterizes the rest of the album, again built on contrasting moments of heaviness and progression – and showing how powerful a voice Rainjong Lepcha possesses when he resists the temptation to indulge in needless growling and delivers a cleaner, purer performance, as well as the thoughtfulness which the band put into the overall construction of the album, with its acoustic theme reprised on the magnificent closer, ‘Mother’.
- To Hold A Sabre
- Paradigm Lost
- The Magician’s Birthday
- Rectified Spirit
- There Is No Tomorrow
- Where The Ashes Fall
- Until We Expire
‘Rectified Spirit’ is out now on Demonstealer Records.