Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Melodic death metal from Pakistan? The variety and spread of metal across the world will never fail to amaze me. Faceless Mother’s EP ‘The Thing That Lurks’ comes to us from Karachi, and is a three track rager available now through their bandcamp.

Ripping straight from the melodeath playbook, opener ‘Beholder’ has a nice gallop to it and some great guitar melodies to it, while the mournful ‘The Baying of Crows’ has some absolutely fantastic, melancholic riffs. This is definitely feels more like a dark death metal record than more traditional melodeath, but the nice guitar work keeps them hooked to the genre.

Closing with the driving title track, I think Faceless Mother’s debut has got a bit of potential to it. The production isn’t great, but the riffing and songwriting all shows promise and I think in particular the melancholic touches of ‘The Baying of Crows’ is definitely worth the price of admission. Keep an eye on these guys.

https://facelessmother.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/facelessmother

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Solace In Violencia cover art

Deathly Pakistani thrashers Communal Grave are dropping their new record this year, entitled ‘Solace in Violencia’. This is their full length debut, but the band have been around since 2006, and now Enforcer Records brings this gem from the Asian underground.

Great melodic leads open ‘Invoking the Wrath of Sky-Breaker’ and it is a killer straight off the bat. Dense riffage and a scathing vocal growl make for a powerful opener, and sets out the band’s stall for the rest of the album. ‘The Frightener’ is intense but also a bit more adventurous. Some stop/start riffing and a few Lamb of God-isms help to create music that is both headbangable and technically sound. ‘The Last Gasp of the Beardsman’ is a nonsensical title, but it hides the most balls out thrasher here, a song that tears along with some excellent, Kreater-esque riffing.

The ragged, eerie chug of ‘The Protruding Tomb of Pehlan, The Dethroner’ isĀ  positively death metal in parts, but it is definitely the most interesting track here, full of strange time changes, riff patterns and some very heavy metal. The rapid fire ‘Pull the Trigger’ sets up the memorable ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’ and the pit destroying carnage of ‘Tormentor of Agonopolis’. ‘The Gravedigger’s Epitaph’ closes the record with aplomb, bashing what’s left of your soul into a broken lump.

Not straight forward by any means, but persevere and Communal Grave prove to be a worthwhile listen. The metal is heavy, fast and once you get past the odd quirks, you’ll discover a rich record of fucking riffage. Thrash til death!

https://communalgrave.bandcamp.com/releases

Pakistan’s premier metal band Blackhour are releasing their second full length through Transcending Obscurity tomorrow. Which leads me to review it just in the nick of time. Their press blurb posits them as a mixture of classic Iron Maiden and modern Sentenced, which is definitely worth a listen. Five tracks, all over five minutes suggests a little bit of the epic about them too.

Opener ‘Losing Life’ has some great guitar leads, with fluid soloing and some interesting slower sections. There’s definitely dashes of Sentenced-esque melancholy in the slower sections. ‘Wind of Change’ starts with a very Powerslave-era Maiden riff, and the verses have some killer hooks. It’s a great slice of modern heavy metal, catchy and uplifting. If it’s not high on my list of heavy metal anthems by the end of this year, there must be some doozies to come. I love it.

The vast ‘Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery’, the longest track here at over nine minutes, is a progressive epic. It builds slowly, even slipping in some harsher vocals, meshing more nice guitar harmonies and galloping riffs. It closes out with an almost hard rock feel to it, which works reasonably well. I must say, I prefer it when the band are firing on all metal cylinders, like in the rampant ‘Battle Cry’, but I appreciate the fact that they try different things.

Closing with the power balladry of the title track, before it kicks off into galloping vintage NWOBHM territory, Blackhour have crafted an anthemic slab of modern heavy metal, replete with classical influences but enough of their own identity to make it feel fresh. While coming across in parts as a bit soft, tracks like ‘Wind of Change’ are gonna be a hit with the metalheads in the pit.

https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/sins-remain-heavy-metal

https://www.facebook.com/blackhourofficial

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurity

Kafir-E-Azam/Bvlghvm cover art

A while back, I featured Multinational Corporations, a Pakistani grindcore band, on one of my roundup blog posts. Their particular brand of aural violence is sludgy, swampy and simply fucking brilliant. Well their frontman Hassan has another grindcore sideproject called Kafir-E-Azam, and they’ve recently released a split with Ralwalpindi powerviolence destroyers Bvlghvm.

Kafir-E-Azam’s side of the split is nine tracks over four minutes, and is the kind of bowel rattling grind violence you’re looking for. The production is a little thin, but the music is hellish, with a gurgling roar and a battering percussive assault. Three of the songs barely touch seven seconds, and there’s a satisfying headbanging groove in the longest track, the one and a half minute ‘Toilet Bowl Politics’.

Bvlghvm (I’m not even gonna pretend I know how that’s pronounced), well their side of the split is even shorter, with five tracks covering two and a half minutes. This split is shorter than a lot of single songs I have in my collection. ‘Taaruf’ acts almost as an intro, with a slow, jerking buzzsaw riff, while ‘Woh Raha Khadda’ and ‘Idhar Tau Oa, Bataun’ are raw slices of hardcore punk/grindcore malice. It’s hard to judge music sometimes at this speed, but both acts do what they do well, and what they do is incite feelings of rage in us all! Get here:

https://kafir-e-azam.bandcamp.com/

This is a joint posting with the ever ‘delightful’ head of Sixsixsix Music, Steve Thomas-Green, who I’ve spent many an hour discussing bands with over the last few weeks. We hit upon the idea of doing a joint blog post, each of us scouring our collective internets for FIVE countries not normally know as much for their metal, and finding another FIVE bands that are flying the flag for their respective lands. Naturally, the consumate metalheads we are decided to try and out-obscure each other. We’ve come up with a pretty select bunch of ‘where the fuck?’ places and acts that are pretty much excellent examples of how metal transcends borders, time zones, cultures and social classes. Let the games begin…

My first example is Nepal. Now, Nepal is home to some of the world’s biggest mountains, and therefore some of the world’s most epic, invisible orange inducing scenery. I did a bit of a spotlight on this area recently, so its a quick recap. My highlighted band is Maowli, who as far as I can find have literally ONE song available as a split with Pakistan’s Foreskin. But it is one minute and thirteen seconds of Converge skullfucking Hatebreed with a clawhammer. They say crossover thrash, I say razorblades at dawn. Split with Foreskin is available on Bandcamp as a free download right here.

Staying in this area of the world is Pakistan. I’m picking Multinational Corporations, who are a sick as fuck deathgrind troupe. Their 2014 release ‘Jamat-al-Maut’ is a gurgling, vicious attack on the senses. They rail against all the usual cliches of grindcore, namely religion, wage slavery and, you’ve guessed it, corporations, but there’s a raw spirit here that appeals to me greatly. Plus, they come from a part of the world that is as close to nuclear attack from their neighbours as is currently possible. I’d be pissed too. Free download of the EP is on their Bandcamp, and you can also get a tape release through Grindfather Records in the UK and Extreme Terror in Holland.

Hurtling towards the other side of the world is Peru. An oft forgotten South American country in the world of metal, what with all the brutal stuff coming from Brazil generally. But Peru have Infection, whose ‘Necrokindergarden’ album I reviewed way back when I still reviewed for Spirit of Metal forum. It is a thick, solid death metal record without the super shiny polish of modern tech death, yet not that sludgy ‘OLD SKOOL’ style either. Its in the vein of Monstrosity or Cannibal Corpse, and its executed well. Released when death metal was starting to feel a bit stagnant again, it was refreshingly straightforward. They’ve released a new album this year, which I look forward to finding and hearing. Hear ‘Necrokindergarden’ here.

Fourth on our list is back to Asia and to China where we have Deep Mountains. They have a debut record coming out PEST Productions some point this year according to their Facebook page, and their music is epic, atmospheric and, in parts, fucking beautiful. My personal favourite track is ‘Odes to the Pines’ but you can probably take your pick. They feel like a rainy day in a forest. It is fucking glorious. Deep Mountains are probably my favourite of these five discoveries, as their music touches me somewhere deep.

Finally I go to war torn, totally fucked Iraq for a slice of fantastic depressive black metal in Xathrites. Considering their homeland is currently in the depths of more war and religious genocide, it feels almost appropriate to be listening to some seriously nihilistic shit. ‘My Last Day Story‘ is what you’re looking for here, and it’s available on their Facebook page as a YouTube stream of the full record. It’s a morbid but fascinating, hypnotic listen, enhanced by mournful piano lines in the right places. Atmospheric and dark.

This has been a great journey. Hopefully these bands will now get a little bit more coverage and a little bit more exposure. I look forward to what Steve picks as his ‘five from five’. Given the conversations and recommendations we’ve been throwing at each other, they should be dynamite. Rock and fucking roll.

Now, the question mark is really because I don’t know how to refer to the area that includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh etc of which my most recent scene discovery is. Middle Asia? Indian subcontinent? Anyway, whatever it is referred to officially, I have found that, as with most places in the world, there is a thriving metal community with some pretty kick ass bands that deserve attention. So I did what seems to be the best way to find music these days; scoured Facebook and Bandcamp for acts.

My first find was a split between Pakistan’s Foreskin and Nepal’s Maowali. It’s only a track each, available on Bandcamp here. The Foreskin track is some catchy, propulsive hardcore/thrash with a very cool solo. Maowali’s track, ‘El Dhoti’ is another short, sharp burst of hardcore, sounding like a melting of Converge and Hatebreed. Cool stuff.

Next up is a band that appeared often in my searches, Binaash. A brutal and slightly unhinged deathgrind band from Kathmandu in Nepal, their debut record ‘Binaashkaari’ is available on Bandcamp here. Check out ‘Dheet’ as the track that’ll sum them up in roughly two and a half minutes of savagery. They are nasty.

My next pick are Necrodeity, who I can’t find any actual recorded music for but they have a number of live videos up on YouTube of them performing at some live events. They also do some sick Terrorizer covers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S5N4SAfPkg . I think I’ll keep an eye on them, because they sound like they could have a lot of potential.

Blood Division, a Singaporean blackened d-beat band (their words, not mine) are a definitely highlight of my journey so far. They have a debut record in the works, and some of their demo material is still available. Listen here and prepare to accept them into your blackened hearts. ‘Razed in Nuclear Fire’ is another scorcher.

I’ll leave it there for tonight, but I shall return to these lands soon. They seem to have taken on the spirit of late 80s Brazilian metal with everything being raw and savage. It’s an exciting place to explore and promote, because every hard working metal band around the world deserves support. \m/