For those of you who have heard of Obscura, Necrophagist & Spawn of Possession, Müenzner must be a familiar name. And for those few of you living under a rock, Christian Müenzner is a very talented German guitarist who can shred, sweep and melt faces like there’s no tomorrow. And with Timewarp, Müenzner shows in every way how he is different (and better) from your typical 20-mindless-notes-per-second guitar wankers and Bach/Mozart rip-offs. Shredheads, revel in the glory of your new lord.

The idea of a solo guitar album may seem dull to some, appalling to others, and they usually are. But Timewarp takes the shred/guitar based fusion music to just another echelon.  Obviously listening to Obscura, Necrophagist put in the picture that this guy can shred, but I never imagined that Müenzner’s  guitaristic balls were so damn heavy when it comes to phrasing and composing. The album starts off with Maybe Tomorrow which is a hearty indulgence to listen to. Implacable drumming, string-skipped runs, striking arpeggios and some licks which unquestionably sound like 8 finger tapping, just accustoms you with what this monster of an album has to offer you. In comes Confusion & The Tell-Tale Heart both of which features some of the stupendous shred moments. Both truly showcase the technical ability and the knowledge of the instrument that Müenzner possess. The title track Timewarp is the shortest tune in the album. Clocking less than 2 minutes, this tapping arpeggio extravaganza really says a lot about what the whole album has to offer. Next up is Victory which demonstrates some of the serious jaw-dropping runs & licks. This song also features very hummable parts which you cannot get out of your head, no matter how hard you try. Rocket Shop has a really early Greg Howe vibe to it which in turn makes song very very enjoyable. The intro runs & the groovy bass are a sure thing to bring a smile on your face, the kind of smile when you first heard Jason Becker’s Air or Malmsteen’s Far Beyond the Sun. Soulmates is doubtlessly my personal favorite track on the whole album. Starting off with a clean 3 chord intro arpeggio and transforming into a beautiful masterpiece showing every aspect of the splendid technique that Müenzner possess. The solo has a very obvious Greg Howe feel. From chord selection to the key changes, everything binds together just perfectly. Over The Mountains & Wastelands remarkably shows the ostentatious phrasing and brazen use of techniques in most remarkable sense. While the latter clocks over 8 minutes, it still keeps you enthralled. Dawn of The Shred, as the name suggests is indeed a shred affair which will make most of the shredheads cum out of their ears. Exhibiting some of the most insane arpeggios, runs, licks, sweeps, tapping, legatos and what not, this is indeed the quintessence of what tasteful shred is all about. The Gunslinger has your typical verse, bridge and chorus theme and a very catchy middle/solo section. This song also features some of the most unforgettable and haunting licks of the whole album. Album ends with Endless Craven which starts off with a very Indian/Middle-Eastern sitar-ish sound and builds up into 7 minute instrumental bullion. In all, these 66 minutes of breathtaking guitar wizardry leaves you with such an impact that you cannot stop yourselves from hitting the replay button again. And just once more.

Müenzner draws a very fine line in between capturing the essence from his vast influences and his original sound. Nothing on this almost-perfect album seems pushed. Everything comes out together naturally. Even in the parts where he plays more-notes-per-second-than-human-mind-can-comprehend, the true soul lies in the tone, flawless playing technique and the gift of phrasing that this man possesses. While most of his contemporary counterparts are getting into so called ‘Djent’ scene, it’s very comforting to find such artists who stay true to their music and write stuff which indeed shows the respect they have for their influences. This album is not intended for your typical metalhead crowd, but it’s a taste to be savor by only a few, who appreciate the beauty of what is known as shred.

GENESIS

The year was 2005. A band called Undying Inc had recently started making its way around Delhi’s independent music circuit. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t overly impressed the first time saw them live. The Pantera influence was all too evident, and the stage act was feeble. But the band persevered, and honed their skills playing various shows all over Delhi, along with the odd outstation gig. Their performance at The Mezz in October 2006, where they played alongside PDV and Zero, especially stands out. They released their debut full length ‘PREFACE TO ERASE’ in 2007. Independently recorded and produced, this was a fine effort in its own right. Tracks like ‘Burn’ and ‘Chaotic Impulse’ were instant favorites. Garnering decent reviews from fans and music critics alike, it seemed as if Undying Inc had finally arrived. People had seen nothing yet.

REGENISIS

Circa 2007: The departure of founding members Amitabh (vocals) and Sangyt (drums) led to UI drafting Shahsank Bhatnagar (ex Hollowcaust) to handle vocal duties, while Yuvraj Sen took his place behind the drum kit, completing Undying Inc’s current lineup with Reuben  Bhattacharya and Biswarup Gupta ever present on bass and guitars respectively. There was a drastic change in the band’s sound.  Their new material was faster, more brutal and technically far more proficient, with heavy incorporation of odd time signatures. Some groove was thrown in for good measure. Cut to the present, and Undying Inc has obliterated just about every major stage this country has to offer. Their live act has acquired an almost ‘legendary’ status. Undying Inc released their second full length album, ‘AGGRESSIVE WORLD DYNASTY’ at the Great Indian Rock festival on 19th December 2010, where they opened for the mighty Meshuggah.

It’s safe to say that Aggressive World Dynasty was one of the most eagerly awaited releases in the Indian circuit. The band’s 2008 EP, ‘The Evilution Of A Manimal’ gave a little preview of the carnage fans could expect from the album, and the wait was definitely worth it. Undying Inc have produced an absolute blinder. The album kicks off with ‘In Vacuo’, which is the standard intro that accompanies most metal albums. Business picks up with ‘Concept Error’, when the intro gives way to a crescendo of riffs and blast beats. Shashank’s vocal delivery is brilliant. He goes up and down the vocal register, employing low end growls along with his trademark bone chilling scream with equal ease. ‘Membraneous’ is like a punch to the face on a cold day. Riff after riff, coupled with ever changing drum patterns alongside a man screaming like there’s no tomorrow. What’s not to like. ‘After Math’ is chock full of odd time riffs and picks up from where ‘Membraneous’ left off. A staple in the Undying live set, ‘Breeding Gods’ makes you want to run around in a circle, pummeling everything in your path. The breakdown at 2.20 will lead to many a sore neck, let me assure you. Armed with a chorus that instantly plants itself in your head, ‘Manimal’ defines Undying Inc’s sound for me. No Undying show is complete without a devastating rendition of this track. Truly, this is what rage sounds like. The title track, ‘Aggressive World Dynasty’ is a fine example of the musical talent these guys possess. Layer after layer of incendiary riffs, exquisite drumming, rumbling bass lines; it takes multiple listens to wrap your head around this song. It ends with what can be best described as a weird, alien sound. Not quite sure what happened there. Cult favourite ‘Evilution’ is three minutes of frenzied brutality. ‘Alloy’ and ‘Xenophobe’ are like an aural onslaught on the senses. ‘Contagion’ begins with a spoken word intro, “When the machine breaks down, we break down”, which gives way to a barrage of almighty riffs. The bonus track ‘Existence Failed V3.1’ hits you like a train. This is probably UI’s most underrated song. I really wish they’d play this live more often. Two and a half minutes of pure, unadulterated fury. Hallelujah!

Aggressive World Dynasty is a concept album. It lashes out against injustice, corruption and society in general. It talks about how man’s greed and hypocritical nature will come to back to bite it in the ass. Clocking in at 48.15, it is a relentless assault. It grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let up for a second. These guys are truly pissed off, and you can feel the raw emotion behind the lyrics. There are no filler tracks on the album, each serve their purpose. The destruction of mankind and the uprising of Machines are recurring themes in the lyrics, and this truly is the soundtrack to the apocalypse. Rueben’s 6 string bass work fits in seamlessly with Yuvraj’s polyrhythmic tirade. Hats off to Biswarup, the man produces one insane groove laden riff after the other like a factory assembly line. Shashank is one of Indian metal’s premier frontmen. Anybody who’s survived an Undying gig will testify to that. Their sound is very cohesive, which is actually surprising for a band with just one guitarist.

Anupam Roy and Keshav Dhar deserver a huge amount of credit for capturing the band’s sound perfectly. The production is magnificent, and the final mix exudes power. The overall packaging of the album is very professional, and the album art is stunning. It would sit proudly on any metalhead’s shelf. Kudos to Visual Amnesia.

They’ve been called the “bastard child of Meshuggah and Ion Dissonance”, but Undying Inc have finally managed to find a sound they call their own. This is what sets them apart from the swarms of clone bands, which use odd time signatures just for the heck of it. This isn’t easy listening, this is music that demands your attention and takes multiple listens to truly appreciate. The album grows on you after every spin. All said and done, I’d still see them live over listening to them on record any day, which is the hallmark of a good band in my opinion.

Undying Inc, take a bow.

Buy Undying Inc’s monstrous new album here:

http://cdrack.in/undying.asp

“I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all”.. R.I.P. Freddie, you will always be missed.

Aversion : No Blood For Hubris

Posted: November 20, 2010 by Kunal Batra in Bands
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As mentioned in last post specifically, death metal is a genre which I am very pickey about. But then, these days, metal gods wanna prove me wrong or something, (karma is a bitch, ain’t it) they keep on sending my way some of the FINEST death metal I’ve heard in a long long time. So ladies & djentlemen may I have the pleasure to introduce… AVERSION.

Aversion is a hardcore metal band from El Paso, Texas. Brainchild of frontman Grant Markham, he formed Aversion after the break up of his old band, Corrode. As Corrode consisted of members which were a lot older than Grant, he got to play all over hell, go in bars underage and really live the life. For almost three years, the mayhem continued. But when Corrode decided to disband because of outside issues (pregnant girlfriends, weddings, college and career moves, that sort of things) Grant knew it was time to go off in his own direction and find some musicians who could help him make the music that’s been rolling around in his head since he was a kid. With influences like Testament and Sepultura, he always wanted to pick up their legacy and carry it on into the future.
 
So a couple of years ago, after transferring high schools, he finally found the musicians he was looking for, though two of them recently bailed on in favour of high school life-that turned out to be an unexpected blessing, because they ended up with Dave Cortez on drums, who has been long admired in the El Paso scene, and Todd Hendricks, who relocated from the other side of the state just to be in this band.
 
Aversion try to bring a little bit of everything into their shows: Death Metal, Grindcore, really hard, Haunting ballads, stuff you can mosh to, the works. The next step is to branch out into symphonic metal of the type coming out of Scandinavia right now, really haunting stuff that just grabs you by the throat and won’t let you alone. So far their live shows have been really warmly embraced, though they are more well known and a much bigger part of the scene in Austin than in El Paso, which they belong to. Aversion recently recorded their first tracks. Response to the tracks thus far has been pretty positive, though not that many people have heard them yet outside of friends and family. So, in a way you might be the first ones who are lending their ears to these tunes. (You all be thanking me lately, I know 😉 ) Aversion’s next step, like millions of other hopefuls, is to try and get signed to a label so that they can make our album and then with any luck a tour to support and bring our stuff to headbangers all over the world. And we wish them luck, from bottom of our metal hearts, that they succeed. Because world needs to listen to these guys, they are, just one word, BRILLIANT. So, give these tracks a listen if you want to, but I’m sure if you do so, you won’t be regretting it. They are called AVERSION for a reason. Peace out. \,,/
 

Aversion is:

Grant Markham – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Mike Silva – Guitar
Matt Haney – Guitar
Dave Cortez – Drums
Todd Hendricks – Bass

Check out Aversion here for free. I really recommend listening to In This Sign. This song defines Aversion’s sound for me.

In This Sign

To Avenge This

Grind

I

Lilith

Anguish At The Demons In My Blood

The Gate

Lesson Learned

Among The Ruins

Pretending

Liar In Wait

So as the story goes, death metal and its sub-genres happen to be something I am very pickey about. I don’t really like four-riffs-three-legato-pattern-constant-double-bass-with-nonsensical-growling type of bands. But then, I’d like to thank You Tube that I happen to chance upon Son Of Aurelius. Actually it was the artwork that really caught my eye. And since then, there was no turning back. Son Of Aurelius-The Farthest Reaches happens to be an album that blasts from the very word GO! Also I’d like to remind you here that this album gets madder by-the-second and more dangerous by-the-minute.

The Farthest Reaches, produced by Zack Ohren (All Shall Perish, Suffocation, Decrepit Birth) is the debut album for Son Of Aurelius and contains eleven absolutely devastating tracks whose parameters fall within the extreme metal linked to death in its most furious, but coloured way. The presence of intricate technical arguments is something that gives the recording its own Son Of Aurelius flavour.

The first two tracks Mercy For Today & Let Them Hate And Fear are sure to rip you face off. From vocals to drums to bass to guitars, everything just shines and come together so naturally in these tracks. They wouldn’t be out of place on a Black Dahlia Murder record, which is great in my opinion.

Third track on this record is The Farthest Reaches which happens to be the title track. And is just brilliant. The dual guitar harmony riffs and good drumming pattern set the flow of the song from the first note. Two short neo-clasically influenced solos in the middle and towards the end are an epic win. Then comes along the fourth track, Olympus is Forgotten. Starting off with a gentle synth & clean guitar intro, you just might think that you’ve gotten a respite from the annihilation you were enjoying. BUT NO! It’s like that tip of the iceberg thingy for the whole album. The album along with this song really KICKS-IN after that clean intro. And it shows why this album is completely fucking crazy! Welcome abode, you are in for a treat of pure technical death metal, let your ears orgasm.

Facing The Gorgon is my favourite track off the album. The jazz influenced interlude in the middle shows how much knowledge of musical theory both Chase Fraser & Cary Geare possess. And the utilization of that knowledge is visible in the solo of this track. It’s the one track that defines the SoA sound for me. Next up is Pandora’s Burden, which is total schizophrenic heaven. Anyone into technical death metal will simply be awed by its puzzle-pieced guitars, mind numbing bass and constantly changing drum patterns. Also Josh Miller’s vocals really shine on this one.

With A Champion Reborn, the band tightens its screws even more and you can clearly hear some jaw dropping triplets and ear-splitting growls. Not to mention dual guitar solos thrown in the background, which really creates an awesome effect overall. Clocking 1:38, Mycordial Infercation will make you smash the face of person standing next to you into a wall and eat his brains. WARNING: If this song is playing out live, don’t dare enter the moshpit, u’ll end up dead.

Next up The Calm is literally the calmest song on the record. Just like the warning before a storm, it serves its purpose to the dot. The bass intro on A Good Death will make your balls explode. Complementing riffs and some insane vocals kick in almost immediately and song progresses to be what you’d call INSANE! The last, but not the least, song on the record is The First, The Serpent. The only song clocking over 5 mins, others being rather short. This song is sure to give boners to technical/progressive metal fans and is a PERFECT ending to a near-perfect album. Standing at 36:33 minutes, with your head blown off, I can safely categorize this record to be one of the best tech death records of ’10.

The thing that sets Son Of Aurelius apart from other technical death metal bands, which on my last check were forming at a rate of three-and-a-half per second; is their ability to incorporate their neo-classical influences without overdoing it. I mean you can be that insane motherfucking shredder that can shred like 25581245688534997 notes per second, but if you can’t write a decent song, well sir, NO ONE GIVES A FLYING FUCK! Their lyrical content takes inspiration from Roman mythology and their stuff is like what Egypt is to Nile. For so long, I was searching for a tech-death band that can fill the void on my shelf besides Faceless & Necrophagist, and Son Of Aurelius fits that spot perfectly. A perfect harmonization of fifths, dual guitar solos, useage of diminished and harmonic minors gives this album a taste to savour. Complementing them are insane blast beats, and sickest double bass beats with perfect mind-numbing bass and vocals that can put a banshee to shame. The only more I can expect of Son Of Aurelius is that their next record be meanest motherfuckin shit that can even put this one to shame! \,,/

Son Of Aurelius are:

Max Zigman – Bass
Chase Fraser – Guitar
Josh Miller – Vocals
Spencer Edwards – Drums
Cary Geare – Guitar

Check out Son Of Aurelius here at http://www.myspace.com/sonofaurelius

Bhayanak Maut is a name every Indian metalhead worth his salt is familiar with. Their self titled debut last year more or less set the standard by which every new independent Indian release is compared with, in terms of production and artwork. Gone are the days when Indian bands recorded their material in dingy garage studios and a put out a disc in a little leaflet with the song titles scrawled at the back. When I found out that aforementioned Mumbai sextet had released a new 3 track EP, I rejoiced. Their self titled full length was a stellar effort, and this new EP, pleasantly titled Metastasis, cemented their already burgeoning reputation as one of India’s premier metal bands.

Chakna for Church is classic Bhayanak Maut. I’ll be honest, I’m always sceptical of bands having two frontmen. But those doubts were blown away in spectacular fashion when I saw them live for the first time with their new line up. It’s very hard to classify Bhayanak Maut’s sound. Listen closely enough, and you’ll hear elements of hardcore, thrash metal and even mathcore/polyrhythmic metal. You’ll find good riffs, and brilliant interplay between the 2 vocalists, but it’s the absolutely insane drumming by Rahul Hariharan that elevates this track to a whole new level.

Dear <Name>, is a straight up, in your face, metal track. No frills attached. The band mixes up the pace well, with tempos alternating more than once during the song. Again, it’s the almost relentless drumming that grabs your attention. The main riff is like an almighty slap to the face, and there’s a bit of groove thrown in for good measure.
Caution: Hearing this song live might cause you to run around in a circle while swinging your arms. Results may vary.

Confucius picks up from where Dear left off. Chalk full of memorable riffs, and featuring Jai Row Kavi on drums, who proves to be a very able replacement. The vocal delivery on this track left a bit to be desired. Both the vocalists are screaming/growling at more or less the same pitch, which doesn’t really give either of them room to stand out and gets a little monotonous. While it’s a refreshing change from the much maligned, tried and tested growled verse/clean chorus format, I’ve heard better from the BM frontmen. The cheesy ‘ha ha ha ha’ in the middle sounds like a tribute to Mortal Kombat. On the upside though, the riff right at the end is probably my favourite from the whole E.P. That’s one riff you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

The production is good. And I mean GOOD. The vocals can be heard clearly. The guitars sound very nice. You can hear the bass drum, snares and the cymbals. Heck, even the bass is audible. The best part is that it’s pretty easy on the ears. Some of the metal production nowadays cranks up the volume so much, the main riff starts giving you a headache. The volume levels are perfect. Loud enough to annoy your parents but pleasing on your ears. Capturing the sound of a band like Bhayanak Maut is no mean feat, so much respect to Anupam Roy and Keshav Dhar at Grey And Saurian.

The drumming is insane. Both the drummers mix it up instead of just peppering the song with blast beats. The album art is thought provoking. It would have been nice had the song lyrics been provided. The songs could’ve been judged on that perspective and we could have got more insight on the song titles. The band overall sound very tight. All the parts come together nicely and don’t sound out of place. They are obviously talented.

Bhayanak Maut has come a long way. Gone are the Lamb Of God dominated setlists. I’ve seen them live multiple times, and I’ve never gone home without my neck hanging at a slightly odd angle from all the headbanging. A ‘bang’over if you will. It’s a shame Delhi only gets to see them twice a year, once during the Pubrockfest, and once during GIR if we’re lucky. I for one can’t wait to see them live again; playing material from Metastasis and their previously released full length “Unnamed” album, although I do wish they’d include some of the old stuff in their setlist as well. The breakdown from ‘Boiled, Unwound, Filatured’ still makes me want to open every door in my house via the power of a headbutt. Bhayanak Maut has arrived. You’ve been warned.

Did I mention the EP is free?Download it now:http://nh7.in/indiecision/2010/10/20/bhayanak-maut-metastasis-ep/