Review: Heathen Beast – Ayodhya Burns(EP)

At last, India wakes up to Black Metal and we are having new bands exploring the dark side of music. Heathen Beast, the newest addition to the burgeoning music of the netherworld (Underground Music Movement is lame and passe), is a mysterious Mumbai based trio, who call themselves Carvaka (vocals/guitars), Samkhya(bass) and Mimamsa(drums). Unlike the usual anti-Christ or Satanic lyrics abundant in BM, Heathen Beast proclaim to be atheists and claim to deal with subjects relevant to India and its culture.

Their debut EP, Ayodhya Burns, releasing tomorrow (which happens to be the 2nd anniv. of the Mumbai terror attacks) as a free download, is “a tribute to all the Indians who have lost their lives in the name of religion”. It’s a small 3-track affair, but it doesn’t fail to impress. The pummeling riffs and overwhelming blast-beats in the album opener, Blind Faith,leaves you feeling like you just slammed into a wall at 100kmph. The riffs have an unmistakeable Indianness to them. The following track, Religious Genocide, follows in the same vein with Mimamsa pounding the hell out of the drums and Carvaka shrieking his guts out. There’s an underlying melodic feel to it, which makes it a bit accessible too. The last track, Ayodhya Burns, opens serenely, Vedic chants in the background, all to be blasted wide open by some very chaotic maelstrom of blast-beats, tremolo pickings and gut-wrenching howls.

The only discernible downside I found in the material was the low vocals in the mix. Need to tweak around with the media player to hear the shrieks clearly.

As this is through-and-through black metal, this EP isnt for everyone (black metal never aspires to be popular anyway, heh). But, those having minds with an evil bend, head over to http://www.reverbnation.com/heathenbeast and get your copy of this piece of emerging Indian BM.

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