RECOMMENDATION: INFERNAL WRATH – INSIDE OF ME

Infernal Wrath – Inside Of Me
Counter Culture Records, 2009

It takes a lot of courage and vision to bring two completely disparate genres of music like death metal and Indian classical together, and make something that isn’t a confused heap of garbage. Bombay- based Infernal Wrath deserve kudos to even attempt it; that they manage to make it work beautifully is nothing short of genius.

The calm-instrumental-followed-by-pure-death-metal approach might take a few listens to get used to, but once you’re past that initial hiccough you begin to realise the rich vastness of the sonic soundscape in front of you. Crushing riffs are aided by sweeping symphonic arrangements. Songs like The Destruction Of The Third Temple and Funeral Pyre are thoroughbred death metal tracks which will satisfy the headbangers and moshers in equal measure, but interspersed between such tracks are ambient interludes, which are full songs in their own right. Album opener Truth is the best example – a moving five-and-a-half minute song that is treated as an intro to the album. In an age when simplistic riffs are a dime-a-dozen and most bands delight in rehashing the metalcore blueprint, Inside Of Me makes for a refreshing change. This is an album to be heard from start to finish, in that order.

Arguably, this is India’s first true concept album by a metal band. The subject matter is epic enough – the scriptures of the major world religions are brought together to display their unity in diversity. Every religion talks of an apocalypse, which precludes the arrival of the messiah. But we are our own messiahs, argues the band. A bit preachy, sure, but what concept album worth its salt doesn’t have a higher goal in mind?

Of course, the subject matter would be completely irrelevant if the music wasn’t good, and the band gets extra credits on this front. One of the tightest live acts doing the rounds these days, there’s no doubting their ability. Drummer JP is already an extreme metal legend, and he reinforces that reputation with a stellar performance that has you pitying the poor drumkit that took such a beating. Guitars sound thick and sludgy without turning into a noisy mush. Guitarist Pradeep is definitely a hitting a new songwriting peak, with some of the most hook laden yet brutal riffs I’ve ever heard from an Indian metal band. Vocalist Afaque sounds possessed all through the album, the alternation between low pitch grunt and high pitch squeal on Behold Ezekiel a highlight of the album.

In a year which has already seen some fantastic metal releases, Inside Of Me is possibly the most important of them all, and easily the most ambitious. This is music for the sophisticated Indian metalhead, and might just lay the foundations for a progressive movement that the metal scene is sorely lacking at the moment. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do to try and top this the next time around.

Inside Of Me is available via Counter Culture Records. Order by emailing infernalwrathindia@gmail.com.

Infernal Wrath on Myspace

THE TRUTH

     

About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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