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BHAYANAK MAUT – Untitled

  • Review by: Madhav R

Mumbai based deathcore band Bhayanak Maut’s first full length album has been creating quite a buzz on the Indian metal scene. The first release under the Grey And Saurian Production House, this album promised a lot right from the start, and hell, did it deliver! Read on for more…

Alright. Let’s get the facts straight first. The first time I watched Bhayanak Maut play live was way back at JRO 2004 in Chennai. A few years later, (2005. Or was it 2006?) I watched them play live, this time at Madras Christian College, Chennai. Both times, they were a 4 piece act, playing covers by Ill Nino, Poison The Well and Lamb Of God. System Of A Down too, if I’m not mistaken! I distinctly remember enjoying both the gigs thoroughly, although I was disappointed with their original compositions (save for Dead Parasite, which was an awesome song).

A few years later, I heard the band’s 4 track EP ‘Malignant’. Impressive, but still carried too many influences of a lot of major gateway metal bands, which put me off. I figured this band would play for a long time, peak in India and stay there but never really do anything else.

I was wrong.

2009. Present day. I’ve been in constant touch with the music scene in India. I knew that BM added a second guitarist and a second vocalist and their music had now changed from groove based metal-core to straight out death-core but not having watched them live since MCC, I had no idea of what the music sounded like. I read gig reviews and heard people rave about the band, not trusting any of them. An album launch came, I didn’t buy the album. Then, as fate would have it, the album found its way into my hands as a result of a music trade. I decided to give it a spin. What came next, was chaos.

BOOM! From the first track ‘Habemus Papam,’ right until the closing strains of ‘You’re Perfect. Now Change,’ the album is a massive metal juggernaut, with the sole intention of blowing out your brains. 11 tracks of pure destructive mayhem that caused me to repent not having trusted any of the reviews I had read previously. Top notch drumming armed with fierce twin vocal salvos, monstrous riffs with plenty of aggression to boot, this album was like nothing I had heard in a long time. The songs, albeit named with hint of humor, are simply crushing! ‘Tit For Twat’ and ‘Ranti Nasha’ got repeated plays for me, as well as ‘Blasted Beyond Belief.’ The pun behind ‘MNS Messenger’ was pretty obvious, with the Marathi swear words at the intro before the song bursts into riff. ‘Violate’ and ‘Ungentle’ were just pieces of the puzzle, the grand design shrewdly crafted by the band to reduce the population of India to blubbering idiots. The drumming, as I’ve mentioned before, is fantastic and the vocals are outstanding. A lot of bands would think twice about getting a second vocalist but with BM, it just works. The album’s production is also not of the crummy standards that we Indians repeatedly achieve, but closer to world class standards, with the music recorded partly at Blue Frog and at Anupam Roy’s porta-studio in Mumbai!

A special mention has to be made regarding the artwork on the album. Firstly, the album had no name (I should’ve mentioned that earlier). The front artwork simply features an inkblot based on the Rorschach test. The viewer’s interpretation of the album is apparently also the name of the album. I saw a fat, evil-looking baby with wild, wispy hair. Wonder what the other listeners and the actual band saw in it! The graphics on the inside is far out. Everything from the popular board game Monopoly to the breakup of the parts of an assault rifle has been used to display the lyrics. I think, it will do you good to see this for yourself rather than read what I have to say.

However, over repeated spins, the songs do get to you. The tones, although rich and crunchy on individual songs, sounds repetitive over the length of the album. I remember the bass guitarist to be quite accomplished when I last saw them and being a bassist myself, it was a bit of a letdown to not be able to hear the bass over the growling guitars.

But don’t take this as a reason to NOT buy the album. It’s a must have for all Indian music fans, metalheads and others alike. It serves as a testimony to the new standards we’ve achieved and the barriers we’ve broken. I say ‘We’, because I too am an Indian and despite having negligible faith in the band (until now) and absolutely no connection with any of the members or label, I would like to share in the success that they bask in. They’ve raised the bar for every other band in India and I wait for the day, when I will see them live in concert again. Not in India, but in Europe or America, headlining fests and laying waste to cities as they rise.

EDIT: I jus saw them live at the Deccan Rock Festival, 4 years since they played at Chennai. Its like, they want to kill me! An aural assault right from the word go, effortlessly seaming song after song together. An awesome band, and an awesome album that quite rightly deserves the Headbangers India award for the Indian Album Of The Year 2009.

Respect.