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Noiseware – Wake Up And Soar(EP)

  • Review by: Ankit Baraskar

8 string guitars. What started out as one band’s quest for uber-brutal low end odd time riff monstrosities has quickly caught on with both progressive metal guitarists(read Ihsahn, Jeff Loomis, Tosin Abasi) and a horde of copycat bands. And while the former have actually explored the scope of the instrument, the latter have merely churned out material that no one really wants to buy. But with the advent of bands like TesseracT, Periphery (and a sickening amount of similar bands), there arose a third category – the now infamous djent.

Pune based Noiseware have been the first Indian live act that plays 8 strings. But just being that isn’t enough for a band to make it’s mark. Relentless live gigging has garnered the band a bit of a cult following, and the facebook LOLCAT gimmick hasn’t been without fans either. The icing on the cake was being able to open for Tesseract at GIR. But where was the album? Well, it’s here. At least the EP is.

‘Wake Up And Soar’ begins with “23”. The first thing to strike me were the layered vocals. These impart an edge that in my opinion was essential to the band’s sound. The composition is pretty decent, and sounds a lot fuller compared to their earlier compositions. Speaking of which, ‘G-string’ and ‘Maut Ki Ungli’ are next in line. Even these have been touched up a fair bit, and in place of raw aggression, the songs appear to have more in terms of finer details. The riffs and structures are unaltered though, and the loyal fan can headbang comfortably without the fear of missing a beat. ‘Need For Sleep’ starts with clean vocals and guitars, but soon breaks into a frenzy of riffs. The breakdown seems a bit uncalled for, stalling the flow of the song and slowing it down, as I was falsely led to believe it would be something along the lines of Sikth or Protest The Hero. The last song, a cover of MJ’s “Smooth Criminal” might catch the uninitiated off guard. It’s an entertaining album closer though, and the breakdown is probably Noiseware’s loudest.

The drums sound clean, though not entirely inorganic. The bass fits in well , and even the guitars pack a punch, though there are points where the lower end of the spectrum doesn’t sound sharp enough. A little more work on those lines would go a long way. The vocals are impressive, and the guitar playing is tight. Compositions aren’t overwhelmingly fresh, but are catchy enough to merit multiple listens for fans of this genre of music. Overall, pretty good for a debut effort. 7/10.

Album Download – http://noiseware.bandcamp.com/