Review by Alex on January 17, 2019.
There is a special feeling emitted whenever a black/death metal band from India emerges unto the scene. It's that feeling of knowing you will be given something authentic thematically. India has always been a place shrouded in mysteries that go well beyond what has been presented to the onlooking foreign world. It's one of the remaining corners of the world that takes a special level of pride in their cultural beliefs and heritage. There are so many documentaries about Indian culture yet there lies a deeper realm of darkened unexplored traditions and rites existing there that you cannot even begin to imagine the depth of their spirituality.
After coming into contact with Aparthiva Raktadhara’s debut Ep, Agyat Ishvar, I was already peeking with interest having heard the likes of Tetragrammacide and Genocide Shrines. A promotional video was published on the Iron Bonehead Youtube channel for “Dismal Anahata Transmissions” that gave brief glimpses of practices during the festival of Thaipusam, whereby the Hindu God of war, Lord Murugan is celebrated by earnest individuals of the faith. “Dismal Anahata Transmissions” off the Ep could not have been a more accurate piece of music to cover the images of the ceremonies taking place. Though the song appears to deal with attributing a negative energy to a certain chakra, the video accompanying it showcased the opposite; the caliber of spiritual calm and balance necessary for enduring bodily harm as a celebratory offering to their Lord Murugan. Some of this entails having their cheeks and/backs pierced with either a spear (with pots hanging from each end) and/hooks whilst carrying a 60lb altar (known as yoke) and performing the Kavadi dance simultaneously. Channeling the fury of the exercised bodily austerity and the concentration of those enlightened, is the furious snare drumming and heartless vocals. The guitars are just as barbaric as the drumming and share some properties associated with old-school death metal If closely examined.
“Proclamations of the Empty” is everything “Dismal Anahata Transmissions” is and more. The drumming, vocals and guitars seem to have broken a new barrier in aggression; the speed is indeed increased on this one and is the standout recording on the Ep. More technical ability is displayed in the drumming and riffing departments whilst the vocals slightly deepen towards the ending of the track. This paints a stronger mental image of more physically challenging practices that probably occur during the festival of Thaipusam. Agyat Ishvar is a 12 minute serving of war metal tyranny, if a full-length is in the making then it will be one to certainly keep a keen lookout for. Many black/death metal bands are being formed and already exist; however, Aparthiva Raktadhara appears to be the band that will significantly magnify the threat posed by the Eastern black/death metal scene.
Rating: 8 out of 10347