Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review - Perpetual Scorn (2011) NECROVEN (Spain)

Band - Necroven
Demo- Perpetual Scorn
Country- Spain
Year - 2011

I have been getting pretty disillusioned with modern Death Metal lately. I prefer my Death Metal to be raw, primitive and filthy, but the increase in brutal slam, deathcore and other scenes sort of put me off death metal for a while. I have always wondered why so few people appreciate the art of old school death metal. This is fucking death metal! It is supposed to be cold, dirty, as devastating as getting stabbed by a goddamn sword 10 times over and most definitely not conforming to the trends. Thankfully, there has been a rise in the number of bands playing some old school filthy death metal, the way it is supposed to be played. One such band is Necroven from Spain.

Necroven's lineup consists of a single member, Jonathan Reina who plays all instruments and also does the artwork for the band. This band has been making some waves in the underground and have already been signed to 'Memento Mori Records' for the release of their debut demo, Perpetual Scorn. The moment I got news that this demo was up for streaming on the band's bandcamp account, I decided to give it a listen immediately, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it really was. The first thing that hit me about the release was the atmosphere. Dark, evil and claustrophobic, the atmosphere could simply suck you in. The vocals sound like they are being regurgitated from the bottom of a dark, endless endless whirlpool. The riffs are hammered into your skull. They are memorable and flow together very well indeed. You will not find a million riffs in each songs. You have a few riffs, all of which together create a terrific atmosphere of horror. I cannot describe the individual instruments extensively. Suffice to say they are played very proficiently and are excellent at their purpose. Where this release really hits the nail on the head is its ability to mesh together the strong points from all of its influences and in turn, successfully creating a niche for itself. There have been plenty of bands that I have dismissed as being simple clones of their influences, but not here.

Necroven has created some music definitely worth your time and money. The band revisits the roots of true death metal and plays the music the way it is supposed to be played. It is crushing, yet not brutal. If you like music that conforms to the trends, then this is not for you. This is some filthy death metal. Definitely worth your while. I, for one cannot wait for the full-length release.

Line Up- Jonathan Reina ( Guitars, Bass, Drums and Vocals)
Artwork- Jonathan Reina

                                                                                     Jonathan Reina

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Necroven/131959596914062
Band Camp Official - http://necroven.bandcamp.com/album/perpetual-scorn-demo

A review by
Gautam Shankar

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gruel (Swe) - Gruel (2005) : Review

Gruel are are Swedish Death Metal band formed in recent years. They have one demo titled Gruel. For an Old School Death Metal band from Sweden, they have gone unnoticed and not much information about them can be found around. I stumbled upon the demo on my favourite kvlt blog, Sempiternal Esoterica, and boy, does this demo have some massive balls.

Gruel play Swedish Death Metal, but not being complete Entombed rip-offs, they choose to follow the footsteps of Abhoth. The influence of that band is glowing out of Gruel's music. Mid-paced, and sometimes slow, rather groovy, chunky riffs played with pure aggression and thrash mentality are further brutalized by the Boss pedal guitar tone Swedish Death Metal is known for. Like most old school Swedeath, Gruel are a just-for-fun band that is more interested in spitting out amazing riffs than making money or putting forward their ideologies through the music. They do their job really good here, and that makes for a more than a single listen. The riffs are addictive and headbang-worthy, coupled with maniacal thrashy guitar solos. The vocals simple growls that go well along with the Death Metal madness exploding from the music. The drumming is excellent, but nothing that stands-out, but does the job in keeping things interesting extremely well. The same applies for the bass guitar, which can be heard fuzzing and thumping, further heaving the balls contained within this short demo. This demo is very likely my second-favourite Swedish Death Metal demo, only next to Eructation, as it proves with the sheer amount of good riffs and addictive songwriting.

Highly recommended for old school Death Metal fans. Particularly Swedish Death Metal fans. Download their demo from here: Download (link taken from Sempiternal-Esoretica. Credits to that blog for making me aware of this band in the first place)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eternal Warfare From The Depths Of Medieval India - DHWESHA: An Interview With Somesha Sridhara.

Putrid Ascendancy featured DHWESHA's 'Yuddabhumi' in the 'Putrid Ascendancy: Ascending True Indian Underground' Compilation'a few months ago. Since then, the quite obscure band, has risen through the ranks in the Indian Extreme Underground, emerging as one of the most prominent acts in the country.  We recently sat down with Somesha, a founding member, to elaborate on DHWESHA, and all that it stands for.

PA: How did DHWESHA come to being? Tell us about the initial stages of
the band. How hard was it, to form and sustain an extreme metal band
in a country like ours, with a very limited underground scene?

Somesha: It was roughly around March 2008 when I went on a trip to the historical sites in Karnataka.Places like Halebidu,Badami,Aihole and Hampi which was once the capital of Vijayanagara Empire.It was during this trip that the idea of somehow incorporating these themes into the music we make struck to me and I thought it'd make sense if we could write lyrics in our native language which is Kannada.As soon as I got home I started working on our first track which was "Yuddhabhumi" and recorded a draft version of it.Ajay, in a day or two came up with the lyrics and we finished the track.We uploaded the track on myspace and sent it to a few friends of ours who appreciated our attempts and encouraged us to continue with it.

PA: DHWESHA has a unique sound, a lachrymose malediction, staying true to
the roots of the art form, that is death metal. What exactly, is ‘War
Death Metal’? Could you kindly elaborate on its conceptual

Somesha: Well, we've always been fascinated with Death Metal bands who write about War like Bolt Thrower,Sodom,Unleashed and I love the lyrical themes of Caducity.To me, the combination makes perfect sense.Nothing else can be as chaotic and aggressive and with straight-forward riffs and powerful drumming it sure sounds deadly.

PA: Given the unique music DHWESHA tends to produce, we would love to
know more about your process of composition. Could you kindly  tell us
the roles each of you tend to take, while composing music?

Somesha: We completed our line up recently and before which it was just Ajay and I and we had recorded 4 tracks.At that time it wasnt really a process as such.I'd just record the tracks at home,work on them for a few weeks making changes at the same time Ajay would work on lyrics and come up with a structure for Vocals. After which we'd finalize the song and upload it for streaming.
Once we had a full line up,we started practicing the songs we had recorded and in the process considering inputs from Adarsh and Tushar and making certain changes to the songs,since the recorded tracks have programmed drums and didn't give us the flexibility that a real drummer could.So to sum it up as a process of composition, I'd say its probably the same with us like how it is with most bands,the whole song builds up on a particular guitar riff. 

PA: Songs like ‘Ugra Narasimha’ and ‘Yuddabhumi’, peremptorily bring
visions of Indian mythology, war, pestilence and destruction to mind.
Could you kindly elaborate on your lyrical themes?

Somesha: Our song "Ugra Narasimha" is based on the story of Hiranyakashipu,an Asura(Demon) who seeks Immortality.During his attempt to kill his son Prahlada for opposing him in his thirst for power, has himself brutally killed by Narasimha (Avatar of Lord Vishnu)."Yuddhabhumi" as the title suggests is all about a Warrior surrounded by the enemy and talks of how he survives in the battlefield. The process of writing lyrics is quite tricky at times.Its a challenging task to portray the things you want to, in a native language. The issue is that you cant really write the way you speak and it takes some effort in finding the right words.We read a lot about Medieval India and look for topics which we can build songs on.

PA: You played live for the very first time. What restrictions made you
stay away from the live circuit all these years? What were the causes
of this long, self imposed insularity?

Somesha: Yes, we played live for the first time about a month ago.It was quite intimidating as we had already recorded five songs and they have been up for streaming for quite sometime.The fact the a lot of people had already heard our songs and would obviously expect us to sound the same as it is on the recorded material imposed a sense of pressure to make our debut as perfect as possible. 
Well, the main reason for not having played live for all this time was our inability to find a suitable drummer, while it was also that around two years back the live music scene in our city was dominated by bands who played new-age metal and there wasnt really a crowd for the kind of Death Metal we play.It has changed a lot since then,which ofcourse is a good sign and we have some amazing bands playing Old-School metal and whom we look upto like the primitive death cult Dying Embrace and Pillbox 666.

PA: Finally, DHWESHA is getting its due. We have come across mostly
positive reviews, especially from the metal elite. What in your
opinion, initiated this overwhelming rapport, with your music?

Somesha: Yes, its a great feeling when you get a commendable response from members of bands that you've grown up listening to or watching live.I personally think that people appreciate that we stick to the sound and aesthetics of early Death Metal and try to keep the sound of it the way its meant to be.

PA: Your song titled ‘Yuddabhumi’, was featured in our compilation,
entitled ‘Ascending true Indian underground’. As an instant
ramification, all we could hear for the next few days, were praises of
‘DHWESHA’, and its raw and powerful take on death metal. Now, perhaps
the most predictable question, which we are sure you get asked a lot.
Why sing in Kannada?

Somesha: I think the kind of riffs we write tend to blend in really well with Non-English lyrics. Although in the future depending on the kind of feel a particular song has we will write a few songs with English lyrics as well.There's probably a sense of comfort while writing lyrics in a language you speak most frequently in.

PA:As a band, what pioneering acts, have been the most influential to
your sound? What has, and continues to shape DHWESHA’s abstruse take
on death metal?

Somesha: In terms of our sound I'd say we're influenced a lot by bands like Unleashed,Dismember,Desultory,earlier albums of Amorphis and ofcourse the mighty Bolt Thrower who inspire us to make sure each of our newer material exceeds the previous ones in terms of quality and composition.We give a lot of importance to the Structure of a song.Most of our songs follow a structure similar to traditional Heavy Metal songs which comprise of a distinct Intro,Verse and a Chorus which repeats through the song.

PA: Not too long ago, DHWESHA put up all five of its recorded songs up
for download. We, congratulate you on your indomitable efforts! That
being said, we really love to know. When is Dhwesha coming out with a full length record?

Somesha: Since all of the songs we've recorded have been done at home, we thought we'd put them up for download so that people have an idea of the kind of music we play. We're planning on making demo tapes of the songs we've recorded so far.We're in the process of writing new songs and have uploaded our latest track titled "Sattva Bali" recently.Once we're done with a few more songs and play shows around, we'll probably record at a studio which we hope should be sometime in the year 2012.

PA: For some final thoughts on Death Metal,what would you define as the
genre’s greatest strengths and weaknesses? And how, as a band, have
you overcome the weaknesses, if any?

Somesha: Death Metal to us is all about agression and keeping it simple yet in a way making it sound massive.I've always been a fan of bands that make the" In-your-face" kind of Death Metal.The strength of the genre lies in the fact that it has some of the best musicians and some really good song writers with lyrical themes that range from the harsh realities of the world to fictional wars or fantasy.For a person who appreciates a form/genre of music it is tough to point out the weaknesses in it, but yes like I said earlier I like to give our songs a definite structure,slow guitar solos that deliver a sense of direction to the listener as to where the song is headed.

PA: How do you personally view the development of extreme metal in the
subcontinent, over the last couple of years?

Somesha: The best acts of metal from our country I'd say are bands formed in the 90s,when the true forms of metal were around and bands like Dying Embrace,Millenium and Kryptos started off.Its really inspiring how they pursued and made this kind of music back when there was no internet and hardly a countable number of people knew about metal and the bands would keep their sound simple and stick to a particular style which eventually evolves into their own sound, thats probably one thing that the newer bands lack.

PA: What NOSDM (Post-2000) bands would you recommend to the old guard of
the genre? Which new acts in your opinion, are worthy enough to carry
forward, the torch of extreme metal, to spread forth the insurgence
and bring forth the revival of the genre?

Somesha: The best contender for this I'd say is Deathevokation,their album "The Chalice of Ages" is one of the best Death Metal albums post-2000 and a personal favorite of mine.There are a lot of other bands who're playing Death Metal of the Old School kind like Krypts,their demo is absolutely brilliant and we have Kaamos from Sweden,Burial Invocation from Turkey,Stench of Decay from Finland and of course Disma from the USA.

PA: As mainstream metal gains popularity exponentially, we see bands
trying to outdo each other, in terms of brutality, speed, technicality
etc. It often comes down to a band being judged by the general masses
based on the ‘who plays what faster/ who can come up with the weirdest
time signature’ factor. Hence nowadays, technicality tends to dominate
a band’s music, rather than the soul, the ideology, that is required,
to play metal. Is DHWESHA a catharsis of your feelings?

Somesha: I think bands should stick to the kind of music they play and not change their sound for the masses.Death Metal was never meant to be a mainstream genre in the first place.We've all seen quite a lot of bands who've created great albums and fallen when they decided to make music "for the masses". Yes, it is a trend these days to create strange time signatures and have extremely polished production, which we're not into at all, for all we know these might just be a passing phase.Dhwesha is an outlet to the kind of music we've always wanted to play, straight out metal assault!

PA: Any personal favorites, when it comes to your coevals from the Indian
underground? Which band according to you, has the potential for

Somesha: That would be Dormant Inferno.Their EP "In Sanity" is a great slab of Death/Doom metal and it would be great if we get to play live with them sometime in the future.

PA: What kind of music did you guys grow up listening to? What exactly
made you descend into the world of extreme metal,and prompted you to
play the crushing, violent, unrelenting metal of Death you play today?

Somesha: I think most of us took the usual path of starting with Heavy Metal and eventually getting into extreme metal. I think for me it was Obituary which got me into Death Metal.I just loved the sound of it instantly and began exploring other bands in the genre which later turned out to be my favorite among the sub-genres of metal and the kind I'd want to play with a band.

PA: There’s a mandatory question we like to ask all the bands we
feature. What would be your top 5 metal albums of all time?

Somesha: Arghh! Alright I'll list my favorite Death Metal albums(to make it easier):
  1.Obituary - Cause of Death
  2.Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos
  3.Dismember - Like an Ever Flowing Stream
  4.Gorement - The Ending Quest
  5.Unleashed - Where No Life Dwells

PA: We, brothers at Putrid Ascendancy, want to thank you for your
precious time and support! We really wish DHWESHA all the best for its
future endeavors.. Hails!

Somesha: Its been a pleasure.Thank you.


Genre: Old School Death Metal

Ajay - Guitar/Vocal

Somesha - Guitars
Adarsh - Bass
Tushar - Drums

Putrid Ascendancy wants to express its gratitude to brother Somesha for the interview. If you have a band, and want it to be featured on our blog, write to us at putridascendancy@gmail.com

Arka Saha


Monday, November 14, 2011

Album Review: Strongblood - The Beaten Paths of Youth

Strongblood are a Black Metal band from Texas. Not much seems to be known about them, apart from the fact that they released 3 demos since their formation in 2009. Although the band name and song titles like The Sword's Gleam, The Storm, etc. might suggest some Folk tendencies, there are none here. Strongblood play Old School Black Metal with loads of Punk influences.

The demo starts off with an intro titled Woodpile, which has a melodic passage played over lots of feedback. What comes next, is completely unexpected. The listener is hit with Punk-ish, mid-paced riff, devoid of atmosphere or ferocity, but sounds evil enough to be mistaken as a Black Metal riff, similar to what was played by LLN bands like Vlad Tepes and Mutiilation. In fact, the whole production and music has a Les Legions Noire vibe to it. The riffing is mostly mid-paced, with sections of tremolo-picked Black Metal riffs. The musicianship is given a much lower priority here, since the focus is on churning out good, catchy riffs. The vocals are screamed out, and have loads of echo/delay effect on it, perfectly imitating the LLN style. Even though the band apes the style to a good extent, they manage to keep up variety in terms of songwriting. While some songs are catchy and heavy, others are dark and atmospheric. You'll Never Walk Alone stands out, being an Atmospheric song, as opposed to The Sword's Gleam, which is completely riff-oriented. Others, like The Storm and White Roses, combine both aspects in a nice way. Apart from consistently good riffing, the guitarists occasionally throw in simple, but melodic guitar solos, which is a welcome addition, since the music isn't really focusing on being savagely destructive a la old school Black/Death Metal bands. The drumming is sloppy, and is completely Punk Rock based. There are no blast beats, or double bass drumming involved here. Instead, we have drums playing in a regular pattern through most of each song, making the music as simplistic as possible. The bass is almost inaudible, and that probably makes no difference, since such simplistic music will certainly have an uninteresting bass line. (On a personal note, I never really cared about bass in Black Metal.) As mentioned earlier, the production is similar to what LLN bands had in 1990s, which is saying a lot. The guitars are laden with more feedback than Grief, and vocals have as much echo as Belketre. the production results in a hateful, but not remotely grim or evil atmosphere, but that is probably what Strongblood intended in the first place.

The demo is 40 minutes long, which is as long as a full-length album, and by the end of it, the listener might feel he's had enough. It isn't hard to tell one song apart from another, since the band ensures variety in each one's sound. There are no particularly memorable moments in the album - it just comes and goes, leaving the listener rather unscathed and unaffected, but like a lot of other demos, this one is enjoyable while it lasts. I'll probably get back to it in a week or two and enjoy it as much, but this isn't addictive enough to be heard over and over again after just one listen.

Recommended for explorers only


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Obscure Death Ritual: The Compilation : Celebrating Triumph Of Ancient Death!

'Obscure Death Ritual' celebrates the triumph of true majesty of 'Real' Death Metal and some of the true nostalgic moments, by some of the 'True' Acts of Ancient Death! 
For those, Who know how to hail and uphold true Death Metal from depth of hell ...

                                                Download - http://www.mediafire.com/?52n3p1ugtcczvdj


1. Abduction Of Limbs - Old Funeral
2. Of Pestilent Winds - Excoriate
3.Eternal Darkness - Interment
4. Serpent Of Twilight - Adversary
5. Spawn Of Flesh - God Macabre
6. Abattoir Of Death - Warhammer
7. Calls From The Beyond - Megaslaughter
8. Symphonies Of Spiritual Cannibalism - Incubator
9. Vale Of Tears - Gorement
10. Towards The Shrouded Infinity - Demigod
11. Eternal Misery - Derketa 
12. Camaras De Torturas - Mortuorio
13. Euthanasia- Sacrophobia 
14. As Silent As The Grave - Wombbath 
15. Rotting Flesh - Autopsy Torment
16. The Rite Of Sacrifice - Sorcery
17. Faces Under The Ice - Krabathor
18. Sangrienta Muerte - Masacre
19. Sabbath In Mortuary - Excruciate
20. Soul Incest - Uncanny
21. Las Putas Del Infierno - Lepra
22. Aztharoth - Dion Fortune
23. Mangled Dehumanization - Death Strike
24. Demented - Obscurity
25. Brain Tumor - Terminal Death
26. Gutspawn - Timeghoul 
27. Grip Of Darkness - Adramelech
28. Darkness Greets - Abhoth
29. Unconsecrated Ground- Crematory
30. Resuscitation Of Evilness - Convulse
31. Slaughtered Remains - Necrovore

Only Death is REAL!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review : Molested - Stormvold

Norwegian Death Metallers Molested are better known for their chaotic and experimental full-length Blod Draum, but their equally excellent EP, Stormvold, goes unnoticed.

Stormvold starts out with an immense, brutal track called The Usurpers in Winterblood and is as awesome as it sounds. The band maintain their epic folky sound, nicely integrated with the straight-out Old School Death Metal onslaught, and the folk influences are heard more on this EP than on the full length. Although this release lacks the use of harp and has no weird-ass track like Blod-Draum, the scales used are clearly different from what you would hear in a standard Death Metal band and have an epic tinge to it. Molested keep up the complexity, bordering on chaos, which means it takes more than 5 listens to actually understand what's going on, yet it is mysteriously captivating in a way that it doesn't fry the neuron network in your brain. This is consistent through the first 3 tracks after which point, these guys completely shit on everything they've come up with. Pyre At the Tarn is an unrelenting flurry of riffs and complex drumming that would send any technical-fag drummer into hiding from the raging beast this guy is. The production is stormy, which means the guitars and drums swirl like a blazing inferno, drowning out most of the vocals, but rather than having an adverse effect, they're rendered even more demonic than they would otherwise sound. The bass is inaudible, but with music like this, you're only looking forward to be destroyed by its absolute might than worry about how the bass clunks along. The final track of the album is Following the Growls, which can also be heard on Blod Draum. The song fits here as perfectly as it does on the album, and is a good way to conclude the multiple fireballs to the face this EP delivers. Stormvold, like Molested's full-length album sprays feces all over every technical bullshit Death Metal band that ever existed, by employing actual experimental elements than just working around with time signatures and playing sweeps and pinch harmonics every two seconds. Despite that, their sound is purely organic. It's not mechanical, not triggered, but in no way human, since it sounds like a bunch of demonic incarnates conquering everything in its path.

If you like old school Death Metal and complain that it doesn't have enough complexity (which you shouldn't), this album will completely change everything for you. If you understand what they're playing on the first listen, then congratulations, you are a genius! You like Molested and liked Blod Draum, you should absolutely listen to this. It's not worth missing.

[PS: I have no sure way of telling if it is the remastered version or the original version, but try it yourself, and don't blame me if you get the one you didn't want. There's not much of a difference, so it shouldn't matter, anyway.]

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Argentum (Mex) - Ad Interitum Funebrarum

Mexican old school Death and Black Metal scenes are quite well known among the underground, thanks to bands like Cenotaph, Shub Niggurath and The Chasm. Hidden among them, was a unique Doom/Black Metal band called Argentum. Formed in 1993, Argentum have released 2 studio albums.

Ad Interitum Funebrarum, Argentum's first album is an ancient-sounding, highly atmospheric Doom/Black Metal. Their playing style is similar to 90s epic Doom Metal masters Solitude Aeturnus, but has a more Death/Doom vibe in the sound, yet quite unlike what one might expect. There isn't any Celtic Frost worship here, nor is there any trace of diSEMBOWELMENT. The sound, mostly the guitar tone, is very similar to early The Chasm and Cenotaph. The production quality of the album adds heavily to the atmosphere the band tries to create here. The band mostly focuses on mid-paced or slower riffs, but certain Thrashy, fast sections can be heard at places in the album. The riffs are mostly simple, palm-muted, played in the style of Bolt Thrower. They are accompanied by blazing, melodic guitar solos, enhancing the eerie atmosphere and adding a touch of melancholy at times. Some songs have acoustic intros and sections, which suit their sound perfectly. The band incorporates synths in their music and can be heard throughout. The synth takes away absolutely nothing from the music, but in fact, it takes the atmospheric quality a step further, which is certainly a good thing. The bass is not very clear or audible, but emerges when you pay enough attention, and actively search for the bass strings plucking away. The production quality is to blame in this case. The vocals vary between death and black metal styles, and have an echo effect to them, giving them a crypt-zombie effect. The drumming is accurate, with no sign of sloppiness to it, and although it does not stand out, it is an important part of the music here. In company of each other, the instruments manage to invoke a very desolate and eerie atmosphere, which is consistent throughout the album.

The songs are quite well written, with riffs arranged properly to avoid a disjoint feeling and guitar solos placed at appropriate times through a song. The synth goes perfectly in harmony with the riffs. Every member and every instrument used here has a major contribution. The musicians play their instruments with near-perfection, with no sign of amateurism or inexperience. In spite of this, how Argentum managed to be overlooked, is beyond me.

Ad Interitum Funerbrarum showcases the perfect use of guitar solos and synth in harmony with Heavy riffs, without sounding lame or wanky. The production might put some people off, but that is only a minor drawback here. Highly recommended for Doom Metal fans.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review : Krhoma Death - Grating Into Corpse

Krhoma Death is among the lesser known Death Metal bands from the early 90s. One of the reasons being that they hail from France, which is not known for a lot of Death Metal, barring bands like Massacra, Mercyless and Agressor. The band have released some demos and an album titled Grating Into Corpse.

Krhoma Death's sound is similar to Dutch bands like Antropomorphia and Blessed Sickness, but a lot more Thrash Metal oriented. Especially in the mid-paced and slower sections of the songs, the similarity is evident, while the fast sections are very similar to Deicide. Krhoma Death manage to make their songs simple, yet mildly captivating and interesting with changes in tempo and structure. The riffs are interesting but mostly simple, while the solos are mostly twisted and wailing, but sometimes venture into the "James Murphy" territory. The vocalist doesn't have a new or unique style, and sticks to the conventional brutal-enough-but-comprehensible technique. The drumming is something to look out for. The drummer uses simple techniques and isn't super-fast or extremely technical or anything, but the drumming during faster parts of the song is intense and extremely similar to Deicide (as mentioned earlier).

Krhoma Death clearly doesn't aim for a specific atmosphere here, and is more interested in playing a primitive style of Thrash-influenced Death Metal, and they execute it quite well. This isn't as frenzied as Merciless or as riff-laden as Cancer, but that can be excused as it is still rather fun to listen to. Lyrically, the band focuses on conventional themes like Gore and Death and could care less about sophistication when it comes to writing lyrics, which, in my opinion would in any way be unnecessary for a band like this. The creativity involved in writing those songs cannot be questioned here, as each song is well-structured, and with enough changes in riffs and tempo that do not sound abrupt.

Krhoma Death's Grating Into Corpse is not a hidden masterpiece, but is a little gem that deserves a couple of listens by any Death Metal fan. It is an enjoyable album that doesn't bore a listener through it's playing time, but there is nothing new to note or any genius as work here. As long as the listener keeps his/her expectations from this album reasonable, there is no reason to not like this.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Primeval Doctrine from Unholy Raavancult: Funeral In Heaven (Sri Lanka): An Interview with Frontman Chathuranga Fonseka

Recently, Putrid Ascendancy spoke to Chathuranga Fonseka, The frontman of Sri Lankan dark congregation named 'Funeral In Heaven'. For followers of underground extreme music, FIH  have already secured a cult status and have preserved the ancient arcane values of Sri Lankan occult art and mysticism through their transcendental music or art whatever you call it! 
So here it is, a  brief conversation with Brother Chathuranga Foneseka. Enjoy!  

P.A: We have come across other interviews of Funeral In Heaven where we got introduced to the term of 'Hela metal', Could you please elaborate the concept behind it?

Chathuranga: Hela Metal can be described as a rejection of every other “label” which will be used to describe our music. I guess this was inevitable considering there really doesn't exist a label per se out there which would in a couple of words, describe our output. I guess this is the equivalent to Norway’s Immortal proclaiming to perform “Holocaust Metal” back in the day.

P.A: What Funeral In Heaven Plays is unique in every bits and parts.. now considering that you hail from Sri Lanka, An ancient terrain that has a distinct cultural elements, myths and legends and also that your country has witnessed scores of atrocities and violence, how did that all help evolve your music?

Chathuranga: Gratitude for the compliment comrade. I’d say that a certain part of evolving comes with the technology too, considering the time we live in and available facilities when it comes to this sort of thing in our part of the world. We have always wanted to experiment and delve into Indian and Sri lankan classical music and achieve a certain “quality” of production (and by quality I do not mean “polished/ over produced shit”) and I’d say that we’re still not there yet. Maybe in the future.
Everything you mentioned above including the biggest input being, life in Sri Lanka has inspired us and will continue to do so. We’re completely disgusted with how domestic issues are being handled, I understand that corruption is as much of a problem to you as it is to everyone else, but things here are just fucking absurd. Everything from our current cultural and societal hierarchy, governing bodies to religious institutions is absolutely corrupted beyond belief. On the other hand we have the fucking media parasites who spend most of their time “protesting” against something they deserved in the first place, to have even a faint idea about the concept of responsible journalism, or to see the damage which is occurring due to their extensive exaggeration and bombarding of worthless information and the promotion of pathetic and baseless trends. International politicians and media institutions such as Jayalalitha Jayaram and the worthless piece of shit Hilary Clinton and her fucking “government”, the cunts at Channel 4, BBC share the biggest part of the blame for fueling an imaginary war between races. Sri Lankan society is conservative to dangerous extents and most of the time completely oblivious as to the domestic issues concerning the country until its concerned publicly and commercially, where as then, suddenly everyone's a patriot.  All of these fucking scum should be wiped off the face of the earth. 

P.A: what are the lyrical themes, mainly?

Chathuranga: Ancient Sri Lankan demonology, history, war.

P.A: Many People here are not aware of the Sri Lankan Metal Scene. Could you kindly enlighten us on the scene? Since when did it start out and what were the bands that were influential in establishing the movement?

Chathuranga: The “scene” started out back in the late 80’s where we had great bands such as Sage Merlyn and Rattlesnake performing rock music. And now we have some great bands, comrades and veterans of the Metal scene such as Whirlwind, Paranoid Earthling, Siblings of Hatred, Forlorn Hope, Old Castles Massacre, Fallen Grace. And the “newer” bands we support such as Hollow, Ablaze, P.A.C., Dhishti, Pariah Demise, etc.   


P.A: How Funeral In Heaven was formed? tell us about the initial days, member changes and the obstacles you guys faced, if any!

Chathuranga: Being from where we are, I’d say we had more than our usual share of “obstacles” More of it, back in the day than the present. Everything from uncommitted members to the risks of playing Black Metal in Sri Lanka. The risks are present than ever considering the conservative politically driven environments which are surrounding us.


P.A: what's been your main influences as a band??

Chathuranga: Everything from Sri Lankan history, demonology, musicians, rituals, literature to philosophers have influenced the output, but the most important factor would be life in Sri Lankan HELL.

P.A: Now another question that really comes into my mind whenever I refer to the name Funeral In Heaven.. as far as i summed up it has a metaphorical meaning behind it. so can you please tell us why did you decide to name the band as Funeral In Heaven?

Chathuranga: We came up with the name to represent the current situation our lives as observatory members of this narrow minded society who have managed since of the past few decades to drive Sri Lankan culture to the ground. Heaven as it represents our ideals, exists here on earth, as does hell, depictions vary of course. This element fused with the dim landscape which fluctuates before our own eyes, the demise of our once protected and preserved culture, hence a death, a funeral. Maybe this depicts a transcending, a transmigration of sorts perhaps. Most people confused this with devil worship as it depicts itself to souls which lack simple comprehension as mere “devil worship”.


P.A: The inclusion of unusual instruments like Violin or Tabla certainly elevates the music to a surreal dimension! We also found out that band members worship Hindustani and Sri Lankan classical music! And that reflects in the music.

Chathuranga: Gratitude. We are glad it performed the mutual magick as it did with us in the process of creation. Yes. Actually, our members Kasun and Dineth hold degrees in Thabla and Indian classical music. They both hold “vishaaradha” titles, I do not know if this term is the same in your land as its used here. We have wanted to do this since the inception but we have at that time have never met anyone who was into both types of music. The purpose of some of our EP’s (or to be released) was to expose the “classical” side of the project, which explains why there are no “slow” tempo songs in our live performances. We have had I think a couple of ritual performances where Funeral In Heaven did ONLY these classical performances, acoustic, which was for a very small, exclusive crowd. What we aim to do is produce a sort of hybrid, a separate branch, or path which leads into complete illumination of self and mind over matter. We do this however with complete caution, as certain barriers cannot and should not be crossed as the result would be a generated insult and abuse towards the arts sacred basic foundations.

P.A: You have released two Ep's entitled as" Daiwaye Haaskam Saha Paralowa Sapatha" and "Shaanthikarma" which have been received very well.. and I must congratulate you for your unique effort which has made all of us very eager to expect a full length. so considering this fact we would love to know that whether a full length is on the cards or not?

Chathuranga: Gratitude again good sir. And yes of course, the full length is finally in the works. We just finished recordings for our upcoming LP with Plecto Aliquem Capite, titled “Astral Mantras of Dyslexia” which will include 7 tracks and will be released on Germany’s Dunkelheit Productionen, and we have moved onto the recording of a 11 track full length. It has been too long, more than how much it usually takes to record a debut, but with the equipment here or the lack of it, the lack of engineers or the tech support and most importantly the financial aspect, it was inevitable. If all goes smooth, recordings for this release should be finished before a couple of months of the ending of the current year.


P.A: You guys have played in many countries notable among them In League With The Legion Of Death (Thailand) so can you share some memorable experiences and not so memorable experiences with us?

Chathuranga: The Siamese cult was fucking insane. We met some true fucking metal maniaks in this journey! Combining that with Thai herbs, alcohol, food and the ladies lead to severe alcohol poisoning and a great fucking time, which we manage to remember in between flashes of time. The Deccan ritual, was commendable as well, due to the fact that we again met with some maniaks and finally after years on end, congregated with our warriors from Antim Graham!


PA: FIH toured in India twice. Hows the experience altogether? What do you really think of Indian Metal Scene?

Chathuranga: We performed a ritual in New Delhi for a not so Black Metal audience, and of course Deccan Festival in Hyrderabad. Delhi had a great weather as we embarked on the invasion last December, but the same cannot be said about the recent journey, as we had to come to Chennai first before landing in Hyderabad, and we spent almost 14 hours in the hot streets of Chennai, getting kicked out of malls, looking for beverages, herbs, payphones, alcohol to cure our much despised hangover and contact the promoters, and where in the process we got involved and entangled into a situation which most probably had the potential of ending up with someone getting stabbed or shot, with some LTTE supporters at a dingy bar in Chennai. Fucking cunts. And I’d rather not speak about the promoters for this event as I have nothing pleasant to express about them at the moment. We are however grateful to our Indian regiment who purchased our merch, spoke, greeted and supported us on this tour. Reuben and IIIrd Sovereign, Parash and AG, the gents from Flaming Skull, Rafal, Seth and everyone from Decapitated, Nervecell, it was a pleasure to have met all of you.

PA: Any personal favourites when it comes to any Indian band that you think have fair potential for success(if any)?

Chathuranga: Leaving aside acts such as Dying Embrace from Bangalore who have already reached cult status (666 fucking beers Vikram!), we like the music of Amogh Symphony, Devoid and IIIrd Sovereign and are in dire need to check out hymns by Dhwesha and Aghor Andhakar.

P.A: We featured your single called "Malediction Of Veracity" in our compilation of Putrid Ascendancy along with other Indian Act and Barzak(now Orator) of Bangladesh, and I must confess the song took almost every listener breathe away, its beautiful and ethereal. The Juxtaposition of soothing serenity and grittiness was commendable. What inspired you to create music like this?

 Chathuranga: The song was based on a suicide bombing which took place in the central main train station in Colombo a few years back where a LTTE cadre blew herself up in a platform taking a few civilians and most importantly 12 members of a college baseball team with her. One of the members of this 12 member group had ties to us. We just got disgusted how the international community and the fucking media was taking advantage of this situation as if it was some opportunity they saw which had potential for exploitation to aid their senseless needs for greed. We wanted to take our classical side into more darker atmospheres, Kasun and Dineth, who played Violin and Thabla, took lead with Joseph who composed the guitars and Malediction was born. Malediction was initially a 1.30min “introductory” track from our demo CD from 2006. We’ve always viewed it as a shame as it had much potential for expansion, which we later did for the DHSPS release on LOD Records.

P.A: We have always have this fixation when it comes to asking other individuals about their top 5 albums of all time. so do us this favor by letting us know about your personal favorites!

Chathuranga: Arrgh very tough question comrade! I will ease myself with this question by answering with my CURRENT top 5 which I have been delving into as of late.
  1. INQUISITION – Ominous Doctrines.... 2011
  2. HOLOCAUST – Heavy Metal Mania EP 1980
  3. REVENGE – Infiltrate.Downfall.Death 2008
  4. BLOOD REVOLT – Indoctrine 2010
  5. TSJUDER – Desert Northern Hell  2004                                                                                                                                           
P.A: Last but no the least since what is your opinion about Black Metal in general and are there any bands that you really dig among the newer ones?

Chathuranga: Apart from the fact that I see some unique projects experimenting with innovation and great newer acts who are resurrecting the ancient cult of the past, I don't see much happening. I’d rather stick to the clasSICKs and maybe discover a great unit or two a year. Among my newer discoveries are Necros Christos, Blood Revolt, Nyogthaeblisz, Metalucifer etc.


P.A: Chathurnga, we brothers at Putrid Ascendancy want to thank you for your precious time and support! We really wish you and Funeral In Heaven all the best for its future endeavour.. Hails!

Chathuranga: Much gratitude for taking the time and intrest to do so comrade! BLESSINGS FROM THE ANCIENT RAAVAN CULT! JAI RAAVANPUTHRA

Funeral In Heaven
Sri Lanka 
Genre -  Blasphemous Hela Metal/Black Metal

A.A.M.C.U.F. - Chants
K.N. - Skins/Violin
A.D.F. - Bass
N.Yakka - Guitars
A.Perera - Guitars
D.W - Thabla/Yak Bera


Putrid Ascendancy wants to express its gratitude to Brother Chathuranga for the interview. If you have a band, and you want to feature it on our blog, do mail us at putridascendancy@gmail.com
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