02 03 Metal Melancholy: ALBUM REVIEW: Dying Out Flame - Shiva Rudrastakam 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

ALBUM REVIEW: Dying Out Flame - Shiva Rudrastakam

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The extreme metal scene is on a constant rise in the Indian Sub-Continent. While many bands are trying to create music similar to their European and American counterparts, some bands are trying to bring in originality to the music by mixing it with the local influences. Dying out Flame, is one such band, mixing brutal death metal with the Vedic Himalayan sounds. The result is a powerful debut album.

The album starts off with “Praise of the Omnipresent One”, which has a bass heavy riff along with a beautifully played riff on the flute (should remind people of Eluveite!). The track is more of a traditional intro, than a heavy metal track. This gives way to a simple yet thundering drum riff providing the perfect background for female chants, some brilliant flute and sitar playing.  Toward the end, the chants and instrumentals get faster and faster, before fading out into…

“Shiva Rudrastakam” starts off with a furious double bass and sitar complemented with a tabla tune. About 50 seconds into the track, the guitars and guttural vocals blast your eardrums, instantly upping the ante, with some superfast blast beats! The opening lines are Sanskrit verses praising Lord Shiva, and they fit in very well with the rest of the song. About halfway into the song comes the group chanting of Sanskrit verses again, this time with some beautiful sitar work.


Going by the title of this song “Eternal Mother of Great Time”, I’m guessing it’s about Parvathi, Shiva’s wife. Starts off with a very Nile-esque riff, that repeats throughout the verse parts, definitely good news! The drumming on this song complements the song VERY well, especially the double bass. The lead singers’ voice is powerful here, driving a jackhammer into your skull.

“Vayuputra” is definitely my favourite on the album, no doubts here! Starts off with some brutal riffing and inhuman drumming, again complemented by the guttural vocals that we’ve all come to associate and love with the technical death metal genre. The drumming is very creative while never dropping the intensity, and that guitar solo is staggeringly goodThe breakdowns in this song are fucking brilliant, and the way they blast into lightning fast drumming (think Nile with Kollias) is mesmerizing.

Maisasura Maridini” starts off with, you guessed it - the Mahishasura Mardini. It is a Sanskrit chant about Parvathi when she assumed the form of Goddess Kali and annihilated the demon Mahisan. The guitars and drums in this track are especially brutal and heavy, creating an atmosphere of sheer destruction and despair. Again, some beautifully crafted sitar work makes its’ presence felt in the latter half of this six and a half minute monster track. Drums again are brutal as ever. The ending of this track is noteworthy, combining furious tremolo picking, double bass, sitar, bass guitar, and guttural vocals in an amazing concoction.


The album closes off with “Trinetra Dhari (Three Eyed One)”. An absolutely brutal opening riff, reminiscent of bands like Necrophagist and Deadborn (yup, the guitars are phenomenal on this tack and album overall). The title of the track is a reference to – yeah, you guessed it – Shiva. This is probably the grooviest track on the album with even the vocals being a lot more “groovy” than the ones on the other tracks. Halfway into the song the band showcase yet another flawless riff fest combining death metal with Vedic chants, yes! It closes with the phrase “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om Mahadevaya namaha...” providing a perfect end to a brutal, heavy, and brilliant debut album!

One of the best debuts by an underground band in recent times. Can’t wait to see these guys live!


9/10

Reviewed By: Srinath Jayaraman

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