Midhaven, Of the Lotus and the Thunderbolt (2021)

Midhaven bring forth a new concept album on their sophomore long-player Of the Lotus and the Thunderbolt.

The Mumbai heavy music trio Midhaven is made up of musicians Aditya Mohanan (guitar and vocals), Aviraj Kumar (drums), and Karan Kaul (vocals and guitar). They released an EP in 2013, Tales From The Tide, and followed it up the very next year with Spellbound. The music they create can be broadly described as heavy metal and it runs a wide spectrum from death metal to progressive, often incorporating fusion elements.

Of the Lotus and the Thunderbolt is a concept album that deals with ideas of time and rebirth. The band describes the ideas that they incorporate into the compositions well: “We follow the single but universal soul on its journey to realization, with symbolisms that are deeply rooted in the collective Indian subconscious. They are curated in a manner wherein each song appears as though it’s a chapter in a book, conveying individual meanings that when heard together form a holistic understanding of the universe.”

“Para Brahman” starts the set off and has a talk-in segment beginning near the front that establishes the narrative over a mid-tempo, mild prog base. Next we hear exceptional lead guitar work on “Primal Song” – this song flat out slaps and so it is no wonder it was chosen as a single.

“Codeman” is proggy, poppy, energetic, and again features some great guitar work. The tempo changes on “The Immanent Effervescence of Sorrow” which opens with storm effects and is quiet and beautiful. “Zhitro” is ten minutes long and is very doom-like for the first few minutes then it rolls into a death metal posture before transforming into hypno-prog. It is my favorite song on the album.

The last two songs are “Mahakaal,” which is grungy and also very ritual-music-like, and “Bhairav,” a more ethereal and understated piece. As a concept album, this new Midhaven release delivers what it promises. Even without connecting one song to the next thematically, it is an impressive heavy music achievement. Recommended.

Of the Lotus and the Thunderbolt is out now. You can find it at the Bandcamp link below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://midhaven.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/midhaven.ind/

Midhaven, Of the Lotus and the Thunderbolt (2021)

Transcending Obscurity Sampler (2021)

It is a new year so that means a new label sampler from Transcending Obscurity.

This label has released some of the best heavy around. In 2020, FFMB covered several of their albums including the amazing Jupiterian, Heads For The Dead, and Revolting releases. 2021 has just as much promise, and the music that has already been announced will freeze you in your tracks.

The sampler itself has 38 songs on it and it is absolutely massive – some songs are a full album side, like “Reverential Silence” by Arch which runs 15:30 and “Secret Powers Entrenched in an Ancient Artefact” by Eremit that goes for more than 18 minutes. The breakdown by genre according to the label is: Tracks 1-22 – death metal/grind/crust, Tracks 23-26 – technical/brutal death metal, Tracks 27-33 – black metal, and Tracks 34-38 – doom/sludge metal. There has to be something here you like. And it is all new music. Check out the full list at the link below.

The sampler is available now and it is FREE – name your price at Bandcamp (link below). How can you pass on this? You can’t. Highly recommended.

Link.

Bandcamp, https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/2021-label-sampler

Transcending Obscurity Sampler (2021)

Demonstealer, And This Too Shall Pass (2020)

Demonstealer is handing you a flaming ball of Death Metal with And This Too Shall Pass.

Sahil Makhija, who goes by the name Demonstealer, is the engine behind this solo project. He is a well-known veteran of the metal scene, not just in India but around the world. For And This Too Shall Pass, he executed every element in the musical process to produce four killer tracks. The pandemic has made everything more difficult in all corners of the globe, and in these grim circumstances Makhija decided to not only create the music on his own but also self-release the EP, gaining sponsorship through crowd funding. That is a lot of extra work but you do what you have to do.

“This Crumbling Earth” opens the set with a steady threat in the percussion and the heavy riff before launching into a roaring display of brutal Death Metal. The vocals shift in degree of coarseness for different moments in the piece, layering the narrative. “A Festering Wound” starts with a punch in the face and continues with the unforgiving pummeling for four satisfying minutes, with only one short breath in the middle. “Systemic Failure” has a riff that sounds like the theme music to a spy novel while “From Flesh To Ashes” features cleaner vocals and a somewhat quieter tone. These four songs are a nice introduction and opening into the music Demonstealer creates, encouraging you to see what else he has been doing.

December 11th is the day the full set appears digitally. You can hear the first song now if you want to get a jump on it. A recording of an earlier livestream is up on YouTube as well if you want a preview and would like to get to hear Sahil Makhija talk about the music, his channels, merch, and other things. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://demonstealer.bandcamp.com/

YouTube Livestream Replay, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HDGD_qhP2k

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Demonstealer

Demonic Resurrection, https://demonicresurrection.bandcamp.com/

Demonstealer, And This Too Shall Pass (2020)