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Bhayanak Maut - Man Award winner

Bhayanak Maut
by V. Srikar at 20 March 2015, 9:51 PM

I still have vivid memories of the LAMB OF GOD 2012 gig here in Bangalore, the first time I had a proper listen to this much followed Mumbai Groove Metal band BHAYANAK MAUT. Let me tell you a bit more history, much before this show, I had already checked out their flagship songs like “Ranti Nasha” on the internet and they frankly didn’t catch my imagination, so as you would imagine I had just ignored the band. Fast forward LOG 2012 gig, high buzz among Bangalore fans as BHAYANAK MAUT were playing after a long time and had no more shows in the city after that either. So I had high expectations too because of the buzz around, but frankly the duel vocals on that day just disappointed me like no other. Again fast forward to 2015, they released their 3rd full length album “Man” in October 2014 without any promotion or warning, and quite naturally there was massive sudden buzz on Facebook in the Indian Metal circle in the days following their sudden release. For a band releasing independently, the type of production quality and promo booklet given along with this promo is beyond my vocabulary capacity to describe! I mean just the promo booklet/Journal is 118 pages for fucks sake!

Coming to the music itself, I am not really a big fan of Groove Metal except for LAMB OF GOD of whom I’m a mad fan of and consider legends in the history of Metal itself. As I listen to the 17 songs album, I realize that BHAYANAK MAUT has clearly been influenced by LAMB OF GOD and also a bit by MISERY INDEX. But the album does show why it was so highly rated by the initial listeners. It delivers all that is expected of a typical BHAYANAK MAUT sound, and lots more. Listening to the studio sound gives a different feel of the band, as the duel vocals doesn’t seem to have any negative effect here on my sensibilities. “Man” is not just all about heavy grooves, as there are lot of progressive elements along with Black Metal shades sprinkled everywhere.

What BHAYANAK MAUT has tried to do here is just take their regular duel vocal Groove Metal sound and grind it with the aforementioned genres and shock the hell out of their seasoned fans and crush everybody else on their way. It’s difficult for me to take each song and describe here, like I usually do for every other review, as I got 17 songs here. But I will tell you that this album is purposely woven into many stories with the 17 songs having 5 stage songs between them (I seriously don’t know what they mean). “Now, Creation. Forever, Destruction” gives a fair idea of theme this album runs on, with the song’s intro “You can’t create something, unless you destroy something else. You all realize that don’t you?” The lazy ass that I’m, I didn’t really read all the stories offered in the Journal, but what I have tried to do is comprehend the album with lyrics of the songs like the one mentioned above. I get a sense of feeling that the album mostly preaches about life and death, and also throws the harsh reality of modern world on a young boy, in turn educating him the hard ways in becoming a man.

The album is gigantic as you realize, both musically and lyrically, making it difficult for the listener to fully comprehend what’s on offer with unusually 17 songs in an album. Like the very next song “Stage 3_ Anastrophy” is a low tempo instrumental like the other 4 Stage songs. In my journey of this album as a listener, I often wonder if there are any hidden jigsaw puzzles or messages for the listener to interpret the whole album.

In the process of constant listening and judging of new albums, we often overlook modern Metal albums as just as another album and not as pure art itself. “Man” comes, hits you on the face like a hammer and indirectly tells you that music is a piece of art, an art which is hard hitting and sometimes complicated for the listener to comprehend. Like in the weirdly named “XOXOXO”, the song starts with some electronic buzzing sound, before pounding some heavy groovy beats into the ears. The blast beats by Rahul are relentless and make you beg for some air, while the vocals are unusually of whispering nature. Barring the Stage songs, all the songs have multiple layers on them, almost making them Progressive Groove with duel growling vocals forced into them. Just to give an idea how crazy this album is, there is a hidden song in the album, which I would have easily missed had I ‘not’ forgotten to close the last song “Stage 5_ Residumm” after 3 minutes as there is dead silence for the next 10 minutes before the band takes you into a crazy journey into another galaxy with another piece of stop-start groovy music (which is actually marketed by the band as a hidden song on the band’s Facebook page). Crazy shit to the core.

It makes me feel proud that an Indian band has brought out such a deep, thought filled, musically commendable album. But 17 songs is too much to digest for most listeners on modern standards, which are usually 10-12 song albums. The album constantly tested my patience during this review. I guess the band will counter argue that it required 17 songs for them to completely send the message(s) they set out to communicate to the world at large and didn’t really follow the usual norms, in turn providing a unique experience for their fans like no other.

Man” has surely raised the bar for both Indian and International bands. “Man” demands the listener to fully listen to the album multiple times, at least 3-4 times in order to fully enjoy this album. In contrast with my usual ending sentences, DON’T pick this album if you are looking for just another 12 song Thrash or Groove album or mix of both or other genres, because “Man” decimates any kind of stereotypes and genre arguments as the band elevates the music to a different level to send a few messages with a few dark stories woven beautifully in the songs. This album is history in the making. Pick “Man” blindly to experience mental and emotional BHAYANAK MAUT (meaning ‘scary death’ in Hindi), and indulge yourself in a long rollercoaster ride. Go, liberate yourself, be a “Man”.

5 Star Rating

1. I Am Man
2. All Glory To The Beard
3. Genosis
4. Stage 1_ Trema
5. Perfecting The Suture
6. It Knows
7. Bhayanak Maut
8. Stage 2_ Apophany
9. Now, Creation. Forever, Destruction.
10. Stage 3_ Anastrophy
12. For Science
13. Princest
14. Stage 4_ Consolidation
15. Iku
16. Light Shall Conquer
17. Stage 5_ Residumm
Vinay & Sunneith - Vocals
Amidstya & Venky - Guitars
Ishaan - Bass
Rahul – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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