November 30, 2014

Dhwesha - Sthoopa

Guest review by BreadGod from Servile Insurrection

I don't really review a lot of metal that comes out of India, mainly because most of the stuff they make doesn't really appeal to me. Luckily, I finally managed to find a band that interests me. Their name is Dhwesha. They formed in Bangalore in 2008 and released their full-length debut, Sthoopa, eight years later. This album is a great homage to death metal's early days.

The music these guys play is mid-paced and crushing. It sounds like a mix of Bolt Thrower and Morbid Angel. The bass is played by guest musician Avinash Ramchander. His performance is really high in the mix, which means the rest of the music sound dark and gritty as a result. Many modern death metal bands don't pay attention to the bass. It's good to know that the Indians are holding true to the old ways. Drummer Tushar Bajaj eschews rapid fire blast beats in favor of steady mid-paced rhythms that sound like a wave of cataphracts charging across the plains. The snare sounds like hammer blows and the cymbals sound like the clashing of steel. He also spices things up by playing a few elaborate patterns and fills that are influenced by traditional Hindi music. This influence becomes most apparent at the end of “Yuddhabhumi”. I loved that song.

The vocals are performed by Ajay Nagaraj. He belts out growls are dark and cavernous. He sounds like an army of ancient soldiers that had been risen from the grave. The guitars are performed by Somesha Sridhara. He has no interest in shredding your face off. Instead, he chooses to play lots of crushing mid-paced riffs that sound like the stomping of elephants from hell. These riffs possess a dirty, old school sound that would make the death metal gods smile. These rhythms eventually give way to piercing, high-pitched riffs and solos that radiate grace and beauty, a perfect contrast to the meaty old school riffs that dominate the album. As with the guitars, they also take the time to play a few riffs that are inspired by traditional Hindi music. This can be seen on songs like “Sabhe”. I love it when foreign metal bands spice up the recipe by mixing it with their culture.

These Indians have made something special here. Whereas most modern death metal sounds squeaky clean and sterile, these guys play it the way it originally was: dark, disgusting, and evil. They pay homage to legends like Bolt Thrower while also throwing in bits of their own culture into it. The end result is music that is powerful, aggressive, and unique

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

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