MAN - Bhayanak Maut: Review

Posted at February 5th, 2015 | by Sapta.rishi | in Nightlife

2014 was a huge year for Indian metal, in terms of newly discovered talents, some more international headliners and some of our much-loved scene veterans coming out with highly expected releases. Going back to the early 2000s and one of the forerunners of the Mumbai metal scene, Bhayanak Maut is one such band that persevered through the years by toiling through show after show, destroying many venues and even showing a taste of Indian metal music to the folks of Oslo in 2011. After 4 long years since their last release, the Metastasis EP, Bhayanak Maut has woken up from its deep slumber with their latest offering, Man.

 

Spanning a massive 90 minutes, Man is a rollercoaster ride comprising of 17 tracks (including five instrumental interludes), each having its own unique identity and aural appeal. At the first listen, Man’s sheer amount of detail is overwhelming to say the least. Adding to the effect is the 100+ page digital booklet that comes along with the album. The tracks present on Man are based on short stories that vocalists Vinay and Sunny wrote over the last few years and it is absolutely terrifying to experience these harrowing tales of horror personified into such meticulously crafted metal tracks. Starting from the song writing and technical wizardry to the chilling lyrical content and the fantastic production, Man excels in every way, making it probably one of the most powerful albums to ever come out of this subcontinent.

 

man-large

 

The album opens with I Am Man – a 5 minute track that will prove how the celestial bounds BM has taken in their song writing skills. Complementing vocals, Jagged intertwining riffs, a strong low end backing it up along with a tight rhythm section provided by the drums – Man screams a band’s maturity right from the first track. Followed by All Glory To The Beard and Genosis, BM showcases their strength as a united force and their attention to detail.

 

Man is a huge improvement over their last unnamed full-length from 2009. Not to say that it was a lacklustre album (Ranti Nasha, MNS and Blasted Beyond Belief are crowd favourites even today) but BM have embraced a style that shifts like an organism constantly. In fact, in particular tracks like It Knows and For Science, things are almost on the verge of being frantic. BM does not follow a generic riff-verse-chorus pattern here and instead shoots you with grooves and hooks one after another. Their pinnacle as a band reaches at the 6-minute track Now, Creation. Forever, Destruction. As a fan myself since their Malignant days, it is great to hear them create such organised yet dissonant song structures. On other tracks like XOXOXO, Genosis and Perfecting the Suture, BM experiments by adding spoken dialogues and female chants. While these moves could have gone amiss, the stellar production by Anupam Roy makes sure these additions add on to the soundscape instead of being out of place.

 

Instrumentally, Aditya, Venky, Rahul and newly appointed bassist Ishaan have done a tremendous job that is near impossible to top. The riffs are literally crushing and have been fabricated perfectly for each track. A lot of technical death metal influences can be heard in the album but the band makes sure that there are enough grooves as well. Moreover, Rahul’s drum work is extraordinary as he pounds his drums with careful precision. Ishaan may be the new one but he has made his presence noticed by adding some phenomenal bass lines. He shines in the track Bhayanak Maut that transforms from a full-fledged death metal track into a funky bass and drum section in the middle. Thanks to the production, the bass is heard in every track unlike many other bands where it gets lost in the mix.

 

Call me biased but the vocal element is the piece de resistance of Man. Vinay and Sunny have written some of the most bone-chilling lyrics but it is their delivery behind the microphone that truly justifies the content. Man makes it clear why BM will always remain incomplete if either of the vocalists leaves. The guttural twins have mastered the art of assaulting your senses with Vinay giving a strong deep growl as a base and Sunny complementing him with his arsenal of screams. On songs like NCFD and It Knows, Sunny takes things a notch higher by providing some of the best pitched screams ever heard in a metal album. It will be a delight to witness the on-stage chemistry of these two geniuses on the tracks of Man.

 

BM’s dedication goes even past the songs of Man. The album features a spectacular melange of artwork that depicts the different stories from the short-story collection. These artworks are not for the squeamish as they perfectly exhibit the depravity and toxic imagery the songs of Man talk about.

 

Overall, Man is not a record but an unrelenting force to reckon with. It will jolt you right out of your senses and treat you to some of the best death/groove metal you will ever hear. Once criticised as Lamb of God clones by hecklers, BM have further solidified their roots in their legacy with this magnum opus. For the ardent metal fan, this will blow you away.

 

Sapta.rishi

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