Many countries have bands that draw their sound and influence from their culture, religion and heritage but not many come out of India with a very ethnic sound, especially in the black metal scene. Heathen Beast is a very outspoken and ethnically immersed black metal trio from Kolkata, India. Not only does the group include traditional instruments and sound but take an anti-fascist and anti-religious stance that pertains to actual events happening in their homeland. In a country that does not take rebellious acts lightly enough that your very life could be endangered, the trio MUST hide their identities due to their highly controversial themes.
The album is unlike any other from the opening track “Blind Faith” to the ending track “Gaurav Yatra (The Aftermath).” Each song has a story and meaning behind them, speaking up about the tragedies and chaos that has enshrouded the country. The vocals are raw and full of pure and unrelenting power in each track. The track “Ayodhya Burns” tells of the thousands slaughtered in the city of Ayodhya. The strong black metal atmosphere is prominent while the use of traditional Indian instruments such as the sitar, tabla, carnatic violin and many others stand out.
Not many bands will speak out in a land that your own life could be on the line. Hiding their identities isn’t a show gimmick or a publicity stunt but for their own safety. To take such a strong stand is noble in itself but to incorporate a strong ethnic sound into a “rebellious” genre of music just blows the mind. Grab this album by Heathen Beast to truly understand the amazingly unique sound, raw emotions and the truths that the band is bringing to the surface that many would remain with silent lips.
10 / 10