Inspired by horror-laden themes, Albatross is a band based out of Mumbai, India, and pride themselves as purveyors of “storytelling heavy metal”, in the vein of King Diamond and the like. The band garnered attention in India and beyond with their 2010 debut EP ‘Dinner is You’, furthermore with the follow-up EP ‘The Kissing Flies’ and split release with American band Vestal Claret (2012). They built up perfectly to their first full-length release ‘Fear From The Skies’ in 2015, and hit the home run with compelling music and concept. Since then, Albatross has been laying low, but have finally re-emerged with a brand new single, ‘Where Do Sheep Disappear?’ A band clearly not afraid to attempt the unconventional and untrendy, Albatross constantly challenges and pushes their own boundaries, and has done so once again with this chilling 8-minute ballad.
The song sets the vibe with a sinister, dark intro passage decorated with superb vocals and guitar work. The drums gradually kick in, and heavy riffs eventually set the song in motion. Lyrics are, of course, the key component the composition in built around, as is the case with everything Albatross writes. So it’s fitting for the band to release this single in the form of a lyric video which enables listeners to arrive at their own interpretations of the concept and lyrical content. The music and lyrics remain very much cohesive throughout the song, and the tempo and atmosphere never dissipates. Expertly crafted guitar solos are intricately placed at opportune moments and make the song all the more enjoyable, justifying its 8-minute duration in the process.
One common trait with Indian metal bands is that you wouldn’t come across a sub-par demo or studio release. Production quality is given high priority, no matter how long it takes to put out the release eventually. This Albatross single does not disappoint in that department either, as the finished product of the song is sonically top-class in the absolute sense, crystal clear where it needs to be, and accentuating the song’s brooding heaviness wherever necessary.
While a full release from the band is eagerly awaited, Albatross have given listeners a highly repeat-worthy offering with ‘Where Do Sheep Disappear?’ A beautiful slab of sonic darkness.
– by Aniruddh (Andrew) Bansal