By Aniruddh ‘Andrew’ Bansal
‘Domination – The Deathfest’ is India’s original extreme metal festival, and it’s back for its fifth edition. This time the lineup features the comeback of Mumbai-based brutal death metal band Exhumation, with support from Gutslit, Witchgoat, Insane Prophecy, Orion and Atmosfear. The gig is set to take place at Hotel United 21 in Thane, Mumbai on March 10th. This gig will treat the audience with almost an entire day of true extreme metal at a meager cost of Rs. 250. Last night, I caught up with Orion bassist Anshuman Bhattacharya to talk about the progressive death metal band band’s participation in this gig, their debut EP ‘On The Banks Of Rubicon’, influences, and more. Read the conversation below, check out their music via the embedded SoundCloud widgets, and visit them and the festival online using the links at the bottom.
You guys don’t really get to play too many shows, so it must be an exciting feeling to be part of Domination –The Deathfest. How are your preparations going on for this gig?
We are very excited to be a part of the awesomeness that is Domination – The Deathfest. Preparations are full on, we’re tightening up all the screws and working towards putting up a set that will be remembered.
We do believe in what mythology teaches us, be it Greek or any other. In our music, we try to to transcribe what their teachings would mean in our lives today. Which is why the EP name is also “On the Banks of Rubicon” this term comes from Roman mythology.
I read the lyrical concept for your EP ‘On The Banks Of Rubicon’. Is that something you give a lot of importance to when it comes to writing music?
Yes we do. The process we follow is to let the music define the lyrics of the song. Never the less, each get equal importance. We try to make the songs impressive in every way. Be it just the riffs, just the vocals or simply just the lyrics.
The EP was released in November 2012. Are there any plans to do a full-length album any time soon?
We are in the pre-production stage of the full length album. We plan to put one out early next year. For now we’re looking to play live as much as we can.
How well does the EP represent the band’s influences and musical capabilities? Have you been able to capture the essence of your band in those four songs?
We believe we have. What each one of us can do individually and what we can as a unit are demonstrated well in this EP.
With progressive death metal, there’s always room to improvise and explore musical elements, and a song can go in many different directions. How much do you think the band will develop these elements on future releases?
We aim to explore more with every song we make. The beauty of progressive death metal is that there are no limits. That is exactly what we want people to feel about our music as well.
Your vocals are a mix of clean singing and growls. Clean vocals are becoming more and more of a lost art, especially in progressive metal, and I must say I’m impressed with the clean vocals on your EP. What’s your biggest influence and inspiration when it comes to clean vocals?
A. There is magic in clean vocals that sometimes growls just cannot capture and vice versa. We draw major influence from Michael Akerfeldt from Opeth when it comes to our clean vocal style.
Do you think extreme metal fans are a bit narrow-minded when it comes to that aspect? I guess clean vocals aren’t br00tal enough for them. Right?
Well in our experience extreme metal fans come to have a good time. If we can manage to give them that with clean vocals too, we’re sure they won’t have any complaints.
Having said that, your favorite band Opeth who are well known for combining clean and harsh vocals, have discarded the growling and are just going with clean vocals nowadays. What’s your take on that? Does that disappoint you as fans?
It did initially. Although their musical wizardry still remains as magical. That is one band that never fails to impress us no matter what changes they bring about to their style of music.