By Francisco Zamudio
I couldn’t imagine a world closed off to music from different parts of it. Like math, it’s a language that crosses borders, breaks down walls, stretches the mind and emotion, and informs the listener about the world around you. This is heavily apparent only in rock and metal music, where instrumentation takes songwriting to different plains and mixes in its influences from its surroundings and its culture, in many worldly instances. The evolution of metal has reached all corners of the world and to dismiss and ignore that music is a crime and disservice to metal everywhere. Here now we have a phenomenal group from India named Demonic Resurrection, who on their fifth album have evolved into what modern metal fans, especially death metal fans, look for – or didn’t even know that they wanted. ‘Dashavatar’ is a solid album from beginning to end involving lots of atmosphere and subtleties that sharpen the sound.
With the help of collaborative efforts on vocals, sitar and added percussion, it gave Dashavatar many heads to this monster of a masterpiece. Vocalist “Demonstealer” does an excellent job maintaining focus, providing the symphonic background on keyboards. Smooth solos by Nishith Hegde, that would make Vai, Satriani and Chuck Shuldiner (RIP) perk up an ear – do a beautiful job throughout the album. And the rhythm section of that of Virendra Kaith on drums and bassist Ashwin Shriyan, who also provides back-up vocals, hold such a fluid motion through the progressions in every song.
The songs are so full of life, and it seems fitting since the track listing on Dashavatar identifies historical Hindu beliefs relating to the deity Vishnu, who took several forms or Avatars, all with the belief to empower good against evil. With songs averaging over five-and-a-half minutes, Demonic Resurrection’s latest release seems to be their most heaviest and focused, and in my opinion the best and most successful one to date, coming in with a more direct symphonic death metal sound, with a hint of folk and thankfully nearly leaving behind the clean singing, which is a great improvement here.
The opening number, ‘Matsya – The Fish’, opens up with a sound so behemoth, and not to give too many surprises away, but the track has some sitar that leads you in with ease. The band is still quite versatile in the vocal department and the track ‘Kurma – The Tortoise’ is a great example of that. At seven-and-a-half minutes long, the longest on the album and one of my favorites – it has all the diverse qualities that make this an exceptional album. ‘Varaha – The Boar’ is one of the few standout tracks that old fans might be familiar with, with a heavy influence of the clean-singing that many modern metal fans gravitate to, while Nishith Hegde’s solos carry this tune very well.
There were many times on this album where I was smiling with amazement on the band’s creativity. The introduction on ‘Vamana – The Dwarf’ has a great Death vibe, leading along the folk-metal feel on this tune. They start to unleash more on you from here with ‘Narasimha – The Man Lion’ & ‘Parashurama – The Axe Wielder’ as if to say “enough with pulling punches” and swing with faster, thrash & blast-infused beats and great examples of mainman Demonstealer’s keen ability to add the right amount of symphonic atmosphere on keys. ‘Rama – The Prince’ is another great song, not only in its soloing but also in demonstrating the worldly feel with added percussion and great use of the tabla. ‘Krishna – The Cowherd’ is a good example of Demonic Resurrection’s ability to mesh the modern metal sound and transform it into something heavier as the death metal style vocals dominate over the clean singing.
By this point, and on ‘Buddha – The Teacher’ (a name more commonly recognized), the album flexes a ballad-type tone and set you down easy with ‘Kalki – The Destroyer of Filth’, a pleasant symphonic outro to an outstanding album. The order of the Avatars as they appear on Dashavatar really forms this concept album very well. It gives birth, lives a life, embraces its past, matures and develops and moves forward with grit and brutality, breaking down walls and rebuilding the metal. Demonic Resurrection are doing their part by proudly bringing their breed of metal, proudly expressing themselves with who they are and where they come from in their music. And successfully, because of this, they demonstrate how underground metal in various parts of the world can still be original and continue the evolution in extreme music. I am honored to have heard this album and place it on my best of 2017 list.
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Record Label: Demonstealer
Release Date: March 15th 2017
01. Matsya – The Fish (6:41)
02. Kurma – The Tortoise (7:33)
03. Varaha – The Boar (5:37)
04. Vamana – The Dwarf (5:26)
05. Narasimha – The Man-Lion (5:03)
06. Parashurama – The Axe Wielder (5:07)
07. Rama – The Prince (6:06)
08. Krishna – The Cowherd (5:15)
09. Buddha – The Teacher (5:31)
10. Kalki – The Destroyer Of Filth (3:49)
Total Duration: 56:08