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Arkadeep Deb


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You are here:Home>Reviews>Arkadeep Deb

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Arkadeep Deb

Arkadeep Deb

Arkadeep Deb, as of now is a 20 year old engineering student from Kolkata. When he’s not harmlessly trolling around or watching Two and a Half Men re-runs, he dabbles in all-things-Metal, Photography, Songwriting, Reviews, you name it. While building up his chops in guitar/ vocals as we speak, he’s doing his utmost to represent the genre he loves, protesting social-stereotyping and pigeon-holing of its followers and lending a patient ear to the beloved underground. His first tryst with Metal was 5 years ago, when one fateful day he popped a bootleg SLIPKNOT: SUBLIMINAL VERSES and LAMB OF GOD: ASHES OF THE WAKE split-record in the cd-tray. There has been no looking back ever-since.

Website URL:

Interview With Cold Night For Alligators

Cold Night For Alligators Interview

Touted to be one of Denmark's most promising acts, with a host of accolades to their name, Cold Night For Alligators, are one artist that deserves much more credit than given to them. With successful stints at Norway and UK to their name including the prestigious UK TechMetal Fest, Cold Night For Alligators are riding the crest of the massive buzz they have generated with an eclectic mix of Technical Hardcore coupled with Technical Death Metal and the likes, bounded by a thick slab of groove and ambient soundscapes.

 

 

Having released their entire body of work for a “Pay As You Want” scheme on their Bandcamp page, Cold Night For Alligators have been busy working on their next offering. In the meantime they found themselves headlining at Dhanak, IIST, in late September. Amidst the amusing tidings of their first visit to the country the humble lads in CNFA sat down with us for an interview. This is what transpired.

IMR: Hey there dudes, how’s everything in Camp CNFA?

Everything is great! - a lot of really exciting stuff happening at the moment.

 

IMR:  2013 seemed to be a busy year for you, what with the release of your “Young Catalysts” and “Tranisitions” singles, not to mention the UK trip which saw you sharing stages with The Color Line and also playing alongside Monuments and TesseracT, Pheww! So what’s up next for you lads?

Now we have had our first trip outside Europe and what a blast! Hopefully we will be back in India sometime soon!

Now we are going to continue writing our debut album which will be released in 2014. We have a few festival dates sorted in start of 2014 but else we wouldn’t be playing many shows before the release of the album. When it gets released we will be playing as much as possible, both national and international.

 

IMR: How would you define Cold Night For Alligators for the uninitiated? What does CNFA, with its lyrical themes and ambient-meets-brutal compositions represent? 

CNFA is a band that brings whatever they like musically into the music they create. Our sort of main expression is obviously metal, but still, we belive that what sounds good is good, and o we bring it into our music. So how would we define ourselves? By saying the CNFA is an honest picture of what its five individuals represent. 

 

IMR: How did you guys come up with such an interesting name for the band? More importantly how did CNFA come into existence?

As some may know, we got the name off a font online. We weren't that into the font itself, but we liked the sound of it. But most of all we wanted a name that wouldn't instantly label us or put us in a box, for which this seemed like a perfect fit.

A few of us (Kristoffer, Jack, and Roar) merged from another band because we all wanted to play more heavy stuff than the grunge we were playing at that time. From the initial thoughts on what music we were going to play we've evolved quite a bit, but we love everything about it.

 

IMR: How does CNFA tackle the songwriting process? Also if you could give us any details on when your next studio effort is going to brutalize our ears, that would be awesome. 

Mostly a guitar or drum part is written and then added the touch of the others afterwards. Normally that happens in front of the computer, and when enough pieces are created, we go into our rehearsal facility and play it and turn it into a complete song.

Hopefully or most likely our debut album will be out sometime next year.

 

IMR: Seeing that all of your works are available for free on Bandcamp, how do you breakeven as a group of working individuals, from this? Is this your tactic against the whole Internet piracy/Illegal downloads shebang? Do you plan to change this in the future with lengthier releases? Would you consider the crowd-funded method?

It’s difficult to be a small band and it costs a lot of money. When you can’t get thousands of people to attend your show you don’t much money by playing. The best way to get people to your shows is to attract them with good music. Because of this we believe it’s best to give away our music for free. We want as many as possible to check us out and hopefully they like it and will catch us live.

Right now it costs a lot of money but we believe this is the best way.

 

IMR: What are your thoughts on the genre based biasing that is so rampant in the community these days? What do you have to day to those who lump your band with one category or the other?

We don't really pay that much attention to it. We feel we do what we do best, and that is to play music. We have been placed in so many categories and that's quite perfect for us, since we strive to be ourselves in every situation, and when we are, people consider us to be very versatile, which is a good thing. 

 

IMR: What Metal bands do you listen to? What do you listen to when you are not listening to Metal?

Well, i'm a big killswitch engage fan, so i gotta mention them, and i've been listening to: Fit for a king, Lower definition, Erra, Devil sold his soul and Hands like houses.

My not metal bands are: City and colour, Deaf havana, I the mighty, the Elijah and a danish artist called Rasmus Seebach.

 

IMR: Recently in July CNFA played the main stage at the UK Tech Metal Fest. What was it like to share the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry today? What experiences did you take away individually from the UKTMF episode? 

It is alway a great experience to play with great bands of the scene. By getting these kind of gigs we get the opportunity to play in front of a bigger crowd on bigger stages than normal.

The show at UK Tech Fest was a great experience for us. It seems like people really liked our music and our live show which really gives us a lot of confidence that we take with us to the next shows.

 

IMR: We hear that you challenged the lads from Monuments for a football friendly at the UKTMF; what was the outcome? How big fans are you when it comes to football? What are your thoughts and predictions for the World Cup that would be held next year? 

Unfortunately Monuments didn’t dare to play us when the day arrived. We are more than willing to give them another chance if they are up for it 

We are all big fans of football. Unfortunately the Danish national team isn’t at the top right now. The way to the world cup in Brazil seems really difficult – we need the old days with the Laudrup brothers and Schmeichel in the goal 

Perhaps the coach should think of getting some of us on the team. We always bring a ball with us on tour and use lot of time playing samba ball. Some say we look like FC Barcelona when we are playing with each other ;-)

 

IMR: What’s the next step for CNFA as a band? What can your fans expect from you next? Where do you see yourselves 3-5 years from now?

Right now the most important thing for us is to write our debut album. We hope to get this out in first half of 2014. The album will be produced by Daniel Braunstein, who did our two new singles, and we can’t wait to hear the output!

 

IMR: Would you give us a little insight into what is it like being a nascent Metal band from the Danish circuit? Tell us something that’s uniquely Danish Metal, and won’t be found anywhere else outside the scene.

It's hard to be a metal band from Denmark, cuz the metal scene isn't very big. There are only 6 million people in Denmark, so it's quite hard to get noticed.

Hvis der er nogen der har noget at tilføje eller her må i meget gerne skrive noget, for jeg er blank?

 

IMR: The gig at Dhanak, IIST, would be your first show outside Europe; what are you looking forward to the most, on this trip?  

Exactly, It is our first trip outside Europe, and that's why it's a special moment for us. At some point, we always wanted to come here, and now it's actually happening, so we are really honored to finally being here. - You can be sure that this will also have affect our show at Dhanak 13´. It's going down!

 

IMR: “Cold Night For Alligators” has a dedicated fanbase to its name. Are you aware of the Indian Metal scene or the bands from here?

Before going to India, I had no idea, cuz you always hear about the Bollywood scene and that's so huge over here, so i had no idea that metal could thrive here. But I told by one of the guys who have been taking care of us, that there are a lot of metal bands over here and that the metal scene is growing fast, and that to me is amazing.

 

IMR: This is your space, in case you want to share anything with your fans, especially the Indian ones.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE SUPPORTING US! We really appreciate any support we get, whether it’s a like on Facebook, someone attending our show or buying some of our merch.

We had the most amazing time in India and the crowd at Dhanak was fantastic! We really hope to be back in the future.

PS. Your food is so delicious, but a bit hot spicy for us.

Born Of Osiris-Tomorrow We Die ∆live

When I first heard that Born Of Osiris was about to emerge from the studios with a fresh batch of tracks, the first thought that occurred to me was, if this album was going to be “The Discovery 2.0” or were they going back to same pattern they followed on “A Higher Place”. Owing to the much gossiped about departure of their colleague on the previous album, guitarist Jason Richardson, there was much speculation behind the direction the band would opt for. Safe to say, much of that had been allayed with the release of the 2 singles from the album, the first to tracks "M∆chine" and “Divergency”.

 

“Tomorrow We Die ∆live” comes as the 4th offering from Chicago based Prog Deathcore giants, Born of Osiris.. First thing first, those who prefer their metal sans any studio effects or anything that does not strictly fall under orthodox Heavy Metal sounds would be best seeking their share of headbangs elsewhere; for those who are game for down-tuned riffage peppered with a plethora of apocalyptic keyboard work, would be more than at home. Starting the album with the much publicised single "M∆chine", the band gives us a gist of what to expect from the album thereon. “M∆chine” is an anthem of sorts with the instruments picking up the tempo to a point where it blows up into frenzied action. Soon enough the band vies for attention at all fronts, especially Cameron Losch’s footwork and more importantly Joe Buras’ keyboard which forms a crucial part of the blueprint to any BoO number. “Divergency” picks off where “M∆chine” ended to embark on more apocalyptic, doomy keyboard soaked action. The track dances around the album title as the chorus, ending in a mish-mash of Dubstep inspired cacophony. By now, most listeners would be aware of the potential Lee Mckinney is wielding to balance a 2-men job on his own shoulder and I give him much credit with the finesse with which he pulls off his task. 4th track “Exhilarate” is a good example of how much the band has become accessible over time. It’s hard to zero in on what, but the band has somehow re-invented their approach to the same instruments that they played on the previous album and have engineered something much more enjoyable. “Absolution” highlights another new aspect of the band; Buras’ cleans. Something that we enjoyed sparingly so far, Buras’s snarly cleans add a different dimension to the vocal segment, which makes the chorus all the more catchy. Another interesting addition would be a Middle-Eastern sound tinge; prevalent throughout the album, but now in hindsight I believe it was never unheard on a BoO album before this. “Illusionist” begins in typical BoO fashion till Lee Mckinney unleashes a simple yet mesmerizing sweep to state business. What sounds most remarkable would be the bizarre duet that McKinney’s guitar layers do with the haunting keyboard.

 

I have usually come to associate Born of Osiris to be the soundtrack to my endless hours of Devil May Cry sword-slashing so the eloquent, diverse and melodic synth-work that Buras has in his kitty are something of a brownie point for me. Albeit every band matures with every album it releases, but to make the most of with the tools at hand is something a few are able to apply. BoO would be one of the rare bands who have coped with the immense scrutiny and anticipation they garnered with the release of their previous album and have come up with an equally promising follow up. Make no mistake, composition-wise the band is formulaic as ever: Cannizaro’s gutturals complemented by Buras’ screeches sync perfectly over the keyboard driven anthems; Lee Mckinney is yet to disappoint fans; also, the one to watch out for on this record would be the man behind the drum-kit, Cameron Losch. Consistent throughout, the album, Losch does not go out of the way to illustrate technicality, but impresses upon the listener with the sheer brute force with which he skin-slams through one track after another. Given the limited few times I have replayed the album, Losch, in my opinion did his best on “Divergency”, especially with the bridge section.

 

The easily negligible flaw one can point a finger at would be the lack of flow between the tracks, which poses a hindrance only after the first few spins, making it hard to differentiate between a track and the next, but that is essentially nit-picking and not big enough to  belabour the band’s  best efforts. I would be more worried about the cookie cutter bands that rip off BoO by the dozen but are essentially generic EDM sprinkled Post-Hardcore at the best. The crucial factor one should keep in mind while listening to the album is to stop comparing it with any of their previous works, and by previous works, I mean their last release “The Discovery”. The prime reason behind this would be the shortening of their ranks. “Tomorrow We Die ∆live” strikes the perfect balance between melody and aggression and all the elements in between to offer up a melting pot of various influences. I suppose, the variation between the new BoO album and the previous would be equivalent to the variation between Lamb of God’s “Sacrament” and “Wrath”. This is as “modern” as Modern Metal gets. 

 

Pros: Accessible, catchy.

 

Cons: Formulaic composition.

Fragarak-Crypts Of Dissimulation

Delhi, the hub for stellar acts such as Undying Inc and Joint Family never runs short of surprises. Just when you think you have heard it all, there comes a band which redefines one’s perspective, in a good way. Therefore, it comes as no surprise when Fragarak, barely in its 2nd year, emerges with a stellar debut. Fragarak, is a 5-piece Progressive Death Metal outfit, comprising of vocalist Supratim Sen, Arpit Pradhan and Ruben Franklin on guitars, Kartikeya Sinha handling bass duties, and Sagar Sidhanti behind the kit. 

30 Seconds To Mars-Love Lust Faith+Dreams

“Love Lust Faith + Dreams” is a concept album, that has been split into 4 segments, Love, Lust, Faith, and Dreams, with an unknown female voice declaring the start to every segment. Love comprises of “Birth” and “Conquistador”, Lust features “Up In The Air”, “City Of Angels”, “The Race”, “End Of All Days”, Faith runs from “Pyres of Varanasi” till “Do or Die”, and last of all stands Dreams with “Convergence”, “Northern Lights”, and “Depuis Le Début”. Spanning over 45 odd minutes, the album’s choral sounds were captured by an ensemble of 25 or so audiences who had gathered for “The Summit”, a convention where fans gather to contribute for the choral parts, a routine which was followed on the previous record “This is War”. This time however the numbers were played down by almost a couple of hundred people. “Up in the Air”, the first single from the album was shared with NASA for the Dragon Spacecraft program, for the crew’s entertainment, making it the first piece of commercial music to be made available in space.

Grimmortal-Execrating Normality

Grimmortal from Mumbai, Maharashtra have finally debuted their first full length to much anticipation. Titled “Execrating Normality” and comprising of 7 tracks worth ruining your neck and spine over, the album clocks at a little over half an hour. The album has been produced, engineered, mixed & mastered by Nikhil Singh. Grimmortal is Prateek Keni (bass), Rahul Nair (vocals), Nikant Sharma and Elvis de Omen (guitars) and Emmanuel(drums). “Execrating Normality” is an amalgamation of grind, groove and hardcore and is a fine tuned example of a debut done right. Almost.

Auras-Panacea

 

Four-piece outfit Auras, hailing from Ontario, Canada caught my attention on an online music promotion site first. Thanks to the multitude of Djent-core bands out there, with their love for nomenclature in plurals and inserting hitherto unknown number of breakdowns layered with electronic clickety- click and ambient wankery, more often than not I dismiss most of this bands. Discovering Auras was a gut-shot to that ignorance. A little research revealed that Auras have been around for a while now and is one of those bands who do not rely solely on palm muted riffing to win over fans. January witnessed the release of their debut EP which comprises of singles released over the last couple of years and more. Auras is Josh Ligaya - Guitar/Vocals; Nathan Bulla - Drums; Aaron Hallman – Guitar; Eric Almeida – Vocals.

Puscifer-Donkey Punch The Night(E.P)

 

Things had been dead silent in Camp Keenan for a while now, on all fronts. Even Keenan was not sure if there was going to be a Keenan album, by the end of 2013. And then low and behold the farcically conceptualized outfit that is Puscifer drops a not so farcical EP on us, the sixth record in its kitty since the band’s inception six years back. 

Circle Of Contempt-Entwine The Threads(E.P)

 

Following weeks of hype and speculation Finnish Tech Metal crew “Circle Of Contempt”, have finally released their 3rd record “Entwine The Threads EP”. Circle of Contempt have undergone a crucial line-up change, and now possess vocalist Denis Hautaniemi in place of former vocalist Riku Haivisto who had been on the debut full-length “Artifacts In Motion”. They have also incorporated Ville Patrikainen as their new member. The Axe-wielding duo of Risto-Matti Toivonen and Ville Patrikainen and beastly skin-slammer JP Kaukonen has reprised their roles as the founding members.

The Advaita Concept-The Ratio(E.P)

 

Hailing from Clermont, FL, 5-piece Prog Metalcore outfit The Advaita Concept release their 2nd record “The Ratio EP”. The Advaita Concept comprises of Steve McCorry - Lead Vocals, Karlton Tillman- Guitar/ Vocals, Alec Larson- Guitar/Production, Derik Corl- Bass, Spencer Franke-Drums.

“The Ratio” starts with the familiar number “Ontology”. “Ontology” employs clean guitar segments, Hardcore riffing, clean sung verses a la Periphery, and interspersed with mid to high range screams and gutturals. The basic song writing pattern repeats itself every now and then. However, I would be remiss to say that this leads to monotony, because the record is anything but repetitive. 2nd track “The Spaces between Spaces” sees vocalist Steve McCorry do a Spencer Sotelo, with alternating growls and cleans. The riffs get catchier by the second. A flurry of activity circulates “Constellations”. With a killer verse breakdown and catchy chorus to boot, the 3rd track makes way for more brutality as it progresses. ‘onstellations” fades away abruptly to make way for the 4th track “Ananda”. “Ananda” came as a surprise and is a personal favourite. Not sure what policies the band follow with the nomenclature for their compositions, but the relevance to the Hindu dialect make it a tad bit intimate (“Ananda” translates to “Happiness” in the Hindu scripture), and not without good reason. The cheerfully clean reverberating guitar tones and keyboard notes synch beautifully with McCorry’s hauntingly mesmerizing vocals. Faintly reminiscent of Alternative legends INXS, this is The Advaita Concept at their ballad-ish best. Stand-out track “The Awesome Song” boasts of one of the most memorable clean segments on the album, which lends a laidback vibe at the beginning and the end, rounding off the frenzied action the 5-piece evoke. Karlton Tillman packs the most ammunition, with a solo reminiscent of the Slipknot number “Psychosocial”, and Derik Corl to back him up with the rumbling from down under. Clearly the band has no issues leaving hidden cookies throughout the album- AWESOME SONG IS AWESOME. Period. One would beg the question why an abrasive harsh number like “Something Massive” is lined up right after the soothing end to “The Awesome Song”. Rest assured, the track holds a charm of its own complete with the sudden shift in dynamics from down-tuned chugging riffs to dissonant spacey segments, in the veins of Germany’s Caliban. A chameleon of sort “A World Away” begins as a another gentle number only to lead onto neck-breck Hardcore groove. Obviously this is where Spencer Franke’s contributions shine the most. It really catches your attention when a band introduces the element of humour into their music, especially in a genre like Metal where it is generally a humdrum affair. Ergo, when Steve McCorry spills the vitriol in his lyrics with “PEEP MY BALLS”, AROUND THE 2:23 mark on “Testicular Tetris”, you know this is the track you want to fast forward to, before playing the others. “Ontology Pt. 2: Searching” closes the album at a clock time of 40 minutes approximately. While the track is as good as the others, it does not sound as grand as it should have. It also suffers from tiny production glitches which render the guitar segments a bit too treblish and unclear to the ears. While the record did not have a exactly lily-white clean sheet when it came to production despite Ken Susi's best efforts, the minor glitch in the final track leaves a bad aftertaste. Nevertheless, a good effort should not be bereft of applause.

The brilliance of the record lies in the fact that The Advaita Concept do not try to step out of their comfort zone to impress the listeners with something fancy; they pack standard, bone-crushing, Metalcore, chockfull of groove with Progressive touches and atmospheric vibes to top it off. The simplistic approach makes the record very much accessible to listeners, old and new alike, such that you get the gist of it at the first spin. The production adds much value to the record- The instruments sound crisp, the lyrics audible, the atmospherics taking it a notch higher altogether. Ken Susi’s (Unearth) force is strong with this one! The band maybe heavily influenced by some of the frontrunners in the genre, but at the end of the day they strike one home with catchy, original, straightforward compositions. However, the trouble with such a record is that no matter how good it sounds on the first listen, over successive listening sessions a generic feel creeps in, given how much it stresses on the Hardcore side of it, chugs, breakdowns et al. But for the record, it would be wrong to point fingers to the Artist or the Music, for this inference. It is more of a nuance of acquired taste, than anything else. Another noteworthy fact would be the “E.P.” suffix to the album title, when the 10-track playlist clearly begs to differ. This comes as a boon, more than anything else, since “More tracks the merrier” is what most of the fans would welcome, given how the band has build up a solid repertoire. The Advaita Concept seem to be a happy band of musicians bent on churning out groove-laden Metalcore, and they do it good.

“The Ratio EP” does not really challenge the norms, but it makes for a good listen, if some pure solid Metalcore with a knack for spacey good vibes is what you are looking for.

Stand-out tracks: Ontology, Ananda, The Awesome Song, and Testicular Tetris.

For fans of: ERRA; I, the Breather, Mycelia.

Pros: Good spacey vibes; Mosh-worthy moments.

Cons: Feels somewhat generic after the first few spins.

 

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