North-East India's Black Metal spearheads, INSANE PROPHECY are the talk of the town again. Since their formation in the year 2008, they have been constantly in the public eye, be it for their revolutionary lyrics or their line-up changes.
With their debut EP, APOGEE OF AN INQUISITION out, the band is hogging huge amounts of cyberspace as well as claiming their place in every metalhead's playlist. So we caught up with Ifty Sarwar to know more about their journey as a band, how they've been witness to the changing music scenario, their philosophy and their much talked Black Metal lyrical themes.
IMR: Hails Ifty! I know, you guys must be really busy with the release of the band’s debut material, isn't it? But before we proceed, I was just curious to know about the Black Metal Krieg II gig that happened at B69?
Ifty Sarwar: Well playing at Black Metal Krieg II was a cool experience. It was our first gig in Mumbai where we got to share the stage with some of the finest Black Metal acts from India and Sri Lanka. We’ve released our debut gig out there and the response was great.
IMR: We recently did a review for APOGEE OF AN INQUISITION (E.P)- what are your opinion about it and do you think there could have been some more experimentations/improvements, if things would have been done differently?
Ifty Sarwar: First of all, sorry I haven’t checked out your review yet, but all I can say about the EP, in my opinion, is that this EP and each of its tracks reflects the original sound of the band, which we’ve come up with a lot of both, experiments and improvements. Possibly there will be something more different in our future records.
IMR: Okay, so being the founder member of the band, how do you think the sound of INSANE PPROPHECY has evolved through the years?
Ifty Sarwar: The sound of the band has evolved slow and steady throughout the years. We kept working until we’re satisfied with the sound we wanted which gradually evolved from Symphonic Black Metal in its initial days to Blackened Death Metal.
IMR: What is the philosophy of the band INSANE PROPHECY and how does it reflect in your lyrical themes?
Ifty Sarwar: Our philosophy doesn’t gyrate around just one particular thought but it varies. We make conceptual materials, i.e, we take on themes for our compiled works. As for instance, APOGEE OF AN INQUISITION (E.P) was centred on introduction to Satanism and its impacts leading to the rise of the inquisition and extirpation of heresy. Lyrically, this theme is being put in the EP, song-wise. The theme could vary accordingly in our new materials, but will revolve around the same anti-religion foundation.
IMR: A consistent band line-up has always been a major issue for INSANE PROPHECY in the past years. What do you have to say about the current line-up, will the new unit be able to deliver some cult "Black Metal" release to the scene with a longer stability and what does each member bring to the overall sound of the band?
Ifty Sarwar: Well the current line-up is stronger and powerful than the earlier ones, both, in terms of music as well as live act. The band’s original sound have got contributions from all three of us. The Death Metal feel in the sound came with Bikash in the band, and me and Xulfi are responsible for the Black Metal and other progressive stuffs in our sound.
IMR: Tell us about your debut EP, APOGEE OF AN INQUISITION. What impact do you think it will have on the Black Metal scene in India?
Ifty Sarwar: APOGEE OF AN INQUISITION is a full-fledged Blackened Death Metal E.P with a bare force in it. I think it will certainly create some more indulgence of people in the Underground Extreme Metal scene of India, especially the North-East. And as for the Black Metal scene, we’re just a new and promising helping hand in the guild being dominated by a lot of killer Black Metal bands like 1833 AD, COSMIC INFUSION, STARK DENIAL, to name a few.
IMR: How important do you think is a music video to promote a band, any plans?
Ifty Sarwar: Music videos are helpful when you want to convey your message through visual art but right now, no such plans.
IMR: To whatever I've read and listened, I am of the opinion that North-East India being the best place for Rock/Metal music in our country. Do you feel geographical locations spirited your music by any chance?
Ifty Sarwar: Well yes, as we grew up and do live in this part of the country, I can say that the geographical locations spirits every single artists from here which also keeps our enthusiasm alive for the music this part of the country
creates and preserves.
IMR: How has the Metal scene in India developed, compared to when you guys started out, in the year 2008?
Ifty Sarwar: It has developed a lot compared to 2008. Earlier there were less gigs around, most were competitions, there was no such proper PR systems, live music was the only exposure, less media coverages and the ratio of Metal and Rock bands – 1:3 respectively. Nowadays, we’ve bands emerging from nearly every alleys and schools, there are lots of projects, there are bands which are not a live band and so on. The modern wave in the Metal scene is growing in a relentless speed with more experiments and variations, more advanced technical alignments and more media and sponsor's interests.
IMR: Black Metal is not yet so popular in India, whereas "core" and "djent" is quickly catching up. What would you attribute this to?
Ifty Sarwar: Now that is people’s choice of what they want and which music they want to associate themselves to, but as for my viewpoint, may be people want more breakdowns in their likes of music than a sheer force. I think Black Metal is an extreme genre meant for extreme people. (smiles)
IMR: In a religious country like India, do you feel Black Metal has few takers due to its lyrical themes?
Ifty Sarwar: I think its lyrical themes doesn’t matter when it comes to Black Metal fans, which are not less in India, though its a religious country. And there are many who even feel the need for such themes in their music. A religious country like India has so many negative incidents relating to religion which itself is a reason for many takers.
IMR: So this is it, many thanks for taking out time to speak to IMR- if you’ve any further messages for the fans or upcoming Black Metal bands please go ahead. Thank You!
Ifty Sarwar: Well, cheers to all the fans, keep supporting the underground, and upcoming Black Metal bands, stay true. And do give a listen to our EP. Thank You!