Chugga Ritual [Singapore]
Chugga Ritual is the brainchild of Burhan Skullbanger, or better known as Brader Bo in the Singapore metal circle, not only for hosting the local metal radio show “Vicious Volume”, but also for the conducting of various workshops that help to groom metal musicians. Apart from that, he occasionally releases songs under the Chugga Ritual moniker, and Namporat is his latest EP, and features a number of musicians from various local metal bands.
Namporat opens with two people exchanging shouts in Malay, and at this point it almost made me think that this was going to be some sort of a comedy, but as the music comes in one is immediately proven wrong. The strong grooves present in the music remind listeners strongly of the various works that Max Cavalera has been involved in (not surprising considering Burhan’s influences), and even the growl/shouted vocals are reminiscent of the aforementioned. However, this isn’t to say that the entire EP is pure Cavalera worship as Chugga Ritual presents various different styles throughout. For example, Puakalaut maintains a death/thrash riffing style throughout the track, Swimming in Toxic has a more crossover/thrash edge to it and Dewangga remind listeners of some good, old-school doom/heavy metal with the crushing riffs and the slow pace of the track, and closing track Wayang even has a slight death/grind touch to it. Puakalaut even brings in some ethnic elements through the usage of traditional instruments at the background, giving the song a unique sound.
The usage of different musicians on each of the tracks also prove to be a good choice, with musicians picked for each of the tracks playing their specialised genres. For example, on Swimming in Toxic, members of local thrash/crossover outfit Xanadoo provided the drums (Mahesha) and bass (Shiva), and their influence in the song shines through extremely clearly, though Brader Bo, in handling the vocals, gives the song a different feel from the usual Xanadoo song. Guest guitarist Rudi (E-thereal) also displays his ability on the guitars, providing lead guitars for 2 tracks on the album. John Olbrich’s (Graves of Demise) work on Dewangga also puts in a rock ‘n’ roll touch in the song, giving it a nice, old-school flavour, and bassist Zamary (7 Pound Vein) gets to display his chops, trading solos with the guitars or Burhan.
Namporat has shown the versatility of Burhan as a songwriter, through the writing of tracks that are each of a different style and also through the subsequent excellent execution of the songs. The guest musicians on the album also could help in introducing the respective bands that each of the musicians represent.
Interview with Chugga Ritual