Dying Out Flame [Nepal]
Mention the genre of Vedic metal, and immediately Singapore’s Rudra comes to mind, having created a sound that is uniquely theirs since 1992. Yet few bands have managed to really emulate a style close enough, with the closest comparison so far being Purvaja and they still lean closer to the black metal end of the spectrum. This year sees Nepalese band Dying Out Flame burst out into the scene with Shiva Rudrastakam, and with the band’s sound being described as being rather similar to Rudra, it got me extremely excited.
Opening track Praise of the Omnipresent One is a rather psychedelic experience, with the opening moments sounding more like what Cynic or Atheist would come up with, hinting towards the technicality and complexity in their playing. But soon enough the band brings in their Vedic influences, with the accompanying traditional instruments and the haunting female vocals chanting “Hara Hara Shankara Shiva Shiva Shankara”, lines familiar to fans of Rudra.
Enough of the Indian influences in the music, what about the actual death metal itself? Rather than completely emulating the blueprints as set by Rudra, Dying Out Flame ensures that their death metal is as brutal as possible, and the riffs of Bikalpa and Saujanya immediately reek of the crushing brutality of bands such as Nile and Behemoth, strengthened by that slightly blackened elements that are aplenty throughout the album. Vocalist Aabeg’s gruff growls even help to bring in some Deicide comparisons, making the experience all the more intense. Prachanda’s drumming is relentless as well, and one is constantly under the battery of his merciless punishment on the skins.
Of course, the thing that everyone is curious about is whether Dying Out Flame manages to fuse the Vedic elements nicely into their death metal. Similar to Rudra, they have managed to incorporate Eastern scales into their riffs, and along with the traditional instruments and chants that intertwine with the death metal, one often finds himself almost drifting off into a trance as the album progresses before the next hard-hitting riff pulls one back to reality. Songs like Eternal Mother of Great Time even bring in some nice, epic moments for the listener.
The name of the band, Dying Out Flame might signify the end of an era, but the quality of the music that is written on Shiva Rudrastakam instead points towards the beginning of a new era of Vedic metal. Fans of Rudra who prefer something more brutal and more chaotic will certainly embrace Dying Out Flame‘s debut.