The Wandering Ascetic [Singapore]
Sonic Blast Media
The Wandering Ascetic is a newly formed extreme metal band out of Singapore, and features Rudra frontman Kathir in its lineup. With their newly released debut EP, Manifest Destiny, it leaves fans of Kathir and his work with Rudra anxiously anticipating, wondering what he has placed in store for followers of his works.
Perhaps unsurprisingly and inevitably, comparisons with Rudra will certainly come about, and this is extremely obvious with opening track Cursed Scavenger, and the riffing style of Kathir, the Eastern scales that are used and the song structure and progression quickly remind one of the works of Rudra. Kathir’s characteristic vocals also do not help in setting Manifest Destiny apart from Rudra‘s works, though to fans of the band that can’t wait for the band’s new release would certainly be pleased.
However, The Wandering Ascetic is certainly not a complete Rudra clone. The material that is on Manifest Destiny alternate between a more straightforward, and more complex styles compared to Rudra. For instance, Kannan, who handles drums on The Wandering Ascetic, makes use of a more straightforward death metal-styled drumming, which is worlds apart from the traditional beats that are utilised by Rudra drummer Shiva. Furthermore, for the most part Manifest Destiny progresses at a mid-pace, allowing for the brutality and intensity of the experience to slowly set in for the listener.
Kathir also lets his love for black metal shine over here, and songs like Animal Kingdom see him utilise black metal styled trem-picking, something that is rarely heard on the predominantly death metal Rudra albums. The transitions between different styles on the tracks also include a somewhat progressive touch to the music, and the ease with which these take place display the chemistry between the band members.
The Wandering Ascetic‘s Manifest Destiny may be a nice bridge between the last Rudra release and the upcoming one, but with the different influences that the band has included on their debut EP definitely makes for an interesting, and somewhat different and unique listen compared to your usual Rudra style of Vedic metal.