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Rudra
Brahmavidya: Transcendental I

Company: Trinity Records Hong Kong
Release: 2009
Genre: Extreme
Reviewer: Hail and Kill

  • Forged a new chapter in extreme music



  • Rudra are a Singaporean quartet who've carved themselves a niche beyond categorization. Confident that no one else is writing music like they do, these four gentleman metalheads have christened their sound ‘Vedic Metal,' a new fangled interpretation of extreme music where the death, thrash, black, and progressive sub genres form a backdrop to the Vedas—sacred Hindu texts written in Sanskrit. Rudra's entire musical output, including this year's "Brahmavidya: Transcendental I," is ancient wisdom rendered into music along the lines of Morbid Angel, Behemoth, Carcass, Nile, and Vital Remains. Curious metalheads only have to try the intro "Bhagavadpada Namaskara" or the more visceral "Avidya Nivrtti" for proof of the band's uniqueness. But Rudra aren't just weird, because they know their metal and prove it on the album's first song, "Ravens of Paradise." It's melodic, cacophonous, evil sounding, and complex, a treat for every connoisseur whose musical tastes range from the brutal to the grandiose.

    Thankfully, Rudra don't take a shining to religion and are quite disgusted with the epidemic of anti-Christian sentiment among death and black metal circles. They've decided long ago that such rubbish is below them, as they prefer using their Indian forebears' non-dualist philosophy as the focal point of their artistic vision. Delivering lyrics in both English and Sanskrit, Rudra concoct ferocious songs that can put any number of their peers to shame. There's a lot to choose from across this 14 track album: "Amrtasyaputra," the utterly smokin' "Hymns From The Blazing Chariots," the gallops n' power fest that's "Advaitamtra," "Not the Seen But The Seer" (this one's catchy), "Reversing the Currents," and the swirling closer "Majestic Ashtavakra" where frontman Kathir proclaims in his tortured snarl "I! I am the One! The non-dually one, I am!"

    While the album's breadth can occasionally bore to distraction, "Brahmavidya: Transcendental I" clocks in an hour plus of epic guitar solos, twisted growls, virtuoso musicianship, and contemplative interludes that guarantee there's something for everybody inside this concept-driven masterpiece. In fact, there's so much going on here—including strange instrumental segues filled with quasi-mystical muttering like "Meditations At Dawn," Immortality Roars" and "Adiguru Namastubhyam"—it's as if the multi-limbed goddess Shiva (Rudra is a moniker of hers, by the way) performed this album entirely on her own. With "Transcendental I" Rudra have forged a new chapter in extreme music, all the metal world has to do now is celebrate their ascendancy. OM.



    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: RUDRA
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Brahmavidya: Primordial 1Rudra
    2005
    MetalKnight6/27/2005
    Brahmavidya: Transcendental IRudra
    2009
    Hail and Kill7/17/2009


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: RUDRA
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Enemy of DualityRudra
    2017
    Greg Watson3/15/2017


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: RUDRA
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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