RUDRA - "Brahmavidya: Primordial 1" - 2005 - DemonZend Records.
1.Twilight of Duality 2.Ananya Chaitanya 3.The Pathless Path to the Knowable Unknown 4.There the Sun Never Shines 5.Veil of Maya 6.Ageless Consciousness, I am 7.Meditations on the Mahavakya 8.Aham Brahmasmi 9.Shivoham 10.In the Fourth Quarter: Turiya
A release by a melodic death metal band from Singapore already sounds interesting to me even before having listened to the band. RUDRA are in fact one of the most promising bands to recently emerge from the South Asian metal scene, although "Primordial 1" is already the band's 4th album. Comparisons are necessary to make oneself understood while describing their music to the first-time listener. Thus, to this reviewer's ears there are elements of SOULFLY, NILE, and even ENSLAVED.
After the initial novelty of listening to a Singaporean Death Metal band wears off, I must say that RUDRA are actually a force to watch out for. The band's sound incorporates Indian-style persussion, multi-lingual lyrics, chanting of vedic mantras and occasional female vocals - all immersed in Death Metal sonorities (what RUDRA aptly refer to as 'Vedic Metal'). Purists will scorn at this 'slackening' of brutality, and I won't deny this does happen occasionaly. Personally, I found that all these elements make RUDRA sound creative and appealing.
The songs are aggressive but still well balanced; incorporating both catchy riffs as well as fast, guitar solos; brutality and also melody; all continuously fuelled by a compact rhythm dept.. The lead vocals do lack some versatility which might have improved further the overall feel. Production-wise, the sound of "Brahamvidya....." bears a certain 'coldness' usually associated with Black Metal.
Songs that stand out in "Brahamvidya...." are 'Twilight of Duality', 'Veil Of Maya' and 'Ageless Consciousness, I am' all of which illustrate the above.
Through "Brahamvidya..." RUDRA are demanding the metal community's attention. They've certainly got mine.
My Rating: 8/10
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