Nepali Times Asian Paints
Review
Death wish



RABI THAPA
"Their throats are gonna burst," shuddered my companion as the National Finals of the Global Battle of the Bands got underway. Accustomed as I was to the howls and screeches of our indigenous metal scene, I was rather more blase. But I was still surprised that two of the five bands playing for a place in the London finals next year represented that niche genre so disproportionately represented in Nepal - death metal.

The event at the National Music Center in Pingalsthan last Saturday was as well-attended as the premises allowed, with scores of youths crammed onto the rooftop looking down onto the courtyard stage. Five bands vying to represent Nepal for the chance to win $100,000 and a world tour - who'd blame them for screaming? The odd men out were the charming Sutra, who opened with a two-song set of flute, tabla, madal and guitar. Shouty, leaden rockers Alt-F4 followed, then came Jindabad, a melodic, intense rock combo whose compositions bore the mark of future stardom. But it was not to be this time around.

When E.Quals strode out with black Ts, jeans and swirling hair (pictured), it was clear who the audience was rooting for. It was a set only a metal fan could really appreciate, but give the devil its due: their crunching, tight, menacing songs of angst were impressive enough to sway not just the head-banging SMS voters, but also the judges. The contrast with forgettable fellow-metallers Kaal Bhairav couldn't be starker.

It's clear E.Quals are good at what they do, but one fears it'll come to nothing if the judges in London next year, like most music-lovers across the world, simply don't think death metal is any good. Perhaps ours should have taken that into consideration.

Rabi Thapa



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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