Knight – High On Voodoo Review | Planet Caravan

Reviewing a traditional heavy metal release in 2017 can be tricky, as the idea of NWOTHM is not to break new ground in music, but to relive/revive the glory days of classic heavy metal. So, in a way, it is only fair that a heavy metal record be reviewed in the spirit of heavy metal. Knight’s debut EP does not present us with anything that we have not heard before, but instead, makes an effort to celebrate the heavy metal spirit in all its passion and glory.

For someone who is not big on old heavy metal, it could be easy to write this off as generic and rehashed, but progressiveness is not the point of ‘High on Voodoo‘. The essence of the music that inspired these guys is strongly felt throughout the record. The intro leading to “The Ventriloquist” is somewhat reminiscent of Priest’s “The Hellion” leading to “Electric Eye”, and the influences only become more prominent as the EP progresses. The riffs, as one would come to expect, are essentially classic heavy metal worship, as are the lyrics. While some of the riffs stand out, the rest are more of vehicles for the vocals.

The vocals are a bit of an oddball here. Since I am too lazy to explain it better, let’s just say that they are more Manilla Road than Iron Maiden. Also, there isn’t any virtuosic guitar soloing. The solos are quite simplistic, with the one on “Master of Dreams” standing out just a tad bit from the others. As for the songs themselves, “Break the Chains” is the one that stands out for me. It slows things down, and has more of a heavy rock vibe. It might sound a minute too long, but is a fun song nonetheless.

All in all, it is a spirited performance by the boys from Silchar. If you are a fan of traditional heavy metal, be sure to check them out!

Shibam Talukdar – Guitars/Vocals
Soumyadeep Nath Barbhuiyan – Bass

Written by: Metal Police


GIG REVIEW | Fistful Of Steel | Planet Caravan

So Fistful of Steel, the debut gig organized by Earth One Productions, took place last Saturday at Kolkata. It was a usual day in July with slight hints of rain and a group of metalheads gathered at the venue situated at Salt Lake for a day dedicated to metal.

The first band to take the stage was Vulgustrike and they kickstarted the gig with lots of energy. They did great covers like Sepultura’s “Screams Behind The Shadows” and an Exumer number that the crowd enjoyed a lot. Rest of their songs were originals. Although the band was tight as a whole, the drummer Sayak Bagchi stole the show with his killer rolls and blastbeats. Overall, I found the band giving a lot of Pantera vibes.

Up next were the death metallers Divide Torture who are already quite well-known in the scene. Denzil Davidson managed the guitar duties remarkably well in place of their old guitarist and the drummer Bob played with unbelievable speed and precision. Like in their previous gig just a few months back, this time also they covered Cancer’s “Hung, Drawn And Quartered” that sent the crowd into a headbanging spree. The band also played a few of their OCs including the new one “SNAFU”, and added a touch of humor by giving a tribute to their new guitarist in the form of playing Napalm Death’s “You Suffer.”

The next band Xplikator delivered a heavy dose of in your face old school thrash metal. Like I did for the first two bands, I have to give the drummer Chirantan a special mention here as well. Their OCs were appreciated a lot and so we’re their covers of iconic tracks like “Raining Blood”. Personally, I liked the performance of this act the most.  The death/thrash veterans Deadbolt were next in line. I have been watching Deadbolt performing since 2013 and they have indeed gotten better with time. Nilabja had been the usual great frontman that he is, and Denzil showed his mastery with the guitars here as well. They also did a splendid Sepultura cover (“Inner Self”).

Strangulate was insane as well. They were the only band who didn’t do any covers and just concentrated on their originals. They played most of the songs from their album ‘Catacombs Of Decay‘ released last year. The overall sound of the band was of very high standards. Finally the gig ended on a high note with the old timers Evil Conscience. There is performance doesn’t need much talking about. They have been putting up electrifying performances everywhere for quite a long time now. But, in this gig, their Necrophagist cover was the best among all of the songs they performed.

Overall the gig was a nice experience and the organizers did a great job with their first venture. However I did find the attendance a bit low but I guess things will be better with time.
Cheers to Earth One Productions for pulling off their debut gig so well!

– Spirit Crusher and The Scene Kid

The images used here have been provided by Arkadeep Deb and he reserves all the rights.

Fragarak Releases New Track

Experimental death metal band Fragarak from New Delhi, India released a new track from their upcoming second album just a few days back. A Spectral Oblivion‘ will be a 11-track concept album and the band has taken an “experimental approach to heavy metal” and the album.  They even got the Australian drummer Louis Rando (Impiety) to record for the album.

“In Rumination II – Reflections” is a 11-minute long track which has many progressive and melodic elements which makes it stand out from the conventional death metal bands. Particularly the guitars sound very well, from the heavy riffs to the acoustic parts.

Here’s a link where the album can be streamed:

These guys will be going on a seven city tour after releasing this album. They will be releasing the album at Kolkata Old School Metal Association’s seventh gig Strength of Steel II on the 20th of August at Triguna Sen Auditorium, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. They will be playing there alongside 6 of Kolkata’s great bands. Be there to witness some pure old school magic. Get your passes now!


Interview With Piston

Piston is a thrash metal band, from Bangalore, which was formed in early 2016. Their music is very much old school in nature and influenced by the likes of Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Sepultura, Overkill etc. They have played in front of audiences two times soon after their inception and are currently working on coming up with their first EP.

Preetham – vocals
Rakshith – drums
Faizan – bass
Sheshashayi (Shai) – guitar.

We, at Planet Caravan, recently interviewed them and this is how it went:

PC: You are very much new to the metal scene. How did you get together and start off as a band?

We take great pleasure in going to shows and watching metal bands perform. It’s hard not to imagine yourself in a band when you routinely witness crowds losing it over good performances. It’s important for a band to have a vision common to all the members, and that is how Piston came together. We share a deep-rooted love for old-school thrash metal, with common influences like Exodus, Slayer, Sepultura etc. There exists a small vacuum of good thrash metal bands currently active in Bangalore, as well as in India, and we wanted to fill it.

Preetham: Faizan and I have been friends for a long time, and I have been close to Rakshith for a few years, having bumped into him at several gigs(literally). I met Shai through Rakshith, and instantly bonded over our common influences; a week later, we were a band. I’ve devoured biryani and chai countless numerous times with my buddy Faizan, and it was clear that I wanted him in the band. He’s a bassist for the respected mince/grindcore band Nauseate, and so bass duties it was, for him. Rakshith played for a good six-seven bands already, so I was hesitant to ask him to be a part of ours. We’d ask him to join us for jamming sessions, and he always obliged. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to go looking for another drummer as he agreed to be a permanent member.

Shai: I have been playing the guitar for a long time, and was a part of a few amateur bands for the past six years. Those bands didn’t take off, however, over creative differences – I invariably end up writing thrash when I compose, and the other band members weren’t into that music.Rakshith has been a good friend of mine for some time, and he introduced me to Preetham at one of his gigs. My disappointment over my previous projects led to us getting right down to business when we learned about our shared love for thrash; I wasn’t going to waste an opportunity to start fresh, and this time with band members who had similar interests and influences.

Rakshith: Impending Doom VI in January 2016, is where this journey began. We were all under the same roof, listening to and critiquing the bands that played on the day. We started off as a band soon after, with several fun jamming sessions that I filled in as a drummer for. At some point, we decided to start writing our own songs, rather than endlessly playing covers, and that’s when I knew I either had to commit to this band, or make way for another drummer as a permanent member. The choice was an easy one.

Faizan: I was asked to be the second guitarist, but I felt the trio needed a bass guitarist, and hence started my role in the band.
PC: Any reason for calling yourselves Piston?

Preetham: Rakshith and I are motorcycle enthusiasts and frequently discuss these beautiful machines. As has become a routine now, we were at a gig, showering praises on my favourite motorcycle, the Jawa/Yezdi Roadking. While going over the engine specs and functioning, it occurred to me that “Piston” would make a good name for a band.

Faizan: In my memory, we were at the gig that Preetham mentioned, and while discussing bands, a friend of ours chipped in, saying ““Piston”, with pointy letters in the logo, will be a nice name for a thrash metal band”. I immediately told Preetham, “This is what we should name our band.”

Shai: It’s an inside joke with the band, that I’m not much of a bike-riding type, but the name sounded cool and had that old-school heavy metal ring to it, and we went with it.

PC: How would you describe the sound of Piston? What are your influences?

We play straight-forward thrash; fast, aggressive, adrenaline-inducing music with crunchy guitars that play catchy riffs, complimented by audibly chunky bass lines, pounding drums, and interspersed with raspy, ‘in your face’ vocals. Our common influences are many, with the likes of Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Sepultura, Demolition Hammer, Razor, and Overkill.

Preetham: Outside of common influences, my favourite albums would be ‘Pyromania’, ‘The Final Countdown’, and ‘Wheels of Steel’, among other classics.

Shai: My influences vary largely. I’ve taken inspiration for melodies from the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Marty Friedman, and the same for unconventional song-writing from the likes of Chuck Schuldiner and Willie Adler. Death and Megadeth have been my all-time favourite bands. Lately, I’ve taken a strong liking to Sadus.

Rakshith: I’m influenced by rock legends Ian Paice, John Bonham and Neil Peart. Among metal drummers, I’d count Dave Lombardo and Igor Cavalera. ‘Early’ Sepultura is probably my all-time favourite thrash metal band.

Faizan: I’m a hugely influenced by death metal, punk, and grindcore. Some of my favourite albums are ‘Considered Dead’, ‘Consuming Impulse’, ‘Altars of Madness’, ‘Piece of Time’, ‘Blackmore’s Rainbow’, ‘Scandinavian Jawbreaker’, ‘Dropdead’ etc. I started off as a vocalist, but ended up with the guitar and bass because I couldn’t find the right ones to collaborate with at the time. My influences as a bassist are Lemmy, Cliff, DD Verni, Steve Di Giorgio, Webster and the likes.

PC: What are the themes behind your music and lyrics?

Our lyrics are primarily socio-political in nature, with strong anti-establishment sentiments. We take stabs at issues that plague society, ideologies that are in vogue, the media, the judiciary, etc. With the Internet, we are at no loss for topics and themes we could write about, and we have no trouble sharing our often-brash opinions on things. That said, writing quality lyrics goes beyond merely commenting on everything political, and we hope to explore more topics and write more literary songs in the coming years.

PC: What are you people currently up to? (gigs/releases/recordings?

Considering the short time that we’ve been around for, we’ve received a surprisingly good amount of appreciation from friends and metalheads who watched us play. When we started getting positive feedback from those living outside Bangalore, we knew we had to give the band more time – clearly, we had touched a chord with thrash metal fans. That encouraged us to go into the studio to record some of our material. We are working on an EP at the moment. With our jobs taking up most of our time, and the limited resources we have, it’s taking more time to produce than we would like it to, but it’s in the works. We should have it ready for publishing, a month from now.

PC: Since you are a new band, I would like to ask you about the difficulties that a metal band faces in the initial days in India. How are you dealing with them?

Preetham: A new band shouldn’t have to face problems if the musicians are like-minded, and are dedicated to the rigors of song-writing, playing shows and recording the music. Playing for a new band is often a thankless endeavour, as they aren’t paid at shows and ironically, even have to foot a bill. This doesn’t affect us, since we were prepared for this industry practice and only committed to forming the band when we were sure we could afford to carry our own weight for a good while. The idea was to make music and make it accessible to people who appreciate the style that we play, and so far, we appear to have had some success in doing just that.

Shai: A common problem new bands face is when they try legitimizing their presence in the scene by playing for a crowd, and as luck would have it, it’s usually at the college festival cesspool. This is where bands are exposed to very unfriendly rules, limited time to play their set, bad equipment and blatant bias in judging the bands. These experiences are irreversibly damaging to one’s confidence and motivation to keep working on the band. When we formed Piston, it was a breath of fresh air for me to see that all our band members are dedicated, and think of the long haul. We’re in this to make good music for years to come, and it’s unlikely that we’ll let the spirit fizzle out like a lot of young bands do.

Faizan: Recording is the biggest hurdle for a new band. There are a lot of factors that go into good recording, and getting a single one wrong can affect the quality significantly. It doesn’t help that recording is a time-intensive process, and costs a bomb. Piston is a new project, but each of us has been a part of other bands. Rakshith and I have recorded a demo and a split album with our other bands, and all of us have recorded covers in the past. This experience has smoothened out the process for us. Buying equipment and jamming regularly is another hurdle, as they burn large holes into your pockets.

Rakshith: There are difficulties every new band experiences, and most of them are brought upon by themselves. Ego clashes are a common phenomenon, once the initial exuberance fades away. Financial security and constant expenditures also tend to make amateur musicians disillusioned with the whole idea of playing for a band. I have seen more than a few bands that exist merely on paper. They don’t jam frequently, play meaningless college shows, and limit their own ability to grow as musicians by mindlessly playing covers. Being aware of these, we are trying to avoid the obvious pitfalls.

PC: What is the current scenario of the music scene, particularly metal, in your hometown?

Bangalore has the reputation of being one of the oldest cities to have an active metal scene, and with a keen ear, one can almost hear parting whispers from the hundreds of bands that have played shows here. One doesn’t have to look hard to find all kinds of bands in the city, from hard rock to grindcore. The crowd is as diverse and open to appreciating music as the variety of musicians on offer. We are glad to have been in Bangalore all our lives. The city moulded our tastes in music, and made it easy for us to get acquainted with all that was necessary to explore, appreciate, and learn to play the music that we like. With a large number of gigs – featuring both local and International acts, and older musicians and metalheads who acted as our mentors, this city has had a lot to offer. We do wish there were more venues which provide good equipment and sound, however. And that they were more affordable for us to organize shows at.

PC: You have already played in a couple of gigs. How has the experience been so far?

The experience has be great so far. We have played two shows. The first show was a tribute to Metallica and the crowd was very enthusiastic. We uploaded videos from this show, and we got offered another gig in the same month. Since we didn’t have a page back then, it’s our guess that word of mouth got people to message us on Facebook, congratulating us and appreciating us for playing what we did. We played some of our own compositions in the second show. This led to us answering a lot of queries about whether we have recordings of what we played.

PC: Finally, do you have any message for the heavy metal maniacs?

Preetham: A message to metal maniacs? Haha! Drink good beer, listen to good music, hangout with musicians, mosh, lose yourself, and be sensible. Spot a poser? Kick ‘em in the butt!

Shai: For budding musicians, I’ll say, play the kind of music you would buy and listen to. Also, have your own unique sound and style which make you stand out. And as for the fans, attend shows and have a blast. Support those who play well. For a musician, genuine appreciation is fuel – bands truly need you and will appreciate your support.

Faizan: Keep writing and playing music – the more you do it, the better you get. Also, record a demo; it’ll help you learn about recording, on a budget.

Forged In Fire III: The Bands | Dreadhammer

Well, it has been a long time since Kolkata has seen a promising in-your-face thrash metal band come up after the likes of Mortar, Armament and Deadbolt back in 2013! Dreadhammer is one such band that came up not even a year ago and they are second on our interview list for Kolkata Old School Metal Association’s Forged In Fire III.
Dreadhammer was formed in 2015 by the extremely talented Rishav, who handles vocals and guitar duties, and a few of his friends. Rishav even used to jam with the guys at Mortar before they split up, and now finally he came up with his own band. The other members are also very much talented, particularly the drummer Rohan, who is quiet young but knows his way around the kit. Together they manage to bring about a very decent thrash sound. Dreadhammer’s first release ‘Might Of Chaos’ has received positive reviews and was a treat to the city’s lovers of raw old school thrash. They also put up a decent show at their debut gig RISE ABOVE with many claiming that they were one of the best acts of that gig.
We managed to get hold of Rishav and had him to answer a few questions regarding the band and its future plans. Here is how it went:

PC: What message do you want to convey through Dreadhammer’s music?

Rishav: Dreadhammer’s music has always been about the bitter and harsh truth. Generally I write the tracks, and our main lyrical and musical theme had always had a certain bluntness to it. We wanna talk about the things other people might not wanna talk about. We think there’s more evil in this world than good and people subtly ignore this fact and get back to their so called “lives” and pretend like everything’s fine. Well it’s not. Nothing’s fine with everything that’s happening around us. We just wanna point that out.

PC: What are you guys currently working on?

Rishav: People have a lot of unanswered questions about our sound and what we’re working on because we’ve been under the radar after our last track ‘Might Of Chaos’ was released, which was pretty big hit at Rise Above. Well actually we’ve been pretty busy. You’ll see what we were upto a few weeks before the gig when we release our new track titled ‘Violence Is The Cure’. I’m sure the track itself will answer all the unanswered questions out there. And we’ll perform another fresh Dreadhammer original at Forged In Fire III. Sore neck guaranteed!

PC: Do you want to say anything about your future plans?

Rishav: Well we are considering the thought of getting an EP out there pretty soon. Let’s see how everything goes.

PC: What can we expect at the gig from Dreadhammer?

Rishav: We might just turn Forged In Fire III into a ‘Terror Zone’

Line up:

Rishav Bhattacharya – Vocals, Guitars
Arya Dutta – Guitars
Suprovo Chowdhury – Bass
Rohan Bakshi – Drums

Forged In Fire III: The Bands | Falcun

As we had promised in our last article, we will be posting brief interviews of every band who will be a part of Forged In Fire III organised by Kolkata Old School Metal Association. We’ve mentioned earlier that this gig will be headlined by the mighty Kryptos.
Instead of beginning with the headliner, we’ll look into the local bands first. The first in line is the classic heavy metal band Falcun. These guys are among the very few bands who play traditional heavy metal in India and are damn good at it.

Falcun initially started off in 2013 by the name of Steelbird and it was basically a supergroup formed by the members of thrash metal bands Armament and Mortar. They used to belt out covers of classic heavy metal numbers by the likes of Judas Priest, King Diamond etc. Two years down the line in 2015, Steelbird changed their name to Falcun and released their first song “Eye Of The Storm.’ The track combined elements of NWOBHM with speed metal and was an instant hit among the old school music lovers of Kolkata. Their first live performance as Falcun was also brilliantly executed at KOSMA’s Strength of Steel in August 2015.


Image Courtesy: Rossogolla Photography

Falcun’s lineup went through major changes in 2016, the most significant one being a new vocalist, Abhishek. The style of his vocals is a bit different from Indranil (Armament/Falcun), but he also is a perfect match for the sound of the band with his mesmerising and wicked voice, and energetic stage presence.
Recently, Falcun just returned from playing an outstation gig at Cherapunjee (Shine A Light 2.0) and are currently gearing themselves up for Forged In Fire III. We got in touch with the axeman Samrat who gave us an insight relating to the current activities of the band.

PC: What are you guys currently working on?

Samrat: Falcun is currently writing more songs. At this gig, we will deliver 2 new originals along with the previous two songs. One will be a Maiden approach, with dual harmony sectioned riffs and power metal style vocals. Another will be a power ballad, focusing more on melodies and a bit slower than our other compositions. We are big fans of Maiden, we already do “The Trooper” as a sound check, so this time, there will be another classic and we are sure the entire auditorium will sing along with us and since we all are giving tribute to Judas Fuckin’ Priest, we will do it gracefully. Can’t reveal the cover now!

PC: Do you want to say anything about the upcoming gig?

Samrat: We are grateful to KOSMA for putting us in a slot along with some kickass bands from the city and of course, the mighty Kryptos. What is astounding, is that, even in 2016, people are still listening to the classic sound of Heavy Metal. Falcun have shifted from Speed metal to a more Traditional and British Heavy Metal sound. It’s been hard on the fans of the band to see a new lineup and getting something different, but the lineup is tighter than ever. Our newvocalist, Abhishek, is working his ass off day and night to bring out the beast and on the 21st, he is gonna wash away the Paul DiAnno fans (pun intended). Lastly, we are effin’ fuckin’ happy to play this classic sound in a sea of 300 bpm loud noises, It’s like a drop of water in the middle of a desert.

Vocals- Abhishek
Guitars- Sam, Anirban
Bass- Rony
Drums- Bob

So that’s Falcun for you guys!

Forged In Fire III

Kolkata Old School Metal Association (KOSMA) has been dormant with respect to gigs since their last one in 2015 named Strength of Steel. That was indeed a huge success, and had the giants Albatross, Hellwind and Primitiv from Mumbai as outstation bands along with the local acts. And this time they decided to go all in on bringing in one of the finest heavy metal bands in India as the headlining act. Yes, it is none other than the mighty Kryptos from Bangalore. With just one month to go for the gig, we decided to write an article about it.
We’ve already revealed the headliner but the base of the music scene of any place is built up by the local acts and it is nothing different for Kolkata. Five of the city’s acts will be there at the gig to make you all bang your heads. The local acts include the veterans Armament (Thrash Metal), Blakhole (Punk) and Falcun (Heavy Metal), and two new kids in the scene – The Neighborhood Thrashers (Thrash Metal), Dreadhammer (Thrash Metal). TNT and Dreadhammer have already showed their potentials in Calcutta Punk Society’s Rise Above just a few months back.

Now, the interesting part of the gig is that it will be completely crowd funded and people can pay whatever they want to above the base price of the early bird passes (Rs. 400/-). This concept has already been implemented in KOSMA’s Forged In Fire II and the response was overwhelming. And like every gig of KOSMA, this one is also a pure DIY event organized by the people having a sheer passion for heavy metal music, and there are no sponsors and support from the so called corporate world.
So if you are a heavy metal fan and can be in Kolkata in January 21st, 2017, be sure to attend this or else you may miss out on something massive.

RSVP here:
Passes have already started selling and there are various methods of payment.
For offline passes you can contact the following numbers: 8017345432, 8017838486, 9804236688.
Alternatively, if you have a credit/debit card, you can buy the tickets from here.

Get your passes fast or else the base price for the passes may increase.

Be there to support the local scene.

Stay tuned to us for detailed interviews of the each of the six bands. Cheers!