Through their raw, tortured and crusty brand of black metal accented with local influences, Heathen Beast offers insight into some of the nation’s most violent events, and this EP, The Carnage of Godhra, shows that there’s no better way to do that than through metal.
‘The Carnage of Godhra’
The first track opens with a recording of what seems to be a news report on a deadly train attack that saw hundreds burnt to a crisp. It follows with a tabla-led riff. The normally hypnotic rhythm becomes a nightmarish bounce-house when those tortured howls penetrate the ear canals and evoke the ignivomous landscape.
‘Ab Ki BaarAtyachar’
This is a much more frenzied number and highlights the band’s crust punk influences. It spends half of the song chugging along a single riff that alternates with the occasional blast beats, until it eventually switches to a frantic whirlwind of more blast beats, with the song concluding in a haunting guitar solo.
‘Gaurav Yatra (The Aftermath)’
From the beginning you’re treated to an exotic duo of an electric guitar and a flute, which accents the subsequent chaos beautifully. The elongated rhythm, which it follows, has a serpentine quality, which adds to the exotic flair. Despite the delicate instrumental work, it does nothing to quell the vocalist’s rage as he begs for answers to why religious conflict exists. Halfway through the song takes on a pummeling, atmospheric tone complete with tabla and a sinister yet resigned guitar solo to end the EP.
This is a great sample of what Heathen Beast has to offer, a no-frills and punchy opus that hits where it hurts. While some sections felt drawn out in the second track, and the recordings at the beginning of each track lost their luster after a while (especially if the listener doesn’t speak Hindi), it’s a great offering of what’s to come.