Personally, a lot of bands that are anti-religion, anti-government, anti-whatever tend to just sound like a mess to me as bands get too lost in being aggressive without actually trying to be an actual band in any way. But every now and then there’s one such “anti-” band that really grabs my attention, and the latest band to have graced me with their hate is India’s very own Heathen Beast with their upcoming black metal EP of “Rise of the Saffron Empire”.
Now, you know a band causes a stir when the cover art alone is prompted for censorship, and that’s exactly the case with this record as the cover art you see here is but a cloak for the real cover which after looking at it, and applying even a little thought, you can see what are political figures performing a gesture that apparently alludes to some racist background if my understanding is correct, but let’s not get into such touchy subjects and instead talk about “Rise of the Saffron Empire” that touches such a tender subject for us and does not let up for even a moment. When you are trying to convey a message that is powerful and tied to a system that undoubtedly has its flaws you need a monstrous presence and one that cannot be taken sitting down nor will be. The raw, uncompromising energy that is unleashed within two of the three track off this EP truly represent the chaos that Heathen Beast are trying to bring to light with guttural and behemoth vocals that hold no truth back, guitars that don’t know the meaning of mercy, a bass that is as unrelenting as Hell, and drums that do not have to slow down for pure ferocity comes to its peak with these beats. Then there’s the final track that brings things back a few notches and puts everything into perspective and amidst all the chaos that “Rise of the Saffron Empire” has brought to light and now shows you how quiet these things are kept and their individual subtleties to keep all the nastiness under wraps. And if such a diversity that is both pulled off well and gets your message across doesn’t even begin to get the wheels turning in your head even after Heathen Beast have bashed your brains out time and again, then nothing fucking will.
I’ve heard anti-religion, anti-government, and many other “anti-” bands in my time as a metalhead but I do have to honestly say that Heathen Beast is easily one of the better of them as “Rise of the Saffron Empire” is truly a monumental piece. A fiery album that will stop at nothing to bring the dark subject to light, this record is a triumph in terms of music and will turn more heads than it already has with its powerful themes and demanding presence.
“Rise of the Saffron Empire” releases on April 25th!
LISTEN to the title track single on Bandcamp here or via YouTube below.
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