REVIEW: HEATHEN BEAST – “$cam”
Its time we accept the fact that this world we live in is a ticking time bomb bound to detonate. Each and everyday, humanity shows us it can stoop even lower than yesterday. The Rich continues to grin, while the poor have to toil for a speck of smile in the form of basic amenities such as food, cloth and shelter. On the pretext of bringing ‘good days’ to the masses, every fifth year, we are provided three to four options to choose from to form our government, who would supposedly solve all our problems and make us the greatest country in the world. But as usual, all promises are forgotten and only the hidden agenda is propagated. Corruption brews forever, and all that the common person gets is lies and deceit, over and over again.
Contrary to the more popular art, Metal has always been a channel of expression against the various atrocities the world has witnessed and politics is no untouched territory. Amongst all the chaos and the anger rises the Indian Black/Grind outfit that call themselves Heathen Beast. The band has been active, yet anonymous because of obvious reasons and has constantly belted out some of the most unique pieces of dissonant black metal featuring Indian musical instruments.
Their latest pulverizing offering ‘$cam’ takes influence from the recent events directed by our government which again proved that whatever be it, the common person is the one who will suffer and bear the brunt.This E.P. also marks a musical shift for the band as it moves to the Blackened Grind/Death metal domain in contrast to their earlier Black metal style. Nevertheless, the brutality and in your face attitude has not faded, and they continue to speak of the brutal truths and bigotry predominant in every walk of our society.
All of Heathen Beast songs have distinct titles and any Indian citizen would relate to it. “Surgical strike” is a straight up death metal track with their signature dissonant vocals. The opener itself demonstrates that a good amount of experimentation has gone into the process. “It’s only a minor inconvenience” lyrically takes its influence from the sudden and shocking policy ‘demonetization’ which was put into effect earlier this year. The rule void highly used currency denominations in the country. A simple Google search would explain the chaos-storm it brought along with it. Though it hit the ones with black money the hardest, it also shattered of lives of millions of small-scale business holders and once again many of the innocent and commoners had to face the brunt. Musically, influences from grind to power violence are apparent.
“Fuck poor people, I have Paytm” is based on similar lines and demonstrates the aftermath of the chaos. It is more of a death metal track with fitting tabla elements, which is another significant characteristic of their unique sound. “Reliance Is The Secret Of My Energy, Jio Mere Lal!” is another attempt to expose the double standards of you know who – Another piece of unrelenting, punishing Grind.
While demonetization wasn’t an issue enough for us, the country has successfully been divided into various sects based on misplaced senses of patriotism. Nationalist vs Anti-Nationalist debates have become a part of everyday life fueling communalism once again. Thanks to the propaganda and their hidden agenda, “If The Army Can Do It, So Can You” opens our eyes to not only the underlying corruption in politics but also our trash mentality and also the fact that we are just heroes behind curtains and we turn a blind eye whenever there is opportunity to actually do something. They have released a video. Perhaps that’s going to clarify most of what I have been talking about.
“Bailing out the banks” is another death/grind assault and speaks about the failure the policy was. “My note has GPS” is supposedly another example of the stupidity of the masses and their susceptibility to rumor – Another track continuing the raw assault apparent throughout the album. Whereas, closing tracks such as “If You Disagree You Are Anti-national, Go To Pakistan” and “Chutiya Banaya Bada Maza Aaya” are more introductory vocal driven, with meager musical parts.
‘$cam’ is far beyond just metal. It is a representation of chaos and corruption, which dwells and is seeded deep into our society, which is ultimately headed for obliteration. Heathen Beast have thrown in a raw scathing attack on the power abusers and meek alike. It would not be a shock to see the aggression and nothing-held-back assault cause a stir in the minds of the comfortably numb.