Friday, March 20, 2015

Halahkuh "Desecration"

What we have here is the debut EP from a fairly recently formed (2011) melodic death metal band from India. The first track on here is a short instrumental called "Ordeal." It's a slow, and fairly atmospheric track with some well played lead guitar work, but seems to be little more than a tone setter. "Possessed Strangulated and Enslaved" is sort of the bastard love child of Death circa Spiritual Healing and Dark Tranquillity circa The Mind's I. It's a fast track built around tight, melodic riffing sprinkled liberally with harmonized lead guitar work and rapid fire solos. "Sacrilege" is a bit more technical than the previous track with its syncopated rhythms and arpeggio laden intro. The middle section of the song has a pronounced metalcore feel to it with it's dominant machine gun-like breakdown. Appropriately enough, it also features guest vocals from Shashank Bhatnagar from New Delhi-based metalcore band Undying Inc. "In Extremis" begins with an Asian flavored guitar melody over a Meshuggah-like rhtyhm before giving way to some impressive solo work. The verse riffing leans on pedal drones punctuated with short, rapid legato patterns. Some counterpoint comes into play during the breakdown with the bass drums and lead guitar matching each other in short 16th note combinations over a steady 8th note pulse from the rhythm guitar. Things close out with a melodic arpeggio pattern played over a half-time groove. A promising start for a young band from a region that doesn't seem to get brought up routinely in discussions of quality heavy metal music.

key songs: Possessed Strangulated and Enslaved, In Extremis
score: 3/5

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