In case you missed it is our new regular feature which highlights outstanding albums, from the last 5 years, which may have passed you by.
Album: This Burden Is Mine
Why? Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer, the man at the helm of India’s premier death metal band Demonic Resurrection and the equally revered Reptilian Death, had gone solo again and the result was the breathtakingly emotive This Burden Is Mine.
As complex, fragile and imperfect as the human spirit, This Burden Is Mine may have launched into the kind of blistering death metal you’d associate with Demonstealer’s work in Demonic Resurrection but it soon became apparent that proggy waters were being traversed and expectations were going to be tested.
What hit hardest was the multitude of personalities that sprung forth from Sahil’s throat; from his more recognised – and formidable – death growls to an almost emo-esque shout and a hardcore meets metalcore bark, all topped off by an accomplished clean singing voice. This split personality echoed throughout and you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse set of tracks, with the kitchen sink and all its utensils (ironic considering the ever-busy Sahil hosts his own online cooking blog) thrown around with wild abandonment. Prog rock, prog metal, thrash, death metal, metalcore….you name it, Demonstealer drew from it and impressively spat out a fresh variation that was endlessly surprising and highly immersive.
While the sheer diversity may keep you on your toes, This Burden Is Mine was to be applauded for its fearless nature and brutal honesty. “Frail Fallible” felt like an open wound laid bare, raw emotion backed by a gruffly sung chorus that cut to the bone with its heart-wrenching sincerity while the prog-strains of “Where Worlds End” felt upbeat, despite its “I don’t belong here refrain”. Fortunately, masterful musicianship accompanied the soul-baring and this mature record was as liberal with its riffs as it was social commentary. Still finding room to harness the ‘heavy’, the metalcore-like bounce of “From Rubble And Ruin” – Devildriver like in its furious groove – reminded the listener that this is the work of a heavy metal pioneer, a man who arguably fly’s the flag for Indian metal higher and with greater integrity than anyone!
The ultimate selling point of having Nile’s George Kolias on drums was ironically not the biggest draw here (although he did put in a flawless and nuanced performance), that honour instead fell on the shoulders of Sahil ‘Demonstealer’ Makhija himself, a burden he seemed more than capable of carrying alone. 9/10