8.5/10 – Antti Mikonmäki
(Dunkelheit Produktionen, 2014)
Dhwesha, formed in 2008, might be the first Indian Metal band I’ve ever heard properly. Without any real knowledge of the magnitude of the Indian Metal underground when writing this, it’s quite difficult to say if they shine as one of the brightest stars of that ancient part of the world, but I’m guessing yes, since their music is excellent.
From the first riffs and melodies of “Sattva Bali”, we’re getting a very familiar Western Death Metal feeling, sounding extremely familiar but so old and full of different vibes, we have to analyze this stuff through ancient lenses.
There are strong early nineties Swedish, American and British aspects in this first song of the album alone, and visions of teenage classics from bands like Entombed, Death, Bolt Thrower, Tiamat, Morbid Angel, and many more fill our inner eye. But there is also something new and unheard of here, and that is of course the Indian influence, which becomes more apparent from the second song on.
The drums have a nice kicking and pounding damp sound to them, and the same goes with the bass. When combined with the shredding and very Death Metallic guitars and originally growling vocals (howling from some temple on a different plane), we have a Death Metal meets India match made in, well, our spiritual realms inhabited with Gods and Wars of the ancient Myths.
The instruments are handled equally well by all three members, sometimes straightforward and rolling, sometimes more technical, but never too fast or too slow, moving in a perfect Deathly balance. The riffs are a combination of traditional early nineties Death Metal, and traditional Indian music. Sometimes I’m hearing the Metal guitar played in a Sitar-way, but this might be my imagination. Nevertheless, there is something clearly Asian going on here, and not just in the melodies. There are also parts of traditional Indian instruments scattered across the album, and some Progressive Rock elements in the same way classic albums such as “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” by Amorphis had (here we got the Finnish—Indian connection of the reviewer and the reviewed!). The songs are different from each other just enough to keep them in their individual spheres. There is also an epic story-like feeling to the music, but nothing too pompous.
A very nice listening-experience altogether. I’m expecting great things from these guys in the future, and feel an urge to check out more Indian bands! This should open up to everyone into old-school Death Metal and of course Spiritual feelings.