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- Published 27.10.07
Who: One look at these guys and you’d know their metal markings — crosses and skulls worn as lockets and tees endorsing bands like Children of Bodom and Cradle of Filth.
Next comes the music: the tiny Jadavpur practice pad pretty much holds a noise fest every time Tanmoy (from Rabindra Bharati University) lashes out on the drums, joined by guitarist Neel Roy (graduate from Maharaja Manindra Chandra College), bassist Deep Banerjee (B.Com final-year student of St Xavier’s College) and growling vocalist Debashish Pradhan (B.Tech passout from ICFAI Institute of Technology, Hyderabad).
This is no-holds-barred death metal, and the guys behind it are called Atmahatya. It’s a sound that will surely upset parents. But it’s exactly this dedication to the dark music that has won the quartet quite a fan following, helping them cruise past competition at the Uneesh Kuri Youth Fest, the JU engineering Sanskriti and the Heritage College Fest in 2007. The band was also second runners-up in the zonal finals of Campus Rock Idols in January 2007.
Why: The enduring appeal of darkness. Atmahatya makes music about the world that can be recognised as the one we live in, with all its injustice and repression. Their music is a form of protest, personal and social.
How: The seeds of Atmahatya were sown when Debashis took to music to escape “difficult situations’” and met Deep, who shared a similar musical taste. They were soon joined by Neel. Eager drummer Tanmoy was brought in through through another drummer friend and in December 2006, Atmahatya was formed. Preaching “music for music’s sake”, the band decided on the provocative name Atmahatya — the “killing of the normal soul”.
Style: Atmahatya is a a bi-lingual death metal band singing all originals, replete with metal riffs and full-throated growls. The inspiration list reads Iron Maiden, Cradle of Filth, Arch Enemy and Pantera. Curiously enough, the foursome’s songs are primarily about the Indian freedom movement; like Last Hours of Khudiram, which deals with the feelings behind a sacrifice for society. The band demands a change in the social scenario. While songs like Mass Funeral talk about death to recreate society, current themes find a voice in the band’s Bengali songs like Rakta dhuli about Nandigram. Narak screams out the need for individual enlightenment by breaking free.
Next: Musically, the band has come a long way since its debut performance in 2006. As runners-up, Atmahatya was rewarded a compilation album contract with Escape Velocity at the Kalyani Black Label War of The Rockstars 2007, which is scheduled to release next year. Atmahatya also plans to head for the Hornbill National Rock Competition in Shillong and the Dubai Rock Fest.
( Second-year student of mass communication at St Xavier's College)