Saturday, July 20, 2013

Broken Hymen - Shrouded By Death EP - Album Review

Year: 2013

When speaking of the Metal scene in Asia, the scenes that generally come to mind are Indian, Sri Lankan and Malaysian scenes. But there is yet another rapidly growing, yet predominantly underground scene that Asia has to offer. I am talking about the Metal scene from Nepal of-course. Unlike most of the other countries, the bands from Nepal predominantly sway towards the more abrasive side of Metal, taking up genres like Death Metal, Black Metal and Grindcore. In fact, the audience there crave the heavy stuff so much that they have had giants like Napalm Death and Vader perform in the country. Now, from the country that has given us bands like Ugra Karma and Antim Grahan, comes a new icon of brutality, Broken Hymen.

Broken Hymen are a four piece Brutal Death Metal band hailing from Kathmandu, Nepal. Barely a year old, this band recently released their debut EP, titled 'Shrouded By Death' on 13th July, 2013. Before the recording of this EP, the guitarist Aditya Shakya had faced an accident. In-spite of his injuries, he  has managed to deliver some insane performances on this EP.

This EP consists of three tracks. The first two tracks were rerecorded for the EP, while the third track (due to the guitarist's absence) was rehashed and remastered from one of their earlier demos.

Necrophilic Slaughter: The opening track of the EP wastes no time in saying, "Yes. We are here to cave your skull in!". The track is entirely driven by some slamming riffs emanating from the guitar. Accentuated by the vocal delivery of Utsav Shreshta, the brutality in this track is massive. The vocal style is one a growls that come very close to being pig squeals and some aptly timed shrieks. The leads have a slight hint of tantric theme to them.Overall, this track sets the tone for brutality for the whole EP.

Butchered Corpse Metamorphosis: Compared to the opener, the number of leads in this track is a tad bit higher. Kudos to the drummer, Ashim Khanal for dishing out some wicked fills during the breaks. The bass lines of Shaquille Gurung enrich the overall tone. Just when the things calm down towards the end and one wonders if the storm has settled, the second waves hits unexpectedly, with a demonic sounding vocal delivery.

Dimensions Of Obliteration: This is the track that was remastered from their early demo. But listening to the opening string section, it does not sound like a remaster at all. The solo is executed in true style and the overall lead guitar parts are very commendable. It serves as a good album closer.

All that said, this EP is not without it's share of flaws, mainly stemming from the uneven production style. For example, in the first track, the guitar completely overpowers the drums and makes it quite hard to make out the drumming. Meanwhile, the overall tone in the last track is a tad bit too low, giving rise to feeling that the bass is missing from action. 

Production issues apart, 'Shrouded By Death' is a very short and brutal release that would definitely hook one's interest in Broken Hymen. These guys prove that they have the skills. Now all they need is the proper equipment. Given that, they are sure to shine among the elite of the genre.

Rating: 76%

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