Saturday, September 28, 2013

Djinn and Miskatonic - Forever in the Realm - Album Review

Year: 2013

H.P.Lovecraft was a man who, during his time was terribly under appreciated. It was only after his death, that his true genius was recognized and respected. Titled the Edgar Allen Poe of the 20th century, H.P.Lovecraft was instrumental in shaping up the genre of horror with his works which dealt with themes like occult, supernatural and extra terrestrial elements in such a way that they were clumped together under a broader classification called Lovecraftian horror. He not only inspired a multitude of writers, but his influence is also seen to play a major role in many of today’s metal bands. From early bands like Black Sabbath, to modern bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, all have gained inspiration from Lovecraft in one way or the other. The Indian metal scene is not far behind in this aspect. Djinn & Miskatonic from Bangalore, have a penchant for Lovecraftian Horror as exhibited in their latest studio release.

Djinn and Miskatonic is a Doom / Sludge Metal band based out of Bangalore. Formed in later part of 2012, the band has been making rapid advances in the scene and has released a debut full length album titled ‘Forever In The Realm’ on August 28th, 2013, through Transcending Obscurity India.

Looking at the name and album art of the band, it should come as no surprise that the band has a love for Lovecraft, horror and drinking. This love is very much reflected in their music too. The album starts off with a ten minute long monolith titled ‘7 Year Witch’. The stylistic choice of the band seems to be a very dark version of doom and gloom. Usually, it is common for the guitar to take up the centre stage in the performance. But in this case, it the fuzzy bass (which sounds like it has been cranked up to a 11) that takes the driver seat. This guitar work is also present and whenever it rears its head, it makes sure to unleash some groovy, dark and crushing riffs.

The horror atmosphere is very much doubled when the vocals kick in, as it sounds absolutely ghoulish, for the lack of a better word. The interspersed snarls in the vocal work add a sinister edge to the music. For a slow 10 minute song, ‘7 Year Witch’ does extremely well in keeping the listener focused on the music. The band dwells into slightly faster territories with ‘Book Of The Fallen’, but still remain very much rooted in the doom / sludge territory. High distortion on the guitars and the thumping bass work ensures that whoever is listening, gets lost in this dark and gloomy world. The band showcases their love for drinking through the song ‘Vulcan’s Forge’, which has a dark and catchy groove to it. Being the shortest song on the album, it is executed as perfectly as the longer tracks.

A general observation is that though a band starts out on an excellent note, many a times the tracks fizzle out in terms of quality as they get towards the end. This is clearly not the case with Djinn and Miskatonic as they save up the best for last.  This 17 minute long opus, titled ‘Weird Tales’ mesmerizes with an instrumental section that covers the first six minutes before the snarly vocals kick in. These vocals make an already good song, even better. The band has cleverly introduced spoken passages within the songs to successfully create an eerie atmosphere.

The drumming is something that tends to stay in the background in a doom metal record. But in this case the drumming, with its fluid pace shifts and fills, demands attention. 'Forever in the Realm' sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a horror theme while being trippy at the same time. It is a must listen for someone who likes their metal slow, begrudgingly heavy and eerie at the same time.

Rating: 90%

The album can be streamed in its entirety in Transcending Obscurity India's bandcamp page


  1. Djinn and Miskatonic are from Bangalore, not Mumbai.

    1. You need to fix it in one more place. Looks like you fixed only one instance.