Before I begin, I would like to note that this particular review will likely contain the most swearing on this website. HEATHEN BEAST have opinions and that opinion is largely “f this and f that”
HEATHEN BEAST originate in Mumbai, India. They are a black, grind and death metal trio formed of Carvaka (Vocals/Guitars), Samkhya (Bass) and Mimamsa (Drums). They are pretty unique in black metal circles because instead of rallying behind one ideology, or to tear a particular one down, each member has a separate set of beliefs that comes through in their music.
The album opens with F**k C.A.A, an anthem for the Citizenship Amendment Act protests. The act granted citizenship to those fleeing to India to escape religious persecution to most religions but excluded Muslims. For the most part the protests erupted in response to this divisive attitude the government was taking. Or as the band themselves put it:
“The Indian constitution, Speaks of secularism, No discrimination, On the basis of religion. And then they scheme, And then they amend, Favour certain religions.”
The song itself largely takes on an appropriately almost militaristic beat and we see Carvaka’s vocals sounding appropriately pained. The song sets the tone for the album well, showing the political leanings of the artist and takes on an almost hardcore-esque tone in its examination of contemporary politics.
F**k The B.J.P is a frantic maelstrom of a song written about the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party. Mimamsa’s drumming shines through here keeping up with the pace of the song but also adding interesting flourishes. Like a lot of the songs on this release, it demonstrates three things. The first is that HEATHEN BEAST really loves a sample, the second is that HEATHEN BEAST REALLY dislikes prime minister Modi and the BJP and the third is that unless you know what’s going on in Indian politics you, like me, will be largely pretty lost.
Lyrically HEATHEN BEAST shine, their words carry great weight in addressing societal issues and no issue is more in keeping with the times than police brutality. Fortunately for us they’ve got us covered with the aptly titled F**k Your Police Brutality. Written in response to the BJP’s perceived attempts to portray Hindus as the victims and villainizing Muslims.
“We’ve seen the videos, We’ve seen through the lies, All our news sources, Are f**king verified.”
F**k Your Hindu Rashtra incorporates elements of traditional Indian music into the band’s own style creating this really cool almost demonic layer. This unfortunately does not last for the whole song but it does get reintroduced later. The song is a stand against the BJP’s stance as Hindu Nationalists. And for those wondering, rashtra means state.
HEATHEN BEAST are definitely a band to check out and as mentioned earlier if you like hardcore’s addressing of social issues you will probably find something to your liking here. I’m definitely going to be sharing a few tracks around. It’s somewhat funny and a little depressing that although a song can be specifically written about one group’s struggles it can often find relevance elsewhere.
Words: Jacob McCrone
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised But It Will Be Heard is out now.
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