India’s musical production isn’t famous for its political Grind core bands, however listening to Heathen Beast is for sure worth a try…
Heathen Beast is a band coming from Kolkata. Atheistic in their views (as their Facebook page declares), they use their music as a tool to spread their message by having as their only weapon the truth. And as honest and (maybe) idealistic the previous sentences may sound, one can easily understand that what they try to do is not easy within a conservative and religious dominated country like India. If you are not convinced by my words, a look in certain comments in their Facebook page will for sure convince you.
The media exposure that they have recently gained through some major Metal websites (for being a Black metal band coming from India), teased me to search for their material. Luckily all their EPs plus their last full length album named $cam were available for free in their Bandcamp page. To start with, their style (at least in $cam) is definitely not Black Metal. Their sound is a mixture of Grind core (mainly) with some Crust (secondary) influences and I would say that their music crosses more frequently to the Metal spectrum than to the Punk one. I can easily understand and explain this, as India is one of those countries whose youth came into contact with “hard” music mainly through Heavy Metal and less through Punk Rock. Personally, I consider that these “prevailing” Metal influences function as an advantage as their songs are eventually more technical and have interesting riffs. Heathen Beast generally show that the musical aspect of their art is equally important for them as the message they try to transmit through their lyrics.
Coming to that specific message and generally to their overall political stance, Heathen Beast leave no space for doubts or misunderstandings : they write about the social faults of their motherland using humour and irony in their song titles something that, even though usual for Grind core bands, in their case works very well by being spot-on, intelligent and by not distorting their message. As said, things that we take for granted in Europe like being open minded and being able to express through your art criticism against your government or your overall socio-political-religious establishment are not that self-evident in other places of the world. And for this, bands like Heathen Beast deserve our appreciation.
Concluding, I have to say that usually I am not a big fan of Grind core (especially when it has to do with bands who are paying more attention in their politics thus ending up with their music having the complexity of an organism like amoeba) however Heathen Beast have gained my appreciation as artists for the honesty, integrity and quality of their material. Please spend some time and (if you can) some money to support them :