The term 'underground metal music' is still an obscure phrase for most of the people in Bangladesh. People who don't know about metal music or to be specific about extreme metal music have a big misconception about the whole concept.
Their prevalent idea about extreme metal music is that it is nothing more than "screaming, gore or noise". To erase all of these cloudy ideas, let's learn about extreme metal and three of our currently active bands bearing the flag of this genre with pride.
Torture Goregrinder is the pioneer of the three genres called slamming brutal death, goregrind, guttural slamming death in Bangladesh. These are subgenres of death metal.
They also have their own genre to represent Bangladesh internationally which is called Bangla slam. The band started their journey on 14 June 2013 with an intention to create a new style in our underground music scene.
So far, they have three releases under their belt, two of which are singles and one of which is an album titled Fatal Gonorrhea Disfigurement. In mid of March 2015, the band got enlisted in Wikipedia's list of SLAM DEATH METAL BANDS around the world. They have performed in several shows overseas.
Their current lineup consists of Amimul Ahsan Bukhari (vocal), Towkir Ahmed Joy (guitars), Zami Hossain (bass), and Dip Roy (drums).
The following statement from Dip Roy gives us a deeper insight into their ideology and the extreme metal scene of Bangladesh: "Honestly, when we started releasing songs initially, most of the people hated the type of music we made. But we took the hatred positively as we kept moving forward".
"If I talk about the underground metal music scene of Bangladesh, I must say that our underground scene has a lot of great bands built with talented extremely talented individuals whose knowledge about music is very rich. But we need more support from the government, mainstream musicians, and also from the associations," he added.
Kaal Akuma is a death metal band. In late 2018, Kaal Akuma was formed by three members; Rafiul Hassan Siddiki Rivoo (bass/vocal), Alex Joven (drums), and Akif Ahmed Khan (guitars). The lyrical philosophy of the band includes psychological horror, Mayan mythology, misanthropy, death, and darkness.
They released their full-length album "In the mouth of madness" from Dunkelheit Produktionen of Germany in January 2021. They are planning to release another album titled "Turiya" within next year. The albums represent their own take on cavernous/old school sounding death metal with an emphasis on longer and darker melody lines and their lyrics are extracted from their personal philosophies mostly, mixed with Lovecraftian horrors, misanthropy, death and darkness.
Alex Joven's perception about extreme metal music is reflected in the following statement that he gave "Death metal or other extreme metal genres talk about extreme emotions, horrors, psychological horrors, death, mythological incidents or characters, homicides and dark philosophy, etc. Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Srilanka, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries tend to have a deeper relationship with extreme metal philosophies because of daily struggles with corruption, religious dogmas, etc".
"As I play drums for my band and I have been playing eastern classical for quite a few years I can assure you that eastern classical music and genres like death metal and black metal have a deeper connection in terms of ambiance and note selection," he continued.
"The Bangladeshi extreme metal scene is definitely heavy and extreme with bands like Orator, Nafarman, Eternal Armageddon, Infuscation, Burial Dust, Nekrohowl, Homicide, etc. However, we do struggle with organising shows because of the skeptical point of view of our locals. But yet the metal is not dead nor it will be. We are still keeping our small scene alive doing whatever we can. We don't do this for money but for the scene and most importantly for ourselves. People listen to extreme metal because extreme metal is not just a bunch of bands and albums, it's a total philosophy and lifestyle," he added.
Karmant is a thrash metal band formed in 2016 by Zami Hossain. After 5 years of playing in the metal underground scene, the band released their debut EP, "Riot in Uniform" on 1 April 2021 worldwide. Currently, the lineup is standing on Zami (bass and vocal), Naweed (drums), Rumman and Zamil (guitars).
Their music can be characterised by overall aggression and fast tempo with strong riffs. Thematically they are more into metaphorical fictional characters and political inconsistency. Lyrically they are often deaf, mute, and blind. Currently, they are working on their album titled "Misanthropic Democracy" consisting of 8 bone-crushing thrash metal songs. The title track "riot in uniform" is inspired by the student movement of 2018 which was called for road safety in Bangladesh.
Naweed Kabir gave us a statement about the underground metal music scene saying "The underground scene is supposed to be united and I'm glad that things are going in that direction in our country. But the concern that I want to share is that there are bands that are doing quality music and performing internationally with their own money because hardly any company is stepping up to support the musicians by offering sponsorship to them. People should appreciate the underground community, there should be more shows and events backed by sponsors".
The music and poetry of extreme metal express human emotions in the most vivid way. The ongoing pandemic has wreaked havoc in the lives of the organisers and band members as they are being bound to postpone a lot of shows, which is a vital source of their income. Thus, in these challenging times and beyond, these bands need more sponsorships to keep making quality music and representing our country in the global scene.