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Demonic Resurrection is a blackened death metal band from Mumbai, India

Demonic ResurrectionDemonic Resurrection is a blackened death metal band from Mumbai, India

Early years and Demonstealer (2000–2002)

The band was officially formed in March 2000 by several 17-year-old teenagers. The main focus of the band was to play extreme metal, which hugely contrasted the ongoing culture at India at that time (citation needed). Within nine months of formation of the band, they released their first album Demonstealer through Demonstealer Records. But as soon as the album was made, the band faced many problems, and most of the members departed. The line-up of the band was finally stabilized in 2001, with the Demonstealer on vocals and guitars, Count Varathora (?) on bass, Nikita Shah on vocals and keyboards and Yash Pathak on the drums. The music was inspired by bands like Theatre of Tragedy, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil. The album also featured a female vocalist. The band re-recorded Demonstealer with the current lineup. Though a marked improvement on the original recording, the band was still experimenting with its sound and recording, something that comes across clearly on the album. It was still amateurish but it received a fair bit of acclaim and Brazilian record label Vampiria Records released a tape version of the album in the local market. Copies of this album are collectors’ items today.

A Darkness Descends (2002–2007)

However, in 2002, the group disbanded, leaving the Demonstealer to build it back up from scratch. Reformed in 2003 with a new-lineup: Husain Bandukwala on bass, Mephisto on keyboards, JP on drums and the Demonstealer on vocals and guitars. With the advent of their new lineup, the band had a total reform to their musical style, bringing more elements of melody and aggression into their music, establishing the sound for their second album, A Darkness Descends.

Looking to add yet more depth and dimension to their sound, the band enlisted lead guitarist Pradeep Pande in 2006 but the same year also saw the exit of drummer JP due to musical differences. This however didn’t stop the band from getting into the studio and recording their EP and third studio effort Beyond The Darkness, which featured on a split CD titled Rise of the Eastern Blood along with bands Dusk from Pakistan and Severe Dementia from Bangladesh. Since the band had no drummer, Demonstealer took up the drum duties for the EP. Beyond the Darkness saw a slightly more experimental side of the band, adding ambiance and spacey, ethereal textures to their sound. And while some fans were skeptical of the musical direction the band had taken, critics applauded it, heaping praise on the band. That Indian metal and Demonic Resurrection in particular were on their way to global recognition became amply clear when filmmaker Sam Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Iron Maiden: Flight 666) featured the band in his landmark documentary Global Metal. Demonic Resurrection also made it to the soundtrack of Global Metal along with Lamb of God, Sepultura and In Flames.

Beyond the Darkness (2007–2009)

The band meanwhile continued to look for a new drummer until August 2007 when Virendra ‘Viru’ Kaith joined as a permanent member. Over the next year or so the band continued touring and writing new material, till Pradeep quit in 2008 and was replaced by guitar prodigy Daniel Rego, who was just 18 years old. 2009 saw the band widen the scope of their tours across India, going places that no Indian metal band had gone before and featuring as the support acts for Opeth in February 2009 and for Amon Amarth and Textures in December 2009.

Demonic Resurrection is a blackened death metal band from Mumbai, India

The Return to Darkness (2009–2013)

The band hit the studio in August 2009 to record their third album and what was to be the final chapter in the Darkness trilogy: The Return to Darkness. Roping in renowned artist Michael ‘Xaay’ Lorac (Nile, Behemoth, Vader) to design the artwork for the album, the band also released their first video for ‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’ that received (and continues to receive) airplay from mainstream music channels like VH1. The album was officially released in January 2010 through Candlelight Records (which they were signed in April 2010) for worldwide distribution. The album followed by a nationwide tour “The Resurrection Festival”. The band capped 10 successful years of existence with their first international show at the prestigious Inferno Metal Festival in Norway in April 2010 and played at the Brutal Assault festival in the Czech Republic in August 2010. The band released their first music video, ‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’ from their 2010 album, The Return to Darkness. The music video received a U/A rating from the Central Board of Film Certification and can be aired on national TV (India). In 2012, bass guitar player Husain Bandukwala left the band due to personal and family commitments which it will be difficult to tour and spend time recording in the studio. However, he’s not completely ditching the band, instead he will be managing them. The band soon announced Ashwin Shriyan as their new bassist. In 2014, lead guitarist, Daniel Kenneth Rego parted ways with the band to explore other musical possibilities, citing the reason that he no longer felt the same passion and connection with this style of music. The band played a farewell show with Rego at the Blue Frog in Mumbai on 19 January 2014.

The Demon King (2013–2017)

On 22 May 2014, Demonic Resurrection revealed the artwork and track list for their fourth album titled The Demon King. The artwork was, once again, done by Michal ‘Xaay’ Loranc who had done the band’s previous album cover for The Return to Darkness

Commented, Demonstealer “Working with Michal on the cover was an absolute pleasure, that man is a genius. We had an idea to showcase an epic battle between God and The Demon King and Michal just brought that out perfectly in the cover artwork.”

The album was released on 13 July in India, 14 July in Europe and 15 July in the US by Candlelight Records and distributed in India by Universal Music.

According to radioandmusic.com, The Demon King is a story that is told via the tracks, each one being a separate chapter in the album. Makhija says the new album is different from the band’s previous ones and has a lot to offer to all kinds of metalheads, from smooth and softer tracks like “Facing the Faceless” to extremely aggressive tracks like “Death, Desolation and Despair”.

The theme of the album will be similar to the ‘Darkness’ trilogy although it is a new and different story with the songs flowing like the chapters in a novel. The story is about the resurrection of the Demon King who has awakened on the Earth for the destruction of humankind, the apocalypse. According to the band, it sounds like the ‘Book of Revelation’ in harsher words; it also has clear references from the holy book like “Oh lord above, Deliver us all from evil”. Also, the story was inspired by Hindu mythology, in one song where it says, “Sleeping demons (Kumbhakaran from Ramayan) awaken softly”. Recorded in the year 2013, Daniel Rego is the guitarist credited for the tracks although Nishith Hegde (the guitar prodigy) will be the new guitarist.

On 25 May 2014, the band released a preview video for The Demon King on YouTube.

The album was then released on 13 July 2014 (India), and was received with positive reviews.

Viru garnered a lot of praise for his drumming with the media bringing much needed attention to Metal through interviews with MensXP.com, Polkacafe and India Today in addition to bagging an advertisement with Signature (whisky).

Dashavatar (2017–present)

On 15 March 2017, the band released their latest album, their fifth album named Dashavatar – or the 10 forms – continuing on the use of Hindu mythology, also adapted for their previous album. It was released on Sahil Makhija’s Demonstealar Records. The album was scored 9/10 by Metal Injection.

Album track listing

  1. Matsya – The Fish
  2. Kurma – The Tortoise
  3. Varaha – The Boar
  4. Vamana – The Dwarf
  5. Narasimha – The Man-Lion
  6. Parashurama – The Axe Wielder
  7. Rama – The Prince
  8. Krishna – The Cowherd
  9. Buddha – The Teacher
  10. Kalki – The Destroyer of Filth

On 19 April 2018, in an interview with Rolling Stone India, Sahil Makhija stated it was time to call it quits.

Musical style and influences

Demonic Resurrection describe their music as blackened death metal, though it can also be called symphonic black metal. Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Depresy, Cannibal Corpse and Darkthrone are some of the bands that have influenced the band from the earliest albums. Use of signature black and death metal motifs like growling vocals, shrieked vocals, highly distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, blast beats and double bass drumming along with ambient keyboards and clean vocal passages often serving as a bridge between two heavy parts is prevalent. All through the “Darkness” trilogy, Demonic Resurrection have stayed clear of the purist tags and their latest release sees their music as a mixture of black and death metal with elements of power metal easily visible, most notably attributed to acts like Blind Guardian and Angra. The clean passages in songs like “Lords of Pestilence” along with the ambient keyboards give it a very progressive feel not unlike bands like Opeth. Also not distinct is the fact that Demonic Resurrection have chosen a very polished and sophisticated production, style as opposed to the raw production usually seen on black and death metal records.

Band members

Current members

Former members

  • Daniel Kenneth Rego – lead guitar (2008–2014)
  • Nandani – female vocals (2000)
  • Nikita Shah – vocals, keyboards (2000–2003)
  • Yash Pathak – drums (2000 – 2002)
  • Ashish Modasia – lead guitar (2000)
  • Prashant Shah – lead guitar (2000–2001)
  • Pradeep Pande – lead guitar (2006–2008)
  • Aditya Mehta – bass (2000–2003)
  • Husain Bandukwala – bass (2002–2012)
  • JP – drums (2003–2007)
  • Mephisto – keyboards (2003–2016)
  • Ashwin Shriyan – bass (2012–2017)
  • Nishith Hegde – lead guitar (2013–2018)

Touring musicians

  • Leon Quadros – bass (2017–present)
  • Vigneshkumar Venkatraman – lead guitar (2018–present)

Demonic Resurrection is a blackened death metal band from Mumbai, India

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