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Dirge Gear Up for Debut Album

Nov 28, 05:30am

The Pune doom metallers look back at a fairly busy year and the inspiration behind their upcoming album 
 Photo Courtesy: Aabhishek Mikael Gunaratnam

Looks like the guys in Pune doom metal band Dirge grew up playing a bit of Age of Empires. Their upcoming debut album, due for release in mid-2016, is inspired by the Spanish conquest of ancient Aztec civillisation. Frontman Tabish Khidir elaborates on the “historic-myth fiction” concept story, saying, “The protagonist is ‘Ah Puch’, the Mayan god of death who has been invoked in the body of the Aztec king Montezuma. Montezuma seeks revenge on the conquistadors with the help of the resurgence of the long perished Mayan underworld.”

You need a topic as ancient as that to write some heavy riffs to – after all, there have been doom and stoner bands who love to take their names from all things heavy and historical – whether it’s Baroness, Kyuss or post-metal band Isis. Dirge, who came together in 2014, released their first single ‘Swamp’ in April and have spent this year getting their name out in the metal scene. In addition to bringing metal to the usually hip High Spirits Café in Pune, Dirge counts performing at Bangalore Open Air among their highlights of the year.

Khidir told us, “Being on the same bill as Napalm Death and Inquisition, that was huge for us, being a band who is just a year old. Also, ‘Echoes from beneath’ in Bangalore back in January. We shared the stage with Japanese death metal legends Defiled and psychedelic/stoner band Chu from Kazakhstan. It was a major event for Dirge as it was our first outstation gig, that too in Bangalore and was the key in reaching out to the audiences there.”

Dirge are wrapping up their year with some more special gigs, including a performance at a metal gig in Aurangabad, alongside the likes of Sceptre, Primitiv and local metallers Vinaash Kaal. When it’s that local, it’s no surprise to hear Khidir express surprise that the show has been featured in a Marathi newspaper. Says Khidir, “I never saw that before. We really don't know what to expect from that city but usually things like these turn out to be a lot of fun because it’s a new thing for the crowd of that city too.”

Following their Aurangabad debut, Dirge’s next gig is in Thane, at the second edition of metal gig series Thunderstorm on January 9. While the album is still in the works, Khidir says the best place to hear new material is at their gigs. He adds, “For that gig (Thunderstorm) we'll play one of our latest songs 'Malinche', which is a lot more darker and gloomier than all our previous material. We're also planning on going for an all-analogue setup for this one. So we'll be experimenting and working a lot on our tones. Everyone can definitely look forward to a lot of fuzz.” 

Listen to 'Swamp' here

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