• Thu, Mar 23, 2017
Features

The Coiling Of Sounds And Escher's Knot

features May 01, 02:19pm

We spoke to Escher's Knot vocalist, Abijith Rao, about the intertwining sounds and the unbreakable bond of the 'Knot.
 Photo Courtesy: Om Prakash

Vocalsit Abijith Rao’s fascination with the works of artist, mathematician, and illusionist MC Escher has been a corner stone in the Chennai-based heavy metal band Escher’s Knot’s evolution and progression. Apart from the name being a direct adaptation of one of Escher’s illusions, most overlaying and intricate concepts and ideas behind the band’s musical direction, artwork, work-ethic, and sound are influenced heavily from Escher’s works. “It’s like a semi-tribal knot,” Abijith explains the idea behind the name, “which doesn’t have a starting or an ending point. I could somehow relate it to the music we were playing - which sounds simple yet complex at the same time.” Escher’s Knot first came together in 2009 in Chennai with the gathering of “like-minded” musicians as Abijith likes to put it, who have spent a great deal of time and effort into discovering a sound that they can call their own with their latest single, ‘The Grand Design’. Members of the original line-up came in from different bands and genres of music, which was perhaps the catalyst that helped drive the band into exploring a complex influence and evolution-based sound for the band. “We came up with the EP in 2010,” Abhijit tells us about their debut EP Tessellations, “which didn’t define our sound then. We were really still evolving; we didn’t really have a signature sound.”

Escher’s Knot’s five-track debut EP, Tessellations, flaunted intricate and complex song structuring with its riffs and progressions. Listening to the EP, one realizes how unpredictable the general configuration of the band’s music is; the breakdowns seem like they were breakdowns for another riff altogether, but still fit in perfectly, each rise in the song coupled with excellent instrument work by each one of the members gives the band’s music an intellectually inclined attitude. Abijith says, “It has been a really good process of evolution with regards to sound and the style of the music, and what we’ve played since Tessellations up ’til now.” But, the band’s music is still misjudged, “We do have a lot of progressive elements,” Abijith says, referring to most people’s definition of their music, “and a little bit of death and thrash involved. But, I would just like to call it heavy metal.” The debut EP was quick to make its appearance, being released within just a year of the band having been formed, in 2011. Tessellations was recorded at the Clementine Studios in Chennai where vocalist Abijith used to work at the time. “We were really particular about recording live drums,” Abijith says, “It was an international recording studio as in it was into world music and stuff. But we managed to get the contact and all and we recorded live drums at Clementine, and the guitars and vocals as well.” The EP was sent in to Germany for production, mixing, and mastering with Necrophagist bassist, Stephan Fimmers.

 

(Photograph By Om Prakash)

Although the EP was a quick addition to the band’s discography, their untitled debut full length album hopes to make an appearance this year – after a nearly three year long gap. With the emigration of members, guitarist Anshuman Mishra and bassist Madhav Ayachit to Bangalore, the band faced a few hiccups – stern as they are to retain the original members of the band regardless of distance. “We were still writing music,” Abijith says “because either we would meet and jam in Chennai or in Bangalore. Then later, Anshuman got a job in Delhi, so he moved to Delhi and three of us headed down South.” At this point, sometime in October 2012, guitarist Siddhartha Ramanathan joined the ranks of Escher’s Knot, more as an addition than a replacement. “The idea was that no matter how far a member was, we’ll still stick together and somewhere down the line it will all come into place,” Abijith tells us.

‘The Grand Design’, off of the upcoming album, had the drum track recorded at Clementine studios along with the guitars and vocals tracked at home by Sridhar. “It was a good experience,” Abijith says, “because it was our new sound and we were all excited about it and we were all really stoked about how it’s going to come out. Then Anupam Roy came in for the mixing and we decided that he was the right guy for our kind of sound and he delivered a kick ass end product and we were really happy.” Between the writing, jamming, recording, and managing the time each member can put in considering their distances, Escher’s Knot are revisiting the metal scene with their renewed sound, tightening all loose ends, and putting an end to this hiatus. “So here’s a shout out to the organizers who are looking to pick up bands,” Abijith says, “we are definitely available and very much active.”

Stream 'The Grand Design' by Escher's Knot below:

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