• Sun, May 9, 2021
Reviews

Flint Knife Murder Infuses Culture Into Their Brutal And Excellent New EP

7.5

album Reviews Apr 19, 04:32pm

‘Aadi Rakshas’ combines inspiration from folk tales with bruising metal riffage

Death metal and its cousins for the most part drove their we’re only going to write about one thing wagon so far into the ground over the last couple decades that its culture of late has been quite desperate for something fresh. Flint Knife Murder, a duo from Shillong, have exactly the right idea with their stellar EP ‘Aadi Rakshas’. Over four songs, they take inspiration from a few less-known Indian stories (both folk tales and more recent happenings), but it’s not just lyrical. The tribal, primal nature of the material they draw on also permeates the music. Now that, is cool.

There are some really stirring riffs and rhythms on offer here, but it’s their context that really makes the EP such a fun listen. Opener ‘Rakta Katha’ is an instrumental that trades guitar with a rhythm you can really feel and a range of sounds that almost rudely interrupt what’s going on. Of course, when the guitar do come in, they’re suitably brutal and crushing. The songs here aren’t mixed for pristine clarity; in fact they’re more on the chaotic and noisy end of things, but that works great here. ‘Rai’ is based on the man-eating tigers of the Sunderbans and besides the grisly lyrics, this is the most dynamic track here. There’s a bit of a solo and a bunch of loud guitars all trying to speak over each other but it all fits; they even throw in a bit of ektara for good measure. ‘Kadaknath’, like all good tales, is based on a demonically possessed chicken, but all jokes aside it does have a strong riff and vocals that seem to be purposely loud and doubled to be a bit uncomfortable. The song’s last minute goes into classic rock territory with its old-school solo and single chords; it’s such a fun change-up before the last thirty seconds bring the heaviness back (along with possibly the greatest lyric of all time, so good that it’s not worth spoiling). The EP closes with ‘Elokeshi’, a nod to the beyond messed-up 1873 Tarakeshwar murder case, and it is fittingly the darkest song here. The duo bring out the low chugs, the really brooding growls, all the cavalry. This is perhaps the hardest hitting track out of the four and an appropriate way to end proceedings.

It’s almost like everywhere Flint Knife Murder seem to objectively trip up, it’s subjectively justified. Yes it’s mixed a bit muddy and noisy, but that works very well. Yes, the vocals aren’t particularly clear, but they’re going for mood and atmosphere anyway. The idea of having an interesting context and letting it inform the music is what makes ‘Aadi Rakshas’ fun to listen to, and while it’s possible that removing it would lessen the experience significantly, just don’t.

Listen to 'Aadi Rakshas' here and on other platforms.

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