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Album Review: Heathen Beast’s Trident

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Details are spotty.  Facts are murky, suspect or dismissed as outright fabrications.  All available reports point to ground zero being somewhere near Kolkata on India’s eastern frontier, ignition time possibly in the waning days of 2010.  Whatever truths are buried in misdirection, it seems that Heathen Beast was born from the molten discontent of thunder-beckoning drummer Mimamsa, boorish bassist Samkhya and six-string slasher/fire breather Carvaka, three musicians who hide their identities apparently to avoid repercussions in their conservative surroundings.  It’s unclear if they fear religious or political authorities more, but they seem willing to agitate both indiscriminately.

Why do we care?  Because in the past six years, Heathen Beast have, er, transcended obscurity with a trio of EPs that have now been compiled into a nine-track full-length called Trident, and Trident fucking face-rapes whatever you’re listening to right now.  The brash tempos, ultra-tight songwriting, ballsy blackened hardcore screams, totally sick leads, injections of traditional southern Asian instrumentation, antiestablishment leanings and outright badass rage all combine for mandatory listening, maybe the most honestly infuriated recording you’ll hear all year.  Though Trident’s music was written and recorded at different times in completely separate sessions, there’s no discernible quality or structural variation from set to set (arranged here chronologically).  Everything slays.  I haven’t been this angry about social issues I didn’t really understand since that weird-cool EP from Nate Carson’s Noam Chomsky-themed band a couple years back.  Here’s to hoping Heathen Beast find more to say in the very near future.

(Update:  They have.  New 3-song EP Rise of the Saffron Empire is equally cool, for all the same reasons.  Hate the haters!)

Heathen Beast’s Trident is out now on Trending Obscurity India. You can stream and purchase it here.

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