"Shiva Rudrastakam"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Now I can say I have heard a metal band from Nepal! Heaviness from the Himalayas! Or perhaps Yeti Metal? These gentlemen from the high country bring us something they call Brutal Vedic Metal, which draws inspiration from Hindu religion and mythology. And it's quite an exotic stew,too, one which really shows a lot of influence from their native land. Lovers of extreme but exotic metal like Nile, Melechesh and similar acts should find this most intriguing.

"Praise For the Omnipotent One" demonstrates immediately that this is no "by the book" death metal. Chanting monotone vocals, quick native percussion and instruments of the Indian subcontinent form the majority of this song and my guess is it is something that could be played in a temple of Kathmandu. The title track also starts in this fashion and you might be wondering if maybe you picked up a CD of traditional Nepalese music by mistake. You would be wrong, because a minute into the song, a blast of ferocious Cannibal Corpse style death metal blows through your ears like a cyclone. Now we have reached the true heart of Dying Out Flame!

Nile is a reference point but the way this band incorporates traditional Nepalese music into their death metal is unique and unlike anything I've heard. I would point out "Maisasura Maridini" as an absolute highlight. Crushing technical death riffs and brutal roars predominate, but where you would expect a ripping guitar solo, the sounds of a sitar are heard, along with more Vedic chanting and even some female vocals. "Trinetra Dhari" (Three-Eyed One) starts with some off the wall, almost happy sounding riffs before launching into an epic assault of death metal.

The style of Dying Out Flame takes some getting used to. But that's all part of what makes metal so great...the way it can adapt itself to virtually any culture or form of traditional music. I don't know what kind of "scene" they have in Nepal, but if this band is an example, I look forward to hearing more!