A Guide to an Unknown Country's Metal Scene: Part Two

A sequel to an article about heavy metal and hard rock scene of Bangladesh.

A Guide to an Unknown Country's Metal Scene: Part Two
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I decided to write an article about my country's heavy metal and hard rock scene a while back. I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction with many praising my country, Bangladesh's legendary rock bands. Even the comment section led me to some exciting young and new bands, such as Myrath of Tunisia. I have been wanting to write a sequel for some time. Well, better late than never. After almost two years, here's the part two of "A Guide to an Unknown Country's Metal Scene."

There was a vast underground scene in Bangladesh, which is still blossoming with exciting new bands. Last time, I wrote about the biggest bands of Bangladesh: Warfaze, Aurthohin, Artcell, Nemesis. They all came from the same underground scene, here in Dhaka. The following bands that I'm going to write about also came to prominence the same way.

Cryptic Fate

In the '90s, three of the biggest bands of Bangladesh was born. They are popularly called the "ABC generation." A stands for Artcell, whom I have previously wrote about. Now I'm going to tell about B and C.

Out of all the bands, Cryptic Fate is a personal favorite of mine. A heavy metal band at first, they first released an English album called "Ends Are Forever" in 1994. However, it wasn't a big success as they have hoped it would be. After numerous line-up changes, they finally had their breakthrough with the anthemic song "Cholo Bangladesh" (translation: "Let's go Bangladesh!") in 2002, they released the Liberation War themed song "Sreshtho," which was a huge hit and still is the biggest hit of the band.

Songs like "Sreshtho" ("Greatness"), "Bhoboghure" ("Vagabond") propelled them to the mainstream rock scene in Bangladesh.

In 2006, they released the first of its kind concept album, "Danob." Even though it wasn't a huge commercial success like "Sreshtho." It did break barriers as they experimented with progressive elements.

The story of the album centers on a zombie attack to Bangladesh, with political and social themes and elements. To me personally, the song "Danob" ("Monster") is their magnum opus. Presently, they have been releasing another concept album in the name of "Noy Maash" ("Nine Months"). The duration of our Liberation War was nine months, so the album chronicles the story of the war in 1971, which led to the birth of our country. They have released 8 songs periodically in the span of 2 years. The Final song is supposed to be released soon. Here are some of the songs:



More song suggestions: "Cholo Bangladesh" ("Let's Go Bangladesh!"), "Dreamsayer," "Protibaad" ("Protest"), "Amar Sathe Ay" ("Come With Me"), "Raag" ("Anger"), Jatra ("Journey"), "Akromon!" ("Attack!") "Bhorer Opekkha" ("Waiting for the Dawn")

Black

The "B" in the "ABC Generation" is Black. One of the biggest bands of Bangladesh, Black is a pioneering alternative rock band here. I remember as a kid when Black was in their heyday, they were absolute rock idols. Then frontman, Jon Kabir was idolized by every teenager. Former keyboardist and vocalist, Tahsaan has become a hugely successful solo act in his own right. Very much inspired by the '90s alternative scene, they provided huge hit singles after singles. The "classic" line-up released 4 albums. In particular, the first two albums "Amar Prithibi" ("My World"), "Utshober Por" ("After the Celebrations") were very successful and made them one of the biggest bands in Bangladesh.

The band has had their fair share of line-up changes. Keyboardist Tahsaan left in 2006, but the band remained on. And then, frontman and key-figure of the band Jon Kabir left in 2013. Jon pursued his own interests, formed his own band Indalo, which is worth checking out. The post-Jon era has been particularly difficult for Black as fans didn't like the idea of replacing him. But they seem to have finally moved on from the shadow of him, with new vocal Rubayet Chowdhury has done a good job thus far. They will be releasing a new album this year, with the new single "Akkhep" ("Regret") was released just a few days ago.

Some of their best songs:



More song suggestions: "Tumi Ki Sara Dibe?" ("Will You Answer?"), "Se je Boshe Ache" ("He's Sitting There Alone"), "Abar" ("Again"), "Amra" ("We"), "Oviman" ("Pride"), "Aajo..." ("Today...") , "Iccha" ("Will"), "?" (The song's title is just a question mark), "Utshober Por" ("After the Celebrations"), "Akhhep" ("Regret").

Vibe

This band was touted as the next huge thing from the underground scene. But unfortunately, they discontinued after releasing just one album "Chena Jogot" ("Known World") in 2006. Nevertheless, they have a cult following here. And with very few videos of them performing live, they almost have a mythical presence in the minds of Bangladeshi metalheads. In many ways, Vibe represents the best of Bangla metal/hard rock. Hard hitting riffs, exceptional solos, thought-provoking lyrics, great vocal and lots of harmonies. Their vocalist Shuddo Fuad Sadi had a baritone vocal, which really made them stood out among the plethora of metal bands here. With many of the members pursuing other interests, and the lead guitarist Oni Hasan leaving Vibe for the biggest metal band in Bangladesh, Warfaze (I spoke about them in the previous article). The band had to be discontinued. It's a shame, because they really had unlimited potential. Nevertheless, here are the best songs by them:




More song suggestions : "Chena Jogot" ("Known World"), "Amar Shongbidhan" ("My Constitution"), "Mone Pore" ("I Remember"), "Nostalgia."

Hopefully, this will lead to more fans listening to what our country has to offer. I was really overwhelmed by the positive reaction last time I had. Many of you even suggested to make this Unknown Country series a regular thing. And if you are not from USA or UK, I encourage you to write about your country's bands. Let's make the metal community broader, by sharing what our country has to offer. It will only broaden our musical tastes if we listen to music of other countries. Our languages or style might not be the same, but our passion surely for music surely is.

Last time I recommended Warfaze, Artcell, Aurthohin, and Nemesis. Here are some more song suggestions from these bands.

Warfaze: "Boshe Achi," "Tomake," "Omanush," "Hotasha," "Oshamajik," "Shomoy," "Mone Pore," "Moharaj," "Na," "Agami"

Artcell: "Ghune Khaoa Rod," "Onno Shomoy," "Chilekothar Shepai," "Oniket Prantor," "Bhul Jommo," "Amar Poth Chola," "Smriti Sharok," "Dhushor Shomoy," "Pathor Bagan," "Gontobbohin"

Aurthohin: "Aushomapto," "Guti" ("The Finale"), "Guti From Hell," "Nikrishto," "Anmone," "Adbhut Shei Cheleti," "Rater Train," "Shaat Din," "Shomadi Shohor"

Nemesis: "Bir," "Obocheton," "Ghuri," "Biborno Sroshtha," "Gone," "New Day," "Kobe," "Tritio Jatra," "Hold On," "Nirbashon"

And for those who are interested to play some songs I mentioned here on guitar I recommend you to visit my YouTube channel, where I have covered some of the songs.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    CTB18
    Great article. I love finding out about different bands that are relatively unknown to most in the States. It's awesome that music can transcend so many barriers as in culture, distance, language. It's the feeling and the passion for the music that everyone can feel, regardless of nationality.
    beau05
    From New Zealand, check out Exordium Mors, Winter Deluge, Stormforge, Carnal, Metaltower, Malevolence, Sabbatic Goat, Extinction Campaign, Horrendous Disfigurement, Nullifier, Execrate, Pervertor, Bulletbelt, Dissolution, Silent Torture, Burning Solitude (RIP). There are heaps more, but I've been drinking, and can't remember. Enjoy
    travislausch
    I know of Artcell, and they're really damn good!
    Aryan Death Man
    Which songs of them do you listen to? Can i ask where are you from and how you found out about them?
    travislausch
    The whole "Oniket Prantor" album, but I especially love the opening track, "Lin", it's just simply beautiful! I'm from Canada, and I heard about Artcell by looking up metal bands from around the world on Wikipedia. Also discovered a bunch of bands from other south Asian countries in the process. It's amazing how metal is such a universal style that it's performed all over the world!
    Aryan Death Man
    That's so great to hear. I suggest you listen to the Cryptic Fate's Danob album.Vastly different from Artcell.but that has some proggy elements like Oniket Prantor I suggest you to listen to Vibe.Has that punchy feel of some of Artcell's hard hitting songs
    travislausch
    I'm actually going back and listening to the Oniket Prantor album now... it's so good! Lots of absolutely killer guitar playing!
    Aryan Death Man
    Listen to the first album too. Bhul Jonmo,Onno shomoy are killer songs.Chilekothar Shepai is not from the albums.But is one helluva song