|#FOR FANS OF: Black/Death|
Count me in as pretty impressed. Rudra made a big impression on me on 'Kurukshetra'? Think it was that one. Back then I was an 18 year old belatedly getting into extreme metal who was blown away by just how different it sounded. These days I'm much harder to please, but to my surprise, I found myself digging this album just as much.
I reckon the obvious comparison here would be Nile. I mean they don't exactly sound all that alike, but Rudra's thrashing, often death-ing metal has a lot of similar hallmarks- namely a dedication to going for exactly one and one vibe only, fascination with a bunch of old, dusty things and a tendency to use the same scale over and over again. The ancient, mystical culture they're trying to invoke is just a bit further east, that's all.
And they're really good at it. It's arguably a team effort - the guitarist throws out a lot of pretty decent riffs - but it's really a percussion and vocal based thing. The vocals - this big midranged snarling thing, growling away in a bunch of languages and really adding a powerful, rich, very fierce vibe to proceedings. There's this tendency in tracks like "Hermit in Nididhysana" for him to get into a fairly repetitive, ritualistic mood and it's freakin' great. All up it's those moments - much of "Hermit", the epic closer and "Roots of Misapprehension" to pick a few examples - where Rudra are at their finest. They can do fairly decent, crunchy death metal but it's when the drums start getting increasingly off beat and things get a bit trancey that the band takes off and things get really fun.
There's a few nit-picky criticisms, perhaps - the production could certainly be a bit beefier, and the bass is reduced to a rumbling somewhere in the distance, and a few of the riffs, particularly earlier in the album, are a bit weak. I really like this album, but you certainly get the feeling that if Rudra just went a bit more off the deep end - a few more far-out parts, and perhaps a more intense riffset at times - then you'd really have an all-time band on our hands.
As it stands though, I'm still playing this regularly a month or so after the initial promo download, which says a lot. Well worth your time, 'Enemy of Duality' is definitely a quality album. (Caspian Yurisich)
(Transcending Obscurity - 2016)