I would never have expected one of the best sounding death metal releases I’ve ever heard to come from India but that’s exactly what Hyderabad quartet Godless have produced on their sophomore EP release “Swarm”.
Made up of four tracks (not including the intro), the ep bangs away at a frantic pace, employing a pastiche of technical influences from early Metallica, Pantera, Cannibal Corpse, Lamb of God, Slipknot, coalescing into a brutal, highly creative collection of songs.
These influences transcend each track on a variety of ways and, at times, takes on the imagined characteristics of a possible supergroup. It’s difficult to pigeonhole any of the musical performances into any one category despite the use of familiar tropes from Thrash, Grind, Death and Groove metal, the tracks are written in such a way that the repetition is more or less transparent. It’s like, you feel the song as a whole more than you hear or recognise each individual section, if that makes sense.
It’s as though the band took the phrase “do one thing and do it well” and said “lol, nah”. Where any of the aforementioned bands are well known for their core sound (I’m not discounting their diversity, just saying that the softer tracks aren’t the first that come to mind for most people), Godless can do it all, it IS their sound.
There isn’t a particular stand out track as such, it’s hard to have one when all the songs are great! The riffing of the guitars by Ravi Nidamarthy is dynamic between tremolo picking and chugs. They’re rooted within death metal while being augmented with thrash and groove. The bass playing of Abbas Razvi is violently playful in and around each musical part, it’s the most creative use of the instrument I’ve heard without venturing into extreme technical territory. I cannot praise the drumming enough, Aniketh Yadev has so much groove and versatility. A massive part of what makes the EP work is his unusual approach to rhythm at times. Finally we come to Kaushal LS, he is a vocal powerhouse! Those influences I mentioned, he can pull it all off seamlessly in such a way that they are like a pallet for him to vocally paint with.
The sound design of “Swarm” is spectacular with mixing and mastering done at the infamous Hertz studio in Poland who have mixed releases by Behemoth, Vader and Decapitated. The playing of each instrument is emphasised in this US sounding mix, there is so much clarity to each and every sound! I would make the focus about the vocals, not for any other reason other than it’s usually hard to understand lyrics with this style of music, on “Swarm”, every line is crystal clear.
The only complaint I have is, the EP is sort of over just as it begins, four tracks of this quality just aren’t enough. Though thanks to the versatility in the songwriting, replayability of the EP is highly enjoyable and it also leaves a huge impact on those who listen to it. It worked for me, I want to hear more.
In the press release it states that the band aren’t interested in showboating, but focused on delivering a relentless aggressive collection of music. In that, as you may have already summarised, the band have succeeded. While this EP is amazing, I sincerely hope that their next release is a full blown album. The level of musicianship and possession of songwriting skill by the band demands such a release, however “Swarm” is more than enough to garner attention for the band to justify such a release.
Grab your copy of “Swarm” HERE