Heavy Prescription : The Search for Quarantine’s Anodyne

We are forced to reckon and perhaps rethink the idea of ‘space’, its rather unique capacity for confinement and ‘bruise-heavy’ mental skirmishes that comes pre-packaged when its employed under all things quarantine. The cause for quarantining should be respected, yes, but sometimes we need a few salves to soothe those rather unruly ‘side effects’ that comes with living long in a certain space. Getting stuck in our homes for this long and being asked to enjoy enforced solitude is by no means easy. Our mental health, both individually and collectively, is put to the test. Sometimes it may only be a crack away from revealing its rather mushy interior.

And in times like these – with metal’s penchant for all things dystopian/pandemic – album titles and their lyrics can move from being prophetic to being just plain ludicrous (I still love it though).

Regardless. it’s important to keep listening, to keep that conversation with music alive and kicking!

Drown out those sorrows you say? Let’s listen to…

Artwork by Nightjar Illustrations/Adam Burke

1. Drown – Subaqueous

Tchornobog (“Black god” in Ukranian) was an interesting death doom debut to say the least. Markov, the sole person behind the project takes a turn for the benthic with his comparatively older band called Drown. Funeral Doom with a melodicism that is teasing at best but alluring nonetheless. Even Poseidon would have a few godly facial muscles sagging.


2. 200 Stab Wounds – Piles of Festering Decomposition EP (Maggot Stomp)

Now some prodding with sharp objects to get you out of that ‘eternal wallowing’ in despair. Short, crisp and all things caveman pummeling.  This is a fine death metal EP that fits into this emergent American clique of grimier death metal bands that’ve come out on the Maggot Stomp label (think Frozen Soul and Malignant Altar).

Artwork by Artem Demura

3. Macbeth – Gedankenwächter (Massacre Records)

A band that has a long and storied history, replete with a few run-ins with the Stasi, and one of the first bands from the erstwhile German Democratic Republic. What I love about this particular release are those lovely anthemic/cathartic choruses (Krieger/In sienem namen). Cool as fuck.


Artwork by Nightjar Illustrations/Adam Burke

4. Solothus – Realm of Ash and Blood (20 Buck Spin)

First encountered these guys with their last release on Doomentia Records which was surprisingly good to begin with. This is Finnish death metal painted over with that now infamous sheen of gloomy atmospherics that saddles both death and doom metal. This is no different, but for me the high point of the release is when they go into those melodic soloing modes. Think Mithras, albeit much slower, darker and with adequate breathing space to sink in.


5. Beggar – Compelled to Repeat (APF Records)

Initial listens would suggest that they’d fall squarely into the category of those more grimier, uglier and altars of debauchery-spinoffs of Electric Wizard. I’m here talking about the sludge that bands like Dopethrone and Demonic Death Judge sort of espouse.  They are definitely in that league and a breath of fresh air in a niche that has gone increasingly stale over the years in terms of memorability.


Artwork by CT Nelson

6. Sutrah – Aletheia EP (The Artisan Era)

This is death metal philosophical discourse 101. Trying to capture Ancient Greek philosophical concepts such as ‘lethe’     (meaning ‘oblivion) and it’s opposite, Aletheia (or ‘disclosure’) is a grand exercise unto itself. But something which metal is not new to (here, here and here). Regardless something as concept heavy as this requires a treatment that is nothing short of grandiose. And yet that is something Sutrah does in style and I mean you could literally hope for nothing less from members of a band that have connections to the whole Canadian circle of proggy tech death that includes the likes of Chthe’ilist, Serocs, and Zealotry. You must check out the debut too if you end up digging this.


7. Vredehammer – Viperous (Indie Recordings)

I end this list with the 3rd album from Vredehammer. Fitting I’d say. It’s a jolt of unrelenting blackened death with the death metal aspects having a heightened presence throughout. Now this is probably because of the beefier tone that they use – but here you do begin to grasp a thread or two the close attention to the riff that bands like Desaster and Destroyer 666 employ. And while on a similar vein, it’s not yet traded for a frenetic full frontal assault.

P.S. And oh fuck! Those synth passages are to look out for! Remember the first time you listened to, say Quartz’s Charlie Snow????

P.P.S. Now if this is all TLDR for you then I’d recommend tuning into my little playlist of sorts, that focuses on some of the best tracks (not necessarily best albums) for 2020 in IMHO.

Heavy Prescription (Freebies Edition) – Aronious, The Moon Mistress

Worker Holding Iron Ore Rock

People tend to get excited once the word “Free” is put in context. And as for us Indians, every form of exaggeration would turn out to be too kind in that case. Off late, primarily through Bandcamp, more bands face the hard truth of piracy by giving out their albums for free. In fact, this is great forethought, as today people are more wary of putting their money where it is due. What with the sheer number of metal releases over the last two decades, it seems only logical to do so. To be blunt, people would like to try out an attire before going on to purchasing it. Checking in on how it suits you, damages if any, print mistakes etc.But in the end you are either assured of your choice or dislike and discard it.  The same logic applies here. There are good sides to this as well, as it in a way promotes the album as well as the purchase of its physical copy.

So here today are two pieces of legally downloadable music. Set aside your tingling conscience and feel free to judge the music.


1.Aronious – Demo

2012 was a banner year for Technical death metal with great releases from the stalwarts and new bands alike. 2013 so far has only a few, albeit excellent (Deeds of Flesh, Fallujah, Ara) records. Aronious seems to be a new find and well worth the yearning for a bit of technicality. Sonically they sound similar to the likes of Gorod and Obscura with a trifle little of Meshuggh-esque groove (not DJENT!) put in for good measure. All the technical melange is then interjected with subtle melody, adding to the overall catchiness.

What you have here for download is not exactly an album nor an EP. The band did make a statement regarding it – “Just so everyone knows, the “demo” up on bandcamp is in no way an official release, album, or EP. The way bandcamp works you need to group songs together in order to play them back to back. Otherwise you’d have to switch between each song. We did this for your convenience, but it is in no way complete. It is a little over half of our EP which will be released later this year.”  – Aronious

This does keep my hopes high for a dashing new record from this relatively young band, in the near future.


2. The Moon Mistress – Simla EP

Bands from the Russian Federations seem to have taken a liking to Indian Mythology and culture (Kartikeya?). The Moon Mistress  a doom band from Moscow, Russia has just come out with an EP, eponymously titled Simla. This probably stands testament to the fact Hinduism and Indian culture, something which is generally common place here seems to evoke interest in distant parts of the world. Post-independence, socialism was an important ideology in our country. Especially during the Nehru-era. And it is specifically during this period, i surmise, that a lot of the cultural cravings of both countries were exchanged. In fact there is an institute just for cultural relations between both countries. Things are interesting indeed. A bit of worldly info doesn’t hurt.

That said the Moon Mistress’s Simla is an exercise in the more primal leanings of doom. Probably musically closer to early day Saint Vitus. Long, meandering and despondent. And yet the semi clean guitar intro, the in-between leads, the almost chanted out vocals,all seem to harbor a certain Indian classical vibe. A disposition knee deep in the Indian occult. Or so it seems. Entrancing nonetheless.

Heavy Prescription: Aegaeon, Graveyard of Souls, Craven Idol, Sombres Forets

Typing this after a long gap. Ah well let us just spare the explaining this time around and get on with the music. Here are a few brand new tracks that might as well escaped your notice.

1. Aegaeon

Their EP ‘Being’ came like an asteroid crash. An unrelenting barrage of heaviness and yet pretty enjoyable. Genre wise, Aegaeon lies somewhere between Deathcore and Death metal. But i find them to be more death metal than anything else. That said much like their contemporaries the brilliant Fallujah,  they come off as extremely proficient on their instruments. With the latest single, Neural Union, they seem to have taken a more progressive route, much like Fallujah again. Dissonant melodies slide over constantly churning riffs. Cheggit!

2. Graveyard of Souls

If you have a leaning towards the Shades of God- Gothic era Paradise Lost, then this will be a treat. This Spanish duo belts out some great melodies on their first single “Memories of the Future“. The track comes off their debut release, titled “Shadows of Life” released via FDA Rekotz.


Paolo Girardi can never fail

3. Craven Idol

The name suggests some cheesy pop punk,. But it is not to be, what you have here is morbid blackened thrash. There is a greater emphasis on melody and atmosphere which is pretty uncommon in thrash. Definitely influenced by the likes of Celtic Frost and early day Sodom, they sound scathing with a smattering of all things sinister. All this can be imbibed from the their first track release titled “To Summon Maryion“, coming off Craven Idol‘s debut full length Towards Eschaton. It is to be released via the revered Dark Descent. Oh yes and did i mention that it’s Paolo Girardi‘s majestic artwork?

4. Sombres Forets

If you consider yourself to be in a rather cheerful mood after all that, then this will seek to enervate. Be wary  my friend. Sombres Forets, “Dark Forests” in French, stays true to its title. Dark forests have forever been the imagery of depressive black metal. The foreboding and eerie atmosphere that the term conjures is perfectly dwelt upon this new track Entrangleur de Soleils. The pain emoted vocals further add to the despondent aura. The track comes off their third full length titled La Mort du Soleil, released via Sepulchral Productions.

Heavy Prescription: Unmothered, Petrichor, Serpent Omega

Ah yes! Yet another edition of  Heavy Prescription comes your way. My new found interest in everything coming in dark and black never wavering, here are a few new tracks that i guess will need some serious checking out on your part.

NOTE: Images are deliberately displayed at large resolutions  for we think artwork is equally important to the overall musical output. If you find this a bit jarring then i humbly ask you to sod off and find some place else to hover over.



Despite the all pervasive nature of mainstream metal today there is still a lot of good music that simply eludes us. One can cite a plethora of different reasons for this particular prick called ‘lack of reach’ between the band and the listener. The most prominent ones include dismal promotion of the music at hand or its complete absence altogether and of the ever so common, diminished appeal of said music. When it comes to metal, the latter gains more ground and we end up missing out on bands such as Unmothered. Dark, haunting and soul piercing haunt rock is what Unmothered style themselves to be , and they do this with such cohesiveness hitherto missing in most of new metal today. The self-titled debut consists of tracks that  are far unlike forced caesarians. These songs have been given enough time and thought to develop into slow, trampling, blackened beasts. They take the staple rock diet and stuff it with elements of black, sludge and stoner motifs enough for leaving a dent in your cranium. I suggest you go stream through the entire album stream below and hear for yourself.



Ah! Now on to something relatively close to our shores for a change. Petrichor from Pune, is definitely not a band that has been new to our site. For one they were featured on our exclusively Progressive Djent compilation, ‘Techwreck‘ whichwas released earlier this year. After which we streamed their tracks on a predated Heavy Prescription post. Now before you jump to conclusions, none of the band members are relatives of mine or have been my acquaintances, and i haven’t married their sisters. Their multiple feature on this site is primarily because i do feel a certain proclivity to the constantly improving standards of the band. As perfect testimony to this very fact, they have just released a new single titled ‘Parasight: Comorbid’. This is an exhibit of darkened metal constructed dexterously with each section given credit and so unlike the polyrhythmic riff fest that bands of the genre fall victim to. A conspicuous yet well placed clean guitar part to break things down so that the listener may be deluded with a temporary feeling of possible recuperation, only to be find themselves in the path of a groovy onslaught the next second. Although such tactics have been played at by bands before, they have rarely attained its true purpose. Masterly laid riffs and greatly improved vocals make this a totally worthy listen.



Let us take things down a notch here. Lets have a bit of that of that doom shall we? After all things never end well in life. Stoner, Sludge and Doom, three metal genres that have constantly given each other nods of approval all these years, join hands here once again in Serpent Omega. Sweden’s fresh breeding grounds have spawned yet another demonoid. With their self titled debut via Mordgrimm Records seeing daylight in the first days of January, they have just released a single track titled ‘Skullwand’. The main groove of the track seems to be a spell that develops an infectious curse upon the listener. Now scamper away! or be transfixed by the Skullwand.