Bloodywood – Rakshak
Release Date: 18/02/22
Review by Beth Jones
If you’ve not come across Bloodywood yet, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention, damn it!! Everyone needs a bit of their music in their lives and there is no day that can’t be infinitely improved with a quick blast of one of their tunes. For those who haven’t heard them, they are a Folk Metal band from India, who specialise in combining traditional Indian instruments such as the percussive Dhol and the single-stringed Tumbi, with absolutely blistering and hard hitting Modern Metal. And by gum do they do it well.
Their new offering “Rakshak” is centred around a theme of healing, in a variety of forms. The word ‘rakshak’ is Hindi for ‘protector’ or ‘guardian’ and the band state that their goal with this album is to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
‘Gaddaar’ Kicks off the album. It’s a hellishly catchy number combining familiar Bhangra sounds with some absolutely punishing Metal riffs and violent vocals. It’s one of the most exciting album openers I’ve heard in a while to be honest. It’s impossible not to move to it. There’s a section of Hindi chanting in it too, which flows seamlessly back into the brutal vocals of Jayant Bhadula. He has one hell of a set of pipes!
There are some great Rap Metal vocal sections through Bloodywood’s music too, provided by Raoul Kerr – and in these areas, their sound becomes almost akin to Linkin Park, but heavier. ‘Aaj’ has a great example of this, as does ‘Zanjeero Se’, which also takes on a very Modern Metal feel through the guitar work, and the overdriven tones. It’s bloody clever stuff.
Another aspect of their music is mournful flute solos, which appear at various points throughout the album. They really shine on ‘Jee Veerey’ and add a haunting depth to this track in particular. It’s like a weird juxtaposition of the intense, in your face Modern Metal sounds and the calming Traditional Folk sounds, which really works outstandingly well.
And it really is a combination of all these sounds that make up Bloodywood, and this album. Every track is attacked with punch and hi-voltage energy, but delicately interwoven with uplifting Folk. My Favourite track is ‘Dana-Dan’. It’s intricate, with a whole ton of rhythms changes between sections, it’s sonically massive and down-right dirty as. This could be complete carnage at a live show. There would be some serious slamming going on. I LOVE IT!!
Bloodywood are by far one of the most exciting bands around at the moment. They are making more and more of a name for themselves globally, and rightly so, because they’re fresh, and so very passionate about what they do, which is just a great thing to see. This album needs to be a mainstay on your playlists.
‘Aaj’ Official Video
03. Zanjeero Se
04. Machi Bhasad
06. Jee Veerey
10. Chakh Le
Karan Katiyar – Guitar, Flute, Percussion, Composition, Production
Raoul Kerr – Rap Vocals
Jayant Bhadula – Aggressive Vocals
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