Almost three years ago, upstart hard rock/metal band Bloodywood first started carving out its place in the hard rock and metal community when it released its single, ‘Ari Ari.’ The song, which blended the band members’ Indian musical background with a more western nu-meatl approach started was jus the beginning of a meteoric rise for the band. Each song and each video that the band released built its fame and fan base even more, even leading to a performance at one of the world’s most respected live festival shows, the Wacken Open Air Festival, in 2019. On Feb. 18, the band will take yet another big step forward when it releases its debut album, Rakshak. The 10-song album joins all but one of the singles that the band has released to date – ‘Ari Ari’ is, ironically the only single not featured in this record – to make an overall presentation that given the right support, will make Bloodywood one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal communities. That is proven in part through its noted musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add even more appeal to the presentation. They will be discussed a little later. The sequencing of that content rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Rakshak a successful debut album for Bloodywood that audiences will agree was well worth the wait.
Rakshak, the debut album from up-and-coming hard rock/metal band Bloodywood, is a successful first outing from the band. It is a presentation that audiences will agree was well worth the wait. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question blend so many influences from one song to the next. Case in point is the arrangement in the early entry, ‘Aaj.’ Vocalist Jayant Bhadula’s growls in this song reach the level of death metal growls a la Whitechapel front man Phil Bozeman. His screams meanwhile pair with the rapping of co-vocalist Raoul Kerr to form the foundation for a sort of metalcore sound and stylistic approach. That leaning is highlighted even more through the combined performances of guitarist Karan Katiyar and the added bass and drums. There is so much going on here in terms of the instrumentation and in terms of the influences, yet it is all so well-balanced. The end result is a work that serves to show Bloodywood is not just another nu-metal band, but a viable hard rock and metal outfit with very real talent and ability.
The infusion of the noted nu-metal and metal influences is displayed just as well much later in the album in the form of ‘BSDK.exe.’ Kerr’s rapping against the keyboards and electronics at points throughout the song is full on nu-metal in every sense. That sound and stylistic approach is contrasted in the song’s choruses with a much heavier, guitar-driven influence. Again, Bhadula’s death metal growls are on full display, and so are some sharper screams. The band’s Indian influence is present here, too, just not as prominently as in some of the album’s other arrangements. The best comparison that one might be able to make in this case is to works from the likes of Fear Factory and early works from Chimaira. In other words, it boasts its own identity separate from that of ‘Aaj’ and all of the album’s other songs. It is just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements show their importance to the record’s presentation. ‘Dana-Dan,’ the album’s midpoint, is another example of the importance of the album’s musical arrangements.
‘Dana-Dan’ is important in examining Rakshak’s musical arrangements because it also boasts its own identity. In the case of this song, the arrangement is just as heavy as ever with its down-tuned guitars, its screams, rapping, and its rhythm section. The nu-metal leanings are just as present as ever here courtesy of Kerr’s rapping. Bhadula’s vocals, paired with those of Kerr and with the instrumentation helps to take the arrangement in yet another direction. In the case of this song, his work and that of his fellow musicians gives the song a sound and stylistic approach that is similar to that of Devildriver and Slipknot. One could even argue a comparison to works from Unearth. That is the case even with the use of the keyboards and electronics subtly incorporated into the arrangement. All things considered, this composition is just as heavy as any other song featured in Rakshak and at the same time, still boasts its own identity. When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes clear the importance of the album’s musical arrangements. Of course the musical side of Rakshak is just one part of what makes the album a success. Its lyrical themes are just as important as its musical arrangements.
The lyrical themes that Rakshak presents are important because they are each so powerful and as diverse as the album’s musical arrangements. Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘Jee Veerey.’ The theme here is one of determination. Bhadula encourages listeners in the chorus, to ‘Live, brave one/Fight those internal storms and/Win, brave one/Weather those wounds and/Rise once again/Fly once again” Kerr builds on that message as he reminds listeners that “We’ve all had to go/To the land down below/Where the sun don’t shine/And the moon don’t glow/Sat back/Trapped in the big bubble, saying/Chuck that man/It ain’t worth the trouble/Sound familiar don’t it/I think we all own it/A mindset that don’t seem to get/We’ve outgrown it/Now I’m sat back/Poking at the big bubble, saying/Talk back/You’re bigger than the trouble/Walk this valley of death/Head high/Say ‘I’ll be back, today I won’t die/’Cause try as we may/We can never deny/We can get back up if we’re still alive.” Kerr’s straight forward wording is sure to connect and resonate with any listener. This message of overcoming depression and mental health issues in general is anything but new, but is presented in a fresh way here. That in itself is impressive. What’s more, addressing mental health is always important. To that end, this song’s uplifting lyrical theme is a prime example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content. The lyrical theme featured in ‘Endurant’ is another example of that importance.
‘Endurant,’ which is one of the songs that helped build Bloodywood’s popularity, delivers a theme of forgiveness. It reminds listeners that while yes, there are people out there who want to make us miserable, we must forgive them. This is not something easy to do by any means. It is not within humans’ nature to forgive. We want to right wrongs done against us. The theme is made clear early on as Kerr comes right out and says in his rapping, “This goes out to the silent who fight the urge to get violent/This goes out with the love/bound with the power to rise above.” Bhadula adds, “Suppressed/self-conflicted/A prisoner of silence/Sever the bonds that always made you yield/Become your own shield.” Bhadula adds in the song’s chorus, “I am endurant/I am not a stray rock/I am the founding stone of a mountain/I am not weak/I am forgiving/Within darkness, I am my own light.” This is a powerful overall statement. It is another theme (and content) that will resonate with any listener with its supportive statements. To that end, it is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. Along with facing one’s own emotions and thoughts, the band also takes on the matter of facing loss in the album’s lyrical content. That is made clear in the song, ‘Yaad.’ This deeply emotional song encourages listeners to grieve and to move on. The release and healing happens through holding memories of those loved ones whom we have lost. The band points this out not only in notes with the song’s video, but just as much through the lyrics. Kerr raps here, “Your fire burns beneath the frost/An empire built between my thoughts/Crisscrossed across the line that can’t be crossed/A million memories in this melody/Singing to me/Smile/This is the way it’s meant to be.” He adds, “With every breath/With every smile/With every sound of the beating heart/Your undying fire burns ever brighter.” So again what audiences get here is a message of knowing the loss has happened, but knowing that loved one will never be forgotten and that no one should ever forget loved ones who have moved on. At the same time, we cannot relegate ourselves to pining for them forever after they are gone. It is another familiar theme that is presented in such a unique way, showing even more, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When this uplifting theme is considered along with the other equally uplifting themes in the songs examined here, and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes this record’s lyrical content so undeniably important. When the overall lyrical theme is considered along with the overall musical content, the whole of that content makes more than clear why Rakshak is a success. When the content’s sequencing is considered along with the content itself, it completes the album’s picture and leaves no doubt that this record deserves plenty of attention.
The sequencing of Rakshak’s content is important because it takes the diversity of those items into full account along with the energy in the songs’ energies. As already noted, the band takes on a diverse range of sounds and styles in its musical arrangements from one song to the next. The group also takes on a wide range of lyrical themes along the way. The sequencing ensures that both sides change as much as possible throughout the record’s 47-minute run time. Along the way, the energy in the songs’ arrangements is expertly balanced. The presentation starts on a powerful note in the politically charged, ‘Gaddaar’ and keeps that energy moving through to ‘Zanjeero Se.’ The album’s third entry, it balances the band’s heavier and softer side so well within itself, giving audiences the best of both worlds. From there, the energy picks back up in ‘Machi Bhasad’ and carries through to ‘Jee Veerey.’ Here again is a display of the band’s heavier leanings expertly placed alongside the band’s softer side. It is presented in a way that is unique from that of ‘Zanjeero Se,’ too. That makes the listening experience all the better. As the album progresses through its second half from there, the ups and downs are more pronounced in the contrasting sounds and styles of ‘Endurant’ and ‘Yaad.’ ‘Yaad’ is one part contemplative nu-metal and one part heavy ballad while ‘Endurant’ is much heavier and determined. The thing is that even with that difference, the energy between the two songs keeps the record’s energy stable in each work, once again proving the importance of the album’s sequencing. The album’s last two tracks pick audiences back up and get them back into the mosh pit, leaving them breathless by the record’s end. It shows once again, the time and thought that went into the album’s sequencing. The end result of that time and thought is that the sequencing gives the album’s presentation a positive aesthetic impact. When that impact is considered along with the positive impact of the album’s overall content, the whole leaves no doubt that this record is a complete success.
Up-and-coming hard rock/metal band Bloodywood is primed to be one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal communities. The band’s debut album, Rakshak, makes that clear. Given the right support, it is certain to keep the band’s meteoric rise to fame going strong. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements are diverse, offering audiences elements of nu-metal, death metal, and even some aggro-rock and other influences throughout. Those leanings are well-balanced with the songs, too, making for even more engagement and entertainment. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are just as diverse in their topics. From socio-politically charged songs to deeper works about accepting loss, and works in between promoting self-confidence among audiences, the themes touch on so many areas. They will resonate with audiences along the way because of their familiarity and the way in which they are presented. The sequencing of that content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation. It takes into account the noted variety in the content and the energies established in each song to make a presentation that is wholly fulfilling for any listener. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Rakshak unquestionably one more of the best of the year’s new hard rock and metal albums so far.
Rakshak is scheduled for release Feb. 18. The band is scheduled to launch a tour across Europe in support of the record in March. The tour’s schedule is noted below.
- Sat Mar 05 2022 – Im Wizemann Stuttgart, Germany Tickets
- Sun Mar 06 2022 – Zoom Frankfurt am Main, Germany Tickets
- Mon Mar 07 2022 – Die Kantine Cologne, Germany Tickets
- Tue Mar 08 2022 – La Madeleine Brussels, Belgium Tickets
- Wed Mar 09 2022 – Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands Tickets
- Fri Mar 11 2022 – Gruenspan Hamburg, Germany Tickets
- Sat Mar 12 2022 – Pumpehuset Copenhagen, Denmark Tickets
- Sun Mar 13 2022 – BI NUU Berlin, Germany Tickets
- Tue Mar 15 2022 – Freiheitshalle München, Germany Tickets
- Fri Mar 18 2022 – The Factory San Martino Buon Albergo, Italy Tickets
- Sat Mar 19 2022 – Slaughter Club Paderno Dugnano, Italy Tickets
- Sun Mar 20 2022 – Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Switzerland Tickets
- Tue Mar 22 2022 – LE TRABENDO (Parc de la Villette) Paris, France Tickets
- Thu Mar 24 2022 – Prince Albert Brighton, United Kingdom Tickets
- Sat Mar 26 2022 – Cathouse Glasgow, United Kingdom Tickets
- Wed Mar 30 2022 – O2 Institute 2 Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom Tickets
- Thu Mar 31 2022 – O2 Academy Islington North London, United Kingdom Tickets
- Thu Aug 11 2022 – Bloodstock Open Air 2022 Walton on Trent, United Kingdom Tickets
More information on Bloodywood’s new album, single, video and tour is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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