Indian metal band Midhaven pays tribute to Mahakaal in new album


Blending Indian varieties with progressive metal, the seven-track album “Of The Lotus & The Thunderbolt” is a tribute to Shiva as Mahakaal

Whenever the death knell for heavy metal is sounded in India, the headbangers come alive with a deafening growl. Despite a niche audience, metal musicians in India have always made virtuoso music.

Mumbai-based metal band Midhaven releases latest Shiva-inspired concept album Lotus and love at first sight – a collection of seven tracks juxtaposing Indian varieties with traditional and progressive metal. The group includes Karan R Kaul (vocals / guitar), Aditya Mohanan (guitar / vocalist) and Aviraj Kumar (drums).

Their album explores the concept of time by paying homage to Shiva as Mahakaal – the “ruler of time”. Aditya says, “The album is conceptually philosophical and time is spoken in a cyclical rather than linear fashion. The Kalpas and Yugas in Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism are also taken to portray our understanding of Universal Time.

With an Indian motif at its heart, the album contains tracks like “Para Brahman”, “Codeman”, “Zhitro”, “Mahakaal” and “Bhairav”, among others. The album’s launch was preceded by the release of a video single of a very powerful track titled “Primal Song”, where primitive emotions manifest through riffs and rhythms.

Symbolism of the soul

Deciphering the content of their album, Karan says: “The ideas were in our heads and they came together thanks to our friendship, through discussions, which led to the creation of this album. Aviraj emphasizes the organic progression of their album. “It came naturally to us as part of the creative process. There was no strength.

Cover of Mahakaal, an album by Midhaven

Cover of Mahakaal, an album by Midhaven

When asked to clarify the meaning of the title, Lotus and love at first sight, the group unanimously appoints Aditya for the post and he is holding on. “This is heavily inspired by Vajrayana Buddhism which is practiced in Tibet – a combination of Buddhist elements and Tantra at the same time. There is a lot of symbolism involved. The lotus is a beautiful flower that grows in mud. us, the lotus translates into the human soul and then there is the vajra, which means love at first sight, which in tantra is described as a potential latent in each soul to achieve emancipation. The album therefore speaks of the human soul going through a cycle before reaching the state of moksha.

Stating that metal bands have to struggle to be heard in India, Aviraj says, “Metal is definitely not mainstream. But not all artists have the same followers, do they? While it’s tempting to assume that the rebellious rage and aggressiveness of the metal is what makes it hard for an Indian audience to enjoy, high on softer melodies and catchy film music, Aditya says it is. more because metal is kind of a niche. “I grew up seeing a lot of anger in India … metal is not accepted because people don’t understand it.”

Midhaven Manufacturing

Midhaven’s journey began in 2010 when Karan and Aviraj realized they wanted to make similar music. In 2012, they formed a group of four and released a few records in 2016. Then came their album Bewitched with Universal Music. A split in the group saw the exit of some members and the entry of Aditya in 2017.

Indian Metal Trio - Karan Kaul, Aditya Mohanan and Aviraj Kumar

Indian Metal Trio – Karan Kaul, Aditya Mohanan and Aviraj Kumar

Karan, who calls himself an amateur astronomer, explains the process behind the group’s name. “While in astrology ‘in the middle of the sky’ means something else, in astronomy it means a local point of self, the only celestial object that is directly above you is in the middle of the sky. So I was playing on the word and I arrived at “mid-haven”.

The three musicians have very different day jobs: Karan is an esports coach, Aviraj is an advertising and marketing professional and Aditya, a budding archaeologist. “We do separate things but we come together to invest money and time in musical creation,” explains Karan.

Although individually all three have created different types of music, as a Midhaven band they create pure Indian metal. “Indian metal is at a weird stage right now, it’s had its ups and downs,” Karan says, adding, “Right now it’s in limbo and could go anywhere: it could stop. tomorrow or explode. “


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