Demonic Resurrection is one of India’s oldest metal bands. Frontman Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija has kept the band going with his dogged determination despite multiple lineup changes over the years. The band have performed at festivals and even toured the UK. On their fifth full length album Dashavatar, the band have expanded their already full sound with the introduction of Indian instruments and further experimentation in melodic death metal mixed with black metal and even strains of epic power. I spoke to Sahil about Dashavatar, their new sound and their plans for this year.
Your latest album Dashavatar is about the the avatars of Lord Vishnu according to Indian mythology. Tell us a bit more about the album.
Dashavatar is our 5th full length album and it’s 10 songs, each about a different avatar of Vishnu. It’s our best work yet I feel.
The album features Indian musical instruments like the sitar and tabla. How did they become a part of your sound?
I have a vision of having these instruments while I wrote the songs. I just called some musicians I knew and asked them to be a part of the album and they delivered some amazing performances.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
I’m not even close to where I want to be and am far far away from how successful I would like to be. I got into music shortly after school. Listening to metal music inspired me to want to form a band and that lead to me learning guitar after I completed my 10th standard.
When you’re not listening to, writing or playing metal, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently?
I’m currently enjoying Linkin Park’s – Heavy and also Aborted – Retrogore.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
For me the worst thing has always been and will always be the smoking of cigarettes and doing drugs, of course this is not restricted to metal but it’s something I’ve always despised. The greatest thing is the amazing music being churned out by so many bands. It’s like an unlimited supply of awesome music.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
I have none and I do not wish to combine the two. I keep the causes and charity away from my music.
Dashavatar is being released independently after your last two albums being released by Candlelight Records. What do you feel is the role of a record label in today’s digital age?
There is a lot a label can do, especially when it comes to promoting an album as well as distributing it. Our label dropped us after the last two albums and we decided to take things in our own hands and handle it. We’d love to get signed to a big label like Nuclear Blast or Season of Mist or Century Media etc. who can get our music out to a wider audience. So there is always a benefit of having a label (depending on which one it is).
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Honestly just look at doing the best work you can, quality work goes a long way. There is no way to ‘serve the genre’ as such. It boils down to an industry being formed in all respects and things becoming more ‘professional’. I can’t say I have much advice to give other than this.
What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any shows/tour planned in promotion of the album?
We’ve finished a few gigs and got a few more, this is one leg of the tour. We would like to tour a lot more this year but it will really depend on what offers are on the table. Sadly our scene is still fairly unpredictable so we will see how the year unfolds.
Many thanks to Sahil for his time!
– Peter (Trendcrusher)