Album: Eight Mahavidyas
Label: Awakening Records
Release Date: 12/22/2022
Eight Mahavidyas, Rudra’s 10th full length album is the first I’ve heard from the band which have made quite a name for themselves in the Singapore music scene. Using traditional Indian rhythms and instrumentation, Rudra carves a perfect balance of blackened death and folk music that shows off their extremely talented musicianship and their ability to tell a well crafted story.
Clocking in at around 64 minutes Eight Mahavidyas is a dense listen droning guitar driven thrash influenced hazy and almost psychedelic black/death. The lofi production gives it a “retro” taste as it sounds like it was recorded in the late 80’s or early 90’s era of bands that pioneered this style of metal.
“Sanctum Sanctorum” kicks us off into high gear with fast riffs and their signature Indian folk chanting providing the main thrust of the song. Jumping to “Renunciation is Futile” gives us a droning, moody atmosphere, introducing some acoustic guitar work and deeper indian overtones giving the song an otherworldly feel. “Awaken and Skyclad” hits hard with a pure old school trash style and an earworm of a lead line.
Extremely influenced by the Advaita philosophy presented by the Vedas which is one of the world’s oldest known mystical texts, Rudra devotes the entirety of their album to telling the stories of the Eight Mahavidyas. Spiritual and philosophical themes permeate the entirety of the album. In many countries these ideas have been banned and censored. Luckily Singapore is a hotbed of multicultural and multi-religious ideals and has helped them reach a larger audience.
Eight Mahavidyas is an excellently put together piece of music both showing progression of music and philosophy. Having just now heard of this band and knowing they have been around for 30 years and produced 9 other albums prior to this was a bit of a shock considering how popular they are in the underground. Eight Mahavidyas is endlessly catchy and the riffs therein stick with you long after the initial listen. I’ll definitely be spinning this one again.
Listen to and order the album: