Genocide Shrines – Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (Scriptures Of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder) – Sri Lanka

505952If you are still reading after the whopping album title I can only take it that you feel some kind of enthrallment. I’ll be first to admit I jumped straight in it without any googling but pretty soon it became apparent that small search might provide some understanding of the albums thematics. Taken that I can only understand ~4.5 of the 8 words in the album title (Imperial, Scriptures, Of, Reversed, ***murder)…

When the distorted voice clip in the sixth track Hurl Burning Spears To Exhume The Raavanic Throne Of Sivvhela Retaliation violently commands RAAVAN at the very latest one should realize Genocide Shrines are onto something special.

“Ravana” is the the primary antagonist in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where he is depicted as the king of Lanka [1]. “The life of Ravana, one of the most powerful beings ever to roam the universe, if Hindu legends are to be believed, had unfolded in the small island Sri Lanka, where he ruled with mighty power over gods, humans and demons.”

And what a name Hurl Burning Spears To Exhume The Raavanic Throne Of Sivvhela Retaliation is to sum up the experience. Genocide Shrines is a brutal death metal band with such a wall of sound it’s not immediately clear what they stand for. On further listens it becomes apparent that while the western influences are there, they aren’t of influx. The rhythmic heritage has seemingly taken a lot from local surroundings, savage tempos and violent atmospheres remind of the rich and violent history of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan civil war, which left 80 000-100 000 dead in 25 years, ended just 7 years ago and there are still accounts that the minority and losing side of the civil war, Tamils may be tortured by the officials.

Rich chants and percussions of an unknown lore further thrust the experience away from Yankee and European colleagues. The outro Pillar 3 (Triumphing Of The Three Worlds) sounds like it could be a street recording of a Sri Lankan shaman.

The brutal basement sounds are reminiscent of good old days where classic metal records were recorded with suspicious equipment, delivering billowing muddy soundmass instead of the crystal clear liquid of nowdays. There’s undoubtedly its place for crystal clear production, but so is for sound that could have been recorded in torture chambers.

In an interview with the vice [2], the frontman Chathuranga Fonseka (a.k.a. Tridenterrorcult) states: “I had made a few important changes to my daily living with the intention of raavanic devotion to delve completely with murderous attentiveness and focus on the ascent. Traditions were continued as it has been done in the past during recording sessions. Mr. Obliterator from Serpents Athirst frequented these rituals to assist BlasphemousWarGoat with various elements.”. The interview makes clear to state that this band pours out some serious devotion on their album processes, encompassing a lot of their ancient mythologue. Just read the amazingly mystic track titles. If you understand what the hell they are referencing to and aren’t a native Sri Lankan, I salute you. This big unknown is part of the charm.

Black metal-esque guitars and rumbling drum-patterns of Subterranean Katacomb, Termination Temple (Henotheistic Primal Demiurge) among many others demonstrate the musicality of the group. My favourite moment is probably the primal ritualistic riff of Ethnoheretical Padmavyuha Consecration which effortlessly slithers into a ~40 bpm downstroke bruising. Militant Thrishul (Eradiction Puja) and Aerialdishamanic Bonethrone Omega both have a mildly melodic riff to present further variation.

Nearly all the tracks have some slower material, usually violent sludging, which makes it clear that Genocide Shrines is not leaning just to walls of sound and constant high tempos in delivering their mostly oppressive message.

But I never found out what is a reversed dharmurder.

9-/10

Bandcamp:
https://vaultofdriedbones.bandcamp.com/album/manipura-imperial-deathevokovil-scriptures-of-reversed-puraana-dharmurder

References:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravana
[2] http://noisey.vice.com/blog/genocide-shrines-interview-2015

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