Rudra is a veteran band from Singapore. They’ve produced 7 albums since 1992 which all have gotten plenty of good critical acclaim but somehow managed to elude my radar so far.
Every eccentric band is supposed to have their own genre and so do Rudra. They call themselves Vedic metal which comes from their incorporation of Sanskrit Vedic literature, philosophy and ancient mantras (shlokas) to blackened death metal basis. They also encompass traditional Carnatic music to their compositions. These obscure elements are ultimately what keeps their ship afloat as they add plenty of interesting elements.
Brahmavidya: Immortal I is their 6th effort, while having plenty of innovative moments its also plagued by mediocreness.
The reason why I’ve given a lot of spins to the record is that the biggest kicks are served right in the beginning. Now, therefore is an enlightening starter with smoothly growing tension and interesting sections. The mantras are also really strong here and add element unlike anything I expected. Guitar leads wander in almost Arabic fashion, reminding of Myrath.
The next track Illusory Enlightement is the best of the album, with its magical chanting chorus.
Almost every track has some fascinating elements and individual melodies. However the lack of constant tension, great riffs and melodies and the unsuspensefulness of the vocals becomes evident as the album progresses. Some of the foreign elements like the mantra chorus of Incredulous Void are peculiar as it sounds like some of Finnish children’s wordplays (Appilan pappilan apupapin papupata pankolla kiehuu ja kuohuu. Pappilan paksuposki piski pisti paksun papukeiton poskeensa.). Whether its a good thing or not depends on the mindset of the listener.
Brahmavidya: Immortal I is an eccentric kettle left to boil while the fuse burns out. In the end its just lukewarm but while its hot, the early consumables will for sure give some satiety to the fans of bands such as Melechesh or Myrath.