In case you haven’t heard, in the past few years there has been a massive influx of quality, old school metal bands coming out of Bangladesh. The first band to pioneer the burgeoning Bengali scene was Barzak, who later changed their name to Orator. There has been a constant and positive uprise of metal music in the country ever since.
Orator is a band who wasn’t afraid to break barriers. They were the first extreme metal band from the country to achieve recognition internationally. They were also amongst the first bands in the local extreme metal scene to play in gigs and fests outside the country. Secondly, they are one of the first to attract international label to release their music.
Along with Orator emerged bands such as Warhound, Nafarmaan, Morbidity, Enmachined, Abominable Carnivore, Burial Dust, Eternal Armageddon, Nuclear Winter, and Exalter. More recently, acts like Surtur and Infuscation began to sweep onto the scene. These bands have been making waves in the underground and aren’t stopping any time soon.
In Bangladesh, a relatively new country, metal is still in its infancy, however. Extreme metal bands didn’t start coming out of Bangladesh until the early 2000s. In contrast to the USA or Europe, where various Metal sub-genres were already established in the 80s and 90s, it is safe to say that metal is new to Bangladesh. Although there were bands that can be dubbed as “proto-metal” or heavy metal back in the 80s and 90s, most notably Rockstrata and Warfaze, extreme genres of metal hadn’t taken shape until the early 2000s in Bangladesh.
The first bands to make waves in Dhaka’s underground were Weapon and Barzak. Although Weapon was formed in Canada, their first two releases were recorded in Bangladesh. The Bengal scene is home to several genres, and pigeon holing its sound can be difficult, although a lot of quality death/thrash is known to come out of the country.
Severe Dementia,however, was one of the first bands out of Bangladesh to play death metal in the mid 2000s. The band deems their sound as “Eastern death metal”, which is very similar to American brutal tech death. Severe Dementia are arguably the first band to play the genre in Bangladesh, and are said to be pioneers in the scene. Orator (Barzak) released their demo in 2005. The band released their first full length album, Qabiluhu, in 2006 under the name Barzak and soon changed their name after its release. Since 2008, they’ve played in gigs in Thailand and India. They debuted in Dhaka with a band called Manzer, which apparently was the first Metal gig in Bangladesh with an international band in the bill. And the arrival of Manzer in Bangladesh gave birth to an entity who is single handedly responsible for the uprise of the metal scene in Dhaka.
Primitive Invocation are a group of dedicated metalheads working to promote metal in Bangladesh. They issued the first metal zine in the history of the country and organized various gigs. They are well known for their work with “Banish The Posers Fest” which is, to this day, the biggest and most successful metal festival in Bangladesh. Acts like Impiety, Lobotomy, Savage Deity, Funerus and many more have came to Dhaka to play at BTPF. And this year it has been announced that Japanese Thrash Metal band Riverge will be playing at BTPF 16 in October.
Primitive Invocation inspired a lot of people in the community to start contributing the scene. In 2013, for the first time in Bangladesh, there were labels dedicated to releasing metal music and labels that released international bands in the country. Labels like Metal Monger Records have released bands like Master, who are arguably one of the first death metal bands in the world. This concentration of radioactive metal in Bangladesh is yet to expand. And I am confident that they will be emanating more and more quality metal music in the future. And as a fan, the scene in Bangladesh has my eternal support. And I highly recommend everyone to check out bands from Bangladesh! And be sure to hit up Banish the Posers Fest in October if you’re in the area!