Bands - Hayagriva 3 comments

Posted at 11:11 PM in

It has been a while since I left this blog without any updates what so ever. Day jobs consumed me and most of my time. Since I am still in my holidays, I guess I can spare a couple of seconds and write something on this blog. You can also safely say that this particular post is guilt ridden because it is guilt ridden, thanks to the lack of time in my department. Oh ya, above is an old picture of the band. But I am so in love with that picture I decided I wanna immortalize it here.

I have been trying to get a hold of this one particular hardworking band for months and finally to get some answers from the main man behind the band, Mr.Mantheravatee, the guitarist, was a definite relief. The in depth answers that Mantheravatee gave me made the wait a definite worthwhile. Another noteworthy Malaysian Black Horde.

Hayagriva is another great band originating from the breeding ground of all things heavy, the heavy metal land of Ipoh Perak, one of the two strongholds for heavy metal scene in Malaysia back in the days and the other one, being the unholy muddy banks of Kuala Lumpur. Playing what they called as Dark Shadow Metal, the music was basically melodic and atmospheric Black Metal with synths and keyboards for a much more melodious soundscape. What are the criteria for Shadow Metal? That, you have to ask them personally.

Being one of the most prominent bands in the Malaysian Metal circuit nowadays, Hayagriva is without a doubt one of the most hard-working band there is to have came out from the outskirts of Malaysia. Formed way back in the 90’s Hayagriva marched through as one of the few surviving Black Metal outfits that managed to battle through after the nasty media turmoil that shook the very core of all Malaysian heavy metal lovers with the banning of all things black, to an extent that you can get caught just for wearing a black shirt. To be honest I thought I would never be able to see another Black Metal band again.

Hayagriva first started off with a demo under its belt called The Lord of Never Ending Wrath (which is also the literal meaning of Hayagriva) which was released in 1995. Impressed with the demo, Ultra Hingax Productions (a local metal label) offered to release their debut EP entitled Silverian’s Art (Elegy Domain) which was later released in 1997. In 1998, teaming up with another cherished south eastern metal barbaric tyrant in the form of As Sahar, they released a split tape entitled Beyond Firmament. It took a few numbers of years before another new record from Hayagriva saw the light of day.

In the mean time, when I thought all Malaysian Black Metal bands died out from the first assault against Black Metal by the press and later by the government, Hayagriva was actually busy with their gigs and tours promoting their brand of music. By 2005, Hayagriva was already in the studio writing for their debut full length assault in the form of an album called Red Heaven. It took 2 years before the album was finally released and this was due to the second assault against Black Metal, the shifting of their studio and related issues pertaining to the line up of the band. The news of the new album quickly shook the dry Heavy Metal scene.

Red Heaven was a desecrating release indeed. Atmospheric and melodic with the proper and full utilization of the keyboards in creating a bigger and wider landscape around the melodic guitar riffs, Hayagriva soldiered on with the brand they called Shadow Metal. Although in my personal view, there are plenty of spaces filled with single riffs which would sound more melodic and in fact better if it were properly harmonized.

But I guess my prayers were answered when a few sample riffs for the new album were aired in a pre production clip they got on Youtube demonstrated a much more melodic guitar riffs. I did made known my fascination with the riffs.

To support the release of Red Heaven, Hayagriva occupied their time with gigs and the responses they got from the live crowd were nothing but positive including the crowd in Indonesia when they played in Surabaya and the heavy metal fans in Thailand when they played for them in Bangkok.

Even without the support of a Major label, Hayagriva managed to sell 1000 copies of Red Heaven, a figure that they can brag about judging from the poor buying rate due to the rampant downloading activities nowadays. It also shows that there are at least 1000 loyal Hayagriva fans that would support them no matter what.

The next album will be released early next year. I would like to see them on an intense tour around south east Asia. A talented band indeed thus we shall wait for the wrath of Hayagriva!