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Review

Chennai’s Alt Metal Duo Avekn Release Gripping 3-Track Debut EP

The Indian independent music landscape is flush with instances of small-time artists taking the audience by storm with their unique style and unparalleled delivery that make them stand out from among the crowd. One can see the same going on with Avekn. This Chennai based Alternative Metal duo has racked up a lot of interest with their anomalous take on the genre, sprinkling a variety of their own style and essence to set themselves aside from the competition with their debut EP “Rude Awakening”.

The duo is of the opinion that they have birthed their songs to help the listeners face their inner demons that they usually suppress deep within their psyche. The band’s 3-track EP takes you on a journey with its ethereal and ominous music and a really gripping range of vocals that ties the entire experience together. The band attests that the primary inspiration for the overall tone and lyrics comes from the concept of existential crisis and how we as individuals gradually come to terms with the futility of our lives. Although a newcomer, the members of the band are no strangers to the metal soundscape. While frontwoman Anusha spent her days trying to convey her emotions through her lyrics, guitarist Keshav delved deeper into the world of dark, experimental guitar riffs during his time at Fobia Deimos. Following their first musical joint venture as a part of a 4-piece Indie Rock band “Kelly’s Road”, Keshav and Anusha decided to explore other genres as a duo. Embarking on this journey as a Grunge/Hard Rock band, the duo gradually shifted towards the Alt Metal genre as Anusha honed her growling skills to complement Keshav’s musicality.

Having dropped on March 31, “Rude Awakening” ticks all the boxes for a truly gripping EP in this genre, partial credit of which goes to Keshav’s exquisite mastery over writing and playing eerie yet beguiling riffs which perfectly complement Anusha’s haunting, grungy lyric delivery. One cannot help but draw parallels between her work and other women of the world of heavy metal with a similar growling predilection, yet Anusha’s work stands out with its demonic undertones to achieve the band’s sinister aura. The band spent months trying to incorporate the growling vocals with strings in order to circumvent their songs with a dark and gothic atmosphere. Each of the three tracks on this EP offers something new with a more arresting riff or a booming bassline that makes the listener unable to stop headbanging to the music. The band’s music does not feel out of place or unpolished in any way, partly because of their skills but mostly because they were experimenting in similar avenues in their own way and the band is a just a medium to channel their combined ideas and emotions. Moreover, the band’s two member setup gives them a greater leeway to follow up on their penchant for experimentation.

The band’s primary objective with this new EP is help the audience break through the visage to embrace the reality of everyday life and in turn, help them unearth their deepest, darkest emotions and confront them. “Rude Awakening” is an EP with a lot of potential to not only impress the niche community of dark metal enthusiasts but its melodic and captivating music and intriguing lyrics is sure to attract a fan base from a wider circle as well.

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