"Brahmavidya: Primordial I" (DemonzEnd; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


Black / death metal from Singapore. I guarantee that this is the first time the words in the preceding sentence have appeared on the pages of Rough Edge.

"Brahmavidya: Primordial I" is the fourth release from Rudra. The band plays their own band of "Vedic metal" which they describe as meaning it includes a lot of Sanskrit language infusion and Indian/oriental melodies. Other more informed individuals have clued me in to the fact that Vedic metal combines death metal with black metal, speed metal, and Indian melodies and sounds.

Rudra get points from me for doing what so few bands have done combining death metal with ethnic influences. Rudra's style can easily be compared to what Sepultura have done with Brazilian tribal influences and what Nile has done with Egyptian influences. However, Rudra seem to go a step further in the manner in which they include ancient philosophies into their lyrical ideas. While not easily understood through the vocals this is made absolutely clear through the band's descriptions in the disc's accompanying artwork.

The vocals seem to be a reasonable combination of death metal growls and black metal's higher pitched screams. This is always a tough balance to achieve. The vocals even go a long way to incorporate chanting and "sung" vocals for added variety.

The music is extraordinarily aggressive and in many ways reminds me of how tight and blazing Slayer used to be. Upon repeated listens I hear more traditional metal influences informing the band's overall approach and occasional forays into mid-paced grooves. These traditional approaches and slower paces serve the melodic aspects of Rudra's music quite well.

I have found Rudra's "Brahmavidya: Primordial I" to be an impressive introduction to the band.

"Brahmavidya: Primordial I" was produced by Joshua G. Nair, Sean Loo, and Rudra.

Rudra: Kathir on vocals and bass, Kannan on guitars, S. Selvam on guitars, and Shiva on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400.