Welcome to a brand new week and the latest edition of the It-Djents Weekly Featured Artist. Through our Weekly Featured Artist series, we hope to bring to your notice artists that have released some top notch music that just might have cruised under your radar, but is definitely worth your time and attention. This week, we are pleased to present you: Noiseware!
Hailing from Pune, India, Noiseware is a five-piece progressive metal band, whose music relies on grooves and patterns akin to those of Textures or Volumes. Formed in 2009, the band went on to release its debut EP Wake Up and Soar in 2011, generating significant hype in the local community and also bagging the 2011 Rolling Stone India Best Song (Critics Choice) for the lead single “23”. Now, after a gap of 6 years, the band has returned from their state of semi-hibernation with their first full length offering in Clouds At Last.
Comprised of Aman Virdi on vocals, Adhiraj Singh and Aniket Patni on guitars, Robert Alex on bass and Gautam Deb on drums, the band derives its sound from multiple influences, with the resulting mix being unpredictable and unique. The band quotes, ‘We think that, as musicians, our tastes are ever evolving so we don’t really limit ourselves to writing a particular style. We only try and create music that would be interesting or fresh for ourselves to listen to, and hope this reaches the end listener as intended.’ Well aware that the progressive modern metal of 2010 has been recut and presented a million times – that it has become extremely generic – the band carefully walks the djent rope this time around, bringing in subtle math rock and electronica influences to bring out a balanced sound.
The music on Clouds At Last has the aforementioned underlying groove and rhythm about it that just keeps the album flowing from one point to another without ever becoming stagnant. When quizzed on how the band comes about its songs, guitarist Adhiraj Singh quipped, ‘I typically always just start with drums – I’m a guitar player alright, but I don’t really ever think from a guitar point of view. It’s always been this, maybe because I’m a failed drummer, haha. Guitars do form a very important part of our sonic identity, but I tend to perceive them in a very “synth” like manner. And since it’s all written to drums, it ends up being fairly percussive or rhythmic in writing.’
The real drive on the new record though are the powerful vocals with which Aman Virdi leads the gang. By delivering some top notch growls as well as clean segments, one is instantly reminded of some of the best acts in the genre such as Devil Sold His Soul and Erra. It almost comes as a surprise when the band quotes that, ‘The vocals are almost always written right at the end, when the song is fully finished instrumentally. We might tweak certain sections to better suit the vocals maybe, but if you were to strip off the vocals of any of our songs, they’d still sound very ‘complete’, because they were written that way. But that’s not to say that the vocals are less important in anyway. Especially on Clouds At Last, I think the vocals were one of the most important aspects of the record and we really spent a lot of time getting it right.’
Moreover, the band relies on a very strong DIY ethic, having started out as a bedroom studio project back in the day. They do everything in-house, right from the album artwork, to the mix and mastering of the record and down to recording and producing the video for their single! But going by the quality standards of the material on display, it’s quite certain that the band has not gone down this path simply due to financial restraints or just for the sake of being DIY. Adhiraj quotes, ‘I don’t think it’s necessary to be DIY if you can’t do something right. In our case, take for example art – Aniket is a designer who specialises in UI design, so he’s already a professional who has the added advantage having complete understanding of the band’s direction, approach and aesthetic sensibilities. As for the video, Kaushik and I are full time video-film professionals, and run a small production house called Refractor. So it was expected for us to do the video DIY as well. We were very fortunate to have help from some good friends from the industry, who proved to be excellent collaborators. And well lastly the music, I’ve really had time and experience to hone my skills to a point where I felt confident enough to be able to deliver a sonic outcome which would convey our song writing with as much consistency and honesty as possible.’
Back in 2011 it looked as if the band was ready to take flight, but sadly the band in their own words, ‘Kind of fell into a state of limbo, which was incredibly hard to break out of. I wouldn’t say we completely fell off the wagon, because we were still writing music on the side and also playing a handful of shows live.’
One can hope that the future is a bit different as the band: ‘This year, there will definitely be a focus on taking this music live as much as possible. At some point, we’d love to take the music live overseas, but of course this completely comes down to forming a somewhat credible listener base outside of the country before we actually do it. As for future music, it’s a bit early to say, but I think just the realization of the limbo we fell into, I think we won’t fall into another anytime soon. Or hopefully, never…haha!’
With Cloud At Last, we hope Noiseware break their glass ceiling and get noticed in the overcrowded progressive metal community. They clearly possess the musical ability to do that, so hopefully they will be able to spread their ‘Noise’ wares far and wide in the coming years.
Aman Virdi – Vocals
Adhiraj Singh – Guitars, Arrangements
Aniket Patni – Guitars
Gautam Deb – Drums
Robert Alex – Bass
Do not forget to follow Noiseware on Facebook and Instagram. Clouds At Last is available at “Name Your Price” on Bandcamp. For more information, one can visit their official website. Most importantly, if you like what you hear, don’t forget to share the music around!