A mouthful too much?
I have been stressing on the need for individual identities of our western music outfits for a long time now. Identity is of immense importance if a band wants to improve themselves and make it big in the national league. In one of my earlier write-ups in this very column, I had written about a promising western music band from Guwahati city. The band – Eclipse – has been shelling out superbly crafted originals right from its inception and their debut album, A mouthful of moonlight lives up to their promise.
Eclipse is a five member Guwahati-based band which was formed in the middle part of 2004. The band comprises of Sumit on the lead and rhythm guitars, Rajun on the keyboard, Kundal on the vocals and guitars, Rahul on the bass with Twinkle on the drums. And as I said before, Eclipse’s creations are significant in its own way. Throughout its existence, Eclipse has been playing Classic Metal, a breed of music which can be best defined by their originals. It would be immature to classify their musical creations as thrash metal or screaming heavy metal; neither is it outrageously neo-classical. Theirs is a blend of progression between these different fields of musical styles.
As their name suggests, their latest album is indeed a mouthful of moonlight. Why I say this is not hard to discern as this album is a collection of different genres. As vocalist Kundal says, “It includes two riffy metal numbers, a rock ballad, glam and a little bit of whatever blues we know”. Revealing the reasons behind the nomenclature of their album, the band members say, “Everybody has their own ground of thought and reasoning. So basically in the album everyone can taste their own likings. In the best terms, the album is a mouthful of whatever music the person believes in”.
The album begins on a stale note though with the first track Virgins of Heaven and Hell, a metal track which even made me have second thoughts about the entire endeavour. Now don’t get me wrong. The song is very well done but it’s just that I don’t prefer too much of metal. From what I know of this band since the time I met them and their preference for Classic Metal, I surely had expected something different from these guys.
However on introspection, this is what the band members of this promising band have been saying about their album all throughout – it reflects their journey as a band and all that they have gone through. I would like to reproduce the words of vocalist and front-man of the band Kundal, who told me, “In the beginning, with our then guitarist Mihir Phukan, we used to play a lot of metal and took a lot of influence from heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Dio and the likes. And when Rajun joined us, we started exploring a bit of neo-classical music too. However, it was only after Sumit joined us that we realised the kind of music we wanted to play as a band. Accordingly, we started to play more of classics. The first and the last tracks were composed even before Sumit had joined us and we would like to be judged only by the rest of the compositions”.
As the album progressed, the talent of these guys is too evident to dismiss. The band excels in the blues number Dry Rose, which also has a bit of glam rock, and I would like to see the band playing more of blues. Both Dry Rose and Street Side Blues have an upbeat feel to it and these two compositions reaffirm my belief that Eclipse is one of the most promising western music outfits to come up from the entire region in a long time. Bassist Rahul Kaushik has penned the lyrics of Dry Rose, while Street Child Blues has been written by Manas.
Though some of the compositions are definitely fresh, the only criticism I would like to make is that the entire effort is exactly what it is named – a mouthful of too many genres. There are too many genres inside the entire album which gives it a somewhat cluttered look. As a debut effort, this is a very promising venture but it would be great if the band focuses more on a single genre in their future compositions, which I’ am sure they have already started doing. This is important if the band wishes to create their own singular identity as a western music outfit amidst a plethora of bands.
The album cover has been designed by bassist Rahul Kaushik and it has helped in giving a professional touch to the entire album. Front man Kundal is full of appreciation for the other band members and in fact, this sense of unity is exactly what I like about Eclipse. In our region where bands do not stick long enough, this is the kind of rapport which can ensure a longer shelf life. The band members say, “The release of our album has definitely strengthened the feeling of unity which has bound us together us a band. Every member of the band has been there for each other and we have learnt a lot from each other”.
I’ am sure that Eclipse is going to woo many more music lovers into their fan list. The emotional maturity which reflects itself in their haunting lyrics coupled with their catchy melodies is surely the main factor behind the band’s success. However, I should make special mention of guitarist Sumit Baruah who has provided the USP of this album. The effort of the other band members towards the promotion of their debut album too deserves appreciation. Here’s wishing all the very best to Eclipse!