Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Pakistani Metal Scene
Every week in Unearthing the Metal Underground, we take a look at three quality bands that haven't gotten as much exposure yet as they should. This week, we will be taking a look at three heavy metal bands from Pakistan, whose name translates as "land of the pure" in Urdu, and seems to be the land of some very talented musicians too!
Black Warrant are one of the longest running heavy metal bands in Pakistan. Having formed in 1997 from the ashes of a former band named Metal Purge, by vocalist Ali Raza, with his brother M. Ali joining on rhythm guitars soon afterwards. The band has gone through many lineup changes since their inception, and currently neither brother is a part of the group, Their first album, "Recover" was released in 1999 and comprised solely of covers of songs by the likes of Judas Priest, Rammstein and Killing Joke, before their first full length debut of original music, "Desi" was released in 2004. They have since released six more records, consisting of both cover tracks and original music, with the most recent being, "Decade Of Destruction." They have been able to experiment with their sound over the years too, adding electronic and industrial elements and are one of the few metal bands from Pakistan to have toured outside of their country, performing in such places as Australia and the United States of America.
Black Warrant - "Desi"
Black Warrant - "Wasteful Indulgence In Bliss"
Originally born under the name, Brain Masala, Takatak were formed in the city of Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan and the largest in the Punjab region. The band performs a much more modern take on heavy metal music and has been described by some as the Pakistani version of Lamb Of God. To date, they have only released two singles, "Break Down" and "Walls They Collapse" but demonstrate enormous talent and look to become one of the biggest metal bands in the country.
Takatak - "Break Down"
Takatak - "Walls They Collapse"
Mizraab are a completely different affair from both Takatak and Black Warrant, performing a much more progressive and intricate form of heavy metal music, not unlike Opeth. They also feature very clean vocals and sing entirely in Urdu. The group formed in 1996 and is one of the few metal bands in Pakistan to receive widespread attention from the media. They released their first album, "Panchi," in 1999, which was hailed as the first progressive rock album in the country’s history. Following a solo release from band leader Faraz Anwar in 2001 entitled, "An Abstract Point Of View," a second Mizraab album named, "Maazi, Haal, Mustaqbil" was released in 2004, and is the bands biggest selling album so far. The band struggled for a while after this, owing predominantly to the poor state of the music industry in Pakistan but eventually overcame the hurdles, with a third album named, "Ujalon Main" expected to be released in the future, in addition to the band having recently released an acoustic album, simply entitled, "Unplugged."
Mizraab - "Panchi"
Mizraab - "Insaan"
What did you think of this week's bands? Please feel free to comment about your favorite bands in this article in the comments below, and check back in next Monday as we continue to unearth more underground metal bands.
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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