Friday, May 16, 2014

DVD REVIEW: Cosmic Infusion - Rise of the Funeral Smoke (Live), By Collin Brophy

Release Date:
5th December 2013
Venue: BlueFROG, Mumbai, INDIA.
Genre: Atmospheric / Symphonic Black Metal.

Band Members:
Amnish - Guitars (Ex Infernal Wrath).
Amey - Bass (Ex-Infinite Redemption).
Nakul - Guitars (Ex-Infinite Redemption).
Sushan - Vocals and Keyboards (Ex- Infernal Wrath).

Running Time: 37:00 Minutes.

Video edited by Aseem Momin
Audio mixing / editing by Nakul Rathod, Amnish Lohire. Artwork/Layout was by Srinivas Naidu, Shalini Jha
Photographs by Satya Naren

Song set list:
1. Acronycal Éloge.
2. Burial of thy own.
3. Journey.
4. Gothika.
5. Crepheus (Bringer of the End).

After having released their self-titled debut EP on 19th July 2013, Cosmic Infusion was then signed with Transcending Obscurity India, for their next full-length album release. Cosmic Infusion has now released their very first DVD and is the very first Indian Black Metal band to do so.
I was so excited when this DVD arrived.  After having loved the self titled EP, and listening to it at least once a day for a couple of months, I couldn’t wait to put this into the DVD player and watch it. 
The introduction begins with a very cold, grey scene of foggy mountains and a “god” like haunting voice describing the purpose of “Black Metal”, which is “it’s a way of life … the purity, the darkness and its extreme nature is what draws us towards it”.  As the voice climbs over the mountains, with an echo of symphonic music tones in the background, we are immediately taken on a journey to an isolated cabin.  Above the cabin there are what seem like birds, but turn out to be bats flying high in the sky.  As darkness descends, the moon rises and an eerie cold feeling is left to lead you into the music.  This has to be one of the most eerie intros I have seen, and it fits right into the Atmospheric / Symphonic Black Metal that is Cosmic Infusion.

Immediately after the intro, CI kick into their set, with special guest vocalist, Frank Prashant Pawar, who shares vocals on the first song, “Acronycal Éloge” with CI’s, Sushan.  Frank’s deep, raw vocals on this number are just amazing. He and Sushan are able to complement each other’s vocal styles, by giving their all, which is evident in the end result of an incredibly eerie feeling to the song.  After doing the vocals on Acronycal Éloge, Frank paid tribute to someone close, who was not only a fan of the band but a dear friend, who had unfortunately passed away last year.  The bass playing in this song was performed by India’s very own Dr. Hex (Riju Dasgupta from Albatross) who also appears on bass on the song, “Burial Of Thy Own”.  As usual he does an amazing job on the song by demonstrating his own unique style of playing.  Because he is such a perfectionist about his music, he is able to draw the best from those performing with him.

This DVD is exactly what I would have expected from Cosmic Infusion in a live performance.  It displays some incredible guitar playing from both Amnish and Nakul, along with Amey, who is a genius on bass, and with Sushan who did an amazing job, not only on the keyboard, but with his very unique vocals. As a band, they all complement each others playing style. Probably the most amazing thing is that while listening to the music you can’t help but admire the drumming, but the unusual thing is that the band was unable to use their regular drummer as he had to move cities, so the band used program drums for the performance.  Still they were able to create an amazing sound and you really don’t miss the drums because of the incredible sound produced by the rest of the band.

This is a special DVD for me, as I probably will never get the chance to experience the magic of a Cosmic Infusion live performance. During the song, “Journey”, the crowd can be heard singing along with Sushan, which gave me “goosebumps” and made me feel a little envious, for not being there. This entire DVD is like a journey for me. I have listened to the EP, and now I was finally able to watch all the songs being played live. This helped me to put a face to all the band members while watching a brilliant DVD.

The BlueFROG, Mumbai, is probably the best venue to record a live performance directly onto DVD, as it is known for its acoustic excellence.  The venue itself doesn't look all that big, but it seems big enough to host one of India’s best black metal bands.  The venue is very intimate, with a curved stage to give performers room to move and feel closer to the crowd.  It has cathedral ceilings, amazing soundproofing, incredible lighting throughout, to give the songs maximum effectiveness and a sound technician bay to achieve the best possible sound.  The one thing that struck me about this DVD, is that it’s not over produced or mixed too much.   It appeared, to me, as though they didn't use any fancy cameras to record this live performance, which allows the viewer to see the rawness in their performance and feel the music, lumps, bumps and all, which is exactly what Cosmic Infusion should sound like live.

All the songs were performed with humbleness and passion.  You can hear the influences of the bands “Emperor”, “Dimmu Borgir” and “Bathory” weaving their spell throughout their own unique style of music.  There wasn’t one song I thought could have been done better.  If I had to choose a favourite, I would have to pick “Burial of thy own” and “Journey” would come a very close second.  I personally related to some of the lyrics in these songs and felt closer and drawn in to the music. 

If you like Atmospheric / Symphonic Black Metal in its rawest form, with touches of raw emotion from both the band members and the fans, then this DVD is for you. I can only hope that one day that I will experience what it’s like to see Cosmic Infusion in their truest and rawest form … live.

By Collin Brophy

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