Originally published in the Hindu Metroplus Bangalore edition on May 22nd, 2013
Various Artists – Motorhead Tribute India
Rs 200 (MP3), Rs 400 (CD)
It’s one thing to have a tribute gig, but it’s another thing to actually record a tribute album. 12 artists salute the mighty, unstoppable force of heavy metal and rock ‘n roll that is Motorhead. It’s bad enough that most people are cautious of what they would call a ‘good’ cover or rendition of another artist’s song, because people love the original composition oh-so-much. The 12 bands on Motorhead Tribute India cast aside that aspersion and the result is a ambitious, risky and extremely diverse album.
Let’s not forget that Motorhead are best known for ‘Ace of Spades’, and possibly, ‘The Game’, the latter of which was a theme song written for ‘professional wrestler’ Triple H. Mumbai’s Dormant Inferno get a shot at putting their own death/doom metal spin on the most famous track on this album, and they don’t disappoint. As for ‘Ace of Spades’, well, you’ll have to look a bit harder to find that hidden track, a stoner session from Bevar Sea, complete with djembe and not a single damn given by vocalist Avinash Ramchander.
But if you are a loyal, more die-hard fan of Motorhead, this album is a great way to discover Indian metal. A variety of acts, ranging from the abrasive black metal attack by 1833 AD on ‘Dead and Gone’ to the much more measured, brooding rendition of ‘Orgasmatron’ by Solar Deity. There’s an uneasy mix of slow and fast songs, though. The list works well till Albatross’s ballad-esque version of ‘God Was Never On Your Side’ throws you into sludge band Shepherd’s top-notch version of ‘Sacrifice’. Sure, that inimitable thrash styling of Mortar on ‘I am the Sword’ is a kick in the right place, but the overtly atmospheric Djinn and Miskatonic version of ‘I Don’t Believe A Word’ and Purgation’s barely listenable death metal version of ‘Terminal Show’ is least likely to please fans.
Another setback which needs to be discounted, though, is the uneven recording quality on songs. Considering Indian bands’ small recording budgets, not every band would be booking a high-end studio for their songs. Nonetheless, this one is for the Motorhead altruists and Indian metal enthusiasts alike.