In March of last year we premiered a powerful song called “Deliverance” by the Mumbai-based doom/death band Dormant Inferno from their split with Pakistan’s Dionysus, and then followed that last August with Comrade Aleks’ interview of Dormant Inferno’s guitarist/bassist Sunny Bhambri. Today we bring you a stream of a new Dormant Inferno single named “Embers of You” — and it’s superb.
Two nights ago I fell into a trance-like state during the immense closing set by Australia’s Mournful Congregation at Migration Fest in Olympia, Washington. I was reminded of that set in listening to “Embers of You” again last night. It’s a long song that’s also completely entrancing — and crushingly heavy. But in addition to drawing from the deep underground reservoirs of grief to be found in the caverns of funeral doom, Dormant Inferno also ratchet the intensity levels with elements of earth-quaking death metal.
The band plant the seeds of the central, heart-aching melodic motif of “Embers of You” from the very beginning with slow, reverberating guitar notes and ghostly whispers, and then add layers of guitar and keyboards as the song unfolds, deepening the emotional impact of the haunting melody while weaving variations on the theme. It’s a spell-binding experience, but also a bruising one, with drumbeats and groaning, distortion-laden riffs heavy enough to fracture rocks. And vocalist Gautam Shankar is gifted with the kind of truly cavernous growls and wrenching howls that are tailor-made for this kind of gargantuan doom.
As mentioned earlier, the band also pick their moments to shift the music into a higher gear as the drums begin to boom, the double-kicks start rumbling, and the riffs become jabbing and aggressive. The change isn’t so stark as to sacrifice the song’s ever-deepening atmosphere of loss, but the dynamism adds to the music’s vibrancy.
There seem to be few Indian bands plying the dark waters of doom these days, but don’t let that deter you from immersing yourself in this song, because these dudes really know what they’re doing. The band’s split with Dionysus — Beyond Forgotten Shores — is also well worth your time. It includes not only new music from both bands but also both bands’ earlier debut releases as bonus tracks. I’ve included a link to that split below (it’s available on CD as well as digitally).
Credit to Viktoria Polikarpova for the dark cover art for this single. The song will be released in digital form later this year by Transcending Obscurity India.