In the summer of 2017 the Indian metal band Hostilian released their debut EP, Monolith, and now they’re just roughly two weeks away from the release of a second EP, this new one entitled Catalyst. It’s a four-track affair exploring dark themes concerning the human condition, in which the worst of our instincts are also seen as the most indomitable, driving us to become a catalyst for the ultimate destruction of life on Earth.
The new EP’s closing track, “Regressive Instincts“, is the subject of a play-through video featuring Hostilian drummer Rajiv Kumar, and it’s our pleasure to premiere it today in advance of Catalyst‘s January 18 release.
For some of us (including this writer) who have never attempted to play the drums, watching film of a skilled metal drummer in action, or watching the action from a good vantage point at a live show, becomes a spectacle worth experiencing even if we’re not really into the rest of the music. The sight of four limbs each operating independently of the others, often at high speed, in a way that’s not a convulsive, flailing spasm but is instead precise, rhythmically compulsive, and forms an inventive yet integral element of the song as a whole, is kind of mind-boggling. If I’ve thought it once, I’ve thought it a thousand times: “How is this even possible?”
Those thoughts occurred to me again as I watched the following video, and it has the added bonus of featuring music that’s very easy to get into, on top of the pleasure that comes from watching a talented drummer at work.
“Regressive Instincts” is heavy-grooved and head-hammering, channeling the kind of savagery that’s eminently head-nodding as well as brain-swirling, but Hostlian embellish this groove-metal fireball with plenty of fret-leaping leads and rapid riff changes, as well as an eerie and moody interlude, before they spin up the guitar pyrotechnics again in a way that gives the music a prog-metal extravagance — and you’ll get a good chance to wreck your neck at the very end of the song, too.
The drumwork (as well as the bass work) are indeed vital pieces in this creation, and that makes it even more fun to watch Rajiv Kumar do his thing.
To return to the thematic conception of the Catalyst EP, we’ll share with you this statement from the band:
“The EP is a study of the human condition. It’s about how, deep down, we’re actually like a virus, eating away the earth, even the other people and ourselves. All the good in people is just a face to show the world. There is a constant darkness in us just waiting for an opportunity to come out. This darkness is our most basic human instinct. Raping, killing, greed are all just manifestations of what we really are deep inside. Each song talks about various aspects of this primary proclivity inside us. Everything we work for everyday is a lie. We are not meant for great things. We are only meant to end all cycles of life. A hard reboot to all life on Earth. We are a catalyst to the process that had begun long before we even stepped into this world.”
Below you’ll find pre-order and social media links as well as a stream of the song as it appears on the EP (presented through a previously released lyric video), and of course the play-through video we’re bringing you.
4. Regressive Instincts