Jun 122012

I’m thinking about having the words “Kartikeya Pimp” tattooed on my forehead. I’d have to convince my wife that Kartikeya is the name of a Russian metal band instead of a middle school cheerleader with a budding crack habit, but other than that it should be clear sailing, don’t you think?

I’m just trying to be honest, because we do write about this band a lot at NCS, and for good reason. They put the BAD in badass and the ASS in ass-kicking. Their latest release is the Durga Puja EP, which emerged last fall. It included two rewritten songs from the band’s debut album, two outstanding covers, and one new original song — the EP’s title track.

Yesterday, TheMadIsraeli tipped me to the fact that the band’s main man Arsafes had uploaded a video of himself performing a guitar playthrough of “Durga Puja”. It’s a reminder of how great that song is, and it’s just fun to watch Arsafes extract such beastly rhythms in the flesh.

The video is after the jump. It will tide us over until June 22, when Kartikeya has promised delivery of their next single (“Vayu”), which we presume (though we’re not sure) will appear on their next album, Samudra, and which will include guest appearances by NCS favorite Keith Merrow and Serbian vocalist Aleksandra Radosavljevic.

While I’m on the subject of Kartikeya, I want to mention that the band has now made all of their releases available for streaming and download on Bandcamp, which you can find via this link.

And while I’m on the subject of Arsafes, I also want to provide an update about one of his other bands — Above the Earth, which last week released their first single, “Trapeze”. Continue reading »

Mar 282012

Kartikeya are a Russian melodic death metal band we’ve written about frequently at this site (use the search box on this page and you’ll see what I mean). The leader of Kartikeya is a very talented dude named Roman “Arsafes” Iskorostenskiy. We’ve previously explored a few of his other musical projects besides Kartikeya — a Russian pagan-metal band called Nevid (Невидь) and Arsafes’ own solo effort, with a 2010 EP called A New Way of Creation. But there’s still more:

Arsafes and a Serbian singer named Aleksandra Radosavljevic have collaborated to create a project called Above the Earth. Together they’ve recorded a demo of music described as “Atmospheric/Ambient/Progressive Metal”. The first piece of music I heard was an excerpt from a song called “All Our Dreams”, which they posted on YouTube as a preview of the demo. The first thought that popped into my head as the music began was, “this sounds like Devin Townsend!”

And then today, they posted the first full song, and guess what? It’s a cover of “Supercrush” from DT’s Addicted album. Now, you know we don’t include much clean singing on this site, because it’s mainly my site and I don’t have much patience for clean singing in metal. But there are exceptions, to be sure, and Devin Townsend is one of them — and “Supercrush” happens to be one of my favorite DT songs.

So, I approached this cover with both excitement and fear — excitement, because I know Arsafes is one immensely talented guy, and fear, because how can a cover of a song like “Supercrush” do anything but pale in comparison to the original? Well, it turns out that my fears were groundless, because Above the Earth nail that fucking song. Continue reading »