Mar 282023

Sahil Makhija (aka “The Demonstealer“) began a long road to recognition in the global metal community roughly 25 years ago. At least in terms of recordings, the road began with Sahil’s band Demonic Resurrection, whose debut album Demonstealer saw release in November 2000. Four more Demonic Resurrection albums followed, along with opportunities to perform outside their native India, and for a time it’s fair to say that DR was India’s best-known and most-celebrated extreme metal band.

Along the way, Sahil activated other vehicles for his musical output, including Reptilian Death and his solo project Demonstealer, and he gained further recognition through hosting the online cooking show “Headbanger’s Kitchen“, which gave him a chance to rub shoulders with members of metal bands scattered far and wide across the globe. And that’s not to mention his founding of a recording studio, a record label, a PR agency, and a consultancy service.

The road to recognition hasn’t been easy. It still isn’t. As Sahil explained in a recent interview with our man Comrade Aleks, he has experienced a fair share of moments when he wanted to give up, not because of a lack of desire to continue creating music but because of all the shit constantly shoveled up by “the business side” of releasing music and performing. And then there’s the fact that metal music is still an alien art form in India — “culturally strange and also sonically not appealing” to the vast majority of the population. “Metal music, unlike in the west, is music that people of a certain privileged and economic background listen to. It’s not the music of the common man.”

Nevertheless, Sahil forges ahead, with music still the mainstay of his life as he approaches his 41st birthday. And more than ever, disturbing conditions in his native land (and around the world) became the subject matter of his songwriting as he returned to his Demonstealer project. Reflecting that subject matter, the name of the new Demonstealer album which we’re presenting today is The Propaganda Machine, which is now set for release on March 31st by Black Lion Records. Continue reading »

Mar 142023

photo by Ashish Kamble

(Today we present Comrade Aleks‘ interview with Sahil Makhija, aka Demonstealer, whose star-studded new album The Propaganda Machine is set for release on March 31st by Black Lion Records.)

Sahil Makhija has been an active member of the Indian extreme metal underground for 25 years. Back in 1998 he started the Demonstealer solo-project, but his band Demonic Resurrection turned out to be more active and more successful. Since then Sahil took part in a few more bands, and most of them performed death metal laden stuff, and if it wasn’t enough he runs Headbanger’s Kitchen, an online cooking show where he cooks food and interviews members of other metal bands!

Right now Demonstealer demands more of Sahil’s attention as the project’s killer new album The Propaganda Machine is to be released on the 31st of March by the Sweden-based label Black Lion Records. The Propaganda Machine is bigger than just a solo album, as Sahil recorded it accompanied by experienced international musicians from extreme metal bands, and this material is remarkably extreme as well, and melodic.

And there’s an actual and sharp message behind The Propaganda Machine’s manifestos. This interview with Demonstealer will reveal more facts behind the project’s own story and the life of the Indian underground. Continue reading »

Nov 302020


Over a significant span of years — going all the way back to the spring of 2010, in fact — we’ve devoted a lot of attention to the musical endeavors of the multi-faceted Mumbai-based extreme metal musician Sahil Makhija, whose nom de guerre is Demonstealer. We’ve followed his progress through the bands he has led, including Demonic Resurrection and Reptilian Death, as well as through his solo work in Demonstealer.

In addition to his musical output, which has featured live appearances at big European metal fests, his career has included starting a record label, establishing a professional recording studio dedicated to extreme metal, and even hosting a YouTube cooking show. And so, through two decades of activity in the often-fractious metal “community” he has not only survived but often thrived, and is probably India’s best-known figure in its heavy music landscape.

Of course, those two decades weren’t all smooth sailing. “Smooth sailing” is a foreign concept in the world of extreme metal, where fans are fickle, money is always scarce, and failure rather than fortune tends to be the dominant narrative. Yet despite all the obstacles, Sahil is still working at what he loves, and we have a new Demonstealer EP to show for it. Its title is And This Too Shall Pass, and today we’re bringing you the premiere of one of its four death metal tracks, presented via an official video, in advance of the EP’s release on December 11th. Continue reading »

Dec 022017


We’re rushing toward the end of the year like an out-of-control car speeding toward a precipice. And I find myself getting a similar panicked feeling, as if it will be a world-ending event for a metal writer and I only have four weeks to finish spouting off about 2017 releases, a task made even more daunting by the fact that I’m leaving on a 12-day vacation tomorrow (as explained here), and by the prospect of all the LISTMANIA stuff we will be doing between now and December 31 as well.

Of course, this is a completely irrational feeling. There’s no law which prevents us from continuing to write about 2017 releases after New Year’s Day, and no doubt we will. Nevertheless, I’m still feeling a feverish compulsion to give as much attention as I can to recent releases (and a few forthcoming ones) before “time runs out”. So I’ve crammed music from five bands into this post, without nearly enough time to say what I want about them, and I also have some hopes of finishing a SHADES OF BLACK post for tomorrow before beginning my 12-day hiatus. Don’t know if that will work out or not….


Thanks to a message from Conor O., and then a subsequent e-mail from the Dutch label Hammerheart Records, I learned that after a 22-year hiatus, Inquisitor have returned with a new album, and it’s an explosive resurrection for sure. Continue reading »

Feb 022016

Fleshgod APocalypse video


I’ve been gorging myself in newly released (or newly discovered) songs and a few EPs over the last 24 hours. If music were food, I’d be this guy by now — just one more bit of song and I’d explode. To make matters worse (i.e., better), I liked a large percentage of what I saw and heard. So that I can begin getting some of the music up on the site, I’ve divided the collection into multiple parts. More might come today, but definitely tomorrow.

By the way, if you’d like to hear full-album streams of the new Urgehal and Obscura albums, go here and here, respectively.


Fleshgod Apocalypse have been teasing about a new video, and we’ve been speculating internally about which song from their new album (King, reviewed here) would provide the subject matter. Now we know, because today FA premiered their new video for “Cold As Perfection”. Before you watch it, here’s a statement about the video by drummer Francesco Paoli, who also directed the clip along with  filmmaker and photographer Salvatore Perrone. The video, by the way, is NSFW. Continue reading »

Oct 012015

Demonstealer-Genocidal Leaders


Demonstealer is best known as the frontman for India’s Demonic Resurrection, but what some may not know is that seven years ago he released a solo album under the Demonstealer name (…And Chaos Will Reign…) that was pretty damned good. And now he’s at work on a second solo album which will feature the phenomenal George Kollias of Nile on drums. Although the album won’t be ready for release until early 2016, today we’re giving you a taste of what Demonstealer has been cooking up through our premiere of a play-through video for a new single entitled “Genocidal Leaders“.

On this recording, Demonstealer has collaborated with Australia-based drummer Louis Rando (Impiety) and Demonic Resurrection guitarist Nishith Hegde (also a member of horror-metal band Albatross), who contributes a lead guitar solo. Continue reading »

Mar 292013

It’s been way too long since we checked in with Demonic Resurrection’s frontman Demonstealer. The dude always seems to have about 1,000 things going on at any given time, and I’ll get to one more of his endeavors at the end of this post, but the main draw here at the beginning is his on-line cooking show Headbangers Kitchen and his latest guest from the incomparable Gojira.

If you’re not familiar with Headbanger’s Kitchen, it’s Demonstealer’s outlet for his culinary impulses. And whether you do or don’t discover something you might want to prepare for your own consumption, it’s fun to watch because Demonstealer often lures members of other metal bands into his kitchen in Mumbai, combining interviews with cooking. In the latest (14th) episode, the guest is Gojira frontman Joe Duplantier, who Demonstealer snagged during Gojira’s first visit to India several months ago.  And the dish that Demonstealer whipped up for Joe? The Heaviest Chole Bhature in the Universe!

I’m not an aficionado of Indian food. Hey, I grew up in Central Texas: a plate of Tex-Mex enchiladas smothered in chopped onions and sliced jalapenos or a slab of brisket served on wax paper is my go-to comfort food. So chole bhature was a discovery for me. But the chole seems to be prepared with green chile and onion, so it can’t be bad, can it? Continue reading »

Dec 302011

(The Indian metal scene is vibrant, multi-faceted, and loaded with talented bands waiting to be discovered on the international stage.  In the vanguard of the movement are Demonic Resurrection and their frontman The Demonstealer.  As a songwriter, a musician, the manager of Demonstealer Records, the host of a heavy metal cooking show, and much else besides, he’s a busy dude, but he made time to answer our request for a list of his favorite albums from 2011.)

Considering I haven’t heard much music this year it was very hard putting this list together. Had I heard a lot of the other albums released this year I might have had a different list. Either way, given a choice, this list would be in no particular order, but since we do this thing, here is my list in order.

1. Fleshgod ApocalypseAgony – Oh my god this was my surprise discovery for 2011. I found it thanks to where there was a drum cam video of Francesco Paoli playing the song ‘The Violation”, after which I saw the music video and had my nuts blown off!! I immediately got the album and it’s been in my player ever since. Continue reading »

Dec 222011

It was a good morning on our metallic island. The day here in the Pacific Northwest is dry and bright, I enjoyed BadWolf’s immensely entertaining interview with Arthur Von Nagel (Cormorant), and I’ve been filling my head non-stop with good metal — some cathartic black death from A Hill To Die Upon, a sampling of grindviolence courtesy of Alex Layzell, and a few head-wrecking tracks from Condemned.

I thought briefly about continuing my painful efforts to whittle down the list of most-infectious-song candidates into something less than 100 songs, but decided to put that off a while longer (“Procrastination” being one of my middle names) and instead check out news from the 5,000 bands I follow on Facebook. Turned out to be a wise decision, because in doing that I discovered some extremely high-quality concert video of the mighty Demonic Resurrection performing at the 26th annual Independence Rock festival in Mumbai, India, on November 26.

And by high-quality, I mean (a) it was filmed with about 100 cameras from about 100 different angles (including, like, just underneath the hand of DR’s keyboardist so you get a close-up of his fingers in motion), and (b) it sounds fucking awesome. Also, the stage is festooned with color and smoke and lights and looks killer.

As for the music, it’s over the top. Despite the fact that “Apocalyptic Dawn” is a single song, it almost sounds like a medley (even more so than on DR’s 2005 album, A Darkness Descends), with elements of symphonic black metal, death metal, power metal, and folk metal all effectively fused together — plus a heavy dose of hardcore vocal violence added by guest singer Sunneith Revankar of another Indian band we love around here, Bhayanak Maut. Continue reading »