Interview | Narsamhaar

For those who have been keeping an eye upon the Nepali death metal scene, Narsamhaar is not a new name. They recently released their debut full-length album "Genocide Shrines" (independently), which presented their brand of brutal death metal clashed with somber melodies. We catch up with the band for a brief interview.

Congratulations for releasing your first album "Genocide Euphoria", which I saw, has generated some positive reviews internationally. Please tell us about the album.

Thank you for the wishes. We are really thankful to all the national and international zines for the support thus far. “Genocide Euphoria” was such a magnificent ride for us. We were nervous, excited and it was a big learning experience for us at the same time. All the guitars, live drums and vocals were recorded and mixed with utmost expertise here in this exceptionally good local studio called Alchemix Studio who later ended up producing the whole album. Huge props to Siddhartha Gurung and Subin Gurung for all the studio works.  The final stuff was then sent to USA to Josh for the mastering job.

The sound production of the album is pretty good, eh?

Definitely, we never wanted to compromise on the sound that was required for the kind of music that we play so we worked really hard in the studio to get that perfect sound and like we mentioned above all the things including the mixing work was done in Alchemix Studio, and for the final mastering job we send our stuff to Josh who is a good friend of Zivon Gurung (Brutal Pokhara) for quite some time. We had heard his work with bands like Abnormality and few other extreme bands and we really liked that.

That is an enticing album art. Tell me about it?

For us, the album cover art is one of the most important things while producing an album. It pretty much sums up the whole quality and the story of your hard work and creation that is inside that round shaped CD. The artwork for the album was done by EGA Artworks, Indonesia, and it perfectly depicts the kind of aura the album holds, a very somber and painful element that eventually overtakes all the things in life till death.

It is some crispy brutal death metal presented in "Genocide Euphoria", with lots of slam breakdowns and a fair chunk of melodies as well. What is your thought? How do you define your music, objectively?

It is pretty hard to keep yourself content with just one genre of music when you are exposed to so many good music and bands of various genres at once and as five different individuals it is obvious to have various influences and when you are on a jam trying to create music, all those inspirations collide. During the making of “Genocide Euphoria” musically we were going through many changes and were listening to all sort of death metal, from old school to newer slam bands to grindcore and you can clearly see the results on our songs.

Your older songs, notably "God Wants My Blood" (which was featured in Brutal Pokhara's compilation "Occult Science of Metal" few years back) was more a thrashy version of death metal than what you have done in "Genocide Euphoria". What brought a change in your style?

“God Wants My Blood” was the first song that we composed as a band and it was sometime in 2009/2010 and a lot of things have changed since then. Musically, we would like to believe we have grown and during these 4-5 years our taste of death metal has altered a little too towards more brutal and tech stuff. Drums have more blast variations and riffs are meaner with loads of off time signatures and all.

I, for one, strongly think that brutal death metal has increasingly turned repetitive/monotonous over the years. Did you focus on this fact while writing/making your songs?

We have always tried to add the elements of old school death metal and groove metal in the brutality of our songs and not just limit to ultrafast riffing and blast beats. We think that is pretty boring so we like to add several variations in our songs and we are so glad that people like what we have done on “Genocide Euphoria”.

The band also toured few cities throughout the country as an album promotion tour. How was it?

The Genocide Tour was such a historic event. Getting to tour 5 different cities at once in Nepal is pretty badass in itself. We are glad that the tour was a great success and is one of the definitive points in our life.

You have been playing in places like Kathmandu and Dharan occasionally. How different do you feel while performing in those places from playing in your hometown?

We are always excited to play outside our town, be it in Kathmandu, Dharan or elsewhere.  It’s always good to see fans and supporters outside Pokhara cheering for the band and shouting titles of our songs. We just love it as it gives an extra energy to perform on stage.

You shared stage with Napalm Death in Kathmandu few years ago. Any vivid memory of that gig?

Sharing the same stage with Napalm Death was a dream coming true for us. It’s something that is hard to put on words. Apart from sharing the same stage, the after party was just awesome. Getting to have the dinner together and then the drinking session that followed with Mitch Harris and Shane Embury was just something that we will never forget.

A scene cannot exist without bands. Can a band exist without a scene?

A band, if good, will always have its own set of fans and supporters and that is what is needed to survive the test of time, trends, scene or no scene. Nepal has a pretty shitty and small scene whether in Pokhara or Kathmandu but the bands are doing what they are supposed to do and have survived for so many years. We guess it’s the passion to play music that keeps the band alive and nothing else.

Tell us some of the band's common influences?

When we started we were much inspired by old school death metal bands, and as we progressed, we gained more brutal death metal influences. We have so many favorite bands but Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation have to be the common two for all of us. We also like Binaash very much and it’s always great to play alongside them.

What keeps you busy these days as a band?

As a band all we ever wanted to do was practice, make music and play live. Even after just releasing our album we are already in process to write new songs though it’s bloody hard to manage time because we all have our personal commitments to take care of.

What's next for Narsamhaar?

We will come out with new music soon. Just watch out for that. We are trying to incorporate new dimensions to our songs in terms of composition and writings and hopefully bring out an album or at least an EP soon. We just need support from all of you!