Album Review | Binaash – "2072 BS" (EP, 2016)

Binaash – "2072 BS" (EP, 2016)

[Originally written for]

Hailing from the Himalayas and dubbing their style as ‘ramailo’ or ‘fun death metal,’ Binaash has made quite a name of themselves in the local scene, and in the South Asian extreme metal scene at large. Four years after the release of their debut full-length “Binaashkari,” they have bestowed their fan-base with their second offering, an EP this time called, “2072 BS.” BS, short for Bikram Sambat, is the calendar that Nepal uses officially. 2072 is the Nepali year for 2015-16 AD (currently it is the near-end of 2073 BS). I assume the band, through this EP, tried to portray the deleterious fate that Nepal went through in the year, following the devastating earthquakes, and the fuel blockade in the southern border of the country.

However, having said that, even if my assumption for the EP name was correct, the lyrical theme of the songs in here is little at all in sync with the album title. The themes yet again seem more fitting for the ‘fun’ death metal insignia that the band has embraced throughout, and which helped them design a trademark or a brand of their own. Musically, Binaash has continued to move towards the path it stepped into in the first album, creating some fast, intense, and wicked songs—this time 11 minutes in total—with crunchy riffs throughout. It does not diverge much from the brutal death metal cum grindcore the band has been playing since their inception. However, one big positive change here is the better production of the album compared to the last one, which was pretty much a let-down that discounted the overall listening experience.

The EP starts with the song, “Binaash” that marches along the three-minute mark with a breakdown. It starts slow and is unlike the other tracks, something I would prefer at the end of the album as the sluggish and heavy outro like a glacial avalanche pouring away. “Dentist” then increases the pace and fury of the EP, which is a short and sweet death metal assault. “Disco Kaila le Death Metal Sunira,” which translates to “Disco Kaila is listening to Death Metal,” then comes in, with the hilarity in its lyrics that reminds of the Binaash of “Binaashkari.” Disco Kaila, here, is someone who is into disco/pop/mainstream/whatever music and is new to death metal as a whole. The song then, presented in the form of a conversation, tries to educate him of what death metal is, and how it is played. A cursory translation of the lyrics goes like this;

“This is called blast beat / This is called half beat
I don’t know what they’re called / I don't understand them
Doesn’t matter if you don’t understand them, it’s so fun
Slow parts like this come time and again / It’s fun to headbang and mosh to them
But it has run fast again, as if you are thrashing a tin can / As if I am getting dizzy / As if the music is narcotic
You bastard, son of a bitch / You dumbfuck / If you do not like it / Why have you come here?
Listen, this one is a slam part / It is used a lot in death metal these days / This type of vocals is used in this style
See, the people are having fun in the music / Forgetting all their problems / Having fun with the music
This song is a bit mixed styled / There isn’t just disco, there is death also”

This should be the most widely circulated song out of the five, thanks to the lyrical music video released by Nepal Underground a week or so ago. As explained by the lyrics, you got everything from blast beats to half beats, and from slam breakdowns to fast parts thrown in. Prabin Shrestha’s pig squeals also make their way into the album for the first time. And as already explained by the lyrics, and which the band also admits, the song is truly ‘mixed,’ with thrashy riffs and modern death metal touch mashed in. Finally, the last two tracks, “Fuck Your Culture” and “Mindsetits (Disease Called Human)” only elongate the brutality, with the sick crispy riffs, and the intensity of the music.

Before the release of their debut album in 2012, I expected Binaash’s music to be a drums-driven death metal, with the then-drummer Rishav Acharya coming from jazz background, and therefore his influences from jazz could clearly be traced. However, after listening to their debut album, I was reminded that their music is very much riff-driven, with the riffs by Prateek Neupane and Shashank Shrestha being the foundation of their music. I also blamed the sloppy production of the album for not letting listeners grasp the versatility of the percussions in that album. However, for a change, in this EP, Rishav Acharya has been replaced by Bikram Shrestha (Ugrakarma/X-Mantra et al), with background in traditional death metal a la Morbid Angel and Krisiun as his influences. Fast and furious, his drumming is unrelenting, with the bass drums sounding like military bullets straight up to your ears.

Compared to the last album, the band has also cut loose the superfluous intros to every song. This time around the songs come straight on to your face, without any bullshit, and give you a good aural blowjob. It is well-presented death metal with influences from traditional death metal, modern brutal death metal, thrash metal, and grindcore, all amalgamated in the fun death metal that the band is known for. The bass guitar by Bijent Bikram Shah is impaling and thundering as always; screams, growls and all the variations of the throat-job by Prabin are menacing; and the guitars and the drums, yet again for the record, are elegant. The band likes this EP to be dubbed fun death metal, and the dudes definitely know how to make their music sound as if they are: 1) having fun and making us feel through their music that they are enjoying what they are doing, and 2) making them intense as fuck during this process.

DMN rating: 4/5

Here is the link to the EP in the band's official Bandcamp.