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Serpents Of Pakhangba Do It Again

Jun 09, 04:12pm

‘Panthoibi’ is an absolute banger, but why would you expect anything less?

By now, you should know about Serpents Of Pakhangba, no? If not, they’re making some of the most interesting and experimental metal(?) in the country. That should be no surprise considering it is the brainchild of Vishal J.Singh (and if you don’t know who he is, check out Amogh Symphony etc.); their approach to making art is particularly interesting. It’s very dramatic, very heavy and wholly unique. The song in question here is called ‘Panthoibi’, a track that takes many a note from the culture and folklore of Manipur. This is not one of those pieces of culture that people appropriate just to do something new, as popular as that idea is. This is a clever, raw, honest representation of a world that we should know more about. And plus, it’s a huge, heavy song. These are all good things.

The song is best listened to and experienced rather than read about (there's a link below this). So, here are some cliff notes. Great production, obviously. Riffs and grooves hit like Ashok Leyland trucks and the mix fills your ears completely. The presentation is very theatrical (this ties in with its subject matter), and amidst all the big sounds, there’s Tanushree Saha’s vocals. They cut through everything like a knife. This is the intended purpose, of course, and this accentuates her delivery. About that… yes, she basically does everything a voice could possibly do here, to the point where getting into the weeds of her vocal decisions would literally spoil parts of the song. It’s not often you get to have an experience like that, and that is by miles the best thing about ‘Panthoibi’. Good luck expecting anything at all. Suffice it to say that while you will be hit with a bunch of left hooks inside a pretty familiar epic-metal framework, you’ll still be surprised. Not easy to do. It’s a bit difficult to talk about the big choruses, the rather grimy guitar tones and a moment halfway through the song without taking away from the listening experience. So go and listen.

 

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