Bombay metal stalwarts Bhayanak Maut — “terrible death” in Hindi — are a groove n’ grind powerhouse. That much is beyond dispute. But listening to the band’s latest EP Metastasis, one nagging question did arise: Say Decibel gets all fired up and flies halfway around the world to see a Bhayanak Maut home country performance — how’re we going to keep ourselves occupied before and after the show?
In response vocalist Vinay Venkatesh — brother, it should be noted, of Professor Death Metal himself, Vivek Venkatesh — not only gave us the 411 in the form of the Top Five Places Every Metalhead Must Visit While in India list below, but also offered up a stream of the track “Chakna For Church” for the edification of Decibel readers. Get into it. Then get on an aeroplane.
1. Run To The Hills — The Seven Sisters
If you’re travelling to India, then the north-eastern-most states of the country are where you should head to first. You’ll be greeted by fertile plains, valleys, the foothills of the Himalayas, unbelievably delicious food, The Ghost Pepper (dare yourself to eat this), shit-loads of the freshest tea you will ever drink in your life, taxi drivers that only play metal in their taxis (I kid you not), fragile remnants of the British rule from almost a century ago, and mother nature in all her splendour. This is an area that the government thankfully doesn’t give a shit about. Get here and experience this part of the country before the government realises that it’s sitting on a goldmine and decides to fuck it up, too.
2. It’s Not Safe To Swim Today — Houseboats, Coconuts and Fish
Kerala’s Tourism board calls the state ‘God’s Own Country’. They’re not lying. It’s beautiful. It’s also a better holiday destination than Goa. Period. Kerala offers pristine beaches, mountains, valleys, backwaters and flat, green pastures as far as the eye can see. It also offers the best fucking food you’ll find in India. Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will never be disappointed. You’re looking at the choicest of fruits, vegetables, spices, coconuts, rice, sea-food and meat in every meal. Must visit: Cochin (just because it’s beautiful and relaxed), Allappuzha (for the backwaters), Munnar (for the hills and the tea), Iddukki (for the weed), and Kovalam (for the sun, beaches and the food).
3. Hello From The Gutter — Is it Bombay or Mumbai?
I live in this hell-hole called Bombay. Why do I want you to visit? Because I want you to join me in my misery. There’s really nothing for you to see here apart from garbage, smog, stray animals, beggars, pimps, three-wheel rickshaws and poor excuses for roads. But it’s got a few places that still serve good, wholesome food. It’s also got a few clubs that allow metal bands to play once-in-a-while. Bombay sucks. Maybe that’s why the country’s most popular metal bands are from here. If you do drop by, let me know and I’ll let you join me and my band mates on our Sunday night church drive-by. You’ll love it.
4. The Haunted — One-Way Ticket to Bhangarh, Please
It’s supposedly the most haunted place in the world. Make sure you head there if you’re in Rajasthan. Apart from Bhangarh, get your ass to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and all the other fortresses in Rajasthan. Don’t miss the Government-approved BHANG SHOP outside Jaisalmer Fort. For those who don’t know, BHANG=weed. This stuff is potent. The strongest variant is called “Super-Sexy, 24 Hour, No Toilet-No Shower.” Food’s good, travel’s not difficult. Don’t shop for trinkets here. Just soak in the history of the place and molest a Camel or two.
5. Rust In Peace — The Indian Failways
Now, if you’ve never been to India, I urge you to use the Indian Railways for ALL your travel around the country. It’s an experience, to say the least. It’s effective if you’re on a budget trip and wouldn’t mind earning your next train-fare by giving random passengers a handjob. Don’t be afraid of the bathrooms on the train. You’ll get used to the smell (in a day or two). Plus, you’re bound to find a young, struggling metal band on that train, travelling to some far-away university town to compete in a battle-of-the-bands. Have a drink with the guys. You won’t regret it.