We are excited to share the first part of our fourth studio album, which we simply named “IV.I”, today i.e 7th of May 2019, with you all. The second part of this album “IV.II” will be out digitally on 21st of May 2019. Yes, same month. Shout out to all the amazing friends and fans who pre-ordered the digital copy on Bandcamp – Thank you so much for the love and support. Pre-order of IV.I ends today but pre-order of IV.II is still on. We’ve released two music videos so far. Watch the music videos for “Everything is now in the eye of the sun(feat. Writam Changkakoti)” directed by incredibly amazing 3D artist and Experimental Art-Filmmaker Niranjan Raghu and “Birds” directed by excellent Visual effects Artist and Film-maker Mayank Dhasmana aka Consumer here:
“Before you guys start reading this, i would suggest you all to have full sleep and a cup of Green Tea.
As the founder member and main songwriter in Amogh Symphony, it is very important for me to be able to freely and personally express myself in the songwriting process. Motivation comes, motivation goes – part of artist life. The best teacher is life and we are the eternal students of life, art and music. The only difference is to keep the fire within you alive.
My Dear Friends, some of you are very new to my music and some of you already knew, heard, loved and hated me and my music in Amogh Symphony since the very first album “Abolishing the Obsolete System”, released in 2009. That was myspace dot com. Wow. I cannot forget that moment of joy and excitement of sharing my first album to the world via Internet. I was 18 years old when i wrote the first Amogh Symphony album and i was..ahem…quite br00tal.
My experience and vision as a songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist changes or upgrades(let’s not use the word “evolving” because it sounds too arrogant and over-confident to me) with time and with certain lessons and experiences in life. I have been asked by friends and fans – “Do you think you don’t enjoy metal anymore?”. The answer is – Metal is within me but in a very different shape and form. To define Amogh Symphony’s music as Metaphor – A complex, unbreakable creation that brings varied types of people, ethnicity, culture under one giant roof, where language has no alphabets and no scriptures, where divisions, sub-divisions and the concept of categories fail, where minds are free and open wide to imagine, where different rejected ideas are welcome with arms wide open, love and respect. The composite structure which is as similar as liquid and take any shape-form under any situation.
But it wasn’t easy to find musicians who share similar thoughts in songwriting. I am so glad to have my best friends/brothers-in-rhyme Derick Savio Gomes, Andrey Sazonov and Tom Fountainhead Geldschläger who taught me, helped me, forced me to think of new ideas of songwriting in this album. After the first two Amogh Symphony albums – Abolishing the Obsolete System and The Quantum Hack Code, i wanted a complete new direction in my songwriting, choice of notes, and song arrangement. Why? Because almost every incredibly amazing bands from all over the world were writing complex progressive rock and metal music in sci-fi themes and i felt outdated and saturated with my songwriting(only to realize later in 2012 that i was going through extreme depression and self doubts). During tough times, I was constantly guided and motivated by my Mother, Brother, Sister-in-law and all the close friends. After a few months of silence and gap, i decided to channelize the Metaphor, once again, in the form of new song ideas. Because I already discovered and studied many varied styles of music, songwriting, instruments and song arrangements in childhood, the realization process answered the question – “What is stopping me to think new ideas? What exactly happened?” It was the time to return to the basics and re-study art with a new vision, with a new mindset. That resulted in the form of third Amogh Symphony album “Vectorscan”. Some fans didn’t like it at all, others loved it. Some hated the first two albums, others loved only Vectorscan. I always believed in the fact that before someone else likes or dislikes a songwriter’s vision, the songwriter must love it’s own creation. For some, it took a year or more than a year to completely absorb, to connect with Amogh Symphony’s songs and albums while others immediately found their connection and taste in it.
With 14-15 years of my experience in producing music in the corporate and commercial music and film realms, it was a very personal decision to share my music with all of you very organically i.e without paid-likes, paid-view and digital PR to reach maximum people with no third-party involvement. I want this music to grow freely, independently and slowly like how my childhood was. That being said, IV is a double album of total 13 songs that are very very different from each other. Now, let me answer some FAQ’s related to IV.
Why double album?
The songs, actually, aren’t too long but they are very diverse and disconnected due to multi-genre nature. After a few listening sessions and a childish argument between me and Tom(with Derick being the peacemaker lol)
“Only metal sections will be liked by tech metal fans….but do we really have fans who would listen to art pop and avant jazz at the same time?…people do like dadaism and it is important…no…this is too much for their brains…alright, stop…no modern progressive metal magazine will review this album because it’s impossible to categorize….are we thinking too much?…I don’t care…Stop it, man….*collectively* LET THEM DECIDE WHAT THEY LIKE. OUR JOB IS DONE RIGHT HERE”
So we decided to divide the album into 2 parts for a complete experience and freedom of choice to choose/rate their(fans) favorite part. It was Derick’s thought and we all agreed.
2. Since when did Vishal(me) start singing? What are these “vocal” songs about?
I have been writing vocal melodies and arranging vocal sections since longtime but i would like to thank my mom Kasturi Nath Singh, my bandmate Derick Savio Gomes and my very close friend Siddharth Basrur(vocalist, songwriter of Goddess Gagged and Runt and many Bollywood Soundtracks) who motivated me to start singing my own tunes. Also because i had absolutely no money to pay and bring a vocalist(Derick also sings) and i was very bored of being a guitarist and a drummer. The list of my vocal influences includes Tony Martin, Karl Sanders, Frank Zappa, Les Claypool, Mike Patton, Sainkho Namtchylak, Late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Chris Cornell.
Now, about the “vocal” songs –
“His Master’s Voice”, opening track of IV.I is a Sanskrit Hymn/Pray for Masters and Gurus. A Guru has no particular form so anybody can interpret anything out of it.
“Everything is now(in the eye of the sun)” in IV.I. It came out with the music video. It is about the survival of humankind which is dependent on the survival of the Earth. According to Niranjan(Director of the music video) – “This music video is in equal parts a documentary of our climate change. as well as a surreal interpretation of where our futures may lie”. Parallel to that, the song has varied other meanings and fans can come up with their own personal interpretation. The lyrics were partially written by me and Derick. I personally dedicated the song as a tribute to Chris Cornell while remembering his most famous song “Black Hole Sun” with Soundgarden(though the song is nowhere close to the Soundgarden song).
“Farewell Father” in IV.I. I personally dedicated this to my late Father. This song, partially written by me and Derick(who also recorded backing vocals) has two parts – The ritual and The Revenge. It has a very furious guitar solo by Tom, ambient Piano and haunting violin/string section by Andrey with some middle aged atmosphere Black Metal moment.
“Cats Can in Narnia” in IV.II is a vocal Acapella in gibberish that symbolizes the unconditional love between cats and humans. We made Tom sing in this tune to make him less brutal German Tech-Death Ninja.
“Drone-Bomb Acharya(The Bombmaker’s song)” in IV.II is about Aleppo and also about a Chemical Engineer with interest in making lethal explosives for Terrorists who falls in love with a Syrian Woman who mistakenly dies in a Bomb-Blast done by his own explosives. Again, this song has other meanings as well.
“Enduring freedom since 1947” in IV.II is the last song with me on vocals, in this album. It features Sean Reinert playing some exceptional drums(Sean wrote his own drum parts) in it. My spoken words and singing is a mix of gibberish and few written words symbolizing the mixed character between war-hungry politicians and lunatics. 1947 was the year of Controversial Indian Independence.
“Third Eye Awakening” in IV.II Collaboration with my lovely mother Kasturi Nath Singh. Originally, A 500 years old “Borgeet” written by Assamese Guru Sankardev. Apart from possibilities of various interpretations, i would like to write one. Lyrically, it is about detachment from materialism while discovering inner spiritual power of self-healing and being able to find the reason of birth as a biological form on Earth. Metaphorically, it’s a woman who is going through pain and misery while learning about her existence which eventually gives biological formation of her Third Eye. The third eye awakening is not necessarily an actual eye on forehead. Instead of believing everything that is written in ancient texts it is the self-study of consciousness that liberates the mind, body and the soul. One simply cannot force somebody to find his/her spiritual form. It has nothing to do with religion, caste or anything as such. It is not necessary to become “sage”, to live in mountains and to disconnect from the world. The term detachment is often misunderstood when “Involvement” is mentioned. Without involvement, there is no spiritual reformation and without detachment, there is no realization of the existence of karmic cycle(you think above your physical form). Third Eye’s awakening is basically how you are able to see every small and bigger things at some point of time in your life where you do not feel ashamed to express yourself through art.
3. Why did it took the band so long to get it released?
It took me almost 3 years to finally come up with the right arrangements of the songs. You know, all four of us are full time record producers as well. Because we didn’t want to use obsolete ideas, it sometimes takes a different mental state to be able to create and to get inspired. Though we have a very niche fan base and not at all a larger audience, it gives us plenty of time to work on the sound that we want. Also, I would like to add that finding a record label to release this kind of music is really tough considering there is absolutely no money in tour-life and band life. Rejected by Progressive Metal Labels and Publishers with their common response “Un-promotable and too diverse to categorize”, we decided to continue releasing independently but also wanted to launch it via our own label Vmbrella. It’s a very baby record company at the moment but we are working on it. Initially, the idea was to launch Crowd-funding and asking fans to help us. But i am also very serious about the freedom of choice for both us and the fans. Hence, financially, it was a long process.
4. About the special guest artists in IV
My mother Kasturi Nath Singh recorded some traditional assamese folk vocals and some semi classical vocals in the songs “His Master’s Voice” and “Third Eye Awakening”. Apart from that, Sean Reinert (who is a wonderful human being and one of my childhood heroes) wrote and played drums in “Enduring freedom since 1947”. Multi-instrumentalist Writam Changkakoti played Tabla in “Everything is now in the eye of the sun” and my former chauffeur Deep Saikia played the tribal “Pepa” horn instrument in almost all the songs. We’ve also collaborated with two brilliant film-makers namely Niranjan Raghu and Mayank Dhasmana aka Consumer, who directed the concept music videos for “Everything is now in the eye of the sun” and “Birds”, respectively.
5. About the instrumental songs
In Part 1, there are four instrumental tracks and three tracks with lyrical vocals.
“Lonely walk to Satyagraha” in IV.I has varied meanings including satirical take on Flat Earth Society, people believing in their ideologies and continuing without receiving support from others, resurrection of ancient Gods to save only a handful of humans etc.
“The Art of Shapeshifting” in IV.I can be interpreted in many ways. Let’s see? The lost art and practice of shapeshifting believed by many ancient tribes across the world(including my tribe Meetei’s ancient God), Chapter of human transforming into snake or snake transforming into human. The never ending “Chameleon” nature of evil politicians(hence, the humor). The spiritually awakened man who can fit into any situation and under any circumstances adapts himself or herself to the changes and environment(inspired by my personal experience/learning process in commercial music industry where versatility and being able to create “any” kind of sound and/or music within a short time gets you job rather than being original). Cinematic soundtrack interpretation by various visual characters of a weird mutant “Shapeshifter” spy agent with mood swings, originally an Afghan, who was designed and made only to end up as an expendable agent to get killed after political assassination, due to fear of the Government. The tale of his escape and hiding from the world(inspired by Bose).
“Escher’s reality is a low hanging fruit” in IV.I Making fun of Artists and Post-Modernists by another Art and Post-Modernists. One can relate/interpret this to the extreme metal music scene and journalism.
“Mai bhi Joker banunga” in IV.I is a tribute to Indian Avant-Garde Filmmaker Kamal Swaroop’s 1988 film “Om Dar ba dar”. Briefly about self destructive behavior of some method actors, filmmakers, experimental songwriters and their abusive relationship with women and drugs. It is also a satirical take on creative artists choosing the path of mainstream, in order to survive, only to face rejection for still being unique and different and return back to the roots.
“Birds” in IV.II is about the need of free-flying and freedom but at the same time, the misuse of excessive freedom. Argument upon argument followed by personal attack became common. Afraid of getting insulted by half-knowledge minds, some “important” Wise men and Wise women remained silent and calm. Some choose to ignore. Some decided to show them a mirror with no words. Believing everything that is on the internet is true became a weapon for many. In Mayank(Director of the music video)’s words – “The current internet wars between left and right for the dominance of counter culture has provided much needed comic relief in an otherwise mundane life for lot of us. But at the same time the virtue signalling from both sides has went through the roof and caused quite a bit of unnecessary friction. The best way to depict that, I thought, would be to…wait for it…get some girls to dance and fight on a roof. *Drumroll.”
“Draining colours from the rainbow while dancing between raindrops” in IV.II Psychedelic experiences, spiritual experiences while meditating in Himalayas, Dadaism and the existence of Classic Anime.
6. About my and the band’s experience working with Filmmakers Niranjan Raghu and Mayank Dhasmana
It was a fantastic fun and learning process for me. I see myself more involved in Filmmaking and Film Direction since i met these two genius guys. It wasn’t too hard for me to creatively connect with them because both Niranjan and Mayank are good ambient and electronic glitch music producers as well. When i discussed about the theme of “Birds” and “In the eye of the sun” with them, they improved the theme and made brilliant scripts out of them. Both are very different from each other but both are super creative geniuses. There was a moment when i decided to get back to the song and add/change a few things in the arrangement after looking at what they shared with me as first drafts. Usually, this type of open collaboration doesn’t really happen between a band and a music video filmmaker. But working with Niranjan and Mayank was smooth.
7. About the artwork created by Saloni Sinha
She is a good old friend who is very artistic and perfectly understands my vision. We almost had 2 hours of chat over phone about how we both evolved spiritually, both have known each other since teenage days and how the approach of art has changed with life yet we are still child inside our hearts. The artwork symbolizes the existence of female energy with a naturally growing open mind forest where thoughts fly as free as free birds, with vision of a bird, venomous yet controlled lips that speaks only when time demands, and breathing cold deep inside with motivation as big as the mountains.
Hope you guys enjoy listening to this album as much as we enjoyed making it. Those who pre-ordered part 1 must have received the digital copy by now. The only reason we haven’t released IV on CD’s is due to less demand of CD’s with artwork. But who knows? May be we put up some CD’s in stores for you all if the pre-order is decent enough to tell CD makers “Go…make the CD’s now”. Announcement of Merchandise will be made soon. Watch this space.
We would like to thank our fans, friends and family for the love and support.
– Vishal J Singh
IV.I is now digitally available on Bandcamp . Soon, it will be available in all the stores.
IV.I Track-listing :
1. His Master’s Voice (feat. Kasturi Nath Singh)
2. Lonely walk to Satyagraha
3. The Art of Shapeshifting
4. Everything is now – in the eye of the sun (feat. Writam Changkakoti)
5. Escher’s reality is a low hanging fruit
6. Mai bhi Joker banunga
7. Farewell Father
To pre-order IV.II, releasing on 21st May 2019, click here
1. Cats can in Narnia
2. Birds(feat. Deep Saikia)
3. Enduring freedom since 1947 (feat. Sean Reinert)
4. Draining colours from the rainbow while dancing between raindrops
5. Drone-Bomb Acharya (The Bombmaker’s Song)
6. Third Eye Awakening (feat. Kasturi Nath Singh)
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