Russian band Kartikeya play “ethnic metal”. As soon as you read this, you know you’re in for something interesting. Listening to a few of their tracks, they really do grab handfuls of styles from all over the place and jam them into one great cauldron of musical okroshka.
Post metal twangy bass blends perfectly with various traditional eastern European instruments and styles. Riffs that just sound Russian (or Indian… or Arabic… Kartikeya aren’t fussy!) lay the groundwork for choruses while verses are more middle of the road modern metal. You almost feel that you could separate out the traditional and metal layers and listen to them separately… and yet they both intertwine so well. What did hit me as I listened to the music is how similar, to my Western ears at least, stereotypical Russian and Indian music can be.
Based in Moscow, the band have been on the go since 2004. They’re a five-piece, featuring the following members:
- Mars – Vocals
- Roman Arsafes – Guitars, Vocals, Ethnic Instruments
- Sasha – Bass
- Sanya Averianov – Drums
- Dmitriy Drevo – Percussion
From what I can tell, they have two albums out and have recently released a new track entitled “The Golden Blades“. Plans are afoot for a lyric video and the band are planning on featuring fans within it somehow.
You can listen to (and buy) a lot of their material via bandcamp. It’s worth digging through the material they have on there as there’s quite a variety in their songs.