Read Watch Listen - 2018

Bloodywood: Metal Cover Songs from India and Beyond

By Jennifer Allen

A metal band from India? Most would not think of such a concept but in truth there are a few bands such as Pentagram, Bhayanak Maut, Escher's Knot, Devoid and others who have taken metal music in their own direction with a Desi twist.

Newer to the Indian metal scene is Bloodywood from New Delhi. Made up of guitarist & producer Karan Katiyar and vocalist Jayant Bhadula, these two started their YouTube channel in mid-2012 doing some Bollywood song covers with a hard core metal twist. Starting with metal cover songs such as Lucky All's “Ek Pal Ka Jena" and Raftaar's “Swag Mera Desi", they eventually grew such a fan base that they started covering English language pop songs such as Ed Sheeran's “Shape of You", Michael Jackson's “Bad" and yes, even Rick Astley's “Never Gonna Give You Up."

In February of 2017 Bhadula mentioned that they were heavily influenced by the Nu-Metal band, Linkin Park and also that they were not happy with the band's more pop sound on their latest album. In response they did their own version of LP's “Heavy" and put as the title card for the YouTube vid, “If Linkin Park were Still Metal". Most fans loved the cover, but when the late Chester Bennington heard about it, he was not pleased. Sadly I don't think Chester realized that the cover was meant as both a joke and a homage to the original style of music that Linkin Park was initially recognized for.

More recently, Bloodywood has gone back to their roots by covering two popular Punjabi pop songs: Daler Mendhi's “Tunak Tunak Tun" and Panjabi MC's “Mundian To Bach Ke". They also celebrated Holi with a rendition of the title song from Rang De Basanti. In each you can tell that they still appreciate the original versions, but simply amped them up to 11 with heavy guitar riffs and growly vocals.

These guys do seem to have a lot of fun with every song they do and as they often say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I know that Heavy Metal is not for everyone, but do check them out if you're curious. Katiyar's guitar work is outstanding and Bhadula's vocals can switch from rough to soft in an instant just like more well-known vocalists like Corey Taylor of Slipknot or Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch.

Bloodywood have released an EP of their pop covers available for download on bandcamp.com called Anti-Pop Vol . 1 for $12. Visit, bloodywood.bandcamp.com/album/anti-popvol-1

Their Facebook page is pretty active with not only posts about their new singles but also interactions with fans and their continued admiration of the Heavy Metal scene. www.facebook.com/bloodywood.delhi/

And of course don't miss their YouTube channel with every single amazing (and fun) cover song in their growing library.