It’s Monday and Mondays suck, so let’s grind it out with Chepang’s Dadhelo – A Tale of Wildfire.
There’s a lot of bands I mean to feature on here. A lot. And in 2018 hopefully I can free up the time to do some classics. But the 2017 year of this column has been mostly about the modern. And Chepang is one of those bands that I think is penning some insanely unhinged, destructive and high octane modern classics.
Hailing out of New York (previously Nepal), Chepang is a bludgeoning, blasting five-piece unit that’s also incredibly varied. Most notably, the band has two drummers, both of which are out of their goddamned minds and manage to make blast beats something interesting to listen to beyond the speed frenzy. What this band channel is a fire and fury that feels fresh but familiar.
Dadhelo – A Tale of Wildfire is a grindcore record through and through. And as explosive as it constantly sounds, as much as it encapsulates a blazing wildfire, it’s also incredibly dynamic. In some ways it’s remanence of Magrudergrind’s self-titled album, only if it were more experimental and violent.
Over the course of fourteen tracks, Chepang take the grindcore blueprint and lose their minds. The album opens with the big building “Parichaya (An Introduction)” and proceeds into “Auda” at an explosive rate. The track almost sounds like its channeling some black metal. But as quickly as it starts, it’s over in true grindcore fashion.
It’s “Pakheta” and “Ghus-Peti” where the band really get grinding. The tracks waste no time getting to the speed and keeping the pace. “Ghus-Peti” is particularly vicious, displaying some of the awesome duel drumming that plays blasts off of blasts. And even following this the band keep of the massive momentum with the monstrous “Kucho”, a song that has some of the thickest drum parts on the record.
Where Dadhelo starts getting really eye-peeling is on “Falame Fokso.” At over two-minutes, the track is simultaneously heavy, builds to a frenzied blast and then simmers into a sung section. It’s brutal and heavenly. The break is sudden, but it works. It’s like a brief rain on this wildfire of a record, one could say. And one could even argue that the second half of Dadhelo’s tone is somewhat set by this.
The second half is both more punk and melancholy. Tracks like “Choila” feature brief wailing guitar licks and slower, broken down passages. The beginning guitar work on “Maile Choyeko Pani Chaldaina” sounds straight up thrash metal. Meanwhile the rest of the track shifts between heaviness and even more speed. The final track, “Zerstoerung” is the one Chepang take their time with. Howling feedback over some drumming slowly sets the pace for one final blaze. There’s plenty of glitz on here, and it may even seem like the band is relenting, and to a degree they are. They never reach a full blast and instead send us off with some clean vocals.
Dadhelo – A Tale of Wildfire is an intense bull-rush of a record. Chepang has been gaining traction since last year’s Lathi Charge EP and rightfully so. They write some phenomenally good grind that’s both primal but isn’t afraid to experiment with other elements. This is one of the most refreshing bands I’ve featured on this column this year. If you haven’t heard this or have even heard of Chepang before, then smash that play button and get grinding.