Reviewed by: Naveet Singh Parmar
Paradigm Shift has been around since 2008, jamming, touring, and fusing with old Hindustani and Indian Classical music and Contemporary Indian Rock music. An impressive experiment, one might say, but one that’s been tried unsuccessfully by bands who are unsure of where they stand on the genre scale. ‘Another fusion band? Ha!’ you smirk. Wait till you listen to this one, smirkers. A lot of bands today don’t do much justice to their genres but here’s one that does. “Ethnic Progressive Rock/Metal/Fusion” is what Paradigm Shift calls itself, and it couldn’t be any more specific. Yes, there are a lot of words in there, and it’s a concept that has not been touched in India much, so it’s bound to raise some eyebrows and even catch your ears off guard when you hear the sound of classical violins and ragas in between heavy guitar riffs and rock guitar solos and to top it all intense Hindi lyrics. Nevertheless, if the words do interest you, I suggest you tune in to Coalescence, these folks’s debut album, because their concept is a mighty good one. There’s the deeply rooted Khwabon Mein Teri, which has violins crooning in a very non-western way and classical vocals with beautiful harmonies. Sapna features Vishal J. Singh of Amogh Symphony fame, and has a very mellow desert feel to it, and you can hear the vocalist taking some impeccable highs on this one. Coalescence is a Post-Rock instrumental featuring ex-bandmate turned manager Nikhil Warrier. It’s a very expert composition, throws light on the maturity of the band’s sound. Zindagi has such a lovable intro involving a vibrating violin theme immersed in acoustic guitar. Batlaado ropes in Bhayanak Maut’s Vinay Venkatesh on the vocals, as he growls superbly towards the end of what is probably the most intense song in the entire album. The positive to take from the album is the fact that it’s quite something to fuse two genres that are a world apart and in India where Metal is a very easy space to fall into mentally, Paradigm Shift has attempted something really unique and it has turned out quite good. I have no complains with the Hindustani part of their music, but one feels the Progressive Rock part could do with some nurturing. We’re still at the point where every upcoming Heavy Metal band sounds strikingly similar to another new band. The originality and the spice that bands make their USP is yet to emerge from all the smoke. In that, Paradigm Shift succeeds in identifying their sound, but in their case where they dabble with not just one, but multiple sounds, it becomes important to make them both sound equally good individually.
Must Listen: Tere Liye, Dhuaan, Coalescence, Sapna.
Coalescence the album might not blast your mind, but it will certainly make you sit up and take notice of these four musicians and like me, if you’re not too choosy with your genres, make you listen to them over and over again.