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Rudra, as the Rigveda dictates, is the “mightiest of the mighty.” Rudra ghora, assau devam, the terrifying god, displays the ferocity of a wild beast. Known as “the roarer,” Rudra was a fierce, unpredictable warrior who destroyed his adversaries from afar, but was a benevolent leader to his followers. Rudra was the protector of the sick, the strength of his people, and was the subsequent recipient of praise, fear, and awe.

Rudra Bhakti is the idealistic submission to Rudra, the act of praise and whole devotion to Rudra’s will out of adoration. Coincidentally the title chosen by mysterious international black metal troupe Drought for their first EP represents the might, destruction and mercy of this ancient deity. Fusing the deep, spiritual sounds of tribal, ritualistic ambient and chanting with the complex, cacophonous discord of modern unorthodox black metal, Drought’s two unlikely halves meld and transcend. Lengthy bouts of inward, meditative ambiance explode into uncompromising, overwhelming blackened extremism, breaking the trance and achieving a greater aggression in the listener. It is not very often music generates both a mental and physical reaction in me anymore, but Drought makes me restless, agitated. Like I could transcend, fight, or both. That is what makes Rudra Bhakti so unique - it is visceral and spiritual, mighty and otherworldly. Much like its namesake, Rudra Bhakti resides where spirituality and aggression are one, Drought’s rabid, metallic edge strengthening its depth and incorporeality expanding its brawn.

Drought’s Rudra Bhakti will be released tomorrow, April 15, on Avantgarde Music’s Bandcamp page, with a luxuriously packaged CD to follow in May. Submit to Rudra and listen to an exclusive full stream of Drought’s powerful opening statement below.

—Jon Rosenthal

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Follow Drought on Facebook and their homepage.

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