Telangana, India based Godless deliver their full length debut full of the familiar sounds of death metal, even if the Indian metal scene might be unfamiliar to most reading this site. Godless’ sound is that of a well-oiled machine, with each member doing their part to bring about melody and brutality that never indulges in too much of either —this isn’t heavy just for the sake of being heavy. This calibrated approach is what has made Godless one of their city’s torch-bearing (by their scene’s standards, which we get into below) bands.

This 5 piece play modern death metal with plenty of thrash and excellent production for a band that doesn’t have a major label footing their bill, and States of Chaos sets out to and succeeds at crushing skulls in a 1987 meets 2021 kind of way. Think of Demolition Hammer meeting the fury of Dying Fetus: the death thrash of old is strong with this band as well as some modern brutal death metal sections with everything heavy from that middle ground thrown in for good measure.

In the interview you'll read below, we chatted about the Telangana scene and what it’s like to make music in India, and how religion (or lack thereof) plays a factor in potential legal problems. The band shared their ideas for future touring plans and outlined some of their favorite albums for 2021 as well. They seem like quite a crew, so perhaps they can make it to North America at some point. Only time will tell. Read on and check the full album stream as well.

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How would you describe Godless' sound?

Abbas: I’d say we’re primarily a death metal band but we’ve got a lot of thrash metal influence which seems to creep into the riffs. The drums and vocals are what give the band the heavier death metal sound.

What is the heavy metal scene like in India, specifically in Telangana?

Abbas: I’ve been actively involved in the scene here with various bands over the last 15 years. What I’ve noticed is that bands tend to give up on the music if no gigs are happening. There’s been a lot of ups and downs so the scene here isn’t too consistent. We’re one of the oldest bands in town and we’ve only been active for 6 years. Around 4 years ago, Kaushal and I took the initiative of organising metal gigs in town and we’ve been doing it almost every month where we try and get a band down from a different city and get local acts to support them. This led to the scene getting revived a bit here and we get about 100–150 people at each gig now. There are quite a few bands now that have been taking themselves a bit more seriously as well and have increasingly been focusing on writing and recording music so that's a good sign.

Kaushal: The heavy music scene is pretty good in Bangalore, which is where I live. There is an eclectic mix of metal/punk subgenres in the city. Death, thrash, black, grindcore, heavy, doom, goregrind, blackdeath, sludge, industrial – new bands seem to form all the time across the metal/punk spectrum here. And many bands share members. I would say it’s quite an active scene here relative to the rest of the country even though the scene may not be as big as some of the cities in the global West. But quite a few bands do go defunct from time to time because of factors like relocation.

How did you guys get into making music, what was the inspiration?

Abbas: We’ve all been a part of various other bands for well over a decade now. We’ve been writing music separately with other bands and eventually got together around 6 years ago to work on a project that is serious about writing music and touring. Musical inspiration for us would be bands that we’ve grown up listening to which is primarily early thrash and death metal. Some bands off the top of my head would be Slayer, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Dying Fetus, etc.

Kaushal: Lyrically, the themes generally revolve around the macabre and the seemingly unknown. The upcoming album’s lyrics revolve around trepidation and terror, so it’s a bit more psychological this time.

What was the recording process for States of Chaos like?

Abbas: This is our 3rd release but our first full-length. This time, we wanted to make sure we spent more time refining the record. We finished songwriting and entered the studio to record the first round of demos. We then spent time with the material to figure out how we’d like to build on it and then entered the studio again to record album takes. We had finished recording the drums but then a couple of the band members were down with COVID, and the 2nd wave of the pandemic had hit us and we were in complete lockdown again. Even though Godless started as a Hyderabad-based band, we have members that are based in various other parts of the country. Luckily we managed to get to Hyderabad before the country went into lockdown and we were all living under the same roof and finished up the pending recording at our home studio. We then sent the material across to Hertz Studio (Vader, Behemoth, Decapitated) in Poland who took care of the mixing and mastering for us once again.

What are 5 albums or bands that helped to inspire your sound?

Slayer, Morbid Angel, Death, Ulcerate, Carcass.

What are some live concerts that inspired you?

Abbas: Watching Ulcerate live multiple times in Auckland, NZ.
Death: Live in LA 1998
Pantera: Live in LA 1992
Slayer: Live Intrusion

Kaushal: My first big one was watching Iron Maiden live in Bangalore in the mid-2000s. Also, Slayer in Bangalore, 2012. Morbid Angel live at Rock City, Nottingham (Grindcrusher Tour, 1989) is a cool show I go back to watch online.

What are you planning to accomplish with States of Chaos?

Abbas: We want the music to reach as far and wide as possible and we want to back the album up with tours all across the world. It’s not easy to pull that off as a band from India, but we’ve done a couple of European tours already and want to push ourselves to take things further over the next few years.

What effect did religion or anti-religion have on the album? Is this a tough sell in India?

Abbas: Religion is shoved down people’s throats here in India and saying anything against it publicly can be a crime punishable by law. Metal is barely known by the masses here so we can get away with most things. The religious intolerance and being pissed off with the state of the country certainly help with the songwriting.

Kaushal: India’s blasphemy laws are remnants of British colonial rule in India and the whole thing is quite bizarre since the religio-fascism that exists here is a form of ultra-nationalism. And yes, you’ll find anti-religious references in the music. The song Post-Cryogenic speaks of a dystopia born out of religious wars.

Have any albums in particular struck a chord with you in 2021?

Kaushal:
Witch Vomit - Abhorrent Rapture
Nekromantheon - Visions of Trismegistos
Altarage - Succumb
Antichrist Siege Machine - Purifying Blade
Caveman Cult - Blood and Extinction

Anything else you would like to add?

Abbas: Our new album “States of Chaos” releases on November 19, 2021, with an India tour planned around the release date. We also aim to tour Europe in 2022. And it’s no secret that all of us in the band love beer - we’re launching our second craft beer in India soon. We have a bunch of cool merch lined up for the album, including vinyl when the world seems to be running out of vinyl production slots. If you dig our music, you can buy/pre-order our album and merch on Bandcamp.

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