Here it is. Underground Chaos for all of you who missed the compilation or weren’t around back then.
Most of these bands don’t exist now and some have changed their sound. But this is a tiny piece of Pakistan’s underground metal history.
We were heavy on thrash during this time. Every Sunday I’d be at Babar’s place and we’d spend pretty much the entire afternoon listening to shit like Coroner, Barbatos, Morbid Saint, Sarcófago, Impiety etc. Dusk’s sound was also changing during that time and to me it was the best they’d sounded since I’d known Babar and discovered the band.
Vocals on this track were by Babar (the vocalist during this time was Yusri of Cardiac Necropsy). This was one of the most exciting tracks I’d gotten for the compilation. Main reason being it was Dusk, Pakistan’s biggest metal export.
It was also the last track that came in before we went in for mastering because Babar was looking for the perfect thunder for that opening.
These guys were originally called Eleventh Hour and honestly I never gave their music much attention till Babar played this track for me. Blown away. It was actually Jonathan’s solo that he wanted me to check out.
This track screams thrash. Some early Metallica in there too.
Death metal from Karachi! We never had many of these, not even cover bands. Cardinal Sin and Communal Grave shared band members, but it was CS that really did it for me.
This track was exclusive to the compilation and hadn’t been released previously. I also had plans of releasing their album when it was finally done. They had been working on the album and we were in touch but it all just fizzled out and the label was shut down.
If you guys are still around, finish that album and release it. You guys were making some killer music.
I don’t know much about this band except that this was a one man operation based in the UK. Gravel Soul’s MySpace page also had a Call cover. It sucked.
Karma 1947 is by far one of the most exciting tracks I’ve heard from a Pakistani musician. Gandhi and Jinnah snippets, heavy Meshuggah worship. Brilliant is an understatement for this track.
This was one of Saquib Malik’s many bands. He was recording a lot of music and shooting videos in the States during this time. He even recorded a video of him performing an autopsy with one of the Black Albatross tracks playing, never released it though.
This is a drum machine heavy, layered black metal track. I really dug some of his work.
Hell Dormant was a side project of Kamran Farooq (Autopsy Gothic) and Wasi (Nokturnal Rust). The first time I heard these guys was at ZakFest 2, where Mass Grave was played as a promo track before some random rapper came on stage for a shit version of Gin and Juice.
The album was released on CD-R and was available at Ground Zero in Khadda Market back then.
I’ve always maintained that Mass Grave was much better than Twisted.
Melodic metal outfit who were all over the live circuit in Karachi. Blinded by Deceit was their best (probably because I heard some At the Gates in that track).
We were in talks to release their album as well but they decided to go with another label from Karachi that shut down before it could put out a single album.
These guys really set the standard for a lot of local bands by releasing their album online. The submission came in from their drummer Bilal.
Their vocalist has a diverse range and is one of the best our scene has ever had.
The solo on this track will blow your balls off.
Both guitarists went on to form Odyssey after the vocalist and drummer moved abroad for their studies. GmH also released the Odyssey album, the first proper release by any underground metal band in Pakistan.
Great guys, great band.
I’ve always called Reckoning Storm a pirate metal band. Instrumental band with lots of flying solos. Saad also briefly played with Communal Grave and was present at their (first?) show at a AnimeCon in Karachi.
Very exciting band. He still records music and if I’m not wrong, he has recently recorded music for some games as well.
Once again a Saquib Malik band. I don’t know much about this either. Saquib did tell me they went to record some ambient sounds at an abandoned asylum.
Black metal is all you need to know about this.
This is one of the first black metal tracks I had heard come out of Pakistan. They only released one track and put another one out as Disembodied.
Heavy Darkthrone worship.
Raw, dirty, angry and straight from the gutter. This is also one of Babar’s projects.
They released one EP on vinyl via a French record label
The haunting intro was recorded by Tanseer Dar of Karavan.
Northern Alliance played a couple of shows. The one in Karachi was really intense. These guys scared some core kids when Ibad jumped into the pit and shoved some of them into the wall.
Autopsy was one of those few band from the late 90s and early 2000s who were actually recording their own music and not playing the shit out of covers.
They had enough material for an album, but most of the music was never released.
Nabeel of Messiah also played with Autopsy for a bit.
This was another one of Babar’s projects. It also features Arish Ahmad Khan of King Khan & the Shrines and was recorded in Germany.
If I’m not wrong, they used a tiny drum kit (which belonged to Arish’s daughter) to record this track.
Death metal band from Lahore. Nothing to write home about musically, but they did come along at a time when no one was doing this kind of music and they also played live.
This has to be one of my favorite Babar Sheikh projects. It features Bargees Buns (who also played at Avari Hotel in Karachi) on Saxophone and Rizwan (who also plays with Babar in Chand Taara Orchestra).
Think John Zorn and Naked City.
Saquib Malik’s noise project. Not the Merzbow kind.
I really don’t know how to classify this one. There is some industrial in there.
Suleiman has been around for a while and has released quite a few albums under the Burzukh name.
Saquib again. Melodic doomy sound. Not too bad.
Groove metal band from Lahore. They weren’t bad, but I always thought they sounded a little lazy (if that makes any sense).
Revolving lineup, a few singles and live appearances in Lahore and Islamabad.
Avant-garde project of Taimur Mazhar, Omar Asim (both of 6LA8) and Asadullah Qureshi (Lower Sindh! Swing Orchestra).
Early recording by the 6LA8 boys. One of their first too if I’m not wrong.
Utuk Xul boys again. They released just this one track.