Gathering the Troop: Mizraab and CAPA
A few moments ago I asked myself: “Now what is the purpose of Gathering the Troop?” It has been presented as some of my own ego-trippery, but while thinking about the rules that I go by, the actual purpose would be presenting news from lesser-known bands; ones that are either unsigned, or on a smaller label. So I won’t be presenting you the new Between the Buried and Me video, but today we’ll find ourselves some news from Mizraab and some older, while still relevant, news from CAPA.
To quickly familiarise you with the rules of Gathering the Troop: firstly, I have to be notified of it, either by a reader or a friend, or I have to come across it myself, it be on Facebook or on Tumblr. Secondly, the band has to be unsigned, or on a minor label. These two rules are simply there so I’m not simply repeating what others have written, but in order to secure that we’re presenting you something original.
Prog-Metallers Mizraab are known to be one of the few Pakistani bands to have gained recognition outside of their own country, yet they have not yet entered the territory of the Baboon. Their latest full-length came out in 2004 and is called Mazi Haal Mustaqbil, while their debut Panchi goes back to 2001. However, in 2010 main man Faraz Anwar moved to London, disbanding Mizraab and forming a new line-up in the United Kingdom. From there, a demo and some live albums found their way to the public, while three days ago, they released a rework of Tu Kareeb Hai, originally found on Panchi. The new version is a much sleeker, more modern rendition of what used to be a classic rock song, quite reminiscent of the classic Toto-sound.
Of course, the new single sounds really good and I love the song, but secretly, I cherish the original version. It has a much more original feel to it and with their new sound, I feel that Mizraab have lost a bit of their power. Still, I feel that with the beautiful Pakistani vocals and Anwar’s virtuosity, Mizraab will be able to impress us in the future; if only they would release some properly new material.
Mizraab have a Facebook-page, which sees an update roughly each week. On top there is an official fan page which features all Mizraab releases as an authorised, free download, so head over there and grab yourself some excellent Pakistani Prog-Metal!
US Post-Rock/Black Metal/Shoegaze-outfit CAPA are also new here. Brandon Scott Baun, the man behind this project, has managed to impress me once before with his Shallow Towers EP, released in 2012. Now, we seem to be going back in time as I found his previous EP, The Road is a Grey Tape, as a (name your price)-download on the band’s Bandcamp page. The reason why this wonderful EP is made available to the money-less public is because all physical copies have been sold out; a wonderful policy if you ask me.
Contrary to Shallow Towers, this EP features no Shoegaze-like walls of distortion, but a thought-through combination of Black Metal and Post-Rock. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found this fusion of genres to become a trend, yet I also find there to be a lot of criticism from people who point out that there is no Black Metal to be found in this movement. Our man Brandon however, does not fall into this pit as he goes full-out on the vocals here. The softly distorted guitars are accompanied by layers of sludgy, delayed screams, yet discrete percussion and nature sound-effects also have many moments of their own.
I see that The Road is a Grey Tape will be part of a trilogy, while I’m not sure whether Shallow Towers is part of that. In any case, Brandon, if you release a box set, I will surely pull my wallet for that (to utilise another Dutch figure of speech). In the meanwhile, I’ll spend my time stalking CAPA’s Facebook-page, waiting for some more news.