Despite being the world’s second-most populated country – with only the 1.3 billion people – until this point we’d never met a band from India. However, we’re delighted to introduce our first-ever Indian band in Assam-based Arogya.
Arogya, which means ‘healer’ in Sanskrit, first formed back in 2014 as a trio that included original members Rain (vocals), Rui (drummer) and former guitarist Noel. They moved from Gangtok, in the Sikkim region, to Guwahati, in Assam, in 2017 and recruited the intriguingly named Mr.G and Deadnoxx (guitars) and Bipz (bass).
Arogya’s sound, songwriting and composition style have also evolved over that time. They started out as an ‘avant-garde Nepali arena rock band’ for their first two albums. But they now sing in English, have honed a dark synth rock sound with electronic, industrial and metal influences, and are working with a German record label, Out Of Line Music, and producer Chris Harms, from the band Lord of the Lost.
As Rain tells us: “The formation of Arogya was driven by a dream to achieve immortality, through personal creations of good meaningful songs, that will evoke emotions and stay in the memories of the music loving community.”
And Deadnoxx adds: “The sound of Arogya combines synth rock with the nostalgic feel of the 80s, with injections of heavy metal notes resonating on dark rock strains. If you guys like the style of music that unites melodic dark rock, metal and electronic soundscapes with catchy hooks then check us out!”
The band released latest single Broken at the end of last month, which is the first English-language track available from the band. It opens up with big drawn-out guitars over driving drums, which feeds into a twinkling instrumentals and a laid-back opening verse led by Rain’s delicious vocals. It soon explodes into a powerful, atmospheric chorus “I’ll hold on to what I got, ‘Til in your arms, in your embrace I lie,” followed by a heavy blast of guitars and the high-pitched lick.
A second chorus ends on a huge smash of heavy guitars and screamed vocals, the funky high-pitched notes return and feed into a heavy final blast of the chorus. It’s a seriously impressive track that offers plenty to get excited about. Check it out in the video below:
Broken is our first taste of what to expect from their new album Genesis, which is out in April. On the album, Rui told us: “We are extremely excited! The whole album is full of surprises! Musically it’s a very diverse record with a fusion of metal, synth and rock, ranging from soulful clear renditions to furious heavy metal growls. A true feast for the senses, you’ll have to listen to the album to find out more!”
And, on the creation of the album, Mr. G added: “As musicians, we work collectively in creating our music. Our vocalist Rain produces the song structures, which are blended and finely crafted by rest of members. After that our manager cum lyricist Janice comes up with lyrics and theme that goes with the emotion of the song. Every song creation, we go through many trial and errors, but we have fun throughout the process and it gets the best out of us.
“The entire new album writing process was very challenging, as most of the post-production work was carried out when the pandemic began. We had to hustle in the middle of lockdown but thanks to technology, we are glad we could finish it on time.”
And if, like us, you’ve never experienced avant-garde Nepali arena rock then you need to check out their earlier music. For example, Arogya II features tracks like the beautiful, laid-back Juni Juni and more electronic-tinged Bujhna Sakina. While Astitwa is a really catchy, heavier track with palm-muted guitars under the verse vocals, which flows into a chorus supported by a cool riff. Check it out here:
The band draws inspiration from international bands like Rammstein, Depeche Mode, In Flames, Lord Of The Lost, Ghost, Within Temptation and U2. But, as mentioned, this is the first Indian band we’ve discovered, so we were keen to hear more about Indian rock.
Mr. G told us: “The Indian music industry is already renowned for iconic Bollywood and Indian classical music. But over the past decade with the Internet, especially social media and streaming services, a diverse range of music genres are gaining popularity here. Throughout India there’s about two dozen music festivals yearly and a third of it features rock and metal bands. In Northeast India especially, it is very rich in various styles of rock music, from soft rock and roll and rock pop, to hard rock and metal. Once a band gains popularity, it will gain support from fans who will attend gigs and buy merchandise etc…”
And on what inspires them to write music, Rain explains: “To us, music is the power that unites and transcends all barriers. Our music deals with love, pain, the spiritual, the transience and the effort to escape the inner demons, as does life as such. On dark days in one’s life journey, we wish in our music is where you would find a ray of hope, the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Arogya will release two more singles with music videos before the release of Genesis. Dust is out on 11 March and Misery’s Lair will be out on 23 April, the same day as Genesis is released.
And Rain adds: “In life there are so many burdens and obstacles to face, sometimes we are broken down with so many hurdles, but creating our music is the only thing that makes us strong and keep us going. We hope our songs will give the same inspirations to the audience as they do to us. Thank you for all the love amd support.”