Kathmandu's Extreme Metal Scene Puts Nepal on the Global Metal Map

From Kathmandu to the hinterlands of the Himalayan foothills, extreme metal gains a foothold in the second-highest country on earth.
February 27, 2017, 7:22pm

In our current hyper-connected age, there are very few heretofore uncharted spaces left in the extreme metal atlas. By the late 90s, extreme music had permeated, to some extent, most places on earth—but even then, not everywhere had enjoyed the rank privilege of becoming jaded. In some places, local metal heads were only entering the first stage of the equation. Small groups of diehards were starting their first extreme bands, and hosting the first metal nights at pubs whose owners were unfamiliar with the harsh, new style of music, entirely foreign to their ears. They slowly introduced a heavier, faster, eviler, and more dangerous brand of metal to rock fans hungry for something new. One of those places was the landlocked Himalayan nation of Nepal. "Nepal's extreme music scene started from the end of 90s when Ugrakarma introduced themselves in Kathmandu and Suicide Theory in Hetauda," says Visha Rai, extreme metal promoter in Kathmandu and front man of now defunct Nepalese grindcore band Wakk Thuu. "Ugrakarma came out with their debut album,  Blood Metal Initiation, in the early 2000s. Suicide Theory played few shows. Also, X-Mantra came out with their album,  Crying For Peace," Rai says of the early days when Nepalese bands started moving on from putting out demos and singles to releasing the country's first extreme metal full-lengths. In the early days of the Nepalese scene, heavy music was spread the old school way, says fellow promoter Zivon Gurung, who works closely with Rai to promulgate extreme metal in Nepal, he operating out of the city of Pokhara. Read more on Noisey