Chepang first hit our radar last year, when the quartet—whose members are spread between NYC, Dallas, and Portland, Maine—came roaring out of the gate with their hyper-political, hyper-blasting debut, Lathi Charge (which we spoke to them about here). Since then, Chepang has continued to dominate the New York City extreme metal underground and beyond, grinding out frenzied screeds about police brutality and class war at both beloved local venues and the loftier platform of Maryland Deathfest, which they were invited to play in 2016.
Their manic riffs, multi-vocal approach, and sheer abrasiveness combine with an aesthetic rooted firmly in their shared homeland. All four members of the band are originally from Nepal, but moved to the US and took to calling their unholy racket "immigrindcore" as a sort of tongue-in-cheek statement that has since become more politicized under the current regime. As vocalist Moiuntain God told us last year, "We are immigrants and we play grindcore, so let's call it 'immigrindcore'! Of course we have our own opinions on the current situation here in the states, but as Madball said, "Times are changing for the worse, we got to keep a positive outlook."
Their new record, Dadhelo - A Tale Of Wildfire, will be released digitally and on vinylby the ever-reliable Nerve Altar Records in conspiracy with Holy Goat Records, and was produced with some serious firepower behind the boards. The album was recorded and mixed by Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features artwork created by Dib-dib Gurung and laid out by Nerve Altar don Aaron Nichols.
Happily, that extra polish hasn't done much to mute Chepang's raw fury or their penchant for swirling together the most jagged shards of powerviolence, crust punk, noise, grindcore—and even shades of a noise rock influence that yields a few unexpectedly groovy moments (see "Sojho Lato Pasu" for an example). In addition, they play with folk melodies and clear, angelic vocals on songs like "Falame Fokso" and the gentle acoustic closing track, "Zerstoerung" (German for "destruction") which adds an intriguing element to the chaos.
I reached out to Mountain God again to see if he could share any deeper insights into the album itself; since all of the song titles are in Nepali, one can only assume they're still pretty pissed.
"We are not citizens of the US, so we don't have any right to comment on any law or policy that this country chooses to have," he said in a statement to Noisey. "But, people are being oppressed, controlled, and taken advantage of in many forms around the world. In this album, we chose to write about those issues with a different tone and perspective—from slave workers in Gulf countries to depression caused by unemployment to children being victims of sex trafficking. Our attempt may not be sufficient to change what is wrong with the society, but it might shred some light on the issues which bother us as human beings."
We're streaming Dadhelo - A Tale Of Wildfire in full below. Be sure to swing by Brooklyn's Bar Matchless on November 4 for Chepang's record release show (alongside local heavyweights Triac, Organ Dealer, Mother Brain, and Stimulant)—a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Nepal Flood Relief, so show up early and grind for a cause!
Kim Kelly's blood is boiling on Twitter.