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Rebels, Chartbusters and Protectors – Bloodywood and Their Debut Album “Rakshak”

Music and its wide variations keep surprising us, and it’s easy to say that “Bloodywood” is a power-packed surprise. As Nu Metal and Indian Folk Music comes together, the energetic and heavy sound of the band gives us a whole new dimension of music to fall in love with. After a series of popular covers on YouTube the debut album “Rakshak” (Guardian or Protector) is a well framed wall of music that, simply put, sounds “tight” at first go. Introducing instruments like Flute, Tabla, Dhol etc. on metal is in itself a task, but Bloodywood makes it look easy and how!

When asked about the album, rapper Raoul Kerr said, ”On an individual level, it was created to tap into the listener’s inner guardian and join them in their battle against their demons. It was also created with global society in mind as a rallying cry to unite every like minded person in the fight for a better world. To band together and protect each other and the beliefs that keep the hope for this better world alive. And you know what they say, attack is the best form of defence, so that’s exactly what we did.”

The debut album has a clear message and a coherent energy that has led to the band making history in the Indian Metal Circuit with the release by making it to the Billboard charts. When only accounting for digital sales, “Rakshak” hit off at #93 on Billboard Top Album Sales chart and #46 on the Top Current Album Sales chart. They have sold thousands of copies worldwide and it was met with critical acclaim. The album made it to #4 on the global iTunes chart #8 on the Rock and Metal albums, #10 on Album Downloads and #62 for album sales in the UK official charts. Physical sales once taken into account will push the band further up the charts. Approximately 5000 physical copies have been sold by the band.

Now about the album.

The opening track “Gaddar” is the perfect introduction to the rest of the album as the fat, heavy metal riffs sound fascinatingly tight in sync with the dhol and catchy punjabi folk melody lines. The growls by Jayant Bhadula expresses the discord that is being experienced in our daily lives and Raoul Kerr talks about the false promises that the people still cannot identify. “Gaddar” (“Traitor” in English) is lyrically sardonic as it draws a picture of a country drowning in political unrest. The use of Sitar and other folk instruments is a ear candy that makes the listening experience so memorable. In build up to the album a music video of “Gaddar” was released on YouTube which now has a whooping 1.2 million views in only 3 months. 

“Aaj” (“Today” in English), while starting off a with a folksy, enchanting flute intro goes all metalcore while the English rap verse and the hindi growls make the song as energetic as it is inspiring lyrically – A call to move forward tomorrow and let go of the past – To become who you want to become. The music video has reached over 834k views on YouTube in a month.

Ambient synth tones, melodic vocal lines, subtle riffs make the power ballad  “Zanjeero Se” an absolute favourite. It resonates like an anthem and it is a wonderful composition hidden amidst the powerful tracks. A flute solo leading into a bhangra joined by heavy chords on the guitar gives “Jee Veerey” an exotic “Eluveitie” vibe, but sounds very ethnic and unique.

“Machi Bhasad” is one of the highlights of the album and it is as heavy as it can get! It is the most “Bloodywood” song of the album. From riffs, to breaks, to dhol – the sound is distinct and tight. It has the catchiest chorus along with some amazing percussion that makes this track a banger!

“Dana Dan” is an angry track that speaks out against sexual assault and abuse. With the words “I put a fist through the face of a rapist..” rapper Raoul Kerr expresses the rage that he feels towards these crimes and it culminates as an appeal to think of our actions, inactions and the role we play in this world. The exotic and powerful music video of Dana Dan has reached more than 663k views in just two weeks. The album continues full throttle with tracks like “bsdk.exe”, “Yaad” and more powerful songs. 

“Rakshak” as an album is a beautiful vision and a wake up call to the rebels. The songs speak of anger, they speak of emotions, truth and clarity amidst a confused world dwelling deep within political and social unrest. From rebel rousing anthems to soul searching ballads, Bloodywood has served us with a hot and heavy album and makes a very memorable mark in the independent Indian music scene after topping charts and breaking records. The songwriting needs special mention – while the English rap adds a depth to the message, you can’t stop yourself from banging your head to the Hindi choruses that speak out so clearly about the issues the band wants to bring up. “Rakshak” is a journey through both western and eastern music that is extremely fun yet emotional.

The band is going to go on a festival tour of Europe in August and is set to play at the Aftershock festival in the US in October of this year.

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