Review: “Exagora” EP from 13th Notion

Music is part of humanity, interwoven into our collective DNA and the type of music that we like is Metal. If a reminder was ever needed that this form of music is a Global phenomenon, Calcutta India is the home of 13th Notion, a Progressive quintet with a reputation for groove laiden polyrhythmic guitar work that batters like a stormy sea on a rocky shoreline. The quintet is made up of vocalist Subhodeep Jana, DJentlemen Saptarshi P. Basu and Dibyojyoti Guha alongside a rhythm section of bassist Deep Ghosh and drummer Anubhav Banerjee.

From the the opening musical phrasings of “Deflection” it’s apparent that 13th Notions have influences in Metalcore, Death Metal and Tech leaning DJent as each of those styles comes bleeding though in the mix of riffs, pounding rhythmic gymnastic patterns and grooves. vocalist Subhodeep Jana has a simply incredible range. One minute growling like Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder and the next demonstrating the kind of clean vocals that would turn the head of Periphery frontman Spencer Sotelo. “The Absconder” has an Ambient Progressive styling while still maintaining an up tempo feel and breaking out some juddering heavier moments before cleverly cutting back. The clean vocals are beautifully done and there are no pronunciation issues meaning the band sound like they could be from anywhere. The closing breakdown section is simply masterful with a Metalcore heart at its foundation that has been build upon with polyrhythmic tech guitar work to create a more complex and intriguing listen. The programmed start of “Following the Trail” is something of a palette cleansing break as the band then shatter any illusion of a prospective haunting melody with some pummelling guitar work that loads breakdown upon breakdown while drummer Anubhav Banerjee showcases his talent. Slowing things down a very little bit for a clean sung chorus, the song loses none of its energy and gains atmosphere with some impressive musicanship and craft on show. The ability to combine the melodic progressive elements with the heavier DJent Metalcore in a single track should not be under estimated. It would be easy to create something that sounded like a train wreck whereas 13th Notion have smoothed out all the edges like a fine piece of antique furniture. “Through the Tomorrow” has some of the most vicious unclean vocals on the “Exagora” and attacks in waves with lulls into melody before rising up to strike again. Using guitar layering to create a haunting underpinning of metronomic lighter lead tones to contrast the rhythms it’s the kind of track that is equally as thought provoking as it is headbangable. Who could ask for more? [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Deflection
  2. The Absconder
  3. Following the Trail
  4. Through the Tomorrow

“Exagora” by 13th Notion is out now and available over at bandcamp

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