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     Volume 8 Issue 97 | December 11, 2009 |

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Getting the Spiritual High
Band Lalon releases second studio album Khyapa

Faizul Khan Tanim

Khyapa, the recently released album of Lalon, the folk-fusion-rock band is a rich blend of folk (mostly Lalon geeti) lyrics, warm and powerful guitar sounds, acclimated bass lines and smooth drumming accompanying the arresting vocals.

Their music has expanded from mediocre compositions to more retro and stylish folk-fusion-tinged rock. Khyapa consists of eight profound mood pieces whose visionary proclamations, mystical queries and arcane answers of Lalon are weaved in a poetically heightened Nakshi Kantha like imagery.

Like archaeological site post cards boasting tales of sacred fortunes, these fusion rock numbers are framed in musical settings -- Khyapa, the song from the album for example revolves around answering the immortal question once asked by Lalon himself in his heavily admired song “Milon Hobe Kotodin-e”.

Vocalist Sumi recalls her tutelage from Guru Shafi Mondal, “I strongly believe from my education that Lalon's ideology and spiritual realisations were conveyed to his unprejudiced devotees in three forms -- messages, questions and their answers. It took a good two years effort to realise that the song Milon Hobe Koto Din-e is one such question whose answer was amusingly camouflaged inside the eternal words of Khyapa. It is simply magical when one comprehends such a sacred hymn”.

With influences from contemporary rock the album has enough variation to keep the listener enthralled incorporating beautiful chords and riffs to keep the songs interesting.

Their hard rock number Shudha Shindhu is another memorable track having an exciting dose of raw and aggressive vocals, heavy metal sounds and specks of rural melody -- three minutes fifty-six seconds of proof that, deviating from the conventional use of ektara, the use of guitars, drums and other instruments has not robbed the timeless song of its mystical intensity.

The over all music production - sound and mixing - of this album not only outshines their debut compilation but gracefully differs from many other bands of the same genre that have produced substandard material through excessive experimenting and engineering in the same genre.

Many new generation listeners prefer traditional folk songs not to be sung in a solitary dorod/dhong (conventional style) rather with more interesting tunes, capturing the essence of the lyrics without distorting its original melody, something 'Lalon', the band has done.

On stage, the band's performance is equally explosive like the CD, deliciously packing the songs with hypnotic notes and cosmic echoes that prove to be absolutely bewitching.



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