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Underground Series: 1
Funeral Anthem: The Next Big Thing

By Wahid T. Khan
Photo by: Alex McKenzie

In the Bangladeshi UG music scene, heavy, thrash and death metal are used to rule the platform of different characters, however a new generation of symphonic and epic power metal has arrived at this huge landscape. This has been possible only due to the rising stars of the underground: FUNERAL ANTHEM.

This power metal band created buzz in a relatively short period of time by harmonizing extreme guitar and keyboard solos; producing accelerated drum beats and delivering loud, crunchy bass tones and electrifying vocals which is solely fed to the metal craving metal heads of this generation and the ones to follow.

The band was formed during mid 2007 by guitarists Tawsif Hyder and Arunav Shuvro who were soon joined with bassist Tanvir Kaium. The trio started their journey by jamming several heavy metal tracks from Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and Pantera, to name a few.

The jam sessions soon turned out to be more like a competition between the members on developing their personal skills and speed, which resulted in their obsession for power metal. With their aims set on this new genre, it didn't take them long to find the band's vocal, Faiyaz Hossain, who agreed to lead the band by burning his vocal chords.

Nayeem Abdullah Oyon was assigned as the drummer who gratified the founder members by his fast drumming skills. Inspite of incessant auditioning, the hunt for key player was frustrating. But the consistent efforts of the band were finally rewarded when Maruf Khan took the band members by surprise in the first audition by harmonising leads with the guitars without any trouble. With great hopes and expectations, they realised that the time was right to unleash the product of their hard work and forbearance.

What to say about this band's success? Funeral Anthem made their feisty debut on 29 March 2008, under the banner Metal Massacre II. As the band progressed along with time, there were simply no barriers on their path. One after another they gave blockbuster shows which included the last minute call at The Heat Chamber and then a dream come true; performing with Artcell on the same stage at the very beginning of the band's career in one of the greatest gigs of UG music history, Legacy of Metal I, giving the show a demonic start whose essence lasted till the last second of the gig.

Their trademark Children of Bodom covers had become so famous by then that a healthy number of people only attended gigs to see them perform.

The huge success at the Legacy of Metal was followed by monstrous shows: Concert Against Push Sell III and Rising Stars by Incursion Music, where at the latter Funeral Anthem “almost” played the part of the headliner with no more consistent headliners in the line up.

In a comment released by www.tunesbd.net, Sadi, the Boss of Incursion Music, said that if the upcoming bands are to learn something and do well in the future, a proper source of inspiration is Funeral Anthem.

Funeral Anthem also performed at BUET on more than several occasions and has received ecstatic responses from the BUET-ians and also at Uttara, spreading the fever of Funeral Anthem at the northern part of Dhaka.

The consistent performances were visible in the gigs at Rockers United and the Legion of The Beast. Funeral Anthem surprised the whole arena of the Russian Cultural Centre (RCC), with the daredevil nailing of Dragonforce cover at the Concert Against Push Sell IV earlier this month.

Arunav Shuvro, with his crazy sweepings and trademark long hair and Tawsif Hyder with his shedding skills branded the image of Funeral anthem as literal guitar heroes, while Maruf Rashid Khan played the keys with grandeur. Both the guitarists being lead players, the rhythm section is mastered by Tanvir Kaium on bass. Naem Abdullah Oyon, on drums, rules as the king of tempo. Trendy frontman Faiyaz Hossain, with unique skill of high pitched and harsh singing is the voice of the band. The band's latest addition is Syed Sakib Puman Ahmed, as Band Manager.

Their own track, “Ontestikriyar Stobogaan” is still waiting for the curtain raiser. According to the band, a lot of its success has been possible due to Oni Hasan Aftabuzzaman Tridib, Nahian S Hasan, Khan Shahriar Ahmed, Sazzad Arefeen, the Inanimate gang, Incursion Music, Shovon aka Ratty and its priceless fans and supporters without whom Funeral Anthem wouldn't have been what it is today.

The Facebook group page link:



Guns, guns, guns, and did I mention guns?
If there's one thing abundant in plenty in Pandora, it's guns. It's like that rhyme goes:
Old MacDonald had a farm, eeya eeya yo.
And on that farm he had a lot of guns, eeya eeya yo. With a bang bang here, and a bang bang there, Here a bang, there a bang, everywhere a bang bang, Old MacDonald had a farm, eeya eeya yo.

Borderlands, before anything and everything else, before taking on bounty quests from the bulletin boards around the place, before collecting skulls from a raider's barricade, before trekking long distance around the place- Borderlands is about killing people. Oh, and it's also about finding the best gun out there for your killing needs.

Pandora is on the distant edge of the galaxy, a planet that colonists had hoped would be a better life, or at least would make them rich thanks to various mineral deposits. No mineral deposits though, just old, old alien technology scattered around. Those with enough cash in their pockets leave Pandora for good, otherwise the settlers struggle to survive in a harsh environment of scrags and bandits barely profiting from the meagre availability of alien technology.

The story goes that there is a vault somewhere in Pandora, filled with riches and vast amounts of alien technology. In short, jackpot. And that's what you're looking for.

There are four characters to choose from:
Brick, a massive probably-man who focusing more on founding his enemies than shooting. Lilith, human turned into a Siren, with the ability to phase walk into and out of another dimension invisible to enemy eyes, doing shock-based area damage at the transitions. Mordecai, a Hunter, proficient in the use of revolvers and sniper rifles and able to summon a deadly pet. And there's Roland, a Soldier, with a multipurpose turret, and his skill trees focuses on healing himself and his team, support ability of his turret, and general improvements to his weapon damage.

One of the fun parts of playing the game is that little thrill of finding a better gun. Will ya lookit that? A revolver with 95 damage, 90percent accuracy and 3 shots per second! That is goo- Oh my lord, there's ANOTHER revolver here, and, OH DAMN, it's got a whooping 150 points of damage, with 93% accuracy! 2 shorts per second, but it's one shot I won't need anyway.

Rarity of items are distinguished by colour codes. Like so: White < Green < Blue < Purple < Light Orange < Orange < Dark Orange, with white items being the most normal and probably useless 10 minutes into the game, and Dark Orange being the most rare, though not necessarily always the best. Probably.

It's played from a First-person view with a nifty looking HUD reminiscent of Fallout 3 (In fact, the game WAS inspired by Fallout 3), showing your EXP status, your Health, and of course ammunition, and a compass with a pointer for quest objectives.

Your backpack can only hold so many guns until you'd have to decide which guns to take and which to drop. Limit however can be increased with the aid of Backpack upgrade mods, allowing you carry more items as you progress through the game. Similarly you can only have two weapons equipped in the beginning, but as your character grows, you unlock two more slots, making it easier to switch to a weapon of your choice.

Other mods include grenade mods and character class mods. Adding a Transfusion grenade mod for example steals life from your enemies and heals you, while a Sticky, sticks to surfaces, and so on forth. Character class mods increase character abilities and so on.

Let's clear one thing up: Borderlands is kinda like Diablo with guns. Just like Diablo, weapons have prefixes and suffixes that determine a lot of the guns' abilities. Along with that there's the bit about manufacturers. Certain manufactures make more accurate weapons, while others make more elemental weapon, some makes their guns look high-tech, others make them look modern-ish? And so on forth.

There are unique weapons, unique weapons that unique enemies drop, but are by no means worth keeping, weapons that makes you go “Holy Wowzer”, and weapons that make you go, “Are you freaking kidding me? This late in the game?”

Taking cover is a healthy aspect of the game, as unless you're rushing into low-level enemy territory with a really powerful gun, you're likely to get pummelled by a multitude of psychos, and bandits and bruisers, not to mention alpha scrags. It's always fun to be crouched behind a few crates, arm yourself with your favourite sniper rifle, stand, scope, shoot (critical hit), crouch. Rinse, repeat and awesomeness.

Seriously, Borderlands is kinda like a paradise for a quasi-Gun nuts. I'm not sure if actual real life gun freaks would enjoy seeing so many weird and unlikely renditions of weaponries. But who cares about them. Diablo with guns. So many guns… Oh, so many guns… Now, THAT's awesome.


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