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Playing out loud

Up close and personal with unveiled facts from the gang

Faizul A Tanim

Dhaka January 7 2001…Stentorian forms; just the name implies the image of performing loud music on and off stage. The perfect group for heavy metal--the next phase of heavy rock music. Critics and fans alike have tried to classify this 6-piece group from the pounding music industry of Dhaka, with terms like "pure metal", "classic thrash metal for the new age" or "modern day power metal". Whatever anybody wants to call them, they must add catchy and energetic, as they inspire people to continue to press replay when the mixed CD containing the band's song is in their stereo and let's-go-see-them-again, when they play live.

Formed by bassist and vocalist Shams and Torsha along with guitarist Golam, Stentorian rose from the ashes of another band called Necromancy. "We started jamming together and then discovered the necessity for another guitarist and that's when I called my childhood friend James for rhythm backupawaiting to show his potential and finally Bobby came along to be the drummer", says Shams. "A very interesting mix of musicians that surely meshed into producing a distinctive sound for the band. We then started hardcore practise and after 8 months of routine sessions, we got our 1st gig. It was on 27th October in the Indian High Commission Auditorium. From the very fist show, we had a kick start--as the hall room became darker with fancy lighting, the first guitar strum with heavy distortions and that screaming voice of Torsha with his hand gestures and the huge applaud from the crowd, it was unbelievable and magical! We knew it was all set to roll", says a smiling James. Till date, the band performs with high-end energy and tremendous songs of thrilling appreciation.

News Current to June 2004
The latest Dinbodol and the previous Agontuk-2 discs released two authentic songs from the band and are available on the market. The songs are aggressive, skull crushing version of heavy old-skool metal sound. They are jamming for couple of upcoming shows to blow up minds and hearts of any metalhead.

Present Line-up
The members of Stentorian include: Both Torsha and Tanvir on vocals--Torsha is the perfect singer for this type of band as his vocal style is very thrashy and has some of the death metal sounds found in bands like Cradle of Filth. On drums is Rafiul who is a powerhouse behind the kit. The backbone of bass over which Shams and James plus Tutul lay down some very fine leads and brutal riffs that are played with as much skill and conviction as any of their peers. Although Torsha left for abroad to commence higher studies, Tanvir is not a replacement; he will be the band's 2nd vocalist and cater a totally different set of fans.

Stentorian's influences are varied. It's clear that the band has taken note of many different bands. The range of favoured groups goes from Dio, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Rush, Iron Maiden to extreme Death / Black Metal-Acts like Cradle of Filth. Some of the guys also listen old-skool metal of Metallica and Megadeth. Bands like Mudwayne also get into their list.

The Future
Of course, no one can foresee the future but with good fortune and the right people listening to this band, it's not hard to predict that they could be one of the major contestant in the metal arena. "We are looking at another mixed album of Duray bhai called Lokayot and then of course our solo compilation", stated the band. "Basically we all want to make a great impact on the crowd from the very first album, and working towards that goal would be our primary objective", says a smiling Shams.

The Album
"As our genre ranges from hard rock to heavy metal, our album would be compiled of the usual heavy stuffs with two experimental tracks, a few ballads, few fusion style vibes in couple of the songs and of course one instrumental composition", the band said.--Right here RS as well thought of a great promise as the jammed new track Proti Muhurte was almost getting into the interviewers veins.

On stage
The powerhouse of heavy rock says it was from the very first gig Torsha would practice his slashing arm movements across his body and the acrobatic twists articulating to produce energy and the essence of heavy metal madness. The excitement was immense; our move towards music is very different which makes our whole approach diverse from other groups and most importantly, the crowd loves it.

"We once had a performance with the big name Aurthohin in 2002 at the Russian Cultural Centre and Sumon bhai saw us. It was quite an entertaining performance for him as the flabbergasted icon later called us to get introduced with us. We then met him at frequent gigs and later around 2003 he left us awe-inspired as we were asked by the big man to compose a song for his Agontuk episode 2. A big break for us but certainly not the best.-- In another incident this year, he came out of the hall after one of our performance and gave a breaking news!…

we were chosen as another band to sign a contract with record label G-series…
yes it was a record deal. My smile almost stretched up to the ears in happiness when I realised people from every where looking at us with great bewilderment as Shams was jumping and hopping and what notwe actually lost words to express our emotions", says the nostalgic James. After our song was released in both the mixed albums, during the gigs, it's the audience we hear cheering aloud the chorus and verses and that is one great achievement, the band added.

Contemporaries and thanks
A lot of promising bands are coming to harvest a word called music with us, we respect themArbovirus, Ajob, Ashor Breach, dNA, Firebrand, Kral, Kronic, Nemesis, Prachir, Reborn, 666 and Void.

We would like to thank Sumon Bhai+Aurthohin, Jewel, Duray, Ponir and Khaled Bhais'. Zubair Hossain Imon, All the bands who helped us, especially Artcell and Black, our FANS, well-wishers. Finally thanks to our families.

Game Review

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

What is the best video game in the world? Sounds like a tough question, huh? There are millions of video games out there and it should be completely difficult to pick one as the best. But this difficulty will be there only till October. This October, Rockstar Games is going to release Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, for Playstation 2. The seventh game in the legendary GTA series will ultimately become this year's biggest selling and most anticipated game.

What made the GTA series so great? Utmost freedom of doing whatever you want to? Hijacking a car and drive it till it runs no more? Going whacko against the cops? Thrilling car chases? Being the king on the streets? Well, we leave it up to you to decide what makes a GTA game so great. We will consider you know at least something about the GTA games and will tell you more about Rockstar's upcoming magic.
The game will be set in a somewhat fictional interpretation of the cities Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas in the early 1990s. In the game, the cities are named as Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturra. If you have played the last GTA title, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, then remember that each of these cities will be almost as large as Vice City. That means that the whole San Andreas area will be roughly thrice as big as Vice City.

Los Santos is based on Los Angeles, located in California, USA. Places of interest there include Beverly Hills, Disneyland, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Malibu, Santa Monica, Universal City, and Venice. Los Santos will include real-life landmarks.

San Fierro is based on the American city of San Francisco, California. San Francisco is known for its hilly streets, which will certainly be fun to drive on. Places of interest include Chinatown (gang fights again?), Downtown, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, North Beach, and San Francisco Bay.

Las Venturra is based on the American city of Las Vegas, Nevada. It's been confirmed that you'll be able to own casino(s) there, and even bet in them! It'll most likely have a "red-light district" which is common in the GTA series. Main attractions include Glitter Gulch, and The Strip.

These cities will be interconnected with huge countryside areas, much like the ones in the popular game "Mafia". You will be able to drive to each one from the other. As in the earlier games, the cities will be unlocked one after another, as you proceed in the game.

In the game, you will be playing as Carl Johnson. Detailed information about the character has not been released yet. Still, we know for sure that he is a dark fellow, unlike the main characters of the previous GTA games. Look at the picture of him, crouching in front of a car.

The Storyline: Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas... a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gang fights.

This is the world that San Andreas' main character, Carl Johnson, finds himself coming back to after spending five years in Liberty City. Johnson left his neighbourhood in the ghetto of Los Santos after the death of his brother Brian, who died in a tragic accident. Carl's older brother Sweet Johnson blamed him for Brian's death, leading to a period of estrangement that is broken by the sudden passing of his mother.

On returning home for the funeral, Carl finds his biological family and his former gang, the Orange Grove Families, in disorder. Sweet and his sister Kendall are at each other's throats. His former crew - Sweet, long-time family friend Smoke, and Ryder - have felled from power on the streets, and are now besieged by both rival gang groups and internal quarrels.

Although Carl is reluctant to be dragged back into the street life, fate intervenes when his crew comes under the thumbs of Frank Tenpenr and Eddie Polaski, who are characterized as a "heavy-duty pair of lunatic corrupt policemen on your case." As always, events soon spiral out of control, and Johnson finds himself on a frantic adventure that will take him across the state of San Andreas as he fights to preserve his family, his gang, and his life.

Now that's what you call a complex storyline. Well, a game as big as GTA: San Andreas is bound to have a complex plot. On the bright side, such a complex storyline would mean lots and lots of missions.

Details: Apart for a huge and diverse area to play on which is much more interesting and "alive" than Vice City, GTA: San Andreas has other treats for its lucky gamers. Hills have been confirmed, and even a mountain is to be included. "Characters from the past" will return. It would be a real treat to get missions from Tommy Vercetti, the main character of the GTA: Vice City.

There will be a new addition in San Andreas, stamina meter. Carl will have to consume food on his journey across San Andreas, and will gain weight if he eats too much. Gyms will be available to work out in. If he doesn't exercise and eats lots of junk food, he will get fat! Then he won't be able to swim too (yes, Carl can swim, when he is fit).

San Andreas' selection of vehicles reflects the game's California vibe. Expect a wide selection of pimped-out low rides. Apart for the cars, motorcycles and helicopters, pedal bikes will be available. You can rob houses, but it will require lots of skill and planning. You can also recruit gang members and can perform four person drive by's (take a look at the pictures).

The geeky babble: A new streaming technology will ensure the changes in scenery are immediate, but will also allow for more detailed environments than before. This technological expansion also apparently goes on to include details like real-time reflections, softer shadowing, ragdoll physics applied to fallen obstacles, and independent models dedicated to day and night cycles. All of this visual splendour is only in place to help develop the actual gameplay, of course.

The painful fact: This awesome game is only for Playstation 2. PC or Xbox versions were not even mentioned in all the press releases of Rockstar Games. But, it is likely that PC and Xbox versions of the game will come out a year after the Playstation 2 release. Now that's outrageous!

Expect more information in the Rising Stars as soon as the game is released. In thez meantime, you can always email me (niloy @yours.com) for more information.

Sites Unseen

by Niloy (niloy@yours.com)

The internet turned out to be disappointing in its failure to meet my absurd expectations, and now I have a new black mark to hold against it. I had the expectation that I could get a customizable list of trendy and useful websites to recommend when I used Google to search "cool websites to recommend in the Rising Stars". But those blue and green texts on the Google website shattered my expectations to dust. Instead of getting an elaborate list of snazzy websites ready to be described and recommended, all I got was links to sites like "VOTE!VOTE!!VOTE!!! 100 Cool sites!!!", "Recommended Cool Star Charts of Rising and Falling Stars", "Hilary Duff: The <>Star of the <>Rising Celebrities" and so on. Utterly pathetic.

Anyway, thanks for all those responses. You people are really great. Many of you liked the Harry Potter parody videos and wanted more. Well, I've got one more parody, and it's about Snape. Read on for the link. Also, many of you wanted to have the links categorized in different sections. So I've done them. Yay!

Stuff to discover

Imagine that you are relaxing alone in the cool coral strands of an Indian beach when all of a sudden; a crocodile starts to snap at you. What to do then? Or when you are trapped in a drowning car after you have driven it into a river? All these require strategic planning, my friend, and this site has complete guides of what to do in these situations. Go to the site and practice. You never know when fate puts a shark in your room!

Stuff to watch

This one is strictly for people who love Snape and those who hate him. In any case, the viewer should have at least some knowledge about the wizarding world. This is a flash cartoonish animation, sized around 350 kb and is totally worth the download.

Stuff to download

There is a lot of progress being made in the field of astronomy these days. The satellites and the telescopes have been discovering new planets every week. Anyway, when the world is advancing in such a high speed, you should too. Download this screensaver and it will turn you desktop monitor into a Satellite Telescope observing the earth. It's just over 2 MB, so download immediately. It has photo-realistic beautiful scenes of cosmic sunrises and sunsets, stunning real-looking atmosphere effects, oceanic shines, and surface relief. In other words, it's great.

Get a break now

Hah! The internet has reached its ending. It has reached it's limit. I have visited every single site in the net and finally have reached the end of the net. To celebrate my success, I'm sharing the link to share it with you people. Check it out.

Then get happy

I must express my amazement that you have been with my writing this long. Who are you, so great, that you have understood the subtle messages in my writing? Anyway, a small reward for you. Just log on to this website. This is one of the cutest site I've seen. But apart from that, it has great insight too. This site is a major database of what the little kids believed when they were kids. Stuff like 'When I was little I wanted to go to Disneyland as soon as I could, before Mickey Mouse died.' Very refreshing.

Or get sad

So you really want to be sad? Then check out this site. It takes a few important medical details about you calculates the day you will die. Their calculations are more or less correct and unless you are hit by a bus of something earlier, you will die in a day close to the calculated date. The website's most shocking part is when they bring the ultimate time counter in front of you. That very counter counts and displays the remaining seconds of your life. You helplessly watch as seconds, minutes and hours pass away and your death gradually approaches. Really makes you sad.

That's all for a long week. Check out the links and enjoy the sites. And please do write a few feedback emails (niloy@yours.com). I would really like to know what my dear readers are looking for in the net. Until then, happy web surfing.


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