New York, NY (PRWEB) July 23, 2012
NYC-based Vajra, the fresh, new band with an exotic and ethereal sound, recently celebrated the release of their debut album ‘Pleroma’ at The Bowery Electric in NYC. The band mesmerized the audience with their hauntingly dark, hypnotic melodies.
Swathed in white tulle and carrying a bouquet of lighted silver knives, singer Annamaria Pinna began by reciting a line from ‘3.14’ as the band kicked into their Middle Eastern percussive epic ‘The Apple’. Trippy psychedelic fractal art continuously popped on the back wall behind the band by projectionist Adam Meow. After welcoming the crowd, Pinna jokingly mused that she began writing the “east-meets-west” album in her bedroom in Mumbai because it was the only room in the Indian apartment that had air conditioning.
The band then launched into ‘Almost One’, which was accompanied by disturbing black and white dreamlike sequences featuring an abandoned demonized house created by edgy filmmaker Jordan Stone. The band then proceeded into the ethno-rock oriented single, ‘Blind’, which incorporates western progressive rock with classical Hindustani sitar and tabla.
One of the highlights of the evening occurred when a special guest, Malian-born Kora player Yacouba Sissoko, joined the band for a mystical jam, blending the kora, Tibetan bells, finger cymbals, and a Tibetan singing bowl with the band’s guitar, bass and drums.
The atmospheric single ‘Intuition’ followed and in keeping with the tenebrous tone of the music, was accompanied by chilling black and white images of a witch casting mystical spells.
This was followed by the epic ‘Erode The Will’, a dark commentary on today's political climate. The lyrics, "silence opposition, circumvent free will" examine the pitfalls of an apathetic nation under siege by an oligarchical government. Somber guitars beat out a rhythm of foreboding danger while hymn-like chanting reveals the role that religion can play in censoring free thought. The entire song is a funereal tribute of what can happen when both mind and spirit are paralyzed.
Pinna spoke over their instrumental piece ‘India’, explaining that their debut album, Pleroma, is an exploration in paradox alternating from light to dark, soft to hard, female to male, and east to west. Pinna explained that to have one, you must also embrace the other, and that this is the meaning of ‘fullness’.
Finally, the band worked the crowd into a frenzy with ‘Inside The Flame’ as Pinna seemed to be channelling the dark Hindu Goddess Kali. The single began with an unsettling low growl, which grew to a breathing guitar and entrancing melodic vocals. The verses were reminiscent of a soft siren “lulling” one in its embrace, yet foreshadowing ultimate doom. The music built in intensity from a slow rhythmic tempo to a formidable chorus with pummelling drums, a driving bass, and intense guitars after which the music reached a pinnacle of disjointed chaos only to suddenly crash. Beginning slowly again with Annamaria’s haunting whisper, the song builds once more with an arpeggiated guitar, crescendoing, culminating, and crashing again as Annamaria revealed the full range of her powerful voice.
Paradox was evident from beginning to end of the show with the sonic mixture of texture and sounds melding with the visual imagery of costume changes and multimedia projection.
The evening was a true exploration of paradox as Vajra took the audience on an aural and visual sojurn proving that this band is on its own starlight journey towards bigger things.