Another offering from the great Ocora label. Field recordings of Hindu & Buddhist ceremonies (& two Catholic hymns recorded at the house of Clement Fernando, on the island of Duwa, Sri Lanka…Clement plays Jesus in the Easter Passion Plays) recorded on the wing, live & unrehearsed, with slowly rising vocal drones, some big-bellied oboe, double-headed drums, chanting Bhikku monks, & phallic cults (the Siva Linga cult on the first side worships the flower adorned lingam or male member – it is a mixture of Brahmin & pre-Hindu fertility cult).
Read the notes from the inside gatefold included with the file for the fascinating story of how these recording came about, their trials & travails...
Various - Sri Lanka: Ritual & Religious Music (MusiquesRituelles et Religieuses), Ocora 558 552, 1986.
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Face A –
1 Ritual of Siva Linga at Kovil Kegalla - Part 1 (Rituel Siva Linga au Kovil de Kegalla – Partie 1)
2 Ritual of Siva Linga at Kovil Kegalla - Part 2 (Rituel Siva Linga au Kovil de Kegalla – Partie 2)
Face B –
1 Arrival at the Temple of Nagolia & Praise for Buddha (Arrivee au Temple de Nagolia et Louanges a Boudha)
2 Buddhist Protection Song: Seth Pirith or Greeting to Buddha (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Set Pirit)
3 Buddhist Protection Song: Maha Pirith or the thre Buddhist Sutras (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Maha Pirit)
4 Buddhist Protection Song: Yuga Pirith or all-night Chanting of all Sutras (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Yuga Pirit)
5 Buddhist Protection Song: Yuga Desana or ending Chant (Chantes Bouddhiques Pirit: Yuga Desana(
Catholic Song of Passion (Chant de Passion Catholique Pasam)
Catholic Hymn Kantaru (Hymne Catholique Kantaru)
Raakasha (a phrase that refers to the ancient language of Sinhala, the mother tongue of the Sinhalese people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka) is an Sri Lankan ethno folk/ambient band with black metal undertones. They formed in the early dawn of 2008. Beelzebub - yakbera & drums & Deshapriya - bass got together with a concept for the Raaksha Project. The concept of the project was to create music expressing the beauty & atrocity of ancient Sri Lankan realms & bringing it into modern day society. This unique genre of Pure Hela Metal is characterized by furiously shredded guitar riffs, bowel shaking bass, animalistic-decimated drum lines & inhuman shrieks & growls for vocals.
For centuries Sri Lanka has slowly been turning away from its rich cultural heritage, a heritage soaked in blood, brutality, war & hate as well as being entrenched in peace, honor, & mind warping Spiritualistic rituals. In 2008 the Raakasha Project decided to address this slow fade of ancient knowledge. They incorporate ritual music with raw black metal.
“Sidhapathini” is a song dedicated to the goddess Sri Sidha Paththini. The song starts with a howl of the guitars, a clean electric guitar sound that gives it a dark & ambient atmosphere, bizarre yet trance-like. The second part of the song fades in as a devil chanter begins to chant an ancient spell in the background while a depressive distortion sound fills the entire song. This song couples minimalism on the one hand, with monotonous hypnotic rhythms on the other. Together they create a sort of unity that leaves a strange impression on the listener; especially on those of us from Western countries.
On this demo, Raaksha are: Buddhika Karunasekara – vocals; Dylan Perera – guitars; Deshapriya – bass; & Beelzebub – yakbera & drums.
Raaksha – Sidhapathini demo, self-released, 2008.
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Enjoy if you dare,