Metal music in India has never exactly integrated itself as a popular genre – until now. Universal Music India just signed Midhaven, a sludge-metal band hailing from Mumbai. The band was formed in 2011 by 19-year-old Karan Kaul, a student from HR College in Mumbai, along with Abhishek Sawant and Shreyas Rane. In 2013 former drummer of the band Reverse Polarity, Viraaj Saxena, joined the band to replace Aviraj Kumar. The band has only been together for three and a half years, but in that time span they have played tons, and have garnered positive reviews in Rolling Stone India. The band plan on performing at some international music festivals.
The band was initially called Temple Smoke, but the interest lead singer Kaul had in astronomy aided in the changing of the name to Midhaven. Midhaven comes from ‘Midheaven’ which essentially means center of the universe. Their album Spellbound was released under Universal Music Group in March of this year. Apparently when Kaul originally go the call from South Asia Universal Music he assumed it was a prank. In a RadioandMusic.com interview, the band were asked about how they were approached about the offer and Kaul said, “The day they called me to listen to our tracks, they asked us to wait for a bit while they made a decision. That was the longest half hour of my life.” In addition to video games and mythology, Kaul says he also got inspiration from Demonic Resurrection frontman Sahil Makhija, who had a huge impact on the underground metal scene in India. The band also takes pride in idolizes bands such as Mastodon and Neurosis. It will be interesting to see if Midhaven make their mark on the U.S.