Text by Prabin Maharjan
Formed in 2004, Vhumi, who had released its selftitled album in 2007, had gained tremendous response from Nepali metal community. Comment threads for their songs on YouTube, inundated with common adjectives like ‘best’, ‘great’, and ‘awesome’, have remained as ‘living evidences’ even today.
But in spite of the escalating popularity, the band disbanded. However, hibernation of the band did not leave the metal music lovers to follow and worship the band.
Last June, Bishwas Thapa, one of the Vhumi’s fans, vented his ire on 11 voters on YouTube who disliked the band’s song ‘Atanka’, by commenting, “These people do not know the importance of legendary song like this.” In the same month, while Riyaz Shrestha commented, “Good Nepali song, I want to listen more songs like this,” Rohit Gautam, another YouTube viewer, wrote, “I like this song.”
When the love for the band is still alive, even during the years-long hibernation, Vhumi, now, has announced its reformation.
“Vhumi never died, it just went passive,” said founding member and guitarist Anil Dhital.
Dhital clarifies, “While some members went on to form thrash metal band ‘E.Quals’, others stayed out of the music and followed their personal obligations. Nevertheless, we were engaged in different projects, but while doing so, we always Re-forms wanted to play together.”
“As we were playing with the same base root of ‘Old School Thrash’ but with the blending of power and aggression, we thought of reviving Vhumi,” adds Dhital, “Former founding guitarists and vocalist Bikash (now in underside) also suggested the same, while, Ashish returned, and we teamed up with Uday Singh Kharel on vocals, Sagar Basnet on bass and Avinash Kayastha on guitars, as a result of which, Vhumi reformed as a complete and a new group with continuation of old one.”
Despite having new members, the band affirms that they have continued to adopt original identity, sentiment, vibe, pattern and culture. Kharel simplifies, “Now, we are going to be more open to experiments but our values of remaining ‘Old School Thrash’ will be the same. Though Vhumi now has musicians belonging to different generations and with different influences, the musical contributions are blended uniquely.
Vhumi, who is now working out on their new materials, informs that their contents are still the same, and will be doing their old songs too. Kharel explains, “Social and political decadence have always been Vhumi’s focus, even today. Lyrics primarily reflect the positive and negative sides of the society, and even if the songs talk about love, we interpret it as ‘heavy love’.
Expressing how it feels to become a part of Vhumi, new members Avinash and Sagar hold the same opinion, and says, “Joining Vhumi is like a dream come true because we grew up listening to the band, and covering their songs. It is now our opportunity to be with good musicians, and be very raw and undiluted.”
The band is now preparing to appear in gigs very soon, but until then, we have no options rather than waiting to find out if they have ‘whole lot of fun’ or are ‘very raw’ as they claim