Mythological stories are interesting, irrespective of your beliefs and we’ve only heard these stories through hymns or prayers. So its refreshing to hear Secrets for Sale telling us the story of Shiva and Sati, with a brilliant rock soundtrack setting (suddenly the idea of a Ramayana Rock Opera is quite appealing).
While the music derives many elements of modern rock music, they keep story-telling at the forefront, thereby respect traditional songs of mythology but also adding their own twist to it. While the authenticity or cultural place of these kind of songs is controversial, as a work of music and storytelling, one begins to appreciate the elements that combine to make a cohesive sound.
As someone who has listened to a good amount of metal from all over the world, Indian Metal has its own vibe. It doesn’t feel like we’re taking something and shoe-horning it into an indian setting. We’ve spent so much time over the last 5-6 decades internalising the elements of metal, that the metal that comes out of India tells its own stories. Combine that with a plethora of stories from mythology, and what we have isn’t too dissimilar to ‘Saato Janam’.
Musically, the song checks all the boxes. Guitar solo, good riffs, nice lines, well placed synth lines. It has all the goods. What it excels at is creating a distinctly Indian way of telling the story of Shiva and Sati. It doesn’t sound like a prayer laid over a Megadeth instrumental. Which alludes to the previous few ideas discussed.
So what we have is something new and unique that doesn’t just re-interpret tradition, but it arguably creates its own new storytelling tradition. Has this been done before? Yes. Is it a bad thing? Absolutely not. The song is still a great song that fits in with the canon of Indian Metal (with emphasis on the ‘Indian’).
Verdict: A refreshing take on tradition.