The Guardian festival blog: Himalayan headbangers: in the moshpit with the metalheads of Kathmandu | Music

When Ugra Karma made the first-ever Nepali metal recording, they didn’t intend to start a subculture. They just wanted to make life easier for themselves. “When we started to do shows,” says guitarist Prateek Raj Neupane, “our playing skills were at an amateur level. And the instruments we had were amateurish. And the sound didn’t come out good. We couldn’t explain what we wanted to sound engineers at shows, so we thought maybe we should do a record and give it to them so they could fix our sound. And that’s how we ended up recording the first-ever metal record in Nepal.”

That was in 2000 and the recording – the magnificently titled demo Himalayan Metal of Death, featuring a song called Perversion or Cutting Up of a Human Body & Eating Some of It – wasn’t made for general release. “We were thinking about bringing out three copies only, for the three people who recorded it. We would lend one to sound…


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