Warfaze

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Warfaze
Warfaze current.jpg
The current lineup of Warfaze in 2012.
Background information
Origin Dhaka, Bangladesh
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock,
Years active 1984–present
Labels G-series, Ektaar Music Ltd
Associated acts Rock Strata, Aurthohin, Miles, Bassbaba Sumon, Iqbal Asif Jewel, Russel Ali, Aces, LRB, De-illumination, Vibe, Winning, In Dhaka, Legend, Metal Maze, Artcell
Members Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu (drums and percussion)
Samir Hafiz (guitar)
Ibrahim Ahmed Kamal (guitar)
Shams Mansoor Ghani (keys)
Naim Haque Roger (bass)
Palash Noor (vocals)
Past members Mizan Rahman (vocals)
Babna Karim
Sunjoy
Russel Ali
Fuad Ibn Rabbi
Bassbaba Sumon
Iqbal Asif Jewel
Balam
Biju
Cézanne
Sazzad Arefeen
Oni Hasan (guitar)

Warfaze is a Bangladeshi hard rock band. The group consists of Palash Noor (vocals), Ibrahim Ahmed Kamal (lead guitar), Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu (drums and percussion), Samir Hafiz (Guitar), Shams Mansoor Ghani (keyboards and vocals), and Naim Haque Roger (bass). Multiple changes have taken place in membership since its founding in 1984. Since their inception, the band has released eight albums, including seven studio albums and one compilation album. In addition, they have released several singles in band mixed albums. They have also released three songs in a Lalon tribute album called 'Somorpon' which also included songs from Habib Wahid and Aurthohin.

Over the years, Warfaze has featured some of the finest Bangladeshi musicians in the genre, most notably Kamal, Babna Karim, metal vocalist Sunjoy, Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon, guitarist Russel Ali (who currently works with Elliot Yamin) etc.

The band has experimented with different subgenres of hard rock and heavy metal over the years. Warfaze's role in the development of progressive metal in Bangladesh has been an inspiration for several Bangladeshi bands, such as Artcell.[1][2]

History[edit]

First decade and breakthrough – Warfaze and Obak Bhalobasha (1984–1994)[edit]

The initial membership consisted of Kamal playing bass, Helal on drums; Mir and Naimul sharing lead and rhythm guitar duties, and Bappi singing vocals. This initial line-up underwent the first of many changes with Helal, Mir, and Bappi having to leave the band for personal reasons. The band was far from breaking through to the mainstream music scene in Bangladesh dominated largely by pop acts. Heavy metal music was not much popular in Bangladesh back then.[3]

Kamal took up lead guitar duties for the band at this stage and the rest of the positions were filled with Babna Karim as the bassist, Tipu as the drummer, and Rashed as the vocalist. This second line up had to be discontinued when Naimul emigrated to the US. At that time, there were three other Dhaka-based metal bands: Rock Strata, In Dhaka, and Aces. Mashuk, the lead guitarist of In Dhaka, and Fuad (of the same band) volunteered to help Warfaze as guest members. At the time, Warfaze was mostly a cover band, covering bands such as Whitesnake, Dokken or Iron Maiden.[4]

Most of the band members, including Kamal had made arrangements for further education in the United States by 1991. However, inspired by Maksud, former vocalist of Feedback, the band performed their own Bengali songs at a concert arranged by BAMBA at the University of Dhaka on 26 April 1991.[4] The bands at this concert decided to make a mixed album, but as it turned out Warfaze had enough songs to be able to release a solo album. The band went to release their self-titled album, Warfaze, in 1991. The album featured the songs "Boshe Achi Eka" and "Ekti Chele". At the time, Bangladeshi music listeners were still new to metal. Any lyrics other than those inspired by romanticism or patriotism were rare. It took several weeks for the album to gain popularity but later succeeded.[3]

The album was followed up by a concert on 7 January 1992 at the Rawa Club.[citation needed] By this time, Russel Ali had joined them on keyboards. The next album, Obak Bhalobasha, was released by Sargam in around 1993–94.[3]

Jibondhara, Ashamajik and the departures of Sunjoy, Babna Karim and Russel Ali (1994–1998)[edit]

The band released the album Jibondhara in 1997, the last time the line-up of Sunjoy, Babna Karim, Russel Ali, Ibrahim Ahmed Kamal; Tipu and guest keyboardist Fuad would play together on the same album.[3]

Iqbal Asif Jewel joined as a guitarist and vocalist from another heavy metal band Legend. Babna was replaced by the bass guitarist Sumon for the next album, Ashamajik.[5]

Russel Ali left the band at this stage to start a music career in the United States later that year and Sumon left to pursue a career both as a solo artist with his band Aurthohin.[3][5]

Frequent changes in line-up - Aalo and Moharaaj (1999–2007)[edit]

The band underwent many changes in line-up over the next 8 years. Their guitarist Balam, replaced Iqbal Asif Jewel.[6] Mizan replaced Sunjoy on vocals while Shams became a full-time member from 1999 and onwards on the keyboards. This line-up released the album Aalo in 2001.[3]

However, 2002 saw marked changes in the line-up once again with Mizan leaving the band for personal reasons and Kamal taking a break after almost 20 years of continued activity. Kamal joined Sumon's band Aurthohin in 2006. Balam, who already sang three notable songs in the album 'Alo' took up vocal duties and Sazzad was recruited from Metal Maze as the lead guitarist. All the while, Tipu held the band together and recruited the services of Cézanne, bassist of the emerging progressive metal band Artcell.[3] Later Balam departed to pursue a solo career as a commercial pop artist.[7]

Kamal rejoined the band in 2007 and recruited Oni Hasan of the band Vibe, resulting in a major change in their sound, with neoclassical metal influences especially in live performances. This partnership carried on through to the next decade.[citation needed].

Poth Chola (2008)[edit]

Following the release of a compilation album (sponsored by Nokia) which includes re-recorded versions of their songs along with a couple of new singles titled "Tomake" and "Omanush", and the band began touring extensively. With a new and stable line up that had stuck together for almost 5 years then, the band went on to celebrate their silver jubilee at a gala concert, which featured performances from both past and present members of Warfaze at the Winter Garden, Hotel Sheraton, Dhaka.[2] Tipu announced that a live album featuring recordings from the concert was planned, along with a new studio album which later came out in 2012 titled Shotto.[2]

The band continued to experiment with their sound with the release of a fusion album entitled Somorpon, merging elements of Heavy Metal with traditional Bangladeshi folk music as a tribute to Hason Raja and Lalon, working with Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon's band Aurthohin and solo artist Habib Wahid.[8]

Shotto (2012) and beyond[edit]

Shotto, the new album was released on 21 October 2012 featuring the same line-up as in Poth Chola. Tracks from the album include "Agami", "Na", "Purnota", "Shotto", "Jedin", "Rupkotha", "Jonosrot", and "Projonmo". The album also included an unreleased single from the early 2000s called "Protikkha".[9][10]

With Oni Hasan taking a break for his studies in the United Kingdom and Kamal recovering from surgeries, the band asked Faisal (from Metal Maze), Samir (from Powersurge), and Shrapnel Method to perform as guest members on live shows.[11]

At midnight on 13 February 2013, Warfaze performed at the Projonmo Chattar to show their support for the Shahbag protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in demand of capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah and all the other accused war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. It also marked the return of Kamal with his solos.[12][13] In late 2014, Oni Hasan left the band for to pursue higher education.

Warfaze has performed their mega reunion Legacy Concert on 30 January 2015 to celebrate 30 years of music-making, The legacy concert took place at Gulnaksha Hall, International Convention City in Bashundhara Residential Area, Dhaka. The celebration has brought together four of its past members – Babna Karim, Sunjoy, Balam, and Romel Ali – with its current line-up on the stage. On their Facebook page on 7 April 2016 they announced that Mizan has left the band.[14] Later they announced Palash Noor as their new vocal.

Side projects[edit]

Kamal has been working since 2006 as a guest member of the metal band Aurthohin, who after overcoming recent setbacks regarding former Warfaze band-mate Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon's health, have released a new studio album Aushamapto 2. He has also been helping out another underground act called Moshpit. Shams has already released a new concept album titled Onibarjo with his symphonic metal band De-illumination, featuring ex-Warfaze member and Metal Maze guitarist Sazzad Arefeen, and the young bassist Anabeel Sen of Stentorian.[15]

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band has been consistently cited as an inspiration by most active heavy metal artists today in Bangladesh as one of the first bands to introduce metal to Bangladesh.[4] The band used to play cover versions of bands like Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, and Dokken in their early years. Kamal has consistently cited guitarist Niloy Das popularly known as 'Niloyda' to aspiring guitarists in Bangladesh, as a major source of inspiration.[4] Throughout their career, the band has experimented with multiple genres of rock.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

Band members[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Ibrahim Ahmed Kamal - Guitar (1984-2003,2007–Present)
  • Sheikh Monirul Alam Tipu – Drums and percussion (1986–Present)
  • Shams Mansoor Ghani – keyboards (1999–Present)
  • Naim Haque Roger – Bass (2003–Present)
  • G Samir Hafiz - Guitar(2015–Present)
  • Palash Noor- Vocals (2016–Present)

Former[edit]

  • Sunjoy – Vocals (1990–1999)
  • Babna Karim – Bass and Vocals (1988–1996)
  • Russel Ali – Keyboards & guitar (1990–1994)
  • Fuad Ibn Rabbi – Keyboards & guitar (1994–1999)
  • Khaled 'Bassbaba' Sumon – Bass & vocals (1996–99)
  • Iqbal Asif Jewel – Guitar & vocals (1996–99)
  • Balam – Vocals & Guitar (1999–2007)
  • Biju – Bass (1999-2002)
  • Cézanne – Bass (2002–2003)
  • Sazzad Arifin – Guitars (2001–2007)
  • Oni Hasan (2007-2014)
  • Romel Ali (keyboards)
  • Mizan Rahman Mizan – vocals (1999–2002, 2007-2016)

Guest appearance[edit]

  • G Samir Hafiz - Guitar
  • Kazi Faisal Ahmed - Guitar
  • Chowdhury Fazlee Sakib - Vocals
  • Jamshed Chowdhury - Vocals
  • Raef al Hasan Rafa - Vocals
  • Faruque Hossain - Guitar
  • Mahim Samrat - Guitar

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Warfaze and its reign of metal". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Archived from the original on 28 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Warfaze: 29 Years and Still Going Strong"
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Warfaze Biography". banglamusic.com. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kamol, Ershad (13 April 2009). "In conversation with Warfaze". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Face to Face with Sumon". banglamusic.com. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Balam 2 Bangla Music Album". banglamusic.com. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Balam". banglamusic.com. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Banglalink launches folk album Shomorpon today". The Daily Sun. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Warfaze's Shotto in Banglalink Music Station". AmaderGaan.com. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Warfaze's New Album 'Shotto'". AmaderGaan.com. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Warfaze Official Facebook Page". Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Spotlight: What Fuels a Revolution". Star Campus. The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Kamal's facebook page". Facebook. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Warfaze's Facebook Page". Facebook. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  15. ^ ""Onibarjo": De-Illumination's inevitable journey". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 27 March 2013.