When musician Riju Dasgupta heard the album Abigail, by Swedish heavy metal band King Diamond, he knew his next album would be a concept album. Then, Dasgupta chanced upon a Michael Slade book called Cut throat where he learnt about the Kuru disease, an affliction that makes cannibals hysterical. And on instinct he knew he wanted to merge the two ideas.
The result: Dasupta’s Horror Metal band Albatross has brought out its first concept album, Dinner Is You, and three of the four records on it “are based on the Kuru concept”. The fourth song, ‘The Great Plague of the 21st Century,’ is a warped version of the nursery rhyme Ringa Ringa Roses. Dasgupta says, “It’s a derivative of the original song written during the great plague of England, placed in a contemporary setting.”
Albatross started out as Dasgupta’s solo project. Ask him why he formed a Horror Metal band, and he says, “The idea came to me when I dreamt of a doll looking up at the sky and saying, ‘I want to be a human being.’ So I wrote a song called ‘Gigi,’ which is about a doll interacting with Satan.” However, the track has been held back for the band’s next album, which, Dasgupta says, is going to be 1,500 times crazier. What listeners get now are — ‘The Dining Table,’ ‘In The Court Of Kuru’ and ‘Among The Cannibals.’ “It sounds funny that The Dining Table is about a guy called Master who discovers that his master is a cannibal.
But when you hear it, it isn’t funny,” Dasgupta says. Sure enough, The Dining Table topped MySpace charts after its release. “It’s nice to see a new concept being appreciated by listeners.”
To add the final touch, the job of mastering the album was given to the guitarist of King Diamond, Andy LaRocque. “The songs came out great, and our first performance in Bangalore last Saturday, too, went well,” Dasgupta says, “And as for Gigi, it was played at an Indo-Japanese art conference sometime back. They’ve even sent me a booklet of the event with my picture in it!”