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ARTCELL

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Bangladesh


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Artcell biography
ARTCELL is arguably the first progressive metal band from Bangladesh and were formed in 1999 by Ershad (lead guitar) and Lincoln (vocals,riff guitar),who both used to be in the band TANTRIK.A recommendation from some friends resulted in them finding their rhythm section,Cezanne (bass) and Shaju (drums).
In 2002 ARTCELL released their debut album "Onno Shomoy",which translates in English to "In Another Time".While the band was working on this album in the studio,they suffered a personal tragedy.Main lyricist and close friend of the band Rupok died after being infected with cerebral malaria,which is a terminal disease."Onno Shomoy" is dedicated to him,and the band also wrote and recorded a song about him,which is the fourth track on the album and is titled Rupok(Ekti Gaan).

ARTCELL wouldn't release another album for four years.In 2006 their second album "Oniket Prantor"(No Man's Land) was released.

Citing bands like METALLICA,DREAM THEATER and PINK FLOYD as their main influences,ARTCELL'S music features odd timing,many tempo and scale changes,and their lyrical themes include philsophy,anger,social injustice and hypocrisy.Highly recommended for progressive metal fans.



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Approved by the Progressive Metal Team of Special Collaborators



Discography:
Onno Shomoy, studio album (2002)
Oniket Prantor, stdio album (2006)
...

Artcell official website

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ARTCELL discography


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ARTCELL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 4 ratings
Onno Shomoy
2002
4.00 | 1 ratings
Oniket Prantor
2006

ARTCELL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ARTCELL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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ARTCELL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Onno Shomoy by ARTCELL album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.76 | 4 ratings

BUY
Onno Shomoy
Artcell Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by kluseba

3 stars Artcell is a rather unkown progressive metal band from Bangladesh that has been around for far over one decade by now. Even though they might never get an international breakthrough, the band mostly skips annoying solo passages and concentrates on diversified vocal performances with many catchy moments and commercial attempts. The lyrics are entirely performed in Bengali but this happens to be a very harmonic and colourful language that fits well to the mostly soft and enchanting melodies. The band has some very gifted guitar players in their line-up but their talents always serve the vocals and lyrics and become rarely overwhelming which is a positive fact for the fluidity.

There are some harder tracks and a couple of influences coming from famous Western bands. The atmospheric "Krittim Manush" almost sounds like a Bengali version of Metallica's classic "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" while the closing "Olosh Shomoyer Pare" can be compared to an old enchanting Dream Theater ballad like "The Silent Man" for example. Overall, the band still lacks a little bit of a coherent songwriting and the record is maybe a little bit too mainstream orientated and calm at some moments. Metal maniacs might get bored from time to time, but a couple of ballads are really worth to be lsitened to and the band happens to be very gifted in writing this kind of music.

Let's cite "Itihash (Shomoy/Addrishto)" as the most outstanding track among the calmer stuff because of its high pitched and overall variable but coherently chilling vocals that give this track a slight pop feeling. The whole thing is though played with technical diversity and especially the acoustic guitars play beautiful melodies filled with passion. After three minutes, the track gets a surprising break and turns towards harder groove metal passages until a well done finish.

Not as outstanding but overall even better is the great "Obosh Anubhutir Deyal" where dark and light clean vocals perfectly fusion and work together. They fit perfectly to the magic arrangements like the slight New Age moments with some shy folk influences, decent string passages and a great acoustic guitar work.

There are though maybe a couple too many ballads on this release even though each one of them uses a couple of creative ideas. "Rupok (Ekti Gan)" kicks off very enchanting but the track finally lacks of progression and is too long in my humble opinion with a running time of eight minutes and a half. This kind of lengths can be observed throughout the release and the band would have created a more fluid listening experience if they would have cut off two or three minutes in the longest tracks.

Another flaw comes with the production that is overall acceptable but could be more precise as we talk about quite progressive music. Sometimes, one misses a couple of interesting background melodies that only get accessible after several tries and at other moments, there are too many instruments playing at the same time and level to clearly distinguish them. On the other side, we talk about a quite exotic gem coming from a country where metal music is overall not very popular and where the musicians won't make their lives with their artistic outputs and can't invest so much money in this kind of details. It's already a surprise that these guys are still around after all these years and the release of two full lengths records should be seen as a victory for the multicultural metal movement.

These guys are definitely very talented and especially the diversified guitar parts and the great vocals stand out and make the whole thing very addictable. This release is very light-hearted without being superficial and that's what makes its magic. Especially the numerous ballads are amazing and must not hide behind their Western idols. This record definitely grows once one gets used to the exotic lyrics, the mediocre production and the calm approach of the genre.

In their homeland, these guys are considered as local legends by some and the people are right because this band is very gifted, has been around for quite a while and is the most interesting metal band I've heard of from this place to date. If you want to know more about the metal scene of Bengladesh, you should also try to check out the work of the pioneer bands such as the sometimes more hard rock orientated Warfaze and the probably first real metal band of the country which is RockStrata but the heavy to progressive sounds of Cryptic Fate or the more psychedelic vein of In Dhaka might also sound interesting but are harder to find than this release from Artcell and I have only heard a few excerpts until now.

If you're intrigued by calm progressive metal with a slight exotic touch you should definitely give this album some spins. My appetite has now grown for more and I will try to follow the path of this band and discover more metal music from this big but mysterious country.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on August 3rd of the year 2012.

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 Onno Shomoy by ARTCELL album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.76 | 4 ratings

BUY
Onno Shomoy
Artcell Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Lima96

4 stars As their name says, they are the only cell of musicians in Bangladesh (and maybe one of the handful scattered over the Indian subcontinent) whose music can be dubbed of being progressive or fitting in one of the many progressive rock subgenres. And I can say that their first effort - Onno Shomoy is..

Jaw-dropping!

Ok... Let's face it, I didn't get any of the lyrics, due to the massive language gap between me and the band members.

Anyway, I was expecting to find myself with another of those death metal bands from unknown countries (as it's the case with Andorra and the band Persephone) expecting to find maybe lots of traces of indian or folk bengali music. However, I didn't get disappointed with Artcell's sound, which lies between hard rock and technical metal, with no traces of the Indian music previously mentioned.

Their approach to progressive metal is quite remarkable, with as their site's biography says, influences from Dream Theater and Metallica, and I would add (why not) Pain Of Salvation to these bands.

Most of the tracks contain superb heavy guitar riffing, excellent bass lines, everything contained by the drummer's wall of sound. There are some tracks which also feature great acoustic guitar lines.

Another thing that surprised me is the vocalist, singing with clean voice and adding a lot of 'feeling' to the tracks. His voice reminds me, somehow, to Metallica's singer - James Hetfield and System Of A Down singer - Serj Tankian, but singing in Bangladesh's native language instead of english.

If there is something I would criticise them, is the large similarity between songs, making the album maybe hard to give a full listen at first, but it meant no problem to me, as their music is complex and needed my whole attention to fully compenetrate with it.

Highlights? I think that they all the tracks are equally great, but songs 'Onnoshomoy' and Rupok (ok.. basically the first four songs) are above the rest.

Onno Shomoy is a great album, very recommendable, but maybe not essential. It's a solid 3+ album, that i will round upwards due to their exotic location.

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 Onno Shomoy by ARTCELL album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.76 | 4 ratings

BUY
Onno Shomoy
Artcell Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars This is supposed to be Extreme ? Hey, this is more like Neo Progressive Rock. Singing in language completely unknown to me, sounding like combination of weird Italian (no offense though my Italian brother) and unknown influences, this band is interesting. Even it's presenting something not so original (it sounds original because of language a lot). Don't deny these Metal influences completely, it is Tech Metal a little bit, but not so much. And only in some songs. It's pending from Rock to Metal realm easily and it's just good that it works so well. This music is interesting in something, the same thing I've encountered in many bands recently. The problem is that the most of "originality" is gone and so, most of things (that human can appreciate) in music, so I realized that I want to follow certain philosophy - To find something good in everything (which, as you can see from some of my reviews, isn't possible in all cases).

If this is, what Bangladesh has to offer, then I'm all in.

4(+), non-exotic sounding exotic band.

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