Written By: Ola’s Kool Kitchen
“Vajra” is a Sanskrit word that means “thunderbolt” and “diamond.” The New York based four piece under this moniker echoes the sheer power of the thunderbolt and the uncut edginess of the diamond in their evanescent gothic pop/rock. Hauntingly nebulous and metallically hypnotic, they weave Eastern Indian themes with melodic, progressive rock, creating foreboding and mysterious lullabies.
Vajra is the creation of singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna, who formed the group while on a “self-imposed exile” in India (part of this debut was recorded in Mumbai). Vajra‘s latest album, “Pleroma,” was released on the Summer Solstice, 2012 (6.21.12). It is largely an exploration of Dualism (east vs. west, soft vs. pummelling, female vs. male) and includes appearances by Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums, Doug Wright (The Dirty Pearls) on bass and Will Dahl (ex-Harley’s War) on guitar. Expect loads of sitars, tablas, and airy wind instruments in this rock-induced musical trance. The effect of the mantra manifests itself in many of the repetitive guitar riffs on “Pleroma”. The instrumentals paint a soundscape that projects Pinna’s fascination with eastern music.Out of nowhere, Vajra burst onto the scene, generating significant buzz after selling out their first show in November, 2011 (at The Bowery Electric in NYC). Virgin America selected Vajra‘s single “Erode The Will” for their In-Flight Entertainment Series in December, 2011, and the single was also selected for the Red Gorilla SXSW 2012 Compilation. The band was also picked as a Supercuts‘ “Rock The Cut” Ambassador.
Vajra has played to sold-out audiences and also performed 2 shows at SXSW 2012 and just completed a successful U.S. west coast tour, performing at Sylvia Massy‘s 4&20 Blackbird Music Festival. The up-and-coming heavy quartet have certainly etched out a unique place in the melodic metal rankings, offering a sound similar to Dead Can Dance, Fever Ray, Lacuna Coil, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and Azam Ali. Vajra will leave you spellbound.