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Duality is the name of the Chennai based acoustic rock duo of Manoj Sreekumar and Mihir Ranganathan. The band’s musical sensibilities have been shaped up by the Priests, Metallicas and Maidens and they creep into their music effortlessly. Their debut album is called The First Born. The album begins with an instrumental called An Army of Flowers and continues with the songs from the regular Duality setlist. The ones that stand out are Duality, Stranger and their take on Batman, Crusader. Crusader is what Duality is on its best day and the band should build on it, not under it. Among the positives, the band manages to do well with intelligent lyrical content, tight instrumentation and small instrumental detours within a song which would be a part of the Duality signature sound.

Make no mistake, The First Born is an honest effort, but is undercooked and that feeling looms ever since the first listen. Most of it comes from a stark below-average post-production work. The extreme compression applied to the tracks leaves them impotent. While it can be understood that the band wanted to preserve their ‘raw’ feel on record, but it often leaves the sound pretty chapped and that for me, is the album’s biggest undoing. The sound has been cut, it needs rigorous polish. The First Born, all in all, is an honest effort, put paid to by amateur production work. Duality must build ON it, not UNDER it.


Rating – 2.5/5


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