Bangladeshi rock

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Bangladeshi rock (Bengali: বাংলাদেশী রক) is the rock music of Bangladesh. It originated in Chittagong with Souls, which was formed in 1970.[1] Distortion, electric and bass guitars and drums are used, sometimes accompanied by piano or other keyboard instruments. In the past, it was accompanied by saxophone, flute, violin and bass violin.


Origin (1960s–1970s)

Bangladeshi rock began in 1960 a handful of self-taught musicians joined to create original songs. Their efforts resulted in the birth of the Bangla rock scene. In 1963, Zinga Goshty was the first orchestra band in Bangladesh, formed in Chittagong by a group of students from Chittagong College.[2] Pioneering groups during the late 1960s included Windy Side of Care (M. Fazle Rub, Alamgir, Rafique Mazhar Islam Saju, Rafi Omar, and Khwaja Shabbir Quader), the Lightnings (Neo Mendis,Noel Mendis) Rambling Stones (Zafar Iqbal and others), Ugly Phases, Time Ago Motion (Robin and others), Fire in Ice (Selim Alam, Reza Ahmed, Chhoton Islam and Habib Zafarullah Mithu) and Insex Dui (a band with American students studying at the American School in Dacca). They performed without expensive instruments or sound systems.[1]

Azam Khan (Uchharon), a.k.a. the Legend, a.k.a. the Imaginative Composer, emerged during the 1970s. Happy Akhand's "Abar Alo Elo Je Shondha" was a popular song, and his premature death was a blow to the musicians he influenced. Akhand's contemporaries include the late Firoze Shahi, Ferdaus Wahid and Fakir Alamgir. Many old bands are still active, including Souls (1970), Feedback (1976), Miles (1978), Nagar Baul (1980) and Warfaze (1984).[3]

Progression (1980s)

Although early Bangladeshi rock is characterised by romantic songs and mellow tunes, the scene began to change during the 1980s. Waves introduced Heavy Metal music in Bangladesh. Warfaze was also a progressive band during this period. Feedback was another band, who released the albums Ullash and Mela. From the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, hard rock became more popular. "It was around 1986 when Miles performed hard rock in Dhaka. They performed songs of Iron Maiden which was rocking to people. The next concert was a mind blowing performance, in which they covered several numbers of Iron Maiden and they did very well indeed!" The band was called In Dhaka, Warfaze and Rock Strata. Different Touch was also active during the late 1980s and early 1990s, playing "Sraboner Meghgulo". Nova (1986) and Renaissance were bands from the same period. The era also witnessed the emergence of artists such as Ayub Bachchu (who created LRB) and solo performers Tapan Chowdhury and Kumar Bishwajit.[4]

Emergence (1990s)

The early 1990s was arguably the most productive phase[5] of Bangladeshi rock, featuring bands such as LRB and Ark. Cryptic Fate and Maqsood O Dhaka were other notable groups from the era.[5]

The heavy-metal scene further developed during the early 1990s. "Mixed album Hooray was, back then, a huge inspiration and boost for many celebrated bands from today", said Shakib of Cryptic Fate. Warfaze and Rock Strata also released albums. Another band was Winning, which later disbanded. That year metal bands such as Cryptic Fate, Mysteria, Dethrow, Perspectives and PsychoDeth also emerged, playing at underground shows. Shironaamhin, formed in 1996, is still active as of 2013. Around 1998, Koprophilia, Clovermind and Spanking Monkeys began playing alternative music. After a period of turmoil, around 1999 Artcell (formerly Tantrik), Metal Maze, Migraine, Black, Wire, and Nemesis surfaced.[5][6]

New Millennium (2000s)

By the early ears of the 21st century, bands such as Aurthohin, Dalchhut, Shironamhin, Black, Artcell, Poizon Green, Kronic, Reborn and Nemesis became active on the Bangladeshi music scene with the release of debut albums and songs. Newer bands emerging during this period, such as Stentorian, Arbovirus, Shunno and Lalon, also became established. The era also saw the revival of the Chittagong rock-music scene. Although the city is considered the birthplace of Bangladeshi rock it declined during the 1990s, when most local musicians and bands began moving to Dhaka for more opportunity and better facilities. During the early 2010s, the Bangladesh Music Bands Association (BAMBA) and the Chittagong Musical Band Association (CMBA) began organising rock concerts in the city, which gave exposure to local underground bands. This resulted to the emergence of new rock bands in the city, such as Hemorrhage and Blunderware.[7][8]

Indie Wave (2010s)

Nearing the end of the first decade of the millennia, bands like Blunderware, Joler Gaan, Ashes, Chirkutt and the likes started to penetrate the scene, swaying away from traditional rock to cater to niche audience. With the fall of many major labels, and no availability of streaming platforms, rock musicians took to the internet to self-publish their songs and albums. Many bands such as Minerva, Owned, Poraho released their album through digital platforms. One of the emerging bands of the current decade is Indalo, a post-grunge band with modern influences, who self published and self distributed their own album without the help of sponsorship. While metal and rock music are still heavily heard throughout the rock scene, a budding indie scene started to flourish in smaller concert arenas. Bands like The Crowd, Embers in Snow, Pieket, Orfred, Headline, and Attic - to name a few - have brought about a change in the sound of rock with English songwriting being a common practice in their music.

FormedNameGenreLanguageCity of origin
1970UcharonPop rockBanglaDhaka
1970SoulsPop rockBanglaChittagong
1976FeedbackRock musicBanglaDhaka
1979MilesRock fusionBanglaDhaka
1980Nagar BaulHard rock, Psychedelic rockBanglaChittagong
1983WinningPop RockBanglaDhaka
1983In DhakaHard rock, Heavy metalBandlaDhaka
1984WarfazeHard rock, Heavy metalBanglaDhaka
1985Different TouchPop rockBanglaKhulna
1985RockstrataHeavy MetalBanglaDhaka
1986NovaRock music, Hard rock, Psychedelic rockBanglaDhaka
1991Love Runs Blind (LRB)Rock, Blues, Alternative, Metal, Psychedelic RockBanglaChittagong
1991ArkPop rockBanglaChittagong
1993Cryptic FateHeavy metalBanglaDhaka
1995Metal MazeHeavy metalBanglaDhaka
1995The TrapRock musicBanglaDhaka
1995PerspectivesRock musicBanglaDhaka
1996ShironamhinFolk music, Alternative rock, Psychedelic rockBanglaDhaka
1996Dalchhut (Bangladeshi Band) Rock musicBanglaDhaka
1997Vikings (Bangladeshi band) Hard/Soft RockBanglaDhaka
1998AurthohinRock music, Heavy metalBanglaDhaka
1998BlackRock music, alternative rock, GrungeBanglaDhaka
1999ArtcellProgressive metal, Progressive rockBanglaDhaka
1999NemesisAlternative rockBanglaDhaka
2001StentorianHard rock, heavy metalBanglaDhaka
2001VibeHeavy Metal, Alternative RockBanglaDhaka
2002ArbovirusExperimental music, alternative rock, Nu metalBanglaDhaka
2002ChirkuttRock fusion, Pop rockBanglaDhaka
2005ShohortoliTheatrical rockBanglaDhaka
2005MechanixHeavy metal, Thrash metalBanglaDhaka
2006De-illuminationSymphonic rock, Symphonic metalBanglaDhaka
2006PowersurgeThrash MetalBanglaDhaka
2006AshesAlternative rock, Psychedelic rockBanglaChittagong
2007ShunnoPop rock, Alternative rockBanglaDhaka
2009MoruvumiRock, Classical rockBanglaDhaka


  1. 1 2 "The Turbulent Evolution of Bangla Rock". The Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  2. নতুন করে আলোচনায় পপ তারকা নাজমা জামান (in Bengali). Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  3. "Rock music in Bangladesh". The New Nation. 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  4. "A Lesson in Evolution of Bangladeshi Rock". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 "90'z Rocking the decade". Rising Stars. The Daily Star. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  6. "Underground". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  7. "Silent tears of underground music in Chittagong". Star Campus. The Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  8. "NSR IV rocks Chittagong". Star Campus. The Daily Star. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
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