It’s the first metal gig of the year! SIV Hela
Renaissance will take place at Shine (formerly Clancy’s)
today from 4 p.m onwards and will feature the bands
Fallen Grace, Karmic Sulphur, Funeral in Heaven, Merlock
and Cannabis and a one off set performed by the defunct
Siblings of Hatred in what is a launch of the Sri Lankan
Heavy Metal Compilation. The Sunday Leader speaks to
Fallen Grace lead vocalist Sohan Ratnaike about the gig,
the band’s first studio recording and the challenges
facing metal today.
By Kshanika Argent
Q: Rumour has it that Fallen Grace is going to disband
after this gig
After being in it for five long years and looking back
at the hardships and disrespect that we’ve had to
endure, we’d be a bunch of sissies to quit now. But I
won’t dispute the fact that there was talk of us
breaking up. When you play in a band egos are bound to
Although the band is like a family we always argue and
have disagreements because — hey, these are five very
different personalities contributing five different
when you come to the point of merging all of these
styles into one, if a band doesn’t have disagreements,
there’s something to worry about! And the thing is we
don’t hide to show our feelings, be it anyone! So I
guess some timid individual might have started this
rumour to stir everyone up. No big deal.
Q: You just recorded your first single for your debut
album – how did it go?
It was much better than the last time primarily
because we had better equipment at our disposal. However
we did take quite a while because we wanted to achieve
the closest sound to perfection. Just to tune the drums
we took a whole day.
because unlike the trend we see now, where so many bands
are doing quick recordings for the sake of it — just to
brag about — we want our effort to be as professional as
possible. I know more sincere bands or even artists of
other genres would agree with what I say because a
listener expects a certain degree of quality at the end
of it all.
think the listener deserves it. And this is only our
first full-length album so we have to ensure that
quality is preserved. But special mention should also be
given to our producer Rogger Schalles (Expounder/Funeral
in Heaven) who always knows to get the best out of us.
The track was recorded and mastered at Empyre Studios.
Art work was done by Milinda Salpitikorala our official
Q: Who/what has inspired you guys to record this album?
Should make initial note that we finished the song
writing process for this album a year back. Due to
mainly a lack of financial backing and some other minor
factors, we stalled it. But getting back to the album,
the inspiration comes by the environment itself around
us. Social injustice, conflict, bigotry and the
ever-contentious issue of selling God to earn a quick
buck are some of what we fervently speak about in the
is why we aptly decided to title it Heresy Unveiled (Do
We Believe?). We also hope to include a couple of fresh
tracks we have composed solely for the album which won’t
be performed live before the launch of the album.
Q: You guys have signed up with some record labels and
been interviewed in a foreign metal magazine. Tell us
Yeah, but only for distribution. Foremost mention
should be made about Hela Distribution & Promotions,
which is headed by two of our really close friends
Chathuranga Fonseka (Funeral in Heaven) and Kelum
Niroshana. These guys are doing amazing things for the
metal scene in the country. Their first endeavour is the
Sri Lankan Heavy Metal Compilation, which comprises
tracks from all the renowned Sri Lankan metal artists.
will be launched today at the Hela Renaissance gig. They
have also tied up with numerous metal labels in mainly
European countries for distribution. We have tied up
with Legions of Death Records in Sweden and Negativity
Records in France for distribution of our album once
Q: There’s been a drop in the number of metal/rock gigs
lately, is the credit crunch hitting the metal scene or
is it just dying out?
As dumb as it may sound yes it is the credit crunch! Not
that I’m saying that Bernie Madoff has made a direct
impact on the metal industry in Sri Lanka but companies
are now looking to cut costs heinously, resulting in the
drastic slashing of advertising expenditure. The other
blow was when alcoholic products including beer were
barred from advertising. They were our biggest financial
backer. But I should mention that the bands who are
serious about their music are still organising and
playing gigs as regularly as they can. And that is
Q: What’s the band’s main musical influences? Do you
gather inspiration from different genres?
We’re a Melodic Death Metal band and we are influenced
by other Melo-Death bands, which include; Dark
Tranquillity, At the Gates, Arch Enemy, Carcass and
Opeth. Beyond the genre we are highly influenced by such
early greats as Iron Maiden, Rush, Motorhead, Celtic
Frost and Death among many others. And in reply to your
question regarding being influenced by other genres,
well yeah to a certain extent, I think everyone is, even
though most wouldn’t accept it.
Q: Tell us about the gig today
Well it’s a very special gig. Especially because it’s
the first metal gig of the year and second because,
today we hope to launch the Sri Lankan Heavy Metal
Compilation. It starts at 4 p.m. Taking the stage in
addition to us will be Psycadelic/Doom rockers Karmic
Sulphur, Prog/Thrash act Merlock, Sludge band Cannabis
and our brother band Funeral in Heaven, Sri Lanka’s Hela
Black Metal giants. To make the gig even more memorable,
now defunct Siblings of Hatred has reformed to play a
one-off set. It’s going to be too much to handle.
Q: Sohan, do you miss your (long) hair when head banging
Yeah I do. No question. But you know it’s a change and I
am embracing it. But I plan on growing it back. But for
now I’m liking it.
A valuable handbook for couples
SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKE A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY LAST – A
Guide For Intended And Married Couples
By Gerard Dilhan Muttukumaru
Review by Celine Nilanthi Arasaratnam, Counselor, Family
Services, Sri Lanka
Available at Barefoot, Odel, Godage
reading, I expected this to be just another book on the
subject of ‘Surviving a marriage.’ However as I began to
read, I found it extremely difficult to put it aside.
The writing is simple and the contents undoubtedly come
from the author’s heart, rising through his own
experiences. It goes without saying that “experience is
the best teacher!”
book covers a comprehensive study and analysis of the
different aspects of marriage, the inevitable problems
and gives light to dealing with such situations.
chapters, ‘The celebration of life and marriage,’ and
going onto subjects like ‘It takes two to tango,’ ‘Being
best friends,’ ‘Never argue,’ ‘Respect for each other’
etc. cover a wide area of living a happy married life.
personal reflection and discussions between the two
partners given at the end of each chapter is a wonderful
guide, not only to prospective marriage partners, but
especially to those who are married and seek enrichment
in their marriages.
chapter on ‘The problem with religion’ is quite an eye
opener, especially the questions for personal reflection
given at the end of it.
chapter on ‘Sex and marriage’ deals with a very
realistic view of the problems in our culture. The
suggestions given at the end of the chapter are critical
for the pre-marital stage and something that all parents
should consider before making a decision to end a
marriage due to sexual incompatibility or discord.
writer clearly indicates in his introduction, ‘Western
or American cultural invasion in Asia has indeed been an
influence on couples of different cultures.’
collection of case studies given in the final chapter
highlights this fact. The story of Deshika from Sri
Lanka is a common one in Sri Lanka where many women
suffer silently, wanting to be loved but unable to
achieve it. The traumatic experiences she has undergone
through loss of love and even abuse, is the very reason
she refuses to recognise the possibility of finding
fulfilment in her second marriage.
afraid to trust her new husband and open her heart out
completely to him. She finds comfort in trying to help
others instead of looking into her own situation.
Thereby she misses out not only on the chance of finding
happiness in her marriage, but ends up neglecting her
in the story of George and Clara from the USA, it is not
unusual to see people immersed in religion, not so much
out of faith, but simply as a means of finding comfort,
when they do not find it in their own marriage. Instead
of trying to look into the depths of the problem in the
marriage, we see people being led into escapism through
was also very encouraging to read how the writer has
recognised the impact of stress at work, on marriage,
family and work performance.
person who has taught and counselled individuals,
managers and executives from virtually every corner of
the world, the author has some knowledge of the impact
of their personal and family lives on the workplace and
their individual work performance.”
work performance of the employee, who is pressurised and
depressed in his work, drops drastically. Meanwhile he
comes home to face further challenges such as financial
difficulties, lack of time for recreation, socialising
and is unable to spend quality time with his spouse and
this affects not only his work performance in his
career, but also his family relationships. The author,
having recognised the danger of this situation has
clearly addressed the management gurus with respect to
this problem, in this chapter.
concise but comprehensive book is well written in a very
simple form and is worth its value. I would definitely
recommend it to parents, married couples, those
intending to be married, organisational heads and
managers, doctors, counsellors and in fact almost every
individual. It would be a valuable handbook to possess.
I would also recommend couples to regularly assess their
relationship with the aid of the personal reflections
and discussion topics given at the end of each chapter.
heartily congratulate Gerard Muttukumaru on compiling
this book which I consider a great achievement on his
part, and a gift to society as a whole.
Excellence competes at Jetwing Accommodation Challenge
Hyacinth Gunewardene, General Manager The Beach is seen
with Alex Edirisinghe, General Manager, Blue Oceanic
Hotel and Resident Manager of The Beach, Imran Naufal
during the Accommodation Challenge held on tuesday. Nine
Jetwing hotels participated in the challenge which was
aimed at picking out the best of the best.
25 years of public speaking
Toastmastering for Teenagers
Celebrating 25 years of public speaking leadership in
Sri Lanka, The Colombo Toastmasters Club announced the
award of charter to The Colombo Toastmasters Gavel Club
by Toastmasters International, Inc., USA. The Colombo
Toastmasters Gavel Club was extended by The Colombo
Toastmasters Club to create opportunities for teenagers
and young adults to gain the benefits of public speaking
and leadership skills which are taught at the Gavel Club
Colombo Toastmasters Gavel Club consists of young people
from diverse backgrounds and different ethnicities,
representing different educational establishments. The
club meets every first and third Tuesday of the month to
develop its members’ communication and leadership
skills. Those interested in joining the Gavel Club can
call Chanil on 077-315-8595, Janith on 077-652-4164, or
email at ColomboTMGavelClub@gmail.com.
Commenting on the charter award, Colombo Toastmasters
Gavel Club President Chanil de Silva, explained,
“Effective oral communication is essential for success
in life. Some are natural communicators and find it
easier to acquire these skills than others. But it is a
skill in which everyone can improve. As our power to
communicate improves our self-confidence grows and our
relationships with others improve and deepen.
that it takes is patience, preparation, an open mind to
receive constructive feedback, the ability to learn from
others and one’s own mistakes, the courage to try, a lot
of practice, a sense of humour, and perseverance. And
for those who find oral communication easy there is
always room for improvement.”
President, The Colombo Toastmasters Club, Yukthi
Gunasekera, observed, “The Gavel Club paves the way for
a generation of new leaders not only with the ability to
express themselves clearly, sincerely, and convincingly,
but the Gavelliers’ experience also gives our future
leaders the power to communicate with others
effectively, develop their thinking faculties, be open
to new ideas, listen actively to others, acquire a vast
store of general knowledge, develop an interest in
current affairs, further enhance their vocabulary,
inspire an active imagination, connect with any
audience, and build self confidence and poise.
short, the Gavel Club provides the ‘ingredients of
success’ to our future leaders. We are delighted to
receive the charter in our silver jubilee year. The
founding of the Gavel Club also fits in perfectly with
our theme for this year: ‘The Colombo Toastmasters Club
— creating people of value for our nation’s progress.’”