When you take a look at Pakistani music from a surface level, all you come across are classical and folk fusion numbers. However, if you delve a bit deeper, you’d know that the scene here is pretty diverse. Rock music in particular not just exists, but has thrived in many ways, be it either on the mainstream or the indie spectrum. Over the years a number of albums of this genre have come out of the country that I am sure have had a lasting impact on many.
So without further ado here are some of the rock and metal albums to come out of Pakistan which I believe people should definitely listen to:
1. Entity Paradigm – Irtiqa
Irtiqa which literally translates into evolution, is EP’s one and only album to date. It is also one of the few concept albums to come out of Pakistan. While most of the audiences are exposed to a handful of tracks by the band such as “Hamesha” and “Waqt“, if you listen to the whole album you would understand how diverse the band actually is. My personal favorites being “Fitrat” and “Rahguzar“.
2. Mizraab – Mazi Haal Mustaqbil
Speaking of concept albums, Maazi Haal Mustaqbil (past, present and future) is also one of the few. This album actually brought metal music to the mainstream in many ways. Songs like, Meri Tarah, Insaan and Aag with their technical composition and broody lyrics will invoke an paralleled feeling.
3. Junoon – Azadi
Azadi is perhaps Junoon’s most well known albums. The band invented sufi rock and this album basically sums up what Junoon was all about.
4. Noori – Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya
Following the commercial success ‘Suno Kay Mein Hoon Jawan‘, Noori released Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jani Ki Gol Dunya. The album came out to mixed reaction with the masses still yearning for the pop rock sound of the previous one. However in my opinion this album was far complex both in terms of music and lyrics and definitely speaks of the band’s capabilities as musicians.
5. Meekal Hasan Band – Andholan
Meekal Hasan Band has delivered multiple masterpieces throughout its career . With songs that are unique blend of classical music and progressive rock, the band has set the bar quite high. Andholan is one album however which I believe takes the cake.
6. Co-Ven-Volume III Extended Play
Co-Ven’s five track EP known simply as Vol.3 is a unique experience for the listener. Just listen to the tracks and absorb every note you’ll know what I am talking about.
7. Mauj – Now In Technicolor
Omran Shafique is one of the most versatile guitar players in Pakistan. You might know him as part of the Coke Studio house band laying down sleek guitar licks over some of the most renowned numbers the show has produced. However his own band Mauj is a treat in itself and while being a great guitar player he’s one heck of a singer too.
8. Taimur Tajik – Order For Disorder
Taimur Tajik is Pakistan’s answer to Zakk Wylde. His 2013 release Order For Disorder is a no nonsense heavy metal album that would pump you up no matter what mood you’re in.
9. Odyssey – Ghosts Of Yesterday
Hard to believe that a progressive metal band from Pakistan isn’t it? Ghosts Of Yesterday is not just a great Pakistani album, it can easily go head to head with metal albums released internationally.
10. Ali Azmat – Klashinfolk
Since leaving Junoon Ali Azmat has had quite a successful music career. Klashinfolk for me at least is by far is his most solid work to date.
11. Orion – Angel Of Dust
This is some good old fashion thrash Metal with a pinch of Progressive. Every metal head in this country should definitely give this album a listen.
12. Dionysus – Hymn To The Dying
If you’re into folk and doom metal you’ll definitely love this release. Even if you aren’t at least give it a try.
13. Karavan – Gardish
When it comes to mainstream, Karavan was perhaps the most loudest bands out their. This album in particular characterized by Tanseer Dar’s vocals and Asad Ahmed’s guitar playing is an experienced to be reckoned with.
Know any other must-listen albums you know of? Share with us in the comments below.