Bangladeshi rock Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangladeshi_rock

Bangladeshi Rock Music or Bangla Rock Music is a style of music in Bangladesh that is derived from British and American rock music, mixed with Bengali classical and adhunik music from the 1960s. Rock music was introduced in the 1960s by a few bands who began developing a distinctive rock sound of Bangladesh. It is often designated as "band music." Bangladeshi rock is commonly divided into two categories; the "East Pakistan" rock scene, and the "Bangladesh" rock scene. From the 1970s to the 2000s, it was one of the nation's most popular musical genres.

From the mid-1970s to the late 1990s, Bangladeshi rock was heavily influential in the development of various kinds of fusion in South Asia like folk rock, pop rock, hard rock and heavy metal. Bangladeshi rock bands during this era developed a very distinct sound, with the most popular bands commonly featuring keyboards. In the 2000s, several subgenres of Bangladeshi heavy metal music emerged on the scene, including thrash, death and progressive. From the 2000s to 2010s, additional genres developed, including art, psychedelic, post-grunge, progressive and alternative rock. Though considered by some to be in decline during the 2010s, the Bangladeshi rock music scene still produced a few hugely popular, boundary-pushing bands.

Rock and roll (1960s to mid-1980s)[edit]


The foundations of Bangladeshi rock were formed in the 1950s American rock and roll and in Bengali classical music. In the 1960s, the Gramophone Company of Pakistan imported many LP and singles of rock and roll artists like Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and the Hollies, which sold very well in Bangladesh. These artists were favored mostly by the high school and college students in Bangladesh. Drawing influences from the 1950s and 1960s rock and roll artists, Bangladeshi bands formed to introduce a new kind of music in the country. Hence, mid-1960s Bangladeshi rock music was influenced by and developed a sound that was very similar in beat to the British Invasion and in the late 1960s, to that of psychedelic rock.

There is much debate as to who was the first 'rock' band in the country. Zinga, formed in 1963 in Chittagong is the first contender, but their music was more like adhunik and did not have the rock and roll sound. Zinga, formed by Shafaat Ali, introduced guitar, drums and piano to the classical music-loving generation, and many people found the innovation exciting. Zinga was also the first to perform Tagore songs with guitar and piano on East Pakistan TV (now BTV).[1] It has been argued that the Windy Side of Care was the first rock band of the country formed in 1964 in Dhaka; that year, they started performing songs of Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard in the clubs and hotels. They were also the first band to advertise themselves as psychedelic rock. Their self-titled debut album also featured raga rock song "Raag Bageshri".[2] In 1968, Zinga released their first song Tomari Jiboney which became very popular as it was aired on Shadhin Bangla Betar and East Pakistan TV a lot.[1] Shafaat Ali is considered to be the first singer-songwriter of Bangladesh. From the late 1960s, inspired by the Beatles, Zinga became interested in the singer-songwriter concept. Though the song propelled the band, it failed to capture the rock and roll sound. Insex Dui was an American-Bangladeshi band that performed American and British psychedelic rock music in the 1960s. Formed by American students living in Dhaka, they had a completely different sound than the other rock bands of the decade.[3]

Before becoming a successful Dhallywood actor Zafar Iqbal was a singer in a band named the Rambling Stones formed in 1966.[4] Other rock bands of the 1960s included Ugly Phases, Fire in Ice and Time Ago Motion. None of these bands released an album.

"The Concert for Bangladesh"[edit]

Trade ad for Harrison's "Bangla Desh" single, August 1971

As East Pakistan struggled to become the separate state of Bangladesh during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, the political and military turmoil and associated atrocities led to a massive refugee problem,[5] with at least 7 million displaced people pouring into neighbouring India.[6] Appalled at the situation affecting his homeland and relatives,[7][8] Bengali musician Ravi Shankar first brought the issue to the attention of his friend George Harrison in the early months of 1971, over dinner at Friar Park, according to Klaus Voormann's recollection.[9][10]

The shows were held at 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm on Sunday, 1 August 1971 in Madison Square Garden. It featured a supergroup of performers that included Harrison fellow-ex Beatle Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and the band Badfinger. In addition, Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, both of whom had ancestral roots in Bangladesh, performed an opening set of Indian classical music. The concerts were attended by a total of 40,000 people, and the initial gate receipts raised close to $250,000 for Bangladesh relief, which was administered by UNICEF. After collecting the musicians easily, Harrison found it extremely difficult to get the recording industry to release the rights for performers to share the stage, and millions of dollars raised from the album and film were tied up in IRS tax escrow accounts for years, but the Concert for Bangladesh is recognized as a highly successful and influential humanitarian aid project, generating both awareness and considerable funds as well as providing valuable lessons and inspiration for projects that followed, such as Live Aid.[11][12]

The Concert for Bangladesh was the first-ever benefit concert in history. The concerts were followed by a bestselling live album,[13] a boxed three-record set, and Apple Films' concert documentary, which opened in cinemas in the spring of 1972. The live album topped the chart in many countries and went on to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1973. The album had a big impact on Bangladeshi rock music in the early days, especially on Azam Khan. He along with his band Uccharon made their greatest song "Bangladesh (Rail Liner Oi Bostite)", inspired by George Harrison.


Most of the bands from the 1960s did not become that successful and disbanded after the war in 1971. Some musicians went abroad or some of them formed new bands. Bands like Uccharon and Spondan were formed. And they were responsible for taking Bangladeshi rock to a new level, to a new crowd. Writing songs about poverty, the struggles of the people in a newborn country, romance, and the famine. Their songwriting and on-stage performance were more improved than the bands of the 1960s.[14]

The first band of the independent Bangladesh are the Underground Peace Lover (UPL), formed in 1972 in Dhaka.[15] Uccharon were the biggest band of that era in South Asia. Inspired by the 1960s rock music and some Hindustani classical musician, their frontman Azam Khan, a freedom fighter, introduced the hippie fashion. With his long hair, bell-bottom jeans, powerful lyrics, and open-air concerts, Khan cemented himself as a pop culture phenomenon.[16] He was also a renowned protest singer during the war. He inspired the soldiers during training with his songs. Their first song, "Hai Allah Re!" became a big hit in 1973, after its release. "Bangladesh" a song released by the band in 1975 was a protest song and inspired many bands to write songs about the struggle of the poor.[17] Later, Rocket, stated as the 'best guitarist of Bangladesh in the history of the country,' joined the band.[18] They had more major hit songs in the decade including "Ami Jare Chaire" (1975), "Ashi Ashi Bole Tumi" (1977) and "Papri Keno Bojhena" (1978).

On the other hand, Spondan was a band mostly doing classical folk songs. Their first line up consisted of Nasir Ahmed Apu rock singer, songwriter of Spondan, Firoz Shai folk-rock vocals, Ferdous Wahid vocals, Aftab Kamal vocals, Larry Burnaby (lead guitar), Jerry French (lead guitar), Happy Akhand (keyboard), Shahedul Huda (drums), Syed Jaglul Ali (rhythm guitar), Younus (rhythm guitar), and Musa Rahman (bass guitar). The founder of Spondan was Mansur Ahmed Nipu and the chief adviser was Sheikh Kamal. Nasir Ahmed Apu was the rock singer and only lyrics writer and music composer of Spondan, pioneer of Bangla pop/rock, and reinvented Bangla folk music. They became one of the most popular rock bands during the 1970s. One of the songs off that album, "Emon Ekta Maa Dena", briefly became the most popular song in Bangladesh. They were the first to mix traditional Bangla folk songs with western musical instruments. Sheikh Kamal died in 1975. The band disbanded for that year. They are the first one in Bangladesh, to perform Lalon geeti as a band, which later inspired many bands of the 2000s and 2010s. Their debut album, Spondan Bangladesh released in 1975 was the best-selling album of the decade, as told by Bichitra. As in the United States a decade prior, where rock music helped change cultural values about race, religion, and sexuality, Bangladeshi rock, and roll—dominated by Uccharon—showed people that a different life was possible.[16] The protest songs of Uccharon inspired many bands of the 1980s and 1990s to write songs against the autocrat government.

Pop rock[edit]

Souls were the most successful band from the pop rock genre. From L-R: Sazedul Alam (bass guitar), Subrata Barua Ronny (drums), Tapan Chowdhury (lead vocals), Shahedul Alam (electric guitars) and Naquib Khan (keyboards and vocals).

In the mid-1970s Bangladesh a flourishing culture of groups emerged, sometimes from the declining early rock and roll scene, mostly in Chittagong and Dhaka. There were twenty to thirty bands in these two cities playing in clubs, hotels, and halls. Most of these bands were influenced by the British Invasion, Adhunik music and the early rock and roll scene in Bangladesh.[19]

The Akhand Brothers Band was often called the first pop-rock band in the country. With their timeless songs like "Abar Elo Je Shondha" (1972), "Ke Bashi Bajai Re" (1974), and "Neel Neel Shari Porey" (1978), these two brothers, Lucky and Happy Akhand had cemented themselves as one of the best singer-songwriters and producers of the country.[20] They had helped almost every successful band and artists like Ferdous Wahid, Kumar Bishwajit, Ayub Bachchu and James, throughout the late -the 70s and the -80s. Pop-rock music was led by the Chittagong-based rock band Souls. After their first single "Mon Shudhu Mon Chuyeche" came out in 1980, the band was appreciated by the older rock bands and they released their debut album two years later named, Super Souls, making them one of the best bands in the country. Just like Souls, a band from Mohammadpur, Dhaka named Shocking Blue were also doing pop-rock music, writing romantic songs. Though not considered a rock band by many critics, Feedback was successful during the decade, used keyboards as a lead instrument, and had a more techno sound than any earlier band. Inspired by Azam Khan, they imitated hippie fashions, wrote songs to change the cultural values of Bangladesh, and were often political.[21] Miles' self titled debut album, released in 1982, was the first all-English album in the country. It only featured two original songs by the band.

Most 1970s bands disbanded because of their vocalists' prominence. But, in the 1980s, members maintained cohesion and continued to release hit singles and albums into the 1990s.

Development (late 1980s to mid 1990s)[edit]

Blues rock[edit]

In parallel with Bangladeshi pop-rock music, some musicians were introducing blues as it was a much newer genre to many people. Guitarist of Souls, Ayub Bachchu released two albums as a solo artist and quite didn't get the blues very right. In fact for some people, it wasn't even blues-rock. Inspired by the American and British blues rock, Feelings (now Nagar Baul) from Chittagong, had also released two successful blues-rock albums, Station Road (1987), Jail Theke Bolchi (1993). They were trying to get rock music out of the Adhunik music influence and trying to imitate the sound of the 1970s roots rock bands like: Eagles, Dire Straits, etc. A number of bands and artists followed the blues-rock music of Feelings, such as: Love Runs Blind, who later went on to become one of the best bands in the country.[22] This type of music led Bangladeshi rock to a different kind of subgenres emerging from it, like psychedelic rock and hard rock. One of the most important psychedelic rock bands from that era was Nova.[23] Though the impact of the blues-rock bands has declined since then. There has been a renewed interest in the genre, when Ayub Bachchu released his instrumental blues album Sounds of Silence (2007), which influenced several young guitarists but didn't get much popularity.[24][14] In 2017, Bachchu initiated the Dhaka Jazz and Blues Festival, where blues and jazz musicians from many countries were invited.[25]

Pop and hard rock[edit]

Ayub Bachchu from LRB, on stage in 2008.

Bands from the 1980s continued their success along with the new bands of the 1990s. Though from the 1960s to 1980s, the best rock bands were formed in Chittagong, it transferred to Dhaka in the 1990s, as bands from Chittagong also came up to the city for better studio services and success. The 1990s is sometimes considered the most productive phase in Bangladeshi music history.[26] Rock music became the most popular genre in the country as the bands have proved themselves to be much better artists than the Adhunik music artist. From the 1990s, it was common to divide mainstream rock into pop and hard rock. Pop-rock got more popularity than the previous decades as fan-favorite bands like Souls[citation needed] and Feedback, whose frontman Maqsoodul Haque established the Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (BAMBA) in 1987.[27] The platform was formed to arrange a three-day charity concert at the Sheraton Hotel. The aim was to raise funds to help victims of the devastating flood in Bangladesh that year. Around ৳250,000 was raised, all of which was donated for the rehabilitation of flood victims.[28] BAMBA, throughout the 90s, had organized many successful concerts that helped many bands with their career. New successful acts included Ark, Different Touch and Winning. Ark released a string of hit singles, "Sweety", "Ekaki" and "Jare Ja", that formed a new pop-rock sensation in the rock music scene. Along with Ark, the pop-rock scene was celebrated the whole decade as it remained the most popular rock genre even after two decades of introduction in the country. The decline of the genre was mainly because of many bands adopting a more pop sound influenced by Michael Jackson[29] and many bands also disbanded due to less success and personal problems between the band members.

In contrast, hard rock was more influenced by the 1960s psychedelic rock, blues rock and the 1970s Bangladeshi rock artists. The most successful and influential band from psychedelic rock was Nova.

The most successful band from the blues-rock genre was LRB,[30] who went on to release several best-selling albums in the decade. Ayub Bachchu the vocalist and electric guitarist of the band, is considered to be the greatest guitarist of Bangladesh and the one of the first to introduce the use of distortion.[31] Some of the 80s bands were also becoming interested in the genre as its popularity grew, Feedback and Souls had some hard rock numbers in their albums around the year 1993–6.

Drawing influence from the 1980s American soft rock, the genre found its way to Bangladesh during the mid-1990s. It wasn't very popular during the decade but was enjoying success for a few years between 1998 and 1999. Paper Rhyme released its self-titled debut album in 1996 and was praised by many contemporary musicians because of their decade-defining song "Ondhokar Ghore", which is one of the most covered songs in Bangladesh. The genre was getting lost as soon as Paper Rhyme disbanded in the early 2000s.

Heavy metal[edit]

With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock and the British heavy metal bands of the 1970s, heavy metal was introduced in Bangladesh in the mid- 80s by several bands formed by high school and college students. The bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, powerful sound, characterized by overt rhythmic basslines, highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness.[32]

The Bangladeshi heavy metal songwriters, inspired by the lyrics of Azam Khan, wrote songs about anti-establishment, against the autocrat government and about people's right.[17] The four pioneering metal bands in Bangladesh are: Rockstrata, Warfaze, In Dhaka and Aces. But the first band to perform heavy metal songs in Bangladesh was Waves. The mixed album Hooray released in 1992 had mostly contained heavy metal numbers and was "the most important thing that Bangladeshi heavy metal needed", by many heavy metal musicians of the next decade. Throughout the 1990s, heavy metal was criticized very hard for the loudness and protest lyrics and was inspiring the future generation in the genre. Warfaze was the leader of the heavy metal scene in the 1990s, with their popularity they helped in the rise of heavy metal bands in the 2000s.[33] Many subgenres emerged in the Bangladeshi music scene in the 2000s and 2010s, such as thrash metal, progressive metal and death metal. Cryptic Fate, who released the first all-English heavy metal album in the country, Ends are Forever in 1994, was also part of the 1990s heavy metal scene. Their sound was often similar to British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Though it was a very important subgenre of rock, besides pop rock and hard rock, many heavy metal bands didn't get the same popularity as Warfaze, and most of them disbanded the same decade. Heavy metal reached its peak of commercial popularity in the period 1997–8, before many acts moved off in a variety of directions, including Warfaze and Cryptic Fate, who began to develop neo-classical metal and thrash metal respectively.

New subgenres (late 1990s to mid 2000s)[edit]

Folk rock[edit]

Dalchhut performing at an AIUB concert in 2007

Bangladeshi rock bands wanted to prove their respect for the classical and folk music of the country to the classical music lovers, musicians, and critics from the beginning. Following Azam Khan,[34] Bangladeshi rock band the Windy Side of Care and Spondon, the folk-rock music came back when Dalchhut proved their respect and ability to do folk songs as a rock band in Bangladesh, with their first three albums Ah (1997), Hridoypur (2000) and Akashchuri (2002).[35] Aurthohin, was formed mainly as a heavy metal band, but composed folk-rock hits like: "Adbhut Shei Cheleti" and "Amar Protichhobi". Frontman Saidus Salehin Sumon also composed folk-rock songs as a solo artist, his debut solo album Sumon O Aurthohin was one of the first folk-rock albums in the country. Aurthohin's first few records are considered to be the first pure folk-rock records in Bangladesh as they used rock instruments in their songs.

Folk-rock music gradually changed in the mid-2000s, when Bangla started composing Lalon songs as a band. The Lalon-inspired folk-rock began when they released their debut album Kingkortobbobimurho in 2002. Their attitude toward the conservative Bangladeshi people impacted the teenagers and along with many bands of that era, they were protesting against the conservative religious leaders and politicians. Many bands started covering Lalon geeti as they felt the need of spirituality through his philosophy and drugs. Lalon Band and Arnob, etc. are some successful artists who performed Lalon songs. Even renowned rock musician Ayub Bachchu was inspired to do folk songs by these bands and released Vatir Gane Matir Tane (2006), an Abdul Alim cover album. The folk-rock scene later influenced successful bands like Chirkutt and Shironamhin, who were experimenting with many rock genres, mainly with classical, rock, and folk.

With an indiscriminate history, it was not very clear to tell what was the most perfect decade for Bangladeshi rock, which led to a feud between musicians Saidus Salehin Sumon and Ayub Bachchu. It began in the early 2000s, after Aurthohin's first release when Ayub Bachchu said "Aurthohin is a good band, but their music has no role behind the development of Bangladeshi rock music". Bachchu also warned people about Amadergaan.com was selling music online, which was bad for the music industry. He made the comment when he came to learn at one stage of the interview that Sumon had always made the allegation that Ayub Bachchu himself never promotes any newcomer or gives them any room in the industry.[36]

Alternative music[edit]

Throughout the 1990s, American and British alternative bands were influencing several young bands in Bangladesh, which were clearly found in the late 1990s and early 2000s alternative rock. Alternative bands fused elements of hardcore punk and heavy metal into a single sound, and made heavy use of guitar distortion, fuzz, and feedback. The lyrics were typically apathetic and angst-filled, and often wrote songs about political hypocrisy, identity crisis and war criminals of Bangladesh.

Around 1998, Wire, Kopropholia, Clover Minds, and the Spanking Monkeys began playing alternative rock in Dhaka. These Alternative bands with their distinctive sound and casual fashion didn't enjoy too much success in the late -90s.[37] Bands from the alternative scene still remains popular throughout the country, but few successful bands from the genre broke and started popularizing genres such as nu metal and post-grunge.[38]


Arnob pictured in 2012, while performing in Dallas, Texas.

Experimental rock is the mixture of rock with classical music of different cultures. The first experimental rock in Bangladesh is thought to be started by Arnob in the mid-'00s. Experimental bands in Bangladesh sometimes used distortion in electric guitar, along with multiple instruments of different culture like: sitar, esraj, tabla, harmonium and flute. The artists of this genre usually write songs based on romanticism and their lyrics are often considered to be poetic.

Arnob with his visual arts education from Visva Bharati University and Shironamhin with their poetic songs began to develop Bangladeshi rock in an artistic manner and soon got huge success as both artists sold half a million copies of their albums and were soon being considered one of the greatest of the decade. Most of Arnob's early works were considered to be folk or some kind of fusion, his most experimental album was Arnob & Friends Live (2009), which contained songs from his world tour in 2008. Arnob and Shironamhin, these two artists were also the first to release a Rabindra sangeet album as rock artists. Shironamhin released Shironamhin Rabindranath in 2010 and Arnob released Adheko Ghume in 2012.[39][40] Before this scene, Bangladeshi rock musicians neither did feel the need of being artistic or being philosophical. These particular artists were somehow inspiring the generation along with folk-rock musicians in starting a cultural movement in the country to protest against the conservatism of religious leaders and politicians. The popularity of experimented music still remains but, the artists have gone in different directions, with Arnob taking a break from music and Shironamhin who went on to release alternative metal songs. Chirkutt are the only band doing experimental rock in the 2010s. They tour heavily, mostly perform in stadiums and they also have developed the arena rock along with other bands like Arbovirus and Nemesis. Though many young people had lost interest in the genre in the early -10s, there has been a renewed interest in the genre.

New millennium (late 2000s to mid 2010s)[edit]

Progressive and experimental metal[edit]

Artcell was the most important and most popular band from the progressive metal genre.

During the mid -00s folk and alternative rock scene, few progressive metal bands were forming and performing in club shows in Dhaka. The progressive metal bands were inspired by the 90s heavy metal and 00s experimental rock bands. They developed a sound out of heavy metal, playing heavier riffs, faster basslines and double bass drumming, mixing with experimental rock. Their lyrics typically highlight anger about social injustice and hypocrisy and also write philosophical songs with softer tones.

Artcell was the band leading this genre and is responsible for popularizing it. Their first two studio albums, Onno Shomoy (2002) and Oniket Prantor (2006) have had a big influence in the 2010s heavy metal scene of Bangladesh than their predecessors. The theme that Artcell used in their songwriting has impacted and changed the band music of Bangladesh. Alternative metal band Vibe also had a few progressive metal numbers in their album, Chena Jogot in 2007. By the end of the decade, Artcell had stopped releasing albums, which caused the decline of progressive metal and the increasing popularity of symphonic metal and experimental metal. Both of these genres are derived from prog-metal. Symphonic metal and experimental of the 2010s were mainly making prog-metal, but with more orchestration and keyboards. Successful bands from this genre included, De-illumination,[41] Warfaze's late -00s and early -10s work, Sazzad Arefeen's Angry Machine. Hallucination & Ionic Bond, the latter mainly being the two melodic death metal bands. Hallucination being the pioneer of melodic death metal in Bangladesh released their full-length debut album "Krittim Prithibi in 2013. That was the first Bengali melodic Death metal album in the country. Hallucination's album was the first album in Bangladesh which could be purchased via the Bkash payment system. Later on, this album was also released internationally by satanic productions". Later on Ionic bond released their debut album "Amavashya Lore" which was widely accepted by Bangladeshi audiences despite being an English album. Ionic bond took the melodic death metal scene in Bangladesh to new heights. While rock music is still heavily heard throughout the country, a budding indie scene started to flourish in smaller concert arenas. Bands like The Crowd, Picket, Embers in Snow, Alfred, 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. These artists stray away from their hard rock and metal predecessors and venture into fresh and independent music territory. During the early 2010s, the Bangladesh Musical Bands Association (BAMBA) and the Chittagong Musical Bands Association (CMBA) began organizing rock concerts in the city,[42] which gave exposure to local underground bands. This resulted in the emergence of new rock bands in the city, such as Hemorrhage and Blunderware.[43]

The Bangladeshi music scene has been changed a lot for a couple of years. Many progressive metal and experimental metal bands have come up with a new genre and new sound which people have not experienced before. Bands like Karnival and Owned have made an exceptional example of progressing the industry. Although the market is growing slowly, they already have created their ground. Karnival released their three successful albums; whereas Owned has given two exceptional albums to the listeners. Eclipse is one of the finest bands that have successfully moved with symphonic rock musical patterns. Following the unique trends, some bands like Messianic Era, Ossrik, Seventh Sign, Jogot, Attic; are moving forward with dedication.[44] By the end of the decade, Bangladeshi rock saw a resurgence of hard rock and alternative rock, with bands like Unmaad, the Conclusion, Adverb, and the Perfect Criminals releasing successful albums.


Many criticizers and musicians have claimed that just like the United States and United Kingdom, rock music had lost its popularity in Bangladesh during the 2010s. Partly, it has lost ground to Bollywood music from neighboring India, with its colorful power anthems celebrating life and love. Bollywood songs dominates Bangladeshi radio, and pirated versions are available online for free.[45] Bollywood music even influenced the music Dhallywood, which saw the rise of pop singers like: Arfin Rumey, Hridoy Khan, Imran Mahmudul and Armaan Alif. Meanwhile, an underground hip-hop scene has largely replaced rock as the most popular genre among the young.[46] Domestic law has also failed to protect the financial interests of the artists who once drove Bangladesh's vibrant rock scene.[47] Record industries say that just 10 percent of music in Bangladesh is purchased legally and estimate that music piracy annually costs US$180 million in lost earnings.[16][48] Increased religiosity, which rejects all things Western in favor of a traditional lifestyle, has also hurt Bangladesh's rock scene. Some young Muslims in Bangladesh even see rock music as a sin. The trend of a band's solo concert has lost its popularity,[26] as concerts like Joy Bangla Concert[49] and RockNation[50] has become popular and sells thousand of tickets easily. The solo band concert has now lost its popularity as these concerts get popular every year. Though losing its popularity, throughout the 2010s, some rock bands, such as: Love Runs Blind, Nagar Baul, Warfaze, Aurthohin, Artcell, Shironamhin and Chirkut[51] still remains heavily popular.

Extreme metal[edit]

Powersurge was the leader of the East Bengal extreme metal scene. Pictured in 2008, Saimum Hasan Nahian (left) and Samir Hafiz (right) in a concert.

Extreme metal mainly being an underground genre, got commercial success in Bangladesh in the late 2000s, when Powersurge and Mechanix took part in D-Rock Star 2008.[52] In that competition Powersurge finished in the first place and Mechanix in the second. These two bands were the main powerhouse of extreme metal of Bangladesh. With these two bands introducing thrash and groove metal to a wider range of audience, Severe Dementia had introduced death few years before them. Death metal vocals usually delivered as guttural "death growls", high-pitched screaming, complemented by downtuned, highly distorted guitars and extremely fast double bass percussion.[53] These extreme metal bands had no intention of getting commercial success, as they were all fans of the underground extreme metal of the 1980s.[54] These three bands are considered to be the pioneers of the East Bengal extreme metal. Introducing a different kind of style and sound in the Bangladeshi rock scene, these bands were criticized hardly for the horrific images in their album covers. Other important extreme metal bands in this decade include: Hallucination, Minerva, Dissector, Thrash, Trainwreck and Nafaarmaan. In 2018, Saimum Hasan Nahian, the guitarist of pioneering extreme metal band Powersurge, urged the Wacken Open Air authorities to hold a concert in Bangladesh,[55] to promote the talented metal bands of Bangladesh. The Wacken Metal Battle concert was held in the Russian Cultural Center, Dhaka where five metal bands: Karma, Ionic Bond, Torture Goregrinder, Infidel and Trainwreck took part in the competition, and the latter band was the winner.[56] They performed in the Bangalore Open Air, where they won against other metal bands from Sri Lanka, Nepal and India, which got them the ticket to the Wacken Open Air as the first Bangladeshi band.[57]

Notable bands of Bangladesh[edit]

Formed Name Genre Language City of origin
1966 The Rambling Stones Rock and roll English Dhaka
1972 Uccharon Rock and roll, pop rock Bangla Dhaka
1972 Spondan Rock and roll, folk rock Bangla Dhaka
1972 Souls Pop rock, soft rock Bangla and English Chittagong
1976 Feedback Pop rock, soft rock Bangla Dhaka
1979 Miles Pop rock Bangla and English Dhaka
1980 Nagar Baul Blues rock, hard rock Bangla and English Chittagong
1983 Winning(band) Soft Rock Bangla Dhaka
1984 Warfaze Hard rock, heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1985 Different Touch Pop rock Bangla Khulna
1985 Obscure (band) Pop rock Bangla Khulna
1985 Rock Strata Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1986 Nova Rock music, hard rock Bangla Dhaka
1991 LRB Hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal Bangla Chittagong
1991 Ark Pop rock Bangla Chittagong
1993 Cryptic Fate Heavy metal Bangla and English Dhaka
1996 Shironamhin Alternative rock, experimental metal Bangla Dhaka


1996 Dalchhut Folk rock Bangla Dhaka
1998 Aurthohin Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
1998 Black Alternative rock, grunge Bangla Dhaka
1999 Artcell Progressive metal, progressive rock Bangla Dhaka
1999 Nemesis Alternative rock Bangla and English Dhaka
1999 Bangla Madari Rock Bangla Dhaka
2000 The Watson Brothers

Alternative Rock,Soft Rock,Metal

Bangla Dhaka
2001 Stentorian Heavy metal Bangla Dhaka
2001 Vibe(band) Heavy metal, Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
2001 Lalon Band Folk rock Bangla Dhaka
2002 Arbovirus Alternative metal, nu metal Bangla Dhaka
2002 Chirkutt Experimental rock Bangla Dhaka
2006 Ashes Bangladesh Alternative Rock, Experimental Rock Bangla Dhaka
2006 De-illumination Symphonic metal Bangla Dhaka
2006 Joler Gaan folk band Bangla Dhaka
2006 Powersurge Jatrapala Metal Bangla and English Dhaka
2006 Karnival Rock,Experimental Rock Bangla Dhaka
2006 Aftermath Alternative rock,Grunge Bangla Dhaka
2007 Shunno Alternative rock, Pop rock, Pop Bangla Dhaka
2007 Owned Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
2007 Trainwreck (band) Heavy metal English Dhaka
2010 Hallucination Melodic Death Metal, Metal Core and Heavy Metal Bangla and English Dhaka
2010 Bay of Bengal (band) Experimental rock/metal Bangla Chittagong
2012 Indalo (band) Rock,Psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
2017 Avash Alternative rock Bangla Dhaka
2018 Shonar Bangla Circus Psychedelic rock Bangla Dhaka
2022 Odd Signature Alternative/Indie Bangla Chittagong

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Zinga Biography". zingagoshty.com. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  2. ^ Karim, Elita (11 October 2003). "The Windy Side of Care: Rafi Omar and Rafique M. Islam interviewed about their days as carefree boys". The Daily Star. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Noted bands rock the audience at International Convention Center". The Daily Observer. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Zafar Iqbal, an actor, musician and a freedom fighter". Dhaka Tribune. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ Lavezzoli, pp. 186–87.
  6. ^ Schaffner, p. 146.
  7. ^ Lavezzoli, pp. 186-87.
  8. ^ Eds of RS, p. 42.
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