Mute the Saint is the latest example of what I will call forced fusion, but they are certainly not the only one, and definitely not the first or last one we’ll have to endure. Forced fusion is the merger of two musical genres, or the addition of a gimmick to an already existing genre, in a rushed or shallow manner.
The first other band I can think of is M.A.N, later known as Massive Audio Nerve. They claim to be the first microtonal metal band, and I am very highly doubtful on that, with their first album released in 2007. In a weird mix of Powerman 5000 and Rammstein, they included 24 notes per octave guitar and bass, as a gimmick: as something they could say they’re the first of doing (even if I still doubt the veracity of this). The result is dreadful, but the band releasing three albums of the same thing proves just how much gimmicks can be profitable. They don’t seem to treat quarter-tones as an integral part of the music, but just as cool notes to hit, here and there, to blow the minds of impressionable teenagers.
Here’s an example of genuine microtonal metal – a band that treats each quarter-tone equally rather than just a gimmick:
Now to Mute the Saint. When I read that Rishabh – the guy who made sitar covers of popular djent songs – wanted to put together a “sitar djent” band, I was very sceptical of the outcome of this. Deservedly so, it seems, for now their first song, “The Fall of Sirius” is out. Don’t think that I’m just another hater though, because I would love to listen to an ingenious metal band with a sitar player in it; this band is just not it. First of all, the sitar is an instrument that takes a lot of space. All its harmonic sounds and overtones fill the space, and when the player doesn’t stop playing one second, there is literally no room for anything else. And it’s a good thing in this case, because we’re safe from the horrendous djent music under the decent sitar playing.
A very quick search landed me on Akhenaten‘s bandcamp. And, although it’s not great music either, the incorporation of the sitar sounds infinitely more natural:
Another one I found out is Infernal Wrath, this album is great!
In the end of the day, if it feels forced, it’s probably wrong. Turn back and start again.