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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Merlock Rocks!

Merlock is a death-defying band who couples dynamic metal music with finer elements of thrash and progressive beats. Witnessing their performance at this year's TNL ONSTAGE horn-locker, they clinched the title of second place out of the band competition. Their electrifying track 'Crimson Skies' not only whacked the audience into a frenzy but also won the title of Best Original song.

The rockheads Merlock comprise of Sajith Ranasingha on rhythm guitar with talented lead guitar cum vocalist Dumidu Handakumbura. Niroshan Decosta smashes the drums with super power and Dimuthu Fernanado (a.k.a Dimu) manages the bass guitar with skill and ease. The band was formerly a trio known as Leech initially starting in 2005 with former member Tharindu Jayasingha.

It is identified that Merlock addresses themes of human nature and war focusing on the darker side of humanity. Their influences include Killswitch Engage, Children of Bodom, Panthera, Trivium, Megadeath, Iron Maiden, Nevermore, Dream Theatre and many more which is too much to list. However, local metal maniacs Stigmata also have a significant influence for which Dumidu recollects, "I remember watching Tenny and Suresh of Stigmata rock the stage at STC and wishing to be just like them".

The dudes all had sure-fire music spirit in them and by banding together at their alma mater St. Thomas' college, Dumidu reminisces, "Sajith and I picked up the guitar one summer and we started jamming", he goes on to mention that, "When we actually went out to look for a drummer, we found Niroshan who was a batch younger than us at STC".

They first started on an alternative note and played rock upon initial start-up performing to "get the ladies" the dudes mention amusedly. Then they ripped the metal industry full force by 2006 end, graduating from alternative to more mind-boggling sounds of fastidious metal.

Dumidu talks about brainstorming the name, "When we started playing metal, we thought it was best to change out band name and after looking for a name for while, we thought that Merlock sounded cool". However, Dumidu emphasizes that the name of the band shouldn't matter because it's their music that gives you the idea. Pointing out the bands, he says, "Once a band establishes themselves, their band name automatically speaks".

'Crimson Skies' was written by Dumidu who points out about the inspiration, "The song is about how men oppress and ill-treat women and it highlights the torment that women go through". The cover of their EP depicts an innocent woman angel weeping and crying leaning against the side of the wall.

Even though music remains their first passion, Dumidu and Sajith are studying IT at leading colleges while Dimuthu and Niroshan who have undertaken ALs and will decide what career they will embark on once their results are known.

When asking about family support, Dumidu acknowledges his parents especially his mother saying that, "Mom is very supportive and she helps us out a lot especially with the studio because thanks to her, we get to practice everyday at my place for free."

In addition to that, Merlock acknowledges everyone who has supported them every step of the way. "Everyone has been really nice to us especially Razor who is helping us out with our band's official website" emphasizes Dumidu.

The band also thanks TNL who have not only extended valuable support during ONSTAGE but even before that and especially the "Lovely Ladies" who have been more than kind to cheer these guys all the way. They acknowledge Rock Company highlighting that any upcoming band should start and obtain advice from them.

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