17 years of Oniket Prantor – Bangladesh’s definitive rock anthem

On this day in 2006, progressive rock and metal band Artcell released their second studio album, Oniket Prantor. With 10 tracks clocking in at 71 minutes, the album quickly became the defining face of the band's discography. Throughout these past two decades, Oniket Prantor has continued to soar in popularity, with several of these tracks eventually becoming cult classics and rock n roll essentials.

However, the album's title track "Oniket Prantor" has seen a far more stratospheric rise in popularity, essentially cementing itself as an entire subculture among Bangladeshi listeners, so to speak.

The 16-minute-long epic that roughly translates to "no man's land" speaks of an uninhabited sanctuary that resides between the borders of two countries. It is an introspective piece with haunting lyrics that can be interpreted in many different ways. Some may take it to be a song about human isolation and the vastness of the entire universe, while some may take it as an elegy to past relationships. 

Either way, the lyrics are complemented and elevated through the band's musical risks and rich, energetic composition that speak for themselves. 

For a song almost twenty minutes in length, it doesn't feel stale for even a second. It starts off with a clean, emotionally wailing intro and speeds up with powerful drum and bass lines. Energetic riffs and a thunderous guitar solo make for a perfect transition from bridges to the chorus section, thus keeping the audience on their feet throughout the song.

I still remember the first time I listened to "Oniket Prantor" as a teenager whose listening habits were shaped by popular bands like Metallica, Europe, and Iron Maiden at the time. The song was unlike anything I had heard before, because all the different progressions felt like a melting pot of musical genius. To this day, I don't have a favourite section in the song, because every transition feels equally important and well-made, which is a testament to the band's writing.

Considering all these factors, it isn't a surprise that this song has so much history and love behind it, even after 17 years. For thousands of fans, "Oniket Prantor" has been a perfect foray into the world of prog rock and alt metal, and will continue to do so for many years to come. This is why it would not be amiss to say that this song is one of a kind in Bangladesh's band music history. 

Ayaan immerses himself in dinosaur comics and poorly-written manga. Recommend your least favourite reads at [email protected]