After Chip's post on '90s Krishnacore I thought of Agni Hotra and how good they were. So I decided to post their releases (at least the ones I know of, and own). Agni Hotra was a Krishna-conscious band from Poland in the mid to late '90s. I got their releases through a Polish friend and was, and still am, quite into them. They went through some stylistic changes, not to mention starting out with a male singer and ending with a female singer. But they maintained a high level throughout their releases.
The 'Protect Your Friends' demo from 1995 kicks things off the right way. Upbeat hardcore, great songs, lotsa enthusiasm and sweet back-up vocals. A really good demo, and the title-track rules. The last track goes into a long recording of a group of Krishna's chanting and after that the band does the intro for 'Warriors' (by UK punk/oi band Blitz, tho among the hardcore community better known by the cover Judge did). Unfortunately it fades out so I'm not sure why this was added to the end, but maybe they used to do this cover at their live shows. Either way, this demo is good stuff for sure!
Their first album 'Govinda', from 1996, continued the sound from the demo and added some new sounds to it. To me, this is the least of their releases, since it sounds at times like the band was searching for a new sound but couldn't quite get there yet. Nonetheless, the album is pretty good and the re-recording of 'Protect Your Friends' is great, and the cover of Minor Threat's 'Straight Edge' is pretty decent. But I wish they had taken some more time to work on these songs, this album could've been so much better.
It took them until 2000 to have another album released, called 'Krsna'. At this point a girl had taken over vocal duties, and they had changed their style completely. And to me, while I like their older stuff, this CD is what separated Agni Hotra from other bands. It took me a while to get into, but damn, it's g-o-o-d. I'm sure a lot of people from Poland back in the day will disagree with me, but this is their best release as far as I'm concerned. It's softer at times tho not soft like Baby Gopal, it is quite layered, the female vocals are mostly soft but still compliment even the harder tracks very well... I can't think of any band that sounds like this Agni Hotra incarnation. Give it a chance!
I couldn't find a site or myspace for Agni Hotra, but here's a 'video' for the title-track of their demo:
Agni Hotra - Protect Your Friends demo
Agni Hotra - Govinda CD
Agni Hotra - Krsna CD