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Vajra / Press

““Vajra is really something special and have managed come up with a completely new sound of metal. They bring mystical, moody and haunting melodies to the stage that are completely entrancing. Lead singer Annamaria Pinna’s voice and presence was captivating."”

“It's time to get to know Vajra.”

"Most underrated band"

“Vajra marries the sound of eastern India with the abrasive, melodic infrastructure of progressive rock. Since playing their first show in 2011, Vajra has been captivating the NYC music scene with their eyebrow raising theatrical antics and uncanny sound. [Their] live show is like a cathartic punch in the face.”

“Spellbinding. That is probably the best way to describe this astonishing debut release by Vajra,...Much of the music on Pleroma alternates between these extremes in a kind of musical yin-yang, soft and ethereal, dark and chaotic. All the while, Pinna's voice holds authority. The result is an innovative nexus of melodic prog, World beat and hypnotic Eastern vibes, delivered with dramatic panache.”

“This New York-based quintet is led by singer/keyboardist Annamaria Pinna, who formed the group while on “self-imposed exile” in India (part of this debut was recorded in Mumbai). They include Harley’s War guitarist Will Dahl, Mars Volta drummer Blake Fleming, and Dirty Pearls bassist Doug Wright. However, Vajra sounds like none of those bands. Songs such as “Inside the Flame,” “Blind,” and “The Apple” are sinister, sprawling, and stately, featuring booming, tribal drums, ominous synths, and lucent, spiraling guitars. What further sets them apart is the East Indian mysticism that pervades, thanks to Pinna’s hypnotic, Classical Hindustani-tinged singing and the presence of tabla player Turtle Jon. And even on tunes that stick closer to Western-style alterna-rock, like “Almost One” and “Erode the Will,” Pinna’s breathy, sultry voice remains captivating. (thevajratemple.com) ”

“VAJRA is a breathe of fresh are as far as music goes. The band hails from non other than New York, the melting pot of America. This doesn't surprise me at all after listening to "PLEROMA". The band was founded by Annamaria Pinna while she was living in India. She is the main composer, singer and multi-instrumentalists. Their music would probably fit into the Alternative Rock genre if you had to put it somewhere, but it's a hell of a lot more than that. They blend together exotic Middle Eastern influences with dark Modern Rock and Gothic Metal elements. The music has a really dark vibe to it, but in an upbeat sort of style. I hear so many influences all through out. There are touches of Classical, which mostly comes through in Annamaria's vocals. If you were to take parts of DEAD CAN DANCE, NINE INCH NAILS, LACUNA COIL, Sarah Brightman, SIOUSIE AND THE BANSHEES, THE GATHERING & EVANESCENCE and added in some Middle eastern sounds you get VAJRA. This was an unexpected delight!”

“My emotions went through the ringer upon completing my first listen through of ‘Pleroma,...’’ I hesitate to dub them any particular genre, because I think, in this case, you are missing the point...Vajra is a whole new beast. Vajra adds a flavoring of mainstream Evanescence gothic pop/rock with a much darker sensibility as heard in Nine Inch Nails or Ministry. The industrial musical touch never overpowers, as the group handle progressive influences and metallic hypnotism the way of Tool, A Perfect Circle, and The Cure. All this name-dropping is in an effort of helping you wrap your head around what Vajra is. They are variably inaccessible, and purposely so, but never to the point of being abrasive or too interesting to offer anything concrete....The music is undoubtedly spellbinding, but will take a bit of patience on the listener’s part to warm their ears up to what Vajra is offering. It’s a bit mysterious and a bit puzzling but always manages to keep you on your toes.”

“Expect loads of sitars, tablas and airy wind instruments of all varieties in this veritable smorgasbord of sound and emotion. Even many of the guitar riffs are repetitive like the reciting of an wordless mantra....Pinna’s voice is rarely artificialized by voice enhancers or dynamics-producers only do that to the tone-deaf with nothing meaningful to say. In this case, her vocals are axiomatically synchronous with the style of music being produced. She’s never pretentious or over-the-top to the point that you fail to believe her lyrics; she’s extremely natural with her delivery and each tremble reveals her pain or aggression....Progressive rock has rarely sounded so mesmerizing as several songs begin with-or include-meditational synth leads that sum up the band’s interest in the divine and the spiritual....The word Pleroma is defined as ‘a spiritual dwelling’ and, fittingly, Vajra transports you there and makes you feel as if you never want to return.”

“I instantly fell in love with this release. There are just some albums that send a chill up your spine and Vajra’s debut Pleroma has achieved this effect....Pleroma stands to be an audio gospel of spiritual harmony. Everything about this album took me by surprise, as I never expected such a profound sound.... For a debut it almost sounds a little too good....You just can’t get a better sounding presentation. Pinna’s voice is stunning, beautiful, and haunting....The whole album is hypnotic in the sense as I found myself completely immersed in the music, witth Pinna’s voice being the only guide. Vajra’s instrumentals do an incredible job of delivering a soundscape that projects Pinna’s fascination with eastern music....Everything about this album is fresh and exciting. I live to experience music of this calibre. Vajra’s musical career is just the beginning, and I have a feeling that their future work will be awe-inspiring.”

“Clearly this record has built a storm of excitement since its release.... I understand why-because Pleroma has left me spellbound too.... It’s breathtaking and understood only when you listen to Vajra yourself. ...the moods expressed and the instruments highlighted on each song on Pleroma range widely. ...the amount of variety on Pleroma will take you by surprise. Pinna also understands the impact of melody and the chorus, and employs that understanding throughout the album. ..., there’s the evocative "Inside The Flame." This incantation epitomizes Vajra’s sound with smoldering arrangements, chanted refrains, and layered rhythms. The lyrics hint at the seduction and danger of the enigmatic...." It’s as though Pinna’s inviting you to fully experience Pleroma while warning you of its enchantment. ...Pleroma is a snakecharmer….So if you’d like to lose yourself in rock-induced hypnosis, let Pleroma be your invitation.”

“New York four-piece Vajra’s debut album Pleroma is the most pleasant of surprises. The first track kicks in with its treble-y, melodious bass and ominous drums and you think “oh, I get it---this is Tool.” But if you wait just a few seconds, the stately vocals of lead singer Annamaria Pinna enter the fray and you realize you’re in for something different. That exciting revelation lends an energy to the album that doesn’t really let up throughout its 10 tracks and 50 minutes of listening time. Front to back, this is a solid album from a band that should have no problem carving out a path to rock-and-roll excellence...Annamaria Pinna’s impressive talent shines through clearly on this disc... For all her writing skill, though, Pinna’s voice cannot be underplayed. At its harsher moments, it recalls Shirley Manson with more attitude; in quieter, more contemplative passages, there’s an air of Patti Smith. This voice is truly the weapon that sets Vajra apart from other simi”

“I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘how on earth do I pronounce that?’ and the answer is this: shut up and listen to the damn thing! It’s in your best interests to listen to it as this 4-piece from New York certainly know their stuff....From the opening note of the opening track “Inside the Flame, the eastern influences are abundant and it honestly took me by such a surprise that I was instantly hooked….Annamaria Pinna immediately stands out as something that should be heard. Her voice goes through all the ranges on this album: soft and delicate, to sharp and powerful...Pleroma is a strong album. Vajra should be proud. …I’d definitely recommend this album. ”

“Progressive rock has rarely sounded so mesmerising as several songs begin with – or include – meditational synth leads that sum up the band’s interest in the divine and the spiritual.... The word Pleroma is defined as a spiritual dwelling and, fittingly, Vajra’s record transports you there and makes you feel as if you never want to return.” ”

““Vajra” is a Sanskrit word that means “thunderbolt” and “diamond.” Perhaps this is an attempt to place the New York-based quartet with the same name into the position of “diamond in the rough.” They have certainly etched out a unique place in the melodic metal rankings, offering a sound similar to other female-fronted groups like Lacuna Coil vocalist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Annamaria Pinna even offers some of the same tonal qualities as Cristina Scabbia or perhaps to a lesser extent, The Birthday Massacre.”

“The NYC band, Vajra, reportedly signed “a massive licensing deal” with the Discovery Network last week, giving the Network permission to play their music on the Discovery Channel, TLC, I.D. (Investigation Discovery), Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Discovery Fit & Health, Planet Green, Animal Planet and more. Annamaria Pinna of Vajra Vajra was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Annamaria Pinna while living in India. The deal is for use of the music on the band’s debut album, Pleroma, which will be released later this month (on the Summer Solstice – 6.21.12). ... The network agreement covers programming made by or for Discovery Communications, LLC (DCL)’s cable network television networks and joint venture networks and any and all future cable television networks owned in whole or in part by DCL. A spokesperson for the band noted that this is a boutique licensing arrangement DCL has with a small number of artists.”

“Vajra, in celebration of the release of their debut album 'Pleroma', is hosting an intimate listening party at The Beauty Bar in NYC on the Summer Solstice (6.21.12) at 10:30pm. DJ Bride of Wire, DJ Sean Templar and a surprise DJ will preview selected tracks from 'Pleroma' and spin a collective frenzy of tunes sure to cast a spell on all the Gods and Goddesses and transport them to a nirvanic state of consciousness.”

“Vajra blasts the airwaves with its exotic, atmospheric and ethereal new sound. The band pre-released their debut album "Pleroma" to college radio, and is receiving airplay at over 160 stations nationwide. The music is a hypnotic blend of East Indian classical and Western rock with paradoxical overtones of light and dark. In keeping with the band's mystical sound, Vajra will release the album at large on the Summer Solstice (June 21). Annamaria Pinna's powerful vocals are highlighted by Blake Fleming (ex-Mars Volta) on drums, Doug Wright (The Dirty Pearls) on bass, and WIll Dahl (ex-Harley's War) on guitar. Vajra's vocals were co-produced and mixed by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash). Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered. Vajra played two shows at SXSW and recently played to sold-out audiences at The Bowery Ballroom, The Mercury Lounge and The Bowery Electric in NYC. The album will be available electronically on iTunes and Bandcamp, ...”

“The evening began with a performance by Vajra, freshly returned to the city from SXSW. With Annamaria Pinna’s soaring vocals and her backing band's kinetic playing, they were clearly toeing the Nightwish line with a heavy dose of Far Eastern-influenced sounds, and even a bit of Lady Gaga thrown in for good measure. It was hardly a surprise when a gaggle of concert goers, drinks in hand, scurried up from the bar, heeding the siren’s call.”

“Vajra announces the release of their debut album, “Pleroma” this Spring 2012. The album explores paradox in a series of dark and hypnotic songs, which were written during Annamaria Pinna's self-imposed exile in India. Eastern Indian themes weave together with melodic, progressive rock to create foreboding and mysterious lullabies and a stunning new sound. Annamaria’s powerful vocals are highlighted by Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums, Doug Wright (The Dirty Pearls) on bass, and Will Dahl (ex-Harley’s War) on guitar. Vajra’s vocals were co-produced and mixed by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered. In support of Pleroma’s spring release, Vajra will perform the following tour dates: 3-14-12 - Red Gorilla/Tinderbox Showcase (Austin, TX) 3-15-12 - The Heart of Texas Rockfest Mainstage (Austin, TX) 3-24-12 - The Bowery Ballroom (New York, NY) The track listing for “Pleroma” is as fol”

“It's the year of the Dragon but Vajra is breathing its own fire. On Friday, January 27th, this new hot band played to an over-capacity crowd at The Mercury Lounge in NYC. An eager crowd lined the streets, but only advance ticket holders were allowed to enter. "I had friends from India who were texting me that they couldn't get in. I was blown away!" Annamaria stated. "And we were the opening act!" Vajra opened for Killcode, and was followed by Starkiller, The Compulsions and Stoned Fire. The venue was packed the entire evening, proving that the NYC music scene is sizzling....”

“Vajra begins the new year and the countdown to Armageddon with their multi-media performance at The Mercury Lounge on Friday, January 27 at 8PM (doors at 7:30pm). It will be a magical, mystical evening as they open for Killcode and are joined by Starkiller, The Compulsions and Stoned Fire.... ”

“Any good band, no matter what the sex of their vocalist, starts with a musician. Someone who can feel the soul inside of music, who can conjure music from their own soul, and express it somehow. Annamaria Pinna is not only a talented musician, but one hell of a conjurer as well. In her voice, there is not only emotion, but power, truth, a sort of sense that there is more to music than just what we can hear. Vajra does not rely on Pinna’s presence, or even her strong voice - it’s clear that the band works as one to create their sound. The music itself is atmospheric, at once ethereal yet stirring. Part of you wants to meditate, part of you wants to move, go out, do things. Just as that paradox exists, there is also a paradox of hard and soft in Vajra’s sound. It’s the kind of music that means something different for each listener, in every different situation it’s listened to. Vajra have created a world of sound that never falls short of what it promises. ”

“Birthing Vajra in 2012: Begin the Supposed End of Times With A New Sound From A Mystical New Band- Get out your confetti and begin the supposed end of times in 2012 with the birth of Vajra, a bold new band with a definite edgy sound. Blending rock rhythms with mystical Indian melodies, Vajra is already creating much buzz. Since their recent sold-out debut at The Bowery Electric in NYC, and the release of their first single on August 19, "Inside The Flame", Vajra has been impressing audiences and gaining mass appeal with their exotic sound. Virgin America is featuring the single "Erode The Will" on their In-Flight Entertainment Series and Vajra's music is showcased on radio internet stations, podcasts, and music websites. Created by singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self-imposed exile in India, Vajra' sound is exciting and definitely different. So raise your glasses and toast to a brand new band with a "new year "sound....”

“Every now and again, we come across someone amazing – someone who is actually worth our three or four minutes of play. Interview after interview, we’ve had the pleasure of talking to bands who are doing all they can to live this dream. That means balancing school, two or three part-time jobs and constantly writing new material. Vajra is definitely one of those extraordinary bands. They are a combination of genres we were not expecting. (Dec 03, 20 12) ”

“Vajras single, "Erode the Will" is featured the entire month of December on Virgin Americas In-Flight Entertainment Series. The single will play aboard Virgin's aircrafts on the "New Music Discovered" Channel, and will reach more than 450,000 flying ears per month.”

“The debut of Vajra at the Bowery electric In New Yorks famous Bowery neighborhood on 11-11-11 was an amazing show.... Accompanied with video projection art of Adam meow from Baltimore’s Electric Marmalade this evening did not disappoint. They performed songs from their debut album “Pleroma”, a haunting exploration of paradox, written during Annamaria Pinna’s self-imposed exile in India. Annamaria’s powerful vocals are highlighted by Blake Fleming of the band The Mars Volta on drums which is on of my favorite bands, Doug Wright from The Dirty Pearls on bass and Will Dahl from Harley’s War on guitar. The siren’s song mixed with edgy harmony weaved together by powerful passion that’s how I discribe this band.If you like bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees or Morcheeba or just looking for something different this is it. They performed with a grace that will float you to another world. Vajra is here and I hope they’ll stay for a long time....”

“Just after their recent sold-out headlining debut at The Bowery Electric in NYC, Vajra is set to release their second single, "Erode the Will" on December 3. While their first single took their audience "Inside The Flame", this second single 'erodes your will' to question the explosive talent of this exotic new artist. "Erode the Will" is a dark commentary on today's political climate. A fitting release during the Occupy Wall Street protests, the lyrics, "silence opposition, circumvent free will" examine the pitfalls of an apathetic nation under siege by an oligarchical government. Somber guitars beat out a rhythm of foreboding danger while hymn-like chants reveal the role that religion plays in censoring free thought. The entire song is a funereal tribute of what can happen when both mind and spirit are paralyzed. The band leads one on a sonic sojourn to a climactic end that leaves the listener clambering for more. ”

"Vajra 's 'Inside The Flame'. Music with passion. Kudos for creating some music different from everything out there at the moment. There's flavor from other cultures embedded in the music giving it depth and an exotic feel. The artist has an interesting story about their background which seems evident in the sonics and style of their music. It takes me back to the creativity of Kate Bush. I want to see where this artist goes in the future."

“A few months ago you may remember us telling you about this awesome band from NYC called Vajra. They had sent us their first single and we loved it. It felt like we had taken a trip to India with Trent Reznor – without the expensive price of airfare and hotels. Lucky us, right? Well if you were good little boys and girls, you took a listen as well. There’s no need to ask if you liked it – of course you did, why wouldn’t you? Which is why we are excited to give you details on their debut performance. Vajra will be playing the Bowery Electric this week on Nov. 10th. They go on at 11pm so you’ll have plenty of time to get there if you work.”

“Vajra brings their thunderous music and multimedia performance to The Bowery Electric on November 10 at 11pm. In keeping with Vajra’s tenebrous, mystical music, Vajra will lead their audience to the mysterious 11-11-11, and the show is one you won’t want to miss. ”

"Vajra was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self imposed exile in India, and you can indeed hear an exotic influence in her songs, which though carry a very western tension and darkness. Overall her uptempo music could be described like an alt-rock version of Dead Can Dance. We are sure there is a numerous group of teenagers somewhere in the US suburbs who can fall in love with this lady and her tenebrous music."

“Newcomer Vajra to Set Underground NYC Music Scene Ablaze: Debut Single “Inside The Flame” Released, Vajra’s First Album “Pleroma” to Follow in Spring 2012....”

"Take a trip to India with Vajra. You want something new? This is It"