Category Archives: News and Announcements

Bangalore Open Air 2013 : Introduction, announcements and a chat with the organizers

In a bid to broaden India’s metal horizons, Infinite Dreams founder Salman Syed and his team have taken up the arduous task of doing what seemed like a distant dream just a few years ago.

bangalore open air 2013 logo

Such is the trappings of our mundane life that escaping the daily routine and hating the unreasonable comes easy. After a long bout of gigs, festivals and metal parties across the United Kingdom in 2012, the last thing I wanted was to not have a festival back home. That culture is zealously and emphatically addictive. All the celebrations and mammoth gatherings of like-minded, carefree, metal-loving population across the globe is something that is looked forward to. All year round.

For starters let’s not forget we did not even have local gigs happening in India. There was no such thing called live metal gig for us. Just over a decade ago, the sonic boom that causes your ears to bleed was a craving. I remember being present at gigs where the total attendance was not more than 30 people including the playing bands. Shame. Today, after Iron Maiden ventured into our territory in 2007, the penetration of international acts is seen as an overdose by many. The question remains unanswered and the answer lies within. Not hard to figure out, as the answer goes something like – Pack your bags and attend.

2012 was a game changer. Heavy metal aficionado and manager of Bangalore-based band Kryptos, Salman Syed decided to break the barrels and open the gates for all of us to be able to experience something massive. Brought to life by Infinite Dreams, in association with Wacken Open Air (Germany), Bangalore Open Air aided us maniacs to bring out our black accoutrements and witness real bands that have made their way to the top through sweat and only that.

bangalore open air 2013 line up poster

When quizzed about why exactly did he take this initiative, a very tied up Salman replies, “Having inspired by Wacken Open Air I wanted to create something along the same lines in India, and hence the idea was born and BOA is here“. In terms of the challenges faced in putting together a line-up like this one the man takes a very nonchalant approach. “After the first edition bands were excited to see the response and wanted to play at BOA so it wasn’t difficult to get them on board“.

The onus of handling the media section of BOA is on Bangalore-based Samarpita Samaddar. A short tête-à-tête with her provided me an insight into what is going through the minds of the organizers. And this is what Samarpita had to say, “We started BOA festival last year with just two international bands Suidakra and Kreator. It received a big response and was really successful. This year, it’s bigger and better with an unbelievable line-up“.

Going further, I wanted to know how exactly did the mainstream media welcome this concept of hosting such a humongous metal festival in India. “Though for mainstream media, heavy metal is a very niche genre so it is challenging but I have to say that we have got a very good response from the media as of now. A festival of this stature is never an easy game, it takes a lot for organizing it well, to make sure everything goes smoothly. The metal scene in India is changing widely across the country. With platforms like Wacken Metal Battle, India is seeing a steady growth in popularity and with festivals like BOA, we can see a mix of international and Indian bands playing more and more in India“, says Samarpita, who is also an independent publicist.

ihsahn live at bangalore open air 2013

One year old and still going strong (which is surprising for a festival in India that has only metal on the menu), BOA has managed to rope in some of the biggest names for the 2013 edition. Surprisingly there is variety which directly implies the turnout should be gigantic. In no particular order here’s what our retinas and eardrums would be subjected to this year:

1. Ihsahn (Norway) – Extreme Progressive Metal

2. Sodom (Germany) – Speed/Thrash Metal

3. Iced Earth (United States) – Power/Thrash Metal

4. Dark Tranquillity (Sweden) – Melodic Death Metal

5. Animals As Leaders (United States) – Instrumental Progressive

6. Leprous (Norway) – Progressive Metal

7. Demonic Resurrection (India) – Progressive Death/Black Metal

And, what kind of reception is expected this year, to which Salman signs off by saying, “I hope more and more people understand the importance of festivals, and I’m confident that this year it will be bigger and better at BOA“.

Do not let go of this unadulterated metal fest. Show your support because otherwise you would not have anywhere or anyone to run to for any kinda grievances and all your complaints would fall on deaf ears. Life waits for no one. Let your hair down and be a part of Bangalore Open Air.

[ Visit the official website here : Bangalore Open Air official website for details pertaining to the venue and ticket outlets. The tickets are priced at Rs. 2499. ]

Oh, and there is a poll as well:

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R.I.P. Santhosh Lobo

santhosh lobo indianrockmp3

Santhosh Lobo

With a heavy heart I bid farewell to my friend, the founder of IndianRockMp3, Santhosh Lobo. After a prolonged battle with cancer, Santhosh – the independent promoter of Indian music scene, is no more. Santhosh touched thousands of lives by simply setting up a website that would provide you every information about any Indian band you could possibly name. Be it articles, interviews or collaborations, he did everything selflessly, with a glee in his eyes which is what made him a special person in the Indian music scene.

With his passion aside, I knew this man for his candor, the motivation he provided me and the ease with which he took everything in his stride. I’ve lost someone I was close to, I’m devastated and my heart goes out to his family. I know we all move on with things in life, but this one’s definitely going to be a hard one. Rest in peace, Santhosh. I’ll miss you. Or rather, we all will.


The weekend’s not near, it’s here : Download Festival 2012

Initially started as a blog to document my personal escapades and experiences, Absurd History has now diversified into a professional web-zine that is teaming up with the best of record labels, artists, bands and organizers from across the globe. But, even today, all of this fails to silence the excited boy inside me (I turned 25 this year, and I’m loving it) who had hankered about attending some of the most massive music festivals out there, someday.

What was once just a passing thought that had vanished into thin air, is going to be a part of three day’s of my life, starting today. Decades down the line this post here would remind me that I was there at the tenth anniversary of one of the most acclaimed, celebrated, full-mouthed and crammed congregation of music lovers – The Download Festival.

2012’s edition would have more than 70,000 people participating in it, a total of five different stages, more than 140 bands spanning over a period of three days and don’t even get me started on the jillions of other attractions planned for the attendees. A virgin when it comes to camping, I wouldn’t ask for a better place to put up my first tent than Donington Park. So yea, here’s to a weekend full of muck, booze, sweat, torrential rains and heavy fucking metal. Don’t get your pets along, they’ll get crushed. Alright, I’m getting late now. See you all next week, when it would be you, me and the post-Download blues.


Twenty Five


Six must-watch metal festivals and concerts in UK this year

Gigs keep happening every other weekend in England, but then there are a few exclusive ones that should not be missed. Here’s a list of six metal events that are going to shake United Kingdom to its foundations.

1. Destroyers of the Faith 2012 featuring Cannibal Corpse, Triptykon, Enslaved and Job For A Cowboy

The season kicks off with Destroyers of the Faith 2012. The gigantic death metal owners Cannibal Corpse are going to headline this event organized by none other than Metal Hammer. Supporting them would be this ass-kicking doom metal band from Switzerland Triptykon, Norwegian black/viking outfit Enslaved and deathcore band Job For A Cowboy. Nice balance of genres, and one gig that should not be missed.

When? – March second week

2. DesertFest 2012, London

Just have a look at the poster. Isn’t it fucking beautiful? The only festival in the world catering to the stoner, doom, psych and sludge metal fans, DesertFest has more than fifty bands playing across three venues. And the bands are not your formed yesterday playing today type. They are the best in the scene and you are sure to feel the pleasure in every corner of your body. That is what these genres do to you. Miss this event at your own risk!

When? – Easter weekend (6th, 7th and 8th April, 2012)

3. I’ll Be Your Mirror 2012, London

As if Slayer‘s presence on the I’ll Be Your Mirror 2012 line up was not enough and now we are told the angry thrashers are going to play the ‘Reign in Blood’ album in its entirety. This event could possibly turn out to be the last gig for many metalheads as a lot of blood is going to be shed but I cannot die here because I have to move on to greener pastures post this event. The next few points would make it clear. I’m excited about all the bands that are playing on day one at I’ll Be Your Mirror. Go on, find out which ones I’m talking about.

When? – 25th, 26th and 27th May, 2012

4. Judas Priest Epitaph tour’s London gig

This is Judas Priest‘s last world tour, so if you’ve missed them somewhere, you’ve just, missed them. But you can still catch the heavy metal awesomeness if you would be in and around London towards the last week of May. This could actually be the last time you will be able to catch Judas Priest live, so make all your other plans either before or after the weekend in question. I know you have nothing better to do so just take my advice and book your tickets.

When? – 26th May

5. Download Festival 2012

Everyone who is even remotely connected to metal cannot be unaware of this name and Download’s one festival that happens every year. Then what is it that makes this mother of all events special this year? It is the festival’s tenth anniversary. The poster pretty much makes it clear what it’s going to be like but I’ll leave it to your imagination to visualize how massive this festival would be. If everything else fails to inspire you then remember that this is the only place where Black Sabbath are going to make an appearance this summer. There is only one word that can be used for those of you who are going to give this festival a miss. And that is stupid. No, it should be STUPID.

When? – 8th, 9th, 10th June, 2012

6. Bloodstock Open Air, 2012

Well, well, well. Words fail me when I look at the Bloodstock Open Air 2012 announcement. One time I think that there is no band that has been left out and another time I wish that they add a few more names. Greedy and needy. It is just March right now and five months down the line the below poster can easily be used to just obliterate the weak. Get into a fight and show the BOA 2012 poster. According to me, Bloodstock this year has some of the most extreme names on it’s bill and would be one of the biggest metal gathering of 2012.

When? – 10th, 11th, 12th August, 2012

I deliberately skipped Sonisphere because it brings me face to face with a dull and unexciting list of bands. I absolutely love Ghost but the organizers of Sonisphere don’t love me. Let’s see how the coming months would affect my decision of not going for this festival that rocked the metal world by bringing together the big four of thrash in 2010.

Other mentions (not metal) – Fans of Red Hot Chili Peppers can catch them in the last week of June, and Pearl Jam maniacs need to attend the second day of Isle of Wight festival so obviously you need to buy the entire day’s ticket and put yourself through the rest of the acts as well. Not cool. Sadly I’m not watching both of these bands, but I just hope Adele plays one show in UK this year. I’ll book my ticket – first day, first show.

For now bookmark this page and pick your gig sensibly. I’ll see you at all six of them.


R.I.P. Amit Saigal

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Absurd History in 2011 – an annual report

Here’s an annual report for this zine, prepared by none other than WordPress. I had to share it with all the readers because the count in this report includes you. Thank you all for visiting!

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 60,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


One Lakh Hits

The blog completes a lakh hits, with a total of 272 articles that I’ve written for my blog till date. Turn your eyeballs towards your right and stare at the Countdown to infinity widget.

Like I had promised myself, and today since the blog has crossed the one lakh mark, Absurd History has now gone dot com.

Thank you all for reading!

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Metallica live in India – an epic thrashfest

Today, when I think back a few years and recall the first time I played Metallica‘s 1983 classic Kill ‘Em All there was this force besides me that said “You’re never alone, metal is always with you“. It was at that moment when I learnt one of life’s biggest lessons that I should not give a fuck about any kind of trash in life. This album made me feel that powerful. And the rest, as every tom, dick and harry says, is history. I did not choose metal, metal chose me and that is how it works.

Back then I did not have the slightest of idea that playing Metallica was going to be a turning point in my life, a moment that I would be remembering years later. At that time thinking about watching Metallica live was only a thought in some corner of our minds. With very believable stuff happening in our country off-late with respect to metal, right now the Metallica event might not make you go nuts.  I suggest you hold on till that very moment when the lights on stage would come on and the four legendary figures would be staring down at you!

For me the party begins from tomorrow as I leave for the capital of Karnataka tonight. Agenda includes meeting friends and loads of pub-hopping complete with visiting Styx (I make sure I visit this place every time I’m in Bangalore).

Somehow whenever I try and picturize myself going to Palace Grounds, Bangalore on Sunday the 30th of October in an auto-rickshaw, I see myself telling the rickshaw-wala “bhaiyya, palace grounds chaloge?“. And he’d be like “haan, main bhi wahin ja raha hoon“. Everybody has heard Metallica at least once and this concert is going to be enormous. And we all will be a part of it.

The first time Iron Maiden played in Bangalore I almost got crushed. For Metallica we’ll be seeing multiple generations of fans coming together. You might want to carry an oxygen mask. The wait is finally over. As we are very close to witnessing Metallica – one of the grandest band that metal has ever seen – on our own soil. Can you feel the goosebumps already?

See you all in Bengaluru!

Also read – Karnivool line in India – a sweet overdose of music | Lamb of God live in India – Requiem for a Dream


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