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festival review: Demonic Resurrection live at Bangalore Open Air, 2013

sahil makhija demonic resurrection india bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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It was at Bloodstock Open Air last year that I saw India’s Demonic Resurrection play for a multiethnic crowd, and I wanted to see how accepting the audience is. And having seen them in our country for the last ten years I must say the response was as good as what I must’ve seen at one of their best gigs in India, if not better. This, when Paradise Lost were on the main stage.

mephisto demonic resurrection india bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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Welcome to the Ronnie James Dio stage where Demonic Resurrection – the oldest, one of the the biggest and darkest Indian band that kick started this year’s Bangalore Open Air festival, but in broad daylight. Nevermind. Unfortunately the only Indian band to have been invited to play at the Bangalore festival (as the rest couldn’t for various reasons), Demonic Resurrection braced the audiences with their brand of demonic metal. Demonic metal, which I would say is a concoction of symphony, progression, speed, death, black metal with a slice of technicality is today very mature than what we have heard from them over the years.

daniel rego demonic resurrection india bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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The set list consisted of tracks from their previous two albums, A Darkness Descends (2005) and The Return to Darkness (2010), out of the three that Demonic Resurrection has released till now. Sadly, since they were the first band to open Bangalore Open Air post the Wacken Metal Battle the audience was only a handful who treated themselves to a cocktail of some complex extreme metal. A sound that is one of it’s kind in our sorry ass nation, and a band that made its way to the top through sheer fortitude. While many tried to bring them down, the band retaliated with more hard work, thereby setting an example in the minuscule history of metal that India has.

ashwin shriyan demonic resurrection india bangalore open air 2013 absurd history

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Frontman Sahil Makhija, a friend and a good musician, shouldn’t have called out the name of some guy from the audience as that, for me, does not add to the stage act. Crowd interaction is a must for entertainers, and Demonic Resurrection being the torchbearers of metal itself in India does not do it any less. The audience would be a lot happier if there is more interaction in general, than pointing out names. We are at a festival and in the audience there could be anybody from any place on the planet. That being said, Demonic Resurrection is tight as a tick, musically. Thanks to the ensemble star cast that comprises of guitar prodigy Daniel Rego, bass-nailer Ashwin Shriyan, impossible-to-match drummer Virendra Kaith and synth-lover Mephisto.

All set to release another album this year, Demonic Resurrection made sure they do not give the listeners a sneak peek of their yet-to-be-titled fourth album. If you are a fan then you’ve got to wait and watch out for their new sound, which according to guitarist Daniel is, “much more evolved than what we’ve composed in our earlier albums, in every department that DR delves into“. With a live performance like that, and an album in the pipeline I wish DR all the very best for their future.

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[ Pictures – courtesy of Khushboo Sinha. Everybody head over to the link to check out more of her work here: Khushboo Sinha’s tumblr page ]

…and I will not be Resurrected

Tonight, all metalheads in Bombay will head to Marimba Lounge, or let me put say this way. Tonight all sensible metalheads will head there as

resurrection IX

Resurrection IX is going to have its final gig and this is not just another gig, but one where Exhumation is going to play some serious brutal death. And you do not see them playing at every other gig.

As is clear from the post name, I will not be a part of this metal celebration. There are a lot of reasons for which I would have wanted to be present but then I am not going to be resurrected anyways. A lot of shit is happening with me post my decision of moving to Chennai so I could continue earning my bread and liquor.

Resurrection has always been something I never missed. All the previous ones happened when I was in and around Bombay. But then there are many things that happen for the first time in life and that is exactly what has taken place. The first resurrection that I attended was the fourth edition when DR had released their debut album.And no I did not review it. Sharing the stage with them were Exhumation, Myndsnare and Kryptos (3-piece one). That gig seriously kicked ass as it was a different time altogether for metal in Bombay.

my first resurrection - IV

But tonight is also going to kick ass as this is yet again a different time for the Bombay metal scene. All the 3 bands for tonight – DR, Exhumation and Bhayanak Maut – are tight live acts.

One interesting thing to watch out for tonight would be P-man or Rohit Pereira playing bass for Exhumation. And even though I know I am going to really miss Exhumation‘s performance, there is a little something else too that I am going to miss – free booze. A couple of days back my friend and Exhumation vocalist Aditya Mehta held a contest on his blog asking everyone to post about the new bass player for Exhumation at the resurrection gig and I for once knew the answer as I was told by Aditya himself. Posted it for fun, only to realise that I was entitled to unlimited supply of any beer I want on this very night ! But then I just got to know that all the free booze is going to pass through my other friend Aditya Rao‘s humongous tummy. Wonder how he is preparing himself for this one.

Now I needed some reason to convince myself for the fact that I am missing this gig. So guess what I told myself – the gig is not happening at Razz nor the regular Marine Center, so its ok. Well that was just a passing thought. The ones making it tonight, a weekday could not have been better.

also read :
album review : DR – The Return To Darkness

album review : 1833 AD – pre-album teaser

album review : Soulmate – Moving On

album review : Workshop – Khooni Murga

Burzum – Spell Of Frustration

album review : The Return To Darkness (2010) – Demonic Resurrection

– by Itihas Shetty

The demons return with metal embossed all over them.

It was in 2005 when a major change of sorts was seen in the Indian metal scene and only a demon(stealer) could have a hand in it. India’s only metal record label Demonstealer Records (DSR) dared to release Demonic Resurrection’s (DR) debut album complete with good recording and an inlay which had been worked on. Things are not the same anymore and it is going to be better.

Back then none new that this DR album (A Darkness Descends) along with their second Ep (Beyond The Darkness) will culminate into a final release in this trilogy of darkness named The Return To Darkness. (now that is four darkness already !). And if you have not heard of DR you should probably go back to sleep.

This new album has 10 tracks and more on that later. Out of the many firsts this band has achieved, they got their artwork done by this Xaay fellow who has previously worked with Nile, Karl Sanders, Necrophagist and Behemoth. Now that is a lot he has done in a lifetime. The album cover is magnificient and the inlay is detailed complete with lyrics and supporting art (signature DSR). If you have not heard the preview tracks then the artwork should be the reason for owning this album. Class !

Praising the box of this set took up some of my time prior to opening it. I couldn’t wait to play the cd. Before I got lost in the music I wanted to see the huge poster. Instantly my eyeballs caught sight of Viru‘s flared nostrils. Only to have my balls drop off by the drumming on the album. He is easily one of the best we have as his drumming is effortless.

The Return To Darkness is DR‘s album with a new line-up. Expect a change in their sound and how ! It feels as if the new guitarist Daniel was the only one DR was falling short of. He has changed the way people will perceive DR. He is equipped with that professional attitude towards his role that doesn’t come easily. Look around you and feel the difference.

So we have 10 tracks. Of pure unadulterated melodic metal. The intro to the album Between Infinity And Oblivion personifies what the band believes in – darkness. Great synth work on this one. Talking about synth, Mephisto has raised the bar for synth playing. What amazing work. He stands out on each track. Lookout for the tracks The Warrior’s Return, A Tragedy Befallen, Bound By Blood Fire and Stone, Dismembering The Fallen. Infact this version of Dismembering The Fallen is better than the last recorded one. A special mention to Sahil‘s vocals. It sounds more polished now.

I look for melody in most of what I hear, and when I expect it to be there I look for it even more. DR has been promising and on this record the aspect of melody is pushed even further, staying true to the band’s major influences. Infact in every song there is a conscious effort to include melody but the ones that kept me hooked have got to be Where Dreams And Darkness Unite, Omega I and The Final Stand.

The lone track that made news before the album release The Unrelenting Surge Of Vengeance has some great riffs and brutal drumming. They had replicated this song the way it is on the record at Deccan Rock Festival. Followed it up with a video on youtube that catapulted the views on their channel DemonicTube thereby setting some new records for Indian metal.

Now a separate part on my most awaited track – the 11 minute opus – Lord Of Pestilence. Begins with a sound that no doubt will remind you of Frozen Portrait. But then the clean parts on Frozen were not sung by Sahil. Sahil attending his Workshop regularly has improved his clean skills. And I see influences from his other project Demonstealer too. The song that is over 11 minutes scores in every department. Complete with power drumming, classic synth and guitar solos. So to say it is a complete song.

The production on the album need not be talked about because by now we know what to expect from DSR. Fronted and run singlehandedly by Sahil ‘the demonstealer Makhija, this one man army is a massive reason for the shaping of the scene. Time and again this has been said and he truly lives up to it. And the least we can do is buy the albums, (fuck) I mean an album with this quality really needs to be appreciated and how can that be done ? – obviously by buying them !

I need not mention this separately but this is the best Indian metal album till date. In the words of Saloni Sinha, they sound like a mellow version of Behemoth, can’t believe its the same DR.

Read that ? Everyone is sharing the same feeling over this album, the new DR line-up and sound. Pick up your copy. It is worth your money. And DR at its fucking best.

With a gig lined up in Europe this year, it is clear that everyone in the band has a passport. That was sad. After all, demonic metal is something only India can offer.

Next stop – Wacken ?

[Saloni Sinha is the brain behind the artwork for Amogh Symphony, Gutslit, Atmosfear, and this German band named Winterblood. And if you do not have a band then you can get a tattoo done. Click here non-demonic content to check this kickass tattoo she made on me. ahem ! Drop a mail to metaholic666thegame@gmail.com]

also :

album review : 1833 AD – pre-album teaser

The Flaming Skull Podcast


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