Tag Archives: gigs

festival review: Leprous live at Bangalore Open Air, 2013

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Many might not have figured this out, but in Ihsahn‘s band there were only members of Leprous, apart from the main man of course. Hence Leprous got this big break of travelling all the way from Norway to not just perform with Ihsahn but to showcase their own slab of avant-garde progressive metal. Since I am a huge fan of Norwegian black metal I went there thinking they are just a band that’s there to fill a slot but they proved me wrong from the very first note.

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What’s so peculiar about Leprous you ask? It’s their flair. Grabbing eardrums by way of closely scrutinized progressiveness and attracting eyeballs by way of dressing up in a distinct fashion (think Akercocke, Ghost). Norwegians have these magnetic personalities and you end up bobbing your heads anyways.  Up on the Ronnie James Dio stage, Leprous made a major contribution to Bangalore Open Air, 2013. Downright progressive metal with characteristic riffs and consummate drumming crippled many in the crowd which directly earned Leprous many new fans.

Coal, Leprous‘s third full-length, was released this year and hence the set-list included most of the tracks from the new record. Each member brought in their own influences, and it looked like a large assembly on the platform with five members in the band. Vocalist Einar Solberg also doubled up as a synth player. Almost every other member, except drummer Tobias Andersen, boosted the band’s sound through backing vocals. Let’s not forget the elephantine addition by the other three significant members Tor Oddmund Suhrke (guitars), Øystein Landsverk (guitars) and Rein T. Blomquist (bass).

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Thumbs up from India to this progressive act, by not just me but the audience who took pleasure in their music and the people who are going to discover them bloody soon through word-of-mouth. The conglomerate that is Leprous is a force to reckon with in the years to come, and I’m going to keep track of the happenings in their garage. Cheers, guys!

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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 ]

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ]


The Flaming Skull Forums

When was the last time you went to some forums and found like minded people around? When was the last time you felt like visiting a website to find out about a gig that is happening in town? Here your thinking would not help as you do not have many. And what makes me use the term many is the fact that there were places promoting the metal/rock scene in India, where I made sure I logged in atleast once a day to keep myself updated.

Now a couple of them that instantly remind me of the times I spent keeping the above mentioned intentions in mind would be demonstealerrecords website, gigpad, emusicpost site and rsj forums. Whereas I was dependent on gigpad for gig updates, I visited rsj forums to have some metal fun and share my metal thoughts. And then something went wrong. I am still active on demonstealerrecords forums but I can count the number of active  members on my fingers and I know all of them personally. Or atleast most of them.

Now a forum in the wider sense is meant to gather people from all diverse fields and give them a platform to express themselves. Ofcourse metal in this context. And when I say I know most of them it directly implies that the place is not happening. Adding not happening anymore would explain better. It is not anyone’s fault here as it is a task in itself to keep any forums alive, and analyzing the situation would lead us nowhere.

The flaming skull podcast or tfsp that was started in July last year to promote the Indian scene saw many metalheads across the nation throng their website for whatever reasons they had. But a significant fact to note here is that their website got 17000+ hits in a short span of time, and considering it was a website providing listeners with podcast episodes to download its a large number. A small shoutbox present on the site had everyone trying to shout out the obvious things about what band kicked ass on the released episode, or what band should be featured next and why. The discussion was never-ending.

this is what awaits you

At this very juncture the people behind the podcast felt the need of introducing the forums. With their intentions being to constantly diminish the gap between them and the listeners, launching the forums could only improve things. Lets face it, we all need a place we can relate to and be part of.

So after the ninth metalcast episode and the first rockcast one, you are provided with forums. Visit it, and explode the place. Be it metal or rock, you can speak out and most importantly share. In a life that cannot get busier, wherever you are you can come here and chill. The flaming skull forums is easy to access and like any other community website you will spot a register option, and it all ends with you filling your email address. So you have no reason to complain. And before you say you do not have the link to the forums, here you go The Flaming Skull Forums

Also read :

The Flaming Skull Podcast – A Writeup

album review : Burzum – Belus

album review : 1833 AD – pre-album teaser


Deccan Rock Festival 2009 gig review

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I had never heard of Deccan Rock Festival before I read about it on Rolling Stones India website. A small article that read Textures and Amon Amarth would come down and play for us. I had that sudden rush of blood moment when it finally began to sink in that Amon Amartha band i’ve been listening to for 5 years now – is coming to India. Some weeks down and the poster for this confirmed gig came out, and it featured some real good Indian bands apart from the headlining ones. The entry fee – Rs. 450. woah !

And then it was 5th December. It was the festival day. Even though I wanted to settle inside the venue at the mentioned time of 1 pm, i had this natural instinct of not getting there on time. I reached 2 hours late and i still had to wait for an hour and a half. Talk about mismanagement. The entry began at 4:30 pm. The organisers had hired only a part of the humongous Palace Grounds. I entered and proudly looked around. It was a big day for me and my fellow listeners of metal. But it didn’t look big with just maybe 100 people around me. Comeon it is supposed to be a metal fest. I took time to go around some stalls selling cds and official Textures and Amon Amarth merchandise.

frenzy !

The opening band for the event, playing here after winning some competition was Eccentric Pendulum.  This Bangalore-based band with an Ep out showed just how much they deserved to win that so-called competition and be here. They played an all original set ending with my best track of theirs The Sculptor of Negative Emotions.

The enthusiasm among the crowd was still in infant stage. The energy levels around were not too high, with everyone just roaring

Inner Sanctum

and raising their devil’s horns in appreciation towards the end of Eccentric Pendulum‘s songs which is the least any crowd could do. But it took an Inner Sanctum to create mayhem. The mere mention of the band’s name was enough to ignite the pit. This band has made quite a name for themselves with every organiser wanting them to play at their event. I can’t say if all these big events happening only in Bangalore helps. Inner Sanctum‘s stage presence with each member knowing exactly what to do is what makes them connect. They opened with Eye Of The False and followed it up with tracks from their Ep Provenance.

It was Undying Inc from Delhi next. It was more of a progressive metal day what with Eccentic Pendulum and now Undying Inc. I had only heard them on record but it takes a live act to leave your mouth open. This 4-piece death metal band was so fucking tight that

Undying Inc

it showed just how carefully the bands have been picked to play here at this event. They deserved a standing ovation. Yes, some douchebags were sitting like they have been forced to come here. Undying Inc with their undying spirit came back strong after each original track and left the crowd wanting for more.

Bhayanak Maut is known to create pits and hurt necks everytime they play. For some reason the band was being booed off. Until they began playing ofcourse. Bhayanak Maut has been gigging a lot post their album release in August this year but I happened to miss out on all of these. Watching them live after almost an year made me feel even more lucky. It took 6 members including 2 vocalists to re-create the mosh. Playing tracks from their new album they were majorly appreciated. A special mention to Anupam Roy on the sound console. He was the reason the bands came across to the crowd the way they wanted to.

By now it was dark and the crowd had grown from 100 to maybe 1000. I wanted to see more. A lot more.

With my favorite Indian band Kryptos playing next, I pitied the food stalls behind coz the bands ust weren’t letting me leave my place. Its become common to see Nolan carrying a Liverpool scarf everytime Kryptos is on stage.

Kryptos

They began and I was already swaying to their metal. Everytime they play my belief is re-inforced that they are a near perfect band. Close your eyes and its like hearing them on a player. With 5 tracks ending with Descension it was a treat.

Next up were Demonic Resurrection. They were setting up and i overheard someone saying these guys are funny it seems as they do not play seriously. And i got reminded of DR 6 years ago when it used to be utter confusion on stage. Today they are the most sought after extreme metal band from India. For rural metalheads with limited or no internet access, DR is playing at the Brutal Assault next year with the likes of Corpse, Bodom and My Dying Bride. DR was the most unlucky band of the evening with time for just 3 songs, one of them being their new track The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance. They promised to be back in January with their new album The Return to Darkness.

Now it was time for THE bands. Crew members from Textures took around 20 minutes for the setup. I really wanted to get into the All Access area. I sneaked in and managed to stay there till the end. All thanks to my friend Madhav from Road Crew Records. So when Textures took the stage i was right under them. Textures hailing from Holland carried forward the progressive metal act. They started off with the track One Eye For a Thousand.

Textures

The enthusiasm and presence of the band on stage showed how much they were enjoying. It was really a big deal for me to watch Eric (vocals) doing the aggressive growling and clean vocals with such finesse. The technicality of the band was something to watch. Stef Broks (drums) was flying. I needed another pair of eyeballs to really understand what he played .They played everything the crowd wanted – Storm Warning, The Sun’s Architect, Laments of a Icarus. It was followed by the favorite Awake and they concluded with Regenesis.

Then came the moment I was waiting for. Videos of all their tracks started playing in my head reminding me of the synchronized headbanging by the members. Setup was quickly done by the crew. The stage was ready to grace Amon Amarth, and their entry was quicker than I realised. They already began playing Twilight of the Thunder Gods before I could let the feeling sink in that the monstrous Johan Hegg was growling in front of me. I was lost banging to their songs. That feeling cannot be expressed, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy. I was actually witnessing one of my favorite drummers Fredrik do his thing. Perfection right there. Johan was giving a brief intro before each of their songs conveying just how strong the band’s viking roots are. The band went on to play the mesmerizing tracks which included Runes to my Memory, Asator, Guardians of Asgaard. Their set ended with that 1 track everyone wanted – Death In Fire.

Amon Amarth

It was madness. I did manage to get hold of Olavi Mikkonen’s (guitars) pick. Their 1 hour set seemed like just 20 minutes. So wanted them to go on playing. But then it was already past 10 pm. Damn they couldn’t play Cry of the Black Birds, Pursuit of Vikings.

This is one gig that is going to be etched in my mind for a really longtime. It was all about metal. As was rightly put by Johan Isn’t life all about metal..? Oh yeah absolutely..!

p.s. : All the pictures included in the post – courtesy of Madhav Ravindranath (Roadcrew Records).

Also read :

gig review : GIR XIII Bangalore 2009


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