METALISE This was a not-to-be-missed show for all metal fans in Chennai. NICKY
Last Friday, I had an opportunity to watch the upcoming Indian Metal Bands perform at the KRMM hall, Adyar. The fest was called Metalise, promoted by Unwind Center. The poster said “It’s time to get a preventive neck massage; it’s time to METALISE!!” In the words of modern scholar Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, metal concerts are “the sensory equivalent of war.” Metal has a status that no other genre can have.
With three popular metal bands from Chennai and two from Hyderabad and Pune, it was a not-to-be-missed night for those who love this type of music.While metal fans in India were still reeling from Opeth’s magic, this gig was a welcome change. The crowd was little over 100 people, which was good enough for a metal event like this.
After the sound checks, the first band on stage was Blind Image, already popular across the country after their recent album release “Psychobabble”. Chennai metal fans always had a special relationship with this band. As expected they started right on with the title song “Psychobabble”, followed by some remarkable numbers like “Mob Anthem”, “Skin”, and “Kiss of Anarchy”. Their song-writing skills definitely deserve a mention because unlike other characteristic metal bands that try to convey something through their lyrics, this band doesn’t have anything to convey. As their new album title says, it’s pure psychobabble!
Then as a quick change they covered half of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”, then they moved on and played a couple of their new numbers “Leech of Society” and “New Life”. They finished their set-list with the Lamb of God’s “Now You’ve Got Something To Die For”. They certainly got the crowd head banging.
Next on stage was a Thrash/Hardcore act from Hyderabad called Skrypt. Playing for the first time in Chennai, the band didn’t give the listeners a break and started with their heavy numbers straight away. Chennai fans were slightly surprised to see a female metal guitarist (Ramya) but her remarkable solos, powerful riffs and a vigorous stage act only added to the crush. They started with “Nomad” by Sepultura and the fairly small crowd made enough noise when they played Death’s “Crystal Mountain”. Their set list also featured three original numbers — “Beyond Conflict”, “Artifice” and “Slaughter the Blamed”. They covered Death again with “Sacred Serenity”, and then Pantera’s “Domination” and finally Lamb of God’s 11th “Hour”. Collectively, the band played a tight show with Harsh and powerful vocals by Scenic, Joel, Ramya sharing the lead power chords and solos equally and Abbas with dynamic bass guitar riffs.
Blood Covenant, the city’s favourite extreme metal band, took the stage immediately after Skrypt. As time was running out, they had to run-through their set-list quickly. They kicked off with some white metal covers like “Reject”, “Send your Regrets”, “Priest of the Underground”, “Embraced” and “Ignite”. Eddie, the front man, was as usual brutal and incredibly interactive. Hurricane needs no introduction for his drum butchering. Ronald too pitched in along with Eddie’s growls with his black metal-style screechy vocals. As they played “Spirit Fall”, that was the moment, which generated the most violent mosh-pit of the evening. Even though it’s not their longest set-list due to time constraints they did pretty well to keep their fans happy.
The fourth band was from Pune called Vyzasa. Their sole intention is to come up with an unusual sound incorporating diverse influences including Indian classical scales, jazz as well as other heavier and progressive sounds. Vyzasa — Sanskrit for mayhem/destruction — symbolises both their Indian roots and influences and what they’re set out to unleash with their music. After winning several college rock competitions, they finally arrived in Chennai for their first gig in the south. The band started with their own composition, which had some progressive doom metal feeling in it accompanied with exceptional Indian classical guitar notes, which almost sounded like a sitar. Their set-list featured various genres of metal right from progressive rock to extreme death metal. They covered Death’s “Crystal Mountain”, despite it being the second time in this gig the crowd head banged for this song. Then they did a surprising Motherjane number “Maya”. Good to hear an Indian band covering another Indian band. They finished off with Arch Enemy’s “We Will Rise” with the crowd sang along with band while moshing for this one.
The last band that evening needs no introduction. Blood and Iron, having recorded their second full length album recently, are definite headliners in many metal gigs. They started with “Blood Oath” from their title album, a pretty tight performance indeed and never looked back until they finished their set-list. The other songs were from their new album, which is yet to be released. Manu — after winning the best drummer award in Saarang — wasn’t too tired as his fierce blasting showed.
It was not quite the scene where you slowly lose the crowd as it gets late in the night; in fact many people came inside to watch them as they started playing. And need I mention about their huge female fan base in Chennai? If you had missed these bands so far, do check them out when they play next in town.
PHOTOS: R. RAVINDRAN & NICKY COVER PHOTO: R. RAVINDRAN
Popularity: 1% [?]