Tag Archives: Death

Dark Days of December at No Limits, Bangalore


Witchdoctor ,
Dying Embrace,
Bevar Sea,
Dhishti from Srilanka,
Manzer from France and

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Justin Jaideep Xavier

Justin Jaideep Xavier is an Automotive Design Engineer, Metal Head, Bullet, Beer & Old Monk Enthusiast, Dog Lover and Photographer. When he's not frequenting the regular watering holes over weekends he can be found shooting gigs and concerts in and around namma Bengaluru! You can check out more of his work on his website: www.JustinJaideep.in


Interview with Rami Mustafa of Nervecell


One of the first extreme metal bands to emerge from Dubai, U.A.E. Nervecell has supported legendary bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, Morbid Angel and Suffocation are the torchbearers for a Middle Eastern wave of metal. WTS got the chance to interact with Rami Mustafa, the guitarist of Nervecell and here’s what he had to say about the band and their experiences… 

WTS: Nervecell has shared the stage with a bunch of international acts such as Metallica, Sepultura, Machinehead etc. How was the experience?

RM: Oh it was great! We are old fans of these bands, since we were kids, everyone one of us in the band grew up listening to Metallica, Sepultura, Machinehead and for us to get a chance to open for them, not only was it a great experience for us as a band, it was also a dream come true. Meeting our idols, the bands that made us get into music in the first place, and getting the chance to share the same stage with them, it is a feeling that we cannot describe. Especially with Metallica because Metallica is one of the biggest, if not the biggest metal band and to get a chance to open for them exclusively is a big honor for us.

WTS: Just watching a Metallica concert can be quite an experience so we can imagine what you guys felt opening for them! Did you get to hang out with the band, any cool backstage stories?

RM: Metallica is a very busy band so to actually get a chance to meet them was crazy! Because they have their own fan club with thousands of fans all over the world and they spent an hour and a half signing autographs backstage for these fans. We were lucky to meet them for five minutes after our set. When we finished our set they were actually jamming backstage – they have a small room where they practice before they go on stage. So all of us were listening to them playing ‘Creeping Death’ before they hit the stage and it was a privilege to hear them perform because none of us in the band had seen Metallica before. So they came out from the room and James Hetfield and Lars and us hung out. They were really cool. They told us that they liked our sound. It was a really quick chat because they had to go on stage. It was exactly 5 minutes before their stage time and we had only that much time to meet them. We were lucky and it was a really good experience to shake hands and take pictures with them. It was really great, they’re great guys!

WTS: So did Metallica influence Nervecell’s sound? What are the other bands that have influenced your music?

RM: We play a mix of thrash and death metal, the thrash metal sections are definitely Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura and Pantera influenced. For sure Metallica did influence us in one way or the other, the riffing obviously we’re heavier than Metallica and our style is heavier. The death metal section is influenced by Death, Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse. Basically old school death metal bands influenced us. We grew up listening to late 90’s death and thrash metal era. So these are the bands that affected our playing and influenced us.

WTS: Growing up in Qatar, did you guys have easy access to underground music and death metal in particular?

RM: When I was a kid, I was in Qatar that rarely had anything – the only access for me was TV you know, the only channels I used to watch were Channel V, MTV. This is where I first heard metal and before that I used to listen to rock music. Bands like GnR… I can’t really recall what other bands but the first metal bands were Megadeth, Metallica.

WTS: …Headbangers Ball!

RM: Headbangers Ball, exactly! I was six-seven years old and it was definitely not easy to find tapes or CDs and definitely no downloading, there was no access. My friends used to come from nearby countries like Turkey, Syria, Jordan and they used to have pirated music tapes from European countries. And whoever went to the States or Europe used to get me albums. Same with the other guys, Barney grew up in Dubai and he had the same experience. Dubai is more commercial but then again it wasn’t easy for Barney. Whatever metal music we had was through TV and magazines. As we grew older we subscribed to magazines like Metal Hammer and Rock Hard and we used to get music and compilation CDs and stuff. As we got older we started getting access slowly. But metal in general, when it came to finding CDs in stores, you’d never find death metal or thrash metal; you’d only find the commercial stuff like Metallica and maybe Slayer – nothing more than that. Nowadays you find everything. I think its getting better, man. It was a bit of a struggle then, it definitely wasn’t easy.

WTS: So now that there is easier access to underground metal, is there more reception to Nervecell’s music?

RM: Of course! When we started in 2001, the scene in Dubai was bad. But 2001 to 2005 it was really good. There were a lot of bands and a lot of underground gigs but people didn’t know too much about metal. They used to come to our shows and learn and realize – this is metal, this is death metal, this is thrash metal. We used to talk with everyone. We used to go out after our show to our friends and fans and have a chat and talk about bands and sometimes trade albums. It was a learning process. So yeah, for the past 3-4 years, I think the internet and YouTube and technology have helped the younger generation to learn about metal really faster than before, in a shorter span of time. Nowadays I find that musicians that can play a guitar lesson on YouTube! (laughs) It’s not a bad thing at all you know!

WTS: The Middle East is seen generally as a very conservative society, has there been any sort of opposition to your music and your lyrical themes?

RM: No, not at all! A lot of people get confused by countries like Dubai and Qatar, these countries are really modern, very globalized so it’s not a problem. What we sing about is really about humanitarian issues and personal issues, nothing extreme lyrically. So we’ve never had these problems. As kids, growing up in the society we learned that we have to respect traditions and morals no matter what. For me, it was purely about the music and then the lyrics. We were fine you know. Other countries have issues with metal at gigs and concerts. We’d have had some problems playing there but we’ve never been to these countries. We try to avoid trouble and we were very careful so there has been no problem.

WTS: So did growing up in the Middle East influence your music in any way?

RM: Yeah of course! The thing is James, he writes the lyrics, its a self-expressive kind of music and doesn’t necessarily have to be negative. A lot of it is about reality, it could be about what’s happening around us and it could be about things between close friends or could be about what’s happening in the world in general. We don’t really have topics that pinpoint and they are mostly general. What’s happening in the world does affect us but we don’t really take it to the level where it’s concentrated to the lyrics. We always concentrate on the music first.

WTS: Your second album Psychogenocide was released in 2011 and you guys received rave reviews for it. Could you tell us more about it?

RM: This is our second full-length album and it’s on Lifeforce Records and we had little time to work on it compared to our last album because we were touring. We had a lot of tours in Europe and a lot of festivals between the writing process for the album. Compared to our last release it’s more of a dark album and a heavier album… more death-metal oriented than our last album Preaching Venom, which was was thrashier and more melodic. Psychogenocide was a bit of both – heavy and dark. Some songs were very melodic and other songs were plain brutal. We really didn’t plan it. When we write – me and Barney on guitars, we both write the music fully. We concentrate on the guitar riffs and then put it into songs. The composition is very guitar-driven. When the songs form, we decide – this song is going to be death, more brutal…let’s continue, lets keep it up the same way we want to do it. The album has a bit of everything and is musically heavier than our earlier releases. And of course we toured everywhere – Middle East, Far East. We went on a South Asian tour, out first Asian tour. Went to the Philippines, Sri Lanka, came back to India when we were promoting it. We also did a European tour with Morbid Angel, which was a very big tour for us. Morbid Angel is a very influential band and a big name in death metal so we were busy for this album. We’re still busy!

WTS: Are you guys recording or writing the third album?

RM: The official writing process is going to be sometime soon but you know I write riffs, Barney writes riffs and we sit together and we compose. The writing process sure is going to happen soon, definitely this year. The new album should be out this year.

WTS: Is it a challenge to translate the energy of your live act into your studio album or vice versa? Psychogenocide is heavy, brutal and technical in parts. Is it challenging to play it live?

RM: Of course! When we write, we keep the live aspect in our minds. We always want to know if this is going to be a lively song or this will be a song that we can’t play live. Whenever we go as far as we do and even if we have complex parts we practice it a lot in the jam room and make sure we pull it off and a lot of our riffs are pretty groove-oriented so naturally it works out fine. Luckily! (laughs) It is a challenge but in time we got used to it and we became better, we matured and started learning more and more. We did a lot of touring with a lot of live appearances. We started feeling off, like this pack of riffs or this pack of songs is going to be more studio songs so we don’t really play it live. We do the songs that we feel would drag the crowds. It’s a bit of both. We never really sit and plan like this will be cool riff-wise. It doesn’t work like that. But luckily, we’re very fortunate that it works out, it starts to come out naturally. We’re very happy about this.

WTS: So what have you been listening to lately? Are there any current bands that you are fans of?

RM: Yeah, for me it depends on my mood. I listen to metal all the time. I’ve been listening to experimental bands and I’m a progressive metal fan. Also old bands like Camel and Rush. I listen to these bands all the time. Sometimes I’m in the mood to listen to some brutal, extreme stuff. Of the newer bands I really like The Faceless, they’re a really cool band. I’ve been listening to this new band called The Haarp Machine and these guys are killer! Really cool technical, progressive stuff. Really depends on my mood, I don’t really have a playlist all the time. It changes…I was just listening to Slayer couple of hours ago – totally random!

WTS: It was great chatting with you Rami. Thank you for your time!

RM: No problem! My pleasure. Thanks for your time. I’ve actually seen quite a few articles on ‘What’s the Scene?’ We’re really looking forward to playing in India soon. It’s been a while since we’ve come back to India and we love the fans there. The crowds interact with us really well, we feel like we’re neighbours and feel connected in a way. All our past experiences in India were great so really looking forward to it!

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Sohan Maheshwar

Jack of all tirades, total shirk-off. Follow Sohan on twitter! @soganmageshwar


Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad


For all the headbangers in Hyderabad, Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar brought an evening of metal music which made for a perfect Saturday on the 19th of May 2012. Xtreme Sports Bar along with MetamorphiK and Tooth & Nail Productions had the stage set for metal bands from Hyderabad and this time around, there were new bands formed by the coming together of seasoned musicians sharing the platform with one of Hyderabad’s most popular bands and the headliners for the event – Skrypt.

Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad

Four Clover, a group of experienced musicians, who have played for accomplished bands like Sacred Groove and REALMS, came together with the objective to show that music is something that each and every individual can relate to. With progressive influences from bands like Pagan’s Mind, Pain Of Salvation and Hard Rock influences from bands like Blackstone Cherry and Alter Bridge, Four Clover kicked started the show with the groovy ‘Cochise’ by Audioslave. With Vocals by Ashok, Eddie on the guitars, Praveen on the bass and Rohit on the drums their music has progressive and hard rock elements along with some groovy tones. ‘Linoleum’ by Pain Of Salvation followed next and Ashok got the crowd into the groove. Four Clover gave its own touch to Alter Bridge’s ‘Before Tomorrow Comes’ with a bass intro. The entire band pulled the crowd in with Foo Fighters’ ‘My Hero’. The final was their first composition – ‘Dawn of Day’. The clean vocals, classic guitar tones, crazy bass and drums, and the fact that it was Four Clover’s first major gig made it just the right start for the evening.

Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad

Perpetual Void formed in February 2012 is a 5-piece thrash death metal band, the line-up of which includes Swaroop (Ex-Cerebral Assassins) on the drums, Roshan (Ex-Cerebral Assassins) and Chaitanya on the guitars, Kenneth on the bass and vocals by Pranav. They opened with ‘F**king Hostile’ originally by Pantera, which is one of the favourite bands of most heads. The rest of the set list included their original ‘Ministry of Death’, Opeth’s ‘Leper Affinity’, Lamb of God’s ‘Walk with Me in Hell’ and concluded with another original ‘Apostasy’. Their compositions were good with heavy riffs and lot of double bass drumming, and growls that reminded me of Underoath.

Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad

For all the fans of Shock Therapy, Insidious might turn out to be their next favourite since the band was formed by Jay (Shock Therapy), Aniketh (Shock Therapy) and Sumeet (MetamorphiK Productions). With vocals by Rahul(Shock Therapy), Jay and Santhosh (Cadent Slaves)on guitars, Sumeet on bass, and Aniketh on the drums these guys are influenced by bands like Slayer, Testament, Death, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Morbid Angel and Kataklysm. This was Insidious’ debut gig and they played a rather short set with Motorhead’s ‘The Game’, Slayer’s ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ and Kataklysm’s ‘Blood in Heaven’. With unusually deep growls, and influences ranging from heavy metal to death metal, their musical style is a mix of various subgenres.

Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad

This gig was the first of its kind for Skrypt especially because this time the lineup featured a few guests. Due to an unfortunate accident in which he fractured his forearms, the current lead guitarist, Joel, was unable to play. However, the show did go on with ex-guitarist of the band Ramya back on the lead. The rest of the lineup had Scenic on vocals, Ravi on the guitars, Abbas on the bass, and Rajiv on the drums, coupled with Alan (Pandora’s Box) as a guest guitarist and Ananth (Ex-Negator) as a guest vocalist.

Artifice’ from their EP Discord was their opening piece that was followed by other originals like ‘Constructing the Absolute’, ‘Anathema’ and ‘Supremacy’ also from their EP Discord. Their compositions are mostly thrash metal with elements of progressive and death metal. Their covers included Gojira’s ‘Clone’, Pantera’s ‘Mouth for War’, Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ and, on popular demand, Pantera’s ‘Cowboys from Hell’. While playing ‘Clone’, the band pulled up a guy onto the stage to headbang with them, who later dived back into the crowd. For ‘Mouth of War’, Alan played the guitars and for ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Cowboys from Hell’, the vocals were handled by both Scenic and Ananth. As always, this was yet another entertaining performance by Skrypt.

Metal Wave at Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad

There were quite a few glitches with the sound especially when Insidious played and a few slips here and there with the other bands. However, that did not stop people from enjoying the concert. The crowd went wild head banging, moshing, and diving from the stage into the crowd. All the four bands kept the enthusiasm of the crowd on a high throughout the concert.

Four Clover’s groovy musical style attracted the crowd, moving on to heavier music by Perpetual Void and Insidious and on to Skrypt – the perfect transition for an evening of metal leaving everyone with high spirits and a stiff neck caused by some extreme head banging!

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Vini Lilian

Vini works with an ad agency. She's a metalhead who can't play metal so she writes about it. She loves tattoos!


XXX’Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore


The XXX’Mas gig held on Christmas Eve, more importantly on Lemmy’s birthday, was supposed to be a tribute to those artists born in December who had inspired the bands playing that night. The artists being paid tribute were Dave Murray, Lemmy Kilmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Marty Friedman, Randy Rhoads, Daniel Antonsson, Jari Maenpaa, Mille Petrozza, Chris Barnes, Chuck Schuldiner, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

There were a few hiccups before the gig began – Corrode (covering Dark Tranquility/Wintersun), Pushing Tin (covering Jimi Hendrix/The Doors) and Theorized (covering Metallica/Megadeth) pulled out at the very last minute. Shepherd, Djinn & Miskatonic and Dhwesha pitched in and agreed to play even though it was at such short notice.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Shepherd was a few minutes into their set when we walked into Kyra. Since we were not familiar with the band due to last minute changes in the line-up, the first couple of minutes were spent trying to figure out what they were called. Though they have a characteristic doom-laden sound, the down-tuned, but heavily distorted lead guitars and the processed, yet abrasive vocals were very much reminiscent of YOB, or even Acid Bath. The throbbing bass was prominent in the mix, and even though most of the tracks lasted a bit over six minutes, the sudden tempo changes surely made for an interesting set. We later found out that this was their very first gig, something that was perhaps evident from the zero interaction the frontman had with the crowd. Shepherd is certainly a band to look forward to in the future, especially for the sludge-like vibe from their sound.

Djinn & Miskatonic was the second band of the three last-minute additions that evening. They have a very interesting and unconventional line-up that consists of a drummer, a bassist and a vocalist (yessir, no lead/rhythm guitars!) D&M’s sound is primarily bass-driven (duh), with the rhythm section playing a tight, but plodding version of traditional doom rock grooves. The vocals range from laboured, almost drone-like sections sung clean, to low-pitched growls. The feel, if we could use the term, is one of horror films of days gone by, to be honest. Their brand of ultra-slow, trudging doom is not everyone’s cup of gin & tonic, and will certainly confuse a metalhead who sticks to the conventional riff-based gloom perpetrated by the likes of Sabbath, Pentagram and Candlemass.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Dhwesha was the third band in queue and put on a great show even though it was only their second live performance and they had little time to practise. They kicked off their set with typical, old school death metal ferocity and ‘Hoy! Sala’ was the first of the original compositions that they played. After enthralling the crowd with ‘Dhwesha’, ‘Ugra Narasimha’ and ‘Yudhabhumi’, they even managed to squeeze in a rousing cover – Bolt Thrower’s ‘Those Once Loyal’. Together with Djinn & Miskatonic and Shepherd they provided an excellent opening for the rest of the bands lined up.

Up next were Gorified, one of the bands from the original line-up. They were paying tribute to Cannibal Corpse and Death, more specifically Chris Barnes of the former and the Chuck Schuldiner of the latter (Schuldiner wasn’t born in December but passed away that month). As is their standard, they got the moshing started in no time giving the crowd a nice, strong dose of their brand of extreme metal. Their brutal onslaught included intense covers – Cannibal Corpse’s ‘A Skull Full of Maggots’ and ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’; Death’s ‘Denial of Life’ and Napalm Death’s ‘Scum.’ They ended their savagery with a song from Gani and Charlie’s older project Cremated Souls.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Mumbai’s Albatross were the next band on stage and their set that night was a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads. They took a while to get started and set up but once their set began they were a sheer thrill to watch. The vocalist – Biprorshee Das has a solid set of pipes and terrific stage presence; he was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night. They started off with classics ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘Crazy Train’ and had quite a few people singing along. Switching gears, they played Sabbath much to the crowd’s delight. Following their commendable covers of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and ‘N.I.B.’, they had a surprise for the crowd – Ganesh Krishnaswamy from Bevar Sea joined them for a brilliant rendition of ‘Paranoid’. Reverting back to Ozzy one last time, they played ‘Gets me Thru’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’. They had one last cover for the night – Wolf’s ‘Voodoo’ – and did quite a good job of it, especially Biprorshee, who nailed those falsettos with ease. The set ended with ‘In the Court of Kuru’, a song from their debut E.P.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Headliners Kryptos were doing an Iron Maiden tribute set (celebrating Dave Murray’s birthday). Much like a Maiden gig, they had U.F.O’s ‘Doctor, Doctor’ playing on the P.A. before taking stage, something that rather unfortunately went more or less unnoticed by a large chunk of the crowd. They started with ‘Ides of March’ and proceeded to play ‘Wrathchild’ and ‘Killers’ with Ganesh taking over vocal duties the second time that night. Nolan Lewis attempted the formidable task of singing songs from Dickinson-era Maiden and did quite a good job with ‘Children of the Damned’ and ‘Flight of Icarus’. Biprorshee joined Kryptos for a phenomenal cover of ‘The Trooper’, and everyone in the crowd was chanting along fervently with the band. Ganesh was back on stage once more to round up the set with ‘Running Free’ and ‘Iron Maiden’. Kryptos were hands down the best set/performance of the night. They were also the only band to play only covers that night (Pillbox 666 doesn’t count given that they’re a cover band).

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

The last act of the night, Pillbox 666, took to the stage to a reduced and slightly sluggish crowd. Their set was a tribute to the mighty Lemmy from Motorhead and Teutonic thrash legends Kreator (Mille Petrozza), though the original billing had them doing a Rolling Stone tribute too. Vikram Bhat, the vocalist, couldn’t make it and the vocal duties were taken over by Ganesh and Bharad Ravi (ex-Culminant). The first half of their set comprised of Motorhead covers, Ganesh pulling of an uncannily good impression of Lemmy, playing ‘The Chase is Better than the Catch’, ‘Killed by Death’, ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Going to Brazil’ before handing over the reins to Bharad who closed the Motorhead set with ‘Overkill’. The next half – the Kreator tribute set – was equally fun to watch (more so since the songs were from Kreator’s first two albums) with them performing badass covers of ‘Under the Guillotine’, ‘Son of Evil’, ‘Total Death’ and ‘Tormentor’.

Despite the last minute changes in the line-up and the fact that almost half of the bands ended up performing original material instead of covers, the good turnout and the nostalgia associated with some of the artists that were being paid tribute to, made sure the audience had a good time. Given how city-centric the metal acts in our scene are, it was a refreshing change to see a band like Albatross to come over all the way from Mumbai to play here. Certainly something everyone would like to see more of in the days to come. No milk and cookies here for Mr. Claus though, beer and cigarettes are more rock n’ roll! Bet Lemmy would agree.


Interview with Fractalline


Fractalline is a 4-piece death metal band from LA with KP Krishnamoorthy on guitars, Jordan Nalley on vocals, Ray Rojo on drums and Sandesh Nagaraj on bass. WTS caught up with the band members after their recent show in Bangalore, where they spoke about their ‘Indianfestation’ tour , the Indian metal scene and their story so far…

WTS: How has your Indianfestation tour been so far?

KP: This tour was originally supposed to span six cities but there were a few changes in the plan. Nobody is going to turn up for anything when there’s a cricket match happening. So we are playing at four cities now. We’ve had a very good response from the cities where we’ve played so far – that’s Mumbai, Manipal and Bangalore and we will be playing in Delhi tomorrow, and we’ll fly back to LA the day after.

WTS: Tell us more about the shows you’ve done as part of this tour so far.

Jordan: Tonight was pretty amazing, but considering it (Bangalore) was their home town, I kinda expected it to be this way. But for Manipal, it was kinda last second, didn’t know what’s gonna happen, never heard of the place. We went out there, just knowing that we will be playing for a college crowd and that’s about it. I think nearly 300 people were there.

KP: Yeah. they sold more than 300 tickets before the show and had walk-ins as well.

Jordan: But there was no sound guy, I had to do sound for seven bands last night! (laughs) So I went early and did the sound for all the bands, on a piece-of-crap system. It was an old analog and everyone cranked all the way up and still everything was fed back and nothing was loud enough. It was a fun night though!

WTS: From Myndsnare to Fractalline, how has the sound evolved?

KP: There is some change that can be attributed to me wanting to try and get a heavier sound. I’m using an 8-string guitar now as compared to standard 6-string that I used earlier. That has definitely changed the tone. This has allowed Sandy to do a whole bunch of different stuff on the bass guitar.

WTS: How did you guys get to know each other at MI (Musicians Institute)?

Ray: KP was looking to form a heavier band and was looking for members. Sandy wanted to keep playing with him. Yasmin, the drummer of Myndsnare, heard me play some stuff and gave my number to KP and we got together, practiced and it went well. We had a vocalist before Jordan and that thing didn’t work out, Jordan heard us play in school and liked it. So, he came down to our practice and from there it’s been pretty good.

WTS: So the formation of the band can pretty much be attributed to MI?

KP: I wouldn’t probably give it that much credit, but yeah, if it was not for that then we wouldn’t have the band.

Jordan: It’s a great place to meet people. The biggest plus about MI is, you take the time to meet the people within this school and you’ll find people with similar interests and people with similar goals. We pretty much found each other that way. Actually we don’t have similar tastes in music. We write the same music that we enjoy – what’s coming out of it, all of us equally.

WTS: You’ve mentioned some of your influences as Death, Slayer and All Shall Perish. How do guy work it out, with such different tastes in music?

KP: Well, we don’t really look at our influences at all, we just make music based on what we feel like playing and that’s it. We don’t try to sound like a like a certain band or anything of that sort. In Fractalline, the portions of creativity that apply to the band fit in perfectly with the rest of the guys and what they want. So when I come up with the riffs, these guys like it. When he comes up the vocals parts and lyrics, we like it. The drums part, I think, is totally f**king awesome, without the stuff he plays we really wouldn’t sound like the way we do. The same goes to Sandy as well. I think in this band there has no specific instrument or person or musician taking the forefront because all of us contribute equally.

Jordan: Yea, the songs just happen. We don’t like to aim for certain genre or bands.

KP: Yeah, we seem to be actually letting the songs tell us what do they want us to sound like than making the sound come out of us and that seems to be working out for us.

WTS: A few weeks back you released your EP Infinite Entropy. How has the response been back in LA and India?

KP: The response in LA was not as big as in India, because we don’t have a presence over there like we had with Myndsnare. But we have been playing for people who loved the music and have picked up our CDs. We are going to be taking back some T-Shirts as well which we’ll be selling there. A lot of people have been buying our CDs over here. I think there’s not too much of a difference between the audience over there and the audience over here, and the amount of money they are willing to spend on a CD. It’s pretty much the same.

WTS: You guys have been working on a concept album. How has the progress been with that so far and when do you expect to complete it?

KP: Well, Jordan is working on all the concepts for the songs, he has a clear idea of what each song is supposed to be about. We will be writing music and it seems to be like, every three weeks to a month we’ve got enough material for a new song while working on it. We also have a lot of school work and other stuff to do. So it’s not fast as you know getting a band in studio and writing an album but I think this way there is certain organic progress to the way music is coming out of us, we will have time to shift a little bit between songs before we end up with five or six songs for lineup in a week. We should have a full length before the end of this year.

WTS: Are you planning a comeback with Myndsnare anytime soon?

KP: Myndsnare is pretty much over. Probably no tours either. We frankly think it doesn’t make much sense to play again because we don’t have any new songs after the earlier album release. We play the songs for people who haven’t seen us live, but I doubt if it’s going to get enough ‘going’ in it to get approved or so. Sorry about that! (smiles)

Jordan: We will always figure ways to get back here with Fractalline. It’s been amazing, eye-opening, crazy! I also wanted to say that with the Indianfestation tour, all the bands we’ve played with have been amazing. I mean I haven’t really heard Indian metal before apart from Myndsnare and Extinct Reflections. Hearing about bands like Bhayanak Maut, Eccentric Pendulum and the time that they have already spent in the scene here. With the kind of online promotion and TV promotion that we have in the States, these Indian bands would definitely be doing really well. Even for the level that they are at here, still playing small venues and not having a worldwide name, they definitely equal the bands over there in the States. So that way, the bands that are out here are way better than the bands that play within the States. So playing with bands like that is really an honor and awesome to see. I’m thankful to them, they are all awesome.

WTS: Sandy and KP, you guys have seen bands like Dying Embrace, Myndsnare, Extinct Reflections and Kryptos emerge in the past and also the bands that are emerging now. How do you think the Indian metal scene has changed over the past 15 years?

KP: In the past 15 odd years, the internet has really doubled and social networking has started making a difference in the way bands promote their shows. Also, the internet has caused a bifurcation of people – those who bitch about everything all the time online and those who have been really supportive of music and buying CDs and things like that. I think the internet is the only real difference that happened in the music scene, everything else is a byproduct. Any scene would do good if it had money. Nowadays, you actually come across some guys and venues understanding what a metal band is. Like Kyra isn’t going to ask “When is the orchestra going to come?” you know? You don’t need to deal with rubbish like that anymore. It’s more like a mindset thing and now people are actually starting to understand what a pop or rock band is.

WTS: Has the musicianship changed over the years?

KP: Yeah! Very much. If I was playing how I was playing with Threinody and all now, people will be laughing me off. Now you can’t play a few power chords and a shitty cover of ‘Raining Blood‘.

WTS: How has the crowd changed? Are they more receptive to originals now?

KP: Definitely. Earlier you expected every band to play two or three covers to check out what the band is capable of and then you will listen to original music. Nowadays people don’t give a damn about covers especially in Bombay, Bangalore and Delhi and cities like that.

WTS: Where do you see the Indian metal scene going five years from now?

KP: Into smaller towns, to more cities and people. Kryptos is doing a really cool thing. They are planning a 35-city tour in India!

Jordan: That way it opens up possibilities for other bands to do the same thing and other cities to start expecting stuff like that.

KP: This is exactly how tours are done in US and it works .That’s the only way you can earn money in the US as a touring band. Over here, we are spending so much money flying between cities and doing all that kinda stuff that you can’t really afford to make living out of something like that. But if there are enough small crowds of about 100 to 300 in the cities for a band and you rent a bus and do that kinda stuff, its gonna be way easier. Renting a bus and a driver is not that expensive. So if you put that aside and see the profits you can make from merch sales and how much the venues will pay you for the shows , it’s actually going to be something feasible. If Kryptos and the other bands follow suit, it will open up our reach to smaller towns; they’ll really understand what this is about and start getting into it.

WTS: Do you think we’ll ever be as big as the metal scene in Europe in terms of number of releases? 

Jordan: The kids out here who have come to our clinics, (which were a part of our tours, hosted at Furtados), have been so passionate. With them writing lyrics and music, and knowing how the people they look up to play and write music… as long as they keep coming out of India, we definitely have high hopes in the Indian metal scene. The shows here have been amazing! LA is so talked up and over exaggerated, the only bands for which you see better crowds than what we have, are Slayer or other international bands. Other than that you have just a bunch of people sitting around and staring at you. The crowd here really loves their music.

KP: I think there are two sides to it. Over here, (Bangalore) a lot of people come to see us because of Myndsnare. In Delhi they don’t know us. So the kind of crowds we play to are not the same. While one side is factually and perfectly true, you can’t really hope to claim crowds like this unless we put in the hard work and pay up dues to build up a following.

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Abhilash Achar

Abhilash Achar may be remembered as the (in)famous guy behind hits such as 'Extraterrestrial Human Being' and 'The guy who spent way too much time on the internet' or from his earlier works such as 'Serving justice in the mosh-pit'. He is currently working on his next big hit, 'Lounge Bedroom Music for a Metalhead' (You are welcome.) Find his musical misadventures at last.fm/user/humanethb


The Mighty Riff at Alliance Francaise, Bangalore





Recently, there’s been a lot of DIY-ism when it comes to metal gigs in Bangalore. The Mighty Riff was one such gig, organized by the musicians themselves, with a very spacious hall at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore being used as the venue and an entry fee of just Rs 99. The bill consisted of CulminantBevar SeaInner Sanctum and Pillbox 666.

The venue seemed great. First impressions are often the last ones and we got a great impression of how loud and strong the sound could be, when Culminant started off. They started with one of their OC’s, covered Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ and followed it up with two more originals. The volume given to Bharad’s vocals seemed a bit low but the other instruments seemed perfect in the mix. Next up, they were covering Death’s ‘Misanthrope’ which was going perfectly until a technical glitch stopped them in between. Another attempt at the song, and the same result. They went on to perform another original and a third attempt at ‘Misanthrope’ resulted in the same glitch, which is where they decided to end their set. However, despite the technical issues they had made their mark and it was already a great start to the fest.

Bevar Sea, due to performing in a bigger venue, seemed less bassy this time and they were as good as they’ve always have been, if not better. Their set list consisted entirely of originals, which was great because they already have some very formidable compositions. Their set was lengthy, but had a flow of its own. They started with their often-used opener ‘The Smiler’ , followed by the Bangalore debut of their new song ‘Sleeping Pool’ , which managed to bring in loads of doom, especially in the last few minutes of the song. It was followed by the very catchy ‘Abhishtu’ , the upbeat ‘Universal Sleeper’ and the heavy set crawled to it’s finish with ‘Mono-gnome’ . Their sound always seems impeccable. Finding flaws in their set is like finding a needle in a haystack, and it was the same case in this gig as well. Another noticeable part was the crowd joining in on ‘Abhishtu’ something very rare in the Indian metal scene.

Inner Sanctum was the next much-awaited act, evident by the surge of crowd before their set, and the drop in numbers afterwards. Before the band got on stage, the artwork was on display, which was very impressive, to say the least. Shortly afterwards, the band took control of the scene, every song being as hard hitting as the previous one, with the sound seeming just right. Inner Sanctum has developed a dedicated following among the younger metalheads in namma Bengaluru, the mosh-happy kids expecting a mosh-worthy performance every time these guys play. This gig was no different, they delivered and how! The limited space in the hall was well exploited, with the crowd going berserk over their set list. The last track intensified their act with a Wall of Death which, though miniature, saw a good number of arms flinging around, kids thrown around. Now isn’t that just sweet? As it turned out, this was to be Rajeev the guitarist’s last gig, as frontman Gaurav Basu informed us that he’d be leaving the country for higher studies. This of course came with serious objections from the crowd, flipping the finger at the mention of ‘studies’. Rajeev was pulled off the stage for a crowd-surf by the fans (again a first, for any gig here!). A final group hug by all the members of the band and they were off! 

With covers of their “Gods” done “as they should be”, Bangalore’s new supergroup Pillbox 666 was the last band to take the stage. Their set list remained the same as their debut gig, but with an addition of Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’ Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ was also included, which had been skipped at their previous gig due to a broken guitar string. They started off with Black Sabbath’s ‘Black Sabbath’ followed by Slayer’s ‘Black Magic’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Electric Funeral’, Metallica’s ‘Whiplash’, Candlemass’ ‘Dark Reflections’, Autopsy’s ‘Ridden with Disease’, Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ and Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’, each cover ranging from great to magnificent. The guitar tone had that old-school raw edge and the bass was extremely prominent. The growling by Vikram Bhat provided chills, especially on songs like ‘Black Sabbath’, and ‘War Pigs’, and the drumming was absolutely perfect (Mr Raghu hasn’t disappointed us with any of his other projects, has he?). And it wasn’t just the tight covers. Pillbox 666 are an amazing live act, with Vikram Bhat clearly at the helm of affairs. Ganesh was on the vocals for ‘Whiplash’, (surprise!), the song itself a reminder of how Metallica was the band we all loved! Sigh. The TSF/UG crew (you know who you are!) deserve a special mention here, their controlled recklessness having fueled many a gig here in Bangalore before, and Pillbox 666′s set had them at full strength.

Apart from the live music, the fest did great with merchandise. All the four bands came out with t-shirts. At least four such poster designs could be seen for the fest, all of them with great artwork, two of which were put up for sale before the fest. CDs were also on sale at the merchandise stall and it’s always great to have something like that at a metal fest.

A great turnout despite the rains had proved that the metalheads inBangaloreare always up for a good gig, come rain, come shine. As we walked out of the venue with our necks aching and our ears still ringing from the onslaught, the only question on everyone’s mind was, “So, when’s the next one?”