For new bands with talent wondering how to go forward and showcase their music within and beyond their cities, here is W.O.R.M.E. – World of Rock, Metal and Electronica. W.O.R.M.E. is a platform where all the independent musicians in the Rock, Blues, Jazz, Fusion, Metal and Electronica genres across India meet professional artists, sponsors, music labels and music lovers to get opportunities, recognition, growth and exposure at a national and international level. W.O.R.M.E. Fest 2011 is an initiative held in cities across India, where bands and other artistes compete to play in the finale held in Delhi.
W.O.R.M.E. Fest 2011 Prelims in Hyderabad was held on the 18th of November, 2011 at One Flight Down, where 5 bands from Hyderabad and around showcased their talent. The headlining band and judges for the evening – thrash metal band Skrypt from Hyderabad, was evaluating bands on the parameters of technicality, lyrical style, how interesting or catchy their music is, and crowd engagement.
The opening band for the evening was -1 Degree from Ahmedabad. A young and dynamic 4-piece band, they play hardcore punk, alternative and post-punk. Their lineup includes Hait on the guitars and lead vocals, Yax on the lead guitars, Abhijeet on the bass and Siddharth on the drums. They song list included Offspring’s cover of ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, originals like ‘My Girlfriend’s Wedding’, ‘When I’ll Be Rich’, ‘Up and Higher’ and ‘Axe up my Ex’. With clean vocals and some heavy riffs, the opening band had a little slow start but got the crowd pumped up by the end of their stint. Their music was good but the vocals sounded a tad raw.
The next up was the Chennai-based progressive metal band 83 MPH a.k.a 83 Miles Per Hour. With Kenny on the Vox, Peter on the Drums, Aldrin on the Keys and backup vocals, Rishikant and Raemus on the Guitars, and Harshit on the Bass these guys stole the show. They played originals including ‘The Rizky Chronicles 1.0′, ‘Hold On’, ’83 mph’ and ‘Drunk’. With Priest-like vocals and intricate music, this band kept everyone on their feet. These guys by far were the best that evening. Their music was quite technical along with the vocal harmony blending perfectly. The band’s performance as a whole was tight. They were in my opinion the best in the competition.
Eagle Riders from Hyderabad are a contemporary rock band whose members are Praveen on Vocals and Rhythm Guitar, Sunil on Lead Guitar, Vijay on Bass and Bobby on Drums. With heavy metal influences, they played a cover and two originals – ‘Bring It On’, ‘Murder by Pride’ (Stryper cover) and ‘Depression Anger Pain’. Their old school vocals and modern day tones were a refreshing combination.
When you see the band, the first thing that hits you about Last Ride Home is their hairstyles! The alternative metal band from Mumbai not only worked on their hair but equally on their music. The band comprises bassist and vocalist Deep, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Shubham, rhythm guitarist Yashish and Drummer and backing vocalist Dev. Switching between clean and harsh vocals, their playlist consisted of ‘West You’d See’, ‘Face Your Fall’, ‘Scream Your Name’, ‘Unholy Confessions’ and ‘Toxicity’ . I must admit that more than their music, their hairstyles stole the show. Their music was good overall, but is still developing. However, they did know how to engage the crowd.
The final band to compete was Pandora’s Box from Hyderabad. Their genre is progressive/ thrash metal and their lineup includes Alan on Guitars/Vox, Benjamin on the Vox, Rohit on the Guitar, Aditya on the Bass and Andrew on the Drums. Their vocal styles switched between clean and harsh vocals. One of Hyderabad’s favorites, these guys played only their own compositions – ‘Trepidation’, ‘We meet again’, ‘Zorn’. The music was pretty intense. However, their clean vocals sounded better than their growls.
The evening ended with Skrypt taking the stage – Scenic on the vocals, Joel and Ravi on the guitars, Rajiv on the drums, Abbas on the bass. Their opening piece was ‘Artifice’ from their EP Discord after which they played ‘Scarred’ that got the crowd in the groove. Their latest composition ‘Oceans Alive’ was a crazy 14-minute piece which was very melodic and very technical. Joel’s insane solo in this piece made jaws drop. The rest of set list was ‘Anathema’, ‘Beyond Conflict’, ‘Supremacy’ and finally ‘Constructing The Absolute’. It did not end there. On public demand, they covered Pantera’s ‘Cowboys from Hell’.
Throughout the competition the crowd enjoyed the performance of different bands. However, when Skrypt began to play the crowd went berserk. Though the turnout was not phenomenal, they made up in the intensity with headbanging and moshing especially for Pantera’s cover.
Two bands are selected from each city. The winners from Hyderabad Prelims to share the stage with other bands in Delhi were 83 MPH and Pandora’s Box. The perfect way to begin the weekend for metalheads in Hyderabad, W.O.R.M.E. Fest not only gave musicians a platform to present their talents, but also give another reason for metal lovers an evening to remember.