We analyze this Sunday’s metal awards (held at Blue Frog, Mumbai) to give you that helping hand at the bookies.
With almost the same five bands receiving nominations in all categories, and Skyharbor sneaking in two nominations as well, this year’s Rolling Stone Metal Awards seem to be sliding in favour of Goddess Gagged (pictured above). However, there seems to a little more buzz around Pangea’s debut live show this Sunday as compared to the awards itself. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 1 at Blue Frog, Mumbai and will be hosted by well-known indie scenester Rohit ‘P-Man’ Pereira (ex-Pin Drop Violence bassist and one-half of electronica project Vice Versa). Though mayhem ensued at last year’s awards with performances from Exhumation, Noiseware, Artillerie and Bhayanak Maut, this year’s awards plan to be as badass and a successful departure from the magazine’s other award ceremony – the JD Rock Awards (more on that here).
Here’s a look at who we think will take home some silver.
There’s enough competition here with the biggies, Scribe, Bhayanak Maut, and Demonic Resurrection, taken out of the fray since they’ve not released any new material over the last year. Similarly, winners of last year’s Audience Choice Award – Zygnema (picture outside) – have been ruled out because of no new releases. This leaves us with Pangea as the favourite (it’s unlikely since they’ve not played a gig yet). Bangalore metallers Eccentric Pendulum have had a good year as well playing opening slots for Opeth and Kreator at Summer Storm and Bangalore Open Air respectively. While Providence can hold their ground, it’s most likely Goddess Gagged are taking this one away – a trend that will possibly hold true for most categories.
However, watching Pangea this Sunday should be an interesting experience, as will watching Sunneith Revankar play his last gig with Providence.
Persepolis – Dark Helm
Winding the Optics – Eccentric Pendulum
Resurfaces – Goddess Gagged
Snails Are When I Was Young – Pangea
Vanguard – Providence
While our review of Dark Helm’s Persepolis stamped them with a C+ (more here), Eccentric Pendulum’s Winding The Optics hasn’t made much of a mark either despite the band’s great fan base in the city, and having played big gigs across the country. Pangea brought out a promising debut in Snails Are When I Was Young, as did Providence with Vanguard, yet Mumbai city favourties Goddess Gagged are likely to take this one home. No band, over the last year, have grown and impressed as they have. With more than just a couple of excellent singles, Goddess Gagged have much to be proud of in the Zorran Mendonsa-produced album.
Stream two singles off the album below.
‘The Axioms of Aphotic Expressions’ – Eccentric Pendulum
‘Visionary’ – Goddess Gagged
‘Every Photo Doesn’t Have A Ghost’ – Pangea
‘Watch Them Fall’ – Providence
‘Maeva’ – Skyharbor
To be honest, this one’s the toughest category to weigh up. While Goddess Gagged’s ‘Visionary’ is almost always a high point during their live performances, ‘Maeva’ by Skyharbor is an instant album highlight. Also, having nailed two successful gigs (including one with Daniel Tompkins), Dhar’s bedroom project has evolved into one of the finer metal acts in the country, and so, holds much promise.
Stream another Skyharbor song below.
Nikhil Vastarey – Eccentric Pendulum
Siddharth Basrur – Goddess Gagged
Aman Virdi – Noiseware
Sunneith Revankar – Providence
Sunneith Revankar – Skyharbor
Despite the fact that there was much talk of Siddharth Basrur winning at the JD Rock Awards (photos here) and we had hoped he would win, it didn’t go his way. Vishal Dadlani, who won the award for Best Vocalist owing to Pentagram’s stellar record, Bloodywood, admitted Basrur deserved the award. Keeping those speculations aside for a moment, chances are and statistically speaking, Sunneith Revankar is likely to have a better swing for this one considering he’s the Woody Allen of this category with two nominations.
Stream Goddess Gagged’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ below.
Devesh Dayal & Arman Menzies – Goddess Gagged
Adhiraj Singh & Aniket Patni – Noiseware
Akshay Rajpurohit – Pangea
Shezan Shaikh & Charan Singh Pathania – Providence
Keshav Dhar – Skyharbor
Though Akshay Rajpurohit has garnered a lot of praise for his work on Pangea’s record, Noiseware and Providence guitarists have cranked it up with their respective material as well. Also, Dayal and Menzies have displayed great skills on Resurfaces, however, this could just well be Keshav Dhar’s crowning glory for the excellent record he’s put out with some great collabs on board.
Have a listen to ‘Women Can’t Behave On Buses’ by Pangea below.
Vibhas Venkatram – Eccentric Pendulum
Jeremy D’souza – Goddess Gagged
Ifty Sarwar – Insane Prophecy
Gautam Deb – Noiseware
Aaron Pinto – Providence
As Venkatram of Eccentric Pendulum has already bagged the award for the Best Drummer at the JD Rock Awards earlier this year, chances are he could bag this one as well. Looking at the other nominees, Deb of Noiseware holds a strong chance and has recently joined Reverrse Polarity, to add to his cred. D’souza, the youngest of the nominees, has displayed great chops behind the kit and made an impression, as has the rest of the band. We do speculate that this one seems to be going the Bangalore metallers’ way.
Shubhrayu De – Dark Helm
Arun Natarajan – Eccentric Pendulum
Krishna Jhaveri – Goddess Gagged
Xulfi Nawaz – Insane Prophecy
Srikanth Rao – Providence
This one’s a tough call to make but going by public consensus, Goddess Gagged are set to make a repeat of Scribe’s JD Rock Awards sweep from 2010. Of course we’re fans of Jhaveri’s theatrics every single time the camera moves to him in the video for ‘Sink Or Swim’. But the question is (in true #Bollywood style), will those theatrics convert to an award for the young bassist? Morevoer, Eccentric Pendulum have a strong chance as well having seen their live gig at Summer Storm earlier this year. Providence aren’t too far away either but this one could be young Jhaveri’s chance to shine (#geddit?).
Stream some Eccentric Pendulum below.
Vivek Arun – Amethysts
Taz James – Chaotic Years
Aniketh Shankar – Dark Helm
Antriksh Bali – Ebonix
Shadaab Kadri– Pangea
Is it just us or has the Slain keyboardist, Jonathan Wesley, been omitted because they don’t want to give him the award anymore (after winning consecutively in the last two years)? Maybe Pangea could take this win because of their unique brand of metal. They’ve promised plenty of synth-usage for their performance “since we are a prog-drone-ambient sort of outfit, we will be using a lot of synth on stage.”
Listen to Pangea below.
Check out the promo for the ceremony below.
The Rolling Stone Metal Awards are on Sunday, July 1 at Blue Frog, Mumbai, 8pm onwards. Entry Rs 200. See you in the pit.