Day two of the Bacardi Black Rock Arena at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2012, Bangalore, saw some unforgettable moments in the history of the festival.
Bangalore on Sunday got exactly what they asked for – massive sounding guitars, some serious shredding, double bass blast beats, and a whole lot of headbanging. Day two of the Bacardi Black Rock Arena at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2012, Bangalore, served up metal like it was coming from an endless body of molten lava. Prog, death, extreme, metalcore, thrash, even a dose of hip-hop, and then what’s come to be known as djent. Read on for a full roundup of the day’s events.
Goddess Gagged started the day off at the Rock Arena with ‘Modern Machines’, and warmed up a decently-sized crowd, out of which many metalheads had run straight from the gates to the front row as soon as they’d been opened. They played ‘Fine Lines’ next, before they went into a song from their unreleased next album. Vocalist Siddharth Basrur said the song, and some of their new material, was gonna make people dance. The audience wasn’t that interested in busting a move like that, but they did sway along to GG’s melodic, prog-metal stylings. Just after that, drummer Jeremy D’Souza’s hand cramped up, and surprise, surprise, OX7GEN was back on a Weekender stage, this time to replace the drummer on their next, ‘Visionary’. Like we’ve mentioned before, GG have managed to carve a niche for themselves within Indian indie metal, and even though Bangalore didn’t seem to warm to them as much as the band may have liked, their set was efficient, albeit marred by a few sound issues (more on that later on). No ‘Sink Or Swim’ though, and calls for it weren’t heeded to.
Mumbai death and extreme metal stalwarts Demonic Ressurrection were up next, and by this time the rows up front had filled up considerably. DR enjoy the privilege of a dedicated fanbase wherever they play, and many fans of the Demonstealer and his work were kitted in those cool, new ‘Lord Of Pestilence’ DR tees . The band kicked off with their intro off Return To Darkness, before launching right into ‘Warriors Return’, followed by ‘Dismembering The Fallen’. The mini-leagues of DR fans in the crowd were singing and headbanging right through to the end, and were loving every moment of it. DR’s brootal set was quite unrelenting, with little or no breaks for small-talk, since the band let their chops do all their talking for them. Frontman Sahil Makhija is able to command any metal audience anywhere because of the respect he gets among purists of the genre. No fluff here. Just one hundred percent metal.
Bhayanak Maut came on in lungis, as the Black Metal Raghu Dixit Project, and wasted no time blasting through the now-sizable audience with ‘Chakna For Church’. BM’s set saw a steady mosh going from pretty much the beginning to the end, and every one of vocalists Vinay Venkatesh and Sunneith Revankar’s calls for circle pits were taken on as challenges by the Weekender Bangalore audience. Sound issues plagued BM’s set though, and a mix with more definition for each instrument could have helped. After wrapping up a super heavy performance of ‘Ungentle’ off 2009′s Untitled Bhayanak Maut Album, Venkatesh addressed the crowd and told them why Bangalore is a special place for the Mumbai boys. Four years ago, right here in Bangalore, Sunneith Revankar made his first appearance guesting on stage during a Bhayanak Maut gig, and was consequently recruited by the band to join them on vocals. The band members’ chops and the sheer power of BM’s set left the audience wanting more. Also, Bangalore metalheads know their Marathi.
After some change-up time, the Bangalore Metal Project took the stage. Comprising members of Threinody, Myndsnare, and Kryptos, the project treated the audience to some old-school thrash, Bangalore-style. Unfortunately for the BMP, a majority of the crowd that were present during Bhayanak Maut’s set had left the Bacardi Black Rock Arena to meet Periphery at the NH7 Home of Awesomeness Signing Tent. Still, the project played on without a care in the world to many of their fans. Members of the Bangalore Metal Project showcased performances of ‘In Extremis’, ‘Unto The End’, and ‘Existential Schism’ by Threinody, and ‘Clandestine Elements’ by Kryptos, before Myndsnare’s KP came on to play ‘Using The Pain’, ‘Changing Skins” and ‘Altar Ego’. At one point, frontman Siddharth Naidu made a joke about drinks being spiked with sleeping pills because the audience didn’t seem that “into it” and were more “out there”. KP dedicated their last song, a cover of ‘Symbolic’ by Death, to Charles Schuldiner, guitarist of Death, who passed away a little more than a decade ago, before thanking Bangalore for keeping the metal spirit alive.
It’s hard to tell whether Bangalore were prepared for Scribe, but at least now they know what’s in store for them at the next Scribe show. In what will be regarded as one of the greatest sets ever seen at the Bacardi Black Rock Arena since its existence, Scribe, dressed in some fine Egyptian cotton bath robes, put on an unforgettable show, much thanks to the amazing dynamics of their vocalist Vishwesh K. Vishwesh won all the ladies’ hearts right in the beginning, by separating the male-dominant crowd and having all the females step up to the front and center, creating Bangalore’s first-ever, all-girl mosh. Scribe’s set had everything – dirty talk, photographer Roycin D’Souza on stage guesting on Limp Bizkit’s ‘Gold Cobra’, the day’s first wall of death, new songs ‘Jugal Main Paagal Ho Rahaan Hoon’ and ‘Cops Cops Cops’, Scribe set-staples like ‘DemonPra’, ‘Buddy’, and the much-requested ‘I Love You Pav Bhaji’. A defining highlight of the set was a beatboxing jam before which Vishwesh called out to the audience for a rapper. A minute later though, singer Amrit Rao aka ‘Indiana Jones’ was on stage rapping and singing along to one of the finest impromptu Scribe jams ever seen. Scribe promised to be back, and they’ll be welcomed for sure.
A 20-minute break later, Periphery were on stage. Over the next hour, the beasts from Bethesda laid claim to the audience’s bodies and minds with a nuclear riff assault, complimented by some of the loudest, heaviest drums heard all day. Whatever vocalist Spencer Sotelo commanded was delivered by an audience who were shockingly, still full of energy after a whole afternoon and evening of metal. Way to go Bangalore! Starting off with ‘Racecar’, the band launched into ‘Have A Blast’ off their latest, Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal. ‘Buttersnips’ followed, and pretty soon, the view of the band from the sound console was obscured by all the dust kicked up by the mosh-ready crowd. Periphery’s overall sound was thick on the highs because of three guitar players going to town on their axes, but the drums and bass are what controlled all the arms and legs in the crowd. Right before Periphery launched into their first big single ‘Icarus Lives’, they managed to create Weekender history. A circle pit that circled “that fuckin’ tent over there” (sound console) was the order of the evening, and served up (not king size though) by the frenzied crowd. Seen circling the tent was yet another vest-clad member of Goddess Gagged. Periphery left the stage to come back for an encore (yeah, believe) that sent the Weekender audience into overdrive, and capped off a perfect final day at the first ever Weekender in Bangalore. Vocalist Sotelo’s Bane-banter was hilarious to boot.
Read yesterday’s roundup of the Bacardi Black Rock Arena here.
Photos by Abhimanyu Ghoshal