With the previous two editions, Bangalore Open Air had
established itself as THE biggest metal festival in the country. But, come 2014
the organizers were in a financial struggle. They went the crowd funding way,
to keep the festival alive, but sadly failed. But, still hell bent on keeping
the festival going, against all the odds they managed to pull off the third
edition on September 13, 2014 at CounterCulture.
The lineup consisted of the thrash legends Destruction from
Germany along with the Greek atmospheric black metal giants – Rotting Christ.
Also in support were Kryptos, The Down Troddence, Threinody, Armament and
Girish and the Chronicles.
The first band were the thrash band – Armament from Kolkata.
I was seeing them live for the first time, and the band definitely maintained
the no-frills, old-school thrash attack. The front man led the band, with full
power. What I would love is the band to craft a bit more of their own identity
when it comes to the music. Nevertheless, they are a band that is on the right path to
make it big in the Indian Metal scene.
Girish and the Chronicles
Next up on the stage were, Gangtok based hard rock band –
Girish and the Chronicles. The band introduced themselves as “We are Girish and
the Chronicles, and we play Rock and Roll!” in a total Motorhead-esque manner!
The band’s set-list consisted of tracks from their recently launched album
“Back on Earth”. The band caved to the demand for a cover at the end, and gave
one of the best cover of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell I have heard till date with
the entire crowd singing along! The band is one of the finest upcoming Hard
Rock band in the country, and words do not justify the vocal talents of Girish
Next on stage were the next thrash band on the bill – Threinody.
The band is one of the oldest Indian metal bands, existing for over two
decades. This was my first experience of the band, having only heard a few
single’s online before. The band had quite an amazing sound, mixing groove and
progressive elements into the thrash riffs. The band carried themselves
perfectly through their set, with the years of experience quite visible.
Another band from the ‘second wave’ of the Indian Metal
scene followed – Kryptos. The band was a last minute addition to the bill,
filling in for Cadaver Mutilator (who were cancelled, because of visa issues).
The last time, I had witnessed them was in 2012 at Bangalore Open Air, and was
totally impressed, and have been a devout fan since then. The band played a
nice mix from their entire discography along with a Judas Priest “Hot Rockin”
cover. Kryptos’s mix of power/speed metal with old school thrash is quite a
treat when witnessed live. By the end of their set, the energy level in the
crowd had started reaching peak levels!
Next up, were the one band for whom I had travelled all the
way this year – ROTTING CHRIST! The moment the band took stage, a gloomy
atmosphere fell upon the crowd. The band played a nice mix of songs from their
latest album ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy’ along with a few of the older classics.
The band’s black metal, with the atmosphere it creates is an experience in its
own! The haunting melodies, ghostly
chanting, along with the melancholic voice of Sakis Tolis, delivered something
each fan in the crowd will remember for years to come. The band’s acute
attention to every detail in their set, was quite amazing. Overall, a memorable
performance that I'm going to remember for years to come.
The Down Troddence
Next up were The Down Troddence, heading in after recently
sweeping the Rolling Stone India Metal Awards. The band played tracks from their
acclaimed debut album – ‘How Are You? We Are Fine Thank You’. The crowd
favorites in – Nagavalli, Death Vanity and Shiva got the crowd roaring! The
band delivered a superb cover of Sepultura’s ‘Roots Bloody Roots’. The couple
of Brazilians in the crowd went shit-crazy on this note. On the downside, the
band’s sound mix could have been a tad better, with the vocals and the keys
getting drowned at points. To top it all off, the vocalist (Munz) tried a
failed stage dive! The band is one of the standout band from the Indian scene
in 2014, and I look forward to seeing this band rise even higher in the years
The final act for the night, were the Teutonic Thrash
legends – the mighty DESTRUCTION! The band delivered a grandiose performance,
destroying the crowd completely with their music. The speedy riffs and slapping
bass left the whole crowd head-banging like crazy. The ferocity of the drum
solo, was absolutely breathtaking. A performance that left all thrash fans in
the crowd more than impressed.
Although, the event could not maintain its ‘Open Air’ charm,
a huge hats off to Salman Syed and team for pulling off a memorable third
edition of Bangalore Open Air, despite all the adversities. The indoor gig,
brought its own nice club gig charm to it. The attention paid to quality
production by this team every year, is something to be highly praised. Bangalore Open Air,
is slowly turning into an annual ritual for me, and more than just another gig
to attend. A place to catch up with metal-heads from across the country, a
get-together for the metal fraternity of the entire country.
I now wait for the fourth edition next year! With
Inquisition, Belphegor and Napal Death announced for Bangalore Open Air 2015,
this wait is going to be a long one!
Bangalore Open Air 2015: 6th June (Saturday).
Pre-Sale Passes (with FREE t-shirt) are available on BookMyShow.