Bangalore Open Air, may not be the only big metal festival
in the country at the moment, with Big69 and CultFest joining the ranks, it
certainly was one of the first when it started off in 2012. This year was
bigger than any of its previous editions, with the festival having week long
pre-gig events across town, bringing in various Indian acts on stage. The week-long
celebrations are reviewed in Part-1 (Day 1 & 2), Part-2 (Day 3 & 5) and
Coming to 6th June, a nice quite serene resort on
the border of the metal capital city of India was suddenly swarmed by black
t-shirts as people from across the country gathered to witness Bangalore Open
Air – 2015. As the gates opened at 4 PM, the crowd rushed in and the stage(s)
were set for a night full of metal!
Unwhole - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
The evening began with a Pantera tribute band Unwhole from
Germany playing a small yet good set. The crowd just filling in, was reminded
of some of the old classics including ‘Domination’, ‘Walk’ among others. Also Nolan
Lewis, from Kryptos joined them on stage for the vocals on a track. Next up
were the city’s own old-school grindcore act Nauseate, who bellowed out some
raw, meaty metal in their short set onto the crowd.
Gutslit - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
Chennai’s metal act Escher’s Knot played through an
excellent small set, as they dished out their modern progressive riffs with
great energy. The bands energy did start to have the effect on the crowd too,
which till the moment was dull and quiet started grooving to the bands tunes.
Next up were Mumbai’s death grind act – Gutslit. This is when the night really
took off! The crowd was ready, and the bands extreme grind satisfied every
single person at the stage. Gurdip Narang’s hand chops and Aditya Barve’s
vocals kept the crowd enchanted throughout!
Undying Inc - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
The very instant Gutslit ended their set, the pounding drums
from the main stage started to bellow out, and Undying Inc were roaring to go.
Although I’m familiar with the band’s studio outings, I had never had the
opportunity to catch them live. The band played a set consisting of tracks from
across their discography. The high octane stage presence of Shashank Bhatnagar
is hard to miss and quite a sight to behold! Up next were Orator, the raw old
school death metal act from Bangladesh. I had heard a lot about this band, sadly
this was the one act that suffered maximum sound issues. The mix was just bad,
with the riffs not at all audible over the thumping bass. Nevertheless, the
exquisite work behind the drum kit was just fantastic to watch. I hope, I get to
watch them in their full power live sometime real soon!
Belphegor - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
The whole evening went into a whole new level as darkness
crept in and as the main stage had a blood stench feel, with dark gloomy lights,
gas masks hanging along with goat skulls at the mic stands. A dark force was set
to take stage, and as Belphegor began their act, the crowd could not be more
entranced. The band played a mix of their old and new material, treating the
crowd to their sound of blasting blackened death metal. The band members live
stage presence was equivalent to that of one possessed by Satan himself!
Inquisition - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
The next act on the billing were the American black metal
legends – Inquisition. The crowd with full respect to the duo stood mesmerized throughout
the set, as the band blasted through its signature black metal sound. The band
gave a performance that I will remember till my grave, of complete perfection.
Dagon’s evil inhumanly voice appealed to every single person in the crowd, as
they raised the chalice!
The headliners, were the British Grindcore legends – Napalm Death!
I have never ever seen such a top notch power packed performance by any band in
a long time! Barney Greenway was a maniac bouncing about the stage with the
same force throughout! His crowd interaction talks on capitalism, corruption,
and fascism while announcing the track titles got a huge uproar from the crowd
every single time. The crowd loved both the old material and the new, with ‘Smash
a Single Digit’ and ‘You Suffer’ being the standout tracks from the set! A
perfect way to end the night on a high.
Napalm Death - Live at Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Vishal 'Clickography'.
Having attended all the editions of Bangalore Open Air, I
can say that this is one of the best metal festivals in the sub-continent. What
was sad to see, that despite such legendary acts on the billing, the attendance
was on a bit of the lower end. With Soilwork and Vader confirmed for next year’s
edition on 9th July 2016, I hope more of my Indian metal head
brothers will make the journey to attend Bangalore Open Air’s fifth