02 03 Metal Melancholy: GIG REVIEW: Bangalore Open Air 2015 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

GIG REVIEW: Bangalore Open Air 2015


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 Part-3 (Day-6)

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 anniversary!   

Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal 

All Image Credits: Vishal 'Clickography'. 

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