Bangalore Open Air 2015 was bigger and louder than any of
its previous edition, taking place on 6th June, with Napalm Death,
Belphegor, Inquisition and many other acts on the billing.
Bangalore Open Air 2015 also has a week-long pre-gig build up,
with various Indian metal acts playing at various venues across the city. We
decided to visit these nights and check out the acts on stage. This review
covers the last day of the pre-gig party. The first two days are reviewed in
Part-1, and day 3 to 5 in Part-2. Keep a watch for upcoming main BOA-2015
DAY 6 – Metal Battle India Finale
Firstly, I would like to say what a fantastic day this
turned out to be! With the excitement for the Open Air reaching its peaks, we
saw some wonderful top-notch performances, as we were set for a long night,
filled with metal!
The night began with the finals of the Wacken Metal Battle
set to take place. Two of the most respected veterans of the metal scene in the
city – Vikram Bhat of Dying Embrace and Nolan Lewis of Kryptos, both bands that
gave stellar performances later in the night, were the judges for the evening.
The evening kicked off with Zero Gravity from Indore
beginning the proceedings. The band was coming on the heels of releasing a
fantastic debut album (Review HERE), and performed a tight set in my opinion,
given that I reached only in time to catch their last song. The next band in
the competition, were Scarface from Kolkata. With a good home crowd, turning up
to support them (up the bongs!), the band played a good short set, showcasing
the potential they possess.
Anthracite- Live at Pre-Gig Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Centuries of Sin.
Next up were Anthracite from Bombay. Over the years, I had
heard a lot of stuff about these lads, but was not at all expecting the
happy go lucky, yet power packed performance they delivered. To say I was completely floored
by their performance would be an understatement. As Centuries of Sin puts it,
their vocalist Abhishek Nair is the "man of a hundred weird-but-cool
voices", he had the attention of every single head in the audience, as
soon as words left his mouth. Amazing act!
But, little did we anticipate the real challengers of the
night were still to take the stage. As Sycorax took center stage, I was highly
impressed with how they have taken their performance to a much higher stage
since I last saw them at the same metal battle finale in 2013. They were spot
on throughout their set as their blistering death metal got the crowd head
banging through till the end. As the final act The Down Troddence took stage,
one knew they would have to be at their best, given the high scale of the
competition. The band came on stage and delivered. They belted out songs from their debut album with their
groovy on stage persona, with Munz bellowing away! At the end, the whole crowd
knew it would be a tough call for the winner among the last two acts, in the
end Sycorax were declared the winner! Huge props to the guys and we wish them a
great set at Wacken too!
Sycorax - Live at Pre-Gig Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Centuries of Sin.
But, for me each band of the night was a winner. These bands
showcased how the Indian metal scene is actually progressing. We have bands
that are not only having the talented, but who can perform at the top levels! A
huge round of applause to all the bands that played in this finale!
DAY 6 – BOA 2015 Pre-Party
The night was just settling in, after seeing some of the
best upcoming acts in the country, it was now time for the veterans to showcase
Slohawk - Live at Pre-Gig Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Centuries of Sin.
First up were Slohawk, a band I had never heard of before,
and even after exhaustive search online, all I could find was that they are a
jam band. So I went in with a blank mind, not knowing what to expect. What I
got was a trippy journey unlike anything I have had before. You like listening
to Pink Floyd when getting stoned, give this band a try, you may not even need
the weed! The band played a long jam of some top notch stoner doom metal. By
the end of the first segment, they had the entire venue in a hypnotic trance.
Next up were Dying Embrace. I have been familiar music for
some time, but had never been
able to catch this band live. The band brought in the old school raw death and
doom on to the crowd, with the old loyalists as well as the new generation
enjoying their tunes. They may not have the over-active stage persona of modern
bands, but then they don’t need it for their music. In a sentence, they are the
masters of their game and its one reason they are still there.
Kryptos - Live at Pre-Gig Bangalore Open Air 2015. Image by Centuries of Sin.
The last act of the night, were the city favorites Kryptos.
There is something about this band and Bangalore, I have not seen such a strong
dedicated legion of followers for any band in India, as I have seen for Kryptos
in their hometown. The band once again played a tight small set, which left the
crowd enthralled. The crowd joined in throughout as they belted out some favorites
one after the other.
All now was set for the big day. It was time for Bangalore
Open Air 2015.