02 03 Metal Melancholy: GIG REVIEW: Bangalore Open Air Pre-Gig 2015 - Part 3 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

GIG REVIEW: Bangalore Open Air Pre-Gig 2015 - Part 3


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 review.

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 their skills!

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.

Image Credits: Centuries of Sin

Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal 

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