GIG REVIEW: Bangalore Open Air Metal Nights Live at Bangalore, India
Bangalore Open Air has slowly and steadily grown to become one of the biggest metal festivals in Asia. Since its inception in 2012, they have been consistent in getting some of the most renowned acts in metal from across the world to play in Bangalore, India while also giving bands from across the country the perfect opportunity to show the power of Indian metal to the world.
Last weekend saw the inaugural Bangalore Open Air Metal Nights i.e a series of gigs following up to the next edition of the annual festival. It was long since Bangalore had experienced a gig like this and with a lineup comprising of some of the best homegrown metal while being headlined by Brazilian extreme metal act NervoChaos, necks were about to get sore.
Thanks to the Bangalore live music deadline, the gig had to start early. Thanks again to the traffic, I missed the opening set of Torture Goregrinder from Bangladesh. This was a bummer as I was really looking forward to losing my neck to their nasty pig squealing slams. After a brief wait, it was now time for the band whose passion towards metal have made them a powerful force. From being one of the freshest sounding death metal acts to come out of India to going on to play Wacken, it was none other than Godless. The gig also acted as the Bangalore leg for their ‘Eviscerating India’ tour along with Gutslit.
With musical styles ranging from Technical death metal to traditional death-thrash, they went on to play a blistering set which was an interplay of headbanging inducing riffs and nerve-rattling brutality. The mind-boggling display of technicality and precision was however marred by sound issues throughout their set. The overall volume was turned up so loud that we could hardly make anything of the solos and sudden pattern changes in general. It was sad to see such a talented band suffer because of sound issues. In spite of everything, they battled on to play an amazing set. A special mention for their vocalist and an absolute beast Kaushal LS who absolutely slayed and went on to do double duty for his next band as well.
Brutal Death Grinders from Mumbai, Gutslit were up on stage. Having watched them numerous times, they are one of the most fun and intense live acts in the country. They wasted no time in serving straight up raw brutality to the masses. Wall of deaths and windmills were evident all across the room. People sacrificed themselves to the pit while us watchers said goodbye to our necks and head-banged as there was no tomorrow. Watching them after so long time was reminiscent of the good times and them watching having grown to a tight powerful unit is evident of the fact that perseverance surpasses every struggle and metal in India is here to stay. They were undoubtedly my favorite act of the evening.
The metal pride of Bangalore, Kryptos was the band everyone had been waiting for. Bearing the flag of Indian metal for more than 20 years, they have become an Internationally renowned act touring continents and exhilarating old school metalhead across the world. The crowd intensified and cheered for them to quench their traditional heavy metal thirst. They blasted off with the title track of their upcoming album “Afterburner”. The crowd was instantly thrown into a headbanging frenzy. Take a look around and you could see people either lost in their state of heavy metal transcendence or head-banging with a smile on their faces. They went on to play a well-curated set comprising of material spanning across their musical career. The entire venue reeked of sweat, beer, happiness, and metal and we were content.
It was time for the final act of the evening. Extreme metal hordes hailing all the way from Brazil, NervoChaos. Honestly, I was not aware of the band’s work other than a couple of songs maybe. They played a unique style of old school death metal, highly thrash and traditional heavy metal influenced. The most impressive thing was the clarity in their sound. Kudos to the sound guy who made them sound amazing where almost every other act succumbed to sound woes at least a couple of times that evening. Musically, it was not my cup of tea. Not by any means understating the musical prowess of the band as most of the crowd seemed to have a great time.
Organizing metal gigs in India is not an easy task. Especially amidst diminishing bands, fans, and minimal support. Props to people like Salman U. Syed who are doing their best to keep metal alive in the country by organizing such gigs. Preparations for the next edition of BOA Metal Nights seem to be underway as American Death Metal legends Immolation are all set to lay waste to everything in Bangalore on 24th August’ 2019.
Bangalore Open Air Metal Nights was a much-needed respite for this extreme metal thirsty city. NervoChaos along with Kryptos, Gutslit, Godless ensured it to be an absolutely ‘Neck-Unfriendly’ gig.