It suddenly seems to be gig season in Bangalore, with four continuous weeks of metal gigs happening in and around the city. The latest of these was the much awaited Evilution. The USP of this gig was that it was the comeback show for many older Bangalore bands- Threinody, Neolithic Silence, and also in a way. Bhoomi.
The show was to begin at 5PM, but earlier in the day, the Facebook event made an announcement about a surprise opening act- an Iron Maiden cover band, who were to begin at 4:30. So after hurriedly scurrying to the venue, which was again Ion Bar & Kitchen, most of us managed to make it on time for the first act- Killers Breed. Sriram from Djinn and Miskatonic, who also played guitars for the band, was supposed to do vocals as well, but throat issues forced him to step aside for a bunch of guest vocalists to take over. Killers Breed started off their set with “Wrathchild”, with Bharad (Witchgoat) and Mahesh (Shepherd) joining in for a dual growl attack. Sujay (Bhoomi) took centre stage during “Trooper” and boy, was he good! I started looking forward to Bhoomi’s set even more after this particular performance. The Iron Maiden cover band then decided to cover a Slayer song as a tribute to Jeff Hanneman. Bharad came back for their rendition of “Seasons in the Abyss”- a song that finally got the crowd pumped up. Killers Breed wrapped up their set with Biprorshee Das (Albatross) joining in for “The Evil that Men do”. Though he seemed like the perfect choice for the track, it was a tad bit disappointing. However, on the whole, Killers Breed had a great debut. The covers were well done, but the crowd reaction was poor. I didn’t expect such a weak response to an Iron Maiden cover band.
Next up on stage was Neolithic Silence. I hadn’t watched them since the days of March Metal Mania, so I was eager to see what they had to offer. And cliché though it may sound, I was far from disappointed! The band is back, sounding very different from their earlier avatar. Their introduction was powerful, and once they started, I noticed that they had taken on an all new thrash sound. Suraj was particularly good on guitars, and Anthony’s drumming was super tight! Surprisingly, theirs was a covers-heavy set, with some Kreator and Sepultura thrown in. Siddharth (Threinody) came in for the Slayer cover- “South of Heaven” this time. His vocals were a little off time though, but on the whole, it got the audience headbanging and finally showing some life at the gig! Neolithic Silence suffered some sound issues however, and I don’t know if it was this that made Jayant’s vocals almost inaudible at times. But it was good to see Neolithic back in action, and better, by leaps and bounds, than they were before!
Black metallers Dark Desolation came up next, with some of the members adorned with face paint and spikes. It is a general tendency to instantly judge a band like this, but the band makes sure that the jokes take a backseat once they start playing. They are currently one of the tightest bands in the country and do perfect justice to their brand of atmospheric, speed-driven black metal. The vocalist of Dark Desolation stands behind the rest of the band, and though that takes getting used to, it throws the spotlight on the dexterity of the guitarists. They started off with some of their originals like “Dark Desolation” and “Apostatical misanthropy”, and moved on to more mood driven stuff like “Suicidal Ritual” (Besatt cover), “Incestuous catacombs” and “Cathecatical Somniloquence”. In my opinion, Dark Desolation was one of the best performances of the evening.
It was time for Sujay to get back on stage with the rest of the guys from Bhoomi in tow. They have always been one of the few bands to play some good old fashioned heavy metal, but even their set at Evilution brought out their new, more prog-influenced sound. Unfortunately, they took a while to set things up, so they didn’t play for too long. But it was a set of all newer songs, like “Obsession”, “The Last Resort” and “Illusion”. The band seemed to have quite a female fan following as well, with girlie squeals ringing in the air every time guitarist Tony played one of his solos! Sujay’s vocal range is truly amazing, and even the instrumentalists in the band are in full form. Bhoomi was fantastic, and I really think they should start playing more often now. We’ve had a long enough silence from them all this while!
Djinn and Miskatonic went up next. Quite a few of us had watched them just the previous week at Sonic Doom, but to many in the audience, their newer, heavier sound came as quite a surprise. In my opinion, they didn’t fit in well with the rest of the line-up, and this, primarily because their sound is not high on energy unlike the rest of the names on the bill. If you’ve heard Djinn, you’d know that their music is chunky, rhythmic and heavy, and this is perfectly complimented with the vocal style. Though they might have been out of place in terms of genre, they put up a good show nevertheless.
“Thrash is alive!” “Thrash is back!”- This was the gist of how people reacted to the band that performed next. I’m talking about Threinody, the act that most of us were really looking forward to that evening. I have even lost track of when I watched them last, but they are far from rusty! They are now a four-piece band, with Josh Daniel joining Premik and Siddharth on guitars, and Shreyas Kamath taking over drum duties. Threinody now sounds fuller and heavier than they did earlier, and it was great to have an out-and-out thrash band on stage, ready to pack the punch into the second half of the evening. They started off with their originals, including the popular track “In Extremis”, and the crowd went berserk. Just after that, it was their turn to pay tribute to ‘Uncle Jeff’, but… the power went out. People shouted “Jeff is here!” and for a few minutes, people waited, chattering. But slowly, that died out, and people started trickling out. Apparently, the generator wires had been chewed up by rats, and we were all left at the mercy of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company for us to continue what had so far been a power packed (puns intended) Sunday evening. Soon, more than half the crowd had left, and only a few of us remained, waiting and hoping that something would happen. And thankfully, it did! The electricity came back, and Threinody stepped back, despite not having completed their set, to allow Albatross to perform in whatever little time was left. That was mighty awesome of them, and though we were all really disappointed that we didn’t get enough of the band, we’re hoping this will only be an excuse for them to play again, really soon!
It was almost 11 o’clock, but I think arrangements had been made to push the deadline a little bit because of the power failure. That was when Albatross went up to conclude the evening with a short set, again. They don’t play in Bangalore too often, but they surely seem to be becoming a better live act with every passing gig. They managed to squeeze in a cover of “Holy Diver” soon after they began, and the vocals had me floored! Ronnie James Dio would be proud! Both guitarists- Vignesh and Nishith, were phenomenal, and the drummer Jay was also supremely tight! Bassist Riju also was dressed in his bloodied lab-coat and stood making menacing gestures at every break in and in between songs. “Uncle Sunny at the Tavern” seemed to be a crowd favourite, and if “Holy Diver” wasn’t enough to bring the few people from the bar up front, this did the trick. The thing about outstation bands is that you don’t get to watch them too often, and when you do, you certainly don’t want them to go off stage after a few songs. But circumstances were beyond the organizers’ control, and I think we just have to be happy about watching them perform!
In all, Evilution was a good gig. Sound issues were recurring though, and this became a little distracting after a while. Though the tickets were priced at an affordable 500 rupees, the turnout was lower than I expected, and I think the rain was an important factor in that. The power issue was unforeseen and one hell of a bummer. I wish that venues would be better equipped for this sort of an emergency, especially in a city where power cuts are rampant! But metalheads- guys and girls, you really need to start showing up for gigs! Don’t be there just to “support the scene”. Be there for the music, and become a part of the community! Don’t sit back, not involve yourself and then complain about the “scene” dying. Show up! And headbang!
We’ll see you next at Doom Over Bangalore!