2014 seems to have started off on a good note in terms of the live scene in Bangalore, with gigs happening for the last few weekends consecutively. The last of these was the second version of Insurrection, which happened at Tinga Tinga Bar on Sunday, the 9th of February.
The venue was a major curiosity factor for me, personally, and I was hoping to see if the strangely named Tinga Tinga Bar would become a better option for metal gigs, especially when compared to Ion Bar and Kitchen. The space inside was better in terms of acoustics, but the little glass balcony didn’t allow too much moshing. It turned out to be a fairly decent option nevertheless.
The show started late with Necrophilia going on-stage first. They are a death metal band from Bangalore who claim to bring in multiple genre influences into their sound. Unfortunately though, they don’t seem to have found that signature sound yet. They weren’t a very tight band, and I’m hoping they will work on their songs as well as their live act before their next show. Drums need tightening up, but the vocals were good, and deserve a special mention here. Festered Wound– another Goregrind project by Gorified’s frontman Charlie, went on after Necrophilia. They are a 3-piece act who play with an insanely fast drum track. Great job on the guitars and vocals, but honestly, I would love to watch them play with a drummer sometime soon. If not that, at least realistic programmed drums!
Sludge kings Shepherd followed, and as always, they killed it. I don’t think they have ever had a bad show, but they were a little shaky soon after their original vocalist left. But their set at Insurrection V.2 proved that they’ve found their ground again. Namit is a good vocalist, no doubt, but Deepak stole the show simply because of the way his vocals emote the raw darkness that one would associate with this brand of music. Shepherd is definitely one of the best acts to have emerged from India in the recent past, and I can’t wait for more from their camp.
Xector, the newer avatar of Spitfire, went up next with their new line-up. They still sound a lot like Spitfire used to, except that they aren’t outright metalcore anymore. The boys brought in a whole lot of energy into the evening, and frontman Charan was partly responsible for that. Unfortunately for them, technical issues caused a disruption midway through their set. But in terms of tightness and as a live act, Xector scored. They definitely need to perform more than they do!
Up next was another band that I don’t think has ever had a bad show. I’m talking about Orchid, who is currently becoming one of Bangalore’s favourites. However, theirs is a genre that can get a little boring with time, and after watching them a little often now, I am beginning to find them slightly tedious. Of course, this doesn’t say anything about their musicianship, and anyone who is just discovering them will definitely be mind-blown. But I’m looking forward to something new from Orchid in their upcoming live shows.
It was then time for Nihilus– my pick for band of the evening. They played a short, power-packed set of tech-death (that thankfully wasn’t too technical) and the crowd loved them. They had a few slips here and there, but overall, they really impressed. Their version of “Spheres of Madness” really shook up the glass balcony at Tinga Tinga Bar! Drummer Siddharth, who I’ve only otherwise watched with Djinn and Miskatonic, proved his versatility with Nihilus. These guys will surely go down as one of those bands to watch out for in the coming months. Trojan Horse from Chennai went up after Nihilus… and they slayed! They were crisp and, for lack of a better adjective- awesome. Their stuff is not clear-cut progressive-metal and very interestingly combines elements borrowed from other sub-genres as well. Their cover of “Perpetual Black Second” had the crowd grooving and headbanging in unison. Trojan Horse was one of the tightest performances of the evening, and definitely the highlight of Insurrection!
It was then time for the stage lights to go off as the face-painted black metallers from Dark Desolation went up. These guys are one of the few bands who do justice to traditional black metal, and don’t compromise on precision for speed. Unfortunately, this time, their set was plagued with sound issues because the output was incredibly loud on the P.A. In fact, it got to a point where the sound got too jarring and harsh on the ears, and people started moving out of the venue for relief. This continued even when Neolithic Silence were performing. Though the crowd had thinned out by the end of the night, it was still great that all bands had gotten a chance to play, and time lost earlier had been made up for. Neolithic Silence ended the gig with a mix of originals and covers, along with the vocalist of Nihilus joining them for a Slayer track. However, they kept having some technical glitches with their guitars and the volume issue came up again. Their new drummer Yadhunandan seems to have added a whole new dimension of speed to their music, though at certain points, he got a little too fast for the rest of the band.
Sound and time issues aside, Insurrection was a good gig. The line-up featured a good mix of bands and genres, and that along with the price of the tickets, ensured decent turnout. Cheers to the organizers and the bands for making the show really worth our while! And now, next stop- Inferno Metal Festival (India)!