The Unseen Underground Pub Fest, held regularly in Chennai has a reputation for violent metal shows and the 6th edition, held on 2nd May 2010 was no different. Featuring Frank’s Got The Funk (funk rock), Blind Image (technical thrash metal), Spitfire (metalcore) and Escher’s Knot (technical death metal), the gig was brutal, destructive and intense, everything you want in a show.
Frank’s Got The Funk, a funk rock band from Chennai started proceedings with their bass driven infusion of funk and rock ‘n roll. The music was fast and extremely catchy but despite getting a good response from the crowds, it was obvious that those gathered were itching for some heavy metal and after a short set-list of barely 15 minutes, Blind Image took the stage.
Blind Image, playing their first gig with their new line-up (Siddharth Nair joining Shricharan on guitars and Madhav replacing Muneeb on bass) started off with ‘Glitch In The System’ from their 2009 release More Than Human. The addition of the second guitarist seemed to add a whole new level of heaviness to the sound and although the band was plagued with sound issues, they still managed to play a solid set consisting exclusively of tracks from More Than Human. They finished their set-list with ‘Allegiance In Defiance’ and cleared the stage for Bangalore based band Spitfire.
Spitfire, having played in Chennai at the Two Bloody Nights fest in 2007 had a decent fan following prior to the gig and if the show was any indication, they seem to have only gained more. Their originals ‘Minds In Disguise’, ‘Burn It’ and ‘Wild Impulse’ were very well appreciated and the Lamb Of God (Black Label) and Devildriver (Hold Back The Day) covers that were played at the end was like the head at the top of the mug of beer that was being passed around in the crowd.
However, none of the bands that played was as awaited as Escher’s Knot, the last band to hit the stage. The band previewed tracks from their upcoming EP Tessellations before bursting into ‘Up For Nothing’, one of the band’s original compositions. Exotic basslines, crunchy guitar riffs and drumming akin to a machine, this band was heavy as all hell and those standing in front of the stage had to move back, in fear of being flattened by the wall of sound. After the ‘Mayan Calendar’, it was a surprise to hear the band play a cover of Sepultura’s Territory. Abijit (vocals) laid off the vocals for parts of the song, letting the crowds sing along the chorus. They ended the gig with the extremely popular ‘Break The Cypher’ and as the strains of Anshuman’s guitar faded, people could be seen leaving the venue, holding their bruised necks and bodies. And as Nicky, the organizer of the show mentioned, this is only the beginning. The show might’ve been sponsored by an alcoholic drink but the fuel that powered the bands and the crowds was heavy fucking metal, and that’s all that matters.