2012 has begun with a major explosion for the metal circuit in India, the first rumble from the underground being felt on the first Saturday of the year thanks to five metal acts that played at and the organizers of Deathfest 2 at B69. None of the bands were death metal per se; there was either a mixture of styles or an offshoot of death metal being blasted.
Grimmortal opened the show and spent time between songs retorting to their friends-in-the-audience’s smart-ass comments. The band has a chilled-out vibe and with a song called Why So Emo?, you know they’ll be anything but serious. ‘Deathcore’ is one of the styles of music that can never excite me but there were so many pig squeals coming through the door that it was better to go in and catch Grimmortal in action than dancing outside.
Bloodshed is supposed to be a band that plays old-school death metal, but my cursed ears heard some growl-rapping – something I was unprepared for. The band was quite alright but those rap growls made me feel as if I were trapped at an unpleasant event, like a cousin’s wedding. The bassist looked intense and seemed really into it, but I couldn’t take a good photo because the vocalist kept repeating his favourite line: “Open up the floor!”
Atmosfear have built a following over the years, and they pleased their crowd with doses of old-school technical thrash/death, and Blood Meridian showed some promise and a good chunk of attitude. Vocalist Miku Baruah looked fit as hell and ready to beat up guys twice his size, and the rest of the band sounded pretty good. Their compositions could do with some reworking though.
Gutslit was the band everyone was there for and undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. Sounding better than ever before, the slaughter machine from Mumbai brought the tired crowd back to life, and the gore-hungry audience gave the deathgrinders the respect they deserved. With Aditya Barve getting guttural like he was born to do only that, and new drummer Aaron Pinto slamming the drums amidst Dynell Bangera’s flesh-chopping riffs and barbaric bass lines from Gurdip Singh Narang, Gutslit’s lineup is at its most powerful. Their debut Skewered In The Sewer will be out in a few months, and it is most likely to be the sickest and heaviest music that will come out of this country this year. Fans of brutal music should treat themselves to a Gutslit show, but don’t make the mistake of standing too close to the speakers like I did.