Music

Musical madness

Kryptos performing at Unseen Underground's Sonic Stone Fest. Photo courtesy: Om Prakash

Kryptos performing at Unseen Underground's Sonic Stone Fest. Photo courtesy: Om Prakash  

Unseen Underground's Sonic Stone Fest was the best way to start the month of exams.

For a day in the month of March, the heat was pretty high and sure didn't stop to rise. Nevertheless, metalheads around the city all gathered at The Balamandir German hall to witness the mean line-up at Unseen Underground's Sonic Stone fest which is a promo gig for Kryptos's latest album release. A special thanks to the unscheduled power cuts which made it all the more easier (am being sarcastic, of course!) for everyone from the audience to the organisers and to the performers. The gig was delayed by an hour due to which changes were made correspondingly to allot the slot timings for each band.

First up…

Starting off was Chennai's hard rock group 83 Miles Per Hour, who have been winning a lot of competitions around the city. They opened with their title song 83 Miles Per Hour which was followed by my personal favourite Hold On. Vocalist Kenny, keyboardist Aldrin, guitarists Rishikant and Raemus, bassist Harshit and drummer Peter were at their best. And for a hard rock group, Peter is one mad dude on the drums! They finished their set list with two more of their originals titled Fighter and Drunk.

Up next was Chennai-based technical/progressive death metallers Crypted. Things started to heat up as vocalist Siva, guitarist Pranav, bassist Adarsh and drummer Vishnu started off with You Are All Diseased, followed by Distorted Thought Association, Entropy, Inside The Outsider and Flesh Eater. The rising temperature sure wasn't gonna get the crowd to hold themselves back. The songs Entropy and Flesh Eater created one of the most brutal mosh pits and crowd surfing Chennai has ever seen. So brutal that I just couldn't resist jumping in myself.

Headliners

Number three on the line-up was the night's headlining group Kryptos from Bengaluru. I know you maybe wondering, “headliners are supposed to be the final act for the night”; but as mentioned earlier, necessary changes were made due to unavoidable circumstances. We've all heard of the band Kryptos. Well, if you haven't you either aren't a metalhead or... nope it'll just be, cause you're not a metalhead. Four years after their previous release, they are now back again with some wicked music.

Kryptos's much awaited record titled “The Coils of Apollyon”, was released last month. I'm gonna go straight out and say, “The Coils of Apollyon” is exactly what the Indian metal scene needs right now. The Mask of Anubis, one of the songs they performed that night, is one with a very simple structure, nothing complex but, is extremely intensifying with its deep meaning and gives you that nostalgic feel and the hair raising moment that follows it.

Their whole album which features nine awe-inspiring songs are more or less based on a similar scale, but with their talented minds and musical dexterity, they make it all seem so simple and sound extremely original, exclusively Kryptos. This album is the result of the equation that includes their years of musical experience, knowledge and skill. Their setlist included tracks from their previous releases. Heretic Supreme, Tower Of Illusions and The Revenant from their second record “The Ark Of Gemini” (2008) and Descension from their first album “Spiral Ascent” (2004). Their new compositions, in other words, songs featured on “The Coils Of Apollyon” that they performed were Visions of Dis, The Mask of Anubis (the song I listen to on YouTube every morning) and Nexus Legion.

The structure of each song is carefully infused with a basic riff that drives the song and eventually leads the rest of it through, with just the perfect number of solos and breakdowns. This was one hell of an album that they have come out with and sure deserves praise and recognition, and that's exactly what the band got out of it and even more. For those who aren't quite sure, the band's members are Nolan Lewis, the band's front man handling vocals and rhythm; lead guitarist Rohit Chaturvedi, bassist Jayawant Tewari and drummer Ryan Colaco.

Closing act

Next up was Escher's Knot, an extreme metal band. Vocalist Abijith, guitarist Anshuman, bassist Madhav and drummer Manu form the band and are all one of the few musicians who're able to pull off the kind of heavy tone they play with such precision that sometimes seems otherworldly. They performed three of their original compositions, them being Mayan Calendar, Grand Design and Reciprocity which was then followed by a cover of Meshuggah's Humiliative.

And the last band to perform for the night was the first brutal death metal band from Chennai — Blood Covenant. When these guys get on stage they mean business! Blood Covenant has to be, no...it IS the only band in the city that plays the purest form of downright death metal — insane levels of distortion, killer blast beats, technical bass lines and full on guttural growls. Vocalist Eddie a.k.a. Edbull, guitarist Ronald a.k.a. Slaughter, bassist Boycott and drummer Brijesh a.k.a. Hurricane performed their songs Reject, Spirit Fall, Ignite, Send Your Regrets and Haven Of Blasphemy.

Asif is a vocalist of a Chennai-based metal band and B.Com student at The New College.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 9:15:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/musical-madness/article2969813.ece

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