(L-R) Sambit, Angshuman, Sunny, Biswaroop and Suvam
Line-up: Suvam Moitra (guitars-vocals), 25; Sunny (vocals), 26; Biswaroop (guitars), 23; Angshuman (bass), 24; Sambit (drums), 23
Spin factor: Album From Mercy (October 2012)
Inspiration: Dream Theater, Amon Amarth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Pantera, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Nile and Hate Eternal
International connection: Guitarist Travis Montgomery of the Canadian melodic death metal band Threat Signal performed on the title track of From Mercy. Chronic Xorn has performed at festivals like Summer Storm Festival (2010) and Oktoberfest (2012) in Bangalore that featured international metal acts like Lamb of God and Children of Bodom, respectively.
Metalspeak: “The scene is gradually improving with metal bands coming into prominence. We play three-four gigs a month; have an album out on a commercial label (Rooh Music) which sold 1,000-odd copies within four months of release. In 2008, only 20-30 people turned up for our gigs, but now we see 500-600 people at our shows. Sponsorship opportunities have also opened up for quality gigs,” says bassist Angshuman.
Up ahead: The band is gearing up for the international release of From Mercy.
(L-R) Anirban, Tuhin, Arka, Anudhyan and Soumik
Line-up: Arka Das (vocals), 29; Tuhin Paul (drums), 25; Anudhyan Chakrabarti (keyboards), 23; Anirban Banerjee (bass), 23; Soumik Roy (guitars), 27
Spin factor: EP Paraphernalia (2010)
Inspiration: Meshuggah, Oceansize, Boards of Canada, Cloudkicker
Metalspeak: “The kind of music we play is an acquired taste and still not very popular in India. So a musician cannot depend on it as a viable career option. Organisers lack professionalism and most sound/light providers lack knowledge and use substandard equipment. Lack of sponsors is another big problem. People are more inclined to explore new music now, thanks to the Internet, but the scene still has a long way to go,” says bassist Anirban.
Up ahead: The band is preparing for their debut album.
(L-R) Subhayan, Debarshi, Suvranu Chakraborty (manager), Sushrut, Subham and Rohan
Line-up: Sushrut Rakshit (vocals-lyrics), 23; Rohan Singh (guitars), 23; Debarshi Ray (guitars), 23; Subham Sen (bass), 23; Subhayan Guha (drums), 22
Spin factor: Four songs on ReverbNation (www.reverbnation.com)
Inspiration: All Shall Perish, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Nevermore, Chelsea Grin
Metalspeak: “Most young bands are playing gigs for free. There are a few city metal bands that can perform at the national level, but very few have actually made their presence felt,” says guitarist Debarshi.
Up ahead: Working on an EP.
(L-R) Soham, Sayak and Samrat
Line-up: Samrat (vocals and guitars), 23; Soham (guitars), 22; Sayak (drums), 20; Soumick (bass), 22
Spin factor: EP Ground Zero (February 2013)
Inspiration: Sepultura, Exodus, Death Angel Metalspeak: “No one invests in metal shows. We also don’t have dedicated record labels that release metal albums by city bands,” rues guitarist Samrat.
Up ahead: Featuring on a Motorhead tribute album. “Around 10 Indian bands are paying tribute to Motorhead. We have done a thrash version of I Am The Sword from the Bastards (1993) album,” says Samrat.
Which is your favourite metal band in Calcutta? Tell email@example.com
Who is a...
The vocalist growls, screams, grunts, barks, and does everything necessary to articulate the raw nature of the music. Check out the instructional DVD The Zen of Screaming by Melissa Cross.
Anyone who follows and loves metal is a metalhead. Metal is synonymous with rebellion.
What is the Pit...
City metal bands look forward to The Pit, a music festival. Previously, only bands from Calcutta participated in the event but this year’s edition (held at Princeton Club in February) attracted Shock Therapy from Hyderabad and DamagEra from Gangtok.
Pehla Nasha, the a cappella rage on youtube aa Wardi is the latest YouTube sensation, whose a cappella version of the song Pehla nasha from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) has notched up 909,496 hits (from April 2 till Tuesday afternoon). A t2 e-mail chat with the 26-year-old singer from Riyadh.
Pehla Nasha, the a cappella rage on youtube
Why choose Pehla nasha?
I wanted to do a Hindi cover so badly but choosing the one song from millions was difficult, so I thought of picking a classic. And I remembered this song by chance really and it sounded like a good idea at the moment, so I went for it without thinking too much.
How did it all happen?
Two years ago I made a video on YouTube just to show my friends and it started spreading on the Internet. So I decided to make more videos.
The reaction in Riyadh?
It’s been amazing as most of my viewers and supporters are from Saudi Arabia. I’m from Iran but I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Even though most Saudis don’t support music in general for religious reasons, they surely do support talent when they notice one and I’m grateful to them. I also happen to have great viewership from Egypt, Jordan, the entire Arab world and India.
How do you explain this phenomenon?
It’s the first proper Hindi a cappella [vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment] on YouTube, so it was kind of surprising for everyone.
Why a cappella video?
My interest in a cappella video began when I noticed a number of American musicians doing it on YouTube. I thought that someone should do it from this side of the world. So I did the first one. I discovered YouTube by chance and decided to do it as a job. Now, I make YouTube videos for a living!
I’m releasing an album with my band Hayajan in a few weeks.
Why do you like Alaa Wardi’s Pehla nasha? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org