March 22, 2014: The metal-happy crowd of Navi Mumbai saw another one loud night at Crazy Blue, with Entombed Metal Fest Vol 5’s seven band line up. The venue previously hosted Entombed Metal Fest Vol 4 in 2013 and this time saw performances by Elemental, Primitive, Wired Anxiety, Escharified, Grimmortal, Reptilian Death and Shock Therapy. A mishmash of genres all put together, this is one of the few gigs in a while now that hasn’t catered to one single genre of metal. As awesome as those are, this was a good event to be at too.
Elemental were the first band to play at Entombed this time on. You’d never fail to be amazed at the amount of good metal that the country produces, and Elemental from Indore are prime examples of just that. A tight set with a whole lot of adrenalin pumped into it, vocalist Anchal Bhargava did a superb job of riling up the early crowds into a pit of sorts. Tight as hell, this one year old band is one to look out for on the metal scene, and perhaps should have been placed somewhere in the middle of the gig line up. But whatever, they played a fantastic set and that’s what matters.
Primitiv were the second band onstage, and right from the time they got on stage, the growing crowd moved to the front. No surprises there: Primitiv is a band that a lot have known about but few have witnessed live, and for the crowds that came for the gig, this certainly was a good set to watch. Vocalist Nitin Rajan by far has to be one of the most intense vocalists in the city, and it showed throughout their set. Another very significant point about their set was the reverence to the covers being played: They didn’t just cover Manilla Road; you could see why and how the latter has had an influence on the former, and that was perhaps the most metal ‘feel’ moment of the gig.
Homeboys Wired Anxiety unleashed their regular dose of groove metal at the gig, albeit a lot, lot tighter than all of their earlier sets. Their set reeked with energy, and the band seemed to have come with one singular intention: breaking the place down. That they clearly seemed to have managed, especially with their cover of Cannibal Corpse’s Hammer Faced Face, to the effect of having to do an encore of the song. Even the songs from their EP “The Eternal Maze” seemed to be more massive than ever before.
Hyderabad’s Escharified were the fourth band to play at EMF V, and at the very outset itself, the band’s sound seemed to be a bit all over the place: while certain sections of their songs were nice and chunky with elements, some certain other sections lacked the completeness that you would like to hear in a track. Nonetheless, the vocalist Satyabrata Kataky owned throughout the set. It’s a young band, and a few more gigs on, Escharified’s brand of death metal shall be nothing short of brilliant.
Grimmortal took to the stage next, and brought their signature breed of deathcore to the gig. The band that has taken influences from several subgenres of metal played a set that lacked tightness from time to time, and though they tried to keep the momentum of the gig on with their music, not too many people seemed able to connect with their music, or more probably, were way too stoned. Case in point- when the band split the crowd for a wall of death, you’d expect people to ram into each other and beat the shit out of everyone possible. What happened instead was the song began, and the audience just stood to the two sides of the venue- for a good one minute. Then in possibly one of the most flop moments in Mumbai metal history, everyone inched towards each other, kinda awkwardly, until they were facing the stage as a unit again. Such a lulz moment.
Reptilian Death were the sixth band to take to stage. It’s always interesting to see this band of hooded figures led by their very intriguing front man. What is however even more awesome is seeing this band get tighter by the gig, with each instrument as well as the vocalist adding a definitive addition to the band. Special ups to Sahil Makhija who’s drumming skills seem madder with each passing gig. It was good to see people in the audience standing in awe song after song.
Shock Therapy were the headlining act for the night, and the slam act from Hyderabad were just the perfect ending to the gig, with that pop of adrenaline at the very end. Given the absence of energy as the gig was coming towards a close, the band powered through with some intense drum work, insane vocals and heavy guitars riffs. Their song Sparrows was the other song that got an encore chant, and playing to the moshing and headbanging crowds, Shock Therapy delivered an epic repeat to an epic song.
The gig was one that had a total mishmash of genres, and many in the audience felt that there should have been a better flow in the music, from the genre point of view, and they were not wrong about that- excessive genre shifts seem to have got the gig a little tiresome. Then again, there were a whole bunch of new kids to have come for the gig, and that’s a fantastic thing for the scene. Full power to gigs like this that keep the scene alive and kicking!
For more images from Entombed Metal Fest Vol 5 , click here.
Pictures: PopSplat.in/Dhananjay Mane