October 12, 2013: It’s extremely kickass to see a college metal event happening, especially when it’s against all the bureaucratic bullshit that authorities throw about things they don’t want to understand, and engineering college RAIT’s former property Rock Riot 2013 did precisely that. The seven-band event that took place at Marine Center, Vashi saw a crowd of more than 200 guests, and within minutes of the gig beginning, the venue turned into an inferno, with all the energy around, and a conditioning system that was meant for a sitting audience at best , not moshers, head bangers and excessive smoke machines.
Nonetheless, the gig began with Hindi prog rockers Anubhuti, playing a short set composed of originals, and being a band from Navi Mumbai itself, you could see that they had quite a following at the gig. Second up were Blame The Herb, passing around their strain of hard rock to a crowd dying to start mosh pit scenes, and they did precisely that with their Junkyard Groove cover of Thank You, with the pit exploding during the Pearl Jam’s Animal part. Also, worth a mention about the band would be their extremely crowd-friendly version of 1970’s classic Dum Maaro Dum. Vajra was the second Hindi band for the night, and was at its heavy metal best. It would be awesome to see more Hindi bands doing what Vajra and Anubhuti did yesterday- connecting more and more people with rock and metal, rather than the truck loads of garbage that mainstream media keeps churning out in the name of rock.
Asylum stepped up on stage next, and for a band that played after a while, they came with one intention alone: keeping the intensity high right through the set. No surprises at all that there were chants of the band name once their set was done. Orcus was up next. This band was definitely a treat to watch; the vocalist Adit Khazode was also the organizer for Rock Riot 2013, and though the stress of the event seemed to have taken a toll on his growling, there is no denying that their set was a headbanger’s delight. Wired Anxiety were the sixth band to go on stage, and since the mood for the pit had already been set, the band just made an already broken audience smash harder into each other. Their cover of Cannibal Corpse’s Hammer Smashed Face was met with some serious head banging, and cheers and growls from all over the gig.
Headliners Albatross finished the gig with their superb dose of horror metal. It’s always a joy to listen to the gnarly, intimidating set that the band delivers, and if this set was anything to go by, their tour Down Under shall be one for every heavy metal fan in Australia to try and be at. The headliners certainly punched a fitting end to a metal fest that wanted to prove its mettle.
Sure, the sound was blaring and not in a good way most times, and the lights seemed to be have gone into ultra-trippy mode, probably getting stoned due to the smoke around, but one thing is sure: kudos to organizer Khanzode and team for pulling off a college metal gig, despite all the reasons for it being canned.
Pictures - Dhananjay Mane