Photos: Transcending Obscurity Fest, 2014

Intense afternoon to night gig was a perfect jab of pure adrenaline

Alden Dsilva May 14, 2022

May 11, 2022: You know the scene is building up rock steady when a record label has a metal fest of it’s own bands, and has a crazy nine-band line up, mostly from different genres of metal. That’s precisely what Transcending Obscurity Fest, held at Hotel United 21, Thane was, with a line up that included Systemhouse33, Stark Denial, Orion, Grossty, Cosmic Infusion, Halahkuh, Fragarak Gutslit and Albatross.


Systemhouse33 delivers a full-power set

Systemhouse33 were the first band on stage, and it was fantastic to see that the first band itself revved the gig into full power mode. Samron Jude, the vocalist of the band has been superbly impressive with his style of growling, and that added the perfect element of jagged aggression to their music. It was also awesome to see guitarist Daniel D’Souza playing the guitar surrounded by all of the metal heads in the audience. It’s moments like these that make metal that much more insanely passionate.


The audiences loved what Stark Denial delivered

Stark Denial were the second band on the fest’s roster and the black metal ensemble played an extremely intense set. While the band played black metal at it’s very best, with Kunal Marie Gonsalves’ vocals being absolutely perfect, a rather surprising observation was being able to decipher Paresh Garude’s bass guitar loud and clear- something that is not too common in the black metal genre. The band played a mix of old and new songs, plus they threw in a cover or two. All in all, a good band to listen to, the band delivered a superb set at the gig.


Orion during their super tight technical set

Orion was the next band at the gig and the band brought the house down with their signature brand of progressive death metal. Although guitarist Ashwin Kulkarni seemed to be having a lot of technical difficulties with his guitar, the band played a tight set, an assault of blast beats, angry bass slaps and violent vocals. What is fantastic about Orion’s music is the lack of predictability in its musical styling and structure, making their set extremely technical. At the gig, they played perfectly to a t, and the Orion fans at the venue were definitely happy about the set they played.


Cosmic Infusion - when the horns flew high and proud

Cosmic Infusion were the fourth band to play at the marathon gig, and the black metal outfit has, without a doubt, the largest number of followers among the black metal bands in this city. Partly, the reason for that would be the band’s ability to create an atmosphere of intense inclusiveness the way it does. A band that plays the exact same perfect live set gig after gig, Cosmic Infusion did true justice to all of its fans at the gig. Also, the addition of Mihir Bhende on drums instead of a drum machine made their music especially brilliant.


Grossty - nastiness at its very best. or worst

Benguluru grindcore act Grossty was the next band to play at the gig. This band was without a doubt one that a lot of people had been looking forward to with great expectation. Post their set, however, most audience members visibly could not figure whether their expectations were met or not. One word that went around a lot when the band played their set was “LOUD”. It’s difficult to say whether Grossty played a good gig or no, for their set was marred with a whole lot  of sound issues, considering the guy at the console probably couldn’t place what the band’s sound was at all. The band was personally one of the best bands for the night. Grossty is one of those bands for whom “you guys sounded good”and “you guys sounded absolutely shitty” both work well in their favour, and for sure, these guys should come to the city more. There’s little like Grossty for pure shock value.


Halahkuh, growling away to destruction

With a seemingly new sound, Halahkuh was the next band on the billing. The band that has been pounding out barrage after the next with their usual dose of thrash seemed to have infused a whole lot of metalcore into their set. ‘ The band, however, didn’t seem to be in its usual super-aggressive stance that it normally takes on. Nonetheless, the band is a bunch of monsters on stage, and especially brilliant at this gig was drummer Prasenjit Paul aka Bappi, practically smashing the bejesus out of the drum kit. New sound inclusive, Halahkuh is what audiences in this city look out for, and post their set, those in the audience seemed a happy lot.


Fragarak delivers quite a punch

New Delhi-based death quintet Fragarak were the next band on the massive line up. This band was one that took pretty much everyone by surprise. The last time the band played the city, Fragarak managed to put on a set that wasn’t as tight, and seemed a little all over the place . At Transcending Obscurity Fest however, they played an ace set, tightness personified and full feel in place. Without a doubt, their involvement of melodic elements in a predominantly death set is what made their set even more impressive.


Gutslit revving up the meat machine

The big boys came to the park next. It is insane how the whole mood changes every time Gutslit is playing at a venue- no matter how tired, moshers have to beat the shit out of each other when this particular band plays. This set was no different. It’s difficult to figure what is the best part of Gutslit’s music, since everything is at an high extreme- aggression, volume, and the constant barrage of blast beats. While the band itself played a spectacular set, one of the best moments had to be Infernal Wrath’s vocalist Afaaq Azad clearing off all the audience in front of the stage for a good three seconds in a one-man wall of death against a very unsuspecting audience.


Albatross - old school and awesomeness included

Horror metal pioneers Albatross were the headliners for the gig, and given the length of the gig and the time, it was not surprising to see the audience members’ number dwindle. That however seemed to make no difference to the band as they played another memorable set, and it was phenomenal to see vocalist Biprorshee Das sing from the middle of the audience during their rendition of Dio’s Holy Diver. Though the band did seem to be making quite a goof ups on stage, their set was truly entertaining. With the band having guest drummers in Primitiv’s Pushkar Joshi and Sceptre’s Aniket Waghmode, it was interesting to see the band’s original drummer Jay Thacker enjoying the band’s performance from the audience.

All in all, Transcending Obscurity Fest was a whopper of a gig and deserved a much larger audience, but given the gigs coming up within the span of a month, no big surprises as to why the turnout was lesser. For those who did attend though, this gig was a fantastic celebration of all things metal. Like Pritesh Prabhune almost punching the guy who threw water all around, including on the console. That was pretty metal.

For more photos from Transcending Obscurity Fest, click here.



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