Gig review: Metal went on a literal rampage at this DIY concert in the 'burbs

Gig review: Metal went on a literal rampage at this DIY concert in the 'burbs

All the four acts complemented one another’s styles brilliantly and brought out something new in every fan.

Kasmin FernandesUpdated: Wednesday, March 01, 2023, 02:33 PM IST
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Band members of Labyrinth |

You don't hear of too many live rock concerts in Andheri East, leave alone underground heavy metal ones. So, it was a bit out of the ordinary for fans of the genre, who found themselves stationed outside The Stables on February 26, 2023. It was the fourth edition of Rampage from the Blackblood India stable at a venue that is also called The Stables near the T2 Terminal. It has been known to host live music in the past, but Sunday was the first time it became the venue for hard rock bands, and the gamble played off.

Cladinshadows from Pune kicked things off. They bill themselves as being “A celebration of melancholy through metal music” which makes sense. They make fantastic melodic death metal. An off-kilter melodic lilt was high up in the mix and there was a definite sweet-and-sour vibe, as fragile melodies juxtaposed with dark pounding rhythms. In places fuzzy and distorted and in others clear and accessible, this is very much music designed to challenge and to contemplate. Drummer Saurabh Sharma set the tone for the evening that arguably belonged to the drummers. If you love this sort of thing, that is highly likely that you will get Cladinshadows; their set got an approval from the young crowd.

Band members of Infestation

Band members of Infestation |

Darkrypt brought their Swedish and Finnish influence to the stage with a formidable set. It was a celebration of everything grandiose and theatrical. However, these guys are about as far from pomp and circumstance as you can get and instead deal in the lyrically grounded and the visceral. Vocalist Rishabh Ravi is a vocal powerhouse and provides absolute authenticity. They went from ‘Cryptic Illusions’, to 'Subject Delta' to heavy metal carnival music to the beautifully intricate ‘Welcome to the Rapture’, to the absolutely destructive final act, ‘The Acceptar’.

In an epic moment, Adit Khanzode from Orcus (and the brains behind Rampage) came up on stage to give guest vocals in memory of beloved musicians Pavan (ex Darkrypt and Eternal Returns), and Rajarshi Bhattacharya and Nitin Rajan (who co-founded Primitiv). The moshpit went crazy, with many in the audience getting emotional over their loss.

Labyrinth came well-prepared from Baroda to shatter conventions about what metalheads look and dress like. All four of them were dressed in printed textile shirts and trousers. Their music was even more daring. They aren’t afraid to not take themselves seriously and as a result have a far stretching fanbase that encompasses all parts of society. The band was cohesively mixing up genres and moods, and got even the most hardened metalheads grooving like it's 1999. You can tell each member is bringing his own personality to the sound, because the sound effortlessly switches from Daft Punk to reggae to prog-rock to Santana. When opening track Shouganai began, the cynics didn't know where to turn, but by the end of the track, they were swinging to it. 'Imago', 'Indigo Rain' and 'Mobius Striptease' raised the bar.

Guitarist Mihir from Darkrypt

Guitarist Mihir from Darkrypt |

Headliners Infestation sealed the deal with their insane energy. As a frontman, Tejas Mundhada is about as captivating as it comes. He spent the entirety of the set strutting round, mostly shirtless. He has mastered the art of keeping the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand and every single person inside the admittedly half-full venue was taking in every last movement and growl. Musically, Infestation were like taking a ground and pound beating. You had no time to stop and collect your thoughts as they instead decided to barrage through their songs without room to breathe, compose and collect your thoughts. It was aggressive and violent, and it was only once they’d left the stage could you pick yourself off, pat yourself down and move on.

To put it simply, Infestation had it all on Sunday night. They had the songs, they had the showmanship, the look, and the presence. This was one of the shows in which I was every now and then checking the time on my watch, not because I wanted it to end, but instead because I wanted to know how much time we had left with Infestation as I simply didn’t want them to go off stage. The audience was completely sucked into their world and didn’t want to be let go from it.

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