Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Metal Mayhem @Gangtok

Gangtok, June 27: Gangtok’s pub culture has given space to heavy metal headbangers with a Darjeeling-based company kick starting a monthly festival at Café Live & Loud where local bands can jam up with national and international performers.

The first edition, Metal Mayhem, I saw electrifying performance by Kathmandu outfit Kaalo Din and Darjeeling’s Dark Murder Scheme on Saturday evening. The two bands were invited by Defenders of Metal, an event management company based in Darjeeling, to expose the Gangtok crowd to a rather dark genre of rock music.

“We are starting a pub festival in Gangtok. We will have big acts and people can experience good metal music which is slowly becoming popular here. We plan to organise the event once in three months initially. But if things go as planned, it will be a monthly event where bands from Sikkim and Darjeeling will perform side by side with top metal bands from other parts of the country and outside,” said Defenders of Metal’s events head Hojo.

In a three-hour performance, Dark Murder Scheme screamed and removed the monsoon-induced lethargy of a 100-odd crowd before Kalo Din took the stage and enthralled the people with symphonic black metal.

“It was nice playing here and we had fun. The crowd response was okay for a pub,” said Dark Murder Scheme vocalist Animesh Sinha. The other members of the band formed in 2008 are Abhigya Bharati (guitar), Reshav Khawas (bass) and Triratna Moktan (drums).

Sinha said heavy metal bands got limited options to play in Sikkim and the Darjeeling hills and it was always a welcome to get offers to do gigs in pubs. “We play only in such organised events. There is limited space for our kind of music,” he said.

“The objective is to have an exchange of music knowledge between bands of Sikkim and Darjeeling and others. We will bring in top bands and our local boys will also gain by sharing dais with them. There are chances that bands in Sikkim and Darjeeling hills will get invitations to play in other parts of the country,” said Hojo.

The Defenders of Metal has already booked Kalo Din for a performance at a Guwahati pub tomorrow.

“This is the first time we are playing in Gangtok. We have heard a lot about the natural beauty of Sikkim but we didn’t know that metal is popular here. Back in Nepal, heavy metal is an underground scene but is developing rapidly. We are happy to be invited by Hojo to play here,” said band lead guitarist Davin Shakya.

The other members of the band who played on Saturday were Sanjay Mahajan (vocals), Omeo (guitarist), Bikash Rai (bassist), Ashish Senchury (keyboard player) and Gobind Senchury (drum).

Kalo Din already has an album under its belt and is working on a second product to be released in October.

Defenders of Metal is planning a gathering of international metalheads in Darjeeling later this year. “We are organising another event titled Underground Unleashed from September 30 to October 2 in Darjeeling where 12 international bands from the UK and the USA, Poland and other countries will play,” said Hojo.

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