By Daniel Rego.
Daniel Kenneth Rego is a guitar wizard and the lead axeman of India’s top Extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection. Read his review from the backstage when DR played alongside Textures and Amon Amarth at The Deccan Rock Festival, Bangalore.
I just got back home from the airport, and thought it’d be wise to write a short report for everyone who missed the show and the others who just wanted to know how it was, before sleep deprivation erodes away my memory. This is just a brief overview, and I’m fairly certain I’m not doing justice to a good part of the event, especially Amon Amarth’s performance, but either ways, here it is.
For those to whom it isn’t obvious that I’m still unfortunately a college student, I had to write my Anthropology and Ethnography exam on Saturday morning, before heading to the airport to catch a flight to Bangalore. Thankfully, my equipment and luggage had already been flown in the previous day, so the process was relatively painless.
When I finally got to the venue, it turned out that everything was so delayed that the soundchecks that were supposed to happen on Friday night were delayed to the following morning, and each band got barely above 10 minutes to get things in order. So without further ado, Eccentric Pendulum
, winners of the band competition held over the previous days, played their set, followed by Inner Sanctum
, Undying Inc
, Bhayanak Maut
, while the rest of us hung out with Textures
and Amon Amarth
. More on that later. After Kryptos, we (Demonic Resurrection
) finally got on stage for our set. Thanks to the massive delays, the opening bands got only about 20 minutes of performance time, which none of us were happy about, but such was the state of affairs, and we had to make the best of what we had.
Onstage sound was quite a mess, with monitor levels fluctuating all over the place and things generally going a bit haywire. But any Indian band would be lying to say they haven’t been through this sort of chaos before, so we managed to pull through a truncated three song set without too many hiccups. People in the crowd said it all sounded great through the PA system, and I’m inclined, for now at least, to take their word for it. We played the usual opening song Spirits Of The Mystic Mountains, The Unrelenting Surge Of Vengeance, which is the lead single from the upcoming album ‘The Return To Darkness’, and finally closed with the obligatory crowd favourite Apocalyptic Dawn.
Textures from the Netherlands was up next, and I have to say I haven’t seen ANY band have this much fun while performing. Bart (guitars) was literally propelling himself all about the stage, while Eric (vocals) and Remko (bass) stomped about rousing the crowd into a complete frenzy. Jochem (guitars) was a bit more reclusive, restricting himself to mostly ludicrous expressions and brief spastic dances, and Stef Broks (drum lord) was a bit too busy behind his kit. Richard (synths) was for most part, veiled behind the onstage smoke, but the red highlights in his hair were quite visible whipping about frantically. The crowd was going ballistic, screaming, yelling and singing along and obeying Eric’s every command. Textures obviously weren’t expecting this much of a response, and were visibly very kicked about it. I don’t fully remember their set, but from what I recall, they opened with One Eye For A Thousand, went on through Storm Warning, Swandive, The Sun’s Architect, Laments Of An Icarus, Awake, a couple more from the older albums, and finally closed with Regenesis. Speaking of Laments Of An Icarus, every drummer with stage access firmly installed themselves right behind Stef Broks, as expected, to watch him tear through the polyrhythmic madness of the track. Watching his limbs fly about the kit with complete grace, dexterity and synchronicity was just breathtaking. The man is a future legend for good reason.
After Textures wrapped up their set, Amon Amarth from Sweden marched on to rapturous applause. The size of the crowd was evident now, the almost thunderous response that greeted the Swedes clearly surprised them. After a rather long set up, they began with Twilight of The Thunder Gods, and the aura of sheer majesty that they exuded is indescribable. Again, memory fails me here and I had to leave after three songs for logistical reasons, but I think they followed with Runes To My Memory and Asator. My return flight to Bombay was at 7 AM, and the absolutely awful state that the Bangalore transport system assumes post 10 PM meant that leaving in the morning was a precarious affair, so I left for the hotel after Asator.
The guys from Textures were really fun to hang out with, and they were evidently overwhelmed by the amount of fans they have here. They kept giving stuff away, from food to beer to even equipment – Stef Broks literally gifted Yuvraj, drummer of Undying Inc., a high-end Meinl crash cymbal, for no apparent reason. Needless to say, the guy was overjoyed to almost orgasmic proportions, triumphantly holding up his acquisition in incredulity.
I had a chat earlier with Bart Hennephof, who seemed to have a slight difficultly understanding my English, but we talked about him being a guitar teacher and how he loves the Indian cuisine (is that an obligatory staple statement?), and how the people are astonishingly friendly. Eric Kalsbeek mentioned how the Indian metal scene “came as a total shock to him”, as they had heard nothing of it before they experienced it here. Stef spoke about the high standard of musicianship in Indian bands that really took him by surprise.
Amon Amarth, for most part, were missing in action from their green room, so I didn’t really get to interact with them, but from what I hear, they were completely mobbed after their set for autographs and photographs. They assured us that India would definitely find a place on their tour maps henceforth, which can only mean good things for the Indian scene.
I typed all of this down in a hurry, determined to get down as many details before sleep beckons, which it now does. So forgive any mistakes and omissions, and I hope this was a pleasant read. To all those who missed this, whatever your reason was, the wrath of The Ancient Ones is upon you. Perish utterly.