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Darjeeling Metal Band Sycorax Head to Wacken Open Air in Germany

The winners of Wacken Metal Battle India hope to release their debut album in August

Anurag Tagat Jun 22, 2015
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RUN TO THE HILLS (from left) Ravi Singh, Ribesh Gurung, Trivinesh Subba and Gautam Singh

(from left) Ravi Singh, Ribesh Gurung, Trivinesh Subba and Gautam Singh from Sycorax. Photo: Paras Limbu

When Darjeeling metal band Sycorax performed at IIT Kharagpur’s college fest Wildfire 2013, they were disqualified for the most ludicrous reasons ever held against a metal band: encouraging mosh pit and use of abusive language.Vocalist Trivinesh Subba laughs off the memory saying, “I think the people were watching a metal band for the first time, so they’re bound to judge us the wrong way. But even at competitions, we’re not playing for them, we’re playing for our fans.”

After Wildfire, Sycorax, who formed in 2011, went on to compete for an opening slot at Bengaluru festival CultFest, which featured American death metallers Cannibal Corpse, and also at Wacken Metal Battle India not just once, but twice. While they just lost out to Mumbai thrash/death metallers Devoid in 2013, they entered the fray once again this year, managing to edge out competition from the likes of Bengaluru-based folk metal band The Down Troddence to win the competition, which guarantees them a slot at one of the world’s biggest metal festival, Wacken Open Air in Germany in July. Says Subba, “We’ve been trying for a long time and it’s a great opportunity.”

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Just like last year’s winners – Shillong death metallers Plague Throat – Sycorax are planning to reach out to their local government for funds to support their Wacken performance. Subba says even if that doesn’t work out, they’re happy to fund it themselves, despite being full-time musicians and music teachers in Darjeeling. Adds the vocalist, “It’s the biggest metal festival in the world. Every band dreams of playing there.”

Gathering funds for Wacken also means postponing their upcoming debut full-length album Sycotherapy, which was originally due in June. The seven-track album, which showcases the band’s brand of Pavithra Gorkha Metal, borrowing from thrash and groove roots to some crushing death metal that is inspired by Nepali folk rhythm patterns along with lyrics about identity and the fight for an independent country.

The album, which underwent several name changes ever since they released their single “Designing Eradication” last year, is now slated to be released in August or September. Recorded at Guwahati alt metal band Lucid Recess’s eponymous studio, Sycorax want to have a tour in place to promote the album. Subba hopes having Wacken Open Air against their name will make it easier to book shows, but adds, “We have a good standing in the North East and want to come back to Bangalore.” Subba specifically recalls how, despite not winning the CultFest opening band competition, they were happy to see Cannibal Corpse and American deathcore band Suicide Silence live. Says Subba, “It’s something you don’t get to do every day.” Considering both bands are on the Wacken lineup, Syrocax will get to watch them all over again on an international stage. And that’s the kind of repeat performance that they won’t forget anytime soon.

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Listen to “Designing Eradication” below

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