Monsters of Mosh
It was a night of music, mosh and mayhem at the first Rolling Stone Metal awardsGigs, News & Updates July 10, 2010
The first Rolling Stone Metal Awards were held on the 20th of July at the Blue Frog club in Mumbai. The Metal Awards were unusual on a lot of counts. One, it was the country’s first exclusive awards for metal bands and musicians. So far, the burgeoning Indian metal scene had been written about, features in documentaries like Sam Dunn’s Global Metal and had even got its share of recognition when Demonic Resurrection bagged the Global Metal Award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods just a few days before these awards. Second, it was held at the Blue Frog, which had only recently thrown its doors open to metal bands and this was the only the third metal night the club had hosted. But proving naysayers wrong, the club was packed to the gills with metalheads from Mumbai and even as far away as Bengaluru. The Critics’ Choice awards had been judged by a panel of Indian and international judges which included Arjun Sankalia from Sony Music, Randolph Correia from Pentagram, Stef Broks from Textures, Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats, Jason Bittner from Shadows Fall and Tymon Kruidenier from Cynic, among others.
The nights proceedings kicked off with host Rohit Pereira, better known as Pman, bringing on stage a cut-out oh his latest muse – celebrity and reality-show star Rakhi Sawant – and offering her a little prayer before announcing the evening’s first award. Honouring one of the pioneering metal bands in the country, the Metal Legends
award went to early Bengaluru thrash metallers Millennium, who were the first Indian band to make an impact on the scene back in the Eighties and were also the first Asian metal band to feature on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. “We owe this night to another one 26 years ago, a night when five people decided India was ready for something a little heavier than what played on Chitrahaar and Chayageet on Doordarshan,” said Pman in his dedication speech to the band. “We tip our hats to the band for leaving us this legacy and for keeping the spirit of metal alive when few others dared to.”
This paved the way for the next category of awards, the Best Metal Drummer and Best Metal Vocalist. Prashant ‘JP’ Paradkar from Infernal Wrath walked away with the Best Drummer Award while Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy from Scribe – no surprises here – bagged the award for best vocalist, for his incredible work on Scribe’s latest album Mark of Teja. Demonic Resurrection, fresh from their victory at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods where they bagged the Global Metal award, then took the stage for the first performance of the evening. Always the fans’ band, DR played a setlist that had been voted for by fans online and powered through ‘Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’ from the recently released Return to Darkness and old favourite ‘Apocalyptic Dawn.’ The band were hindered by a few technical glitches and a handful of hecklers in the crowd but they still played a blistering set that they concluded with probably their most popular song ‘Frozen Portrait.’
Pman brought the crowd out of their mosh mania by handing out a few freebies from sponsors before it was time to announce the next set of awards – Best Bassist, Best Guitarist and The Popular Choice Awards. The Best Metal Guitarist award went to Bryden Lewis from young Bengaluru band Slain and the Best Metal Bassist award also went to Slain bass player Naresh Nathan. The band curiously got some surprised applause which can only be attributed to Mumbai not being familiar with their music, something the band could rectify by playing a few gigs in the city.
The Popular Choice awards were the topic of much debate and discussion and were furiously contested on Facebook where the voting was held. 15 days and X votes later, we had the winners. Demonic Resurrection swept the Popular Choice awards for Best Album (Return to Darkness) and Best Song (‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’) while Infernal Wrath walked away with the Best Band award to some crazy applause from the crowd.
Undying Inc took the stage for the next performance – and a highly anticipated one at that because it’s been a while since the band played Mumbai last – and made it worth the wait. The band threw down a frenzied set, with lead vocalist Shashank Bhatnagar whiplashing around stage – eyes rolling, arms thrown out – like a man possessed. Diving headfirst into the brutal ‘Manimal,’ the band ripped into ‘Alloy’ and ‘Breeding Gods’ driving the now-moshing crowd into a manic frenzy. The band wrapped up their set as the crowd readied for the biggest awards of the night, the Critics’ Choice Best Band, Album and Song. Rolling Stone General Manager – Marketing Arpito Gope and Ramesh Kaushik announced the awards which were swept by Mumbai metallers Scribe who bagged all three. The band followed up their win with a brutal but quirky set that included most of the songs from Mark of Teja. Concluding the set with their much-loved ‘I Love You Pav Bhaji,’ frontman Krishnamoorthy bid adieu to the crowd saying, “And pav bhaji loves you too.” The first Rolling Stone Metal Awards had just set a benchmark
List of Winners
Metal Legends: Millennium Best Metal Vocalist: Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy (Scribe) Best Metal Guitarist: Bryden Lewis (Slain) Best Metal Bassist: Naresh Nathan (Slain) Best Metal Drummer: Prashant “JP” Paradkar (Infernal Wrath) Best Metal Song (Critics’ Choice): ‘DemonPra’ (Scribe) Best Metal Album (Critics’ Choice): The Mark of Teja (Scribe) Best Metal Band (Critics’ Choice): Scribe Best Metal Album (Public Choice): The Return to Darkness (Demonic Resurrection) Best Metal Song (Public Choice): ‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’ (Demonic Resurrection) Best Metal Band (Public Choice): Infernal Wrath
List of Judges
Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall) Liam Cormier (Cancer Bats) Douglas Sabolick (A Life Once Lost) Stef Broks (Textures) Tymon Kruidenier (Cynic) Rob Arnold (Chimaira) Luke Kenny (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone) Arjun Sankalia (Sony Music) Roberto Narain (Millennium) Allwin Fernandes (Millennium) Vehrnon Ibrahim (Millennium) John Thomas (Motherjane) Baiju Dharmarajan (Motherjane) Nitin Rajan (Fate, Morticide) Randolph Correia (Shaa’ir + Func, Pentagram) Surojit Dev (Them Clones) Zorran Mendonsa (New Way Home, Solstate)