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Inner Sanctum: Path to Destruction

Bengaluru thrash/death metallers Inner Sanctum on putting together their second Europe tour and releasing their long-awaited debut album ‘Legions Awake’

Anurag Tagat Mar 20, 2015
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Inner Sanctum | Photo Courtesy: Karan Patil

Inner Sanctum | Photo Courtesy: Karan Patil

When a metal album comes with a caveat that it “will make you wet your pants… with semen and piss,” fans are already raising horns. Those who know Bengaluru metal band Inner Sanctum will agree that it’s not odd or scandalous when its vocalist Gaurav Basu says things like “There was some penis time while recording as well.” Basu is referring to the making of Inner Sanctum’s debut full-length album Legions Awake, set to release this month, six years after they launched their debut EP Provenance in 2009.

When we sat in for the band’s vocal tracking sessions in Bengaluru’s Adarsh Recording Studio in Bengaluru last year, Basu stripped down to boxer shorts in the vocal booth just to feel “comfortable enough” to nail the growls. While recording and producing the album was easy, writing Legions Awake took too long, admits the band. Says bassist Abhishek Michael, “Everything else was a piece of cake. But we’re glad we didn’t rush into anything, we are extremely happy with how things are turning out.” While “Wake of Destruction” was one of the few songs that Sanctum still hasn’t played live, the heavy hitters that have found their way onto the album include “March of the Wounded,” “Tainted Soils,” “Reflections of the Past” and a surprise new track called “Existence Denied,” which will feature guest solos from death metal’s top guitarists, although the band refuses to reveal names. While they released their first new material in six years – the no-holds-barred riff fest “Wake of Destruction” – in January, there are plans to release to release another single off the eight-track album soon.

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Legions Awake took time to release also because the band was busy touring at a few festivals around Germany and Poland in 2013. Of course, Basu has a few intimate stories to share from their shows abroad as well: he recounts how their German tour manager lost his underwear in a lake in Poland, and suffering an “unpleasant experience” of seeing guitarist Suraj Gulvady’s privates. Hopefully, there will be fewer disturbing memories when they perform at Norway’s Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo. Says bassist Michael, “There has been a longstanding relationship with Inferno and metal bands from India [Bengaluru metallers Kryptos, Mumbai extreme metallers Demonic Resurrection, Delhi groove/tech metal band Undying Inc. have all performed at Inferno] which is part of this cultural exchange with Norway. I’ve been in talks with Jan [Martin Jensen, the head of Inferno] for quite a few years now. Inferno is pretty big for us.” Including a set at Inferno, which takes place in April, Michael says Inner Sanctum is plotting at least 15 tour dates across Germany and the Netherlands.

Closer home, they’re working on a few launch shows for Legions Awake, with confirmed shows in Bengaluru and their first ever club show in Mumbai, at the sixth annual Rolling Stone Metal Awards. Says guitarist Chintan Chinnappa about playing club shows, “Some of our most memorable gigs have actually been indoor venues. There is something about stuffing a room with angry metal heads that just gets us going.”

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Rolling Stone Metal Awards will be held on March 22nd, 7 pm onwards at Blue Frog, Mumbai. Entry: Rs 150

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