2019 is Indian Metal’s Biggest Year Overseas
By the end of September, a total of nine bands will have toured Europe and even Japan
We noted last year how Indian independent artists are working hard at clinching international tours, heading out to Europe, North America and South East Asia. 2019 is shaping up no different, with Indian artists across genres setting foot in new territories – whether it’s singer-songwriters like New Delhi’s Janvi Anand doing intimate concerts in the U.S., Bengaluru rock band Perfect Strangers’ South East Asia tour or fusion band Thaikkudam Bridge’s expansive North American sojourn and more.
Amongst all these visa applications, metal bands continue to push forward even as the touring circuit within the country remains unpredictable. Between February and September this year, nine metal bands – all honing their own distinct sound – will have made their mark overseas. A handful of these are, of course, regulars in the touring circuit but still covering countries in Europe for the first time. Here’s a rundown of everyone on the road and in the skies:
Amorphia, Japan, February
On the back of their 2018 debut album Arms to Death, Kerala’s thrash metal unit traveled from Alappuzha to Osaka in February this year, making their international debut with five shows, including a set at True Thrash Fest. They also released a new song ahead of their Japan appearance, called “Unholy Preacher.”
Zygnema’s Reform Rebirth Tour, Europe, March – April
Mumbai thrash/groove metallers Zygnema returned to Europe after about six years and this time they charted out a 16-city tour between March and April, performing their latest crusher of a song “I Am Nothing.” Although there were a few van breakdowns along the way (and a venue actually shutting shop), the band stated in a post on social media, “This long tour was a rebirth of the band in many ways and it symbolizes a new level of DIY for us.”
Systemhouse33’s We Do Not Resist Tour, Europe, April
Celebrating 15 years in action, Mumbai metallers Systemhouse33 not only released their new album End of Days, but also went out across Europe in April, supporting Israel’s seasoned metallers Orphaned Land. No strangers to the touring circuit in recent years, the band also covered new territories such as Portugal for the first time.
Gutslit’s Butchering Europe Tour, Europe, June – July
As recently as two weeks ago, Mumbai brutal death metal band Gutslit kicked off yet another European tour, making them one jet-setting band. The Butchering Europe tour came right after their Eviscerating India tour, which meant no rest at all. Also making their debut in territories such as Barcelona and Porto, Gutslit will head on to their second appearance at Czech festival Obscene Extreme this weekend, which always promises to be a party. And then, bassist and founder Gurdip Singh Narang fulfills something of a life goal when they support American death metal stalwarts Dying Fetus next week.
Kryptos’ Feel The Heat Tour, Europe, June – July
Launching their incendiary (and aptly-titled) new album Afterburner, Bengaluru heavy metallers Kryptos keep on rocking on the road with what is their fifth consecutive Europe tour. While their current tour kicked off last week, they’ve been returning to Europe every year since 2015, which makes them favorites across countries like Germany and the Netherlands. Yet, they’re performing in Sweden for the first time as well as in Malta, where they finish off their tour on July 21st.
Project Mishram, United Kingdom, July
Bengaluru prog/fusion metallers Project Mishram are easily one of the newest bands on the block to secure an international tour. Their twisted, eclectic style brings together konnakol and djent alike, as heard on their latest song “Cynic Machine.” Taking up an invitation from UK Tech Fest, the band crowdfunded tour expenses and kicked off their tour on July 2nd. Stops include everything from a BBC Asian Network interview to a Sofar show.
Bloodywood’s Raj Against the Machine Tour, Europe, July – August
In addition to securing a spot at the revered Wacken Open Air gathering in Germany – one of the world’s biggest for heavy music – New Delhi folk metal band Bloodywood are performing in France, the U.K. and Russia starting on July 13th. Although they’re hotly anticipated in North America as well, this tour could be the foot in the door, converting YouTube subscribers into attendees after releasing noteworthy songs like “Endurant,” “Machi Bhasad (Expect a Riot)” and “Jee Veerey.” Check out footage from their recent live debut in Bengaluru below.
Against Evil’s Sentenced to Death Tour, Europe, August
When you’ve made your name in Indian heavy metal after coming from a gig-parched city like Visakhapatnam, it’s no surprise that Against Evil had their eye on an international tour. Their debut sojourn, which kicks off on August 2nd, runs through 11 cities in Germany alone and closes with shows in Austria and Switzerland. It’s a start, but knowing Against Evil’s slick brand of heavy metal, they’ll likely make new fans.
Godless’ Swarm Over Europe Tour, Europe, September
Hyderabad death/thrash metallers Godless remain one of the most brutal bands to come out of the country in recent times. While they got a glimpse of Europe last year after competing at the Wacken Metal Battle finals at Wacken Open Air in Germany, they’ll head out on a full scale tour starting September 7th. Joined by German death metal act Divide, Godless are also making stops in Denmark, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, with shows currently being confirmed.