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Darjeeling Is Big On Metal This April

The hill station will host two international bands and hold auditions for local bands to play at UK’s Bloodstock Open Air

Anurag Tagat Mar 01, 2013
American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation plays at Darjeeling Meta-Legion Fest II in April.

American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation plays at Darjeeling Meta-Legion Fest II in April.

Hozo Rai, vocalist of Darjeeling extreme metal band Grungy Morphins, says this is the year of metal for his hometown. As organizer of the Darjeeling Meta-Legion Fest, Rai is in charge of bringing down American deathgrind band Cattle Decapitation and Australian groove metal band Blunt Force Trauma to play at the second edition of the metal fest on April 2nd. Next month, his home state will also host the India and Nepal debut of  Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses, a global competition coming to Asia for the first time. The competition has been put together by the organizers of UK metal fest, Bloodstock Open Air, where Mumbai death metal band Demonic Resurrection performed last year.

For the second edition of the Meta-Legion Fest [the first edition hosted Sri Lankan black metal band Dhishti and Nepalese death metal band Narasamhaar as headliners], Rai is expecting about 700-800 people, a turnout, he says, that his band Grungy Morphins receives each time they perform. And while Rai’s band is confirmed as part of the lineup, other local supporting acts at the fest will be announced on March 9th. The criteria, though, is a bit odd: “We wanted a band that was good, and one that can pull in a crowd. So we’re choosing two support bands based on whoever sells the highest number of tickets,” says Rai.

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In spite of getting few sponsors, Rai says getting two international acts on board was not so hard. “The bands [Cattle Decapitation and Blunt Force Trauma] were already on tour in South East Asia, so it was easier to bring them to Darjeeling.”

In addition to organizing the festival , Rai is also part of events management company, Defenders of Metal, which has been instrumental in bringing Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses to the country. The competition, open to bands from India and Nepal, will take place in Darjeeling next month, with the winning band getting a slot to perform at UK’s Bloodstock Open Air in August. “We’ve been in touch with Simon Hall, the main organizer behind Metal 2 the Masses for the last three or four years. We were just chatting one day and the topic popped up and that’s that,” says Rai.

With 10 bands from Darjeeling and eight bands from other parts of India signed up so far, the first round of the competition will take place in April and May, with the final round slated for June 23rd, where an international band is likely to perform. The winner “gets it all,” according to Rai ”“ a performance slot at Bloodstock Open Air in Derbyshire, UK, cash prize of an undecided amount, and a guitar from American manufacturers Blakhart. “We thought of the cash prize since they have to cover their flight and accommodation costs themselves,” says Rai.

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Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition entries are still open. Details here.DML fest II poster

Darjeeling Meta-Legion Fest II with Cattle Decapitation and Blunt Force Trauma takes place at Capital Hall, Darjeeling on April 2nd, 2013, 2pm onward. Entry Rs 500. Event details here.