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Gig Review: Insurgence 2.0

A death metal cover of Led Zeppelin, a three-song set and much more at the second edition of metal gig Insurgence

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Nabeela Shaikh Aug 25, 2015
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Sushan Shetty of Cosmic Infusion. Photo by Hebzy Williams.

Sushan Shetty of Cosmic Infusion. Photo by Hebzy Williams.

Jimmy Bhore’s voice rang out as he turned the tables on the audience: “You guys choose, either we play one more song now, or we will never play in this side of town ever again.” As the crowd rooted for the more impulsive of choices, even the band knew that their time was up, the management would refuse to budge and for the second time that they performed at Marine Centre, Zygnema would have to cut their set down to three songs.

While things certainly got ugly towards the end, the second edition of metal festival Insurgence held at Marine Centre earned an assorted response, which ranged from placid listeners to full-out mosh pits. Drawing in a scanty crowd was opening act Narkasur, evidently a less seasoned band than most of the others on the lineup. The four-piece thrash/groove metal band, who attempted to start a wall of death during their very first track “Legislative Of Thrash”, received only half-hearted headbanging from an enthusiastic few. Narkasur remained optimistic throughout their 40-minute set, even though their sound may not be strong enough to stand out against the myriad of emerging college thrash bands.

Stepping up the game were Killibrium who played their debut gig at Insurgence. The four piece band, which has been two years in the making, played to a steadily growing audience, blasting track after track of relentlessly extreme metal. With a combination of mind-numbing blast beats, powerful vocals and massive guitar work, Killibrium left the crowd in a frenzy.

Nitin Rajan and Suvajit Chakraborty of Killibrium.

Nitin Rajan and Suvajit Chakraborty of Killibrium.

Symphonic metallers The Calvin Cycle were a stark shift from the fast-paced metal that Killibrium unleashed.  Undeterred by the crowd that was now thinning out, the six-piece band delivered a set that included original compositions and an ambitious cover of Cradle Of Filth’s “Nymphetamine.”

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Not-so-fresh from their return from Kolkata were death metal outfit Primitiv, who had returned from the Strength Of Steel fest that very morning. However, with a little help from Sushan Shetty of Cosmic Infusion guesting on “Lords Of Primitiv” and Vineet Sharma of Killchain on a cover of Obituary’s “By The Light,” Primitiv delivered one of the most high-energy sets of the night, instigating the occasional mosh-pit. The band even threw in a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” with frontman Nitin Rajan rehashing Plant’s quivering vocals into equally haunting growls.

Known as much for their corpse paint as their symphonic black metal music, Cosmic Infusion were next on stage, kicking off their set with “Raktabeeja” from their upcoming release. While no one from the audience was spotted with corpse paint [as was the case at crowd-funded gig Control Alt Delete in June], the Cosmic Infusion army were in top form as they sang along to the “Journey” riff and the chorus of “Burial of Thy Own.” Frontman Sushan Shetty was joined by vocalist Aruna Jade [from a capella group Aflatunes] who pitched in with harmonies even as Shetty transitioned from guttural growls to terrifying screeches.

Once again, the crowd disappeared as prog metallers Midhaven began their set. The band who returned to play a gig after almost half a year of inactivity, did not let the crowd’s disinterest affect their performance, as they revived old tracks like “Spellbound”. The band dedicated “The Third Eye” to Govind Marodia, the vocalist of Delhi prog metal act Colossal Figures, who passed away earlier this year.

Mayank Sharma of thrash act Zygnema. Photo by Parth Bhatia.

Mayank Sharma of thrash act Zygnema. Photo by Parth Bhatia.

Closing the night-and their album launch tour- were thrash metal act Zygnema, whose 8-track set was cut short to 15 minutes, only to include their Wacken Battle-winning “Theory Of Lies and Negation,” and newer tracks “Shell Broken Hell Loose” and “The Phoenix Effect.” It didn’t take long for the four-piece band to kick up a ruckus, with the audience already outraged at the time crunch.

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Management had the last word, however, as the organizers were forced to kill the sound and abruptly end what would otherwise have been a decent gig. What a buzzkill.

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