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Gig Review: Urban Assault

The week was ushered in with absolute mayhem unleashed by Mumbai metal bands including Devoid and Gutslit

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Nabeela Shaikh May 19, 2015
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Seth at Urban Assault in Mumbai

Seth at Urban Assault in Mumbai Photo: Courtesy of the artist

May 17th, Smaaash, Mumbai: Gaming and recreation centre Smaaash was more than half empty when thrash metal band Seth kicked off the evening with a short, but powerful set. Having spent the better half of the past three years performing at various college fests, Urban Assault was a refreshing change for the band. Seth got the crowd grooving with their impressive originals, beginning with “Grudge Unleashed” and building up the intensity until their last track “The Summoning.”

An extreme shift in tempo ensued as doom/sludge band Dirge took the stage, and were quick to deliver Black Sabbath-like riffs, fuzzed out basslines and wailing vocals. Living up to the sludge tenet ”˜Tune low, play slow’, the band delivered a balanced set of both originals and covers. Frontman Tabish Khidir’s vocals bordered on maddening and incomprehensible, starting off with the track “Invoking the Demigod,” which managed to coax  the audience into coyly headbanging.

By now, the paintball area [fittingly called the Warzone] had swelled in capacity with grim-faced metallers, eager to catch Albatross, who launched their album Fear From The Skies. The horror metal band’s frontman Biprorshee Das had the crowd going crazy with their new tracks, right from “Advance” to their pre-released “Children of the Cloud” to a surprise Megadeth cover of their 1990 hit “Tornado of Souls.”

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Next up to hit the stage was long-reigning thrash metal act Devoid. A well-received name amongst Indian metallers, this four-piece metal unit from Mumbai did not disappoint. Initiating outbursts of Hindi cusswords between songs like “Brahma Weapon” and a heavy cover of Metallica’s “Fuel,” [originally performed as part of the Bombay Metal Project at BIG69] Devoid delivered pure, aggressive thrash metal, and left audiences calling out song requests from their EP The Invasion.

The last act of the night was death grind band Gutslit. Known for their high-speed blast beat drumming, guttural vocals and gruesome lyrics [if you can comprehend them], they performed a string of crowd favorites from “Skewered in the Sewer” to “Maze of Entrails.” By now, there were mosh pits breaking out regularly and continued until Gutslit ended their set, but not without a few encores.

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