Mumbai Metal Artists Pay Tribute to Death Metal at Domination: The Deathfest
The Bombay Death Metal Legion, comprising members from bands such as Gutslit, Exhumation and Wired Anxiety, will perform at the sixth edition of the metal festival
Turns out Mumbai’s suburb of Kalina is home to the city’s death metal scene. Metal group Primitiv’s vocalist Nitin Rajan, who is also the co-organizer of the annual death metal festival Domination: The Deathfest, stays in Kalina, as does death grind band Gutslit’s bassist Gurdip Singh Narang. Says Rajan, “He’s the brutal sardar right now, but before him, there was [thrash/death metal band Belial’s guitarist] Naginder Singh, who also stays in Kalina, incidentally.” Rajan’s rounding up the local death metal artists for a special collective called The Bombay Death Metal Legion [BDML] at the sixth edition of Deathfest on June 8th in Mumbai.
Around 15 musicians from Mumbai’s past and present death metal scene will be part of the Bombay Death Metal Legion, including Belial’s Singh, Gutslit vocalist Aditya Barve, death metal band Infernal Wrath’s vocalist Afaque Azad and death groove metal band Wired Anxiety’s drummer Sumeet Ninawe and guitarist Naval Katoch, among others. Also joining the nine-track setlist are Mumbai thrash/death metal band Devoid’s former bassist Frank Pawar and former lead guitarist Keshav Kumar. Says Rajan, “We started putting the BDML together two months ago. Initially, a lot more people had agreed, but they had to back out because of work commitments, or even clashing dates for gigs.” Prog rock band Coshish’s guitarist Shrikant Sreenivasan, who was part of heavy metal band Albatross between 2010 and 2011, joined BDML to reconnect with death metal. Says Sreenivasan, “I always wanted to play in a metal band. I had jammed with Nitin when Primitv was formed, so he knows that I love playing metal.” Sreenivasan will play American death metal band Death’s 1998 song “Voice of the Soul.” Says Sreenivasan, “I hope I do justice to it.”
BDML will also pay tribute to death metal pioneers such as Vader, Nile and Deicide. Aditya Mehta, who performed at last year’s Deathfest as part of brutal death metal bandÂ Exhumation’s one-off show, will provide vocals on songs by death metal veterans such as Morbid Angel [“Rapture”], Deicide [“Dead by Dawn”] and Cannibal Corpse. Says Mehta about the festival, “This show and [day-long annual gig] Black Metal Krieg are the only two shows I really look forward to.” Mehta will perform alongside drummer Mihir Bhende [from metal band Ascendere and black metal band Cosmic Infusion] and guitarist Niraj Singh Chouhan, from Mehta’s black metal band Solar Deity. Mehta adds, “I’ve been singing these songs for the past 15 or 16 years, so I have no problem remembering the lyrics.”
Though Rajan and his co-organizer Riju Dasgupta [bassist for heavy metal bands Albatross and Primitiv] will stick to handling the event and playing together as Primitiv, they will take the festival to Hyderabad on June 21st. Previously hosted in Pune  and in Bengaluru , Rajan says he’s taking Deathfest to Hyderabad because the city needs more metal gigs. Says Rajan, “We wanted to take it to Pune, but I wasn’t finding like-minded on-ground support. Plus, the guys in Hyderabad are pretty enthusiastic to host gigs.” While the Hyderabad edition will include local death metal acts such as Death Incarnate [returning after a five-year break], Pisakas, thrash/death metal band Perpetual Void, Mumbai death metal band Atmosfear and more, the Mumbai edition will feature Bengaluru sludge band Shepherd, Shillong death metal act Plague Throat [who head to Wacken Open Air in Germany in July] and Guwahati death metallers Insane Prophecy, among others.
June 8th ”“ United 21, Thane
Bombay Death Metal Legion
Entry: Rs 500
June 21st ”“ Xtreme Sports Bar, Hyderabad
Entry: Rs 350