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Shillong Death Metallers Plague Throat to Play Wacken Open Air

The three-member band, who were winners of the fourth edition of band competition Wacken Metal Battle,
will play in Germany this month

Anurag Tagat Jul 25, 2014
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Plague Throat - (from left) Dolreich Kharmawphlang aka Malice, Nangsan Lyngwa and Iaidon Jyrwa. Photo: courtesy of the band

Plague Throat – (from left) Dolreich Kharmawphlang aka
Malice, Nangsan Lyngwa and Iaidon Jyrwa. Photo: courtesy of the band

It’s difficult, for both fans of Shillong death metal band Plague Throat and the band members to imagine playing to a crowd of 20,000 metalheads. Until date, the band has performed at gigs that have not had a turnout of more than 200 fans. Says guitarist Nangsan Lyngwa about playing at Germany’s biggest metal festival, Wacken Open Air this month, “Just to step foot there is a dream come true.”

Even though they formed in 2008, Plague Throat gained a lot more exposure last year, after they released their debut EP An Exordium To Contagion. Comprising Lyngwa, bassist Iaidon Jyrwa and drummer Malice aka Dolreich Bianglang Kharmawphlang, the band started out as a four-member melodic death metal group called Against. Says Lyngwa, “It took us four years to get our own gear, like guitars and processors.” The band recorded their four-track EP between 2011 and 2012, but faced another setback when their computer crashed. They finally managed to put their tracks together in 2013. The EP was finally mastered by Bengaluru stoner/doom band Bevar Sea’s guitarist Srikanth Panaman. Says Lyngwa, “It’s a very low quality EP, though. What we recorded and mixed was not up to the mark.”

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Despite its technical shortcomings, An Exordium To Contagion put Plague Throat on the national radar. They were tipped to win the fourth edition of Wacken Metal Battle’s India edition, beating out tough competition from the likes of progressive death metal band Orion and Bengaluru thrash metallers Theorized. Plague Throat join past winners such as Bengaluru prog metallers Eccentric Pendulum, Mumbai thrash/groove metal band Zygnema and thrash/death metal band Devoid on the Wacken stage. Says Lyngwa, “It was a very tough competition. We’ve never played competitions out of town, and never performed in front of judges. Personally, I was nervous, because they [judges] are thinking about every note you play.” The band won over the likes of old school metal band Kryptos’s frontman Nolan Lewis and German producer Lasse Lammert, who were on the jury, to represent India at Wacken Open Air.

Plague Throat are also readying their next single “Dominion Breach” for release next month. Says Lyngwa, “It’s quite different from our old songs. I’d say it’s got a lot more elements of technical death metal.” Plague Throat are also working on new material for a full-length album, which they want to release by early next year. For a band that has spent four years just to buy their own gear, Lyngwa says they have to put together funds before they head into the studio to record. But this year, the band will need to raise additional funds to play in Germany.

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Winning Wacken Metal Battle India entitles them to a slot at Wacken Open Air, but the expenses to travel and stay in Germany have to be met by the band. The band has already begun looking for supporters. In fact, Plague Throat has also approached the Meghalaya state government. Says Lyngwa, “We met a couple of officials from the government. The Chief Minister wasn’t free, but we’re hoping to get as much support as we can.”

Plague Throat perform at the Headbanger Stage at Wacken Open Air 2014 in Wacken, Germany on July 30th, 2014.

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