Aussie band Psycroptic sets out on India's longest heavy metal tour
It’s been a decade since the Indian heavy metal scene exploded after the legendary British group Iron Maiden landed in Bengaluru for their first stage appearance in the country. While a lot has happened since then—including native acts like Eccentric Pendulum and Zygnema having travelled to the biggest gathering of metal musicians at Germany’s Wacken Open Air—India will witness yet another groundbreaking musical phenomenon this year.
Death metal veterans Psycroptic are flying down for a six city tour (with performances slated at Shillong, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune), something which no other international metal band has done before. “Some cities don’t see big turn outs unless there’s an international act on the bill. We cannot deny that they gather bigger crowds and in turn help opening regional outfits to increase their fan base,” says Renu McGarry, the owner of Orka Networks who is inviting the quartet comprising of Cameron Grant, David Haley, Joe Haley and Jason Peppiatt for an exclusive India tour. Named after the opening track of their latest album, the Echoes To Come tour sounds predictive of the waves it’ll create within the metal sphere in India.
Being detached from the European and American scene, Psycroptic created a signature sound acclaimed for its distinct technical characteristics, as heard on earlier releases like The Scepter of the Ancients. While many projects face criticism when their sound evolves, this 18-year-old band’s latest self-titled release was received well. “In the early days, we didn’t really understand the recording process or even song writing for that matter.
We are always trying to improve, and I think we got to a level with the (self-titled) album that we were finally happy with how things were sounding,” informs drummer David, about why they gave the album the same name as their collective. He mentions that even moving the songwriting process into the studio has changed their style to bring in catchy elements.
Evolution also reflects in the lyrics department as they incorporated more political themes alongside their earlier fantasy elements. Although the studio work on their seventh full-length album—to be released early next year—is currently in progress, Indian metalheads will not get a peek into the band’s latest sound and instead can expect tracks like Carriers of the Plague and Ob(Servant). The act informs that they’re most excited to learn more about Indian metal scene and discover more about local musicians playing the genre.
Answering the call
Though many bands including Inner Sanctum and Moral Putrefaction will play alongside the Australians at Bengaluru and Chennai respectively, the musicians who’ll share the maximum limelight are Fragarak and Godless, who are performing five venues with the international ensemble.
New Delhi-based Fragarak now performs as a quartet—including Supratim Sen, Kartikeya Sinha, Arpit Pradhan and Ruben Franklin—with a session drummer joining them on stage. Though their experimental death metal style has taken them to countries including China and Singapore, the band will use their first extensive tour within the country to promote their upcoming sophomore concept album.
“The release is a first-hand narrative that looks deeper into the architectural disorientations of the human mind. The idea has become even more relevant amidst the recent events of Chester Bennington’s suicide,” says Supratim, about their 85-minute long album A Spectral Oblivion, scheduled for release on October 10 this year. The Delhiites will perform six of their tracks from the release including In Rumination and Fathom of Delirium during the tour.
Much familiar to the South Indian crowd, Hyderabad-based death metal outfit Godless—who recently released their debut music video for the song Oneiros—plans to utilise the countrywide venues to bring attention to their two new tracks. “The set list will feature new compositions like From Beyond and a faster number Zombie Transmutation.
Moreover, we’re focussing on enriching the live experience by including sample sounds and lighting to create a sombre ambience,” informs bassist Abbas Razvi, speaking for the five member team including Rohit Nair, Ravi Nidamarthy, Kaushal LS and Aniketh Yadav.
As the well-planned stage and promotion strategies of these bands reveal, the arrival of international musicians will sure inspire native acts to kick start tour buses that will snake across the Indian landscape.
Rs 800 onwards At the Other Side on August 10. Details: instamojo.com
Rs 300 At Unwind Center on August 11. Details: www.facebook.com/UnwindCenter
Rs 1,000 At Straight Up, Kothanur on August 12. Details: instamojo.com