Cataclysm II, cue strobe lights going bersek with, Bart ( who’s worked with the likes of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers) behind the lights console and a very monolothic moon which simply, set the stage.
Neon guitars by the foot of the stage and big black, demonic amps. Indeed on walking in one could simply transpose. A fine line up with a feared headliner.
The Mood was METAL. Cataclysm II was on its way.
Tails on Fire
First up for the night was Chennai’s very own, Tails on Fire. With a much appreciated fan base across the city, getting the crowd revved up with their over the top performances, teamed up with thos anti-climaxes always on cue. Filled with very tasteful riffs through most of their numbers, ‘Move’ and ‘Girl’ would be naming a few. Powerful riffs with well timed breaks and the vocalist always on cue, seemed to be the recurring theme. Nicely done.
Karan on vocals did get the crowd in sync with the rest of the four piece band, and it worked. What would be pre-judged as trying too hard did in fact have things go their way. I guess there’s no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to ROCK.
Credits to Sriram on guitars with that very unique blend of blues and rock he had reverberate through the theatre, conjured up into everything that defines, Tails on Fire.
The whole clash between an alternative rock and a punkish stage performance (not music, stage performance….these boys are…unique) with the excessive energy and jumps all across the stage, all on cue with their breaks and build-ups.
‘Mr.Bombastic’ by shaggy was reconstructed completely with a very Tails on Fire approach, Sriram on guitars again giving us all something to smile and headbang to, finally Karan tearing it up.
‘Monkey Masala’, being the last of their songs, which brought a close to Tails on Fire but not before bringing the roof down.
Highly packed, with a very flavoured and tasty riff, tearing the roof off finally. Insane. Killed it!
Franks Got The Funk
Up next was again, Chennai’s Franks Got The Funk.
~Honestly? I think the treads left by Tails on Fire did raise the bar a tad too high for the six piece band that followed.
When i see a six peice band I think, Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers. One expects timed perfection, understanding. A frequency which is subliminal to all, other than the band itself.
This six piece band was off on so many levels, with the vocals not really raising the bar what-so-ever. It was chaotic! With three guitars tearing it all apart, a hint of somber and artistic expression made room for the only thing that could explain and summarise what all were left to witness. In two words?
With Shashank on drums bringing back some form of semblance. The drums did do good with his energy radiating almost to all else.
Backing vocals from Rajan and the rest were almost negligible, almost. Maybe the amps and configuration being set to accommodate a heavier heave for the headliners, go figure.
A special mention to Vikram on keys and the drummer who salvaged all they could and Mervin on lead guitars producing some powerful riffs with a very bluesy tinge to some numbers. Nicely done.
Vikram on the keys with a very ambient and electronic feel, almost owl citi-esh yet Frankie in every little way possible, very nicely done, most would agree.
With the bands all time favourite and popular song, “Franks Got The Funk, the band did finally (vocals) find his chi and had us going. The drummers energy did carry its way across the stage around the theatre and crawl up a couple of spines as it got most of the crowd going. With soulful riffs powerfully packed.
All in all? Nothing eccentric from FGTF, disappointingly.
Next to take stage were Theorized from Bangalore.
Eerie and a powerful punch to have these boys from bangalore (nothing very boyish really) crude if anything. Musicality wise…naturally.
Epic timing between, Snakalp on bass and Yash on drums. For all you grotesque head bangers and to those who love their gnawing and nail piercing guitar solos, they did deliver. The guitars with its eerie and heads on death metal approach with Madhav on vocals who simply growled his way through minority of the crowd and out the theatre.
Effortless licks accompanied with multiple taps from the guitarists end were a nice touch.
Somber yet so very sick!
A tough crowd at their feet, Theorized did try and get majority of the crowd going although much to their disappointment. It failed.
Death metal was clearly not on the cards.
Faltering and miss-times didn’t really seem to exist in their dictionary, with the bassist and drummer giving us something to look at.
They even mangaed to get a mosh pit going. I guess that made them happy and pepped up the band, contradictory to majority of the crowds disinterest.
A good performance with loud screeching solos and guttural tones accompined with some more growling.
In a word? Theorized.
Finally to take stage were much awaited for, Wolfs Lair, and oh my, a howling of a performance. Credits, Wolfs lair.
Mark Thomas on vocals, delivering on every note and the rest of the band not far behind.
Tasteful indeed, with the rest of the band always in key gave off this aura of, EPICNESS. Pitch bends, solid powerful riffs, tearing vocals a cracker of a double bass. Very nicely done.
Mark on vocals getting the crowd going, with ‘Time Bomb’. Hello growling. Perfectly packed and if one may say so, strategically placed performance and persona. Deliverance being top notch!
With off timed beats and the bassist on cue, really hard to go wrong here. Only proving, if you’ve got a bassist and a drummer who connect, simply on the same frequency with a more than an average understanding. Really hard to go wrong with that formula. Wolfs lair seemed to perfect this formula.
‘Turn Back Time’ was another one of those songs. Perfect bass line with that tight tormenting riff made good.
Marks vocals yet again, with those keys throwing in a very symphonic feel to this number. Keeping it clean. These boys knew what they were doing and they sure do it well.
With Mark hitting those vocals with a tinge of Dickinson (former days). The vocal range this man has! A BEAST!
Its more than feeling the music and playing on the same frequency as a band but when you’ve got the crowd going to your harmonics and a very tight double bass, there’s just so much of an elevation to the entire performance.
“Ive got an addiction to everything Epic”, says Mark.
Fragemented forever was personally for me a favourite. A very symphonic feel mingled with that tight riff and vocals that hit the roof. They sure got the crowd going, with a little magnanimity is how Mark would like to play it. Something about having that high and acclamied status yet a humble approach to all things beautiful works every time. Kudos!
A constant reminder of their metal mingled and mixed with a symphonic feel was a very musically oriented and perfected touch by the band.
Ujjayinee Roy later taking stage with the band as they performed a cover from Nightwish, ‘I Wish I Had An Angel’.
With both vocals constructively complementing the other in what turned out to be a perfect blend of yet again everything symphonic contorted with metal. This recurring theme seemed to work for these guys and none to complain. With Ujjayinee raising a few goose bumps even. Clad in black with the moon in almost full gave off more of an eerie feel to the whole performance.
With encores and callbacks on the cards, the band went on to perform, ‘New World Order’. And finally closing with what only seemed like the crowds favourite, ‘Kill Zone’.
With the entire band on key and cue always, like a well oiled machine. Built to brutalize and satisfy.
Thank you Wolfs Lair, thank you CATACLYSM II.