"Why support Bloodstock? Well the festival itself is based on the mantra of “by the fans for the fans” so why wouldn’t you?"
With Bloodstock Open Air 2016 only four months away, GMA decided it was time to find out what runs in the veins of the personnel behind the scenes. With bands being announced over the last 5-6 months like rapid-fire, it's only a matter of time before the whole festival is locked in with the M2TM winners potentially being the last to be locked in. This year M2TM has venues not only across the UK, but over in Norway and Poland. It seems that every year Bloodstock successfully knocks on the door of a countries metal scene and receives a warm welcome as a result.
One individual who not only pulls the strings of the whole Metal 2 The Masses (M2TM) venture, nor just plays in a brutally savage metal band by the name of Beholder, but without any argument has helped foster numerous careers of up-and-coming bands and help them flourish into what could be considered 'coming-of-age' bands. Such bands include The Furious Horde (who went on to play Metalcamp) and Evile (who signed onto Earache Records), other bands include (but not limited to): Bloodshot Dawn, Eibon La Furies, Splintered Soul, The Infernal Sea, Skreamer, etc.
Whilst heading the New Blood Stage (of which M2TM winners feed into), Simon also looks after the Sophie Lancaster Stage (named after a goth of the same name who was murdered nearly 10 years ago in Lancashire) and has in the past (and future) booked some of the world's most exciting and emerging metal talents. Referring back to the New Blood Stage, M2TM has visited (those in italic are being visited this year) England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Romania, Norway, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, The Channel Islands, Poland and India (although we're not sure what happened there).
But like most things, everything has a beginning and a story to tell, Simon's story is one of respected work ethic and dedication to the metal scene. Not only in 2007 did his band Beholder play the what-was-then known as the "Lava" stage, but also simultaneously started feeding his input into the festival. Even though it seems that the Gregory family (proprietors) knew about what Simon does, his worth ethic in and around the time of Beholders performance meant that Simon was asked post-performance if he "could supply PA/Lights etc., for the following year", thereby clearly thinking ahead for the future and what Simon could offer, safe to say they made the right choice with Simon adding that "not long after that, I got to have a full sit down with Paul to put the pieces into place for the M2TM. I guess form that point on I’ve been heading that and building it year on year." As indicated earlier, Simon has placed his finger on 11 countries, with one island group and country (which didn't seem to happen) making up the 13 different areas.
Some might think this is process is slow and that it should pick up the pace, but like most things if it's rushed it could easily crumble, some then might argue Simon is prudent, perhaps he is, but he has straightforward logic supporting that decision:-
"To be honest I’ve took the approach that if we build the M2TM slowly and with focus of purpose, i.e. not developing too quickly and taking our eye off the ball, then the platform can continue to build slowly year on year. The fact is the M2TM has become something more than simply a competition and has done a great deal to help strengthen the bond in the underground scene, again in part down to its honest nature and the fact it won't welcome P2P, text voting etc., and encourages judging for musicality / performance against any “battle of the fans” scenario."
Like cheese, you need to let it mature in order to get the full-bodied flavour, otherwise the pasteurising process if disturbed, can leave a rotten mess. Naturally if cheese was entered into a country fair where awards are won for the best to the fourth or so best tasting cheese, then of course those who won will be ecstatic and those who lost will be heartbroken. The same goes for bands who enter the M2TM, though some who have not won the finals might be awarded another slot at BOA if it allows. Of course telling someone you have won or lost is never easy, especially when you have that band's fellow musicians in their respective scenes present. Even for Simon, who is a charismatic person to know and watch perform at BOA with Beholder, he admits he can feel the anxiety, terror, happiness and sadness wrap up inside of him and as he explains, it's not always plain-sailing :-
"Honestly it’s terrifying and at times can hurt like hell. Why? Cos I care and being a musician myself I can only empathize with bands that don’t make it that year, or on the flip-side, I can celebrate when I see what it means to the winning bands. But my first port of call is always to the bands that don’t make Bloodstock at this time of trying and I’m quick to ensure them that they have been noticed, that with hard work they will eventually get to where they want to be and definitely not let this be a reason to stop striving – in fact the exact opposite."
Of course playing Bloodstock and indeed the M2TM means you're going to be noticed, but with more and more bands being noticed, invited to play BOA and leave with memories, is there just enough room to allow for the festival to expand indefinitely? Having grown organically from an indoors to an outdoors festival, it would seem that the best is yet to come as each edition passes. Yet Simon hopes to some extent that BOA does not leave Catton Hall as in his words "it feels like a home away from home", after adding that he is:-
"Certainly not worried as the emphasis again is on slow organic growth and keeping the core identity and unique selling point of the festival, which is the community atmosphere. From my perspective I think if we were to chase huge corporate sponsorship in order to build a bigger festival, it would come at a cost and wouldn’t necessarily sit with our core demographic. That said I’m not aware of a definitive set figure on where the festival would reach it’s peak.. I guess only time will tell on that one and whether Catton Hall will remain the home of BOA".
Speaking of home from home, BOA prides itself in bringing metal bands to the grounds from all over the world, so far the countries that have been tapped include (but not limited to): Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Taiwan, India and Australia. So what does the future hold? Well surely with the growth of the festival, more and more international acts will be invited. Of course Africa has only seen one band in the form of Egyptian Death Metal horde Scarab perform at BOA. Africa may be the last frontier for metal music emergence, this however has not deterred Simon from expanding invitations far and wide, and not just to Africa either. Fans will just have to wait and see who is coming to Catton Hall this year as he explains:-
"Still yet to announce (who is coming), but this year we have bands from Austria, Tunisia and beyond and it’s part of the plan to bring otherwise unknown bands to the UK that have huge support in their respective countries. When you consider we’re the first and only festival to bring over acts such as Jasad (Indonesia), Orphaned Land (Israel), Scarab (Egypt), Burgerkill (Indonesia), Ne Obliviscaris (Australia) & Demonic Resurrection (India) – to name but a few ….. then it’s something we’re hugely proud of. "
Global Metal Apocalypse prides itself in giving bands from all over the world attention and to hear this news makes us smile. But let's see who else from the further regions of planet metal have graced BOA with their wonderful music (without repeating countries):- Breed 77 (Gibraltar), Sight of Emptiness (Costa Rica), Týr (Faroe Islands), ChthoniC (Taiwan), Infernal Tenebra (Croatia), Brezno (Slovenia), Krepuskul (Romania), Obsidian Kingdom (Spain), Dead Label (Ireland) and Scarred (Luxembourg) among others.
So what about the future of metal festivals? The outlook seems to be positive, so why should fans support Bloodstock? (Aside from supporting bands making history by being firsts to play in the UK / a major UK festival)? Simon has this to say:-
"For me at least the future is strong so long as you can stay true to the core focus of the festival yet be aware of the rapidly changing landscape of musical tastes and music delivery. Since I first stepped out on a M2TM tour I’ve seen numerous sea changes in the flavours of the underground – at first it was breakdowns and Djent styles, swiftly followed by more traditional melodic bands and certainly now the emphasis is on stripped down Stoner / Doom acts – so being aware of this and not being blinkered to what’s actually selling is essential. But like I say, so long as you blend this with those acts that are box office favourites with the core audience then the future should be fine. As for why support Bloodstock? Well the festival itself is based on the mantra of “by the fans for the fans” so why wouldn’t you?"
No doubt about it, Simon knows what he is on about as anyone who has been to Bloodstock would testify that the atmosphere is one with the fans, those who make the annual pilgrimage to the leader of British Metal festivals. For those who have never been, don't panic, it's a friendly and family-orientated festival that has garnered a rather special following since it's inception over a decade ago. It certainly feels that BOA is a huge family gathering, one that invites all brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers and those in between to four days of metal music, drinking and unforgettable moments (bin jousting anyone?), but more importantly spending time with like-minded people. This is probably where Bloodstock trumps Download time and time again:-
"The aesthetics are definitely a prime focus for Bloodstock, although Download is a completely different festival and in their defence I’ve seen plenty of families over the years, but they are a much bigger entity I guess. But yep we certainly focus on things such as smaller stages, real ales, non musical entertainment alongside such necessities as seating, quiet camping etc etc. The fact is for many Bloodstock is the one time of the year when they get chance to meet like-minded people and celebrate metal.. so we want to make sure that this is done in relative comfort and make it a festival experience they’ll take away with them."
But could festivals be secretly upstaging local shows? The question is, 'is there a slight buckle in the trend whereby fans tend to go to festivals more than they do gigs? What could Simon tell us from your experiences?' Simon certainly has been watching and paying close attention to the trend, the trend of local shows becoming more and more appreciated to a certain extent, in short festivals aren't outdoing local shows but instead indirectly influencing them - prime example? Metal 2 The Masses:-
"If honest this has been the case in recent years, but I do see a slow, gradual change away from the more sedentary and apathetic music fans. I think much of the change has been due to events and promoters doing more to drag people out and make them feel part of the event and in turn making them want to support live music. For years the Xbox and the TV has been responsible, along with things such as the recession, smoking bans, licensing laws, noise abatement etc, for culling numbers…. But these things are now no longer relevant and numbers are starting to build again. Again I would hold the hand up and say that the M2TM is in some part responsible for bucking the trend and I’ve often used the events to speak openly and encourage people to do the same."
It's essential that metal music fans support their local scene as much as possible by attending shows, supporting the performing bands from the start to the end of every single gig. Not heckling a band, showing some respect, not leaving just because your mates bands have played (unless of course you have to e.g. transport, not because you are apparently an arrogant individual). How did bands like Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Cradle of Filth all start out? As local bands, they gained support and are now arguably beacons of light in their respective metal scenes and act as idols for young bands to aspire to. Speaking of young bands, those destined to rock their socks off at BOA for their first time (both NS and SL stages), Simon has this to say (and remember it always):-
"Enjoy it! Make as many friends and contacts as possible and don’t go into the press tent drunk... ever!"
Regarding a documentary about Bloodstocks rise to acclaim, Simon acknowledged that he believes that "there was something in the pipeline but unsure as yet", logically it would seem just for them to make one due to their long-standing history but also look at Wacken Open Air, they did one for their 25th anniversary. As Bloodstock prepares to celebrate another year of metal once again, Simon leaves us with this sentimental thanking statement:-
"Quite simply although I work with a great team, both in the inner circle and throughout the extended crew, it’s the fans that make this all happen so all I can say on behalf of Bloodstock is thank you so much and keep supporting the most pure and honest"
Bloodstock takes place at Catton Hall in Derbyshire from the 11th-14th August and promises to be an absolute blast. With Thrash legends Slay headlining the Saturday, 'Whale Metal' horde Mastodon headlining Friday and the festival closing with a bid-farewell performance from Twisted Sister on the Sunday, this is an edition you would not want to miss.
With the M2TM finals approaching very fast, more bands due to announce, and of course the preparations for hopefully a breezy, warm summer ahead, the next batch of websites you should visit on your next daily internet browsing are listed below (tickets available on site, Rock Soc completely sold out, follow updates as they happen via their FB page):-
"When we started our journey, we did not get any proper platforms for live performances. All the gigs were push-sell gigs which we never did. Things went bitter when our buddy bands started messing things up. Too bad they don't exist anymore! "
Enmachined do not really need much of an introduction to our regular readers or to those who are well apprised of the South-East Asian Metal scene. Enmachined, popularly dubbed as the "bone crushers" are a five piece Thrash Metal outfit hailing from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Having started in 2011, the band has earned massive accolades and reverence from both sides of Bengal as well as other parts of the world.
Enmachined is highly spoken of for their annihilating live performances and have been confirmed to play at the upcoming Banish The Posers Fest 2014, where they will cause mass banishment alongside the likes of Nafarmaan and Orator from Bangladesh, Serpents Athirst from Sri Lanka and the mighty Impiety from Singapore.
GMA's interview with Serpents Athirst can be read here.
GMA's Bangladesh correspondent Nabil Abaddon sat down with Abir Mahmud (vocalist) and discussed live performances, Enmachined's songs and the struggles, the upcoming event and much much more.
Greetings brother! How is the band preparing for the upcoming event banish The Posers Fest 2014?
Greetings brother! Before every live gig, we partake in a couple of rehearsals and this time, there are no exceptions as well. The set list for BTPF has been fixed and that is going to unravel some new tracks and at the same time regular bone crushing numbers will be played. Enmachined is ready to diffuse the madness of Thrash Metal with full force.
Enmachined's set-lists are always well sequenced for the live assaults. There is always a broad array of songs, from mid-paced to fast, from groovy to thrashy numbers. It really seems to click on the audience. How do you go about making the perfect set?
We do consider ourselves as the audience before composing any material, before selecting the set list for a gig and mostly before taking any further actions that are related to any audience. After all, if we do not like the composition, order of the set list, then how can we expect the audience to like it?
So regarding the order of the tracks for a gig, we consider how the order would perfectly enchant us, how the variation of the set list would perfectly be utilized, if we were in front of the stage.
Watch the live performance of 'Thrash Assault" here
On the same note, it seems that Enmachined’s latest singles have significantly changed in terms of tempo and composition style. Needless to say, they sound “bone crushing”. What do you have to say about that?
We do not try to repeat the same things. Yet, we have not drastically changed to a new dimension either. A little bit of experimenting has always been made before finalizing any composition. Above all, we want to make it BONE CRUSHING haha!
Enmachined have performed at almost all the prestigious gigs this year. We are just a few days away from Banish The Posers Fest 2014. How excited is the band to perform alongside Nafarmaan, Orator, Serpents Athirst and Impiety?
We are really honored to share the stage with the aforementioned bands. Impiety is one of the biggest Extreme Metal acts of Asia. Also, watching them live for the first time will be a great experience.
Do you think being the only Thrash Metal band in this year's bill gives Enmachined any advantage?
Hahaha. I do not know what you mean by the term “advantage”. In my opinion none of the bands of the roster are alike in terms of sound. Everyone on the roster is going to represent their own music. Both Orator and Impiety have Thrash Metal elements present in their music.
You guys like to label your music as "Bone Crushing Thrash Metal". How did you guys came up with this label?
We always try to create something that will CRUSH your BONES. No matter whether it is Heavy Metal or Thrash Metal. A lot of people doubt our genre. Some people term it as Heavy Metal (because of my vocals and the track "Piranha"), some term it is Thrash Metal (I think this is the perfect criteria for our music to fall under), some even term it as Crossover Thrash Metal (because of the track "Thrash Assault", where one can perceive the influences of Crossover Thrash Metal). It really doesn’t matter how we are being termed. Our music will always be bone crushing.
Watch the live performance of 'Piranha" here
You are very much inspired by the classic Heavy Metal bands. Would you like to tell us as to how you got into Metal music? How old were you when you discovered it and how were you driven to become a vocalist?
Back in my school days, I discovered Iron Maiden. I was 15 years old at that time. Later, I became thrilled by the singing of brother Torsha Khan in a Stentorian single. I thought if a Bangladeshi vocalist like him can show the dexterity with the voice in such an excellent way, then probably I should also try hard to be a good vocalist.
Your Heavy Metal roots are also quite prominent in your own vocal styles. Your frequent use of falsetto and vibrato techniques, squeaky screams highlight you out from all the other vocalists in the local scene. Who are your favourite vocalists that you have always looked up to?
A lot of vocalists have inspired me and yes, this is true that most of them are from a Heavy Metal background. I am mentioning a few names here: Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche) and obviously Brian Johnson and Bon Scott from AC/DC.
Enmachined’s demo “Thrash Assault” was released via Salute Records (Sweden) last year. How has the label helped or promoted the band worldwide?
Salute Records has helped us a lot to spread our music worldwide, and we are grateful to the owner of the label, brother Tony for his immense support. Zines from different parts of the globe reviewed the demo, conducted interviews and featured articles of the band.
See our interview with Enmachined last year here!!!
What are you guys focusing on after the demo release?
Well we have been working on the next release for a long time, which is going to be the first studio release of the band. Some of the songs we have already done at shows and the feedback was killer!
Enmachined is one of those bands whose journey was no bed of roses. Would you like to tell us about the band's rough journey since 2011? The hurdles you had to go through during the dead era of the local Metal scene?
Initially it was a very difficult situation. We had to practice without a drummer for six months, we couldn't find a permanent bassist either. When we started our journey, we did not get any proper platform for live performances. All the gigs were push-sell gigs which we never did. Things went bitter when our buddy bands started messing things up. Too bad they don't exist anymore! There were good organizers too, I remember each and everyone of them who helped us. But struggling still exists and now looking back to those past memories, a lesson well learned is "you form your own band, YOU fight for it".
The struggle also continued when you were going through the hassle of getting the visas for the gig in Kolkata, India last year, which turned out to be a complete fiasco. The gig was postponed by a few months but the visa issues were still unsolved. Please tell us about the whole suffering.
Some of our members got the visas initially, some did not get it. Members who did not get the visa, applied again. Even, some of them applied thrice. But in the end only two of our members were issued the visa. Despite the postponement of the gig, we could not make it there. That was actually a terrible situation.
We even got an offer to perform in another city in India after that, we were even assured financial assistance by the organizer and you can probably guess the rest of the story. Same issues, visa problem and we could not make it again.
Are you guys aware of the fact that a bunch of young Metal bands are inspired by Enmachined in one way or the other? What do you have to say about it?
We are actually a young band haha. We do not know if we are inspiring anyone. But if we are, that's great! Yet, we have gained some dedicated supporters. Without their attendance at shows and their general support, we would not have reached this far in our musical journey. So hats off to you warriors, who ever and where ever you are.
You are quite an iconic figure in the local scene for your memorable dialogues and stage acts at the gigs! Your dialogues go viral every time! On a serious note, how important do you think its important for any band to pull off a great performance for the audience?
Honored brother. I am still very young and I think the term, “iconic figure” is not really an appropriate one for me haha. I do not know for the other bands. But, first of all we try to be flawless in terms of our performance (vocals, instrumentals or whatever), we probably have not yet reached the level to do everything flawlessly yet. But that is our ultimate target and obviously that can pull off a great performance for the audience. I, personally try to interact with the audience and I do believe that brings enjoyment to the audiences.
It was a pleasure conducting this interview with you. Looking forward to Enmachined's performance at BTPF. Anything that you would like to say to your supporters, perhaps to the folks at Primitive Invocation?
Primitive Invocation is a revolutionary community in our Extreme Metal set-up They have organized a couple of killer concerts in the past and I think Banish the Posers Fest 2014 will also be a remarkable one. Anyways, thanks for the interview, and your endless support. To the local metalheads, show up in RCC on Friday, the 7th of November, 2014!
BTPF event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/383753765111170/
By GMA's Bangladesh Correspondent Nabil Abaddon
Global Metal Apocalypse has always been at the forefront in covering undiscovered talented Metal bands from the obscurest of places. In the past, we have covered some really talented and uprising bands from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand etc.
This time our attention turns towards the Sri Lankan Black Metal quartet Serpents Athirst, who are causing quite a stir in the Asian Metal scene. Formed in 2011 and performing regularly at local venues with a demo tape released through Eternal Transmigration Records (Bolivia), the band gained widespread attention when they played at Trendslaughter Fest IV (India) and shared the stage with the likes of Impiety and Orator.
They recently signed to Irish label Invictus Productions to release their upcoming EP. Serpents Athirst are going to tour Bangladesh and play at the Banish The Posers Fest 2014 on November 7th.
Banish The Posers Fest is the biggest Extreme Metal festival in Bangladesh and was established by the local cult organization Primitive Invocation. The festival started last year with the bill comprising of
Thailand's Savage Deity, Bangladeshi bands Morbidity, Orator, Nafarmaan and Warhound, India's Purgation and Malaysia's bands Lobotomy and Kathgor,
This year Primitive Invocation took the next big step in their existence by announcing the first ever major Asian Metal band Impiety (Singapore) to perform at this year's Banish The Posers Fest. The rest of the line up includes Serpents Athirst (the first ever Sri Lankan band to play in Bengal), Orator, Nafarmaan, Morbidity and Enmachined.
Click here to read about the event.
Returning back to Serpents Athirst, GMA caught up with their drummer / main composer Obliterrator and he had a lot to say.
Infernal hails Obliterrator, can you tell our readers a few things about the first period of the band?
Hails Komrade! Serpents Athirst formed in 2011 by two members in order to spread our message to the select few through live rituals and releases. Our influences from the start varied from savage acts like Venom, Blasphemy, Sarcofago, Black Witchery, Bathory and Immortal.
How does the band name depict the ideologies of the band?
Trends have caused a countless number of blemishes on this world and in order to project our hate towards trends, organized religion and weak monuments, we’ve chose the best representative to invoke that flame and spread our message: the serpent. A vile horde of serpents growling in thirst of the bloodshed of the weak. Our lyrical themes include death worship, theistic satanism, blasphemy, war and violence.
This is the very first time that a Sri Lankan Metal band is going to play in Bangladesh. How excited is the band in terms of performing at Banish The Posers Fest 2014? What should the Bengal hordes expect from Serpents Athirst?
We’re absolutely stoked. We have played with a few hordes previously at Trendslaughter. Impiety and Orator are just a few who shared the stage with us. It’s an honor to share the stage with more Asian bands. Serpents Athirst will promise to deliver the most destructive performance at this bastard of a ritual!
It seems that Serpents Athirst's compositions are velocity driven; its hateful and bestial. How does the band write its songs? Does the guitarist come up with the basic structures or are the lyrics written first?
I, stand as the composer of the band. However, at our own ritual sessions / rehearsals, there are instances where the rest of the brigade puts a mould together and is then sharpened and ready to spread like venom at the next live ritual.
Check out the song ‘Ritual Vomitting’ from their upcoming EP here
Serpents Athirst's upcoming EP "Heralding Ceremonial Mass Obliteration" is to be released through Irish label Invictus Productions. How did this record deal come about? Speaking of the EP, can you tell us about the songs in it? How much time did it take to make the entire EP?
We were offered a deal for the EP. Considering the fact that Invictus Productions is a pioneering establishment, we got hold of the deal and are currently working with Darragh from Invictus to get this EP released. The EP features 3 Songs + samples / interludes which were all put together within a period of 3-5 months.
Putrid Ascendancy bears the torch of the true Metal underground movement, promoting the foulest sounds and meanest endeavors with a mission to unleash and spread the vicious seeds of extreme metal across the country.
As the name suggests, these guys are a dedicated bunch with the focus of being able to bring up a quality Extreme Metal scene in India and promote the scene abroad. Putrid Ascendancy was formed in January 2011.
Ritual Ascension Festival upholds the torch of the True Metal Oath and establishes the Kolkata (Calcutta) scene as one of the prominent epicenters of Metal in India, all through live shows from which some of the punishing acts of our times demonstrate their talent! Having being a constant face in the Kolkata scene for sometime now and going through organizing pure extreme occult local metal gigs, Putrid Ascendancy takes the next step, that is to bring in international bands in the form of Nafarmaan from Bangladesh to perform as the headliner for Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy
On this occasion GMA's India correspondent Farzand Bawa had the opportunity to talk to D from Putrid Ascendancy on the upcoming storm that Kolkata is about to face, and what else is in store.
Welcome, Putrid Ascendancy. How is it going on in the camp with Ritual Ascension Fest II just around the corner?
It has been pretty hectic so far. The preparation for decimation is rigid and almost requires ritualistic attention to every detail.
What is the motto that Putrid Ascendancy abides by?
From the days of inception, it has been the same:
[Necrodeity live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Putrid Ascendancy is the first band to pull off an old school metal gig in Kolkata. How does that feel and to what extent have you seen the scene grown since Ritual Ascension Fest I was held on 4th August 2012?
It was just last year, 2012. Our journey just has started. And yes it was one of the most important shock-waves ever to hit Kolkata, the rest is history. Kolkata, just after Bangalore, has now maximum numbers of high quality bands and most importantly fans, who are loyal, dedicated, sincere and knowledgeable. And this I hope would keep on ascending and it has to.
Bangalore is considered to be the old school metal capital of India. Where do you all see the Kolkata scene on a more national level?
Bangalore is indeed the metal capital for many reasons, one of them would be their professionalism which is the building block for any industry for that matter art-houses. Kolkata, it’s still a new scene but is growing and developing at sensational speed. Today we have very good quality upcoming bands with genres ranging from Death Metal to Thrash Metal, Death / Thrash to Black Metal, Black / Death Metal to War Metal, Hard Rock to Hardcore Punk, Grindcore to Doom / Death Metal and even Classic Heavy Metal. Times are changing, fans are not going to be force-fed with bullshit. They will not tolerate mediocre festivals that are coming from famous and popular 'been there done that, yet still here' bands / musicians, since they know their metal from its basic fiber and DNA! You know what I mean, right?
Coming back to Ritual Ascension Fest II, it has been delayed by almost 4-5 months due to the blessings of the Government and its great visa rules. Your thoughts on this.
Yes, Oath is an oath, Promise is a promise. We chose to wait because we are metal brothers to begin with and not promoters with monetary intentions. War.Cult.Supremacy was meant to be for all of us so it is, sadly Enmachined told us they could not see any possibilities getting the visas done so we had to give up on them, keeping it clear that we are there to organize another gig next time they get a visa and invited the young band named Deadbolt instead who debuted with full gusto at KOSMA's Hard and Heavy, they received positive accolades for a very strong debut performance. Regarding the Government and visa difficulties, we cannot do anything about it and we are not first ones to be effected by it, remember the Nile gig in Bangalore?
The earthquake in the form of Nafarmaan is going to strike Kolkata on the 11th of January, 2014. What does Putrid Ascendancy expect out of this occult occurrence?
We have seen them live already at the Banish the Posers Fest and trust me you can expect blasting bestial madness from the deepest regions of the crawling chaotic sea, swallowing you in it's apocalyptic void. 666% Guaranteed.
Being a pure Extreme Metal organizer, how difficult is it to make such an event possible in Kolkata?
People expect a free gig or don’t want to pay much which looks very cheap and ridiculous indeed. If you want good gigs with quality metal acts, start paying for it or be a keyboard krieg machine. Just pay for it or die. Hahahaha. They are forever pauper hahaha. The good side is that there are a new breed of educated and passionate metalheads who love to pay for quality fests / gigs and buy merch with full passion. To the new breed / generation of Kolkata Metalheads, we give our salutations to them!
If Putrid Ascendancy was to make a list of the most influential and essential albums, which ones would it feature?
Divus De Mortuus – Necrovore.
Seven Churches – Possessed.
Fallen Angel of Doom – Blasphemy.
INRI – Sarcofago.
Altars of Madness - Morbid Angel.
Under the Sign of the Black mark – Bathory.
Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost.
Worship Him – Samael.
Black Metal – Venom.
World Downfall – Terrorizer.
Severed Survival – Autopsy.
Show No Mercy – Slayer.
The Return – Bathory.
The Awakening – Merciless.
Horrified – Repulsion.
Triumph of Death – Hellhammer.
In the Sign of Evil – Sodom.
Malleus Maleficarum – Pestilence.
Exterminate – Angelcorpse.
Slowly we rot – Obituary.
Deathcrush – Mayhem.
The list goes on forever!
To a complete outsider tell us how much the underground Extreme Metal scene has grown in South Asia?
With the growth of old school entities, that are mainly Putrid Ascendancy and the Kolkata Old School Metal Association, we have only seen progress that was never there before. Stagnation and stereotypical understanding existed and most people who were in bands or were organizing gigs were highly unaware of the Heavy Metal membranes and aesthetics. So from the artwork to the sound everything sounded and looked everything metal is not all around. Still we have metal gig posters looking like DJ party invitation cards and bands sounding very repulsive and ridiculous, but you can witness the growth in the past two years. From bands being signed on for an EP in a matter of 1 year of formation (Mortar) to bands getting signed to big labels from the USA (Purgation) and successfully releasing them and getting them sold out completely (both of these bands) to being invited to play at international and national festivals:
Purgation (Undergrind Fest 2012, Death Skull Ritual 2013, Bangladesh, Banish the posers fest 2013, Bangladesh), Armament and Dead Veneration (Disorganized II, Bangalore), Mortar (Doom Over Bangalore, 2013), Necrodeity (Trendslaughter Fest III & IV) and Deadbolt (Thrashfest in Mumbai). All of these bands are highly professional, educated and talented musicians who are knowledgeable of the fibers of Heavy <etal so they can never forget their roots. Hence they are successful in their own fields / genres. All of them are working on their upcoming releases, to be released by a good label and they will carry on spreading the good name of Kolkata outside their home state for sure.
Name some of the old school bands from kolkata?
Inhuman(Inactive), Purgation, Mortar, Necrodeity, Armament, Dead Veneration, Strangulate, Kapalin, Deadbolt, Zahhak, Chhinnamasta, Mortis Divinum, Steelbird, Gypsy, Blakhole, Neon Rooster, Cryptocasm and the ever increasing madness of old school aesthetics.
[Armament live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
Will there be a dedicated merch stall and if yes than what are the essentials which Putrid Ascendancy recommends the audience to pick up?
You can get hold Nafarmaan's T-shirt. Purgation's EP and shirt too will be available.
Along with Putrid Ascendancy we have another great bunch of guys in the form of Kolkata Old School Metal Association promoting the old school metal sound in its entirety. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about the efforts of Kolkata Old School Metal Association and how does it see the partnership with them to decimate the ever declining false core scene over here?
We acknowledge and appreciate their effort and its great to see Kolkata having two strong forces nurturing and looking after the Metal scene and its future, you can say the future is in safe hands! Partnership and legionship will be welcome in right time to decimate impurities and restore anarchy and chaos of true f**king metal!
It’s a quite known fact that of the biggest issues one faces as an organizer is the proper sound and monetary part. How does Putrid Ascendancy deal with these being such an active organizer of gigs?
Money is an issue but will and passion takes over when it comes to music. We are a small underground cult dedicated to passion for Extreme Metal. So definitely we won’t expect big sponsors, but we are lucky to get help in different forms like Sid Sharma doing the artwork to our friend and renowned tattoo artist Mr. Kaivalya decision to help us, also promotion is well carried out by you with much vengeance! Money is an issue! Yes it is. But it can never tame or defeat us hahahaha, till we have strength in our bones!
[Purgation live at Ritual Ascension Fest I]
A lot of people on social media sites like Facebook show support for the scene as if they would risk their lives for it, but in reality all they do is click the attending button on the event link but never turn up. What does Putrid Ascendancy have to say about such people?
Well such examples are there in every scene and every underground festival, so we better deal with the fact Facebook is just a medium and it comes with faulty data often so do your predictions. You got to know well who are the true fans and know how many to expect in your gig rather than blindly relying on the RSVP.
The lineup of Ritual Ascension Fest II is very diverse, covering all the Extreme Metal genres that can be. It must have been a consorted effort by you guys. How does Putrid Ascendancy feel about achieving such diversity?
Yes from Thrash Metal to Death Metal and Black / Death Metal! We are looking for some chaotic Black Metal bands to fill out the spectrum completely, this may happen in the next edition. There are two very talented pure Black Metal bands in Kolkata right now, Chhinnamasta and Zahhak, but both of them don’t play live for their ideological manifestations which we understand and respect. I've heard of two new bands playing Black Metal but are yet to go through their material.
There is this ever going battle as to which bands laid the foundation for Black Metal and Death Metal genres. What is Putrid Ascendancy’s take on who should be the fore fathers of these two essential extreme metal genres?
It’s an age old debate. Let me give you the right answer.
Possessed - Death Metal.
Hellhammer / Bathory - Black Metal.
As simple as that.
[Contact these numbers for passes of Ritual Ascension Fest II]
What does Putrid Ascendancy have in mind to make the coming future an even better one for the Kolkata scene?
We will start planning future after Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy is over.
Finally a few words that Putrid Ascendancy would like to say to the people who support extreme metal with their heart and soul?
Do attend Ritual Ascension Fest II: War.Cult.Supremacy, watch it till the very end and do leave us feedback.
Ritual Ascension Fest II - War.Cult.Supremacy: https://www.facebook.com/events/154565728083266/
Final Teaser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrYY05NVBwQ
Genre - Bestial Black / Death Metal
Country - Bangladesh
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nafarmaan.horde
"Bloodsoaked Revelation" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7763uSnD8rw
"Quayamat Lullaby" Live at BTPF 2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zq0u6hfieI
Genre - Bestial Death Metal
Country - India
Bandcamp - http://necrodeity.bandcamp.com/
Genre - Brutal Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PURGATION
"Communal Carnage": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQt49BuEzEg
Genre - Old School Thrash Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/armament666
"Hammer of God" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=948R2NNlHyw
Genre - Black / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Kapalin666
"Forgotten" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J04NyfHuWdQ
Genre - Thrash / Death Metal
Country - India
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Deadbolt.India
"City of Rot" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVWQW9QQmFw
Official Inking Partner - Dragonfly Tattoo - https://www.facebook.com/dragonflyta2
Official Artwork Partner - Sid Artworks - https://www.facebook.com/SidArtworks
F**k the False!!
Worship the true!!
Hail the cult!!