With seven bands performing music that makes you want to headbang; this year's line up had the crowd grooving till the very end.The evening skies begin to darken on January 21, as the much awaited Saarang Rock Show (presented by Durex Jeans Blue Love condoms) kicked-off with Family Cheese, runners-up of the Decibels competition.
The amicable bassie cheekily requests the audience to oblige to any compelling urges to start jumping around.
Anyway, after a long instrumental jam by the three-piece, the organisers announced that the band had only a few minutes of playtime left. The band responded with a cover of the rock anthem “Comfortably Numb.” Sacrilegious as it may be, the music was cut just as the first solo started.
The next band on stage was greeted with an announcement that proved to be a pleasant surprise for them — Crypted had won the 2012 Saarang Decibels. The happiness of the band members was evident from the performance of their favourite, winning number.
Inner Sanctum, the bad boys from Bengaluru, had nasty-sounding rhythms that got you wanting to headbang— the vocalist/growler kept gyrating his head through most of the songs, with his long hair making a windmill of sorts. They succeeded in getting the crowd warmed-up, despite minor technical mash-ups. They left the crowd wanting more.
Blind Image, who were next on stage, however, were a let-down. Much was expected of them, as they had the reputation of being one of Chennai's leading Metal bands. They lacked a guitarist and in general, the ability to get the crowd to the next stage of excitement.
The slightly dampened spirits of the gathered metal-heads was nothing short of lit into a brightly-burning fire by Scribe, who took over the stage next. The hour-long gig started with the opening track of the Superstar Rajnikanth song, Oruvan Oruvan Mudhalaali which struck awe in the hearts of the southies. As we were to learn from the lungi-clad vocalist Vishwesh, he happens to be the sole Tamilian amongst the hindi-speaking members of the Bombay-based metal band.
Furiously fast, raucously heavy and dark-sounding, Scribe got what they wanted from the crowd; they made us think of nothing but metal throughout the night. It was a sight to behold as the colourful lights illuminated a scene of utter chaos. Scribe played many songs off their most recent album, Mark of Teja and I Love You, Pav Bhaji was easily the pick of the lot. The beholders were up on their feet, their energy renewed.
And the night was still young. Enter Vildhjarta, which is Swedish for Wild Heart (You pronounce the name of the band as though you intended to get sputum to the back of your throat). The seven-members of the Djent-styled band showed the crowd why the Nordic region is considered the birthplace of Death-Metal. Sure, we didn't understand any of the lyrics, but we were slaves to the addicting rhythms that kept our heads dipping down to the ground and resurfacing up back again and again as the sound of the complex-layered, dissonant guitar-sounds were more or less punctuated by the whisper-screams of the two vocalists. We were completely free from any inhibitions and joyously indulged in the hatred that formed the core of the music played that night. The show came to an end with Vildhjarta playing Dagger again to an enthusiastic bunch of youngsters who had fond memories to take back to either home or hostel.
Arvind is a Final Year Material Science student at CEG, Anna University.