GIG REVIEW: Thrashfest - first and only one of its kind

Thrash metal is perhaps one of the most important sub genres of metal. It is one of those things which define metal in its entirety and spirit. Thrashfest was one such attempt by Mr. Kunal Choksi  to showcase the best thrash bands of India. 9th Feb 2014 left a mark on the Indian Metal History as a day to be remembered. The line up, so diverse did complete justice to the idea of Thrashfest. The organizers were confident enough to turn the dance floor of Hotel United 21, Thane into a Pit.

The gig started at around 4pm behind the schedule by an hour, and by then the venue was almost full. SystemHouse 33 were the opening band for the day.  They started off with a blast the band played groovy thrash with a hint of djent. The crowd was in awe of their drummer, Amogh Sharma who banged the kit like there is no tomorrow. The vocalist, Samron Jude, for sure knew how to build up the crowd and start the day. The band's tremendous energy to be an opening band and were a good kickstart to the event.

Next up was Deadbolt from Kolkata. Their sound was reminiscent of bands like SodomDestruction and such early black/thrash bands from Europe. Although their guitar patches sounded fuzzy and incoherent at times. They started off with a common cover of seek and destroy by Metallica and the vocalist Nilabja indulged the crowd and roared the chorus of this Metallica classic. Thrashfest without a Metallica cover would be like a song without bass. The highlight of their set was their cover of Slayer’s black magic. The band has great potential and can manage a powerful performance if they deal with their sound issues properly.

Third band to take the stage was Armament again from kolkata. They brought the crowd into the pit from the word go. Armament’s set witnessed the first real mosh of the day. The band showed influences from bands like Sepulture, Sodom, Venom and many more german teutonic thrash bands. Their set was largely appreciated by the Mumbai audience who moshed wholeheartedly. Their cover of Sodom’s Procession to Golgatha/Christ passion made the crowd go mad and they sang the chorus with full power. All in all it was a delight to witness  such immensely talented band who keep the flag of thrash flying high.

Next up on stage was Sceptre from Mumbai. One of the oldest bands from the city, they did justice to all the hype created for their performance. Sceptre’s set started off with a mindblasting song Age of Calamity which prompted the crowd to start the biggest moshpit of the day and one of the most brutal wall of death Mumbai has ever witnessed. This band will definitely be blamed for breaking people’s neck. The guitar tone reminded of Dimebag Darrell. At the end of the set the crowd broke into roaring chants of the band’s name.  This was defiantely one of the favourite bands of the night.

Next up was Halahkuh from Pune. This band has been creating waves ever since they formed. Their set started professionally with a band intro and graduated to full power blown speedy melodic thrash. Their sound is basically a mixture of thrash with a hint of melodic death. The guitarist was impressive with his sweeps and melodic solos. The band played a long set which included covers of Kreators civilization collapsed and Sepeltura’s refuse resist, with a bit of sound issues. The band impressed  by switching the sound into a soft jazzy solo which was in contrast with their fierce and powerful sound. 

Hailing from the unholy city of Bangalore Threinody was one band everyone was looking forward to the most. Formed in 1996 this band, known for their hard hitting riffs , screaming vocals, reminds of the golden era of 80”s thrash which these guys still carry on with Utmost power and dedication. Starting off with In Extremis. Threinody hit the unassuming Mumbai crowd like a hail of bullets. This was just the start. What followed was complete mayhem as Threinody belted out neck breaking thrash which was reminiscent of thrash power houses like Exodus, Testament and Kreator. They played covers on demand namely ; Phobia by Kreator and Whiplash by Metallica, much to the crowd’s amazement.

Next up was mumbai’s horror metal band: Albatross. With very less time for them to play Albatross hit stage late at night. With Nishit’s impressive solos and Bipro’s high pitched vocals the band gave a boost to the tired audience. They blew everyone with their cover of tornado of souls by Megadeth. Nishit hedge was the best guitarist of the night. And atlast, this band commanded respect from Mumbai metalhead with their cover of Holy diver by Dio.

Chaos was the next band who lightened up the evening. With such a long fest the crowd was a bit tired till the end. Still people were waiting to se this band going live first time in Mumbai. They played an impressive setlist consisting of all original songs of their album which all of the people present for the gig received on the entry. Chaos gave Mumbai metalheads something to be remembered for a long time.

Last band to go on stage was Mumbai’s thrash giants- Devoid. They played a very interesting set consisting of a cover of Exodus, also playing their new ep titled The Invasion and The Brahma Weapon of their same haf liner'  and ending it with Pandemonium is Now. After this gig Arun has changed the Mumbai gig roars from 'BC MC' to 'moushi ki gand and azoba cha bhosda' .

The scene is blessed to have organizers like Mr. Kunal Choksi due to whose efforts Mumbai will never see shortage of gigs. As always Mr Choksi won't stop surprising us every time he organizes some flawless events like BMK, Thrashfest etc. Also other names need a special mention for their tireless dedication in making the gig a successful brutal animal it turned out to be: Narayanan, Roydon, Gurdip, Dushyant, Kunal Gonsalves, Paresh, Kalidas Shenoy and the guy behind the sound console doing the amazing job as always; Pritesh Prabhune. You guys know who you are! all hail metal and hail you guys for keeping the thrash flames alive and kicking! \m/

‎Review by Kishan Mulani 
Edited by Aashay Paponi
Picture Credits : Sumedh Gupte and Saby Nayak

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