Going by definition, heavy metal is a loud and aggressive style of rock music that is hugely characterised by powerful rhythms that are repeated, two guitars, a bass guitar, drums, an electronic keyboard, and organs. They include slackened instruments, unusual key changes, and metre, and musicians usually dress in leather jackets, jeans and leather boots. Heavy metal is popular in India, and there are several bands who are trying to keep the genre alive. Here’s our pick of the top five metal bands in India.
Bhayanak Maut – The Wild Four
Founded in: 2003
Present members: Rahul Hariharan, R. Venkatraman, Aditya Gopinathan, Ishaan Krishna
Loosely translated to ‘Horrific Death’, Bhayanak Maut has a crazy fan following that includes college students from BITS Pilani, IIT Chennai, NLS Strawberry Fields Bangalore and Goa’s Waves Festival. They have performed live on Hard Rock Cafe on Channel V, GIR Shillong, Inferno Festival (Norway) and the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Festival as well. They have released three albums – “Hell Is All People” (2004), “Untitled” (2009) and “MAN” (2014) – all of which have been well-received by the audience.
Scribe – Hardcore With A Difference
Founded in: 2005
Present members: Virendra Kaith, Srinivas Sunderrajan, Siddharth Basrur, Prashant Shah, Akshay Rajpurohit, Viraaj Saxena
Scribe describes itself as an experimental/hardcore/post-hardcore/metal band but has built up the reputation of the most technically metal bands in India. The members have performed at the college fests of IIT Madras, Birla Institute of Technology Mesra and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. Influenced by hardcore bands such as Raised First, Sick of It All, Skith and Textures, Scribe uses seven-string guitars, fast tempos, double bass and cymbals for music. They have released albums such as “Have Hard Will Core” (2006), “Confect” (2008), “Mark of Teja” (2010) and “Hail Mogambo” (2014).
Demonic Resurrection – Who Sets Hell Loose
Founded in: 2000
Present members: Sahil Makhija, Virendra Kaith
Though this blackened death metal band has seen tough times when it comes to album releases and band members, it has enjoyed quite some fame in its day. They use signature blackened death metal elements such as shrieked vocals, growling vocals, distorted guitars, double bass drumming, blast beats, and ambient keyboards. The band has given us albums like “Demonstealer”, “A Darkness Descends”, “Beyond the Darkness”, “The Return to Darkness”, “The Demon King” and “Dashavtar”.
Kryptos – The Classic Beats
Founded in: 1998
Present Members: Nolan Lewis, Rohit Chaturvedi, Ganesh Krishnaswamy, Anthony Hoover
Kryptos follows the classic heavy mental element where they focus NWOBHM styling with features of the thrash metal of the 1980s. They consider Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest to be their major influences. Scribe has released “Spiral Ascent” (2004), “The Ark of Gemini” (2008) and “The Coils of Apollyon” (2012). Presently, the band goes for tour performances such as the NH7 Festival in Bangalore, Inferno Metal Festival in Norway and IIT Madras.
Skyharbour – New Kid In The Block
Founded in: 2010
From: New Delhi, Mumbai, Cleveland (Ohio, the US)
Present members: Keshav Dhar, Eric Emery, Devesh Dayal, Krishna Jhaveri, Aditya Ashok
A comparatively recent band, the Skyharbours performed for the first as an instrumental three-piece at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Festival in Pune (2011). Later on, they performed at the UK Tech Metal festival (2013), Download festival and Graspop Metal Meeting (2014) and the NH7 Weekender Festival (2014). They signed with Basick Records and released the albums “Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos” (2012), “Guiding Lights” (2014) and “Sunshine Dust” (2018).
Heavy metal in India is known for its powerful melody and rhythm, and we are eager to explore the different shades of metal. All of us are used to classical music, folk music or even pop music… let’s give heavy metal a fair chance now.