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Features |  24 Oct 2015 15:33 |  By RnMTeam

Bands that have represented India at Wacken Open Air

Photo Credit- Nirbhay Kuppu
Photo Credit- WOA Facebook

MUMBAI: Wacken - the Mecca of metal, holy shrine to every metal head and dream opportunity for every metal band to play live. This year marked the 26th Wacken Open Air which takes place at the village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, north Germany. The festival, which first started in 1990 with a few local German bands, has expanded with the participation of some of the biggest metal acts from all over the world. The festival’s success also led to the introduction of the Wacken Metal Battle in 2004, which initially featured six German bands and five international acts, eventually spreading across to 29 countries in 2015.  

India is the 27th country to be associated with Wacken, and witnessed the first metal battle in the country in 2011. It was promoted by Infinite Dreams Artist Management, the Official Promoter for the Wacken Metal Battle India. Since then, the best Indian metal acts have had their dream gig at Wacken Germany, and it is these bands that are placing India on the global metal map.

                                                                                                                Photo Credit- Nirbhay Kuppu

2011 - Eccentric Pendulum, Bangalore

Founded in October 2008, Eccentric Pendulum won the Wacken Metal Battle in 2011 and was the first Indian band to perform at WOA. The Bangalore-based progressive metal band released their Debut EP in 2009 titled 'Sculptor of Negative Emotions', and later, in 2011 released an album titled 'Winding The Optics'. Apart from Wacken the band has played at SWR Festival Portugal and headlined many shows in India. They have also shared the stage with other bands like Opeth, Kreator, Meshuggah, Textures, Enslaved, TesseracT, Orphaned Land, Suidakra, Karnivool, Amon Amarth.  More recently, Eccentric Pendulum has produced winners for 'Best Bassist', 'Best Drummer' and 'Album of the Year' at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2012.

2012 – Zygnema, Mumbai

Just six years into their formation, Mumbai based heavy/thrash groove metal band- Zygnema, won the 2012 Wacken Metal Battle, performing at WOA in the same year. Zygnema has played other international festivals as well like Inferno Metal Festival Norway (2013), Osna Metal Fest in Germany, Metal Asyllum Festival (2011) and many more. The band is associated with Heavyocity Records (U.S.A)/ Century Media Distribution. The band won the Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2011 by popular choice (Best Band & Best Song for ‘Theory of Lies and Negation’). Zygnema has 2 albums to its name- 'Born of Unity' (2010) and 'What Makes Us Human Is Obsolete' (2015).

                                                                                                            Photo Courtesy- Akhila Shankar

2013 - Devoid, Mumbai

Devoid has come a long way since its inception in 2005, releasing its debut album- ‘A God’s Lie’ in 2010, and a follow-up album ‘The Invasion’ in 2013. The band was announced winners of the 3rd edition of the Wacken Metal Battle, and played at WOA in the same year. In the following years, Devoid went on to share the stage with Cradle of Filth, Decapitated and Sybreed who toured India. They also headlined the first Resurrection Dubai mini-festival in 2015.

2013 Kryptos, Bangalore

Another Indian band to play at the WOA 2013 was Kryptos. One of the leading metal bands in the country, Kryptos was formed in 1998. Classified as old school metal, their sound is a mix of traditional melodic metal and old school trash. Kryptos has also played other international festivals like Inferno Metal Festival in Norway (2014), In Flammen Open Air festival, Ragnarock Open Air and many more. In 2015 the band played in Europe as direct support for legendary Bay Area thrashers- Death Angel, and also made a return to Ragnarock Open Air. Kryptos is associated with ENORM Music from Germany for publishing, and is signed with highly acclaimed German record label- AFM Records. The band has released 3 albums- ‘Spiral Ascent’ (2004), ‘The Ark of Gemini’ (2008) and ‘The Coils of Apollyon’ (2012), with a 4th album scheduled for release in the summer of 2016.

2014 Demonic Resurrection, Mumbai

One of India’s biggest, and perhaps, most famous metal bands- Demonic Resurrection a.k.a. (DR), played WOA last year. A mix of death, power and black metal styles is how DR describes its sound. Formed in 2005, the band has a long list of milestones. Along with headlining numerous gigs in India, DR has also performed at the In­ferno Metal Festival, Norway in (2010), Brutal Assault fes­tival’s 15th annual edition in Czech Republic (2010), Les Fest in Scotland, Slovenia’s Metaldays festival 2015 and many more. DR’s discography consists of 1 EP and 5 albums namely- 'Demonstealer' (2000), 'A Darkness Descends' (2005), 'EP: Beyond The Darkness' (2007), 'The Return To Darkness' (2010) and 'The Demon King' (2014). The band is associated with Candlelight Records/Universal Music India.

2014 Plague Throat, Shillong

2014 witnessed another Indian metal band at WOA- Plague Throat from Shillong, who won the 4th edition of the Wacken Metal Battle. The three piece Death Metal band was formed in 2006, and made its debut on the 8th August 2008. Plague Throat has released an EP ‘An Exordium To Contagion’ in 2013, while ‘Dominion Breach’ is the band’s latest single.

                                                                                                                     Photo Credit- Paras Limbu

2015 Sycorax, Darjeeling

Formed in 2011, Sycorax is a four piece Death metal band from Darjeeling, and is the latest metal band from India to play at WOA in 2015. Sycorax has also performed numerous gigs in country at IITs and IIMs, notable ones being the Hornbill International Rock Contest 2013, and Wacken Metal Battle 2013. Sycorax released an EP- ‘Psychedelic Evolution’ in 2012, and is expected to soon release a 7 track album titled ‘Sycotherapy’.