Domination – The Deathfest
Around 10 years when I lived in Canada I bought the second issue of the Metalindia Magazine and got to know about Domination through a extensive report about the 2003 edition of the festival. I was quite surprised that there were extreme metal gigs in India. The music scene in India and Bombay was a lot different then.
“Bombay mainly had rock show not metal shows.” Says Nitin Rajan, organiser of Domination – The Deathfest “ Thursday nights at Razz and college competitions were the only avenues open to extreme metal bands. We started Domination – the Deathfest with The idea to get a band from another cities, a couple of bands from Mumbai and an upcoming band together.”
The first edition of the festival took place on the 24th of June 2000. The bands that performed were Morticide, Kryptos, Threnody, Yama, Blasphemy and Nemesis and the venue was Razz Lawns. There was a tremendous response from bands and audience alike.“It was an awesome experience.” “It was the first open air gig that DR had played and it was at the pituresque razz lawms. We were a new band and got to open the show, it was a huge honor for us. It was a great scene” – Sahil “The Demonstealer” Makhija (Demonic Resurrection)
“I remember it being one of my first shows – I couldn’t care less about the others. This being the mighty ‘Deathfest’ was a war call for someone like me. I don’t remember seeing a much better line-up in years.” – says Kunal Choksi of metal webzine/record label Transcending Obscurity.
“Back in 2000 Domination was one of those gigs that we were totally excited about and it was great to be part of something that helped shape the scene in one way or the other. Those were great times, exciting times, because we were just kids stepping out into the great unknown and Domination broke a lot of barriers for us back then and now 13 years later it comes full circle.” – Nolan Lewis (Kryptos)“The first few editions of Deathfest featured Kryptos, and for us, back then, it was a totally crazy fucking idea! We’re were totally blown by the organising, the reception we got, Razz and the scene that was being built in and around it. We’d travel by train (or bus) from Bangalore, general compartment, and upon arrival we’d be usherd into a 3 (4)-star hotel in Ville Parle. We had the fucking spa, steam room, pool and all else at our disposal. And, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, was on the house and taken care of. Nitin I, Nitin II, Nishant, Scrotum, Chirag, the rest of the Fate/Morticide gang and the support crew were not only good lads, but they pretty much set-up a support platform for all that there is today. Kudos! Feels great to be back at the original underground extreme fest. Only wish it was at RAZZ.” – Ganesh Krishnaswamy (Bevar Sea)
In the years to come, Domination also took place in Pune and Bangalore. However in 2003, the members of Intune Entertainment (the company Nitin co-founded) had to split up due to personal reasons. Check out the old Domination website for the line-ups and more information.
After almost a decade, the 5th edition of Domination – The Deathfest will take place and it stays true to its initial vision. The bands performing are Orion, Atmosfear, Insane Prophecy, Witchgoat, Gutslit and Exhumation. The line-up is quite diverse and should please all extreme metal fans. I will be seeing almost all of the bands for the first time hence really looking forward to the gig.
“I’m Excited and thrilled” says Nitin “Also extremely lucky to have people like Riju & Yash around who are putting in tremendous amount of effort for the gig. Of course the bands who are extending total support for it the fest to make a decent comeback!
“I’ve always been part proud, and part envious of Bangalore’s DIY metal scene, where the underground is very much alive with regular club gigs.” says Riju “When Nitin proposed bringing back Domination – The Deathfest for its 5th edition, it just seemed like the ideal avenue for bringing that experience to Mumbai. Every aspect of the fest will be an experience- from heritage to the music, and finally the awesome merch. We’ve been through a lot of shit to make this particular event happen, but its extremely rewarding to see such a great response for an exclusively underground lineup. Support the underground, and keep it alive!”
For interviews with the bands and review of Deathfest V, check out my friend Kunal website Transcending Obscurity.
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