Posts Tagged ‘Kryptos’
With just over 2 months to go for the end of the year, there’s been another killer release from the Indian metal scene; Burn up the night by heavy metal band Kryptos. The band are one of the oldest surviving metal bands in India. Over the past 18 years they have released 3 albums.
Burn up the Night released through AFM Records features a straight up 80’s heavy metal sound which will appeal particularly to “old school” metal fans. I enjoyed the album as the songwriting and production contrasts with the sterile sounds of upcoming bands
I (Peter ‘Trendcrusher‘ K.) spoke to vocalist/guitarist Nolan Lewis about their change in sound, music videos and their recent European tour.
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As a collector of CDs, there are a few that stand out and one such album is Kryptos Spiral Ascent. The Bangalore based band’s debut album was incidentally the first Indian metal album, I’ve owned. Over an email interview vocalist Ganesh discusses Kyrptos’s formative years, the Bangalore metal scene and ten years of Spiral Ascent.
On Kryptos’ early years:
Kryptos started out as a college band called “8 on the Richter”. “8OTR (hated the name) was a band I had put together with a bunch of dudes in late 96/97.” said Ganesh about the band. “I met Nolan at St. Joseph College of Commerce’s admission queue. We didn’t quite take to each other, but I remember our dads talking about some shit. Next thing I knew, we were in the same class and shared common tastes in heavy music. It was in passing I asked him if he played the guitar. Not only did he say yes, he owned a guitar AND an amp. That did it. I spoke to the rest of 8OTR and he became a member. A few line-up changes followed and it was just Nolan and I – we decided to look for a drummer. We found Chinlen Singh through an ad I placed on RSJ [the now defunct magazine]. It was then that we decided 8OTR sucked. We needed a better name that would reflect what we were into and what we intended to write.”
“Bangalore, then & now (not so much), is pretty much a classic rock/metal town. It was not odd to hear Slayer, Megadeth, Dio, Black Sabbath being played at pubs – hell! I have even heard Death’s Symbolic at a bar in Bangalore. There was a legendary wall on Brigade Road where someone had spray painted SLAYER. From college benches to pub loos, it was not out-of-the-place to find AC/DC, GN’R, Slayer, Scorpions, etc. There was a healthy local metal scene with bands like Millenium, Crimson Storm, Vulcan Haze, W.A.R.D.E.N, etc gigging. There were numerous pubs and bars that played everything from heavy blues, hard rock to early metal. There was no scene, but the seeds were sown.”
Being a part of compilations:
‘Headbangalore’ was a compilation of Bangalore bands Phallusy, Threinody, Myndsnare and Kryptos. Forsaken, Forgotten (land of ice) and Clandestine Elements were the 3 tracks by Kryptos that were part of the compilation. “We were siting around Threinody’s rehearsal space, which we shared with them for a while, drinking beer and shooting the breeze when we decided that we could actually go out and do a fucking compilation.The effort was great; the involvement was spot on, but the studio and the mixing engineer sucked. The release was well received though we were never really studio ready, but then what mattered back then was the DIY approach – people dug it.”
“Back then, the only gigs that were happening were college and other miscellaneous competitions. We took part in as many. We didn’t give two hoots about winning and all that; we just wanted to play live. The law of averages caught up and won a few. One of the prizes was that we could record a couple of songs at this studio called Throatlatch Studios in Navi Mumbai. The owners then released one of the songs, Descension, on a compilation called Deep Throat.”
10 years of Spiral Ascent:
“Man, that album took forever to record. I don’t remember the sequence of events but we recorded and tracked everywhere! From Warren’s [Mendonsa] place in Dadar to a few studios in Bangalore, including Ricky Kej’s – he is a Grammy winner today – w00t! Looking back, how I wish we had someone to whoop our arses and helped us save time and money, but I would do it all over again. No regrets.”
“Few Indian bands had released albums a decade ago. “How? We just did. There were quite a few Indian bands that released original music before us. From Thermal and a Quarter to Millennium, Rock Machine to Vulcan Haze. We felt we have 8 odd songs, let’s just put it out and get on with it.”
On the line-up for the album:
“Chinglen Singh had to leave Bangalore and head back to Assam due to personal reasons. Ryan Colaco was then with Angel Dust, we asked him to moonlight for a couple of gigs we had coming. And that was that. With Akshay it was a bit more complicated. I had heard of this guy who’d come to Kryptos gigs, record it and bootleg. I loved that! I am not sure how we met, if he auditioned or whatever – but before we knew he was there. A great guitar player with quite a personality.”
On Writing for the album:
“We never sat down and said, ‘hey! Enough of the beer! Let’s write an album!’ It happened over time, when we had enough material we began the recording process.”
On Recording the album:
The album was recorded by Clay Kelton at his studio. “Took a couple of weeks, months maybe. The process was an on-the-go one – oh Ryan’s here today, eh? Let’s track the drums! Or ‘is that Tiny (Trinity D’Souza, Cryptic)? Dude, play a solo here!’ So, it was all over the place – quite a miracle we actually put something out. Those days were a bloody haze. Bet there are a few. I remember setting Akshay’s vodka on fire once, don’t know why or what happened after. But Clay didn’t like it much.”
On the album art:
“The cover art was design by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity). Being fans of DT’s early work – musically and cover art-wise, we decided to mail him for fucks sake. When he replied it was like ‘Woah! We need to pay him money now!”
If they had to change anything…
“Apart from playing to a metronome, not a bloody thing.”
“Eat shit, drink beer and bark at the moon! Also, buy our merch!”
This week Kryptos head to Germany on tour with Death Angel. Those in the area should definitely head to one of the show, tour dates are below.
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.