1st Imphal Metal Convention (Review)

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Ist IMPHAL METAL CONVENTION

Imphal the 14th of April, 2012
Review
by Lukhendro Keisham

The 1st Imphal Metal Convention was held on the 14th of April, 2012 under the banner, Metal Age Reloaded at YAC Range Ground, Imphal. With a witness of around 2000 metal heads from the state the convention featured six bands along with a photo exhibition and a honorary invitational tribute to the rock legends (1960-1990) of Manipur.

It was an event organized through a congregation of youths from the state and various parts of the world with a common motive to encourage original music. They aim at building a strong plateform for the local and underground bands to strive to international benchmark. Free from any political and exoteric social connections the organizers crafted and showcased one of the finest work of promoting art to the culturistic people of the country.

It was 7 o’clock as the whole set up was good to go. Sandrembee spark up the evening with the djent, New Millennium Cyanide Christ by Messuhggah. Due to the late start of the show and limited window for the rest of the band they winds up with their version of Post Mark’s Metal Age as a tribute to the band. Opening for the show the band gained it share of applause from the fans. They gave up their slot with just two songs so that every band gets an enough slot. A loud C-H-E-E-R-S for Sandrembee.

The death-core Dead Mobster was the next. They began with Recent from Chelsea Grin. It was wild and chaotic watching them do the brutal way. Pushing the tempo to the limit they pour out 18th, an original based on the Great 18th June Incident in Manipur followed by Killers Don’t Cry, featured in the recently releases Rock Music Manipur Vol. 1 album compilation. With horryfing death growls and pig squealing the band ends up their day with a cover from Job For A Cowboy, Entombment of a Machine. “The 1st Imphal Metal Convention was a rock show with the best sound experience we ever felt in Manipur”, they commented later.

Dark as the night Azure Delusion, the young metal heads from Nagaland was the third on the line. They started their first ever gig in Imphal with Refuse Resist, a cover from the Lord of Thrash, Sepultura. Followed by Roots Bloody Roots, another Sepultura cover they went on to invade the 1st Imphal Metal Convention to one memorable metal party. Hammer Smashed Face by Cannibal Corpse was their final set list. Never a moment it was felt that Jenthui (bass guitar) and Asetuo (lead guitar) were temporary members of the band just for the Imphal gig. It was quite a warm gesture from Walo Keppen, who uttered Chak Charabra (meaning: Had food? in Meitei language) while meeting the band at the backstage after their slot. This bring us the feeling of oneness and brotherhood between Manipuris and Nagamese to the world. A technically comment about the band: Best guitar tone ever from a Korg AX1000 in live shows.

Painted signature face, seven string guitar, five string bass and self-carried drum accessories, the Cleave were a beast let loose. Beginning with ART, inspired from people living with HIV the band put up an electrifying start. With gothic keyboard intro and melodious guitar solos they made the crowd lost in the world of fantasy with their original, Instantly Silent. Adding on with the instrumental Incepting Me Own it was certain that the band was on serious business. Their final number was 7 Years Devastation, another original dedicated to the Manipuri martyrs who fought against the Burmese invasion during 1819-26. A fan among the crowd shouted, “Moi mangaire Manipur’da neirise!” which means “These guys are the one ruling in Manipur”. Ithoibi Potshangbam, manager of the band too shared that it was the best sound experience the band ever felt in Manipur. And from the fans, it was Cleave’s best gig ever.

As one of the band featured in the recently released RMM Vol. 1 compilation album Chem Weed F.M was the next on the track. The band showcased an impressive demonstration of both technicality and maturity in their sound. They started the day with an original, Demons Nightmare. Progressive in nature they took the crowd for a ride to hell with Walk With Me In Hell by Lamb of God, then followed by Ghost Walking by LOG again. Favoring the band fans scream their throat out heading for the front barricade.

The much anticipated band of the evening, Yonsample was on the prime time list. They grind up the heads with non stop mos pit and crowd surfing. With an experimental touch in their sound these Technical Post-Thrash Matalheads from Kolkata gave a good fight with melodious chorus and nostalgic riffs. Backstage head banging, raising horns and a rush among the crowd to take pictures/videos in their mobile phones was a sight to be cherished. Enriched with melodic dual vocal and aggressive guitar acts they were the craziest maniac of the day. It was mean as hell beginning their set list with The Instauration. Shredding only originals they went on with Break Through, Reincarnation, Passage and their newly released single, Espial Abyss Afloat. Crowds went chaos as they lash out Chaos Theory. The band had won various rewards at national compitition and is now busy touring the entire country heading its way towards bigger fames.

The final and the headlining act of the evening was Post Mark, a pioneer heavy metal band from Manipur who is making a comeback after 18 years of invisibility. The band was disarmed due to the death of its original vocalist, Abungcha Kshetrimayum (R.I.P – 1999). Replacing Abungcha was Uttam, a successful local artist in the Manipuri music scene. They en thrilled the crowd with songs from their album “Stamp On You” dated 1989. Their set list includes Metal Age, It’s So Funny and Soar High. The event witnessed a glimpse of Thabal Chongba (a traditional festive dance of Manipur) instead of mos pit during Soar High. Uttam’s vocal was an exact replica of the original recorded version of the song.

Apart from the mainstream musical sessions, along with the photo exhibition the organizers put up a CD stall where the recently released Rock Music Manipur Vol.1 was put up for sale. The photo exhibition featured 46 antique photographs collected and contributed by individuals, friends and families related to the rock legends of Manipur. This indeed is a very valuable contribution towards the memory lane of rock music in the country.

Paul Kamei, the vocalist of the then MACHINE HEAD (early 80’s) and THE CANNIBALS (1985) expressed his gratitude towards honoring and bringing forward the lost history of rock in the state. Regarded as the best front man, Lien Gangte (vocalist of Phynix/Phoenix) retold the past memories of rock artists, their struggle and experiences with limited reach to the outside world. He termed Bobby Namairakpam (drummer of Phynix/Phoenix) as the finest drummer in the country who on various gigs and festivals had won many prizes and awards all over the country. Bobby, who stood beside Paul and Lien thanked the fans for the respect and honor shown to the senior artist of Manipur.

From a convention this way to the multi channelled live streaming of the entire show, from the recollection of vintage photographic memories of yesteryear’s rock pioneers with a photo exhibition to the honoring of rock legends (1960-1990) by inviting them in a show this big, in front of all the fans these Today’s Rock Music Community of Manipur has acheived a remarkable milestone in its short but energying journey of musical goodwill.

Flashing shutter lights, muddy mos-pit formations, crowd surfing and screaming cheers made that half-full jammed packed YAC Range Ground glow till midnight. From the decades old humble beginning to the many internationally acclaimed events happening in the country this Imphal Metal Convention will sure acquire the much needed attention of the world. No matter how and what individuals contributed in formulating the event both mental and manual efforts of the organizer and volunteers were paid off with it’s huge success. Kudos to Sandrembee and The Greens who in association with Riverboat Event Management generated and initiated the ideas behind this marvelous event respectively. A huge applause for the Rock Music Manipur and it’s volunteers for their selfless contribution towards organizing and coordinating the entire event. They plans to bring back the convention next year with much bigger surprises.

***

Event Name: 1st IMPHAL METAL CONVENTION
(Metal Age Reloaded Festival, 2012)

Date: 14th April, 2012
Vanue: YAC Range Ground, Imphal
Time: 5 pm onwards
Ticket Rate: Rs. 100/- per head

Bands:
AZURE DELUSION (Nagaland, IN)
CHEM WEED F.M (Imphal, IN)
CLEAVE (Imphal, IN)
DEAD MOBSTER (Imphal, IN)
POST MARK (Imphal, IN)
SANDREMBEE (Imphal, IN)
YONSAMPLE (Kolkata, IN)

Sponsors:
Boss Juices
E-Pao
Likla
Rock Music Manipur
Scot Edil Pharmaceutical Company Stockist, Imphal

Sound:
Hills Sound Reinforcement, Senapati

Lights:
KISS Keishamthong, Imphal

**Special regards to those who without any personal gain or relation to any of the organizers and the initiators came forward to help and support the cause unanimously.

SANDREMBEE are:
Eroz (vocal)
Chingkhei (guitar)
Chickubi (guitar)
Themis (bass)
Jacky Chan (guest drummer from Chen Weed F.M)

DEAD MOBSTER are:
Vavananda (vocal)
Samson (guitar)
Kenyo (guitar)
Bungbi (bass)
Molly (drums)

AZURE DELUSION are:
Walo Keppen (vocal)
Akhrielie Gangmei (drums)
Jenthui (bass: for Imphal gig)
Asetuo (guitar: for Imphal gig)

CLEAVE are:
Tinki a.k.a Sonamani (vocal)
Bipin (guitar)
Vavindra a.k.a Tutu (bass)
Roseen a.k.a Abow (keyboard)
Thoi a.k.a Khunjaoba (drums)

CHEM WEED F.M are
Bulu (vocal)
Jiban (guitar)
Jackson (bass)
Jacky Chan (drums)

YONSAMPLE are
Arka Das (vocal)
Soumik Roy ‘Jojo’ (guitar)
Anirban Banerjee (bass)
Tuhin Paul (drums)
Anudhyan Chakrabarti (keyboards)

POST MARK are
Uttam (vocal)
Ingocha Thingom (guitar)
Boycha Konjengbam (bass)
Bipin Sanjenbam (drums)
(**Post Mark was formed in 1988 and it’s birth name was Death’s Guitar)

Bands whose photographs are put up in the exhibition:
The Kids (early 60’s), Waikhom Umakanta and Angom Pratap (early 60’s), Magnetoz (late 60’s), Makhons (1971), Runaway Tracks (1972), Phoenix (1980), Phynyx (mid 90’s), Cannibals (1985), Hell’s Angel (1985), Dark Krusaders (1986), Drixian Empire (mid 90’s), Brain Damage (1987), Death’s Guitar (1988), Post Mark (1989), Heavenly Finger (1989) etc.

Few Rock Personals Seen During The Concert
Angom Pratap, Bobby Nameirakpam, Lien Gangte, Mick, Nutan Elangbam, Paul Gangmei, Ringo Golmei, Sando Laishram, Thanlian, Vivek Sharma etc.

Organized by:
Sandrembee and The Green

in association with
Riverboat Event Management

supported by:
Rock Music Manipur (RMM)
www.RockMusicManipur.in

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