9 February 2016


He could be a geek with short hair, an old school leather wearing guy, a teenager in a black t-shirt with explicit graphics, a scary man with a long gruff beard or as a matter of fact a girl like me -The Indian metal head is likely to have an identity as diverse as the country, but today, his existence is a well-known reality.

Even two decades ago, things were a lot different. Millennium, credited with being India’s first heavy metal band, was formed in 1986. The band went on to open for international acts such as Deep Purple and No Doubt. At the same time, the North-East was witnessing the beginnings of a metal culture.

In Bangalore, another storm was brewing in the form of Kryptos. Formed in 1998, Kryptos is one of the longest-standing thrash metal bands of India. In Chennai, the 90s saw the rise of extreme metal bands Blasphemy and Bone Saw. In 2000, Demonic Resurrection, the popular symphonic death metal band was founded by four teenagers. June 2000 also saw Mumbai receive its very first extreme metal fest, Domination — Deathfest.

Since 2000, there has been immense growth in the scene — both in terms of audience and bands.
Let’s take a look at the 10 best Indian metal bands which are undoubtedly the pioneers of the Indian metal scene and are largely responsible for the growth of metal music in India –

10. Zygnema

From : Mumbai

Year of formation : 2005

They call themselves : A brutal Groove Thrash Metal band

Zygnema mainly focuses on the social/political scenarios and loves to dig deep down on riffs that are heavy and groove oriented. They have released two albums so far and are working on the next. Their aggressive ‘stage breaking’ performances and song themes are quite remarkable.

Best Track : Scarface

9. The Down Troddence 

From : Kerala

Year of formation : 2009

They call themselves : A thrash metal band

This 6 piece metal band from Kerala incorporates folk instruments in the form of ambient layers to their sound, making them beautiful.  The band released its debut album on 2014 after numerous singles by them.

Best Track : Shiva

8. Yonsample  

From : Kolkata

Year of formation : 2010

They call themselves : A Technical Post-Thrash metal band

This technical post-thrash metal band gathered quite a lot of attention with their debut album, Paraphernalia. The Masters of metal from Kolkata, they released two albums, the last one being released in December 2015. ‘Extropy’, their last album has been both technical and trippy with a touch of progressive which has been a delight for the prog. lovers.

Best Track : Insaturation 

7. Scribe   

From : Mumbai

Year of formation : 2005

They call themselves : A modern metal/hardcore band

The band, which is almost a decade old and has released three albums is one of the favourites of metal lovers. The band's music is characterized by fast tempos and heavily distorted guitars which is sure to make you head bang.

Best Track: I Love You, Pav Bhaji.(Oh no, don’t get fooled by the name, you have to listen to it to believe).

6. Inner Sanctum

From : Bangalore  

Year of formation : 2006

They call themselves : A Death/ Thrash metal band

Inner Sanctum have gigged extensively all across the country and supported some of the biggest metal bands in India, including Metallica and Slayer. The album “Provenance” was their highly acclaimed first release which shot them to fame. Inner Sanctum’s characteristic style unleashes rage upon the listener with their storming, violent, old school infused metal.

Best Track : Quarantine

5. Undying Inc. 

From : Delhi                     

Year of formation : 2004

They call themselves : A Thrash/Death metal band

A band known for making some overwhelming heavy music in today's metal scene, combining a lethal blend of speed, technique, groove and extreme aggression.

They say they create music, “that will make you want to spit into the face of life, burn everything you hate and chokehold the world you live in.” Despite having numerous line-up changes, this four member band fall among the top metal acts in the country.

Best track : Membraneous

4. Bhayanak Maut

From : Mumbai   

Year of formation : 2003

They call themselves : A groove metal band

Bhayanak Maut, has been around in the indie scene for quite a long time. Despite the band’s numerous line-up changes, with only R.Venkatraman as the constant member, it has managed to put on some killer performances for over a decade now. This outrageously loud band is a metalhead’s dream-come-true, being one of the most brutal bands in the current Indian metal scene. Bhayanak Maut has released three albums so far.

Best Track : Ranti Nasha

3. Skyharbor  

From : Delhi

Year of formation : 2010

They call themselves : A progressive metal band

Skyharbor has been a phenomenon in recent times.This band has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the Rolling Stone Awards 2012 - Best Emerging Band, Jack Daniels Awards 2012 - Best Metal Band, and more. Sky Harbour’s unpredictable progressions and ambient tone qualities make their songs seem like a journey in a dream. Their songs are melodic with soft vocals and ambient guitars. The band has been a festival favourite for a couple of years now, and has two albums to its name.

Best track: Evolution

2. Kryptos  

From : Bangalore    

Year of formation : 1998

They call themselves : An old school heavy metal band

With melodious riffs and heavy/intricate progressions, Kryptos brings back the good old days of “New Wave of British Heavy Metal”. They show metal is not about being fast or brutal, it’s about great songs. Since their inception, the band has released three albums. Spiral Ascent, The Ark of Gemini and The Coils of Apollyon.

Best track: Mask of Anubis

1. Demonic Resurrection

From : Mumbai

Year of formation : 2000

They call themselves : A blackened death metal band that plays Demonic Metal (A mix of death, power & black metal styles)

Sahil "The Demonstealer" Makhija on vocals and rhythm guitars of this band is largely responsible for the band’s success. Since its formation, the band has released 4 studio albums and 1 EP. Their aggressive sound heavily influenced by Cannibal Corpse is for hardcore death metal lovers. From a Metalhead’s point of view Demonic Resurrection truly deserves the first place in this list.

Best track: Apocalyptic Dawn

It would be unfair not to mention some of the other Indian metal bands which are equally great. Thereby the Special mentions –

Scarface (Kolkata) – The metalcore band with groovy melodic music.

Slain (Bangalore) – One of the finest progressive metal band of India.

IIIrd Soverign (Delhi) – Masters of death metal.

Acrid Semblance(Delhi) – Pioneers of melodic death metal.


Medha Bhattacharya is a music aficionado, a proud metalhead and an avid follower of "SHERLOCK HOLMES". She is pursuing her B.TECH from B.P.PODDAR INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT and is the music-columnist for ExPRESS Magazine. Some of her other articles are :- 



Let's not forget to share this with the other music enthusiasts you come around! Thanks for your time!

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