Kohima Metal Fest 2012 Review

Despite the fact that both the international bands – Xerath (UK) and Bloodshot Dawn (UK) almost missed playing the Kohima Metal Fest. As their international flight Air India to India was grounded for nearly 18 hours due to some technical problems with the Airbus.  Subsequently it has cancelled their Kolkata gig scheduled for December 8, 2012 as they haven’t landed in India as planned.  Check out a tweet from Bloodshot Dawn.

Plus their booked Jetlite flight from Kolkata to Dimapur has took off while they were still stranded in New Delhi Airport. Adding much worse to chaos and hassles, all the flights to Dimapur the next day on 10th December have been all booked with no available seats.  The only option left was to get them air tickets to Imphal (Manipur) and drive them by road via the dumpy dusty NH-39 for five hours to reach Kohima (Nagaland).

Thanks to the music calling, the bands reached Kohima city just before show time at 4:00 PM.

The first ever Kohima Metal Festival on December 10, 2012 at Kohima Local Ground in the capital city of Nagaland also saw four local metal bands – Azure Delusion, Diatribe, Anti Trust and Faded Black joining the festival bill.

This is the first time for any International metal band touring Nagaland and probably the first major International concert held in Kohima, attracting close to 2,000 fans. The Kohima Metal Fest is produced by “Nagaland Creative” in association with TNT Magazine, Jumping Bean Café, Morung Express, Wilderness Film Ltd and

The thrash metal band Anti Trust kicked off the first “International Metal Festival” in the state performing two of their originals and a cover song. Up next tuning the night was the experimental metal band Faded Black. Followed by the acclaimed Kohima based Thrash/math metal Azure Delusion.  Rather than just energetically leaping about or furiously headbanging, as many a frontman would do, the lead singer  Walo Keppen simply berates his crowd until they’re making enough noise to satisfy him, “ Gone are the days when metal music genres ruled the streets of Nagaland,  a big thank you everyone for coming out to celebrate here with us tonight and to the organizers of Kohima Metal Fest for resurrecting the fading genre”,  a dynamic statement which earned him a worthy of such loud cheers.


Anti Trust opening the festival. Photo by Nokcha Aier


The four piece progressive/melodic death metal band Diatribe turned in a sharp and compelling set of 20 minutes.  The clock has ticked 8:30 PM when the UK’s ferocious melodic metal outfit Bloodshot Dawn took control of the moshpit delivering a straight forward blistering live show experience and doled out their humungous climactic guitar riffs. The frontman Josh McMorran growls – OK, triumphed shuffles – around the stage, yelling “Kohima, we are so happy to be here with you ” before breaking into a wide goofy smile and threw copies of the band’s latest EP “Theoktony”  and tee shirts to the already much cheering louder crowd. The foursome ended their energetic 40 mins set with their hit single “Godless”.


The british metal band Bloodshot Dawn enthralling the moshpit. Photo by Wilderness Films India Ltd


Finally the main headlining act Xerath, the British orchestral-groove metal band, who hails from Reading (UK) pounded the closing curtain of the festival with tremendous sheer stage presence and a confidence that maintains their authority over the genre, teeth-gnashing and head-banging with throttling spirits of some of the most dedicated music fans.

Indeed, given the vast number of both metal bands and fans alike showing no signs of retiring, we can expect to see a lot more shuffling festivals in the Northeast region in years to come.



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