Zygnema & Inner Sanctum at The Humming Tree
What makes us human, is Obsolete!!
That was the title of Zygnema's album we were handed, right after the bright red stamp of the legendary Humming Tree was stamped on our wrists. Off we went to the fourth floor and then down on the rustic wooden staircase to the main stage. While I absorbed the aura of the floor and imagined the grinding riffs and pulsating bass that would soon engulf the space, the first band made it to the stage.I had been out of the underground metal scene in India since my band had disbanded back in 2010, and Inner Sanctum almost threw me back in time. I was head-banging like a maniac from the first beat of the drum. To put it crisply, Inner Sanctum was a powerhouse of a band. The music was raw and punched you right in the gut, without wasting any time in niceties. The band was reminiscent of Machine Head and in small parts, even Lamb of God. However, at times the music was too raw, lacking a bit of (what I’d like to call) “feel” and the sound mix was also muddy at times. Having said that, the band was powerful with vocals that can send your soul shivering, and the overall tightness of the band was commendable. Vocalist Gaurav Basu was as talented as demanding and called the crowd all sorts of obscenities, until they let their guard down and started running the floor ragged with chaotic moshing.The room, by now, had a faint smell of dust, sweat and alcohol mixed in an instigating proportion. In short, the stage was set for Zygnema. The evening was all about them. The band had completed a decade of existence and had been a success all throughout; having won the Rolling Stone Metal's 2011 Best Metal Band Award and Best Metal Song in the Popular Choice Category and Best Metal Band and Best Metal Album in the Critics’ Choice Category in 2016. It was incomprehensible how a four piece band could sound so loud, so full and so heavy. The music was hard hitting, with searing guitar riffs, bone crushing coordination tightness and stage presence that had a character of its own. The guitarist, both in stature and in style, reminded me of Pantera's Dimebag Darrell, the bassist was the happiest man in the room and his emotions were rummaging through his body. Zygnema, took off from exactly where Inner Sanctum had left us. The moshing became more and more aggressive, shoes and specs were flying around and there was a near stampede when metal-heads on the floor were being run over by their temporary rivals. To mark the special occasion, Zygnema had a couple of guest appearances. Everyone was psyched when Bhayank Maut's Sunneith Revankar joined them on stage for a cameo. The gig was now reaching its conclusion and the moshpit was getting bigger and wilder. In the dying minutes of the gig, Jimmy (vocals), issued an ultimatum - “This is it guys, these are the last few minutes, lets burn the place down!” And the most severing riffs, groovy beats and distinct offbeat rhythm were unleashed upon us. Everyone, including me, rushed to the stage to pump out a last bust of headbanging energy and soak in the music before calling it one hell of a night.