Thursday, 27 February 2014


People think having a gig in Thane near their houses is somewhat out of this world. United 21 has made all those dreams come true, but somewhere in Thane district, there lies a city called Vasai (I live here) and there's a gig that happens once a year at a festival called 'Zeal' in Vidyavardhini College of Engineering and Technology, popularly known as Vartak college. Yes bitches! Gig in my hometown!

The students of Vartak have this one opportunity to host the heaviest show in Vasai once a year. A part of their festival is 'Octaves', the band competition, comprising of a good mix of rock and metal bands from across Mumbai and Thane.

And it gets better. Horror/heavy metal band Albatross will be judging Octaves and headlining the 'All Stars' night on the 14th of March 2014. The college has had bands like Blakc, Hoodwink Circle, Sceptre, Zygnema, Workshop and Psyx (yikes!) headline this event in the past. The catch this time is, while Albatross lead singer Biprorshee Das will not be available for the gig, Albatross has arranged the perfect dinner for all of us. There are going to be four guest vocalists doing a good one hour set with the band. I've got a sneak peak into which vocalists the band will be playing with and the list of songs:

In pictures, from left to right:

Sahil Makhija (Demonic Resurrection, Reptilian Death, Workshop) - Kissing Flies, Night Crawler (Judas Priest cover)

Nitin Rajan (former Morticide) - Bark at the Moon (Ozzy cover), Among Cannibals

Sushan Shetty (Cosmic Infusion) - In the Court of Kuru, Dining Table

Siddharth Raveendran (Gaia's Throne) - In the Lair of Dr. Hex, Holy Diver (Dio cover)

and Albatross' very own Vigneshkumar Venkatraman (Orion) - Uncle Sunny at the Tavern

I am damn pumped man! Mazaa aayega. This year, the fest also has an entry from Pune thrash band 'Anarchy'. Vocalist Tabish Khidir (Tabby) is also waiting to play. Among other competing bands are the regular Mumbai competition bands like Narkasur and Orcus. 

One of the guest vocalists Nitin Rajan returns to Vartak after having judged a western vocals competition almost a decade ago when our very own P-man was a student there! Nitin, on being asked for a bite on the delicious lineup said he is 'mighty excited'. He said, "Guest vocals has always thrilled me because you get to add your own madness to an existing crowd favourite. This is an amazing limited edition lineup!" Yes, limited edition crowd also! x)

Organizer Malhar Mohite, third year student at Vartak says, "I haven't seen a thrash/horror metal band 

headline in all my years here. The college has experienced every other genre, so why not this?" 

Well, if you are close by, you can drop by for free. It's barely 25 minutes by train from Borivali and a two-minute walk from the station in Vasai West. The students are going crazy and so should you. 

In other news, Albatross are looking to release a full-length album this year titled 'Fear from the Skies'. I'll be there somewhere, probably nibbling off the judges' table and watching Nishith's lovely hair and guitar playing. See you!

For more details on the festival, contact Malhar Mohite: 9970780605 or Sameer Sajjan: 9960273285

CLICK for the event on Facebook

CLICK for Albatross on Facebook or Bandcamp

And you can listen to my personal favourite here: 


  1. You simply cant miss this!!!!!!! \m/

  2. psyx didnt headline. they competed :) and in that list you have missed Prakalp and Coshish .. hehe :)

    1. dude that year when Zygnema played and we were going crazy, Psyx was headlining with them! I am sure of this! I asked the organizer also!