Ominous, a Blackened Death Metal band of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), mushroomed in the music room of the institute last year like dozens of others from their college. Prashanth B (drums), Ashwin Natarajan (bass), Kunal Chowdhury (lead guitar), Kaustubh Mishra (rhythm guitar) and Harish Sharma (vocals) have been headbanging to black metal productions of the Polish band Behemoth, Norwegian Immortal and Emperor, American deathcore band Born Of Osiris, Finnish metal band Wintersun and Norwegian metal band Enslaved.
Among Ominous’ original compositions, the crowd favourites include Desecration and Festival of Blood both penned by Prashanth. “The theme revolves around urging the audience to think twice about religion and not blindly follow it. I don’t believe in God, so that’s where it comes from,” he says. These compositions won them accolades at IIM-Bangalore’s cultural fest Unmaad and IISc’s Pravega, where they were placed third. Other gigs of theirs were at IIT’s Saarang and VIT’s Riviera where their cover of Norwegian black metal band Satyricon’s Black Crow on a Tombstone left the crowd wanting for more.
“Desecration has a catchy end, where the bass starts slowly and then gets brutal, heavy and fast. Prashanth is the fastest drummer on campus. Anyone in the music scene at VIT can vouch for it, and as far as Ashwin is concerned — bassists are a rare commodity as it is — it is difficult to find a bassist as fast as he is and of his calibre,” says Harish.
Asked what he thinks about the notion of purists of music calling black metal shrieking, loud and just noise, Prashanth counters, “You need to give it a chance to understand it. When you have a metal band on stage and see the years of hard work that goes into it, it’s simply remarkable. I mean when we see electronic music on stage we’re like, ‘What’s that?’”
Ominous is gearing up for their next gigs at Riviera Manipal University and NIT, Calicut.