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10 Acts That Pushed Indian Metal’s Boundaries Post 2010’s

Heavy metal in India has seen a steadily growing fan base since the 1990s when homegrown acts such as Millennium, LuciDreams, and Dying Embrace first hit the scene with their own flavour of heavy music, which depending on who you’d ask either awed or appalled Indian audiences at the time. The scene has come a long way since then, with both college competitions and music festivals such as Bangalore Open Air and NH7 Weekender -among others- promoting fresh pools of talent from diverse parts of the country every year. The 2010s was a significant decade for Indian metal, with an increase in the number of local rock and heavy metal acts sharing the stage with big names from across the globe. Both established acts and newer ones have played alongside the likes of Slash, Machine Head, Metallica, Megadeth, and Lamb Of God at various music festivals throughout the late 2000s and 2010s with the most recent extravaganza being Kreator, In Flames and Watain headlining Bangalore Open Air 2024.

Here’s a look at some of the bands that have been making headways over the last decade. These acts have redefined the boundaries of what it means to be a metal fan with the massive amount of interest they have generated from both native and foreign audiences.

Bevar Sea

The torchbearers of stoner/doom metal in India, Bevar Sea has been around for just over a decade, forming in 2008. They have released three studio albums and have toured extensively around the world. Their influence on the Indian metal scene is significant and has inspired many other Indian metal bands. With their penchant for heavy, slow, and atmospheric music, influenced by classic stoner/doom, the band carved a niche for themselves when their home city’s (Bangalore) audience was leaning towards thrash and progressive metal. The band also has achieved international recognition, performing at renowned festivals and being featured in major publications. Their latest album “The Timeless Zone” was released in 2022, marking their return to the studio, and needless to say, it did not disappoint.


Formed in 2006, Zygnema is a four-piece groove/thrash metal band hailing from the bustling city of Mumbai, India. Over a decade of headbanging tunes, they’ve established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the Indian metal scene. Zygnema’s music blends the intensity of thrash metal with infectious grooves. Their sound isn’t afraid to experiment, incorporating elements that keep things fresh, and their lyrics truly pack a punch. They tackle social issues head-on, drawing inspiration from current events to deliver relatable anthems. With two full-length studio albums under their belt, Zygnema has toured extensively across India, captivating audiences with their raw power. They’ve even ventured beyond borders, proving their mettle on European tours. Despite taking a hiatus in recent years, their recent release, “Iconic,” marks a return with a fresh twist, as they continue pushing the boundaries of the genre.


Initially the brain-child of guitarist Keshav Dhar and beloved Tesseract vocalist Daniel Thompkins, Skyharbor is an Indian/American progressive metal band formed in 2010. They have released three studio albums and have toured extensively around the world. Known for their complex and technical music which incorporates elements of djent, post-hardcore, and electronica, Skyharbor quickly made a name for themselves in the Indian metal scene, with guest performances on their debut album by legendary ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman and praise from Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler after the band opened for them during their India tour in 2012. The popularity of progressive metal in India owes its growth to these lads and they have inspired several Indian metal bands to experiment with the genre. Skyharbor is also one of the few Indian metal bands to have toured internationally extensively, playing at major festivals such as Wacken Open Air, ProgPower USA, Download Festival, etc sharing the stage with modern greats such as Deftones, Veil of Maya, and Monuments.


If Indian thrash metal needs a face today, then Amorphia would be a representation. Hailing from Kerala, the group formed in 2012 and has released three studio albums to date. Taking cues from the likes of Sodom, Kreator, and Slayer, along with crossover trash elements, their music is a rapid, gut-wrenching, head-crushing blitz soaked in napalm, with lyrics that urges listeners to challenge the status quo, with themes of war, corruption, and social inequality. The band’s energetic live shows are intense, having captivated audiences both in India and abroad, with their and onstage presence. They have played at international fests such as True Thrash Fest in Japan and Obscene Extreme in the Czech Republic. With their latest album “A Lethal Dose” released in 2022, the band has continued to move from strength to strength and shall be here to stay for the coming years as the flagship band from Kerala.


One of the most distinct acts out there, Dymbur is an Indian folk metal band from Shillong, Meghalaya that formed in 2012. They are one of the first bands to fuse Khasi folk music with heavy metal. Dymbur’s music is characterized by its heavy riffs, melodic choruses, and traditional Khasi instruments such as the duitara (a two-stringed instrument) and the tangmuri (flute). The band has released two full-length albums to date and has performed at major festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze Open Air. In a scene where the primary instinct is to follow the footsteps of the giants in the West, Dymbur was unabashed in taking a different approach and creating their own refreshing blend of heavy metal and Indian folk music of the North East, inspiring many bands to experiment with different genres of folk music to create sounds that represent the unique identity of their region.


The only band on this list whose music shows a strong and noticeable connection to post-hardcore, Pacifist is a Mumbai-based band known for their raw emotions, powerful vocals, and intricate guitar work. Their music delves into themes of heartbreak, disillusionment, and self-discovery, resonating deeply with young listeners in India and beyond. They have helped shape the Indian post-hardcore scene, paving the way for more bands to explore introspective and emotionally charged themes. They’ve garnered acclaim for their energetic live shows, captivating audiences at festivals like Magnetic Fields, South Tour, CTRL ALT DEL, and most recently as openers for Deep Purple at Bandland. In just over a decade, Pacifist has carved a unique space in India’s metal landscape. Their blend of vulnerability and aggression continues to resonate, making them a vital voice for a new generation of metalheads; providing a glimpse into how sludgy anthemic choruses —a staple of heavy metal— can go hand in hand with hardcore punk. While Pacifist has only released two EPs so far, they have built a dedicated following and are considered a rising force in the Indian metal scene.


Hailing from the city of Hyderabad, Godless has carved a niche for themselves with their pulverizing blend of thrash-laced death metal. Formed in 2010, the band has become a prominent force in the Indian metal scene, known for their brutal riffs, soaring blast beats, and massive live performances. They have released three studio albums, and have grown to be a massive influence on the Indian metal scene. They are one of the most popular and influential death metal bands in India and have toured extensively outside of India, playing at major festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Brutal Assault Festival. Godless will continue to make a lasting impression on their contemporaries and younger metal fans in this decade, as their brand of death metal gives a fresh look into how far Indian bands can take their compositions within heavy music.

Moral Putrefaction

One of the most promising young metal acts out there today, Moral Putrefaction is an Indian death metal band from Chennai. Their sound is sonically brutal, with unsettling lyrics delivered with unbridled ferocity. If Dying Embrace was the birth of extreme metal in India in the 1990s, then Moral Purefaction is the rebirth. They are known for their relentless energy and their dedication to the genre has earned them respect and admiration from fans and musicians alike. Formed in 2015, they were the first band from Tamil Nadu to take the stage at Wacken Open Air, putting Chennai on the map for heavy metal. With their unrelenting work ethic that has pushed them to the top in such a short period, Moral Putrefaction is a band that will make an even bigger impact on the international metal scene in the years to come.

The Down Troddence

Born in the fiery cradle of Kerala’s Kannur district in 2009, The Down Troddence, or TDT for short, isn’t your average metal band. They’re a six-headed beast that blends the aggression of thrash metal with the soul-stirring melodies of Kerala’s folk music. TDT’s sound is a unique fusion; they take the pummeling riffs and raw energy of thrash metal and infuse it with elements of Kerala’s vibrant folk traditions, particularly Theyyam, a ritualistic art form known for its vibrant costumes and powerful drumming. This unexpected marriage creates a sound that’s both headbangingly heavy and strangely familiar. But TDT isn’t just about creating sonic mayhem. Their lyrics are potent social commentaries, tackling themes of inequality, injustice, and the struggles of the downtrodden. Their 2014 debut album was a critical and commercial success, bagging eight Rolling Stone India Metal Awards that year, and it wasn’t just Indian audiences who took notice. TDT’s unique sound has landed them international recognition, with tours across the globe. They’ve inspired a generation of Indian metal bands to explore the depths of their cultural heritage and to use music as a tool for social change.


Arguably, the group that has made the biggest impression on the global landscape of heavy metal; Bloodywood is a self-described Indian folk metal band from Delhi that has gained attention for their innovative fusion of traditional Indian folk music with heavy metal. Formed in 2016 as a parody band, and initially gaining traction with their cover of Daler Mehndi’s hit ”Tunak Tunak Tun”, the band broke out as India’s folk metal juggernaut in the years to follow, with their delivery and powerful rhythmic arrangements. Their songs incorporate elements of Punjabi folk, nu-metal, rap, and even bhangra into their music, and their lyrics often address social and political issues in India. From having shared the stage with the likes of metal giants Slipknot and Korn, to garnering millions of views on YouTube and being named by Metal Hammer as one of the “12 new metal bands to watch in 2022”, Bloodywood has shown that India’s metal music is now slowly becoming a long-awaited and much needed cultural export to the global metal scene. Their impact shall hopefully open more doors to exploring the various pockets in the country within which many up-and-coming musicians are pushing the genre’s limits and expectations, just as they have.

Looking to the future

India’s metal journey has come a long way, and there’s hope that the younger generations of the present decade shall create fresh and unapologetic metal music that is unique to the sub-continent. With an increasing number of acts coming out of various corners of the country, the coming years shall hopefully see the influence of Indian metal bands spread far and wide, igniting the artistic intent of young music fans all over.

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