Abyss, Paranoid Earthling, Neurocracy, Mass Damnation, and Stigmata; prominent metal bands in Sri Lanka competed for the spot of representing Sri Lanka at Bangalore Open Air in 2019, and Mass Damnation emerged victorious.
Mass Damnation, consisting of Tony Jayathilake, Ryan Johnson, Aki Peiris, Thishan Wijesinghe, and Nirodha Jayasinghe, will be the first metal band to represent Sri Lanka at the Bangalore Open Air competing against Godless from India, Krur from Nepal, and Trainwreck from Bangladesh on the 9th of February 2019.
“The whole thing… from organising ourselves, the commitment demanded from each of us to the final delivery, we gave it our all. All we ever wanted was to get on stage, connect with our listener on a deeper level, and offer them a momentarily relief from their daily struggles. That is the reason we get on stage, and if we achieved that, even with just one person, then we have truly given meaning to our music. I am sincerely fortunate, not only to perform at Bangalore Open Air, but to do it with four people I call my brothers, Nirodha, Ryan, Aki, and Thishan; to me they’re the best of men that emphasise what loyalty, humbleness, and talent rightly is,” he said.
Jayathilake said that winning the battle to him means that if you believe in something truly, and from your heart and soul it will pay off some day.
“All these years, the hard times were too many to count and the amount of times we’ve all come to giving up is too much. However, amidst all the chaos, one thing was evident; how strong our metal community and brotherhood actually is. The fans and the support system we have experienced over the years have been incredible, and without them we would truly not be here today. Knowingly or unknowingly, they have kept us going, motivating us on a daily basis, and inspiring us to be a better version of ourselves, and I guess it all worked out well. For that, I thank you all,” he said.
Jayathilake said that it was beyond an honour to share the stage with Stigmata, Paranoid Earthling, Neurocracy, and Abyss.
Bangalore Open Air, collaborating with Wacken Open Air, is the largest and only metal dedicated open air music festival which has been taking place once a year since 2011. The festival also initiated Wacken Metal Battle’s Indian leg offering metal bands from the Indian subcontinents a chance to play at Wacken Open Air.
The winning band from BOA will go on to perform at Wacken Open Air in Germany in August 2019 to compete in the final round with bands from countries such as Canada, Mexico, South Africa, the Middle East, Bulgaria, China, and Japan to name a few.
Wacken Open air is an annual open-air festival taking place at Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. Beginning in 1990, over the years the stage has been occupied by metal giants such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, Slayer, and Bring Me The Horizon among many others. The first bands to be announced for the 2019 line up include Opeth and Meschuggah. In the recent years, the event attracted close to 100,000 individuals from about 80 nations.
Wacken Open Air, Bangalore Open Air, and the Metal Battle have opened doors for bands and fans alike on a scale unimaginable. It has offered a platform for recognised metal bands to perform, to connect with their fans, and to keep the metal community inspired. In turn, Metal Battle is a perfect outlet for brilliant local metal bands to gain a wider audience and to receive global exposure. The competing bands performing at WOA are also exposed to well-known artists, producers, managers, booking agents, and labels offering an amazing opportunity to seal their professional music career.