What started off as a solo project by Tanvir Singh Manku — in which the guitarist and vocalist would collaborate with various artists from the Indian Metal scene — did not take long to metamorphose into a band, WarCry In. Though not to be confused with the Spanish Power Metal band, the Delhi-based group is similarly deep-rooted in the high-octane world of Heavy Metal.
For Tanvir, music came early. As a sixth-grader, he got himself enrolled in the Shillong School of Music. However, even at that age, an eventual induction into the Metal universe seemed to be evident he says,“I learned pretty quick initially. After playing the usual Punk Rock songs for the first two years, I was introduced to Metal. Trivium was the band that got me into the genre. So I started practicing screaming with whatever info I could find online,” says the musician.
Although Tanvir had become a formidable lead guitarist by the eleventh grade, it was the coming of a “beast drummer”, as the musician refers to Rahul Rawat, which really set things into motion. School competitions became the band’s playground, and the crowds were there to cheer on. As the band members were fond of Norse mythology, the name Ulfberth (or a group of Medieval swords) resonated with them.
By the time he was in college, Tanvir had a four-member band with enough confidence and credibility to perform in front of a live, non-school audience. When the D-day arrived, the band had sudden cold feet: “What if the name, Ulfberth, would be far too complicated for the audience to register?” Tanvir expressed this to Bhaskar, the band’s other guitarist, and just five minutes before their performance, ‘WarCry In’ was born. It was an easy-to-recall name that adequately reflected the band’s ethos, and, hence, it stuck.
After this, several notable gigs ensured — be it opening for the mighty Demonic Resurrection at the Unbolly Headparty Vol 7 or playing at the Rock Raiders Music Fest (Jaipur) alongside Chronic Xorn and other well-known local bands.
With inspirations such as Lamb of God, Trivium, Behemoth, Eluveitie and Gojira, the band had definitely set high standards for itself. The homage is evident in WarCry In’s first track, Suffocated, which was uploaded on YouTube after being in development for over a year.
WarCry Inc became a dominant force at college competitions in Jaipur an Delhi. Wins were hard to come by, because, as the band says, “metal is not so well understood everywhere”, but the crowd appeal has been phenomenal. Tanvir becomes a rock star on the stage, jumping up and down, starting his own mosh pits and putting on other such fun antics.
Perhaps the biggest moment came for the band when they approached Shashank Bhatnagar, then vocalist of Undying.inc and founder of Unbolly.inc, a music-event platform, who were impressed by WarCry In’s performance. This led to the opportunity to open for Demonic Resurrection, one of India’s most prominent Metal bands. On the moment, Tanvir says, “Words cannot describe how crazy that show was and how happy they were after being able to perform.” He adds, “After this show I wanted the band to be even more serious about our sound and look and tightness.”
However, that is when irony dealt him a cruel hand. “I guess other members did not see it as seriously as I did. Eventually, all of them had to go. Only me and drummer Rahul Singh were left,” he continues.
Yet, the band was far from dead. Tanvir and Rahul made another song called Rusted Bullets, collaborating with musician Aditya Swaminathan. Delhi bigwig Skyharbor’s Keshav Dhar came onboard for mixing and mastering the song. With this newfound strength, many Metal songs are in the pipeline.
And now, WarCry In has two new members: Aayush and Paul. With great support and a rechristened team, it’s only a matter of team before the War Cry can be heard all over.