Monday, December 31, 2012

AJAL "Jahannarakah"


AJAL "Jahannarakah" (MTD Production / Eastern Voice Production)
"Jahannarakah" booklet says it all. Eastern black Metal. Loud and proud of it. Right even to the all-Malay lyrics. As the numbers of eastern black Metal bands has considerably wane a bit currently (though not that 'dwindling', I might say so), there will always be aspiring new bands more than ready to hold the banner. AJAL is one such band from the current crop. And considering the effort here, they might as well stay put rather than vanishing in the thin air. Though nothing hasn't been done before in "Jahannarakah", at least AJAL shows a great deal of having the knack to write decent songs. Gathering all that eastern black Metal has to offer via the conventional instruments, AJAL is aware enough of the importance of being focused in the song-writing. The songs don't fall into the 'dragged' trap that easily, they are aptly, justly finished before it is able to make its dreaded presence. The productions are being done roughly on purpose I guess, even if I did entertain the thought of hearing them being more properly produced. If you haven't had it enough with untouched, virgincunt eastern black Metal yet, "Jahannarakah" should be one of your prime source target. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

UNITHEISM "Behind The Cracked Idols"


UNITHEISM "Behind The Cracked Idols" (RDL Distro)
Yes, it is a 2009 release (I think). And yes, it was recorded in the year 2000. As you approach the review, it is wise to concur the local scenery back then and stride along with the words and lines. UNITHEISM was probably among the earlier generation of death/black Metal bands from the Sarawak scene, and if my rustic memories doesn't deludes me, they're not short of controversies and raised more than a few eyebrows during the years. This recording was 'frozen' due to circumstances, until RDL took charge and finally got it released. UNITHEISM is (probably) no more, so this is probably their last epitaph to the scene. "Behind The Cracked Idol" reeks and permeates all that is engulfing the Malaysian extreme Metal scene back then, the typical myriads of death and black Metal with that always distinct far eastern melodic caches. These darker ancient death Metal flirtatiously aggravated with black Metal charm, and concocting it the eastern way. UNITHEISM did concentrates more on the melodic side of it, as these 4 compositions shows. It is quite worthwhile at the time they were recorded, and on present days these will be quite, nostalgic. Not to say that it is extravagant, yet it would be totally wrong to just ignore it. It is perfect in the sense that this is how UNITHEISM was immersed in the musical landscapes of those times, and this is how they translate it with their music. It is essential for your own collection of local releases, and considering it has been years since it was released, do enquire to RDL in case they still have copies of it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

NEGATION "With His Own Eyes What The True Enemy Of Mind Is"


NEGATION "With His Own Eyes What The True Enemy Of Mind Is" (Grindpeace / Schizosound Records)
NEGATION, as they seems to be, have always being able to stay just under the radar. Whether it's a conscious move or not, that's not for me to determine. What matters is every time they came out with a material or so, you can't avoid to notice. The consistency of their standard, at least; is very well preserved. "With His Own Eyes What The True Enemy Of Mind Is" is the long awaited and well deserved full length from these long-standing grind assembly. And as long as the title itself, this album fairly demands long(er) praises. I dare not say that this is NEGATION at their finest, but it is considerably very close to that. Let's settle for them peaking at the right time, yez, that shall do it. This album is one monstrous, monolithic grinding effort. Evolving the edges squarely within the grind spectrum, yet the probing of other extreme Metal measures in the mix proves the point for NEGATION. I keen on likening the assault with the way the Czech Republic scene is doing it, but that is merely for those who needs comparison amongst you. NEGATION's grind is one that is ever shape-changing yet preserved well in the grind conundrum. This is a must for any grind freaks, or even for anyone who dwells in and yields unbriddled passion for the local scene. It is one prime speciment of extreme music documentations and a fine step of immortality in the history.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

VILTHRONE "The End Ov Nasrani"


VILTHRONE "The End Ov Nasrani" (Earblast Records)
VILTHRONE might be a rather new, recent band; but the personnel behind must have been engulfed with the underground Metal extremities for quite a while. This is to be confessed upon listening to "The End Ov Nasrani", the debut release from this, I'm quite sure; devastatingly emerging Malaysian black Metal act. Herein lies three precise desecration of European influenced fluid, sleek black Metal lacking none of its vital characters. The seamless flows and executions clearly indicates the vast abilities of the band members as I have suspected. There certainly is no need to be otherworldly or ever out-there to stand out from the herd if the essence is within the deeper conscience, for the channeling will be right where it ought to be. You already know what to expect, but you won't be complaining about it either. VILTHRONE decapitated all the right heads effortlessly. Even when they go for a bit of dirge like the second track, VILTHRONE confirms to the limits and the shards and shapes of their compositions are a landscape well endowed for them. Convincing and deadly. Herald the coming, as the sigil on the cover has warn you. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

MACARONI "A Gift For Corpse"


MACARONI "A Gift For Corpse" 
Thailand's death Metal band MACARONI unveiled their latest full length "A Gift For Corpse", which I think is a self-financed release. Had a brief encounter previously with the album "Cremation" before, but so brief that I can't decide on a logical conclusion for it. Courtesy of Grundar Production which is the official distributor for their albums in Malaysia, this well presented CD flew over into my battered player. MACARONI stands for death Metal, no doubt; but instead of bowing towards the brutal tenacity of the genre, they opted for the slower, mid-paced heaviness. The blast is there, but not as overpowering, so to say. They appear whenever the needs be, as MACARONI keeps the composition flows in check with heavy riffages more than anything else. They stop and start as the songs intended, and at times this distract my focus on the listening. Add up bits and pieces of creativity in the arrangements, then you will have a complete control of them. The productions aid the heaviness well indeed. And MACARONI did tries to make the journey varied, so to say. The duration is a bit too long for my senses, but perhaps those variations will help you on this. The Siamese growlings tend to appear exotic too. As I praise the heaviousity, I missed that hard hitting, spitting venom in your face kind of impact though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TUSSOCK "Out Of Rhyme"

TUSSOCK "Out Of Rhyme" (Grundar Production)
I am almost 100% sure that I still have the cassette tape version of this release, back in 2003 when this was released. In fact the first song is so catchy that I could hum its riffs from the back of my head. Grundar Production decided to re-release this in CD version this time, not sure if I have already review it though, but there's nothing wrong for a re-visit isn't it? "Out Of Rhyme" is, simply put a grind release in the old ways, sort of. And by that I don't mean the pioneering "Scum" or "Horrified" albums. They're old in the sense when grindcore is beginning to be infused with death Metal nuances, when it's not about speed all the time, when the word 'variety' emerged to describe a grindcore release. Thus explaining the catchiness that I find in "Out Of Rhyme". And it results in a far more bearable grindcore session for the moderate listeners of extreme music. It's a keeper for me, both the tape and now this CD version. Good for those who missed out on the tape release prior to this CD. It contains the same songs and a similar lay-out, probably to keep with the spirit of the initial release. The band is currently back in action after a long hiatus, not sure how they sound like nowadays.

OBSESSOR / STORMING STEELS "Ultimate Thrashing Demons"

OBSESSOR / STORMING STEELS "Ultimate Thrashing Demons" (Metal Zone Distro)
Two thrash Metal act from Germany and Malaysia shares their spoils on this split. OBSESSOR with their black thrashing Metal is, as the description goes, on the raw, primitive black thrash crusade side. The intention is clear, and the material is pretty obvious. More thrash than black, of course; as is the norm with bands like these. The teutonic blood runs well within them in terms of thrashing it out, and they do not deviate from the strict tradition. No surprises as I have expected this prior to the listen. STORMING STEELS is almost on the same side as well, but with lesser black if anything. More straight thrash oriented, and as crude and primitive as it can get. The expressive vocals style is either a love or hate affair, live with it. At least it adds character to their music. As is the case with OBSESSOR, no straying from the tradition is allowed. And the productions for both is very much on par too. "Ultimate Thrashing Demons" is in and out an underground thrash Metal split of like minded musicians aimed directly at the like minded listeners.  The bands are pretty much on par and at the same level too, would you think of a better pairing than this? Let your ears decide then.

BERSERKER BARAGE "s/t"

BERSERKER BARAGE "s/t" (Earblast Records)
Yet another release from Earblast Records, yet another good band from Sabah discovered. This time it's in the brutal death Metal vein. This self-titled 3 tracks CD shows a band which is very much inclined with the music they play, potrayed by what is offered here. Though only 3 songs, BERSERKER BARAGE serves tight brutal death Metal in the guttural US vein that's sure to please listeners of the genre. Nothing much could be added to a very much consolidated sound, the only way to muster it is to play it right. BERSERKER BARAGE knows too well about this, and consciously did their very best impression here. And all is just well it seems, and all has been said, these are not half cooked brutal death by any means. As only 50 copies of this will be released, try getting this while it's still available.

Friday, November 23, 2012

BAHAJANG / MUNTAHDARAH "Operasi Bangkai"

 
BAHAJANG / MUNTAHDARAH "Operasi Bangkai" split (Grundar Production)
A less than 15 minutes split with 17 songs in total, so what do you expect? A blitzkrieg ride indeed. BAHAJANG with 11 songs here wasted no time at all, their no-nonsense grindcore ala Czech extremities has all the right ingredients for this kind of musickness. Totally no remorse in all sense. One of the meanest grindcore bands in Malaysia for the moment, and the best of all they avoid the trappings of nonsensical grinding just for the sake of it. A band to watch out for. MUNTAHDARAH does seems to be a little compromising in terms of injecting some death Metal serum into their music, and personally for me this will result in a bit more varied grind concoctions. Needless to say that I approve of this as well. These two apparently newer generation of local grindcore acts shows promises and strutting the right moves, they definitely deserves to be heard. This split might just be the tip of an iceberg. As convincing as it is, I have to mention the obvious degradation of the final product. The productions are most definitely sourced from fukking uber compressed mp3s that's very much to my dismay hurt the songs a lot. I hope the bands and the label will take note of this.

RESURRECTION "Dark Maya"

 
RESURRECTION "Dark Maya" (Eastern Voice Production)
Forget that another cliche band name, let's just settle at 'Malaysian RESURRECTION' or something like that. "Dark Maya" is another of Eastern Voice Production line of single releases, it seems that they're really specializing on this. This RESURRECTION, from Sarawak to be precise; is of the power Metal kind. But their own brand of power Metal graciously doesn't fall into the wimpy, faggotry trap of some overtly self-admiring act. RESURRECTION is by no means 'softie' Metal. Of course the obligatory clean singing is here, but the vocalist is more than up to it. He sounds very much heroic than lamenting a kitten's death, for example. RESURRECTION does keep the aggression in "Dark Maya" consistently, emphasizing what 'power' in power Metal is all about. And it's the guitar structures that's driving the single song in this release, guiding through the entire length for that soaring hilt amidst the melodies, and parts are intertwined with each other fittingly well. "Dark Maya" should be positive enough as a teaser. One song is never enough if it's this good.

VIOLATOR "The Aggression"

 
VIOLATOR "The Aggression" (Night Art Production)
"The Aggression" consists of tracks culled from their all of VIOLATOR releases so far, plus heaps of live tracks and the more than welcomed unreleased song. I did remember their promo rehearsal 2002 'Revolution Of Human Debris' but it doesn't leave much to my memories. It is included here as well, but the 2004 demo 'Flames Of Hate' clearly shows what the band is all about. The rehearsal quality of the promo somewhat hindered my understanding a bit, but with the 2004 demo, where the only original composition of the promo rehearsal had also been re-recorded, VIOLATOR is actually an admirable attempt on old school thrash Metal that is true to the bone and delivered with the purest passion. 'Flames Of Hate', the track in the 'Metal To Metal' compilation ('Satans... Lord Of Hell'), and the unreleased track 'Walking To Hell' are some honest, stark naked thrash Metal devotion that can't be written off easily. VIOLATOR is obviously, tremendously possessed by untainted early thrash Metal that substitutes none. Releasing "The Aggression" is a nice move indeed, more so for having me discovering the said 2004 demo and the rest of the properly recorded materials. New releases by them should be imminent, VIOLATOR deserves it. Forget the fact there's countless of VIOLATOR in the Metal scene nevertheless, Malaysia's very own VIOLATOR stands for unbriddled pure thrash Metal aggression, minus all the gimmicks and unnecessary bits.

BARTHAFAH "Sacrife For National Socialist"

 
BARTHAFAH "Sacrife For National Socialist"
A promo consisting an intro and a song, 'Geist des Krieges' as the intro purposely sets up the mood for 'Sacrife for National Socialist' to make an appearence. BARTHAFAH simply pounds ugly, unpolished, raw black Metal noise that is devoid of multiplexing arrangements and the likes. The song march straightforward and linear, with the vocals dominating the mix, which makes it a little hard to follow the flow of the other instruments. I can only guess that BARTHAFAH concentrates on the songs to develop into some kind of horrifying wall of noises rather than the usual song-like structures. And if that is the purpose then well done, they succeed in doing so. But since this is only an intro and a song effort, I am not so sure if such blunt approach will give the same impact for longer duration. However, a better productions might do wonders. Until then, this promo is available for 88 pieces limitation.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NATRAH / OBOR SETAN "Eastern 'Live' Ritual"

 
NATRAH / OBOR SETAN "Eastern 'Live' Ritual" (MTD Production)
As the title says, this is a split of two eastern black Metal bands. In fact their sounds are similarly inclined and very much in the same vein. Each band delivers 4 tracks, 2 consists of previously recorded songs and 2 live tracks respectively. NATRAH from Malaysia dives headfirst, and of course in line with the working title, delivers standard melodic eastern black Metal that is yet again not hard to attain. Everything is totally within the norms of the genre, so to speak. OBOR SETAN from Indonesia follows in very much the same manner, but the edge should be on them due to the better outcome in terms of the songwriting and productions of the properly recorded material. The live tracks are recorded as raw as it could be so let's just leave it at that. Again a release for the fanatics only, and that might be the label's aim when producing this too.
mtd_prod666@yahoo.com

ASTAROTH "Mystery Babylon"

 
ASTAROTH "Mystery Babylon" (MTD Production)
This demo was released in the year 2000, and it is back again in another disguise, another reissue by MTD Production. And I am glad they did, "Mystery Babylon" is a good demo indeed. Being primitive and redundant not always spell disaster, let's not forget the most important factor is the way you harness it. And such is the case with ASTAROTH. While there's no denying that they do nothing but repeating what has been already established, "Mystery Babylon" is nothing short from a devoted early BURZUM worshipping. In fact this is one of the most BURZUM-esque local release I have ever heard. Chords are being dragged and repeated for that hypnotizing allure. As listening to it requires a meditative-like concentration for the full effect, ASTAROTH is gracious enough to add bits here and there every once in a while just for that miniscule variations, just enough to held the listening on their long compositions (7 minutes are the shortest they could get). The band is active again apparently, thus we should expect something that hopefully can even better this, which is already worth mentioning.

BALAMBIKA "Bangkit Dari Kematian"

 
BALAMBIKA "Bangkit Dari Kematian" (MTD Production)
BALAMBIKA from Kalimantan Selatan, Indonesia presents us this 4 tracks rehearsal recording, re-released under the banner of MTD Production in 50 copies. As much as the cover art expects me to believe, it is confirmed once the disc get its playtime. It is predominantly standard eastern black Metal once again, with no surprises as expected. Yet BALAMBIKA infused some of the influences from their land in the melodies which at times sound interesting, things that I did expecting too considering their origins. Shapes and shards of eastern black Metal purists. I won't elaborate on the sound further as I have stated they are from a rehearsal recording sort of, when even a battered, loyal stereo components would be just enough. Primitive and limiting, strictly for those who dwells in the darkest corner of extreme eastern Metal art ONLY.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SINGHASARI "Kebangkitan Nusantara"

 
SINGHASARI "Kebangkitan Nusantara" (Eastern Voice Production)
Before we go straight to the music itself, let it be known that I regard the music as the most important factor first and foremost. Whatever the bands themselves believe in or campaigning on, I don't bother with and doesn't necessarily means I'm supportive in any of their actions. It's about the music here. This goes to all feeble childish ethically correct feeblefukks out there who have nothing to do apart from trying to be smart but in reality exposing their own stupidity. Fukk you, your mother, and your grandma. So here is the ever controversial SINGHASARI with their "Kebangkitan Nusantara". As what has been shown in their promo, and in line with their concept, they are still well rooted with the eastern Metal lineage. "Kebangkitan Nusantara" even goes to the extent of including various traditional instruments like barong, serunai and gendang into the foray. And it's a smart decision to include them too, since truthfully the music might just be the usual eastern (black) Metal that you will expect to encounter if not for the additional instrumentation included. And that really is the essence, it really is. Stubborn and staunch crude primitive eastern Metal interwoven with eastern (nusantara?) traditional musical instruments. And SINGHASARI attention of making sure that everything is in line with the whole presentation is not to be dismissed. What is deemed as limitation within the music itself is compensated with the deep spirituality embedded behind.

AL-AZAZHIL "Mystical Hymn Through The Darkest Years Ov Azazel"

 
AL-AZAZHIL "Mystical Hymn Through The Darkest Years Ov Azazel" (Nusantarajim Productions/Empayar Distro Production)
AL-AZAZHIL is a very productive band indeed. No less than 10 releases from them since the inception in 2005. "Mystical Hymn..." is a compilation with songs taken from all the releases until the "Dieyana... Possessed" MCD in 2010. Even if the productions quality might differs between the releases, the essence of AL-AZAZHIL music is still pretty much intact throughout the years. Expect no less than total eastern black Metal worship, that kind of black Metal championed by no other than AS SAHAR. I don't have to tell you how widespread the influence of AS SAHAR in the local scene, call it a phenomenon if you will. And I guess as they continue to explore their own musical adventures, they can assuredly witness themselves that their legacy is well preserved and will continuously ignited by generations of local extreme bands. One such torch bearer is of course AL-AZAZHIL, and while there's a handful of formations playing this kind of Metal interpretation, it is clearly up to them to stand afloat in any way possible considering the already well established characteristics of it. And as far as AL-AZAZHIL is concerned, I could add no more than this is strictly for the diehards of eastern black Metal. And it might work too on those who only settles for locally influenced Metal releases.

NOSFERIEL "Infernal Spell"

 
NOSFERIEL "Infernal Spell" compilation
Exactly something like 10 years of their first release, I finally laid my ears on what NOSFERIEL has to offer. Befitting indeed that "Infernal Spell" contains songs from both of their demos and one unreleased track. It is 10 years of NOSFERIEL in one go then. So it is. The first 2 tracks are taken from their "Berserk Prism Spell" 2002 demo. The suffering productions on this demo took away most of its lustre, but amidst the irrepairable mishap they already show the direction NOSFERIEL is going. Predominantly black Metal with nods toward the Scandinavian strata, and considering the limitations surrounding its release, I'd rather look at it as a promising teaser for the next release, simply for the reason the song-structures are well worth the attention. From 2004 "Infernos", this could be regarded as the definitive NOSFERIEL in terms of the released material. With vastly improved productions this time around, a far more visible NOSFERIEL has been unleashed. Still very much black Metal at heart, you couldn't deny the elements of death Metal really does clinging around in their art. Take 'Merciless Daimon Skullsplitter', for example. If you could just change the vocals with growls, it will become something like a straight KRISIUN spin-off. And add the barbarity of MARDUK "Panzer Division Marduk" era there as well. The following two from "Infernos" nods towards their black Metal predominantly, but still with those twist aforementioned. I should've discovered this back in 2004. The last track on this is totally the odd one. 'Death To Zions' was recorded in 2008 with Shaman of TASYIM on drums. For reasons only known to the band, it is unreleased until now. This culmination, and perhaps a bit surprising act, results in what would be the only NOSFERIEL song in this kind of shape, ever. The myriad of contrasting approach between both bands delivers a subdued version of NOSFERIEL, so to speak. You have to hear it yourself. "Infernal Spell" should be a warming up release for the rejuvenated NOSFERIEL. I'm sure there're plenty more to come. And the quality should be the least of your worries. By the way, my copy here is in black and white, not in full color as the picture shown. Not sure why but it's been advertised with that full color picture though.

DARKREGIME "Anthemic Holocaust"

 
DARKREGIME "Anthemic Holocaust"
The sigil on the cover of "Anthemic Holocaust" might give you the instant idea of what DARKREGIME stands for. This is some bestial war obsessed Metal ready to bulldoze you prepared or not. The duo of DARKREGIME churns out your familiarities with what is deemed 'bestial' these days, that no remorse; no compassion; directiveness kind of black/death Metal initiated by BLASPHEMY and has been spawning hordes of devoted worship ever since, and DARKREGIME might be inflicted by REVENGE the most. Add up some guitarworks obviously consumated by present days IMPIETY, and you will get the near complete picture of the holocaust here. The three tracks here come ramming all over you, and leaving the damages behind right after with no parting words. The rigidity of the textures might renders me forgiven to think that the whole lot is one full composition, if not being divided into three as it is. You know what to expect then. Not satisfied with the casualties? Push that play button again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

VOLTAN "s/t"

 
VOLTAN "s/t" (Menjrex Nerto Production)
Black n' roll? Black indeed, and they roll it the Norwegian way. "Voltan" is a chunky four tracks of black Metal riffages obviously inseparated with the Nordic black Metal nuances. Early and mid period SATYRICON is all over and overwhelmingly hovers throughout the proceeding. But, you won't find any fast and frenetic passages here. VOLTAN keeps it laidback and dwells within the moderate, rocking paces; hence the terms 'black n' roll' is utilised, I suspect. No, they don't excruciatingly crawl like doom Metal, they keep it upbeat steadily. These combinations worked in creating an overall sense of numbing necro-ness, I hope you can still follow me up to this point though. It is by no means fast and intense musical-wise, but it resonates that grim factor much akin with black Metal of the northernmost kind. You might be listening to this sitting on a chair, but it will not let you feel comfortable. It's an unusual vibe going on here, yet from something that you feel somewhat familiar.

SAUTS ALASTOR "Infernvs Daemonvm"

 
SAUTS ALASTOR "Infernvs Daemonvm" single (Eastern Voice Production)
"The Grand Executor", back in the year 2000, was and still is one of the best well hidden secrets of the Malaysian scene. Without much fanfare going on, it will always be regarded as one of the better black Metal releases for those who are fortunate enough to obtain it. Fast forward to 2012 and after some rather promising 'comeback' live shows, SAUTS ALASTOR is officially on their unending quest once again, duly stamped by the release of "Infernvs Daemonvm". As a single, the song with the said song title initiate the foreplay, yet the band (and probably the label) are generous enough to slot in some live tracks to make up for the duration. "Infernvs Daemonvm", as grandiloquent as the title sounds, is an opus of slightly more than eight minutes with epic proportions. It shows that SAUTS ALASTOR are never losing it, in fact they return with adequate warchest to march on. It doesn't that hard to earmark the influences of their music, SAUTS ALASTOR undeniably took the best out of the Scandinavian black Metal scene and the forwardness of late EMPEROR to carve their own. "Infernvs Daemonvm" will reminds you of DARK FUNERAL, SETHERIAL, and of course EMPEROR in the mix, yet before you even thought that you could get nothing else there's always this untradeable abilities of song-craftmanship that SAUTS ALASTOR possess that will make you stay for more. That compositional edges that you might not get from countless practices of the instruments alone. That midas touch, so to say. The seamless foray between the parts and instruments conjures the everchanging landscape of the song with ease and unescapable dark charm. As for the live tracks included, they're as good as a raw live recordings could get, audible enough for a chance to hear their own rendition of EMPEROR's 'I Am The Black Wizard', DISSECTION's 'Night's Blood' and another original track 'Black Chaos Night'. SAUTS ALASTOR is back. And it is a BOLD STATEMENT.

Monday, November 19, 2012

IMPERIAL "Transcendent Salvation"

 
IMPERIAL "Transcendent Salvation" (Renascent Axis Production)
So here it is. Roughly 3 years after the comeback release of the single "The Conquering". The promised debut full length. Depending on the way you look at it, those 3 years are worth the wait. As what has been teased from the single, "Transcendent Salvation" is the IMPERIAL of the new millenium. As black Metal continues to be the backbone, IMPERIAL weave and mould their creation into existence, into the final form of their own being. Elements of progressiveness are the main culprit here, with elaborate abuse of samplings and synths that yields possibilities for each craft to evolve and develop the potential tremendously. They are arranged in ways that managed to evoke the atmospheres within to the brim, you will be entranced and suffocated by the way the compositions suck you in. "Transcendent Salvation" will not settle for your mere listening, it demands you to immerse within and grab you by the throat. If you have now getting lost from my futile attempt of deciphering it, let's just understand that above all, the music is still very much guitar-driven, and very much Metal indeed. They are all just being invoked into a higher planes and plateaus aided by the admirable exploitation of other musical elements and tools, and more importantly the way they are being realised into the final form. These one hour plus of musical indulgence are just pure salvation, not to mention the neat packaging of the product itself. Sophisticated and splendid. By loom and large probably one of  the best the local scene has to offer, ever. I succumbed, it's your turn now.

RESISTANCE "Wrath Of Pain"

 
RESISTANCE "Wrath Of Pain" CDr (Earblast Records)
With an adequate playing-time, "Wrath Of Pain" is yet another pleasant surprise for me. RESISTANCE from the fertile Sabah scene delivers in this release a 6 tracker of pretty convincing melodic death thrash that you'll mostly likened to the Scandinavian geographic than anything else. They wasted no time in lauching their scathing melodic attack from the first song 'Fallen Of The Flesh' until the very last second of 'Wrath Of Pain'. To get the point across, it is something like the Gothenburg melodeath brethrens take on thrashing out things. Things like the present ARCH ENEMY, or bands like THE DEFACED, or countless other Swedish melodic thrash Metal acts churning out these days. You can even assimilate some of what the last AT THE GATES offered in "Wrath Of Pain". These are the paths that RESISTANCE carefully thread on. These guys breathe the Gothenburg air for a living. I can guise it as another release from that exact location in Sweden and you will blindly believe it. And it is to my believe that if you're into these kind of Metal you'll appreciate "Wrath Of Pain"; lots. Nothing much is left to be improved here apart from a little more tightening here and there and perhaps slightly more powerful vocals deliverance. I applaud "Wrath Of Pain", I applaud the diversity and quality of most Sabah releases these days, and I applaud Earblast Records for this release. 

RASPATUL "Devils In Renewed Birth"

 
RASPATUL "Devils In Renewed Birth" (Obskure Sombre Records)
"Devils In Renewed Birth" has been touted as some kind of Metal records but shying away from categorising it in a more discreet manner. Listening to it I could understand why it is being coagulated as it is, as "Devils In Renewed Birth" is basically a thrash Metal album with elements of other Metal sub-genres thrown into the mix. If you wish for a probing of greater length I could ovulate RASPATUL as playing Thrash Metal in the modern way (no, not any 'nu' bullshit, far from that), with adequate aptness for utilising the instruments and the tendency of spicing things up with various Metal influences. The guitarworks are emphasizing on the melodics and the arrangements are not shying away from some technicalities which is not of the over the top variants. Call them as a version of cleaned up, polished, crystal clear produced modern thrash Metal and I will not accuse you of being wrong. It all feels so secure that I somehow missed those 'adventurous' elements for an underground release, or whatever you might call it. I will try to avoid mixing my own musical preference from the reviews, always, not to the point of overshadowing the purpose of deciphering what the bands try to convey; so I'd rather conclude it as a slickly executed modern thrash Metal rightly justified for those who are inclined to this kind of Metal.

Friday, November 16, 2012

BALBERITH "Darkness.Death.Legion"

 
BALBERITH "Darkness.Death.Legion" (Ravage Records)
Doesn't REVENGE holds an exclusive rights for titles like these? Haha. At least BALBERITH doesn't sounds like a loyalist copycat of them though. BALBERITH exists long enough to be aware of carving their own interpretation on black Metal exclusively. And for as long as they exist I'm only familiar with their split with KRATORNAS and now this. I did a head-to-head comparison between these two, and I find on "Darkness.Death.Legion" BALBERITH concentrates more on the mid-paced passages and accentuate to include more variations of their hymns. On the split it feels like they are going straight for the killing rawness and nothing else, on this album there are ample rooms and corners for them to exploit each songs more elaborately. But that emphasis on mid-pacing tendency is the most prevalent here. It is there, in almost every song I might add. I'd rather see it as the band's personal progression within, not really a changing course, because the fumes of BALBERITH is still here, no mistake on that. The compositions are seemingly being given more room to stand on its own now, albeit some of the passages are being dragged a bit too long for its own good. The album has its moments of superiority, but don't expect the graph to be at all time high. While it might seems a bit predictable, "Darkness.Death.Legion" still is a devout black Metal album with no compromises. Does the artwork looks familiar? It's another good job from Ironworx Gravefix.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ORION "Voyage To The Promised Land"

 
ORION "Voyage To The Promised Land"
Though not my ordinary, usual cup of tea, I'm foremostly impressed with the way this album came out. My suspect that the band financed it themselves, but the quality could put some proper label to shame. Some fitting, elaborate graphic job grace this (I think) one of the thickest booklet from a Malaysian band release to date, your $$$ ploughed for this CD will be well spent. Aesthetic appeal aside, ORION is by far and large a symphonic, progressive power Metal band. I'm putting 'symphonic' on the very front simply on the fact that is the main clairvoyant in ORION's Metal, the arrangements and the way they move the songs are, well; symphonic. You could be assured there will be much going on in there, the songs are taken for a bountiful ride through various apex and the deepest abyss, befitting the storytelling-like tales of the lyrics. There's no question on the musicianship either, bands like them usually married to their instruments to put it softly. And the instruments, of course, are being utilised to their utmost here. ORION is mostly the creation of the talented one Mr. Badang, he did everything from the arrangements down to the graphical manipulations. Not exactly my kind of Metal, so to say; but for those into the likes of Rhapsody, Avantasia, Luca Turilli, and the rest of the dreamy, enchanted power Metal realm, this could be your wet dream. I'm stuck with Badang's previous guise in MELON KING, those are some pummeling speed power Metal galore. "Voyage To The Promised Land" will appeal to the power Metal crowd in any sense anyway, thus I find it not that important to list down the guest of some stellar musician of the local scene on it, as the music more than makes up for its own.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SHAMANIC RITES "Savage Rampage Of Conquest"

 
SHAMANIC RITES "Savage Rampage Of Conquest" (Eastern Voice Production)
It seems like just yesterday that I've been listening to "Infiltrate Mutilate Carnage Instigate" (IMCI), the last album of SHAMANIC RITES before, but then that one was released in 2009. The gap is just nice between them I think; before the name escapes you, SHAMANIC RITES emerged again with another full length. If you're familiar with them before then you will know what to expect. SHAMANIC RITES propels blistering, manic black death like there's no tomorrow. And don't expect that to change too. That is their characteristics, then so be it. There's not much room for your breathing here, full speed ahead is the only way they know. If these two albums are to be compared head-to-head, there's not much changes in the compositions, both are purely identical in the way that the band does it. But "Savage Rampage Of Conquest", as the title suggests, triumphs above "IMCI" due to the slightly better and graciously improved productions and the enveloping dynamics of the song-structures nowadays. There are plenty more to get from those blitzkrieg compositions these days, they seems to be more developed and possess a more well-rounded feel into it. While "IMCI" tends to get a bit too 'singular' at times, "Savage Rampage Of Conquest" has enough catches and hooks to keep your listening going here. Still the rapid aggression and pummeling directiveness with constant war obsession is SHAMANIC RITES stronghold, those are not to be forgotten. "Savage Rampage Of Conquest" is fierce. And merit enough for me to toss it as probably the best release from the Sarawak Metal scene this 2012, so far, and it's already November . Hail the reigning king of Sarawak extreme Metal front.
 

Friday, November 2, 2012

LOGAM "The Murder Artist"

 
LOGAM "The Murder Artist" (Ograsmatron Production)
"Maximum Power Overdrive" must be lurking somewhere in my 'vault', but at the time of deciphering "The Murder Artist" it is nowhere to be found, yet. "Maximum Power Overdrive" is the release prior to this album, of course for some ample comparison is the reason why I am searching for it again. More so due to the fact that I couldn't even remember how does it sounds like. So I will ditch any comparison aside, "The Murder Artist" will get my full attention then. This is a full album, no doubt, and I'm glad to see they still exist. LOGAM is pile-driving some heavy/speed Metal, a fact that could be guessed half-right spontaneously considering the band name itself (purely means 'metal'). If I have to drill it even harder I would say that it is the traditional heavy speed Metal kind with affection towards the Metal that MEGADETH pining for. Yes, MEGADETH. It is remarkably prevalent especially when they goes a tad slower in the compositions, I just couldn't avoid the 'Mustaine-ny' thoughts on those instances. Not exactly a MEGADETH fans myself so no, I wouldn't delve much on that aspect. But I do appreciate it when they turn on those traditional knobs and buttons on the faster parts, it is pleasurable predictable speed heavy Metal that you could find some time listening to. They reminds me very much of RIOT to some extent ('Darah Di Hujung Sabil' is a total homage!). Those are the moments for me in this CD, I leave the other leftovers for all the MEGADETH in you out there. My greedy unsatiable narrow-minded personal musical lust aside, "The Murder Artist" is a good (and safe)album that is polarized by those two elements. More than once I have thought of a more powerful productions should(could?) suit the album better. And more over the top vocals perhaps? heh.  
 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MORTUARY ANCESTOR "Doctrine Of Hatred"

 
MORTUARY ANCESTOR "Doctrine Of Hatred" EP CDr (Earblast Records)
I do remember listening to their "The Reincarnation" a couple of years back, songs that shows potentials but badly affected by the unsatisfactory productions. But here they are again with "Doctrine Of Hatred", this time I do honestly expect more of course. With years and experiences behind them, it should be something worth mentioning. And "Doctrine Of Hatred" might be just that. MORTUARY ANCESTOR of 2012 is a band that still is death Metal, but grows with their mastering of the instruments. The 5 songs here are shamelessly technical in nature, they obviously are challenging themselves with far more adventurous structures and layers in shaping the death Metal they are striving for. As the capabilities expanded, so is their compositions. "Doctrine Of Hatred" is a showcase of those culminating years within the band, very proudly and will always be death Metal, yet markedly and consciously evolves in tandem with the band's aging process. It might be hard to remember certain parts of them (the songs) in your head, but compensate that by following the stellar intricacies of the structures, tip-toeing if you must, and every now and then you will discover something within. The productions are deservingly good this time too. A solid Borneo death Metal offering, but you shouldn't acquire less considering the band's existence all this time. Time for another full length is nigh.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LARRONG / ZORBOOTHUS "Kebangkitan"

 
LARRONG / ZORBOOTHUS "Kebangkitan" split CD (Muzik Box Production)
This split is a compilation of both band's releases spanning years of existence. I'm especially excited to hear the LARRONG side, since that my last encounter with them is the esteemed "The Eastern Shaman" promo tape back in 1996. But more on LARRONG later, because ZORBOOTHUS get the nod to start up things here. ZORBOOTHUS' tracks are taken from 4 separate releases, the oldest being the "Unharmonycalism" EP from 1999. Originated from Indonesia, you will get the picture more or less if I tell you that they deliver brutal death Metal. Yes, brutal death Metal the Indonesian way. Plus minus, it is what you will get from most of the brutal death releases there. And you know how good some of them are, so this is not bad, but very much in the frequently expected traits. They tend to 'slow' things up on the last song here, 'Seruan Setan' which unlike the others here, doesn't possess any blastbeat parts therein. I bet it is the odd one in their discography though, ZORBOOTHUS is primarily brutal guttural death Metal to the bone. Ok, so now comes LARRONG. They begin with their most recent output, the tracks from "Nuclear Armageddon" EP 2012. Probably it is no surprise to some, but as this is my chance to encounter them again after those years, I might not recognise this as the LARRONG of the 90's. They are strictly more death Metal nowadays, which put extra care on being aggressive and leaving behind that blackened vibe from the younger days. I have to change my perception of them from now on, the new LARRONG is some aggressive Borneo death Metal act, with suspects of having a usual diet of modern European death Metal to some extent. Decent, totally decent materials. The 'Narratik' single from 2008 brings back that "The Eastern Shaman" feel, yet I do find it more primitive and simpler than the promo. The tracks from "Dakan Perana Tana" EP 2002 shows yet another side of the band. Here they are in for some blackened death Metal (with drum programmings?) journey that, feels rigid and sterile due to that drum sound. The guitars show tendency towards the Norwegian black Metal nod, apart from death Metal. They close things up with a couple of live tracks, including the compulsory "The Eastern Shaman", which shows yet again why their 1996 promo tape is such a gem. The songs feels just right for its era, even though in its crude live recording condition. Let's see how far they can push their death Metal nowadays. Or they might change again on the next release? Being a band that almost single-handedly shape the scene in their area (at least 2 bands were named from their song-titles), LARRONG will prevail, most probably.
rhybuck.records99@ymail.com (ZORBOOTHUS)
psychotherium@yahoo.com (ZORBOOTHUS)
mnpborneo@gmail.com (LARRONG)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DAMOKIS "The Fangman" / SICKNESS "Rhapsodies Of Corporeal Decomposition"

 
DAMOKIS "The Fangman" / SICKNESS "Rhapsodies Of Corporeal Decomposition" split CDr (Ograsmatron Production/Sickness)
What will you get when two of Johor, Malaysia's grind heavyweights had their own shares in a split? A veritable grind feast, that is. DAMOKIS comes first with 6 tracks of their grinding blend, still very much in the same vein and never to go anywhere else. It is always a pleasure listening to them, and this one is no excuse. Grindcore the good old way with enough hindrance of the urge to senseless blasting all the way. These are 'songs' indeed, not 'noises'. Those tongue-in-cheek black humor is still here as well, no worries. SICKNESS are up next, and they show even more penchant for developing songs rather than going head-first for the bashing. And yes they couldn't get more old school than this. It is like listening to some good grind during the 90's, completed with the pathological derivations; and please, do let SICKNESS stuck in that era forever. It suits them fine snugly. It is a nice split more or less, and for an 'occasional' grinder like me, it is more than adequate for the listen. Released on printed CDr with printed full color cover and insert.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ZARQUUM / GODA "The Cryptic Aesthetic"


ZARQUUM / GODA "The Cryptic Aesthetic" split CD (Demigod Records)
This split is well thought of and well produced, it certainly is one of the better looking splits I have from the local extreme Metal scene. "Cryptic Aesthetic"? To the point. Both bands deliver death Metal from a slightly differing perspective, they confront and complement each other at the same time. The ZARQUUM's side were even recorded by GODA line-up due to circumstances. It is predominantly technical death Metal from ZARQUUM. Luckily the technicalities doesn't leave the main compositions overshadowed. There're still 'songs' here. ZARQUUM's death Metal felt 'deep', more so with the unusual song titles and of course the tolerable technical juxtapose. A pleasant oddity for the scene. Try decipher them at your own will, I am content enough with the way they structure it. Aggressive and intense, death Metal the way I'm comfortable with. It is to my understanding that ZARQUUM has been disbanded, this is the only way for you to hear the band's mass circulated recordings it seems. GODA (or Genocide.Overkill.Destruction.Annihilation) starts of well to my ears, the opening of "Si Chaling" suggests some pulverising mid-tempo death Metal feast, but as the songs went further, it is revealed that they dwell within death Metal that is melodic-prone, but not in the all mellowing tendency. They are lethal in parts, and then will drift into the abyss of melodics and parts that sounds personalised and devoid of restrictions. Unusual song titles for them too. GODA bows to none but their own way of deciphering their music. Just don't stray to stay appreciative, because the tendency (of straying) is there. Did I mention about the productions? They're on the satisfying level here, good job on that. A split well worth it. Do listen to this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SILENT DEATH "Silent Kiss Of Death"


SILENT DEATH "Silent Kiss Of Death" (Neomagik)
"Silent Kiss Of Death" is probably one of the most anticipated release from the local scene. Why not, it is only the second album from the legends after their more than 20 years of existence. This should have came out earlier, but due to some circumstances it is delayed for quite some time. I do not wish to instigate more about that, seeing this finally out is more important. It started off with an intro from Joe Slaughter who's also in SIL KHANNAZ, and it sounds like the continuation of his intro in the godly 'Conception Of Madness', no mistake on that. As soon as the title track appears, it became clear that we might see a 'rock n' roll' version of SILENT DEATH post-2000s, but it is to my relief that the intense nature of them is still here, midway through the song. Yes the great SILENT DEATH of old is not entirely forgotten here. They still believe in their more 'extreme' traits, it is here alright amidst the more rocking nature of the 'matured' SILENT DEATH. 'Hell-Popotamus' is definitely prime SILENT DEATH death Metal minus the more adventurous arrangements, and 'Mati Senyap' seems like a reconstructuring of their older, darker song in the "Dark Live" compilation years ago. No questions asked, these are the most precious moments for me in the album. 'Slaughtered Six, Six, Six' shows a more modern side of the band music-wise, not exactly bad but yes, it is different. "Silent Kiss Of Death", as a whole; is the embodiment of SILENT DEATH of the new era, which doesn't afraid to venture into a wider perspective without forgetting the effectiveness of what made SILENT DEATH, err; SILENT DEATH. How it will appeal to you depends on the way you approach it. It is a fitting finale legacy sort of, since that the only sole remaining original line-up Stone had unfortunately passed away not long after this has been released, thus putting the band existence in uncertainty. This is a piece of history in times to come.
www.neomagik.com
www.facebook.com/pages/SILENT-DEATH/178894181657 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BACTERIA "End Of Hope"


BACTERIA "End Of Hope" MCDr (Trooper Art Regime Distro)
BACTERIA will always be remembered as pre-SILENT DEATH, one of the death Metal legend of Malaysia. I couldn't recall any other of their releases prior to this (at least officially), "End Of Hope" will finally put an end to my curiousity all these while about the 'mysterious' BACTERIA. Released on a printed slim-case CDr format, BACTERIA serves 5 original compositions here (if you don't count the minus one version of 'Unknown World', the 'ballad' track in "End Of Hope") to compensate those 25 years of silence. Symphonic death thrash is what they prefer to label their music as, and to a great point theirs differs from that of SILENT DEATH, a welcoming thought considering the linkages between the bands. While SILENT DEATH is all about unbriddled traditional death Metal aggression and fury, BACTERIA opted for the more personal, deep affection in their Metal. Symphonic is an apt description for their music, as BACTERIA uses the samples and synths elaborately to shape their compositions. They mostly hovers in mid-pace with ups and downs in emotions, punctuated none so visible than the myriads created by the atmospheres conjured. The dreamlike landscapes and moods here is akin to those of the fantasy heavy power Metal norms, in fact I think "End Of Hope" is more of a heavy Metal album with symphonic elements spliced with just a nimble of thrash and death Metal if they are in need. The vocals which utilised something like a half-whispering echoed growl is probably the most death Metal thing in here you will find. Of course you'll find other Metal elements contained as well, these guys probably have been listening to anything Metal before you're even born. Not something typically find in the local scene this "End Of Hope" is. This will definitely emerges freely from the heaps and lumps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

DEMISOR "Grind For Life"


DEMISOR "Grind For Life" (Straineyes Productions)
The title says it all. Singapore grindcore legend and monster DEMISOR full length is the ultimate statement of their existence. "Grind For Life" is a monolith of grindcore manifestation attained by years of creation and enslavement in the kind of audial butchery they give their lives for. You will get nothing else here than blistering grindcore explosion bursting right through your bowel before you know it. It is intense, it is bruising. Expect what is to be expected, do not demand for anything else. And with DEMISOR, there's no need to ask. Deadly grindcore from the master. On a more personal preference, I prefer the more death Metal infested DEMISOR of yesteryears. 'Oljud Knulla' is one untouchable song, even until today. But that is the past anyway. The total grindcore scene is where they really belongs nowadays, any self-respected grindcore freaks should worship this album. Grind for life, indeed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MORGGORM "The Eye Of Gorsha Dimmag"


MORGGORM "The Eye Of Gorsha Dimmag" (Metal Zone Distro / Morggorm Music)
This album was released in 2007, suffice to say that MORGGORM has been doing it earlier than the current crop of thrash Metal revivalist in Malaysia. "The Eye Of Gorsha Dimmag" can be safely described as a straight thrash Metal album. No gimmicks, no theatrics, just some pure thrash Metal adrenaline. And the word 'straight' is as straight as it can be. They want to thrash, and thrashing is all they ever did here. No surprises, no shocks. And it is not all dark and gloomy for MORGGORM when Metal is concerned. They know how to have some fun with their thrash too. This is evident in some of the songs, where parts of rocking riffs were used in tandem with those intense ones. The song titles reflect this as well.  Apologise if I misinterpret them, but they seems to be not all that serious every time (song titles, not the band). Aided by owning a studio that other bands used for recordings as well, this shows in the productions of the album. I'm sure it is still available from various distros, so if you're in for some thrashing vibe, "The Eye Of Gorsha Dimmag" is one of the option.

Monday, October 8, 2012

DEATH KROLBT "Ritual Hollow Winter"


DEATH KROLBT "Ritual Hollow Winter" demo 2007 CDr (Evil Institution Records)
They claimed to play 'death Metal', but the first song 'Petualang Sial' clearly reeks of early HAYAGRIVA and AS SAHAR adulation. Ok, maybe it's the odd one, because the following three tracks, there's less doubt about them being death Metal though. Said to be originally recorded in 2004, this demo most probably reflects what the line-up had been possessed by during those years. It's a culmination of what was currently wandering around in the local scene back then. It's either death or black Metal with that distinct eastern traits. More than often I tend to lump the death Metal tracks as some lower rate copy of LANGSUIR early years. And the band seems to be trying to cram everything into their compositions. They tend to sound unfocused and everywhere several times, confusions will probably be a not too distant word to use here. I'm sure some of the band members are now in an even better band(s), therefore I found no other valid reason of releasing this rather than to be nostalgic, considering its age and such. A piece of history in some sort probably, but not that essential definitely. And a southeast Asian band singing about winter? Now that's a novelty.

Friday, October 5, 2012

MAJESTIC EAST "Mandau"


MAJESTIC EAST "Mandau" CDr (Derangement Project Production)
Depends on the way you look at it, it's either a simple or difficult task to write about such release as "Mandau". I could easily stop after describing it as another 'eastern black/death Metal', but that wouldn't do it much justice, isn't it? But most of you will get the point anyway I think. MAJESTIC EAST is sticking to the gun with their firm belief in the 'eastern' formulas. It's 5 tracks of melodic black/death Metal the eastern way that you will get in this release. MAJESTIC EAST focused more on the melodic passages the most apparently, the thrashy and faster parts were there to juice things up. The vocals is of course in that black Metal vibes. Songs like "Ancient Glory Of The East" sways in all its melodic-ness before a short burst towards the end. MAJESTIC EAST seems to be majoring in the melodic realm. They say what you're listening influences you. If that's the case you can easily guess what kind of Metal the band is listening to based on what you hear on "Mandau".  Staunch eastern Metal diehards, I can guarantee that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ZURIARTS "The Fairy Tears"


ZURIARTS "The Fairy Tears" single 2012 CDr (Night Art Production)
ZURIARTS is quite a productive band, but this is my first encounter with them. "The Fairy Tears" is a single release with a couple more unreleased tracks to justify the $$$ you're parting with to get a copy, which is a very nice gesture indeed. "The Fairy Tears" is probably the band's latest material to be released, and from this single song ZURIARTS seems to play melodic death/black Metal with compulsory necro vocals. And of course with eastern Metal traits clinging on like a virus. Highly melodic is the song throughout the entire length. Fortunately there's a remastered song from the first demo included, with what little I have here I'll try to make the comparison between these two. "Dead To Hell", the song from the first demo back in 2006, sounds more aggressive when compared with "The Fairy Tears". In fact it made me conclude that ZURIARTS are less black Metal nowadays than before, and if you listen to the minus one here which is included as well, the song did not sound black Metal at all without the vocals. It's a melodic eastern death Metal composition. Will the black Metal tendencies vanish from now on? That is to be determined when the next release come out. But the melodic aspect is everpresent in their Metal, that's for sure. A DESASTER cover 'Expect No Release' to complete the track list here.

DEMONIFICATION "Espionage Of His Messengers"


DEMONIFICATION "Espionage Of His Messengers" CDr (Night Art Production)
I don't know why, but it feels like a different DEMONIFICATION here than the one in the READY DISASTER 3-way split. I'm expecting something in the line of their songs there, ripping straight thrash Metal cacophony. But "Espionage Of His Messengers" saw DEMONIFICATION turn their heads around and opted for a toned down, safe, polished version of their ownselves. At least that's what it sounds like to me. It is as if they're holding themselves back on this. After the horrible ballad 'Air Mata Hawa', they tend to shift up a bit on 'Molten Lava', but then that vision of 'restraining' came back to haunt. And truth be told, this is one of the worst sounding material I have ever heard to come from Singapore. My copy sounds muffled, buried and 'deep', to my dismay. I hope this is just an isolated case and not affecting other copies of this release, even some 'proper' rehearsal recordings sound better than this. Comes on a nice glossy printed promo slipcase and a printed fold-out inlay, but that disastrous sound... The DEMONIFICATION from the READY DISASTER split, please come back.

QHARINTH "The Valley Of Humiliation And Contempt"


QHARINTH "The Valley Of Humiliation And Contempt" EP CD (Crambeat Production)
Though this was released in 2010, I still think it is relevant to write a thing or two, especially when I finally managed to get a thorough listen of "The Valley Of Humiliation And Contempt". I have to mention the well produced nature of this EP, the band certainly did their best with it. And it is one of the better sound production to come from the often used underground Metal friendly I Seek Music Studio. The nice layout was done by a band member himself. And it's not hard to categorize the band's music too. QHARINTH can be described as atmospheric, symphonic black Metal and the main ingredients are the heads of HECATE ENTHRONED and DIMMU BORGIR. The first song (not accounting the short intro) is totally trademarked HECATE ENTHRONED, while the one that followed has DIMMU BORGIR in abundance. The rest are the mixes of both. While the influences are overbearingly obvious, the way QHARINTH managed to emulate them is worth applauding. The keyboards are well utilised and truthfully one of the main instruments in their compositions, and some guitar works are quite good too. A little strenghtening on some obvious sloppiness and they will surely become a great act, because "The Valley Of Humiliation And Contempt" is a worthy release, showing that touch of good song crafting ability.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

APARAGONIS "Human Error"


APARAGONIS "Human Error" demo CDr (Angka Kematian Production)
"Human Error" presents 10 tracks of grindcore the way you know it. Blast, the occasional break, blast, occasional break again. You know the rules. APARAGONIS strictly play it by the book. You got the picture then. Maybe they should opt for a better production to heighten the impact, it's a little thin here. But of course, you have to make do with whatever that's available, I totally understand that. If you're content with the productions then you won't find it that difficult to swallow the offering. And of course if you're a devout grindcore fan, rest assured with this release, because APARAGONIS does it the way you want it.

PUNAHRANAH "First Chapter Of Killing Process"


PUNAHRANAH "First Chapter Of Killing Process" demo Cdr 2010
This is some very good Malaysian death grind, believe me. Instantly attracted to the band name, the material impressed me even more. This self-released material lasted slightly below the 15 minutes mark, and I found myself listening to it 5 times in a row. "First Chapter Of Killing Process" recalls the early years of ABORTED to me, the impact is pretty much the same to my limited listening experience. PUNAHRANAH does their stuff immensely at ease and exuberated an air of confident and flair. They certainly breathe the Metal that they play, evidence that evaporated from this release. Everything is perfectly executed here, at least at the time of the recording. They seemed to be more than ready when getting this recorded. Highly interesting Malaysian death grind release for quite some time, I bet on that.  Unfortunately my copy suffers from uneven levelling of the sound, not sure if every copy is affected by this as well. And I'm not sure about the limitation of this demo too, so if you have the chance, I can only advise you to keep it. The first chapter is (almost) flawless, I'm eager to hear more.


IMMOLATE "Confession Of The Enchanted"


IMMOLATE "Confession Of The Enchanted" single 2010 (Eastern Voice Production)
Another single from Eastern Voice Production that manages to make its way into my possession, this one even dating back in 2010. I think some of these might still floating around, there's a repress being made if I'm not mistaken. My copy is the first 100 which comes with sticker and handnumbered. From the word 'go' IMMOLATE serves sweeping black Metal which came across as a mixture of the eastern and the european kind of it. Eventhough IMMOLATE emphasize on being fast, the highly melodic picking is a constant feature throughout the song. It is fast, but being melodic as it is, "Confession Of The Enchanted" appears less aggressive than expected. Nothing wrong with that anyway, that's the way IMMOLATE craft its dark art. There's a demo being released after this single, but I haven't had the chance to hear it yet. Most probably it will be in the same vein and from the same recording session. This single serves as a teaser or something for what's to come. I have to complain about the sound though, it is badly compressed I think, poor mp3 conversion might be at fault.