Wednesday, September 9, 2009


HELLBANGERS DOMINION compilation CD (Eternia Records)
How much work being labored to make this compilation a reality? Just take a look at its 12-page booklet and make your own guess. The layouts are darn simple, but it’s scarce to see an album, yet alone a compilation; with booklet that’s more than 4-pages in the local scene. In tandem with the simple concept though, the label adorn it with participating bands’ pictures and the email/website/address related to them in case further information is needed. 16 bands, 13 Malaysians; and 1 each from the Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei scene. No prizes given if you’re right by saying that its aim is to expose the talents in the Southeast Asian Metal scene. AKHNAKH is the first in line, “Vengeances for The Mortal” is a melodic jibe rooted in staunch eastern death Metal. Rough production aside, it is actually a good song to start it all with. Worth checking out. NIGHTSHADERS took the ‘easternity’ further with “After Us”. If you’ve heard of them before, you should know that they’re not ashamed of their melodic eastern death Metal path, and the song here is another testimony of this. Continuation is in the hands of HELDRASIL, “Proud Land” being another Southeast Asian Melodic spices, this time complete with female voices part that actually attempt to sing rather than just being there. Can’t get enough? ZURIARTS eastern black Metal of the ‘as-expected’ kind took centre-stage with “Dead to Hell”. Now, NOIRATASYA from Brunei. “Era Fantasia” is a hypno-like effects heavy, death black Metal hymn, something like a hybrid between THE MYSTICKAL EAST and RUST SAKARATZ, being the other bands that the main person involved in. Nice twist to the compilation’s proceeding anyway. Next is HAYAGRIVA, weaving their magick the way you know it. It’s always about the ‘vibe’ for these guys, no mistaking that it’s HAYAGRIVA indeed. TASYIM “The Blessing Moon of Telok Tongkang” will always be another proof of what they could be. TASYIM is the Malaysian answer of ‘Vittra-era’ NAGLFAR and AMON AMARTH soaked with a lot of somber, gloomy atmosphere. CASSARRAH is death Metal alright, but judging by this “World Destroyer” their brand of death Metal is one that’s open to various influences and elements, old and new. There’s only one chance of thrashing it out here with LOGAM “Darah di Hujung Sabil”. Some rusty speedy hellthrashing bastardizationis the fukking game here, and that ‘Malay heavy-Metal’-stylized of singing might just add to that ‘authenticity’ found here. “Darah di Hujung Sabil” will not sounds out of place if it was released in the late 80’s local Metal scene. I’ve always consider LARRONG’s demo as one of the finer ones from the local scene, and seeing they’re still here after all these years could only fuel my expectations. “Narratik” sounds unmistakably LARRONG, though there’s this slight hunch of ‘this could have been better’ lingering, at least they’re still here, and yez; they’re capable of more than this sample. Grind is not forgotten, DAMOKIS making sure of its presence with “Extremely Sounds from Scratch”, some rotten grind death done by experienced hands. DIMAN goes on another eastern black death Metal rampage, the instrumental “Preposterous” is nothing short of a homage to the eastern Metal scene. AMETHYST is probably the prominent gothic-tinged Metal bands of Malaysia, “Mimpi” with their singing female vocals is an ample truth on that. Dreamy, spacey, trippy, definitely one of the more outstanding songs here. Even with its ‘thin’ production HELLGHAST “Cry Bloody Sorath” is one cruel sounding old-skull death Metal feast. I could only imagining it with a ‘fuller’ production. “Syurga Di Bawah Telapak Kaki Anjing” by FUNERAL INCEPTION is the most accomplished song here. I couldn’t reiterate it being perfected than what it is; absolute crushing brutal death Metal with just the right production. Last on the line is another brutal death Metal assault by Malaysian very own NECROTIC CHAOS. “Dead Man Walking” is by far one of the darkest sounding NECROTIC CHAOS ever. When everything’s being touched, “Hellbangers Dominion” is one of the better ways to check out just a glimpse of what the Southeast Asia, Malaysia in particular; scene has to offer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BURNING SPHERE "Deceit Theory"

BURNING SPHERE “Deceit Theory” (Nusantarajim Productions)
At first I was about to condemn the keyboard-parts, alas upon further listening they sound quite befitting to the songs though. Those keys, no matter how cheapo-sounding it is to my distorted ears, actually accentuates the BURNING SPHERE compositions. “Deceit Theory” is a by-product of daily diets on some kind of CRADLE OF FILTH-poppy darkness and a hefty sum melodic death, PLUS by listening to those ‘I think I’m Metal but I’m not’ disillusioned hardcore bands out there, hehehe. Actually they’re very much in the same vault of DAARCHLEA, another young band that emerges from the local scene not so while ago. And as the aforementioned band, BURNING SPHERE are actually pretty good at what they’re doing. This leaving us up on the sole reason of personal preferences. Well, this might be ‘the’ sound of the so-called extreme music for the youths nowadays. So if you’re into it, no disappointments expected from BURNING SPHERE then. “Deceit Theory” isn’t really what I would like to hear everyday, but they’re quite apt at what they’re doing, I think?

MILITANT ATTACK "Hostile Takeover"

MILITANT ATTACK “Hostile Takeover”
You guessed it right this is thrash Metal. Some fukking raging thrash Metal from Borneo. And that’s it. What else there is to be expected. Except, except; if I could get my wishes granted, there should be better vocal-lines in here, some vocals that could keep up and punctuate the aggressive (aggressiveness is in abundance here anyway, great that these guys managed to pull it off) music they deliver, vocals that always stay in the line and not out of it. And what else a good thrashing bash-up needs vitally rather than some memorable, catchy parts. And they should be executed as tight as possible. That, my friend; are what epitomizes a satisfying thrashing delirium for me. Do those, and the thrashing greatness is there for the taking. Keep it up, never lose that already ever-present aggressive nature.


ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE “Dark Moon Rising” live promo
This is a good sounding live promo. Whatever the band means by ‘live promo’ anyway. But, as it is, the recording is good enough, audible enough for a promo. ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE assembles themselves into the melodic Metal realm, being more death and conventional heavy Metal inclined more than anything else. And by melodic I don’t mean a direct descendant of anything remotely ‘Swedish’. They rather sound very close to the Malaysian scene itself. Melodic the Malaysian way. That’s the main ground here, and they’re playing around in that compound. As long as it doesn’t cross that ‘melodic’ border, ENSEMBLE OF SILENCE are just comfortably in the zone. Two originals and a cover (SIL KHANNAZ’s “Kiss of The Whisper”, which I won’t get into further; pretty sure I’ve mentioned about it in some reviews here, hehe). Those two, I tell you, lingers in all their melodic-ness. And what is that I hear? This sounds more and more in the same breath of present days SIL KHANNAZ. And no, it’s not because of the cover song.