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.

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