AS SAHAR (Singapore) 
Baku Karama
Nebiula Productions, 1999

Local most talked about album ! Everyone seems to condemn this release maybe considering the fact that they are the most cult black metal band in the local scene. Pioneer of malay mysticism in black metal which lead to many local band follow their demonic path. "Baku Karama" definitely out of this topic ! 10 hard rock songs with clear vocals making most of their loyal fans puke on first spin. I am open-minded when reviewing this release, leaving the past music historical fact behind. I will only talk about their new music-style. Frankly I was optimistic to listen to this album since the 'preview' in Storm Of Nebiula Compilation 2 (1998). The song "Senandung Suralaya" is actually a good song, even with drum machine and One normal vocal (the screaming on the last moment of the track is awesome). The sound of the song is quite dirty for that kind of music and the same problem also happen here. The drumming is played by Fauzi from HAIL as guest drummer. There are few melodies and solos which I like to hear repeatedly and even on some tracks it driven me to 'sing a long the song'. Red-One (or One Barchiel) vocals sucks a bit and the guitar doesn't sound good enough. "Baku Karama" is definitely not 'Bakul Sampah' Karama as some might say because I can swallow the music. Those who are still caught to their proud black metal day may said otherwise. Just don't kill me for this positive review, okay. Infact there is a good news for you black metaller. Red-One is out and Hanael will bring back the glory of the old days. So cheer up...
3.5/5

AS~SAHAR (Singapore)
Casus Luciferi
Nebiula Productions, 2001

The re-release of their debut demo 1993. This is the second time Nebiula release this demo. The last time was in 1997 as cassette LP together with “Meditation Embun Pagi” cassette EP (excluding 1 instrumental song from this EP). I am not exactly sure AS~SAHAR discography before they release “Santau”. According to their bio 1999, they release a 2 track tape in 1993 and then “Santau”. Nothing is said about “Casus Luciferi”. Anyway this tape contains 7 tracks including an intro. The style is fast and raw black/thrash with an ugly sound. The songs just turn me on! An essential release for your AS~SAHAR collection.
3.5/5

AS~SAHAR (Singapore)
Bomohymns Okultika
Nebiula Productions, 2001

Another re-release material from Nebiula. “Bomohymns Okultika” contains 8 songs. The songs on side ‘Bomohymns’ are live songs never release before officially and this is our bonus. Side ‘Okultika’ features the songs from “Beyond Firmament”, the split album with HAYAGRIVA (Malaysian black metal) released by MEMORIES RECORDS 1999. The split album supposed to be released as CD, beside the usual cassette format but I guess the label only able to make flyers and spread the news of the CD but never really release it. The live songs are recorded from their gig in Penang. Contain 1 song from their cassette EP 1995, 2 songs from cassette LP 1996 and a Hades cover. About the ‘okultika’ songs, that is their latest black metal recording before they change their music style. It includes the re-recorded “My Hymns, In The East” (from EP 1995), 1 ambient/instrumental song and 2 AS~SAHARian black metal songs. Dark and melodic black metal as great as the songs in EP 1995! Another essential release for your AS~SAHAR collection.
3.5/5

AS SAHAR

AS~SAHAR (Singapore)
Intifada
Nebiula Productions, 2001

Local’s most controversial band is now back with a new 8 track CD. Again, like “Baku Karama”, this CD comes with couple of surprises. The artwork are at the back of the CD (the track title is at the front), some line-up changes and the most important is the music is not rock/heavy metal like “Baku Karama”. This album recorded without long-time and forming member Hanael but One Barchiel is not doing this album alone. Jadam (MESMERISED, GORB, PROFANE CREATION, NECROTIC CHAOS, and the list goes on...) did all drum programming and Dark-E (VOCIFERATION ETERNITY, SIL KHANNAZ, and the list goes on too...) contribute some guitar solos. AS SAHAR is back in death/black direction musically but in lyrical aspect they (or he?) abandoning the local Malay mysticism/occultism that make them the cultest band in the scene even tough it is written in Malay. Doesn’t matter how good the drum programming is, it still sucks. Dark-E solos are great. There are few songs with keyboard and some acoustic guitar. Well, to sum it up, this is a step lower than “Meditation Embun Pagi”. There are not much of fave tracks available for me in this CD. Only “Fantasia Temanku Fantasia” stands up among the rest although this song is quite slow compare with the rest. The band new concept is quite original I guess (at least in the local scene) where the lyrics are too ‘white’ for this kind of music but I don’t think the kids here will follow that like ‘Malay occultism’, which AS SAHAR introduced years ago.
c/o Ridzuan Abd. Aziz, Blk 58, Marine Terrace, 07-57, Singapore 440058.
oneassahar@yahoo.com
3/5