CD Review


album-braindead-tribute.jpg (18020 bytes)BRAIN DEAD
In Remembrance For BRAIN DEAD
Apocalypse Releases, 1999
BRAIN DEAD is a cult death metal band in Malaysia. They are among the pioneer of death metal, along with SUFFERCATION, SIL KHANNAZ, SILENT DEATH and NECROTIC CHAOS. BRAIN DEAD only managed to release an album in 1993 and later recorded 2 new tracks for a compilation but due to their great and original music with few doses of SLAYER and CELTIC FROST , they managed to influenced many local death/black metal bands. I was hoping the first 3 band I mentioned earlier included in this tribute CD along with LANGSUYR. But without them it didn't ruined a bit of this CD. I don't know how Apocalypse Releases selects these bands from black metal to hardcore and industrial but all 9 of them are good with their own style of covering BRAIN DEAD song, including 1 Brazilian band, MEDICINE DEATH. BRAIN DEAD songs are already a masterpice but adding few new touches making the songs are a bit interesting than usual. Starting with LOGAMwith their heavy metal style of Rites Of The Tyrant and follow by death/thrash TANDUS (The 7th Wind), NECROTIC CHAOS (Eternal War) and VOCIFERATION ETERNITY (Sacred). The worse must be KHARABANAZAK with their fast scandinavian black metal version of Twisted Soul. The rest is quite okay and interesting too including techno-black metal from AS SAHAR (Spirit Of Heloisa). MEDICINE DEATH is a bit technical in their riffing and the keyboard in Impious Immortal. Hardcore ENDLESS PAIN and industrial GLOBAL CHAOS is not bad either. BRAIN DEAD also performed 2 tracks here. The bad thing here is the cover inlay. It's written in malay and not clear (hard to read) text and not enough info on the bands. Another thing is the use of color green for the background. What green have to do with BRAIN DEAD? I don't know. But the cassette version release by MusicTrax is much better in their layout.
USD 12 I guess but definitely RM 22 for Malaysian.

compilation-century_media_99.jpg (12557 bytes)CENTURY MEDIA 
Fall/Winter Sampler
Century Media, 1999

18 tracks more than 70 minutes of music taken from current Century Media's artist releases. This CD is not for sale though but it really helps me in deciding which release I should bought and should I ignore. The CD first starts with 2 hardcore metal tracks from SKINLAB (which I'm not fond of), a track from TIAMAT's Skeleton Skeltron (voted in by readers of one email mag as the most dissappointing album of '99. But I seems to like this track though...), 2 rap metal tracks from STUCK MOJO (the song Reborn" kinda cool actually but the other sucks), a superb track from SAMAEL's latest Eternal album (they're as great as ever !), 2 NEVERMORE's track from Dreaming Neon Black album, 1 song from THE GATHERING's  latest album (great song). Then another 2 hardcore metal from HASTE (their songs are better than SKINLAB), one more good song from ARCH ENEMY which is a lot better than the next 2 tracks from TURMOIL. The rest which much meet to my liking are DARK TRANQUILITY, MOONSPELL & ICED EARTH. Ao after this I will check the latest release from the last 3 bands I mentioned as well as THE GATHERING, TIAMAT, ARCH ENEMY and SAMAEL and I guess you should do the same.

Nebiula Production, 1999

Years later, Nebiula came out with the new volume of this compilation. Just like the first one, this compilation doesn't feature any new or rare tracks. Except for DARKCIDE and KIBOSH SIBYL KISMET, all tracks are taken from the band's current release. Read my review on SIL KHANNAZ, SAUTS ALASTOR, VOCIFERATION ETERNITY, BAZZAH, MESMERISED and CRUSADE to know what they sounds like. As for DARKCIDE and KIBOSH SIBYL KISMET, they are new to me and their stuffs is not available in the local music store. DARKCIDE is from Jordan plays melodic death/thrash and the 2 songs here are taken from their demo. Enjoyable and promising. I hope they will release something professional soon. KIBOSH SYBIL KISMET is not really a new band. I saw their flyers circulating in my mails many years ago, informing about a demo for zine editors. Only now I have the chance to listen to them. The track featured here taken from tehir forthcoming debut MCD. Playing somekind of doom black metal which is among the rarest breed of black metal in the local scene. This track alone have secured them my promise to buy their CD when it is available. It should be out by now. Sounds quite promising. The compilation comes with a booklet, mentioning about the band's address and their picture. Not a recommended release if you have all the band's current and forthcoming releases. 

compilation-ematofagia.jpg (10581 bytes)EMATOFAGIA 
Ematofagia Records, 1999
Compilation of 15 new Italian band. A band present one song each and some must must be taken from their demo or from their current release. Some song have good sound while some is just 'okay' and listenable. For example on some songs, I have to turn up twice the volume I normally use on my hi-fi set. The band here are CRYPTORIUM (doom, drums sound sucks, the music is not tight enough), FLASHBACK (thrash metal, not really original but still worth listening), DISKARIKA (grindcore), INHUMAN MEMORIES (death/hardcore), NOISE KILLER (average death metal), MAELSTROM (doom metal, lot better than CRYPTORIUM), UNDERGRIND (sounds like punk and I don't like it), EMORHAGE CORPSE (good brutal death) PATH OF DEATH (doom/death), HOMICIDE HAGRIDDEN (heavy metal/thrash, vocally and musically souns like slower version of old METALLICA), DEADLY MASS (hardcore/thrash), ETERNAL SLEEP (female fronted gothic doom), OMINOUS (black metal), NEUROTICA (read what I say at UNDERGRIND) and TORTURE GARDEN (the name and the music is inspired by MEMORY GARDEN). Get this if you want to hear and get the address of FLASHBACK, DISKARIKA, IN HUMAN MEMORIES, MAELSTROM, HOMICIDE HAGRIDDEN, ETERNAL SLEEP and EMORHAGE CORPSE because I think these band have something good to offer.

album-kill_your_idol.jpg (13652 bytes)KILL YOUR IDOL 
Happy Hamster, 1998

To tell you the truth, I never heard any of AGATHOCLES releases eventhough I've read a lot about this band in zines. This CD also featured NECREOUS, a Singaporean grindeath band, another band that I've read a lot but actually listen to their music until recently I got their old split demo. So this is the first time I listen to AGX song's but not in the original form. There 20 bands featured here and AGX themselves have been given the honour to begin this CD with a track called He Cared. A short, fast grinding track. The rest are BRUTAL TRUTH, GROINCHURN, MALIGNANT TUMOR, ROT, CRIPPLE BASTARDS and many more including NECREOUS. How did this band get in here ? That's a surprise. NECREOUS cover the song Alternative, Another Trend. All songs is quite okay, some grind, gore or punk and the sound vary from one band to another. AGX and BRUTAL TRUTH have the best sound. I got this CD by trading with the local zine there, so I guess you have to contact the label and ask the price.

compilation-panggilan_puaka2.jpg (42637 bytes)PANGGILAN PULAU PUAKA II
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 1999
The second part of this compilation featured some bands from Indonesia. I think this is a compilation that show what S.E.Asian capable of. All bands featured their best song and all are great for me ! MANDATORY comes with a new track, much better from the one they play in the first part of this compilation. TANDUS and NARSAMUM deliver an entertaining death/thrash (hopefully their upcoming stuff kills !) meanwhile KOFFIN KANSER and SENSELESS featured a track taken from their present release. Just an okay song since there are others song should be featured here instead of Traumatized and The Kill. End of Malaysian side and from Singaporean side, vocalist/guitarist from the cult black metal AS SAHAR play solo this time using the name ONE BARHIEL, contribute a great gothic/doom/death with both normal and growling vocals meanwhile DOXOMEDON delivers a powerful death/thrash metal. From Indonesia, TRAUMA and ADAPTOR plays brutal death metal but their style is different from each other. Another band is RADICAL CORPS plays somekind of technical mid pace death metal. To date, I find this compilation is a great showcase of S.E.Asian metal and everyone should get a copy. Nothing to waste since all tracks are jewel to me and not to mention the great layout designing of the CD inlay.

Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2000

Another great compilation from this label. It doesn't feature any rare songs. All are taken from the band's current release except HERRIOT (Malaysian melodic death), PAGANIZER (Swedish thrash) and BLOTSRIT (Swedish black metal). Their song are taken from their fortcoming release which definitely I should check ! Others are IMPIETY, MALEVOLENCE (Portugal, melodic death) , HERETIC ANGEL (Thai, death), GRINDBUTO (Indon, brutal death), KAMBING (Philippines, dark metal), MURDER CORPORATION (Swe, brutal death), RITUAL ORCHESTRA (Indon, black metal), MANDATORY (Malaysia, death metal) and MIND SNARE (Swe, brutal death) feature their best song from the current release. But I think TERROR SQUAD (Japan, thrash) should put other song instead of "Chain Of The Damned' ("Staright To Hell" or "Disco Bloody Disco" is much better). Meanwhile CORPORATION OF BLEEDING (Indon, brutal death) sounds okay this time. I had their album and the track here are taken from "Blood Feast". I remember that the sound of that cassette album is not as good as the one in this CD. If you wanted to have a sneak preview of the band's present release before buying it, this might be a good purchase. Eventough you already have the band's release this CD still remain a worth-buying item since almost all the songs are great. Also included are the band's bio, picture and logo in 8 page booklet. If not for this CD, I have to make my own compilation of good songs from the band's album/demo.

compilation-storm_of_nebiula_2.jpg (13850 bytes)STORM OF NEBIULA 2 
Nebiula Production, 1999
Another successful compilation, features many unreleased (and some are made only for this compilation) tracks. You'll see how bands can progress, how shocked we can be with one band new music style and some other surprises. MISTIK has progress immensely and their 2 tracks, Journey To The Forgotten Forest and Sial Batara are the best tracks for me in this compilation. Longer songs with dark keyboards, improved vocal style and songs are much interesting than the one in the EP. Death metal pioneer SILENT DEATH offers 2 new tracks, a bit different compare with their Break The Silence EP but still as great as the EP. HELOISA contributes 2 tracks taken from their Mirror Of Trinity album, melodic death metal. MESMERISED shows that Jaie of SIL KHANNAZ is a singer, can sing in clear, normal vocals. Great gloom project with Jadam of GORB/PROFANE CREATION. HAIL come from Singapore and plays raw black metal. Another raw black metal is ETERNAL THRONE but not as dry as HAIL, they have some slow parts while HAIL play fast from start to the end. Praised as god of black metal AS SAHAR, contributes one song, totally different style of what they called as E:Lust:Ronika @ goth rock. I can swallow this songs if I don't know whose playing it but realizing that it comes from AS SAHAR, it has taken me some times to throw away the prejudice I have on this band (well, what would say to once a band that once play thrash, then black metal and then rock ?). Another 2 tracks are from KING SHAH. I don't know what he's trying to do (said that he is experimenting his new guitar gadget/effect) although it is only a 1 minute-each experiment (recorded in one take only) and sounds weird, at the same time Elephant Tip Toe and Who The Hell Are You ? is also interesting. Only the cover inlay is not really satisfying though, the band's pictures as well as the info is not clear.

Nebiula Productions, 2000

The label's first progressive rock/metal compilation. This is the first time I listen to whole bunch of progressive metal songs. 'Progressive' is a loose term here. I actually does not know how to define 'progressive'. Gathering 10 bands from worldwide and each present a song taken from their current release. Here the musicians display their ability in playing guitar and effects which are great but not all bands/musician are much to my liking. PROTOTYPE (USA) open the CD with "Trinity", heavy/rock song where the chorus line is quite enjoyable. ANGSTORM (UK), fronted by female singer is a bit depressive compare with the rest. Their music is slow and soothing. CHIAROSCURO (USA) is the vein of new age metal ala Korn which is not my type of music. WOLVERINE (Swe) is more interesting and more 'metal' than the rest. "Whisper On The Wind" is doom-like music, with normal and growling vocals and accoustic guitar. The normal vocals presented in couple of styles. Damn this one great ! Solo artist Michael Lee Ostrander (USA) is a bit weird where he playing and experimenting with the guitar effect and sound. The music sounds weird at times. FROM THY ASHES (Ger) with "Dancing Green Lizard" is quite irritating when they come to the part where they sing on accoustic part of the song. ARJUNA (Ita) reminds me of folk music. "A Silvia" is not a bad song. Slow accoustical music with flute and sing in their native language (I guess so), that makes me think that they are on the wrong CD. THE OUTER DARKNESS (USA) is as weird as Michael. They maybe a music genius but I really have hard time listening to their songs. JESTER'S TEARS (Ger), with its slow rock song ends-up this CD. They sounded like HAMMERFALL (on their slow songs) except for the vocals. The CD comes with 6 page booklet. Include all the info needed about the bands. Too many to be read in only 6 pages.

Ultra Hingax Productions, 2000

After releasing one of Malaysian best metal compilation, "Ipoh Metal Militant : Supremacist", UHP come up with another compilation to show that they are still in the business. However this does not feature any new or rare tracks like the previous compilation, but only 3 tracks taken from all the label's releases. Yes, all UHP releases except for ROTTEN CORPSE (Indonesian brutal death) are cult releases ! Unfortunate they are all sold out. It is great to have those releases in CD since they only produced their stuffs in cassette. But this one is not good enough. Only 3 tracks taken from these releases : ATHOTORGH "Promaster Dieyana" EP, HAYAGRIVA "Silverian's Art..." EP, TANDUS "Logam Maut" EP, BAZZAH "Kingdom Of The Dead" LP, CRYPTIC MALEDICTION "Insanity To Berserk" EP and ROTTEN CORPSE LP. They only left out IMPIETY "Funeralight..." EP. Selecting only 3 songs from an EP/LP, leaving out 1 or 2 track so it is a waste of some great song. As I said, all their releases are CULT !!! They should have release somekind of split releases featuring all the EPs and LP. Anyway, it is a wise idea to release this comp. Those who have not listen to any of these bands, should check it right away. Hear how great Malaysian best thrasher, ATHOTORGH, new black metal sensation HAYAGRIVA, raw deathtrash TANDUS, violent black metal BAZZAH and brutal death/grind ROTTEN CORPSE. Another great thing of this compilation is the creative cover design. The front cover display a demon on pentagram, tattoed on a girl's back. Open up the booklet you will see the whole backside of the girl, naked. Displaying such picture should get this CD banned by the authorities. I forgot to mention about dark death metaller CRYPTIC MALEDICTION, the EP have been released as a split CD with local death grinder INDAMNATION with extra tracks. Hear the preview here and then get this split release.

Album | Demo | Mini Album | Compilation | Split Release