Tape Review

Demo/Rehearsal Tape

ABEX (Malaysia)
Mystique Ancient Ceremonies 
Demo 2000

I suggest they find a good make-up artist. The corpse-paint looks awful on them. And the music is as awful as their make-up. Even the demo cover is badly designed. Melodic black metal is what they play and I can hear that from the guitar riffs but the drums and the vocals, both normal and growl are terrible. Its hard to listen to 5 songs and intro with this kind of sound. They gained their influence from Malaysian PURNAMWULAN I think since some songs do sound like them. Listening to this demo will not leave any good impression. I was inform that they have a new promotape which have improved a bit musically. Now the band faces serious line-up turmoil and maybe have now r.i.p. 
Kingdom Of Abexist, 19-A, Kg. Parit Hj. Amin, Jln. Siakap, 34350 Kuala Kurau, Perak, Malaysia.

Demo Rehearsal March 1999

The band name perhaps taken from one of Hellhammer's proud release, "Apocalyptic Raids". Formed in 1997, consisting of members which also played in other known band in their scene such as SONGE D'ENFER, NIGHTBREED, NOCTURNAL WORSHIPPER (to name a few). Maybe you will conclude that this is just another old school project like DESEKRATOR for example. The song featured here (as said in the bio) were written in 1985-1989. So don't mistaken them as another new retro thrash band. Playing 'old Brazilian death metal', maybe like Sarcofago or old Sepultura. Maybe there is few similarity but Celtic Frost/Hellhammer can be heard more here. You can cleary about this when listening to "Tyrant, Emperor". This demo present 4 tracks with a decent sound. It comes in two format, tape with xerox cover and CD-R with colored cover. I don't encourage you to get this demo. I got the advance tape for their upcoming album. All the song in the demo re-recorded and presented here and didn't have significant differences. The album should be out by now. If you think band like WARHAMMER is not crap, then you should also check them too.
c/o Leon Manssur, Rua Sa Ferreira 227 CP. 501, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ CEP 22071-100, Brazil.
http://www.apocalypticraids.com apocalypticraids@yahoo.com

demo-arkona_zeta_reticuli.jpg (11693 bytes)ARKONA (Poland) 
Zeta Reticuli 

Pussy God Records, 1999

Zeta Reticulian black metal from Poland. Fast scandinavian type of black metal in the vein of MARDUK or IMMORTAL. Yes, you have already heard this kind of music many times but ARKONA is quite okay, not good but not bad either. At least I can listen to all the 4 tracks here. I don't know what the song is all about since no lyrics included and the songs are in Polish (I guess) and they warned the listener not to try to understand or analyzed their lyrics or to defined what is Zeta Reticulian black metal. "We fuck you negative opinion". You guys sounds like MARDUK, so who care about Zeta Reticuli anyway ? If you like fast black metal without keys and female vocals, this is your tape.

AZARIATH (Malaysia)
Stomp To The Unholy Grave
Demo 2000

As far as I remember, this is the first black metal band I know hailing from Kedah. A new band but the line-up is not new. Currently, they also play in NARRATOR, BRAVERY, TANTRUM and DREADED. Can it be said as black metal project of these death metaller ? The problem with this demo is same problem with all demo from this state, the sound. The good idea of delivering fast black metal blended with swedish 'melodicness' , have been downtuned by the overall sound. I can't say this band is unworthy side band since there some nice idea here. Keep the band alive (since most of the member have their own bands) and get a good studio. Then they will secure a good place in the local scene. 
c/o Jadd Barakah @ Mohd Shahir, 81 Tmn Desa Kamela, Batu 4, Tandop, 05400 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

BEALIAH (Indonesia)
Weeping at The Crimson Moon
THT Production, 1999

What seems to bother me is Bealiah, a one-man black metal band, is in a label which also sign a Christ metal (unblack metal as they say so). Music-wise, Bealiah is not another gem but another showcase of good black metal from Indonesia. Utilising keyboards to successfully create dark moods in fast black metal with a great maniacal vocals by Dozhaiallach D. (the man behind Bealiah). The music is in between old Burzum and fast swedish black metal with a few scent of Celtic Frost. I need some one which can help me with info about this release. I only received a tape and a simple pro glossy cover. No info or anything that really help in understanding about this demo. First the all 4 songs in side B is marked with *. So that '*' must mean something, right ? Overall, 10 tracks available here and to choose 1 great song is quite hard since all are quite okay for me (the metal or the dark wave one).

demo-bravery-demo2000.jpg (12139 bytes)BRAVERY (Malaysia) 
Brave Within 
Demo  2000

Another Promo 2000  from Kedahan band. They do have a lot of time I guess, playing in multiple bands at a time. BRAVERY consist of members from NARRATOR (see review eslewhere in issue #1) and TANTRUM. 2 songs here acclaimed to be in the style of melodic death metal which I suggest it should be called as annoying death metal. The music is not as good as NARRATOR, the vocals are in the terrible growling form I've ever heard. Maybe due to bad mixing, the vocals are too loud and upfront the music eventhough they use some clear normal vocals but that didn't help much. Nothing much of credit can be given to the track Brave Within even the music is a bit better than the next one, WarHead. Not to be confused with VENOM's Warhead, this is their own composition and it is too awful to be heard in my ears. I hope the next release from them is much better than this. Or maybe they can start thinking which band is much worth giving full support since they are playing in couple of bands and all of them are still new with a demo release.

Mohd Yuhidzir 308 Tmn Mewah, Jln Langgar, 05460 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

BUNUH (Singapore)
Demo 1999

I was impressed with this demo full color cover and great artwork. And after considering the sound of this tape, it is too much for RM 7. The band's name also original. Sometimes, malay words can be simple but comes with very brutal meaning. Bunuh means kill in English and normally, Malaysian/Singaporean will not take Malay word for its name. The band consist of member from ex-BRUTAL FEAR (Singapore great death/thrash) and using the throat of Blaster (SAKARATUL MAUT, ABBATTORY, DARK LEGIONS Mag.). With these personalities behing the band, sure you can expect something great. 4 songs here, which a mixture of heavy metal with death metal. Something different with their previous or bands that they are in now. Except for the drums, which is similar to Brutal Fear drumming, other are far to be connected to other band they are involved in. Blaster voice is more death metal growl than he used to sing in SAKARATUL MAUT. The music is not fast enough to move you up and down but the solos and some riffs and guitar effetcs are quite interesting. The music actually doesn't dwell long in head after I quit listening. There something missing here and I hope to find it in their debut album.
c/o Battle, Blk 220, #05-339, Yishun ST 21, SINGAPORE 760220.
bunuh666@hotmail.com http://www.geocities.com/bunuh2000

CELESTIA (France) 
Promo 99
2 new recorded tracks Infected By Rats (this is the track I talk about in the previous review in the album section) and Spectra. The tape started with someone screaming in agony and that makes me wondering what kind of rat can give such pain to man ? The sound of these tracks are a bit heavier. I noticed that, especially in the guitar, making this tracks a bit better than the MCD. Hearing the songs, it is obvious that CELESTIA is playing. The songs is still in the same vein of A Cave Full Of Bats with a better sound. So there is a bit of progression here and hopefully the next release will be a good one perhaps ?
c/o Fureiss, 20 rue Palapharnerie, 84000 Avignon, France.

demo-celestia_promo_00.jpg (13476 bytes)CELESTIA (France) 
Awakening Of Dormant Fiancee 
Promo 2000
A new released from CELESTIA, now in the form of 100 limited promotape. Whether this tape available for zines/labels or for sale, you better ask them yourself and ask what will they produced in the near future. I guess they will released something that might be your next best purchase. 5 tracks here, very much the same as what you have heard in the next previous releases except for this one some good solos have been thrown in nicely in the songs and some traces of D. Borgir's-style of keyboards can also be heard. If this is what you called improvement, I say yes since I tend to like Immortal Floating Shadows, Darkness Enfold The Sky. Again (revamped) Spectra and Infected By Rats also available here. This might not be the best tape ever but there are few highlight in the songs and that what makes this release is a bit better than CELESTIA's previous releases I've heard this far. The tape come with glossy printed cover. Not much of info can be found here except for the songs titles and band's contact addresses.
c/o Fureiss, 20 rue Palapharnerie, 84000 Avignon, France.

Death Is Rising 
Demo 1999
One-man brutal death metal band from Greece. Haven't yet heard any brutal death band from this country except for black metal. What I can say there is a similar style/sound of guitar in these 2 kind of different genre from the same country. On some part of this 4 songs demo, the guitar do sound like old Rotting Christ a bit. At first I was expecting an unrelentless death metal like DISMEMBER or even faster like US death metal. Bill Benekis play all the instrument here and the drumming is made by a drum machine. I can't critise more about drum machine since I don't exactly like it. The drumming speed is at a reasonable speed, not like old MORTICIAN. This demo, recorded in May 1999 has more mid-paced, 'calm' part than brutal fast part, so the 'greek' sound is clearly heard here and there. Less raging guitar and the lead solo almost unhearable because the drum and the vocals is made (on purpose or accidently) louder and you might not heard it if the demo is not played loud enough.

demo-cutthroat-promo_99.jpg (6588 bytes)CUTTTHROAT (Japan) 
Live Promotape 1999

An all star band from Japan. Consist of member from the mighty SIGH and ABIGAIL, Mirai, Shanichi, Yasuyuki and Youhei gathered and formed this old-school band in April 1998. And on May they performed in a gig. All 11 songs in this tape are taken from this gig. It is a raw recording without any mastering I guess but still possessed a good sound. Good live sound, and still all the instrumensts can clearly heard. To tell you the truth, there's a huge list of old-school bands which I haven't listened until now so I can't separate which are cover song and which are their own songs. From the bio stated they played a lot of songs from Voivod, Warfare, Sacrifice, Misfits, Razor, Tankard and Hirax so I guess there some cover songs in this tape too. You can't complain about the sound or anything beside the music they play and honestly this tape is just an average release compared with professional demo but as a raw live tape, this one is the best. Mirai do try singing in thrash metal way which I think does not turn out well but the 'style' is there. Their new debut CD will be out under Melancholic Promotion (Greece) on April and it is entitled Rape ! Rape ! Rape ! while their second CD will be released at the end of 2000 under Baphomet Records (USA).
c/o Yasuyuki Suzuki, 59-7 Saiwai cho Itabashi-ku Tokyo 173-0034 Japan.

Harmonious Concertos For Cadaveric Requiems
Demo 1999

What is this band playing ? I think it is too easy to guess. What else if not grindcore ? So here another band from Greece. The sound of this demo is not good enough though. 5 songs here, lasting for about 14 minutes or so. 2 of the songs are re-recorded of old songs while the rest are new and composed with the new line-up. The first track is an instrumental, 4 minutes which is more like normal death metal and a bit melodic. Rest of the tracks are mostly fast with some breaks in between the song. I like the slower part because when the music start to be fast, you can't hear anything. Its like listening to noise except for this one, there's someone singing. The vocals are not in those crazy screaming, more like black/thrash vocals. This demo comes with color laser printed cover (the baby looks cute by the way...). Fans of this style will get this one with further question I guess. Latest news; They will release a split CD with Cranial Torment (the review of their review demo elsewhere in this zine).
Dissected, Theofrastou 9, Peristeri 12134, Athens, Greece.

DISTRUST (Malaysia)
Human Conflict 
Demo 2000

Dirs of MORTUARY ANCESTOR sing in this band or maybe it can be said as side project of MORTUARY ANCESTOR members. The music different from MA, this one brutal death metal the American way. Just what Malaysian scene need, more brutal death bands. Among countless "eastern metal" band, this is a band that Malaysian can be proud off. The only thing that makes this demo rated as an average demo is the bad sound. Demo cover comes is color printed. This release was supposed to be released as a cassette EP by a new Malaysian label. Very sad this plan didn't some into reality. If aided with more money to use good studio and release this professionally, "Human Conflict" will be a great release.
c/o Mahatir Mutalip, P.O.Box 976, 90710 Sandakan, Sabah.

demo-dreaded-reh99.jpg (15657 bytes)DREADED (Malaysia) 
Rehearsal Tape 1999
A member of doom metal band, DOOMSHEAT played in this band but this is not a doom band, but brutal death grind. Come from the same state with SARDOTICAL SCOUNDREL, maybe they tried to challenge them. Music-wise, maybe they are at the same level as SARDOTICAL SCOUNDREL  but this rehearsal possesses a bad sound production. I can't hardly hear what the played. Since this is underground, everyone can released anything but please give some quality in anything that you produced. Luckily they also copied a new song and this one is much better. Still brutal death metal but with improved musicianship and longer song. Ask them to copied their new track because this track make this rehearsal an average release, if not it might be a below average and worth not to check. Let see what DREADED can bring to us in the future.
c/o WonderWizard, Lot 973, Lorong Shariff, Off Jalan Langgar, 05200 Alor Setar, Kedah.
c/o Mohd Fairuz b. Mohd farid, Lot 3, Lorong Derga, 05300 Alor Star, Kedah, Malaysia.

DREADED (Malaysia)
Disease !
Demo 2000

This is one of the best new local band that plays brutal death metal. They have improved a lot since their last promo rehearsal. I never expected them to this good. There's been a vast improvement here. Although the sound is still the mediocre demo sound, but you will hear the brutality in the 4 songs presented here. Gaining its influence from US deat metal, so what you will hear powerful drumming and raging guitars. I didn't see any incompetence in this demo except for the sound and the cover design. I wait the next presentation imaptiently since I think the new one will offer more if the progression continues.
c/o WonderWizard, Lot 973, Lorong Shariff, Off Jalan Langgar, 05200 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia. wonderwizard@deatsdoor.com

EFFLUVIUM (Philippines)
Genesis Of Our Conquest 
Reh/demo 2000

A new band hailing from Laguna, the same area where Likhang Karimlan Promotion and his bands dwells. It is interesting that this tape is given FREE. Although they can ask for postage but to spread the band's name and music in the name of metal is much more important for them. This low budget tape, a rehearsal promo present the rough idea of what we can expect from Effluvium's music in the future. 3 tracks here and I must say they are quite original and creative delivering what they said as a mixture of 70's rock (old Black Sabbath) and swedish melodic death. The idea is there but not really my type of music. Perhaps in much better sound, I will appreciate them more. The music, especially the solos reminds me of 70's space rock. Just imagine rock blend together with melody of swedish melodic death metal sing in black metal voice. I give my highest credit for the ideas and dare to be different. Try this tape and tell them what you think. Please include stamps or IRC to ease their postage burden.
c/o Willie Desamero, #3M. Fule Sahagun St., San Pablo City, Laguna 4000 Philippines.

demo-eschatos_child_of_the_ashes.jpg (10047 bytes)ESCHATOS (Poland) 
Child Of The Ashes 

Pussy God Records, 1999
Another polish black metal band, a 2 piece act to be precised. Fast, raw, cold black metal with some breaks in their songs. But overall, their music is just speed from start to the end. Some riffs are melodic so that soothes my ears once a while. Addings some keyboard will not kill the aggression of the songs if the band know how to do it and ESCHATOS managed to create dark atmosphere with the keyboard (without any sweet melodies). This is not the best black metal ever but I like to hear more of this band and will play this tape again in the future. This tape is aslo available from the band address for only USD 2 or USD 5 from the label. Zines just send your proof of existence and get a copy.

Another polish black metal band, a 2 piece act to be precised. Fast, raw, cold black metal with some breaks in their songs. But overall, their music is just speed from start to the end. Some riffs are melodic so that soothes my ears once a while. Addings some keyboard will not kill the aggression of the songs if the band know how to do it and ESCHATOS managed to create dark atmosphere with the keyboard (without any sweet melodies). This is not the best black metal ever but I like to hear more of this band and will play this tape again in the future. This tape is aslo available from the band address for only USD 2 or USD 5 from the label. Zines just send your proof of existence and get a copy.

Eschatos, Ryszard, Pradynskiego 1/56, 07-400 Ostroleka, Poland.
3/ 5

EVOL (Japan)
Demo 1999

Don't mistaken this as black metal EVOL from Italy. This is a Japanese brutal death/grind band. Decent sounding 4 tracks tape which is too short in my opinion. Possessing the american school of death/grind music, so it has the characteristic that you should already now. Nothing new here. Just plain grind/death music. The demo starts with beautiful keyboard track as an intro and after that, everything seem to be apocalyptic. The best track will be "I dee Fixe" since it has a bit of thrash bit it is too short. Overall, this demo only last for couple of minutes. They also copied me an extra track, a rough track of their new song. The new song is much longer and a bit different. Should I say that they have progressed ? The new track is grind but also melodic at times (especially on the solos) with a bit of thrash. I think their newer stuff will be much more interesting. Not sure the price of this demo. It comes with a clear xerox cover. 
c/o Miyamoto Nankichi, 4-6-27 #201 Shimo-Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 161-0033 Japan.

Promo CD 1999

Although it carry th title "Promo CD 1999", I bought the tape version of it and I think the name of this release is not approriate anymore. I afraid at first buying the CD version. Afraid it may turn out crap. Later I found this tape version in some local mailorder service and a lot cheaper. I can't say I did the right thing. There are both pros and cons in this demo. This band deliver fast thrash attack with melodic solos which are my faves. The double vocals are great and they also doing great with synth and piano in some songs. Clean sound. Only the drum parts down a bit my pleasure of listening to this 6 tracks tape. I will check their next release if no programmed drumming used or maybe I should get use to this kind of drums ? No, human drum is much better.
c/o D&C Ducouloux, 10 Place Ernest Renan, 54510 Tomblaine, France.

Darkest Hour 
Reh/Demo 1999
8 tracks rehearsal tape which I put it in as one of the best rehearsal demo I heard from a local band. Fast brutal death metal with occasional (old) Rotting Christ-like slow part. The first track, "Immortal Incarnate" have these riff reminiscent a song I heard a lot in a P. Ramlee movies (used as background music in a suspence scene/situation in that oldies movies). The sound of this is just the mediocre rehearsal sound. Don't expect to hear anything clean here. Sometimes the drumming are a bit terrible, not the drummer skill but the the sound. Some songs are enjoyable but I couldn't listen to it again later due to the nature of the recording. There are some styles fit with this kind of 'raw' sound (I guess grindcore and black metal) but never I amazed with other musicstyle. You have to play faster and insanely. Okay, they have made me aware of their existence in the scene. I will no doubt check the next output. Try to kick Mortuary Ancestor "Dogma Orthodox" with your next release, as this demo is the best demo from Sabahan scene.
c/o Muhamad Hanafiah, Lorong Selusung A, No. 2 Taman Sempelang, 88100 Kota Kinablu, Sabah, Malaysia.

demo-geboren-obstacle_on_the_moon.jpg (10261 bytes)GEBOREN (Indonesia) 
Obstacle On The Moon
Blindnoise Records, 1999
I'm really tired of listening to brutal death/grind metal from this country. Luckily GEBOREN plays something kinda original compare to what Indonesia is best known for, brutal death/grind. GEBOREN is my first encounter with doom-oriented metal band from this country and I have a very pleasant time while listening to this 5 tracks demo. Slow, depressive, melodic doom metal with clear female vocal although Nina voice can be improved because her voice in Syukur does not fit with my taste.  Sound was good, very well-played melodic doom metal.  My complaint is about the not-so-interesting cover layout. The band picture should be made in black and white color, not blue. Maybe its fit with the demo concept but its doesn't look nice. Hah. Nina is actually wearing a hijab/tudung.  A good muslimah...
c/o Agus Geboren, Jl. Yuda No. 75/18 B, Bandung 40251, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.

GEBOREN (Indonesia)
Cold And Empty World Promo 1999

Another promotape by this doom band. I'm sure which one come first but if I am not mistaken, this is the second promotape that I received with the same title, "Cold And Empty World". Until now I know that they have 3 releases released in the year 1998/99. From the info given by the person who gave me the tape, this 2 tracks is taken from their debut album which should be released by now. I can't say their music progress since "Obstacle On The Moon" demo but after lots of time listening, their music have already grow in me. I like them more now. Especially with this 2 tracks which is a bit fast than any other of their songs. Elements of death metal available a little bit but still they belong in the 'doom' area. Nina's voice does not change at all. What you hear in "Obstacle.." is what you will hear here. Quite interesting as a whole. I have send an interview via email to them but after 5 months, I never get any reply from them. Maybe they are too busy recording the album I guess.
c/o Agus Geboren, Jl. Yuda No. 75/18 B, Bandung 40251, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.

demo-gematria-memoirs.jpg (96276 bytes)GEMATRIA (Singapore) 
Demo 1999
A new band from Singapore and I must admit that Memoirs really attract me ! I couldn't help myself from hearing it again and again. Atmospheric balck metal with fast and occasional slow part with keyboards, female vocal and clear male vocals beside the usual growling. Sounds commercial, heh ? Well, that's what you can hear in Memoirs . This 4 tracks demo starts with an interesting intro called Memoirs, the drumbeat and the vocals sounds like they are having some kind of ritual. The best track for me beside Memoirs is Silhoutte Dreams In... with the female vocal and the melodic, depressive solo and the end of the song. The closest comparison is Dimmu Borgir, but maybe I'm wrong but who really care since I also like the new Dimmu Borgir. This demo comes with pro-duplicated tape with and neat dark and colorful cover. Fans are urged to check this band before their next release comes out. Check also the interview with them in this issue.
GEMATRIA, BLK 620 Yishun Ring, Road #02-3208, SINGAPORE 760620.

demo-hawkmoon_demo_2000.jpg (14408 bytes)HAWKMOON (France) 
Tome I : A l'Aube des Puisances 
Demo 2000
Another black metal band from France which also feature the bassist of CELESTIA. This time we are dealing with not-to-melodic swedish type of black metal. So you can't compare HAWKMOON and CELESTIA due to the musical differences, except you can talked about the lyrical concept or the overall sound. I prefer listening to HAWKMOON than CELESTIA since the music is much better. Clear voice also can be heard in some parts of this 5 tracks tape. This tape comes with a photocopied cover and the overall sound is quite okay except for the drum. There are 2 questions aroused after I've read the cover sleeve. Is this demo only limited to 30 copies and what is the 'dragon's cave' ? Actually the last track here is a bonus track called A Black Mountain Stands which is stolen from the dragon's cave. Surprisingly this track have a bit more melodic passages here and there. The title track A l'Aube des Puisances is an ambient track. A dark one, at least the dark feelings is there. Few first few second in Far Away From My Beliefs reminds me of DESASTER (Germany). I will surely dig what they are up to next. Well, actually they are not black metal though it sounds like it (for me) but the band said they are playing epic metal which influences are from BAL-SAGOTH, MANOWAR and the lyrics are inspired from heroic fantasies theme. The track which are stolen from the dragon's cave is actually an extra song for the first 30 copies of this demo. Cool concept though and  I know about this after this review is made...
HAWKMOON, 69 rue St. Sebastien, 13006 Marseille, France.

KORIHOR (Philippines) 
Innocent Deist 
Demo 1999

A new band form somewhere in 1999 and the first band I know hailing from Davao City. I wasn't sure how big is the scene in Philippines but there are sure some bands over band that might caught your attention once a while. "Horned Vampiric Metal" is what they label they music as but to put it simple, I say they play pure holocaustic black metal. Yes, that should describe this demo well. 4 destructive songs presented here which are pure satanic aggression. There's a guitar plucking in "Trident Sermont" and normal vocal being used in "Innocent Deist" while the music stop/slow for couple of second before the music start to blown away and being repeated for couple of times and these are the only 'slow moment' you'll find in their music. "Three False Prophet" is a bit melodic than the rest. 'Speed' is the key word for this demo and you can make your own comparison with other black metal in this style. I can only remember Beherit. This demo was released by a new label (perhaps, wasn't sure) and comes with color cover made on Kodak photo paper (first time I see this kind of demo/album cover). KORIHOR should improve their sound for the next release since the demo sound is not equivalent with todays recording standard. It will be great if the songs here re-recorded professionally in the future.
c/o Marvin "OBISPO" Garcia, Blk.14 Lt.14 Ph.2, San Lorenzo Village, Puan, Davao City, 8000 Philippines. asiametal@hotmail.com

LEGION (Sweden)
Neodawn Production, 2000

This is the kind of music Steel Madness is looking for. Intense, extremely fast black metal ! Legion is rather a new swedish black metal looking its place in todays saturated black metal scene. Will they succeed and stay long in the scene is beyond my ability to predict but the 4 songs here already show some positive signs. No need to look for original 'out of this world' kinda music and at the end, the music sound stupid. The guideline of black metal have been made; intense, dark, hate-inspired, play at a devastating speed. Do we need anything than that ? This demo has it, including dark keys at times which really help the music sounds darker. "Bloodaeons" is the band second demo, after releasing "Rise Of The Fallen" in 1998 under the name Tyrant. Good sound and probably this demo was released all pro-done (my copy in is the form of promoCD). Next time if you are looking for good swedish black metal in some mailorder service, look for the name Legion.
c/o A. Marek, Folkungaplan 3 A, 595 33 Mjölby, SWEDEN.
kaiserin_ahrijan@hotmail.com http://www.legion.nu

Bitches Leave
Low Life Records, 1998

This limited of 200 copies demo from Belgium doom metal band is what I will not recommend to anyone. Even if you're tape trading or given a free copy it is still unrecommendable unless you have a lot money, time and space on your room to keep this tape and play it in your cassette player. 3 tracks including an intro which fall into the boring side of doom metal. No great doomy and depressive riffs and atmosphere can be found here. But what you can hear is the worse keyboard, lack of interesting riffs and annoying normal vocals. The vocal can be said 'depressive' like he is mourning of something but not really the type my ears can accept. I see no reason why I must play this tape again. I do hope they come out with something a lot better than this.
c/o Nico, Lentopark 52, 9255, Buggenbout, Belgium.

demo-mantak-sakhtyanic_doctrine.jpg (12436 bytes)MANTAK (Malaysia) 
Sakhtyanic Doctrine
Demo 1999

Couple of month later, MANTAK managed to released their second demo but I was surprised with this demo. They managed to come out with much more improved songs and matured musicianship. No more horrible vocals that will make your ears deaf and lousy songs arrangement like you hear in The Borneo Chaosmaker demo. The songs are in the vein of melodic death metal with malay occult influences in their lyrics (just like most of local metal bands). I like the melodic guitar solos in all 3 tracks, which the last one is an instrumental track. If  MANTAK could only work in a much better studio, the result will be more than great. Demo come with glossy printed cover with lyrics and picture but not a neat one, I must say. Keep up the good work if you really want to be the Borneo Chaosmaker.

c/o Mohd Nazree,  Rumah No. 195, Fasa 1, Rumah Murah Kepayan, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

demo-mental_phobia_demo98.jpg (15001 bytes)MENTAL PHOBIA (Malaysia) 
Horrible - Ruthless - Disguist 
Demo 1998

Actually I got both of their demo. The other one is Sick, Sick, Sick demo 1997 but I guess better if I talked about this demo instead because this is their latest and ofcourse the latest one shows some improvements. If I'm not mistaken, this demo will be re-released by Malaysian Gemaritma Productions with color cover. The motive of this label is simple, they like the demo and they re-released it. So don't be surprised to see some demos are almost 5 years old from the original release date. MENTAL PHOBIA is among the elite Negeri Sembilan band and compare with SEASONAL ABYSS, they are much better, musically although the vocals sounds similar with SEASONAL ABYSS. 5 tracks of death metal and the bass is being highlight here, means you will hear the bass clearer than other instruments. There are few interesting part in some of the songs but I don't like a bit the vocal. Latest news is they are now going to release an EP under Nebiula Production. So the next release will be great because as far as I remember, Nebiula's releases are all interesting and have a bit of their own identity eventhough some are too shocking like ETERNAL OATH, ARADIA and the new AS SAHAR but still these releases are good in my humble opinion.
c/o Syaari Aziz, Batu 2 1/2 Jalan Jelebu, 704000 Ampangan, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

demo-mindwar-better_bad_than_nothing.jpg (10577 bytes)MINDWAR (Malaysia) 
Better Bad Than Nothing
Muzik Box, 1998

At last I got this demo from a local distribution service and now I've heard the band is now r.i.p. I've read an interview of them in a local zine in 1997 and send a blank tape for their promo (as mentioned in the interview) but didn't get a reply. MINDWAR consist of a member from defunct black/death metal band called BELPHEGODZ. An one-man band actually a supposed to release a cassette EP or demo in 1997 but didn't make it due to high cost of recording the songs by himself in a professional studio in Singapore. Well, there's a track from BELPHEGODZ in this tape, the last song in this tape actually and this song is different with what MINDWAR is playing, heavy metal/thrash/death music. The self-acclaime bastard sons of heavy metal do capable of composing good song here but the sound is not good in my hearing. The track Witchcunt is quite interesting, thrash with some remixs of 70's or 80's music which I usually heard from movies release on that particular year (whatever they called that music is). I won't use 'better bad than nothing' as my motto. If I knew the result is bad, I will not release/do it. Always strive for perfection...

demo-narrator_promo99.jpg (11437 bytes)NARRATOR  (Malaysia) 
Promotape 1999

NARRATOR is new band from Kedah, a state that produce many well-mentioning bands lately. This is their very first recordings so ofcourse there are many room for improvement and progression also take time to develop. If they continue to progress and keep the band alive, NARRATOR should be another band that everyone should be aware of. This promo already caught my attention despite the bad sound recording. Melodic dark metal is what they claimed to play but for me it should be called melodic death with black metal-like vocal. 'Melodic' is from their guitar riffs and solo which I enjoyed very much but I couldn't find the 'dark' in this 2 track tape like they mentioned. Intro for Wangian Kemboja sounds like AS SAHAR on their Meditation... EP and the last tracks is an intrumental song, Mouseleumoath. Musically they are good, if only a much better studio being with professional recording the result will be much better. Keep your eye on this band.
Mohd Yushizam, 308 Tmn Mewah, Jln Langgar, 05460 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

demo-perpetual_mental_depression.jpg (8586 bytes)PERPETUAL (Malaysia) 
Mental Depression
Grind Combat Productions, 1999

PERPETUAL are now back with their latest, brutal harsh grindcore demo '99, Mental Depression. Before this, their have a release one demo and a promotape, but it does not appeal to me as Mental Depression did. 6 brutally executed tracks with good sound and also comes with colored printed cover. Being the first release of GRIND COMBAT PRODUCTIONS and come from Sabah, this demo is as good as MORTUARY ANCESTOR Dogma Orthodox demo '99. Mental Depression obtainable for USD 3 / RM 7 (p&p). They also plan to release lots of split tape (as a normal grind band do, right ?) and some have been released on the time this webzine is up in the internet. Ask for other release to and for distro, you might attracted to thier cheap wholesale price.

PERVERTS (Malaysia)
Forth Devilry Millenium
Misery Records, 2000

A 3 tracks demo, black metal that should be improved sound-wise. They are playing fast norwegian kind of black metal but also blends their music with a slow depressive moment. Quite okay actually. After a few listening, the music atracts me. Its like listening to demos released in mid 1990's, raw and with dark aura are present in the songs. I was told this demo this demo is no longer for sale. They decided to re-record it and I think that is a good idea. The vocalist for this band once sing for HAYAGRIVA and they are quite famous in the local scene. His voice doesn't change. Since I have brought up Hayagriva here, I am curious to know whether the demo of PROFANUM VULGAS (with members of Hayagriva, Vociferation, etc) have been release or just rumours spread by someone that like to waste his money printing flyers.

demo-prophesy-demo99-2.jpg (10575 bytes)PROPHESY (Singapore) 
Profanator Of The Black Empire 
Demo 1999

The most underground black metal band from Singapore. I just knew them upon recommendation from Shyaithan of IMPIETY. Quite shocking at first, after I found out he (PROPHESY is a one man band, fronted by Vasp Necrogoat) already release couples of demo and one split EP with a Finnish black metal released under Stalhammar Production (Finland). Never heard of them either from my contact in Singapore or even in zines. There's must be a reson why Vasp isolated himself from local underground metal scene. About this demo, its featured all songs from the split EP plus few extra tracks. Raw, fast scandinavian black metal with satanic, anti christian lyrics. Luckily this one-man project use a real drum so it does not suffer the stagnat, boring drum beat. Quite good considering its a one man effort. I only suggest Vasp use a good studio with professional recording. The era of harsh sounding recording is not really appreciated nowadays in some cases. The next release will be a 7" EP, so look forward to get that EP because this demo is in limited 50 copies and could be out of stock. By the way this demo is not for sale actually but you can purchase the split EP from Finnish distribution/mailorder service. PROPHESY contact address is not permitted to be shown.

SAKRAMOTH (Malaysia)
My Spirits Buried With Paksi Naga 
Demo 1999

A new band from the same neigbourhood where DARK BREED dwell. I rather review DB demo, which I think will offer something interesting after listening to a track in a local compilation tape. I found that SAKRAMOTH being interview by many local fanzines. They must be great, if not the editor will not regard them as young LANGSUYR. But after listening to this demo, I was dissappointed. Lyrically, they are using the malay occult theme like the rest of the enw band here. Musicwise, they are into death/black metal, in the style that old VRYKOLAKAS played. Nothing interesting in this 4 tracks tape. Latest news I got, the band is re-recording their debut demo due to huge demand. 
c/o Azaharil Anuar b. Zahir, Blok K138 Fasa 3A, 32040 Seri Manjung, Malaysia.

demo-seasonal_abyss_split_and_unite.jpg (11359 bytes)SEASONAL ABYSS (Malaysia) 
Split And Unite
Demo 1999

This is among the few Malaysian underground metal band which release their demo with color cover by themselves and still selling at the cheap price (or 'standard' local demo/zine price nowadays) of RM 7 (for Malaysian and at the 'killing' price of USD 7 for foreigner). I must give highest credit for that. At least they are trying to be different with other Malaysian band. This demo presents 8 tracks with an 'okay' sound. If they recorded this demo in Negeri 9 then Negeri band should use this studio. They label their music as extreme music. Are they try to play it safe ? The music is like slow version of grindcore (I mean the guitar) and they vocal is too obvious hardcore-like. I don't like the vocal though and the music is not really my cup of tea. The song Face The Reality is the best track here as well as Obey, Betray... . Obey, Betray... is an electronic / industrial track and this. Better than Zigod (read review elsewhere). Another track is Bola Ke Telo ?, sounds like some tribe in Amazon forest doing some ceremonies with chanting un-understandable words and hand clapping. Reminds me of Sepultura actually. The cover comes with lyrics and funnily I can only read/see the member's name and not the band's picture. Was it intended to be like that or it's the printer fault ? New demo is on recording on the time this review being upload in the internet.
Nuradli Ridzwan, No 486 Jln Kenanga 2, Tmn Bkt Chedang, 70200 Seremban, N Sembilan, Malaysia.

TOMB OF TIME (Bulgaria)
This Is What I See
Beverina Production, 1999

This is not black metal or even metal at all. Naw, the only person person behind this project have created a weird demo. Not too weird I think because the songs are more in the dark wave kind of music. Only 3 tracks here and I truly like the first one, "Space Of Serenity". A real dark haunting composition. It is merely synth and a drum or something that sounds like tabla (indian traditional music instrument) and Naw reciting the sanskrit-like lyrics and interchanging his vocals from normal spoken voice to black metal growling. This is quite original song. The second one is different. Still in his horrifying vocals, but the music is like techno music. Not the kind of techno I like but here it sounds really funny. The last track, also a good one, again in spoken voice but the music is just accoustic guitar. This one is a bit melodic. The demo is pro-done with a simple front cover artwork. Perhaps the song can be added a bit more like 2 or 3 more to make this demo a bit interesting. The songs here is too short. Although this is not metal but this is quite interesting and different. I guess Naw also have his own metal project. There still lots of info I should get about Bulgarian metal scene. I hope someone will help me out.
c/o Boris Izvorski, Macedonia Str. 12, BL. 51 En E Ap. 100, Kjustendil 2500, Bulgaria.

Archgoat Incantation
Mission Production

8 tracks demo, including intro/outro from a Greek band which does not sound like the typical greek band. The six songs are in the style of chaotic scandinavian black metal with a horrifying vocals. The sound is weak and that effect my pleasure of listening to this demo. Nothing new presented here and nothing that amazed me beside the SARCOFAGO cover. Surprisingly, this demo was sold for more than 500 copies (mine is numbered 506). Comes with pro-printed cover.

Demo 1999

Turkish dark occult metal. It is their second demo, 4 tracks with a decent sound. The song is quite long, ranging from 5 to 7 minutes. This is quite interesting since I can hear some turkish folk-like music on some parts. This demo depends a lot on synth. Beside normal male vocals reciting the lyrics, also can be heard are growling voices and screaming, adding to the variations of vocal styles. The song "Diablera" is more like an intro where normal male vocal just recites the lyrics. On certain part on "Dark Millennium", a mid pace song, sounded like Malaysian famous children song, "Lagu Tiga Kupang". Quite funny though and this is the worse track here. The drums sucks a bit. The last song, "Heart Flesh" is a 7 minute epic. Minus the annoying screeching voice, this will be a great depressive dark/doom song. Overall, the music is mid-paced mostly and melodic. Only the third track is a bit different, a fast black metal number. The demo comes with color laser xerox cover, printed on both side. The music is quite okay but I do hope the next release they will improve the drumming as well as using a good color combination for the cover.
c/o Korhan Gunsor, P.K. 629 06445, Yenisehir/Ankara, Turkey. 

...Gjennom Takete Skogen 
Neodawn Production, 2000
I have to admit I admire most of metal band which incorporate keyboard and synth in their extreme metal music. But listening to only the sound of synth, keys is something I can't stand with. Be it Mortiis, Shadowcaster, the new Burzum, etc. It is okay as an intro/outro of an album, like most of the album/demo available in the scene, then followed by metallic cacophony. Here, 5 tracks, around 27 minutes of 'dark, majestic, melancholic and atmospheric synth sound-scape'. The music is mostly slow to mid-pace tempo, supposedly bring 'dark soundscape' which is true if you're the fan of this style. Fortunately, the last 2 track is a bit better than the rest. "I Skogens Farn" is a bit merrier and joyful and "Visjoner Av En Evighet" contain the same pattern like a song I hear previous before these 2 tracks but this one is a bit fast. If you like Mortiis, you will like Vinterriket. This demo is pro-done and limited to 500 copies.

demo-zigod_something.jpg (9781 bytes)ZIGOD (Malaysia) 
Demo 1999

They play industrial music so are they fit to be here ? Of course, this is a zine for extreme and dark music (that's the info for those who are stil unlcear with our concept). Well, this demo is officially distribute by SHBS of ZUBIRUN's distribution. 3 tracks available here and the vocal reminds me of Ministry. An okay sounded demo but the growling vocal part is horrible ! It will be a good demo minus the vocals or drop down the groling part. This is quite original in Malaysian underground scene and the cover is not in the ordinary lay-out. Check it yourself.
Shahrul Hazri, 113 Tmn Long Jaafar, Tmn Long Jaafar Fasa 3, Kg Boyan, 34000 Taiping, Malaysia.

Z-GOD (Malaysia) 
Rehearsal Track 2000

Z-GOD or ZIGOD, it is the same band. Please forgive me if I made the mistake by typing the band's name wrongly in my previous review. The front cover shows ZIGOD (as you can see in the previous review). Their debut demo is a hard release for me and can't digest it even listening to it for countless of time. Fortunately this tape consist a new track called "L.S.D." have thrown away all the bad things I heard in "Something" Demo. The growling vocals have change to evil black metal kind of vocals and in this track all vocals is in this form, no more normal vocals. The music is still weird. Industrial you might say. Still the guitar works makes it heavy and the guitar effect also sound interesting. The rest are drum machine, sampler, etc but guitar is the main instrument which make the main melodies. So don't expect any crappy techno/electronic stuffs. L.S.D. sounds interesting and hopefully the next release will have more songs like these.

ZONE-X (Malaysia) 
Rehearsal Tracks 2000

Featuring SHBS of ZUBIRUN (Malaysian promising black/thrash metal). At first I was expecting somekind of industrial or new age metal (like KORN, etc) from because of the band's name. I was extremely wrong ! This is soft rock kinda music. If you compare with AS SAHAR "Baku Karama" album, ZONE-X is softer but cooler ! This tape is not for sale, just a sample given to me to give the rough (or exact) idea of what ZONE X sounds like. What I can say is "Rembulan Makin Suram" and "It Will Never Stay" deliver a sweet and pleasant feeling while listening. The melodies created by the music and the normal male vocals (is it SHBS voice ?) fits very well and his singing is quite good too. They wisely use keyboard, piano, accoustic guitar, drum machine (I guess) and the usual, but-not-to-heavy-sounds of electric guitar in creating a slow, moody and joyful music which sooth the ears of mine. The recording for the next professional release have been completed and thats a good news since 2 tracks here is not enough for me. I wanted more. ZONE-X is strictly for open-minded metal fans. It is not really metal but you should ignored the effort to create an original project from the brainchild of ZUBIRUN.

demo-zubirun_hellfire_generation.jpg (15573 bytes)ZUBIRUN  (Malaysia) 
Hellfire Generation

North Poem Records, 1999

I like this band since their Y.I.K.I.T.A. debut demo '95. Years later they come out with another demo which a different musicstyle but still good as the debut. Now, 2 years later another output in much professional recording, and again their music has changed but for sure the changes made is for the best. Hellfire is a one track single, a great 3 minutes of hell-rock ride ! ZUBIRUN has added more juicy speed thrashy riff and seems like they are caught in the "thrash revival" phenomena that affected most of the bands today. Not that I'm saying this in a negative way because ZUBIRUN is really capable of delivering great black thrash song. I enjoy this very much and definitely worth buying, if there are any copies left since it is only released in limited 100 copies. This track also featured in Oskorei Mag issue #3.

Cassette EP | Cassette LP | Compilation | Split Tape