Tape Review

Cassette LP

album-crusade-the_darkness_calls_my_name.jpg (11311 bytes)CRUSADE (Indonesia) 
The Darkness Call My Names
Extreme Souls Productions, 1999

The band previously release a promotape in '96 called Barbaric Ancient War and a demo in '97 called The Darkness Call My Name prior to the release of this album. According to the band's bio this album supposed to titled as Hateful And Cruelty but they decided to change the title with the one they already used in 1997. Enough with the historical facts. CRUSADE delivers 9 entertaining tracks, atmospheric black metal, melodic and they called it 'genialer black metal'. What that supposed to mean ? My English may not be corresct but the antonym for 'genial' is 'bestial' and that what black metal supposed to be. Maybe the lyrics are genial but as long I don't read it, like KEKAL for example (I regret reading the shitty lyrics) CRUSADE is a lullaby to my ears. Atmospheric keyboards, melodic riffs, good production and professional cover inlay (the best so far from Indonesia !), everything was done professionally. Their music is my cup of tea. The only drawback is about some wordings in the cover inlay and the too long thanks list. They should make a separate sheet which contains only thanks list and put the lyrics in the cover. The first black metal in Extreme Souls a very talented band indeed.

album-dry-belenggu_kelam.jpg (12121 bytes)DRY (Indonesia) 
Belenggu Kelam
Javanese Mysticism, 1998
Total chaotic speed black metal. Looking from the picture in the cover sleeve, one must think that DRY is a foreign band. DRY get their influenced from MARDUK and in terms of originality, DRY may not have it. They may not be at the same level as IMPIETY in this style of music but they already made a great impact on my first listen of this cassette. Black metal supposed to raw, grim, etc as many might say and in Belenggu Kelam you will hear nothing except for cold black metal. Keyboard are also used but not too many, only providing dark and gloom atmosphere and without it, the songs will not be harmed. Some accoustic passage also present in some of the songs, giving some times for listener to relax (for a while) before the onslaught continues. As for the poetic lyrics, all are written in Indonesian except for one track and all are interesting reading material as well. Pity it does not have English translation. Malaysian Psychic Scream should have released this instead of RITUAL ORCHESTRA, and of course DRY is band worth to be invested in.

Sulphurous Domain
Promo 2000

This is the promo for their forthcoming debut CD. I must change what I have said in the review of Eastern Invasion compilation. The track they feature in that comp., "Dark Formation.." is taken from this album and was the only slowest track here. They play doom/black metal until to their 3rd demo. Now they play black metal, under influence of Old Mans Child and the bands alike. What we have here is fast and at times melodic black metal with keys accompanying along the songs and singing in both growling and normal male vocals. The song "Faceless Dawn" and "Glorious Submission" are the best among all. Fast black metal, melodic with a bit of thrash with some slow and accoustic part. A recipe for a great music. When will the actual release see the light of the day is not yet confirmed. I hope very soon. 
c/o Zirkelloch, Blk 426 Clementi Ave 3, #06-492 S(120426), Singapore.

album-morbifikLP.jpg (22148 bytes)MORBIFIK (Indonesia)
Gradually Killed In Torture
Aluzza Productions, 1999

After their MC/EP gained lots of good reviews from mag/zines/labels/bands worldwide, MORBIFIK is now back in the business. Is "Gradually..." as great as "Now I'm Bleed" ? One thing for sure, MORBIFIK isn't slowing down, not a single second in any of the 15 tracks of this 30+ minutes tape which again released bytheir own label.   Brutal death/grind is what they played and they succeeded in delivering what death/grind music should; heavy growling, hyper speed drumming, chugging guitar, etc. So intense ! Sound-wise it is mych better than the EP but I was dissappointed with the front cover artwork. I was hoping for more sick and gory picture from this guy. What the fuck, the music is much more important, right ? Those who like Brutal Truth, Cannible Corpse, Napalm Death, Carcass, etc might like it. As for me, I will listen for one more time before I stop. I need more melody (melodic) in my listening as I am not a death/grind freak.

album-ritual_orchestra_seeking_immortal.jpg (18149 bytes)RITUAL ORCHESTRA (Indonesia) 
Seeking Immortal
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 1999

I was surprised to see this tape on the shelves in local cassette outlet. I must congratulate Psychic Scream Entertainment because of the cover and inlay re-designing of this album. Believe me, the original version sucks. The artwork is immature, the font are too small and too curly making it hard to read and trying to hide the track title by spelling some words backward like Satan (natas). Definitely, Psychic Scream Entertainment have choose the wrong Indonesian band. RITUAL ORCHESTRA delivers nothing that plain monotonous black metal. All tracks sound the same, horrible drumming, nothing really interesting can be found here. RITUAL ORCHESTRA must also learn some more English grammar lesson. Is it too obvious that the album title should be written as Seeking Immortality ?

album-uprising-kebangkitan.jpg (23421 bytes)UPRISING (Malaysia) 
Sacred Productions, 1998

Formed by the members of ENFORCER and this cassette album is released by their own label, SACRED PRODUCTION. You can released anything if you have your own label and money. I don't really understand what are they trying to do with this album. 'Metal Vein' is what they say for their music and 'metal vein' is not really my style of music. Claimed to combine various of style (metal, non-metal, medieval, borogue, etc) but for me just boring death/thrash, only the intro/outro is the only track I like. Of course, this is their first release, maybe they can come out with something better next time. Sacred Productions will also produce couple of mini and full-lenght albums for local bands. Do watch the review column here in Steel Madness because bands are quite interesting.

album-ziarah_immortal_ceremony.jpg (10403 bytes)ZIARAH (Indonesia) 
Immortal Ceremony
Leviathan Records, 1999

Those who are still mourning because of AS SAHAR new musical direction, don't be so sad. ZIARAH plays similarly to what AS SAHAR have play in their Primitively Eastern Winds demo. I can't get my mind off from AS SAHAR when listening to ZIARAH's Immortal Ceremony. 8 tracks of raw, simple repetitive and yet memomarable riff of black/thrash metal with bad sound production. The songs are good, but with this kind sound (even demo sound better) it will kill the pleasure of listening of both side on this cassette. Maybe it's the manufacturer fault because on my tape, side A is much clearer than side B. If this is the case, then LEVIATHIAN RECORDS should other manufacturer to press their cassettes in the future. ZIARAH is a band worth the support and maybe their next release is much better (sound-wise).

Cassette EP | Compilation | Demo | Split Tape