Sentinel, 2001
A A bit of history about the band, they have existed since 1989 under a different name and changed their name to ABADDON INCARNATE in 1994. Later they were signed by Seasons Of Mist in 1998. "Nadir", their second album contains 24 tracks (more than 30 minutes) of grind/death metal! Intense death, extremely brutal! This is what fans of brutal music are looking for. They remind me of our DEMISOR at times. I think this is my shortest review. I guess the local fans will not have hard time of imagine how they sound like. If you are local metalhead and do not know DEMISOR, you should be ashamed of yourself!!


ABATTORY (Singapore)
Anthems of Death
Permatha Pathah Records, 2001

This Singaporean death/thrash have released few tapes prior of this MCD and they got lots of positive reviews. It’s a surprise to see PERMATHA PATHAH, a small Malaysian label got the privilege to release “Anthems Of Death”. It is a good investment for PERMATHA PATHAH. I only heard “Chronicles of Chaos” and “Morbid Fear” demo/single some years ago (while they are known as ABATTOIR) and comparing the old material with the new songs in this 4 track MCD, the music are not the same. Of course, that is the easier hypothesis everyone can make. The music is now are more brutal and fast now. In “Anthems...”, there are new members including the vocalist and they contributed to what the band sound now as well as maturity of all members as musicians. Kravnos (once play for IMPIETY), Makhluq (also vox for BUNUH, SAKARATUL MAUT) are among the souls in ABATTORY. Only 4 songs available in this CD with the running time of 18 minutes. At the time being there is no cassette version available. That is a bad news for S.E.Asian (as most SEA countries especially Malaysia where they prefer cassette than anything else) but if you want the cassette just because it is cheap then think again. The CD is only RM 12 (for Malaysia) and is damn cheap!
Abattory, Apt. Blk 99, #09-1904, Bedok North Avenue 4, Singapore 460099.


Only Death Is Real
Demise Records, 2000

"Enemy!!! I am ... Evil !!!", says Leon (vox/guitar) on the last line of the track "The Enemy". Although it is just an intro, but sounds/samples and the lyrics and also the distorted vocal reciting the lyric delivers an atmosphere full of evil and wrath. I already listened to few advance tracks from this album and I pretty much like it now than before. Originality, not available here and that also goes to a large amount of bands in the scene. But only few that manage to sound like this. You should read the interview for more info. Just like Warhammer, musically they are into Hellhammer/early Celtic Frost. Even in this CD, the front cover design and the 'low' sound of the songs have strong Hellhammer feeling on it. If you listen to this CD a couple of times, you will either like it more or feel disgusted of the Hellhammer rip-off. If you can listen to thousand of Dark Throne or Dimmu Borgir/C.O.F. clones, why not them?
Leon Manssur, Rua Sa Ferreira 227 CP. 501, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ CEP 22071-100, Brazil.


Nihility Mundane Soul
Solemn Music, 2000

I am interested to hear this band since they released “Resentment Of An Evanesce Aeon” demo in 1998. It took me 3 years and finally I got this CD, which is their debut album. The strongest factor that make wanted to hear their music is because they are from Malta, a rare place for metal. At least this is the first band I know from Malta. I can’t say whether it is worth waiting for “Nihility…” but they meet my expectation. It is atmospheric black metal where you will hear both fast and calm passages in the songs with some nice keyboards and guitar solos. Good progressive melodic black metal. There are some good riffs in the songs and added with the atmospheric dark passages making the songs above average. The result will be better minus the drum programming. “Nihility Mundane Soul” was originally recorded as promo for mag/label but Solemn Music released it as a 4 tracks MCD. The next release will be better I guess. But I think “Nihility…” is not great enough to compete with today’s extreme metal market.
Archean Harmony, P.O.Box 8, Zurrieq, BP0 Malta


Ah! heres a genre that I hate to review, Power Metal, got nothing against it as such only thing is that I just HATE the vocals. Same goes for Argument Soul [weird name],the vocals surely doesnt do much for me but I must say that their music is way superb. 3 Tracks clocking 15 mins with proper bridge and chorus parts defined in their cd inlay. The second track gives you a definite feel of Iron Maiden, actually the whole album is in the Maiden vein. All in all a good release for power metal. Give them a try if you come across Argument Soul sometime.
3/5 [Shanu]

Before The Audience Of Stars
Dark Symphonies

14 soft non-metal songs with heavenly female vocal. Not really a non-metal since I heard heavy sounding guitar at times but what dominate the whole CD is acoustical guitar and synth. The singer can sing very well and I like her voice. The music is like the slower version of Cranberries and less heavy/dark than Autumn Tears. The music is not slow and depressive like Autumn Tears. It has a very 'happy' mood on it. This CD comes a bit late because I have other stuffs to hear when I need something soft and soothing.

ARUM (Brazil)
Fierce Everlasting Temptest
Demise Records, 2000

"One of the most acclaimed bands that participated in "The Winds of a New Millennium Act 3"..." says the label and I really want to know how they sound in that compilation. ARUM plays black metal or "Brusque Black Metal" to be exact. Some kind of black metal where the guitar creates a (melodic) melody and keyboards in its songs. Some songs have great solos and also acoustic passages. I like it more on the slow part because you can hear the soothing melodies. It is not really relaxing since there is also vocal on that part but the music there is quite interesting. ARUM is not another symphonic black metal because they are different with inclusion of acoustic passages and not solely depend on keyboards and there is no female vocal. Quite original but not really the type of music I am into. The CD consist of 8 tracks and the last track is simply titled "*" and this track rules although I have to wait for 2 minutes after the song before ends. Actually there is no such symbol can be found in the font I am using now. It will be interesting if I can know the meaning of that song but no lyrics or info about the songs included in the 8-page booklet, only pictures of the band members with one of them looks like he is going to cry.


AS~SAHAR (Singapore)
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 LANGSUYR and AS SAHAR introduced years ago.
Ridzuan Abd. Aziz, Blk 58, Marine Terrace, 07-57, Singapore 440058.

Dark Symphonies

I got a CD sampler of AUTUMN TEARS songs taken from 4 of their releases released under Dark Symphonies. This CD is not for sale but as a clue for the magazine, radio show and label to show how AT (basically) sounds like. Well, AT is not metal to be exact. The music depends a lot on the heavenly female vocals with calm and somber music or as said by the info written, "dark orchestral and dramatic music, incorporating somber, neoclassical symphonies with enchanting vocals, foreboding poetry, duets and medieval melodies. Influences range from chant and classical music to Enya, Stoa and earlier Dead Can Dance.". I think that should give you a clear picture of AT'S music. The songs in this CD are not arranged in chronological order so I have to arrange it myself using PC. From 4 song from "...Act 2" CD (their first release under Dark Symphonies), the track "Black Heaven" is a great track. Music is in the same vein but the black metal voice is just awesome. A great combination of music and voice creating one eerie track. It did 'wake' me up. All 3 song from "...Act 1" are similar to others AT songs in "...Act 2". 1 of 2 tracks from "Absolution" MCD is a bit interesting with a bit of electronic/techo and the singing in the other tracks is a bit different. "...Act 3"'s songs were much like the rest, well, maybe I guess since I can find any clear differences. I think the MCD is release I will check in the future. AT will be great if you want to relax yourself. Pure metal fan, stay away from this.

Stabwound Orgasm
Repulse, 1999

Finally I got the chance listening to this CD although it is a promo after a preview in Panggilan Pulau Puaka compilation. 12 tracks with almost 1 hour of music. The first track is an instrumental track with great guitar melodies and I really hope this kind of style continues in the next songs but it doesn't. "Amidst The Macabre" is too soft. The rest of the tracks show their true face. It is not the usual gore death metal but with their own identity in it. The music is intense and brutal but a bit melodic at times and the songs are too catchy. You can remember some of the songs just in first listening. This is the first time I listen to this band's release and I didn't expect it to be this good. I remember reading some reviews on "Cybergore", which mostly got negative reviews. "Stabwound Orgasm" is already 2 years old but that is not an excuse for you to ignore this CD. A valuable release to be added in your collection.

War! Speed And Power,
ISO666 Releases, 2001
35 minutes 12 tracks of alcoholic war metal. I haven't yet listened to Abigail, except for few tracks in some compilation. Barbatos is always being compared to Abigail in the zine/mag review. Barbatos is a solo project by Yasuyuki, so that's a strong reason of the similarity between the two bands. Barbatos have few demos and EPs released before. The music is like combination of rock, thrash, punk with black metal voice (not the usual one but sicker than that) and the lyrics is about sex, alcohol and war. Comes together with a neatly design 8 page booklet. This CD also includes some songs from their EP (with Damien of Ritual Carnage doing some vocals). I see no reason why you should not check this band out.

BEELZEBUL (Colombia)
The Powerfull Essene Of Lucifthian In Times Of Obscurantism
Tribulacion/Pentagram, 2000

Don't blame me for the spelling mistake on the CD's title. I write what I read. This 8 songs CD highly praise Satan and Lucifer, and yes we are dealing with black metal. The track's title is long, and only 4 of the lyrics are shown in the booklet. It is not the usual Nordic black metal, it is quite mid-pace with clear influence of Bathory. The 1st track and some of tracks have a bit of rock, which is quite strange for a black metal band and hail the songs like these. Pretty average stuffs here and I'll get bored after a while but they did impress me for the first listening.

The Black Magic Domain
A 7 track CD-R mini album (22+ minutes). There are 6 souls behind Black Empire and chooses to play black metal. A good DIY release (nice booklet design) but there is not much you can get from this CD-R (speaking about originality and other things that will make like them more). A bit melodic, Swedish black style but not as fast like the Swedes. There are some catchy tunes but I need more than that.
Apartado Postal 116 CP 55541, Sta Clara Coatitla Edo De Mex Mexico.


Think the album name sounds weird? Wait till you listen to their music. Blood Cult is a mix of punk/death/black/grind metal but surprise!! It does sound good. The Lyrics are based on American
Red-Indian Stories, there is also a cover of Sigh's [Japan] - Ready for Final War and yes its been done very well. The CD totals 22 mins and every song has a distinctic identity to it. Ryan Preston's vocals sound kinda evil donald duck on some tracks, maybe its the recording or maybe its all the weed he smokes. If you're looking for something new, BloodCult is for you.
c/o Ryan, 2021 W. Sunset Decatur, IL 62552, USA.

3/5 [Shanu]

BLOODY GORE (Indonesia)
Stench Of Your Perversion
Fetal Tampon Disease Records, 2000

A 6 tracks, 15 minutes MCD. What else can we expect from an Indonesian band with the name BLODDY GORE? Brutal grinding death metal! This is not a new release. They have released these songs in cassette form. One in 1999 and then released in again a year later with different cover and now, Fetal Tampon release it in CD. Differences between the first original version with this CD is the inclusion of intro (excerpt/screaming taken from some movie I guess), outro (also from movie I assume but added with some brutal techno/industrial metal music) and with much better sound. They will soon release another MCD under European label with new vocalist (formerly of DELIRIUM TREMENS!!).
BLOODY GORE, Jl. Nyiur Melambai 1 Blok A No. 3, Jakarta Utara 14260, Indonesia.


Saba Records
Another Power Metal band, this time from the US of A. This is Byfist's first [I guess] demo CD released by Saba Records (??) which mentions in bold "Produced by David Wayne - Metal Church". Hahaha big deal! This CD is being sold/distributed as a product, it says 'BYFIST YOU WON'T REGRET IT' well that's some bad marketing punch line. 4 tracks totaling 17 minutes the music is quite ok, dunno why but a majority of these power metal bands sound the same, no comments about the vocals.
2/5 [Shanu]

Saba Records
Haha. No ass kissing here Shanu, I like this CD-R. The press sheet mentioned "Produced by David Wayne - Metal Church" and this statement alone make this demo CD something that lovers of heavy/power metal should have. Especially fans of Metal Church because (if I remember it correctly, my MC tapes are long gone) you can hear some traces of MC here, a bit in the guitars and the vocals effect. But Byfist is a bit melodic on the solos. I can't comment more since this is only a 4 tracks CD-R but it make me move. The last song is a bit different, a bit of old Slayer with power metal vocals which sounds really great.

CALLENISH CIRCLE (The Netherlands)
Graceful...Yet Forbidding
DSFA Records, 1999

Those who have weak heart should have died because of heart attack when listening to this CD. No intro, the 1st track starts with a loud "aarghhhhh!" I really dig "Lovelorn" demo but after that, I don't know how their music sounds like but 1 thing for sure, this 2nd full-length rules supreme! Musically, their almost sounds the same like the last time I heard them. Their own brand of melodic, death, doom and how clever they combine these make them only of its kind in the world. You will hear fast death and then slow break, melodic. Then the music changes a bit, without losing the listener's feeling on the song. 11 tracks here. And as far as I remember, there's a track here, perhaps a re-record of their old demo song. I only have a promo CD-R of this CD and I must buy the real soon. And this is the first time I give high marks just for its music, not the whole release (include booklet design, etc).

Chancro en Duro
Cultura Rock, 1999

29 tracks, with this number of song, the music must be grindcore and after the CD start playing it proves that I am right. Not really my type of music, even if they are skillful, fast, whatever. It will be a bit better if a nice looking girl with big tits and nice face put in the CD booklet instead of the one they use now.
Chancro Duro, P.O.Box 17-11-5045, Quito, Ecuador.


From Birth To Burial
Self-Released, 2001

Impressive d.i.y. release. They have released few demos and album(s) before so they are not new in the scene as they are formed in 1989. 10 tracks, more than 30 minutes of thrash and hardcore with death metal theme. This is not the usual US brutal death metal like you expected it to be. The CD-R comes with full color cover, lyrics and band photo. The mix of fast thrash and hardcore music is okay. Sometimes it sounded like death metal, especially when the solos come in. The hardest part for me to digest is the vocal. It will be better if it is harsher and gory growling like the rest US brutal bands. This is the band’s fifth recording and done in 24-tracks. Good sound. It is worth the 1 one year effort of recording this album.
CHARNEL HOUSE, P.O.Box 570677, Whitestone, NY 11357, USA.


Are You Excrements
Morbid Records, 2001

In the last issue I reviewed their split tape with DEMISOR. They sounded different in that tape. C.S.S.O. has a long history and did release some stuffs under Morbid Recs. years ago. The band plays grind rock and they are damn good in playing it (whatever they called their music is). Space rock, grind/death vox, few punk riffs with grind blasting music. This is the combination I will not hear everyday. All songs are equally great and I can’t find any similar band to compare them with (Well, I am not into grind scene anyway). You will also hear some weird tunes like in “Living Dead A Go Go” with sounds I usually hear in old horror movies. Quite scary actually. I tried to do like what I did with MOSHQUITO CD (review elsewhere) but unfortunately this is not a multimedia enhanced CD. But I am satisfied with this 6 tracks CD (almost 40 min) as they offer something different in today’s extreme (metal) music scene.
Narutoshi Sekine, 3-41-16 Sumida, Sumida-Ku, Tokyo 131-0031 Japan

The Atavistic Triad
Dark Symphonies

I don't know any info about this band and I have also looked in the web but that did not help much. Maybe the label did made an info sheet to be given together with this promo but I got this promo by trading and did not receive any paper except for this CD and its cardboard slipcase. Strange actually. Usually bands put hidden track after the last song stated on the CD booklet. On this one, they put in between track number 3 and the last track. But they wrote the last track as number 5. So you know the hidden track is song number 4 but don't know the title. Before listening, I have in mind they play some kind of doom or gothic metal. At least I’m right about the music a bit. They do combine doom and gothic in their music, along with keyboards, female vocals, normal and growling male vocals. But they also have some fast black metal parts so the whole CD will not put you asleep while listening although the fast part is not as much. The songs are quite long mostly, more than 10 minutes. The first track, "Sons Of The Earth" is the best track here, mixing the style I mentioned above but after that song the music made me kind of bored. Too many slow, depressive parts and this should please the fans of doom/dark/gothic music.

COUNTESS (Holland)
The Revenge Of The Horned One Part 1
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2001

This is supposed to be released as a double CD but later the plan changed and released as separate album. In this CD you will the typical ‘Countess’ black metal. If you listen to the previous releases, you will easily notice it. I think the guitar sound and vocal style is the biggest trademark of their music beside the vocal. This is different with “The Shining Swords Of Hate”. They have lost the atmospheric keys. 12 tracks for about 68 minutes of music. Quite long but not as exhausting as listening to the previous CD. “Triumph Of Metal” is quite funny though. It is like Manowar's but instead of the grandfather telling bedtime stories to his grandson, he told the child to fuck off! Again this CD also includes cover song, this time from Venom (Countess Bathory) but their style is not near with the original version. Should I say they make it sound worse?


COUNTESS (Holland)
The Shining Swords Of Hate
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2000

Not much info available about this CD. Not sure how many releases they have released but as far as I know there bunch of CDs and most of it released/licensed under Nazgul Eyrie Prod. Nazgul Eyrie’s boss is now running Barbarian Wrath Records and he must be a great fan of this band. “The Shining Swords Of Hate” is the label’s debut release and COUNTESS got the honor. The CD contains 7 songs “like the songs Bathory did not dare to record back in 1994”. Well, the label says so. But if Bathory did record like this, they might not be what they have become as cult as there are now. The running time of this CD is 68 minutes and maybe a good value for your money if concerning the length. But mostly album with shorter running time is much better and in “The Shining Swords Of Hate”, 68 is too long for me to handle. This CD is raw in sound and quite slow, atmospheric and symphonic. Some normal dark vocals used and it fits very well with the music. This is not the kind of black metal that I remember COUNTESS used to play. Quite boring actually but however track #3 and #5 is a bit fast and ended to be my fave tracks in this release. They also cover Bathory’s “The Return Of Darkness And Evil” and on this track Orlok screams with his ‘normal’ black metal voice which leave you with 2 choice; love it or hate it.

The Experimental Minds Of Instability To Shock Your Therapy System
Demo 2002
5 songs, 7 minutes long demo CD-R. They have released few demo tapes/cd-r before and more are plan to come in the future. Halim complaint about the sound of this demo but I don’t think it is that bad. Perhaps I am used to this kind of Indonesian sound? Not much to be said here. The death/grind music they play is the like others from their land. Fans of brutal music will like this I guess.
P.O.Box 90 YKBS, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.


No Mercy
8 tracks, 40 minutes. Thrash metal but this is different comparing to Deep Throat. I think "No Mercy" is recorded before that compilation and I guess they improved after this release. You will hear mid-paced thrash metal, a bit of Slayer, some acoustic or folk/Viking metal-like passages and some growling vocals. Quite heavy stuff but only on the non-acoustical/slow part. I am not into this.
Cranium, A 303, Arenja Towers, Sector 11, CBD Belapur Navi Mumbai, India.


DemoCd 2001
Dead Sound Productions, 2001

Should I call Malaysia Book Of Record and tell them about this band? (probably) The first local underground metal band produced and sell their demo in CD. 7 tracks and that include an intro taken from theme of Heroes III (whatever that is), an outro and 1 instrumental track. Although this is a demo, but this have made a long distant between them and other demo bands in Malaysia. Judging from the songs, I don't think they started the band for few days and later record a demo. Maybe lack of experience in studio or limited budget this demo do have some flaws. The vocal is too loud or to upfront the music and the drum sound is too thin and also the guitar sound are things that avoid me listening to this CD for few more times. Musically, they play melodic death metal and not too original since In Flames is in my mind while listening to this CD but the riffs are quite good and it moves me. Basically, the sound of this demo have top out most of the demo recorded by new local bands. The promo did not come with the front cover but I am impressed with the front cover artwork I seen in their website and I hope the actual release of this CD will include that. But releasing this only in CD-R is one big question that puzzles me. Most of local fans prefer cassette (and lots don't have CD player) so that might be difficult for them to reach the local listener but if they're heading for international scene, they must be dreaming. This is not the right time for that.
Crimson Fall c/o

CRYPTIC MALEDICTION (Malaysia) / INDAMNATION (Malaysia) The Rebirth
Pony Canyon Music, 2000

Two old EP, which some how these EPs or the bands, have connection with Dreamworlddecay Productions is now made available in one CD. This is a good move because you all know CD is much better and last longer than tapes. CRYPTIC MALEDICTION "Insanity To Berserk" EP rules my cassette player last time and now their song will stay a bit longer in my CD player. Their unique brand of death metal with keyboard is quite interesting. And the new song is much better. A mix of fast brutal death with a bit of Swedish melodic death and touching solos. Everyone should check their debut album "Embedded In Blood" when it is out at once! I am not really into INDAMNATION "Blackguard" last time and I also feel the same now. I don't know how exactly describing them but they said as a 'complete musical passage to a new level of grind/death metal aggression'. Death metal is the safest thing to say about them although they lack of speed and intensity and a bit more diverse in the style. And on their side includes 1 extra track, I must say this is their best opus to date. The CD booklet includes the band's bio and I think it is better including their picture and logo or make the picture a bit clearer. 2 silly things about this CD is the wrong track arrangement for CM (the last 2 track is their new songs, not as stated in the booklet) and the high price of this CD (almost the same as other local mainstream CD). Luckily no one want to release pirate underground metal CD because the CD is already cheap but this one is an excuse. Pirate this one please.
(4/5) / (2.5/5)

Rape Rape Rape
ISO666, 2000

An all star band, with members from SIGH and ABIGAIL playing, this will make every Asian black diehard hunting for this release. I review their last live promo and now their debut CD came out and a new CD should be released by now. Nothing special about this CD though, just the band covering song from old-school bands. Haha. I am still figuring out who is (some) the original band of the song. 12 tracks here and 3 tracks taken from their old live tape. Their version of song mostly rules especially "Bonded By Blood".
Yasuyuki Suzuki, 59-7 Saiwai-cho Itabashi-ku Tokyo 173-0034, Japan

Promo 2001
A two tracker promo from a Japanese female thrash metal. I found out about them on the internet and gladly to receive this promo. I firstly expect some thrashing metal violence like some Japanese bands like TERROR SQUAD, RITUAL CARNAGE, SABBAT, etc but they are not up to that level yet (not that fast musically). It is hard to just judge from 2 tracks. What I can say, the two songs are catchy, some German thrash thrown in together with some solos. The vocals are not the same like male thrash screams and I have to get use of that. The riffs are quite okay but I like it if some more speed was added especially on the melodic solos.
c/o Yoshie Shirakawa, 301 Star Homes Shibuya Hommachi, 6-37-3 Honmachi Shibuya-ku Tokyo, 151-0071 Japan.


Daemusinem Domine Empire
Cold Blood Industries, 2001
3 young guys, presented a mixed of melodic, speed, death, black metal into one. I have to listen to this 8 tracker CD (40 minutes) couple of times before it grows in me. The fast passages in the CD do not appeal much to me. Too chaotic. I like their slower parts more and also the melodic part where they got from the Swedish scene. "Throne Of Illusions" is my fave. They succeeded in getting my attention and I will surely remember them but I think this stuff will be easily replaced by other CDs that I have.
c/o Patrick Zavanese, Via Salasco 6, 10099 - San Mauro T.SE(TO), Italy.



Chapters Of Damnation
Cool thrash metal. Like old Metallica, Slayer blends with Kreator and with deep guttural growling in not-so-raw sound. I only have these 3 songs on CD-R and not sure how you can obtain this. Try asking your Indian metal friends or search in (as most of Indian bands dwell). This is one of the few Indian bands that I can recommend.

Malefic Influence
Gazochtahagen Records, 2001
I don't receive this kind of stuff a lot. DAVID NEIL CLINE is independent hard rock/heavy metal band. This is his second album re-released on CD (previously on LP, released in 80's/early 90's). 8 tracks, 30 minutes of music. When saying about heavy metal, there must be good guitar works and there are some here. Actually I don't like comparing bands/releases. The good or bad a release lies on my rating. But to make things easier for you, just mix Kiss, Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. That is what you will hear here. I think they are transferring the cover format from LP to CD size. Lots of thing can be put in the 4-page insert instead of long thanks list and also it is badly design. If you don't care about that and only music matters to you then it's okay. But for me good music will be great if it comes in a good package.

Through Scrutiny
Gazochtahagen Records, 2001
The third & new album. I forgot to mention earlier Gazochtahagen is David's very own label. Those who have heard "Malefic.." might wait for this impatiently. This album contains 14 tracks with the running time of 50+ minutes (incl. intro/outro), double the length than its previous album. There is a long period of time after "Malefic.." so I guess he has a lot of time composing. However "Through Scrutiny" is not as great as their second album. There are still some good guitar solos but the music is less heavy and more into a rock direction. I will stick with "Malefic Influence".



DemoCD 2001

Unfortunately this band is already dead but I have to say something since I received this as promo before he ‘died’. If I am not mistaken, this is a one man project and play Norwegian black metal. This CD is a compilation of their releases. 15 songs clocking for almost 74 minutes where 5 of the songs are instrumentals. The instrumental are great especially the slow and depressive one since the vocals is quite irritating. The rest are just okay. The songs are taken from various demo/tape and some are recorded when they are known as Secludere (from in 1989). The sound is raw and primitive and the vocals are very typical black metal voice. All their previous releases are released in limited quantity and so does this CD. Only 100 copies made but you don’t have to die to get this. There are hundreds more stuff that is better than this even though I like it after a while.
c/o James B, P.O.Box 244, Ontonagon, MI 49953-0244, USA.

Demo 2002
4 tracks, 16 minutes of death thrash. Good looking demo CD-R, I mean the color booklet (layout and design). The band previously released 2 demos CD-R under the name Winterwolf. A young band and also the persons behind it, which the age ranges from 18 to 23 years old. They must have some musical background because the songs here do not sound like it was composed by someone who has 1 or 2 years of experience. Nothing new presented here. Just the same old thrash mix with a bit of death metal. Imagine Slayer with growling vocals.
c/o Corpse, Kauppakatu 48 C 45, 70100 Kuopio, Finland.



DEATHGUY (Thailand)
The Secondary Quest
I remember the song in Pulau Puaka comp. That song makes me think that they are playing brutal death and that is present here, remains as the only brutal song in this release. They play melodic black metal with synth. It surprises me that they can play good songs like these. Okay, they are sweet sounding black metal. If you despise Dimmu or Cradle (the high pitch screams are like Dani's), you may have to avoid this. Lots of juicy rocking melodic riffs and this makes me like them a lot. Only if they can get rid the drum machine and get a human drummer, this would be a killer release. The solos got some emotions that really touched me. This is their second release after an EP in 1999. The next one would probably be another EP. "The Secondary..." is a tape release but I got the promo in CD-R with no info or tracks list. It has 8 tracks, including one bonus track from the EP. The latest news I got is this album will be re-released by Trinity Records Hong Kong.
c/o Thanit Thepsitrakorn, 21/2 Soi Suan Oi 1 Samsen Rd. Dusit, Bangkok, 10300 Thailand.


DECAPITATED (Philippines)
The Way Of Brutality
DemoCD 2001
3 tracks demoCD from Davao City, the same city with KORIHOR. As the name of this band and demo suggest, this is brutal death/gore violence! I guess the 'old death metal' fever is spreading worldwide. So here we have the band highly influenced by old Morbid Angel, and some Brazilian death like Krisiun. This is the best death metal I heard from the Philippines. I don't want to write more about them. The hysterical scream and the music really moves me. The only weak point here is the sound production. They need a better studio for their debut full-length album. Yes. They have enough songs for an album. Now they are searching for a label to fund it. I was told that the new songs are much extreme. Please get that recorded soon!


DECAYED (Portugal)
The Book Of Darkness
Drakkar Productions, 1999

16 songs here! And that is quite a lot for a black/death band. 7 own composed songs and the rest are cover songs. The first half of the CD features their own songs, very much like Bathory and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. The first track is 20 minutes long, consist of long slow part, some fast part which is quite interesting and not boring like most of doom bands does in their long songs. And the other half are cover songs from Venom, Death, Frost, etc. A bit sad for me, as the last track, which is Venom's "Witching Hour" can only be played like 3/4 of it. Manufacturer's fault I guess since there is no scratch on the CD. Very unfortunate for me because I like their version a lot, the vocal kind of great.

DESASTER (Germany)
Tyrants of The Netherworld
Iron Pegasus, 2000

9 powerful tracks (+ 1 intro) of well executed black/thrash metal. This is the first time I listen to DESASTER, I mean with the whole release. Few years ago, one local compilation featured a track called “Touch of Medieval Darkness” (if I remember it correctly). That was in 1996 I guess and there’s a track in this CD that has the similar riff with that song (“Reign of Tyrant”). There is no single fave track that I can choose since all are equally great. From slow starting, dark sounding “Reign of Tyrant” to fast black/thrash “Sworn to Avenge”, “Profanation” or “Nekropolis Karthago” with cool breaks in the song and great riffs. There are few contributors on this album. Beliar of MAYHEMIC TRUTH contributes his voice in 2 songs and the boss of the label contributes the lyric’s of “Sworn to Avenge”. Not too hard to conclude, the mark shows it all. Latest news received: "Souls of Infernity" 7” EP 2001 is the last recording with Okulto on vocals. He now left the band.
c/o Okkulto, Hirtenstr. 14, 56073 Koblenz, Germany.
c/o Infernal, Iahnstr. 76, 56218 Mulheim-K, Germany.

Death Of Melody
Musical Trauma, 2000

8 tracks, 28 minutes of thrash metal and the first ever CD I receive from Turkey. Musical Trauma is a new label and their debut release is Dementia's first album. The overall sound is not good enough and the booklet design can be done better. The music is not fast enough for me to get into it and I don't think it is suit to be called thrash since it lacks the aggressiveness in this music. Few scent of heavy metal can be heard and few (melodic) riffs and solos attract me a bit. Like in "Simple Minds" or "BUD" for example and the ballad part are good too. As I said earlier, it lack of speed and aggression.
Dementia, 10. Cad. 337, sok, Sayginlar sitesi, D Bolk No:131 Batikent, Ankara, Turkey


8 tracks album, (46 minutes) of atmospheric thrash/death metal. From the cover with the corpse paint and inverted cross you might say it’s a black metal album but I can’t say so. You can only link the screeching vocals with black metal but certainly not the music. There are few types of male vocals present here (growling, screeching, normal voice) with keyboard and also female vocals. Not really a bad release. The first track is the worse song in this album but the rest are quite okay. Maybe a bit sweet sounding with the keys and female vox but music and solos are quite entertaining. The piano in “The Sadness Still Remains” is good too but the one in “The Life of Sadness” is a Dimmu Borgir rip off. What I don’t understand as a 4 piece band why can’t they find a good drummer? Sounds like they are using drum machine and you know how sucks that sound. I also have their demo tracks copied together in the same CD-R. Rawer, fast songs and I like them better. “Demonstealer” is available from for USD 8 or you can order it Vampiria Records (Brazil) since they will re-release this album.
c/o Sahil Makhija, 34,Sea Palace, Juhu Tara Road, Mumbai - 400049, India.


Intercepting Fist
Dies Irae, 2001/2002

This album will be released by Singaporean Dies Irae Productions, which previously released DIM MAK's "Enter The Dragon" album. At the time being, the label and the band looking for licensing deal to make this release available around the globe and also the suitable cover artwork. "Intercepting Fist" contain 11 tracks, circulating for more than 40 minutes. This album is the continuation of "Enter The Dragon" except this time a bit harder and aggressive musically and also the vocals. A mix of metal and hardcore. Basically, if you like "Enter..." this will be your delicious meal. It may have all the ingredients needed for a brutal album (Eric Rutan of HATE ETERNAL, MORBID ANGEL fame engineered this album!) but I have hard time listening to their brutal hardcore death music. As like all Dies Irae products, this album will be available in ‘luxurious’ digipak. So wait for the finalized release.

Apocalypse Of The Damned
Cold Blood Industries, 2002
There are couple of bands (from Peru, USA, etc) with the same name but they separate themselves with double 's'. If you are talking to your friend, pronounce it properly or someone will get confuse. This Polish trio plays brutal death metal with grinding part and some good guitar solos in their songs (sometimes reminds me of M.Angel). This CD features 10 tracks, 10 brutal tracks to be exact. No keyboard/sample intro or ambient (keyboard) instrumental track. Almost 45 mins of solid brutal death metal! This should please any death metal maniac.
Dariusz Kulpinski, Ul. Koeciuskizki 5/2, 58-150 Strzegom, Poland.

DOXOMEDON (Singapore)
Dark Artz Releases, 1999

It maybe a bit late to review this MCD. I bought the tape version made by PSE but decided to buy the MCD version to make my review of it. But on that time I was dead broke. Hehehe. Those who still unfamiliar with them, they are once called ITNOS and release a 7" EP before becoming DOXOMEDON. The music is still as great as I first hear them on tape. Death/thrash metal with a few keyboard as intro of the song. The greatest song here is "Embrace In Solace", although the other 2 sounds similar as this one. And of course this 4 (including outro) tracks CD is much better sounding and has bigger size of the front cover graphic. I didn't see why they don't like the graphic. For me, it looks very dark, gory and satanic. Maybe the running time of this CD is too short (16 minutes) but you shouldn't ignore this great act.
Doxomedon, Blk 1030, #04-36, Tao Ching Road, Singapore 610103.

Pirouette Of The Antisocial
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 1999
2 bands gathered in one split release. It is not a new recording. DUST COMPONENTS's side features their debut EP and NO PROMISES features their "Face Human Soul" demo. I traded a copy of DUST COMPONENTS EP with Sabesta of NO PROMISES for a copy of his demo for review in my zine in 1998 (the name of that never-published zine is stated in thanks list and I am quite embarrassed reading it!). NO PROMISES starts the CD first. 6 tracks of death, thrash metal with some cool melodic solos and breaks. DUST COMPONENTS is more interesting. A lot more speed, much better musically. Also dwells somewhere in thrash metal territory. Only the vocals is 'worse' in my opinion, like hardcore a bit. DUST COMPONENTS is now r.i.p. and I don't know what happen to NO PROMISES. But a band with some of DUST COMPONENTS members called BURIALGROUND can be said promising. Heavy/thrash metal, a bit more melodic and their debut demo also included a re-record of a track in this EP.
(3.5/5) / (2.5/5)

Demo 2002
4 tracks demo CD. Another US brutal death metal on the long queue waiting to be signed. 4 tracks (14 mins) and comes with color booklet. Nothing original or outstanding here. I just heard DISSINTER's CD before listening to them and I can say they are as brutal as those Polish guys. Apart from the sound which is lacking here but I like this band more. 2 types of vocals and good guitar solo. I like the melodies in the song more (don't think it's 'melodic'). As for a demo, it is quite professional. Not sure about the price or the band address but don't hesitate to ask.

Serenades Of Depravity
Self-Released, 2000
A CD-R album consisting songs from couples of recordings (demo, EP and newly recorded songs). The first time I heard of this band (and also the first Indian band for me) is from Psychic Scream's Panggilan Pulau Puaka compilation. That song is featured here and still being my favorite song. Dark metal is being labelled to this band but it is not your usual dark/doom metal. No keyboards. Just raw heavy guitars, deep death growls and I think the band that I should compare them with is Black Sabbath. Listen to it a few times, it will grow in you. The sound is not good enough though but everything else is fine for my ears. I do not recommend you to get this because there will be a 12" vinyl version available from a US label. That (if it able to be released and I am confident it will) is a must!

ENTER VI (Australia)
Self-Released, 2001
Another Australian thrash metal and also another self-released album. I like them more than their country mate Fury. They got the right combination of thrash metal. Well, musically they are not too far behind than Fury but the voice really makes a difference. Enter VI maybe not too harsh but still sounds thrash although this is not the type of vocal that I like. They got a bit of Kreator, Sodom and Slayer influences. But this is still far of being a good thrash release. The music is lack of something and so does the band's image.


FATE (India)
Lead Us To Darkness
Intune Entertainment, 1999
5 tracks, 27 minutes of melodic death/black metal. Blackish vocals and music mixes a lot of style (death, black and thrash). The first song "Deathless" was also featured in Deep Throat comp. That was where I first heard of them. There are few slow, calm passages in the songs. I guess this will suite the lover of less aggressive style of black metal. Track #4, is the best. It rocks! But the rest just sounds 'okay'. The sound should be better than this. This is a CD-R release but comes with color inserts. FATE might perhaps bring a much more interesting material than this in the future because from the music, I know they can.
Fate, 4/5 Arunoday, Odha Nagar, Borivali (E) Mumbai, 400 066, India.


World Chaos Production, 2000

When reading "Female Mystic Night Metal" on the info sheet, I have 2 things in my mind. Firstly they are all female and secondly the music must be calm, soft and melodic. After I got the CD, I know I am right about the music but FATIMA HILL is not an all-female band. I couldn't see Takamichi Koeda face since he/she hide his/her face but the name is like a male name. Only the vocal is female. Or maybe all 4 are female but they look like male? Oh well, guessing is the normal thing to do since there is only little info about the band and this release mentioned in the info sheet. "Valhalla" recorded in 1997 and re-released by World Chaos with 1 new track called "Aeon". "Aeon" is a melodic acoustical track, using various acoustical string instruments. The music FATIMA HILL is like a slow version of power metal with a bit distorted female voice but still feminine and almost gothic-like sometimes. This is not for every one. Those who wanted speed and aggression stay away. Only for those who appreciate guitar works and female vocal can listen to this.

Through The Fields Of Battle 1996-1999
Innsmouth Productions, 2001
Innsmouth is the label of Mert from Vassago/Dead Comedian Zine. He stopped making his zine because he wanted to concentrate more on his band. But that was in 1999. Now Mert have other thing to keep him busy, this label. This is a 13 tracked CD-R but this is not the usual CD-R release. It comes with a full color 8 page booklet! FORGOTTEN is a Turkish doom metal band and this release features their demo 1997, Promo 1999 and 3 bonus tracks (including 1 hidden live track). In demo 1997, the sound is a bit raw but they improved that in promo 1999 and also with slight differences in their music. In Promo 1999, they add some calm, acoustics part and the growl also changed a bit. In this issue, the music is comparable with ALKANOST. They are not the usual depressive doom metal and not excessively melodic. The two bonus songs, is recorded in 1996 and the other one is a different version of a song in Promo 1999 (this one is much better). I like Promo 1999. The booklet includes all lyrics, picture, bio and all the info’s needed about this band. The band is now in its dormant period. One of the band’s member, (Tolga) is now concentrating in other band at the moment.
c/o Tolga Atabatmaz, 137. Sok. No: 15, Ozgur Yapi Koop., 06370 Batikent, Ankara, Turkey.


Painkiller Records, 2000
The debut album of this Japanese black metal. 7 tracks over 40 minutes of music. There is a vast improvement since their demo and they did an excellent job with this album. "Necroeater" contain both fast and slow songs but slower songs are so majestic and enchanting but still possess the aura of darkness with effective use of keyboard, synth, and sounds of piano and not-to-harsh vocals. I haven't heard black metal so refreshing like this since a long time. The CD starts with a Japanese dark metal track, "Weird Tales", with dark keys, few Bathory riffs and melodic solos. I am hooked starting from this track until the last, "13th Disciple". Most of the songs are in the same vein as the 1st one except for "The Wintermoon" which is a bit fast. The booklet is neatly designed that doesn't look like most black metal release today.



FUGÜE (Japan)
Proof Of The Man
HMW Distribution, 2001

4 tracks of doom stoner psychogenic rock or better say doom/stoner rock if you can’t imagine how they sound like. Sometimes it reminds me a bit of C.S.S.O. new album “Are You Excrements”. The songs are not entirely slow. You will hear mostly space rock music, which are mid pace and few part of the songs are quite doomy. If you can stand listen to many repeated riffs (the songs are quite long), no keys (or any gothic sounding thing), you can try this one. There is one extra (surprise) track, “That’s Our God” which you will hear after waiting 279 sec (3sec x 93 blank track).
USD 10 c/o Matsuyama

FURY (Australia)
Self-Released, 2001
"Slavekind" is their third CD and all are released on their own. They really are dedicated in what they do and really believe in their work. I hope their work get the attention they needed. They will contribute in some tribute album issued by Dwell Records, including Megadeth and Death among others. This CD delivers you a 30 minutes (8 tracks) of thrash metal. They combined several vocal types. Although the music is quite entertaining, the lead vocal is something I can hear often. To hardcore-like like less heavy version of Dim Mak.
Fury, 749 Lower North East Rd, Paradise SA 5075 Australia.


GETHEBONG (Indonesia)
Edelweiss Production, 2001
If I am not mistaken, the band has an album/CD out but I don't remember the title. I got this promo from Fresh Blood Zine (Indonesia) so I think I have to write few lines about this band. In my hand is only a 4 track promo CD-r (10+ minutes) which I think a preview of their upcoming album or something. 'Grinding humanis death core' is the label written on the CD slipcase so what you will hear is Indonesian brutal death/grind with a decent sound. Why I said 'Indonesian', if you have heard what kind of death metal from Indonesia, you will know. This is identical with lots of others brutal bands around the nation. Fans of brutal death metal will never complain listening to material like as they only brutality, violence and again more brutality in their music.

Holy Records, 2000
A CD with 11 'hard to digest songs' circulating for 47++ minutes. Black metal with drum programming and an awful keyboard sound. Maybe they have other name for the style they play, but I think black metal is the suitable term to call them. I don't receive anything with this promo but if I am not mistaken, GLOOMY GRIM is a one-man band. I don't know what else to say. This is among the last stuff I review for this issue and I am out of words. I just don't like this one. That's all.

GOATS (Japan)
Collective Unconscious
Bloodbath Records, 2001
I thought this is black metal band but I forgot about the label releasing this album. For those who don't know, Bloodbath stands for gruesome, extreme brutality and yes, GOATS is a brutal band. You will hear brutal pounding death metal in all 10 tracks (30 minutes). I am not into GOATS’S music. They are not bad, but they are just not my taste.
c/o Hiroki Kosaka, 4-11-14 Oe, Ohtsu-City, Shida 520-2142.


Gonin-Ish Showkai, 2000
Just 6 tracks but clocking for 45 minutes. Everything is written in Japanese except for some info on this release and the band. Interesting band. The lead vocal is a female and she does normal and also distorted, growling vocals (and handle guitar as well). The normal vocal sounds really dark and haunting. But the growling sounds horrible and this is not a compliment. It just irritates me when the voice start to sound likes this and luckily not much are heard through out the CD. About the music, a kind of dark heavy / death metal. The music is quite chaotic when the growling comes in, including the piano like everyone is going insane. But it is not the case when Akiko sings in her normal voice. The music is calm and dark and also melodic at times. And they manage to synchronize the fast and calm part in the songs. Not like the usual fast-slow-fast tempo. Beside this, there are 'pop' sounding synths like you can hear from 80's heavy metal. This is self-released product but done in the most professional way.
c/o Masashi Momota, #402 Wakai-Building, 2-2-10, Kanamecho, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0043 Japan.



Ancient Storms Of War
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2000

Another primitive, raw black metal by Barbarian Wrath. This CD contains 17 tracks (including an intro made by Blakk of ANGELKILL) circulating for 44 minutes. GRAVEWURM’s music is based on repetitive riffs. You can hear a bit riff from Celtic Frost or old Dark Throne but all the songs are almost identical with each other. Not much difference can be heard. If you listen closely for couple of times, there are few songs that are a bit different and stand a bit higher than the rest. The songs bored me on first few listening but later on the simple repeated riffs hook me after few more listening. Tyrant’s satanic voice is great but overall the music lack of speed. Otherwise the result will be greater than this.
Kevin , 720 Rhode Island Ave. Box 23, Holloman AFB, NM 88330 USA.

Circulation To Conclusion
World Chaos Production, 2000

A 3 -piece band with a female bassist and Eddie RITUAL CARNAGE as guest guitarist lending his expertise in guitar solos. "Circulation To Conclusion" is a release I expect to continue what TERROR SQUAD and MANIPULATED SLAVES (both their label mates) did. If I understand the bio correctly, Nakabayshi (g/v) also play for RITUAL CARNAGE and only after tour and after the recording of "Every Nerve Alive", GRIMFORCE start to be active. They formed in 1999 and had a promo tape out and if I am not mistaken (again) they also joined one Japanese metal compilation called "The Red Hot Burning Hell" or maybe not? I don't remember. Labeled as "Japanese new most violent thrashing act"... maybe and they are almost there but they can't beat the ferocity of TERROR SQUAD! 7 tracks, 30++ minutes of thrash metal. The music has clear influence of German thrash and adds with few Slayer or Exodus riffs along with harsh hardcore-like vocal, you get GRIMFORCE. "Lunatic", "World Chaos" are among the good song here but the last track "Struggle" is the best. The solo kills!!! Arghhh!!! The sound is excellent and the CD booklet is uniquely designed but I don't like it. The booklet is not like the usual one but it is folded. Open it and you will get a (almost) 12"LP size paper. All info, lyrics, etc on one side and on the other is the front cover artwork. Crucify that on your bedroom. What I don't like is if you open it too many times, it will tear off. Anyway, it is very creative idea.

A Life Of Suffering
Morbid Records

I guess everyone should already know this band by now. Dark Legions Magazine interviewed them in their last issue and seen lots of reviews and interviews in numerous webzine (I haven't read many paper zine from oversea lately). I think I should not waste the space to write the band history. If you haven't yet known this band, then go find the info because this is a fine European brutal death metal! I doesn't remember how many death metal I've heard from France but only a few I guess and if they are good, I should remember them, right? Brutal, intense, great growl, not many solos. I got this promo on CD-R with just track list. I will buy this CD and you must do the same!
c/o JF, 10 Rue des Capunines, 22300 Lannion-France.

HERRIOT (Malaysia)
Transworld Chaos
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2001

This Kedahan band is back with their second release, a year after “Celestial Obelisk” MCD makes its appearance in the local metal scene. “Celestial...” is a shock to many listeners. It’s the band first release (fortunately they manage to release its debut as a pro-CD, not a demo and got support from a good label) and the music, although sounded great but has a clear influence from In Flames. In “Transworld...”, they deliver 9 tracks of melodic death metal and still can get them (far) away from the aforementioned band. The CD clocking for more than 40 minutes and its show some differences compare with their previous MCD. They still use dual voice (in some songs) and Chen (lead vocal) and Matt Sardo (guest vocal) are quite different. Matt’s growl was great (better than before) but Chen sounded like hardcore or something (less ‘death’ than before). I can’t comment more because I simply like all the songs. Great guitar works, melodies and so on. From fast (i.e. “Transworld Chaos”, the best track) to mid-pace, keyboard enriched song (i.e. “Coming Home”, with piano as well). Chen also shows his ability in singing in his normal voice (i.e. “Light My Darkness”) and undoubtedly he can sing. The best local release in 2001.
62A, Jln. PSK 1, Pekan Simpang Kuala, 05400 Alor Setar, Kedah.

Self-Released, 2001

This is the second time listening to this Canadian thrasher. Prior to this, a MCD entitled "Rage" was released in 1999. "Rage" does not leave a positive impact on me musically but making the CD as an interactive CD with video clips is quite interesting although the clips are 1 min++ long. "Desynchronize" is a 9 tracks CD excluding 1 extra hidden track. And yes, musically they are much better, even the new logo looks great. More speed, great vocals, interesting riffs and spice up with cool break in the songs. On certain part, it sounded like a fast version of Vociferation Eternity. Definitely, HORFIXION is not a cheap band taking advantage of today's 'old-school metal' revival. Even though they are new as a band but they don't sound like they just started playing yesterday. I couldn't find info’s on the hidden track. My wild guess, it sounds like the song #3 (also the title of this album) but the lyrics is not in English (French perhaps).
Horifixion, 871 Trudel ouest, St.-Boniface, Quebec, Canada G0X 2l0.

HYPONIC (Hong Kong)
Black Sun
Self Released, 2001

The first metal band I discovered from Hong Kong and they are damn great! 6 tracks, more than 30 minutes of heavy and brutal sounding death metal. Actually they are not fast all the time but I don’t agree when they describe their music as doom/death. There are some slow, heavy and depressive moments but there are also fast and mid-pace parts. Except for “Third” and “Black Sun” which are mostly mid-pace and the slow part are really doomy and depressive. Oh well, why should we argue about labeling their music? The Mexican SARGATANAS come into my mind when listening to this CD. This professional self-released CD comes with complete booklet, great sound, well-played songs and great death growling vocals. Another ‘this issue’ highlight!
c/o CHAN Chung Man, Room 2, 6/F, Block B, Yee Fat Building, Wo Yee Hop Road, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong.

Impiety - Skullfucking Armageddon (Europe Version)

IMPIETY (Singapore)
Skullfucking Armageddon
Drakkar Productions, 2000

I don't know what is going on with Impiety and their label but I hope everything will be solved and come to a happy ending. I reviewed this album last time, but this one is the French edition. More artwork from Desmond Sia available in this release, but the booklet design does not top out the luxurious digipak version. What will make this a great purchase are the extra songs in it. 1 song from "Funeralight..." EP and songs from "Salve The Goat" EP. So here you will hear how they progress all these years. I still like "Funeralight...' though. For those haven't yet heard the now sold-out cassette EP, listen to this CD or get the limited edition of Impiety/Profanatica Split EP release by Samhain Records (review elsewhere).
P.O.Box 544, Bedok Central, S 914605


INFERNAL (Colombia)
Whipping The Sacred Law
Tribulacion, 1999

12 tracks, 46 minutes of not the best metal I have heard but still it is quite interesting. With corpse-paint, easy to say black metal is what they play but I think there is more than black after listening to the music. The songs are recorded in 3 different period of time and the sound and the style differ a bit. First 8 songs recorded in 1998 and the style is more in the 'calm' realm of metal. Although few scent of Bathory can be heard on the song and fast at times, but there is also acoustical part and few 'Gothenburg death' melodic guitar and solos. At certain part, they sound a bit like our Vociferation Eternity. But the next 2 two tracks are the latest recording and a faster than the previous compositions with better guitar sound. The last 2 songs are taken from demo 1996, fast black metal with few keys. The last track start fast and later comes that acoustical part, which later (the acoustic guitar) become an important part in the band next recording. The solos and those guitars in the first tracks touched me but later, the 4 last tracks really hit me. If the guitar sounded as good as these 4, it will give a better result.
Ruben Restrepo, P.O. Box 3507, Medellin, Colombia

Grind Your Soul, 2000

The 3rd album of this band are all released under their own label and there are 4 more to go before they rest. The concept of INHUMATE is based on heptalogy concept, which based on the concept of life. I think this "heptalogy" thing is quite interesting to discuss (perhaps an interview will follow soon). Here, 17 tracks, almost 33 minutes of brutal grind/death metal. The music does not differ with other band in this genre and maybe you can hear this kind of style from many Czech bands for example. Musically nothing original here but they possess a very good sound, which make this last longer in my player. Fast drumming, great vocals. The promo version only comes in a slip cardboard case but the actual release comes with 12-page booklet including lyrics and graphic continues the concept began with the previous albums.
Fred ANTON, 1 rue du college, 67170 BRUMATH, FRANCE

Into The Infernal Region Of The Ancient Cult
Sylphorium Records, 2000
As you might already know, this album was released in 1998. The one I got here is the second edition of the album after the first one is sold out. I am not sure whether there are differences between the two releases. Perhaps the booklet has been redesigned. Sorry. I have no info about that or have the 1998 version. INQUISITION is quite known in the underground I guess. If you are searching for Colombian release, you must get INQUISITION first. They play black metal with special dark atmosphere. The music took its shape from early MAYHEM and a bit of Swedish sound. 10 tracks, more than 1 hour of music and I am not bored even a single second even though the music is mostly mid-pace. They will have a new LP out soon. While waiting for that to be released, you MUST get this if you haven’t done so.

ISTIDRAJ (Singapore)
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika
Esoteric Art Production, 2001
After listening to the track "Istidraj" in "Panggilan..." comp, I really want to hear the new songs from them. This EP is now in my hand and now they found the style they are best at. Fast black metal, not weak 'extreme melodic' black metal like "Metafizika". 4 tracks (almost 15 mins). No keys, no more female voice, just excellent black metal. The EP CD-R will be re-released by a Brazilian in CD with different title. If you only want and care about the music, this is yours for $7. If you want something more I guess you better get the Brazilian one since the one I bought only comes with xerox cover.
Block 371 Tampines Street 34, #02-14, S 520371.



Up From The Ashes
Self-Released, 2000

This is the first time I received such promo kit. It consists of a CD, a paper folder, B4 size band picture, glossy printed bio and flyers. They are not funded by a label but all are produced by the band themselves. They surely invest a lot on this album. The band started in late 80’s with ex-ANNILIHATOR as drummer on their early formation. The vocalist also has some projects with Jeff Waters. I think the first few sentences already make a good advertising/marketing. Self-labeled as melodic metal band, they sounded more like hard rock band for me. I expected the ‘melodic’ come from guitar riffs and solos like we usually hear from any power metal band. There are some nice melodic riffs but that are not enough. Maybe adding more these riffs as well as adding a bit of speed will make “Up From The Ashes” a bit better than now.
Ivory Knight, P.O.Box 38144, 1430 Prince Of Wales DR, Ottawa, ONT Canada K2C1N0.

Present Day
Self-Released, 2001
Progressive/heavy metal. Another one for this issue. It is hard to believe that this CD is hard to be printed just because of the cover artwork. 10 tracks (47 mins). I am sorry for all bands with this kind of vocal. Not that they are not good, it's only me that had the problem listening to them. Lynn Allers can make the high pitch scream. But put the vocal aside, the music is what I listen to. The music is catchy and sometime had few thrash riffs (like Slayer for example) as well. The CD comes with a very simple package but go easy on them. This is a self-released product.
c/o Dustin Mitchell, 3477 West 5660 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84118, USA.

Deletion Of Humanoise
Worldchaos Production, 2001
Argh! Another killer release from WorldChaos! Aggressive thrash metal delivered with perfection! I am hooked starting from the first song "Victim Of Hate" till the end, "Scream". The words "Headbang 'till death" almost come to be true when listening to this CD. You will not listen for 35 minutes but will repeat many times after the CD ends. Great guitar works from both the Yamada brothers and so does Wataru's vocals. Japan seems to have lots of good bands in almost all genres. Great scene they are having.

Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2001

I have listen to their debut MCD and the full-length CD but I don't know why I waited until now to review Koffin Kanser. I have no negative thing to say about them, a band fronted by Aru, which also the member of Malaysian pioneer of thrash metal (and now defunct) NEMESIS. Also Jadam also plays in KOFFIN KANSER. This limited 6969 digipak is not really a great release musically since I can't accept the songs totally into my system. I think the closest comparison I can make is they sound like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Soulfly, etc new age metal. Metal, with heavy guitar, a bit of sampler, techno, industrial and hardcore vocals and a bit of hardcore music. Mix these all together you will have KOFFIN KANSER. 5 tracks available and the design of this digipak are too simple. I am not sure what they want to show in the artwork inside the digipak. Sure I will check their future release because listening once a while to stuff like this is okay but I will not accept or try to listen to any other band like this in future. And I don't think Malaysia needs another band like this.

KOMA (Indonesia)
Darah, Keringat, Air Mata
Self-Released, 2001
7 track, 15+ minutes CD-r. Compare with "Mimpi..", I guess this is their new recording and there are few differences can be heard from the music. This is more US brutal type death metal and few black metal riffs as well as some cool solos. It comes with glossy color cover. All songs are in Indonesian and recorded live. "Ketika Matahari Terbit Dari Barat" is a short atmospheric instrumental track. I am quite surprise this brutal horde manage to compose such song. Anyway I like their old tape more than this one.
KOMA, P.O.Box 22 SBS-WO, Surabaya 60244-A, Indonesia.


Triumph Of Fire
Artic Music Group, 2001

11 tracks, which almost 40 minutes of fast black metal. This is the most violent black metal, beside "Skullfucking Armageddon", that I heard in this issue. The music is extremely fast; especially the drum is even faster than PUTRA LRT. There 1 or 2 slow part but that is not enough to relax your ears. The lyric for 10 tracks are written in the booklet except for the first track where they sing some passages of "Le Messe Noir" by Anton Crowley. I don't remember a thing after the CD stops playing. The music did not stick in my mind after it is stop being played. What I remember is they are fast and violent, with a vocalist which full of wrath.
Kult Ov Azazel, P.Obox 23308, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33307, USA.

The First Infection
Sinternational Records, 2001
This band is interesting on the first track. Really heavy mixture of thrash and death with not too harsh vocal. The next track they slowed down, reminds me of the new age metal bands around. Not bad actually but not heavy enough for my consumption although there some 'dark' moments (using keys, etc) in the song. The last track follows in same direction, but a bit thrash and death like the first one. Not bad for a demo. A harsher vocal will make this better.


Life Sucks And So Do You
Life Sucks is a punk side project of BloodCult [USA] frontman Ryan Preston. Most of the Tracks on this cd SUCK lyrically - "i know you want my dick you're just another stupid chick" - "come on now let me look at you tits" know what I mean? The music is basic happy foot tapping punk nothing great about it. 31 mins of Life Sucks at a strech will surely make you puke. Of course if you're into porn punk you'll dig this shit. as for me: Life Sucks = SUCKS
1/5 [Shanu]

The Age Of Clitorial Decay
United Guttural Records, 2000

A ew album from these guys after the live CD "Show Us Your Tits". The song "Stench Of Virginity" in this CD, have been heard in that live CD and I think the live one is better. Or maybe I should say the live CD is better than this studio recording. Brutal death metal, the way they play it and do not have many changes I can detect. Except for the live CD, they start the song by pissing some people but in this CD the song started with excerpt/sample taken from movies. The booklet has more pictures of pussy as the background for the lyrics and a close-up picture on the tray card. Some gory/horror artwork and one of the artist is Eko W. from Indonesia. Buying this album will not just add another CD in your death metal CD but also in your porn collection.

Show Us Your Tits
United Guttural Records, 2000

A great live CD from this crazy band. While other brutal death band singing about death and gore stuffs, they are more twisted with the songs are talking pussy, sex, and rape and still mixing them with gore. That is interesting. 14 live tracks including 1 previously and before/after they play, they must said something that will piss the girl (and boys sometimes) off. Hehehe. I don't want to mention what they said. Hear it yourself. This CD also includes their demo 1996. Both their studio and live songs does not offer anything new. Just the usual brutal death metal. The booklet includes all lyrics of the song they played live and 1 lyrics out of 4 song from the demo. At the back of the 8-page booklet, there's a picture showing a girl waiting for the cock to fuck her, in the cunt or her ass. The cock is big but that is not a problem since both 'holes' are loose and I wonder whether the guy have pleasure fucking her.

The Tears Of Odin's Fallen
Dark Symphonies

"Symphonic Dark Metal" is written on the CD slipcase jacket but to make it easy to understand, they play doom metal. 7 songs with running of 62 minutes, it will please the fan of this style. Very depressive and melancholic music and I can only hear only few tracks. It depends on which track I start playing first. If I start playing track number 3, I will stop at 5. I will kill myself I listen to the whole CD at one time. I can't say this is a bad release. It is great to limited number of song heard. They got female vox and piano dominated the music with normal and growling male vocals also. The female vocals are great, both the lead and background.
Long Winter's Stare, 780 Reservoir Ave. PMB294 Cranston, Rhode Island USA.


LUNA MARTYR (Portugal)
The Unseen, The Eternal...
In Vain Music, 2000

Melodic black metal is what this quartet delivers. This CD will easily catch the attention of any sweet gothic black metal fans. Melodic keys, enchanting angelic female vocals blended together with mid-pace (and occasionally fast) music and male black vocals. The same recipe used countless of time by many bands. Not bad musically but I like more the fast parts and some of the guitar solos. The obvious mistake is they do not use human drummer. I can even hear thrash riffs and that make it a bit listenable despite the female that kill the aggression of metal music. 12 tracks almost 30 minutes of music including a Depeche Mode cover, with simple CD booklet.
Av. Santos Matos nº10, 4º A, 2700-748 Amadora, Portugal.

Obscene Productions, 2000

Obscene Productions might have its own trademark, it is a label specialized for grind/brutal death music. And LYKHATEA AFLAME is a brutal death/grind metal band but their approach is interesting and I must say original! In this issue, they are similar to ETERNAL MADNESS. LYKHATEA AFLAME is attracted with Sumerian/Egyptian, as you will see a lot of symbol (what do you called that, hieroglyph?), and drawings in the booklet. The music (and sometimes with the normal vocals and slow part) really has strong oriental 'feel', making the music and the concept have a great connection with each other. I can say LYKHATEA AFLAME is a bit original. Not the usual grind/death.

MAGANE (Japan)
Magane Attack
TRA Music, 2001
Yomi metal, what do you think it sound like? I can’t describe it by just listening to two tracks in this CD. To ease you, I think it is safe to put them under ‘black metal’. On the songs you will hear both fast (and violent) and slow moment, a bit of thrash, keyboards and the lyrics are sung in Japanese and English which is quite interesting. With 9 minutes of music, I can’t make a proper review but I strongly recommend you to check this band out.
c/o Yasuhiko Sekiguchi, Honmachi 3-53-1-302 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0071 Japan.

MAKAM (Indonesia)
Makabre Amuletha
Self-Released, 2001
My first Indonesian black metal CD. A CD-R actually. A Javanese occult atmospheric black metal, formed in 1995. 7 tracks with almost 30 minutes of music. The CD starts and ends with Javanese traditional folk song that I usually hear on TV documentary. Good way to introduce their culture to the metal masses. But it will be better if they can embed them in their songs. Then we have 5 tracks of fast black metal (good sound) with few breaks in the song. The CD package is neat and slim but too simple in design and they didn't include the lyrics. Only RM 21 (Malaysia) or USD 10 (r.o.w.).
c/o Julius Nurendra, Jagalan 01/XIV Jebres, Solo 57124, Centra Java, Indonesia.

The Darkest Throne
Demise Records, 2000

I'm impressed with the graphic manipulation on the front cover and it is great also to look at those tits. And I am also shock a bit looking at the back cover, the picture of the band members, which consist of 7 people. I can't imagine how they will play live with lots of line-up. I hope there is space for all 7 of them. 8 tracks of melodic death metal in the Swedish vein or better say 'Gothenburg' death metal. As the first track "Necrolust In Thulsa Abbey" starts you will think this CD will not bring you anything new. If you stop there, you will not know they are not just copying In Flames for example. On some songs, they remind me of their country mate TUATHA DE DANAAN. Yes, on some songs you can hear medieval, folk music, which is quite interesting beside the usual melodic death that depends a lot on strong guitar riffs. The 'medieval thing' is either brought by music or the normal male vocals. The main vocals are in black metal style and the music is enriched with keyboards but at times the keyboard just sucks. For your information, there are 2 recording session for this CD and also they have 2 keyboardist. The best song is "The Darkest Throne", which almost 7 minutes long. Their unique brand of melodic death is a bit different makes them stand a bit higher than the rest of bands in this style.

MANDATORY (Malaysia)
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 1999

I got this CD long time ago and wanted to publish this review together with the interview I made. Since I don't know how many years MANDATORY will take to answer it, so I just put it now. I couldn't believe that they come from Malaysia if I listen to the CD without looking to the CD booklet. Semi melodic brutal death metal, with few keyboards, a killer vocal and great sound. The music is death metal, a bit brutal and with few melodic solos. I remember listening Mandatory in Panggilan Pulau Puaka 1 in 1997/98 (didn't remember the year) and am truly surprise with the band today. They have progressed a lot. They are definitely among the best Malaysian band nowadays. I still think without the keyboard, the music will be a lot better.

Haunted Heart
Self-Released, 1999

You can't say anything when some band released something that does not please you. Yes, you can "your music is bad", but they can release another CD on their own. Who can stop that? This is a 4 song CD (15+ minutes). Obviously, the sound and the songs are not really good and I hate this kind of normal male vocal. You can read what I say to MY FUJICO in the previous issue. Basically, they sound the same on vocal. The music is in mid-pace all the time, maybe gothic metal is the suitable word. There are few parts where the guitar/riffs sound interesting but they need more than that. Maybe the singer's voice spoilt the whole songs? I think the email address is a bit confusing. I thought there is only 1 _ but from what I copied from their website, there are 2 _ . Can't think of any good username or perhaps use other email service??
Magnus Blomkvist, Thorepetreg 9, 812 30 Storvik, Sweden.

MANGGAS (Malaysia)
Haus Sarbatus
Disembodied Corpse Production, 2002
5 tracks EP. The cassette version is now sold out, only the CD-R version is still available. The label debut release (and the second one I heard). The packaging is like NEUROSIS. I hope they can make it more professional next time. On to the music, MANGGAS plays melodic death metal taking its influence from the Swedish scene. I am not pleased with the sound although the music is quite good. They sing in Malay and that make me like them a bit more. I hope Malaysian band start to take serious about the sound quality even for a demo like this.

The Legendary Black Jade
Worldchaos Production, 2001
Their second album. There are few differences between "Burst Into Blue Flames" and "The Legendary Black Jade". The vocals change, there are few calm, depressive moments and these are not present in their debut album. The music is still the same. Melodic death metal but not in any way to be connected with In Flames and the bands alike. They have their own style. The guitar sound belongs to them, I can still recognize it. They got some people to help with this albu album m, from FATIMA HILL, THREAT, ex-FAIRY MIRROR and even ex-ARCH ENEMY. I can't choose which album is their best. I like them both and since both have its different style and its own specialty. But I can make a conclusion; they rules!


The First Impression
This is an Indian heavy metal outfit. I first heard of them in Deep Throat and this 4 tracker must be their old recording. Not bad music-wise. Good riff, but not fast enough. Some Megadeth riffs can be heard as well. But the sound is not good enough. This is their old recording. I suggest you guys grab their soon-to-be released debut album under Throatlatch.

Heavy Metal Chainsaw
Iron Pegasus 2001
The new album from this Japanese NWOBHM band. Em... not really a Japanese band though as the band is now consist of Japanese (you know that a SABBAT member plays in this band, right?) and also German (DESASTER member). 8 tracks, 45+ minutes. If you have already heard “Heavy Metal Drill”, this new album will grow in you in no time. Just listening to it once, I have already startd singing some parts of the song, especially on ‘choir lines’ (which I believe on these parts King Wolle, Costa Stoios and Okkulto contribute their voice!), chorus or just the “ooh, ooh”. The music is well-made (every riffs!) that will make you become addicted to it. There are no major differences between “Heavy Metal Drill” and this new album. Perhaps I have listen to the previous one toooooo many times, I couldn’t get much into this new album but it still rules! “Heavy Metal Chainsaw” also available on vinyl, and also American R.I.P. Records pressing it for US market. That means these two versions will have different songs selections or bonus song, which is not available in German version that I have. I sometimes think to become a metal head you have to be rich especially if you want to hear new releases all the time, get old rare releases or to buy several versions of killer
album like this.
c/o Masaki Tachi, Hoshikawa 1001-4, Kuwana, Mie 511-0912, Japan.


MEGIDDO (Canada)
The Devil And The Whore
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2000

45 minutes, 9 tracks of thrashing black metal. Musically it is almost the same like GRAVEWURM, their label mate, but they have a much better sound and this is the pushing factor of this CD that makes it the best Barbarian Wrath release so far (that I have heard). An effective mix of old style thrash and black metal that makes “The Devil And The Whore” sounds so good in my ears. Then longest song is “Across The Shore…” that run for 10 minutes. Certain songs like “The Oath” for example remind me of DESASTER. Also included in this CD are Razor’s "Take This Torch" and Exciter’s "Violence And Force". Previously they have professionally released couples of demo that are made in very limited quantity and they also contribute a song in Dark Throne Tribute issued by Australian Destr0y Records.


I ggot few tracks from this band. Pretty chaotic stuff. Not the same like Headbangalore Compilation. Thrash/death metal but... with drum programming. I kinda like their music and also the hysterical screaming vocals. 4 tracks presented here, including an Iron Maiden cover.

MISTIFATE (Colombia)
Embracing The Death
Decade Records, 1999

A melodic death metal band. I was expecting something really brutal, crushing kind of death, as what people always claim 'exotic' countries such as Colombia can deliver. Not really a bad release but not a masterpiece either. 8 tracks + 1 intro and their music moves me. That is what matters. Vocals are ranging from black metal grunt to death growl while the music is a bit in brutal death but not really fast and has good guitar melodies. Just an 'okay' release but does not harm you if you don't have this.
Alenjandro Caldas, AA 30054/Cali-Colombia.


MORRIGAN (Germany)
Plague, Waste And Death
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2000

A 2 piece black metal consists of Beliar and Balor formerly in MAYHEMIC TRUTH, which is sadly defunct now. “Plague, Waste And Death” is limited to 666 copies like most of Barbarian Wrath releases and mine numbered 476. 8 tracks of black metal greatly influenced by Hellhammer/Celtic Frost and old Scandinavian black metal. Yes. Primitive, thrashy stuff and raw sound make this CD uglier. The title track “Plague, Waste And Death” is fastest track which is my fave. In some songs like in “Requiem” and “Where Angels Keep Silence” normal vocals are used that automatically reminds me the Singaporean dark/black metal ETERNAL OATH (in their “Ar Est Celare Artem” EP) and these songs are a bit mid-pace with few melodic guitar.


World’s End
Morbid Records, 2001

East Germany thrash veteran, existed for 15 years. Due to many restrictions from the communist regime, they are not ‘productive’. Only in 1998 they release their debut album. “World’s End” is their second album released by world’s most well-known death/grind label, Morbid Records. MOSHQUITO is not the usual German thrash. It has more hardcore elements like we usually heard from today’s modern metal. Not the kind of music that I like to hear everyday especially the vocal except for the title track “World’s End”, which is a bit different with its acoustical part. For few moments “Your Pleasure Is Your Pain” sounded like Kreator. There is no further info available from the press kit. I accidentally discovered that this is a multimedia interactive CD. So beside 9 tracks of music (46 min), you will get the band’s bio, info, lyrics and excerpts from “Secrets” (their debut album).
Oliver Hippauf, Prof. Simmel-Str. 32, 07548 Gera, Germany.


In The Studio
The band must have a good time in the studio while recording these songs. There are tracks here available in Headbangalore compilation. And the other 7 songs are just cover songs and they try very hard to imitate the original bands. That sucks! I think doing cover will be good if the band can add their style in it. They cover Black Sabbath to Green Day. I was told that this band is dead now. Not really a great loss to the scene...

Splitting The Vulva
Dark Artz Releases, 2002

The long awaited material from the gods of Malaysian brutal death metal! Although it is a bit of disappointment as this split only feature 4 tracks from NC with 2 are old songs which I think taken directly from Ipoh’s Metal compilation released in 1998. No need to commend further. They will make you craving for more! The soon-to-be-released debut album will be a ‘must have’ item in your brutal death collection! Cardiac Necropsy is not a new band either but I only knew about them from this CD. They are as old as NC. Playing porno gore grind, contributing 5 tracks (only 9 minutes out of 20 min). It is not in any way like Lividity, CN ‘porn’ is more violent. Don’t expect to hear steamy female moaning here. The booklet includes the bands bio. This CD is a preview; NC is already confirmed and I guess CN will soon release its debut full-length too. If you like this one, you’ll probably like the new release too. Contact address of CN is not available but you can use their site to reach them.
Necrotic Chaos:
Cardiac Necropsy:
[4.5/5] / [4/5]

NEUROSIS (Malaysia)
Disembodied Corpse Production, 2002
I thought this is the band new release and I am quite surprise that the band still breathing but... . There’s always a ‘but’. This is the re-released of the band promo rehearsal 1995. I got that tape and I think the artwork on the tape is much better that the one used now. Nothing is said about the status of band in the booklet. Perhaps they are still alive and waiting to unleash something powerful and brutal than this? I really hope so. NEUROSIS plays brutal death grind and I like it when it was released years ago. This is a rehearsal and you can guess how the sound is. The cd-r comes with non-water resistant colored booklet.

The Return Of The Southern Tyrants
Demise Records, 2000

The booklet and the CD tray card is the best I have seen in this issue. Everything is in black and white and that is the way for a black metal band should do instead of thousands of color, which make it no longer have the dark feelings in it. The vocalist is also one of the best black metal vocalists in this issue and I am surprise it is the voice of a woman. I saw the band picture on the tray card and I thought they are will be another band with female keyboardist or backing/background vocals. This CD has 7 songs and the intro almost sound the same, medieval kind of music with choir or something. The intro already invokes the dark spirit to fill my room. They start the song with fast drumming and the music sounds like Mayhem. Add with the great vocal, I already predict that the rest of the songs will be in the same vein, which is okay with me. But at the middle the songs, they change into Celtic Frost and good solos before continuing the Mayhem-like music. Not all the songs are like this but it has strong Mayhem influence in it and they twisted the song a bit trying to avoid from sounding too much like Mayhem. This CD will last longer in my player.
Nocturnal Worshipper, P.O.Box 1377, Rio De Janeiro-Rj, Cep:20.001-970, Brazil.

The Knowing
Dark Symphonies

12 songs, 63:49 minutes running CD. How many Dark Symphonies releases have I reviewed in this publication? More than 4 and this is a bit better than the rest. Still in the Dark Symphonies' trademark, which is this time doom metal. I agree with Mark Gromen of Metal Maniacs (his review is printed on the promo slipcase). "…collaborations between the British Big 3 (Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema..." or perhaps can be called as American version of those bands. I will not listen to this if it is excessively slow. The music is mid-pace and sometimes there are breaks with acoustical part, and slow instrumental passage with piano and some effects. Multiple types of male and female vocals present here. Some of the instrumental part is depressive and slow, which kind of bored me after a while. I only like on the part with guitar, heavy sounding guitar. There are 2 version of the song "Silent Tomorrow" and both are fine examples of songs that bore me. The first 3 songs really turn me on as well as "In Faith". Fans of above-mentioned band will not regret having this.


Radio Damnation
Barbarian Wrath Records, 2001

Hail death! Hail anti-Christ! Hail Satan! 22 live track more than 50 minutes of ‘Nunslaughter’ death metal. These tracks are recorded live at WRUW Radio Station (if I’m not mistaken). Indeed, a valuable release for your NUNSLAUGHTER collection as it feature rawer version of previously released songs. The band exists since mid 80’s and already release lots of demo and EP. The last release was “Unholy Hellfire” CD 2000. To describe NUNSLAUGHTER’s music, they play death/thrash metal with not so growling vocals like the usual US death metal. And their song is quite short for this kind of music. I don’t know how they manage to make the show. It is full of foul words, obscenity and blasphemy. They should be banned. No need to write what they said. The first line of this review is the example of what they said and there are more that are a lot sicker than that. Listen to it yourself.

The Feelings
Erebos Productions, 2000

10 grinding tracks, very brutal, great sound and musically reminds me of some Indonesian bands in this style. If Indonesian bands can get this kind of sound, they will rule I guess, but it seems that such music with this kind of great sound does not move me either. I think I have problems listening to this kind of music nowadays.

Psychic Scream Entertainment, 1999

Swedish band in a Malaysian label? Is this the sign of doomsday? According to local culture, when a lot of strange things happen, means doomsday is near. Haha! 10 tracks, 30++ minutes. What is the business potential in this band? Before listening to this release, I have heard their new song in PANGGILAN PULAU PUAKA III Volume 1 CD and that song rules supreme! But this old release is not to that standard. Thrash metal but really an average one. Its okay for few tracks but later you become bored. Maybe it’s okay if I bought it in 1999. Let see what they bring up next.

Self-Released, 2000
Metal from Bosnia?? If you still doubt that metal has no boundary, then you have to open your eyes and mind ultra fucking wide! The sound of this 5 track CD may be a bit down-tuned but that is not the reason for you to ignore them. PTS play melodic death metal, taking influence from In Flames, Dark Tranquility and those Swedish school bands. The band only consists of two souls, Adnan and Amir and I strongly suggest that they find the third member to play the drums! Besides the overall sound and the drum machine, they are good in delivering an enjoyable melodic death. I don't know the status of this band, but you can ask Adnan (also the editor of HIDDEN THRONE Zine).
c/o Adnan Hatic, Vladimira Nazora 2 7/24, 75000 Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

PERDITISM (Australia)
The Sign Of Total Genocide
Self-Released, 2001

2 piece black metal band with drum machine. Another Australian war metal? Almost. Warock and Plutoth deliver raw black metal with sick and raw sound. Only 4 tracks available but only one own song, "The Sign Of Total Genocide" which is available in two versions (studio and live version). The other one is a cover track from Gorgoroth and the last is sort of an outro. It is quite hard to judge just from one especially in this kind of sound. Not bad but you don't have to trouble yourself getting it. Only 50 copies of this CD-R available at the price of USD6. Mine #21.
Perditism, 17/12 West Street, Croydon NSW 2132, Australia.

Self-Released, 2001

Thrash metal is what they claimed to be. Yes, that's true but without speed and solos. They have a bit of Nunslaughter in their songs. Some part of the songs will move you a bit but I guess it needs to be done a lot faster and I'll like it more with harsher vocal. I don't know what the songs "In Being Something" and the first 3 minutes of "Death Dance" do in this release. Slow, spacy, boring non-metal tunes. That took 5 minutes out of 25 minutes of this release. A nice d.i.y. release with nice looking 12 page self-made booklet.
Power Plant, P.O.Box 564, Hopatchong, NJ 07843, USA.

PURULENT (Colombia)
Patologia Grotesca
Bizarre Music, 1999

Brutal death metal with great vocals, really heavy sound and lots of good part but am I over-doing this review by comparing them with Morbid Angel? But definitely the best death act I heard from there so far although this is the first band I heard from Colombia. Lyrics are in Spanish I assumed (or whatever the language they speak there). Well, they made a mistake at first by not writing their/label contact address and they tried to fix it by sticking a self-made sticker (written their website address) and adding together with the infamous 'anti-alien' sticker, it make the booklet a bit messy. And the hardworking editor finally managed to get their address.
David Rairan, Trans 114 # 143-20 etapa 3,bloque 1,apto 301. Ciudadela cafam, suba. Bogota, Colombia.

Self-Released, 2002
A Progressive Tech-Metal band, as the band claimed to be playing. I guess the duo of this band try to confuse us with the terms. 8 tracks, almost an hour of 'tech-metal' music without any vocals. Except for track #4 but I don't think that is what people called singing, which is quite hilarious. This is not I will listen to everyday. It mixes with all kinds of things, from metal/rock to jazz, techno/industrial etc with no real drums used. The metal part is what I like the most although there is a bit 'modern' style sometimes and also the effects used. I guess they should have a bit clear and clean sound. "Y" is quite original and has many interesting parts in it but I personally don't like the drum machine in metal music so that is only my loss I guess.
2014 Mills Avenue, N. Muskegon, MI 49445, USA.


Dark Symphonies, 1999

One of the best metal acts or the best metal act in Dark Symphonies. Just 5 songs here but each song is quite long. They deliver heavy, a bit mid-pace, highly melodic and depressive metal. I gave SHELLY RAVEN high rate because I did not discover RAIN FELL WITHIN yet. The multiple layer vocals are great. Should I give more comment? The point explains it all.

Storm Of Immolation
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2000

New compositions from R.O. 4 (long) tracks from them in this split CD. Not much have changed since "Seeking Immortal" album. Great vocals but the music is not too inspiring and too long for me to hear. Those who like fast 'ugly' black metal in 7 minutes (straight and non-stop) then R.O. is yours. BLOTSRIT is a one-band band. Yes, you can't separate one-man band and his drum machine. Luckily 2 tracks (out of 6) use real drum hammered by Rogga (Pagaziner, also the former member of this band). Just typical Scandinavian black metal. The CD is an average release.
Blodsrit, Box 3050, S-59303 Westervik, Sweden.

RUDRA (Singapore)
The Aryan Crusade
Trishul Records, 2001

Here comes the new album 3 years after the release of their self-titled debut album by Sonic Wave International (ex-Candlelight Productions). Now RUDRA is under a new label, new line-up and with a small changes in their music. 13 tracks present here excluding intro/outro with more than 50 minutes of their original death metal. They are still in the same concept but unlike “Rudra”, which a bit slow compare with “The Aryan Crusade”, this time they have throw away the Hindu chant/instrument intro on the songs (except for the intro, outro of this album a 2 minutes song “Homage To The Seers”). It is easy to put this kind of intro on the song. The hardest thing is embedding these elements in the (death metal) songs. They didn’t do this in “The Aryan Crusade” but you can hear the Hindu elements throughout the songs. This makes them quite original in today’s metal scene. The CD comes with 12 pages booklet, which is a rare thing in the local metal scene. Overall, a great release.
RUDRA, Blk 24, Marsiling Drive, #08-185, Singapore 730024.

The Ambient Mind, 2001
12 tracks (72 mins) of 'ambient neo-progressive cyber-rock' music. I'm afraid that the long length of this CD and his type of music that might bore me. Well, not all but in fact, I'm surprise that I can accept this CD without much problem. From the 12 songs, some are just ambient instrumental and the rest are progressive rock with lyrics. Maybe like new Tiamat but this one has lots of good riffs. The music here is composed by Scott Mosher and performed by him with a guest handling some guitar part and a guy name Todd Corsa did some vocals. Not the kind of voice I like to hear. Scott also sings in one song but effect was used (I guess. I don't think normal human sounded like that). I am not at all disturbed by the vocals because the music have dominant role in the song. The vocals only take a small part through out the songs. It has a thick booklet with nice design. Scott is also a graphic artist and you can see his talent here. "Virtuality" is not for orthodox metal fans. Lovers of ambient and progressive (that doesn't have problem hearing both style mixed) should get this CD.
c/o Scott Mosher, 2 Miller Court, Miller Place, NY 11764, USA.

SEPTUAGINT (The Netherlands)
When Good & Evil Fall In Love
Scala Publishing, 2001
Epic fantasy power/heavy metal from The Netherlands. This is the band's 2nd second CD, the first out was spit out in 1998. What can I say about this 13 tracker (57 minutes long) CD? They rock! Those twin guitar solos do turn me on! They have some of Maiden, Metal Church and the melodic melody of Swedish 'Gothenburg' metal and a bit of thrash (Slayer!) mixed together perfectly. The vocals are in the usual power metal style but in some songs, few lines used growling vocal. The CD also comes with 16 pages full colored booklet with lyrics and some artwork and graphic manipulation. There are even pictures of Sharon Stone, Jennifer Aniston and some actors/actresses in the booklet. I don't know what that has to do with the band's 'fantasy' theme (which deal with monsters, dragons, war, etc).


SHE'S GORE (Thailand)
Demo 2001
Dark Oracle, 2001
This is the solo project of Thanit @ Joe (of DEATHGUY, also contribute the keys in SURRENDER OF DIVINITY debut album). With the name She's Gore, we can easily assume this band play brutal gore death/grind. Here we have 6 tracks, almost 15 minutes of death/grind with porn/death as the concept. You can name those bands from the US or Czech, Mortician, etc in the list. Not original but I am surprised with the outcome of this demo. 1 man, brutal, good sound. Not sure whether the drum is human or drum machine but it doesn't sound like a drum machine. Fans or death/grind should try this one. The demo is available in CD-R and cassette with glossy b&w cover.
c/o Thanit Thepsitrakorn, 21/2 Soi Suan Oi 1 Samsen Rd. Dusit, Bangkok, 10300 Thailand.

Demo 2001
Sinternational Records, 2001
3 tracks demoCD. Only 9+ of music. I guess the songs can be downloaded from their website. If I am not mistaken they will release an album or something soon. And about the music, they play brutal death/grind/gore metal. Hysterical scream, like most of grindster do, lots of grinding part, heavy sounding guitar. Really intense! The music sometimes sound like those hardcore metal ala new Sepultura but heavier. Musically they are quite good, but if I am 'customer', I would like to buy something more than 9 minutes of music unless this release in on vinyl or sold at unbelievable cheap price. But for grind freaks, this will not be a problem.

SIGH (Japan)
Scorn Defeat
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2000

Everybody should already know "Scorn Defeat", released by Deathlike Silence years ago. I only have that copied on tape. Now I got the album on CD released by PSE to celebrate SIGH'S show in Kuala Lumpur in year 2000 with inclusion of 1 extra tracks and an interesting version of the cult "The Seven Gates Of Hell". I don't like reviewing old album/LP/etc, like many editors did even if the music is great. And in this case, "Scorn Defeat" is a great release and still even after 7 years of it being recorded. SIGH black metal is quite different. It is not fast at all and has very dark atmosphere created by keyboard. Certainly not like today's vampiric black metal band and considering it was a 1993 release, you will be amazed that they can come with this kind of style or you can say pioneer. Nothing more I can say and I think every black metaller already have this in their valuable black metal collection.

Tribute To Old School Metal
Immortal Records, 2000

10 old cover songs from bands like VENOM, SLAYER, SEPULTURA, etc but really do not sound like SILENT DEATH is playing. SILENT DEATH is a big name in Malaysian death metal scene and the new vocal in this CD, although it sounds okay with the song (but don't how it will turn out with more 'death' song) but lost a bit the SILENT DEATH trademark. Great songs selection and also lots of people involve in making this release, especially as guest vocalist. There's a silly mistake in the booklet. The track is not listed according to the song in the CD. Fortunately, the track list on the CD back cover is in the correct order. The front cover depicted men slaughtering a cow and definitely this CD will be banned in India if this CD ever gets marketed there.

Sound Of Prison
So Rock!, 2000
After YIDUAN, this is the second album from China I heard. STALE CORPSE is not their original name. It has been translated in English. All the songs are in Chinese. 10 of them (for almost 50 minutes) in brutal death metal vein. They got some old M. Angel, C.Corpse in them. They shread, definitely. But not fast enough to match those gods. I like to hear some grinding part, there are some present here but not enough. They got really deep A++ growl! Not much info can be read from the 8-page booklet and that is really a great loss for me.

Created from Blood
Self-Released, 2002
When I first received this cd, jugdging by the sound quality I thought this was a full fledged album released on some good rich label, in fact Created from Blood is Suffocated Art's first demo release. This self produced CD surely gets full points for its recording/production quality and the cover/inlay design. 8 tracks of Pure Brutal Death Metal clocking 21 minutes which'll surely leave you for asking more. This bone crushing assault is masterfully matched by Torsten's guttural vocals and terro-wrist Sascha's riffing. Suffocated Art's music is a mix of groovy, grind old school death metal, this is one band thats definetly gonna make its mark in the death metal arena. The Cd has a small "Gegen Nazi" logo on it [no its not what you think], It Means "Crush the Nazis" or something like that. This is one band you should lookout for they are definetly gonna GEGEN you !!!
4/5 [Shanu]

Oriental Hell Rhythmics
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2000
The debut album consist of 6 tracks (plus 1 hidden track) of fast, furious black metal. The promotion of this band is massive here including in commercial rock magazine. I guess the writer seeks for something better than usual heavy/thrash metal but can’t trust any of their words. There is one review I read he comment on the originality of most local releases. Yes, I do agree with him. "Oriental..." might not offer anything new internationally but comparing this with other local black releases, I think they are the best. Fans of true, raw Scandinavian black metal with apocalyptic speed worldwide will truly like this. The songs are quite long (more than 5 minutes) but do not bore you with its utterly fast music. There are some re-recorded songs from their debut reh/demo. The lyrics are quite interesting too. This is already 2 years old. They will have a new album out soon.
Surrender Of Divinity, P.O.Box 161, Samsennai, BKK 10400, Thailand.


Sylva Mala
Self-Released, 2001
6 tracks, with the running time more than 30 minutes. Maybe you want to know the meaning of the band’s name. Ok. (Taken directly from the bio) “Sylva Mala” comes from the medieval name of a huge wood that extended from Vesuvius to the seaside. The definition is quite confusing for me but I guess they elaborate it in their lyrics. The lyrics are quite long, like a story and interesting to read. They are playing melodic black/death metal. I have heard this kind of music many times and I am still not bored of it yet. It is the same case with SM, although they must do something to give something new and different the listeners. The third song “A Lore Of Sylva Mala: I. Maleventum” is my fave. I like the breaks that the song has although the acoustical guitar when the song starts sounded like Metallica. This demoCD-R possess a good sound, with color glossy cover. Available for Euro 5 (Europe and Mediterranean) and USD 5 (r.o.w.).
c/o Marco Certo, via Gambardella 10, 80058 Torre Anunziata (NA), Italy.


THE ARMADA (Germany)
The Scent Of Darkness
Silver Dust Records, 2001
This is a fine maxiCD. They said they deliver first-class symphonic power metal and I have nothing to say except to agree with that self-made statement. Marvelous symphonic metal, from the lead vocal and the 'choirs', solos, the keyboards, etc. The band is formed in year 2001 and surely they must have gained experience before the formation of THE ARMADA. Surely they are no new comers. Just hear the guitar solos, it is impossible for you to not doing the 'air guitar' thing, trying to imitate what they play. Malmsteen, Helloween, Nightwish, well, you can fill in the slot with some more names. The debut album should be out soon. Watch out for "The Rage Of The Armada".
c/o Matthias Mailaender, Parlerstrasse 44, 73525 Schwaebisch  Gmuend.

Paragon Int., 2000
6 tracks CD, 32 minutes. They listed Mercyful Fate, Asphyx, Beherit, Suffocation, early Mayhem as influence and wanted to create a unique mixture of chaotic Black/Death and Doom. That is what the bio said. "Chaotic" = true, "unique".. I am not so sure. The CD possesses a raw sound, which is quite strange since CD usually has good, clear sound. Not that "L'Aldila" sounds bad, but not like I expected. Looking from the CD package, you can say they play doom or something 'mellow'. But they are chaotic black metal, with possessed vocals. Mostly fast, sometimes thrashy. They also add keyboard only on the background, in fact, too far back from the music. When the music starts to 'break loose', you could hardly hear the keyboard (and I don't think I have a hearing problem). They did get inspiration from the bands they listed. Not a bad release but a bit 'polished' recording will be a lot better.
The Forgotten, P.O.Box 354, Commack NY 11725, USA.


Rossini's Rape
Thomas Public Relations Inc., 2000

I wanted to listen to this KAT for ages and now I finally got a copy by trading. Buying this will not be a great purchase except for you die-hard fans of this lady and like sexy photos. Only 4 songs here and the CD are 12 minutes long and quite expensive for us Asians. She just screams in the song and the music is a metal version of classical songs, which I often heard in old cartoon that I watch when I was a child. But instead of solo using guitar, she uses violin. Great music but not really a good value for money.

THORNS (Norway)
Moonfog Productions, 2001

I am not sure about the history of THORNS but from the info I got, it took 10 years before they manage to release this album. Before, they have a split CD out with Emperor. Some Norwegian big star of black metal also involved in this album i.e. Satyr (SATYRICON) and Hellhammer (MAYHEM) and Aldrahn (DHG). This is another fine example of a great black metal masterpiece. And I hate to admit it that they are from Norway. It seems that most of good black metal come from there. You don't have to play as fast as the speed light to create a good black metal. The 8 tracks here have fast (well not too fast) and slow moment and sound very refreshing. It is not the usual Norwegian black metal we hear all day. Lots of dark atmosphere created with brilliant use of synth and few sampling adding a bit of industrial touches. Also a bit of death metal can hear as well. Black metal has not yet run out of ideas. Only those brilliant ones can think of something different and does not make them sound stupid. From lots of black metal I heard in this year 2001, this is the best so far.

TO ELYSIUM (The Netherlands)
Dearest Vile
Cold Blood Industries, 2002
Melodic dark death metal, played well enough to get my attention throughout the 30+ minutes. They remind me a bit of Callenish Circle but they are not close musically with their country mate because TO ELYSIUM offers more. Another band come to my mind is Estonian Ignorabimus with a bit of speed. Two vocalists, male growl and female soprano. Both share the same duty and contribute to the song. I mean, the female vocal is not just as background voice but also one of the important elements in the songs because she has as much line as the male growls. What you will hear is melodic, full of emotions, diversified, progressive metal blend with keyboard that does not mellow the songs down. "Dearest Vile" is one of the best underground release for me this year.
To Elysium, P/A Pilotenlaan 54, 8017 GE Zwolle, The Netherlands.


The Deadly Efficiency Of Napalm
Dark Coleseum Records, 2002
I am not really aware of grind music scene in Malaysia but what I know there are some grind/crust/punk labels and have some releases (tape/EP/CD) out. Dark Coleseum is a new label and is more metal-inclined (they also have a metal zine released for couple of issues). This CD of TORTURE INCIDENT, deliver 19 songs running almost 20 minutes. The songs are short, straight, sick and insane. I am surprised of the professionalism of this release. The CD production, the sound and the music is very, very professional. If you admire old Napalm Death, Carcass and the defunct Brutal Truth, this one is for you. I don’t know what’s the song “Rudy Naik Roket Ke Angkasa Lepas” is about (no lyrics include) but the title (in Malay) sound quite funny.
c/o Deck, No 62 Jln BK 2/9, Bandar Kinrara, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Recollected Limbs
Bloodbath Records / Obliteration Records / Weird Truth Production, 2001

3 Japanese labels finally make this release possible. 12 songs, with more than 70 minutes of TRANSGRESSOR metal. Transgressor metal? Well, what I mean is the CD shows how they develop all these years and how they sounded in all release. “Recollected Limbs” is almost the complete compilation of TRANSGRESSOR songs. Songs from 1990-1991 are in brutal death metal. Songs from 1992 (their debut album) 1993 the band turns into doomy death metal with really depressive metal. In 1998, two songs (from a local compilation) show that they are back into brutal death/grind like their earlier material. The last song in this CD is their brand new unreleased (yet) song. A 6 minutes song, which you will say they are playing brutal death if you only hear for couple of minutes but towards the end of the song, the song slows down (a lot) turns into a dark depressive song. The band broke up but reformed in year 2000 and recorded this song. Hard to guess what will come out later just by listening to one track. The CD comes with the band complete bio, info of songs featured and picture collage. It will be better if they can include together the band’s current photo. Although TRANSGRESSOR can be considered as Japan death metal legend, this is the first time I heard their music. Pity me.
c/o Takashi Tanaka, 1-18-25-601 Mutsugi, Adachiku Tokyo 121-0052, Japan.

Every Story Has A Glory
De Facto Productions, 2001

It is almost a year I haven’t listened to this band. The last time was their 2 tracks promo tape. This album is released under their own label, De Facto Productions. A 8 tracks CD with full colored cover. I labeled them as gothic doom metal last time but in this CD, gothic metal is more suitable this time because there are some fast songs here. The 2 songs in the promo tape are re-recorded for this album. Their music is melodic, calm and soothing like most gothic bands and the strength also lies in the clear angelic female vocal. There are also keyboard in the song and growling male vocals which are also dominant in almost all songs as well as piano in some songs. “Sinar Batas Sepi” is still my fave track. A good album by this band but the sound should be better. Music like these need more clean sound especially on the guitar. It is okay for a black metal music but not gothic. I see more and more Indonesian band release their stuff in CD and this is good news but it should come with a good sound. Tape version of this album is also available released by other Indonesian label. I forgot the name but I seen it in the internet.
c/o Yoyok-Harru, Menganti Permai Blok A2, No. 5, Gresik - 61174 - East Java, Indonesia.

Blessed Are The Destroyers Of False Hope
Demo CD 2000

This is the first band from Brazil I heard so far. Only 2 tracks of fast Scandinavian black metal. Sure, nothing new here. The first track is more straight forward black metal and reminds of old Nebiras, especially on the guitar. The second track almost similar with the first one but at last minutes, they added keyboard and melodic guitar before the CD ends. Well, what else can I say for 11 minutes of music?
Unearthly, Rua Ivete Vargas, 14/SB, Bonsucesso, 21040.190 Rio De Janeiro (RJ), Brazil.

UPRISING (Malaysia)
Sacred Productions, 2002
This is not in my 'shopping' list. On the last days of my holiday (before going back to the Borneo jungle) I plan to buy lots of cassettes and CDs. It is a surprise to see this CD on the shelf because it has been years I didn't hear any news from the band. This is a joint release with Music Trax and again they did a good job on this release just like RAVENLORD CD (referring to the thick booklet and now the CD is at the low price of RM 15.60!). But the music is not the thing to cherish about. You will not believe I still buy this (refer the review I made on their first album). It is cool that they strongly believe in what they do. Again, the Malay myth, heroism is still the concept (and they even dress with Malay traditional costume). 13 tracks (more than 1 hour) which includes 5 tracks from the previous album. 2 tracks are instrumental traditional folk music (where you can almost dance while listening). The rest are new songs and this time the music changes and keyboard + female vocals are added together. There some tracks with normal male and female vocals which sounded like Theatre Of Tragedy rip off (these tracks also reminds me of a great local doom band UNDEAD). The song "Bisikan Yang Menyesatkan" (death/rock kind of music) is my only fave and the only track composed by Panglima Guruh Keramat.


UNVEILED / TRAUMA (Malaysia / Indonesia)
Split CD
Psychic Scream Entertainment, 2000

2 S.E.Asian brutal death metal in one CD. Both bands playing US style of death metal. As we all know Indonesia has the biggest metal scene in SEA and have a lot of brutal bands. TRAUMA is not the best one for me and I can’t also suggest which one is the best. Listening to TRAUMA means you listen to the Indonesian scene as they represent hundreds of bands that play in the similar style TRAUMA played. As for Malaysia, there is only handful of brutal death bands. So it is a bit hard to choose and labeled as ‘the best’ band. UNVEILED have progressed a lot since their demo and their tracks here can be said as the best from them so far. I was surprise that Malaysia can produce brutal band like UNVEILED. So along NECROTIC CHAOS, DREADED, now UNVEILED. UNVEILED delivers 4 tracks while TRAUMA contributes 5 including a Fleshgrind cover. Both band have to work a lot on the sound if they want to stand up higher in today scene where death metal is said making a comeback. Comparing these two bands, TRAUMA is much better.
UNVEILED, No. 9 Jln 7/3, Tmn Desa, 86000 Kluang, Johor, Malaysia.
TRAUMA, Komplek P.W.I. Blok I 123, Jln. Tajuk Rencana, Cipinang Muara, Jakarta Timur 13420, Indonesia.
[3/5] / [3.5/5]


V3H3M3NT (Singapore)
Nebiula Productions, 2000
This was supposed to be released by Sonic Wave International but Nebiula is now responsible for releasing this album. The band is known as VEHEMENT and has a self-titled demo out in 1999. This CD feature 9 songs with 2 songs are new. The rest are available in the demo mentioned earlier but I am not sure whether all the old one is taken directly or new recording. Actually, there 9 ‘titled’ tracks and 22 untitled tracks. These ‘untitled’ tracks are 4 sec guitar riff and repeated for 22 times before the CD really end. Creative idea and work well for CD but I am not sure about the cassette version. “Vehement” is a thrash metal release (as some magazine said) but not entirely true since they are mixing various kind of style. Or maybe thrash is not suitable to be called since “Vehement” is not aggressive enough either musically or vocally. Maybe can be called modern metal or heavy metal? I don’t think I like what I am hearing. Musically they are not bad I guess. They have quite good solos and some songs using guitar effects, which I like. Don’t question their musicianship as the songs prove it. But what I don’t like that it doesn’t offer the intensity, aggression that I seek in a metal release. Or maybe the songs are not my cup tea.

Curtains Of Adjectives
Self-Released, 2001
They improved a lot since the last time I listen to them. I guess they found the style they are good at. But they still use the drum machine and that is their weakest point. I guess they should consider or search the third member to handle the drum. The CD-R offers 4 tracks (20 minutes) of melodic dark metal. The vocals here are varied, from scream to growling. They also incorporate the synthesizer in the right way. All the bad things I dislike from their old demo are not present here (except for that drum machine). I guess the vocal sometimes irritates me. The CD-R comes with glossy b/w cover. I was informed that this release will be re-released by A Brazilian label (Vampiria, if I am not mistaken). Choose either one. I hope the new version will use the same cover concept. I like the graphics in the CD inserts.
c/o K.G. PK 629 06445 Yenisehir Ankara, Turkey.


Books Of Illusion: Chapter 1
Self-Release, 2001
25 minutes, 7 tracks of 'eclectic dark experimental soundscapes'. The first thing that comes into my mind was Mortis and other dark wave projects. But I am not so sure whether I made the right comparison after listening to this CD-R. I don't know how to classify the songs. Dark metal maybe or just 'dark experimental' like the bio said. The VLE, the one and only person behind VLE really know how to create dark, mesmerizing, atmospheric and serene songs. It is not all synth, keys and samplers but still have few great metal touches. Track 3 is one of the best dark metal songs I have heard. VLE is often compared to Burzum, but not entirely. This is not for orthodox metal diehard fans. Recommended to those who seek soft and serene dark music. VLE is now in the process of finishing the trilogy of this 'book'. Chapter 2 is already available.
c/o J. Ross 455 West 34th St. #14C New York, NY10001 USA.


VRYKOLAKAS (Singapore)
Vrykolakas 2000
Self-Released, 2000

The first time I heard of them is with a track called “Thy Lord Vrykolakas” in one local compilation (in 1994/95, not really remember). They play black metal on that time. And it was a shock listening to the one track promo tape they release prior of this CD, “Nutfah”, because of the drastic change in their music. Finally I got this full release in CD. A fair sounding 5 tracked, 20 minutes MCD which comes with in slip case casing. All the songs also available before as split tapes and there are few versions of the tape release of these songs released by underground label worldwide. Brutal death/grind is what they play now. The US style to be exact with few types of growling vocals. You should already get the picture of how they sound like. Only RM 20 for Malaysian or USD 6 worldwide.
c/o Khairil, Blk 44, Chai Chee Street, #12-108, Singapore 461044.
c/o Andy, Blk 403, Serangoon Ave, #07-31, Singapore 550403.

HMW Distribution

5 tracks, 15 minutes of non-metal music perform by members of INFERNAL NECROMANCY (Japanese black metal). It seems like bands will mostly have an ambient project or project like this one. What you will hear are tortured, horrifying black metal vocal, screams, accompany by samplers, sound of thunder, fire, etc. No melody or maybe no music at all. If you are into weird stuffs, try this one.

WOUNDS (Finland)
Nuclear Devastation
Self-Released, 2001

A 5 tracked thrash/death demo/promo. I am not so sure about the history of this band. They consist of Arto Ovaskainen (drums), Joakim Soldehed (vocals and bass) and Jouni Hertell (guitars). What you will hear on this CD is basic thrash that you can hear from most old-school thrash bands, mainly the German one. It is easy to say that WOUNDS is just another retro band. They can make good solo, which I seem to like and there is one thing that makes them differ with the rest of retro bands. The dual vocals, one in gory death type and the other one are screaming like the one we can hear in grindcore music. It may not be hard to do this kind of singing when you are recording in studio. Well, maybe some will say that but listen to the last track, “Chaos Theory”. It’s a live track and you can clearly hear to vocalist changes his vocal type. This demo CD-R comes with black/white cover and include lyrics from 2 of the songs presented.
WOUNDS, Kolkkalankatu 6, 29200 Harjavalta, Finland.

The Omen
Ampcast, 200?
I first listen to this band in Legions of The Dark compilation (and that track is also present here). I guess most of the people do not know they have a CD out. This mini album published by and just like or website alike, they also sell their 'artist' CD besides giving server space for the artist's mp3. It is not easy for me to get a copy of this CD. The band doesn't have copies of this CD and ask to me to buy from the website. Since I don't own a credit card, there's no way for me to get this CD. Through some hassle, I finally got one (thanks guys!). All the troubles faced really paid off. Only 5 tracks present (17+ mins) and Azrieldjinn made and played them all. It's a one-man project (thus the drum machine..) but on 2 tracks a person name Wrathamon played the drum and Agretator did some vocals on 1 track. Melodic black/death metal with great melodic guitar works. They did a good job on this one (except for the drum). Hope to hear more from them soon.

YIDUAN (China)
So Rock, 2000
This is my first full-length from China. Since everything is Chinese-written, I can only figure out the band name and got the some translation from a friend. 10 tracks, 40+ minutes of death metal. Not fast death metal like you might assume, just mid pace like slower version of Sil Khannaz. The growl is not harsh or deep enough. You can clearly hear the words spit out by the vocalist. Good guitar playing and solos. An above average release but this is not extreme enough.