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.

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
Nebiula Productions, 2001

Local’s most controversial band is now back with a new 8 track CD. Again, like “Baku Karama”, this CD comes with couple of surprises. The artwork are at the back of the CD (the track title is at the front), some line-up changes and the most important is the music is not rock/heavy metal like “Baku Karama”. This album recorded without long-time and forming member Hanael but One Barchiel is not doing this album alone. Jadam (MESMERISED, GORB, PROFANE CREATION, NECROTIC CHAOS, and the list goes on...) did all drum programming and Dark-E (VOCIFERATION ETERNITY, SIL KHANNAZ, and the list goes on too...) contribute some guitar solos. AS SAHAR is back in death/black direction musically but in lyrical aspect they (or he?) abandoning the local Malay mysticism/occultism that make them the cultest band in the scene even tough it is written in Malay. Doesn’t matter how good the drum programming is, it still sucks. Dark-E solos are great. There are few songs with keyboard and some acoustic guitar. Well, to sum it up, this is a step lower than “Meditation Embun Pagi”. There are not much of fave tracks available for me in this CD. Only “Fantasia Temanku Fantasia” stands up among the rest although this song is quite slow compare with the rest. The band new concept is quite original I guess (at least in the local scene) where the lyrics are too ‘white’ for this kind of music but I don’t think the kids here will follow that like ‘Malay occultism’, which AS SAHAR introduced years ago.
Ridzuan Abd. Aziz, Blk 58, Marine Terrace, 07-57, Singapore 440058.
Are You Excrements
Morbid Records, 2001

In 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 grindrock and they are damn good in playing it (whatever they called their music). 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 try to do like what I did with MOSHQUITO CD 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. Not really a good value for money isn’t it?
Av. Santos Matos nº10, 4º A, 2700-748 Amadora, Portugal.
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.
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.
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. The songs here are taken from their previous releases. 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.
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]
Nebiula Productions, 2000

This was supposed to be released by Sonic Wave International (Singapore) but Nebiula is now responsible for releasing this album. VEHEMENT 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.

I don’t have any info about this compilation except it features bands from the west coast of USA (California). I think you can guess that from the title of this CD. sponsored this album, which feature 16 tracks from 16 bands. Lots of bands but does not offer diversity since almost all play hardcore metal. The bands are DOWN FACTOR, REFUSE, ODDMAN, FELLATIA, PCP, 3D HOUSE OF BEEF, HOSTILITY, AGONISTIC RESEMBLANCE, 3RD RAIL, BEARING, GIRTH, MUDSLINGER, BREACH, KAOS, ANTAGONY, MR. ROPER. I don’t think I will listen again to this CD after. The highlights of this CD are ODDMAN (Soulfly rip off), AGONISTIC RESEMBLANCE, MUDSLINGER (a bit ‘doomy’ and depressive), KAOS (Slayer?).

Cassette | Zine