CASSETTE REVIEWS

DAEMON EST DEUS INVERSUS (Brazil)
Demo Tape 2002

4 tracks demo tape. Fast played black metal with raw sound. Some good head banging parts presented as well. Nothing outstanding in this tape but still listenable. It misses some charms but mostly the sound is the cause that can't bring this tape higher. Some say I give too much of a strong opinion in my reviews. Well, I got my own criteria that I seek in music and it just happens to be that I like extreme black/death metal despite the sound and the packaging.
c/o D.E.D.I, R. Jose Herrera Higueira, 254 Jd. Icatu-Votorantim/SP 18110-235, Brazil.
3/5-Syukri

DEMONYU (Malaysia)
Swear Of The Darkness Knight
Demo 2002
A 3 tracked demo. I think it's their debut release, which comes with a colored laser printed cover. The trio behind this band chooses black metal, the fast Scandinavian type. A Hellish raw sound (recorded live I guess), which is good for this type of music (at least for a demo). They remind me of some Indonesian black metal bands. They should improve their skills because you can hear that something's not right in their songs. The last track is accompanied by synth and that is quite unusual for a Malaysian demo. No address written in the cassette jacket. Maybe they don't want to be contacted?
2.5/5
-Syukri

DEVILRY (Finland)
Inhumane Regiment
Finland`s Devilry returns with a new release called "Inhumane Regiment". Originally released as a limited 7`Ep, "Inhumane Regiment" offers 4 tracks (plus one bonus track for the cassette version) of pure Satanic Death Metal. Lucky me to get a promo which also feature the bonus track called "I am Iconoclast". Overall, 4 tracks brutally executed by Devilry and what have impressed me a lot is Sir Holm evil vocal work! A great combination of growl and shriek, which is one of the highlight beside the 4 great songs. My favourite track is Vermincineration (bloody evil and brutal!). The other one track which I didn`t mention earlier is called Regeneration, an instrumental track with industrial noise touch. This is a release that I can simply listen over and over again without thinking of the word "boring" in mind. Get the limited Ep before it`s too late!
c/o sirholm@europe.com
http://listen.to/devilry
4.5/5-Firdaus

FASTKILL (Japan)
Total Thrashing Massacre
Demo 2001

4 tracked demo with colored cover. Munetaka (boss of World Chaos) said in the interview (featured in Steel Madness #2) that thrash metal is the most popular music in the extreme metal genre. I got the chance to listen to some of them and now added to the list is FASTKILL. Intense thrash metal with very angry vocal. They are in the same line as their country mate KING'S-EVIL. FASTKILL will be a blast if they get the right sound. All the ingredients are already there.
c/o rt_fastkill@hotmail.com
3.5/5-Syukri

FORCE (Singapore)
Uphold The Mighty Force
2003

Shah, the person who draw the icon for Steel Madness #2 (on the back cover) told me about this band and I asked him to send me this immediately since he have some copies for sale (he also draw the cover for this demo). 5 tracks demo with decent sound with neatly designed xerox cover. The style? Hard rock / heavy metal with strong influence of Metal Church. The music and the vocals really sound like MC. Some songs sound like our own SYJ. Is that good? Yes! Although it is not original but what the heck man. Not many bands are like this here. Sadly the band is now 'forcedly' r.i.p., as stated in the short bio in the cover sleeve. This demo features which they made in 9 years of their existence, just to show they exist the scene. They said it a 'commemorative demo'. You can get this for RM 5 from Shah (address elsewhere).
c/o force@singnet.com.sg
4/5-Syukri

INSANUL MAUT (Indonesia)
Dusk To Dawn
Extreme Souls Production, 2002

Thanks to the corrupt postal service, I have been stopping buying/trading stuff from Indonesia. But I can't help myself so I bought some tapes from a local distro. So it has been a while since I last listened to Indonesian metal. Brutal death metal may be the most popular musick there but there are also huge amount of black metal bands as well. 8 tracks available in this tape and this quintet deliver melodic black metal. They also added few female vocals and keyboards. Musically, Insanul Maut is quite entertaining. They sounded like some new Malaysian demos (but with a good sound) which love this kind of Swedish melodic metal. The cassette sleeve is nicely design (thankfully no long thanks lists but perhaps putting the lyrics will a lot better).
c/o The Palace Of The Damned, Jl. Kebonkol Gg. Aming 04, Sumedang 45311, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. dusk2dawn666@hotmail.com
3.5/5-Syukri

INSIDE (Malaysia)
Darkness.. Begin...
Demo 2000
A two-tracked demo that plays melodic black/death metal. I shouldn't have underestimated them. Musically they are interesting and the tape has a decent sound. They handle their instruments quite well and this recording shows some professionalism. There are bands here that release demo's which sounds like it was their second or third time doing rehearsal as a band (and also means it was their third time playing their instrument). There are still some good bands out there but it is only a matter of luck. That's why I haven't bought many demos lately (due to avoiding disappointments). INSIDE deserve the support. Let see their next release (this demo is pretty old!).
c/o Ir'Onez, Rusmini Osman, Pejabat Imigresen, Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kota Kinabalu, 88560 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
3/5
-Syukri

INSISION (Sweden)
Entangled In Thorns
Witchhammer Production, 2001

This is the band's old demo which was sent by the boss of the label, Jerasak for review. The demo was re-released and the cover is re-done by the label. The tape is professionally made with black and white glossy cover. The band now already has an album or two right now and I think you might already know. They are playing brutal death metal; fast and with great sound. The demo only has 4 tracks and that's not enough. Seriously, you should check out INSISION if you are into brutal death and for demo tape collector, this re-released version should be in your collection.
c/o Thomas daun, Briger Jarlsgatan 75, 113 565 Stockholm, Sweden.
4/5-Syukri

MAAR (Malaysia)
Eastern... Mysterious... Mystical... Myth...
Demo 2001
Another band from Sabah that deserves your attention. If I am not mistaken there are members of INSIDE in this band. The lyrics are in Malay (must be interesting reading them). MAAR's music? Nice mix of black, thrash and death with a good sound and good musicianship (can be better). Yes, they have this 'melodic' thing in their music. They mixed the vocals (death and black metal style). This is a 4-tracked demo (more than 20 min). Looks like they took 1 year to compose a song and they arranged it in chronological order. The first song "Mantera Pontianak" is from 1998 and the last one is their latest, simply titled as "Maar...". Hopefully they will not take another 4 years to come out with a new release. But if that is what it takes to compose good songs (this demo is just above average) so be it. Let quality rule over quantity.
c/o Rithzali Nasir, W.D.T. 448, 88904 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

3/5
-Syukri

MANTAK (Malaysia)
Dark Borneo Art...
Muzik Box Production, 2002
MANTAK is now the most successful metal bands hailing from Sabah. They are the first band from Sabah that managed to release a pro-cassette release like this and is distributed nationwide. The last time I read their bio (that was after the second demo, 1999), "Await their first strange material, mixture of metal and alternative music." I don't know what they mean by that. I only hear Swedish style black metal (means they are a bit melodic), the style which you can hear from most new local black metal bands here. I have no problem with melodic black metal. The first time I listened to this band was from their debut demo "D'Borneo Chaosmaker". And comparing their very first release with this tape, they have improved tremendously! That demo could easily get 1 or 0 out of 5. Improvements can still be made on the sound and their musicianship though and also try make their own identity. The song "Seranggan Barbalang" is a true As~Sahar rip off. 5 songs available and includes a good Sodom cover, "Blasphemer".
c/o Mohd Nazree, Rumah No. 195, Fasa 1, Rumah Murah Kepayan, 88000 Kota Kinabalu.
deviant_eye@yahoo.co.uk
3/5
-Syukri

MANTAK (Malaysia)
Eye Of Deviant
Nebiula, 2002
Just a few months after the EP was released (thanks to the black metal issue which caused the delay) this 7-tracked tape was available. It also contains re-recorded songs from their second demo ("Sakhtyanic Doctrine" is in the EP). Those songs are just average if you compare it with the new songs either in the EP or on this tape. Not much difference if comparing "Eye..." with the last EP. Still melodic black metal but sometimes the songs have this weird tempo or something. Don't know how to explain it but don't worry, it's not something bad. Sound wise, a bit better I guess especially on the drums although recorded in the same studio. I like those melodic parts. Are they paying homage to certain bands in their releases? The first track on side B is like Sil Khannaz (on their "Pendita Gila" ep). This tape also featured guest musician from other Sabahan bands. There are some good bands from the 'land below the wind' and Mantak seems to lead the way. Improvement on certain parts will surely make Mantak big in the scene (locally they already is known with these tape releases and series of gigs in West Malaysia).
c/o Mohd Nazree, Rumah No. 195, Fasa 1, Rumah Murah Kepayan, 88000 Kota Kinabalu.
deviant_eye@yahoo.co.uk
3.5/5
-Syukri

MG-34 (Malaysia)
Promo Desecration
Astral Lore Productions, 2003
The band formed in early 1999 and currently the line-up is (as stated in the cassette sleeve): Psychopathik Anal Terror (g) , Apokalyptik War Breeder (b), War Head Pulverizer (g), Nuklear Hell Desekrator (v) and Bestial War Sodomizer (d). They wanted to be called as a 'war death metal' band (as you can see from their name and the songs title) and recorded this promo in early 2001. This tape contains 3 tracks including a 90 second instrumental and comes with neatly design black and white cover. You will hear raw and sick sounded noise in the 2 tracks; "Diabolical Warfare" and "Nuclear War". The music does not sound like it was played by 5 men. You will like them if you like Kratornas's demos. And I think many people will dig MG-34 since Kratornas is lots of people's faves.
c/o MG-34, No. 5, Jalan AU5C/7, Lembah Keramat, 54200 Kuala Lumpur.
warmg34@hotmail.com www.geocities.com/warmg34
2.5/5-Syukri

NECBEYTH (Singapore)
Total Battle Supremacy
In Coffin Productions, 2003
Fantastic! That are the word came out from my mouth after listening this tape several times. This young and talented band is improved a lot. This great Demo consist 4 Tracks of Raw, Fast, Mercilles and Brutal Black/Death Metal. I can hear some parts reminds me BEHEMOTH, ENTHRONED, ANGELCORPSE and MARDUK but overall they make their composition with their own style. Feurstrum Vokilzz so rulez he sings with his own style and not like others Black Metal Singer. This band is next will bring up higher our Black Metal scene coz we lack of great Black Metal bands and NECBEYTH can stand same line with IMPIETY, SURRENDER OF DIVINITY as our proud band. This Demo release in Limited hand numbered 333 copy only and 100 first buyer will get NECBEYTH badges. Highly recommended to you but not to Whimp and gay Black Metal wannabe. NECBEYTH rulez . 666/666 Fucking Skull
c/o Feurstrum
nechbeyth@emailaccount.com
5/5-Hamdan

NEFARIOUS AZARAK (Malaysia)
Ode of Yearning Sorrow
2003

If I remember it well, I got their one of their old demo and made a review for the first issue but on that time I was new in using computer. My hard disk crash (thanks to the virus creator. Die in flames!) and did not make any back-up (I do it now!). There are lots of tapes I reviewed but after done reviewing I swapped the tapes. I couldn't remember how they sound like. Well, if they are good, I will not forget about it, right? The band is consist of 6 members (including two guitarists and a keyboardist) and claimed to be playing 'Necrobourganic Dark Atmospheric Extreme Metal'. I have shorter description, 'atmospheric black metal'. 4 tracks are in the demo. The vocalist has a good voice where he sings in both death and black style. If this demo is released when I was doing my first issue, it will have good score. The demo was recorded live. You will hear some mistakes (some are too obvious). "Lights In Abyssia" is a good song but the rest (except for the last track) is a bit mediocre for me. They are good in doing the keyboard and need to be tighter in their playing. The sound is quite good for a demo but they need to have better sound for this type of music. About the last track, it is a bit weird because it is totally in different style. "Gravechild" is a thrash song. Raw and together with the evil vocals, this sounds great in my ears! They admit that the song does not fit with the band's concept so that leave a big '?' in why they include that in this demo. Musically, they are quite promising. I hope they can do it better and professional next time.
c/o Md. Adhlan Ariffin, F726, Kg. Batu 3, Jln. Jeniang, 08300 Gurun, Kedah.
nefarious_azarak@yahoo.co.uk www.nefariousazarak.tk

2.5/5-Syukri

NOCTERNITY (Indonesia)
Gothvamp
Extreme Souls Production, 2002
11 tracks cassette LP. There are seven members in the band including a female vocalist 'enriching' the songs with the clear voice. This is one of the most unoriginal music I have heard. This is a carbon copy of Cradle Of Filth. It is not really a bad thing but surely this tape will not last long in my hi-fi. 4 of the songs are synth instrumentals songs placed in between the songs. They include the lyrics and the best lyric goes to "To The Abyssic Vulva". They didn't use corpse-paint but I can see why from the thanks list. May you all enter al-Jannah. Aminů
c/o Wawan, Jl. Otista no.289 Subang 41251, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.
nocternity_gothvamp@yahoo.com
3/5-Syukri

SARCASTIC (Malaysia) / DARK VISION (Greece)
Split Tape
North Poem Records, 2002
One of the most delayed release. I've been informed about this split release since late 1998 but it was successfully came into reality few years later. I was also told it will be released in CD as well but the label didn't mentioned that when sending this tape to me or written in the catalog. Side A is SARCASTIC, which is one of the best metal bands in Kedah. Their blend of melodic black and heavy metal rules this tape! Side B features DARK VISION. Should I say Sarcastic's twin brother? Musically they are almost in the same style except that Dark Vision adds awfully sounded keyboards in their music. Its looks like they have a female member. She must be the keyboardist. I am not a sexist. They keys are okay on few parts but the rest just ruins the songs. They should check how Sarcastic plays their metal! I've seen a much better designed cassette jacket so that is what I want to complain besides Dark Vision. They should add some more info on the bands, etc. They made it too simple. If the CD version is really available, with this kind of jacket design, I can imagine how bad it will look like. Anyway this release still needs to be checked because of Sarcastic.
c/o Sarcastic: hiddenpoem@hotmail.com
c/o Dark Vision, P.O.Box 86251, 18505 Kallipoli, Greece. hspirit@otenet.gr
4/5 | 2.5/5
-Syukri

SIKSAKUBUR (Indonesia)
The Carnage
Extreme Souls Production, 2000
This is an old release. If I am not mistaken, this is their debut. You will hear 8 tracks of brutal death metal. The same 8 tracks are on both sides of the tapes means that this release is quite short in term of the playing time.
c/o Andyan Gorust, Jl. Kesehatan No.17 003/011, Gedong Ps. Rebo, Jakarta Timur 13760, Indonesia. sick_sakubur@lycos.com
3.5/5-Syukri

TALISMAN (Malaysia)
Awake From The Nightmare
Night Art Production, 2001
Experimental melodic metal. Sounds interesting and hearing the actual product proved that I am not wrong. The problem is the sound of this tape is so fucked up. I have to put my stereo at the highest volume to hear the songs. Oh, I forgot. This is a rehearsal tape. I can hear some good melodies in the music. They are truly melodic and use normal sad-sounding male voice with some harsh vocals at times. Normal one needs some work. Hope to hear a much better recording in the future. If they do, TALISMAN will be a blast in the local metal scene.
c/o Hailul Akhmasz, Lot 11569, Jln. Kg. Dew, Kg. Tersusun, 34700 Simpang, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.

2/5
-Syukri

THE KRUSHERS (Italy)
Megaloi Theoi
2002
Italian trio playing black thrash metal with Motorhead, Celtic Frost, Kreator, Voivod, Destruction and Slayer as some of their influences. I guess you already got the picture of how they sound like. Actually more thrash and less black metal. Well, depends on how you categorize old Kreator's music. 8 tracks, evil black vocals and very raw sounded playing for nearly 20 minutes. This is their third demo which the second was just released in January 2002. Hope to hear more from them soon!
c/o Giuseppe Peri, Via S. Sofia, 4, 92100 Agrigento, Italy.
pgedifr@tin.it

3.5/5
-Syukri

VIOLATOR (Malaysia)
Revolution Of Human Debris
Night Art Production, 2002
3 tracks promo rehearsal tape. Only one song belongs to them, the others are Destruction "Total Disaster" and Raven "Lambs To The Slaughter". Not bad for the cover songs. It's a rehearsal so don't expect a nice sound. The band plays thrash and I think they lack of the speed and aggression like the bands that they cover. The vocals can be harsher. Get it for only for USD 2.
c/o Akhmasz, Lot 11569, Jln. Kg. Dew, Kg. Tersusun, 34700 Simpang, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.
masz_destructor@hotmail.com

2.5/5
-Syukri

WYTCHKRAFT (Brazil)
We Are Satan's Warrior
Live Recordings Attack!, 2002

I have reviewed Crespulo's other band called LAMENT where I spoke a bit about WYTCHKRAFT. This is a satanic heavy metal band and you can see that from this demo and also the song title. Only 3 tracks presented in this tape and I should say this is more like the band's rehearsal. No breaks between songs. The songs move me and with proper recordings it will be much better! But I think they are not aiming for that. Maybe you will not like the filthy sound but that is only a small reason but that is your loss. Pro black and cover.
c/o Destructator, R. Jose Herrera Higueira, 254 Jd. Icatu-Votorantim/SP 18110-235, Brazil.
4/5-Syukri

ZONE X (Malaysia)
Stargoth
Puri Siluman Pejajaran, 2000
After giving the promo tracks, they had a self-released cassette EP out under the label of one of their band members. Although the cover is just laser Xerox, the cassette is printed. Electro gothic metal which in Malaysia, they can be compared with MESMERISED. Interesting, melodic and soothing songs. I can't say this is metal because synth is the core element in "Stargoth" and only few guitars but good enough to catch my mood. They need to get a better sound.
c/o Syahrul Hazri, 113 Jln Tmn Long Jaafar Fasa 3, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.
stolol@yahoo.com

3.5/5
-Syukri