Bands - Imperial 3 comments

Posted at 12:38 PM in

It has been quite a while since my first post about Malaysian bands. I have been in contact with quite a few highly potential bands for a feature post in this small timer blog and hopefully, with my endless devotion in promoting this blog, The Bullet Belt can compose, at least, an undersized scrap of contribution and input in promoting these bands featured in this blog in the future. There are plans for a wider scale promotion that have been flying in and out of my mind for quite a while, but I am still trying to sort things out and in time needed to stretch out these strategies upfront for the approvals of the bands respectively. I am calling it, Tali Pinggang Peluru Presents (malay for The Bullet Belt Presents). Fingers crossed.

So, what do we have here? The second band that I deem fit for a feature post in this blog is this one band called Imperial. Imperial is, well, at least for me although denied by the band’s founding member, primary songwriter and guitarist, Mr.Zarim, in an interview I made with him recently, a Black Metal band from Kuala Lumpur, the heart and focal point of Malaysia. Imperial is no new comer to the local metal scene. Started way back in 1993 with a demo entitled “Enslave” released in 1994. Heavily influenced by Scandinavian bands in the likes of Darkthrone, Samael and yes, Emperor, the band marched through 1995 with another demo entitled “Emperor of The Hordes”. Wow! Enslaved and Emperor would be so proud. “Emperor of The Horde” established Imperial as one of the many prominent Black Metal outfit hailing from the center of the Kuala Lumpur city in the instance of Aradia and Misantrope. Emperors in their own distinctive metal league.

The band played a number of gigs through out the country and was in the midst of preparing for the recording of their debut EP which was set for release, I believe somewhere in 1999 or 2000 under a local label called DreamWorldDecay, when the band faced internal and external conflicts and problems which resulted in the quitting of one of its founding member. Sadly, even though some of the new songs were already recorded, the EP idea was scrapped.

The band soldiered on and played their last show somewhere in 2001 before Imperial was officially put under and indefinite hiatus. The bands members concentrated on other normal commitments, the same normal commitments that usually become the main reason for the hindrance of progress of bands in Malaysia, like day jobs and families, sometimes or most of the time would lead to the disbandment and death of bands.

After 7 years of hibernating, the band members decided to reactivate the dragon and put forward their passion for music once again with the tying knot in the form of Imperial brotherhood. The new era of Imperial was celebrated and officialized with the release of their promo single entitled the Imm… oh, wait. No it is the “The Conqueror” this time. Haha, The single was released by Astral Lore Productions, one of the few remaining local labels who have stayed enthused in championing local black metal bands in Malaysia. The single was released in 2008. The debut album is currently in plans and the recording session is due to begin somewhere around august. Will the title of their new album contain the name of another scandanavian band? That would be the million dollar question. Immortal, Darkthrone and Satyricon will definitely be on the edge of their seats from now on. Haha.

Judging from the arrangement of The Conqueror, Imperial is set to rest on the formula of atmospheric, technical and progressive songs and the debut album, I believe, will contain strong feel for the atmosphere since synth will be fully utilized by the band. I have to suggest that this upcoming album should be a must for all heavy metal fans world wide for a dip and taste of Malaysian Progressive Black Metal, if labelling is inevitable, well, at least according to me. Again, this is a must for the fans of the later music of Emperor and Enslaved. The current line up of the band is composed of Zarim on guitars and Synths, Zam on vocals and bass, Jon on bass and second guitars and G-knight on the drums and percussions.

You can reach the Imperial Battlefront on their MySpace page

Videos - Get Thrashed : The Story of Thrash Metal: 5 comments

Posted at 3:59 PM in

Get Thrashed : The Story of Thrash Metal, Saigon 1515 Productions, 2008.

I have just finished watching this one great documentary on Thrash Metal, and it was a fun watch indeed. Get Thrashed explored the birth and origin of the Thrash Metal music, it talked about various prominent and influential bands, Metallica and Megadeth just to name a few, during that era that have helped shape the music and the entire movement and discussed further about various Thrash Metal scene from all over the world. 9jmix4w2pr

Like most of the documentaries out there, Get Thrashed contained loads of interviews and numerous video clips from old shows from the 80’s and early 90’s. What is Thrash Metal without the mention of the big five (big four to some)? The prominent bands featured at length were for example, the band who brought the genre to worldwide attention and the one responsible for the movement in the first place, Metallica, check, the band who elevated the genre into a higher level of phenomenal superhuman technicality with a display of callous ingenuity in songwriting, Megadeth, check, the pioneering and very much influential Exodus, check, the band who resorted to shock value, inspired a couple of other heavy metal subgenres and lifted the music to another level of superhuman intensity and velocity, Slayer, check, and the band who popularized experimentations in the genre, Anthrax, check. All the big five were deeply discussed and elaborated, don’t worry. The mention of Suicidal Tendencies and Pantera can be considered as a bonus.

The documentary also took a peak into the equally important Thrash Metal scene from all over the world, especially German and Brazil. What is Thrash Metal with out the mention of its Germanic extension, the Teutonic Thrash and its close cousin the Brazilian Thrash Metal. Bands like the mighty Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Sepultura and SarcoFago were equally important in contributing to the mass appeal of the movement back in the 80’s.

The height of the documentary for me was always with the Dave Mustaine of Megadeth interview. No matter how arrogant Mustaine appeared to be, to the extent that he claimed James Hetfield of Metallica and Kerry King of Slayer were the extension of his style and play, which for me is quite true, Mustaines crazy songwriting skills, is and will always be indisputable. The first two of Megadeth albums, Killing is My Business… and Business is Good and Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?, will always be thrash metal classics alongside Metallica’s Kill Em All, Slayer’s Show No Mercy and Exodus’s Bonded by Blood.

This is a very good video and I recommend this one to those who would like to know the history of the music that they listen to.

Rants - The Heavy Metal Misconception: 2 comments

Posted at 12:11 PM in

How I see myself as a Metal fan in Malaysia?

Like in any other places all over the world, Heavy Metal will always be regarded as the music for the mischievous sprite and Malaysia included. The functionality of the media and press in this country offered no help what so ever in aiding the curiosity of the conservative, uninformed and anxious society with the very much-needed explanation despite their roles as propagators of truth and conscience. As far as I am concerned, Heavy Metal in Malaysian will always remain as an underrated and second-class form of musical entertainment in the eyes of any normal Joes and Janes, despite the cultivations of a comprehensive amount of creativities and innovations within the local Heavy Metal scene through out the decade, showed by these underrated musicians and enthusiasts. Maybe it is for the better.

As fans of everything heavy and extreme, some Malaysian heavy metal fans were very much open to be a subject of ridicule and the prejudicial judgments of the society in general, especially during the height of the Black Metal/Satanism controversy, which resulted with the music being banned right there and then by the local religious authorities sending parents and teachers into an uncontainable frenzy and restlessness.

As dedicated I am in wanting to defend heavy metal, I cannot put the blame unjustly to the local authorities, parents and teachers. The fears were indeed legitimate but the manner they tend to use in resolving the problem was just another hands off approach. There were no thorough and detailed studies being conducted. There were minimum confrontations. The conclusion was made solely via assumptions, hearsays and the exaggerations and misleading flights of the imagination puffed out by the local ignorant and biased medias. If it was really a life, moral or belief threatening situation, they have all the rights to put a ban on the music, hell, I would even give them my support, but the question remained unanswered, how threatening the situation was? Were all the rumors true? One rotten apple does not make the whole barrel inconsumable, thus banning the consumption of apples in general would make the lawmakers appeared absurd, unintelligent and ridiculous.

Heavy Metal will always be related to a psychological form of entertainment. Heavy Metal fans do not condone to these heavy, brutal, unlistenable and extreme form of entertainment just to be solely entertained. It was and always will be a form of psychological therapy, in some ways or another, listening to a music resented by the rest of the society gave them psychological prowess and autonomy, elites in their own little world, thus the reason why Heavy Metal is so much a tribal music. In order to understand these kids who worshipped Slayer or those frostbitten Norwegian bands in the likes of Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal and Darkthrone who often in their earlier formations championed satanic and evil imagery for shock values, the authority should have studied the reasons why these kids were listening to these kind of music in the first place. They will be in for a surprise to find out that most of the kids did not even give a fuck about no lyrical contents. These bands could have sung about lollipops, candy bars and teddy bears, but with that awesome kind of voice, they could have sung about eating Pizza under the eclipsing winter moon, I would still be listening to the great music!

Rants - The Pre Introduction to the Future: 1 comments

Posted at 12:20 PM in

I am still waiting for Mr.Mantheravathee, the lead guitarist and the riff master of the mighty shadow lords, Hayagriva to come back to me with some details about his band for my next feature entry. In the mean time, I will be structuring and assembling a lengthy and extensive opinion based entry about the future of Malaysian Metal and the challenges that it will be facing in keeping abreast with the rapid development of the Heavy Metal scene world wide. Sounds impressive huh? It shall not be intended as a proper study of cultural anthropology for Malaysian Heavy Metal, but I do hope that it will shed some lights for those who are interested to be acquainted with various realistic guiding principles that they can apply as a diagram to shape Heavy Metal music with their own identity, personality and distinctiveness. In advance, I would like to thank those Metal enthusiasts who have agreed to accept my invitation to participate. Thank you.

I have already received a few answer sheets and the opinions were intellectually dominating, mind bombarding and served the point more better than better. I cant fucking wait!

The entry will mainly be dealing with the issue of originality and passion in Heavy Metal in the context of Malaysia; the issue of having the right driving force that will be needed and acknowledged as a striving foundation for Malaysian bands on their quest to build reputations for their respective bands on a wider and larger scale; and the last but not least, the challenges that needs to be noted and overcome. I am trying to promote this blog internationally and hopefully the forum shall be an eye opener for the worldwide audience of Heavy Metal, of the intensity and innovativeness of Malaysian Heavy Metal. Fingers crossed.

Rants - The Malaysian Black Metal: 2 comments

Posted at 12:59 PM in

When I first started The Bullet Belt a few weeks ago, it was only for one sole motivation and that sole motivation was my dire need to contribute and promote local underrated heavy metal bands from all across Malaysia regardless of genre and origin. I know that it will not be much of a contribution for the time being since I am still quite in the dark as to what would be the best and most effectual ways to promote the bands featured in this blog. Myspace would be a good place to start. In any case, I will try and see it through.

I have been checking out a number of exotic metal bands on the Astral Lore Production’s roster and currently crossing my fingers in the hope that all the bands featured on the roster are still amply alive and active. I know some of them are. It is quite blissful to witness the actuality that there are still some perseverance, enthusiasm and devotions from the good people in Astral Lore to promote exotic bands from the local black metal scene. A few years ago, I often wondered what in the name of damnation have happened to all these greater than great Malaysian black metal bands? What happened to all those bullet belts, pentagrams, spikes, inverted crosses, corpse paints and those nerve wrecking high-pitched haunting wails? Long gone were the glorious reigning days of Klang Valley Black Metal elites in the likes Nebiras, Aradia, Sauts Alastor, Ravenlord and War 666.

The black metal rhetoric toyed around by the local media had really made a huge caustic and destructive impact on the local metal scene especially the local black metal scene in particular. All of a sudden, the bands seemed to have died down. It was a very dark and gloomy year for the metal industry during those challenging days back then and the result showed.

I hope with the current development smearing rapidly in the local black metal scene, the hell hordes, with high hopes, shall once again reign supreme. With the reformations of some of the older bands like Aradia, Mistik and Imperial, the release of albums from bands like War 666, Hayagriva and Insultor and newer bands started to emerge these recent years, there might be a possible bright future after all for the local black metal scene. Or should I say, a dark and black future? We shall see.

Book Review: The Heroin Diaries - A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar: 2 comments

Posted at 12:10 AM in

The Heroin Diaries - A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar, Nikki Sixx with Ian Gihins, Pocket Books, 2008.

I am currently waiting to write something about one of the most hardworking and dedicated metal band from Malaysia which goes by the name of Hayagriva and I am currently doing some proper research about the band and until I completed this mini investigation, I shall write about something else so that The Bullet Belt would not end up being a lost work like most of my other one hit wonder blogs.

This is not actually a book, but more of a collection of entries from Nikki Sixx’s 1987 diary with additional commentaries by various people who were mentioned in his entries. This is like an additional text book for the hard hitting New York Times bestseller The Dirt, the complete autobiography of his world famous hard rock band, Motley Crue, straight from the horse’s mouth. I will be reviewing The Dirt later. Now, let us focus on The Heroin Diaries – A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rockstar by Nikki Sixx with Ian Gihins.

Nikki Sixx was and still is the bassist and principle songwriter of Motley Crue, one of the most influential and prominent hard rock bands in the history of American rock and roll, if the world would be an overstatement. Their insubordinate and wild attitude both in life and music, on and off the stage, was the elementary constituent that shaped the whole music industry in the 1980’s. Cock Rock, Glam Metal, Hair Metal, Rock Kangkang, Rock Paras, call it what ever you want but it all undeniably started and revolved around bands like Crue when Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were too busy knocking each other off the stage.

Through this diary we can dive deep into Nikki Sixx’s life of rock n roll, booze, drugs and sex. Most of the entries contained either about Sixx doing drugs, trying to be sober, preparing to go on stage and a bit about his fellow band members here and there. Each entries comes with additional commentaries from his band members, former managers, ex-girlfriends and Sixx himself, trying to put in little bits of details about what really happened on various events mentioned in each of the entries. That very much helped the readers to understand what in the name of hell is he talking about.

The lay out of this book is all over the place so you really need to focus on what you read. Ghoulish arts and drawings here and there and most of the contents were either black, white or red in color. It was a bit of a turn off for me because more than once that these horrendous lay outs distracted my eyes from reading the texts. Like I said, this book is just a supplemental read for The Dirt. For those who wanted to know more about Motley Crue, I would suggest that reading The Dirt would be more than enough. For collectors, this is a must.

I bought this book for RM57.50 from Kinokuniya, KLCC on 13th February 2009.

Bands - Filsufatia: 5 comments

Posted at 2:24 AM in

Would it make me a self boasting basket case for writing about my own band? I love writing and I love reading my own writings. I have always been my own blog audience. Although, this blog was created for one straightforward reason; so that I can write something about Zubirun and Qharinth, I still need to consume and utilize these empty spaces, at least for the time being, before I have enough materials to write about the above mentioned bands. Until then, I shall write what ever I deem fit for The Bullet Belt.

Filsufatia is my one man band and it has been in existence for quite a while now. If my memory served me correctly, I formed Filsufatia out of boredom, as a bedroom band project, somewhere later in 2004. It all started when I first managed to get my hands on this one cool home studio software called Fruity Loops Studio. Well, it is not until later that I found out that I could actually utilize this loop program to create heavy metal. I started using Fruity Loops Studio since 2003. Back in those days, it was all about RnB and Hip Hop music (hell, I still do the normal music arrangements once in a while). One fine day, I found out that there were some of the loops available in the program resembled the sound of a distorted electric guitar and if utilized and mixed properly, I can actually emulate the sound of a real band. I kind of freaked out. To cut the story short, the rest was history.

I always wanted to be in a metal band because there were always a plentiful of crazy riffs and melodies flying in and out of my head. I have been in a number of bands before but they were either punk, hardcore or pop and never metal. The satisfaction of playing live instruments was there but not in terms of the need to express my heavy metal creativity and originality. I need an outlet to express this fervor for grunting vocals, orchestral arrangements, haunting chapels, dark riffs and corpse paints, thus the formation of Filsufatia as a foundation to gratify my metallic lust and growling desires was the most perfect venue. It was the best venue for me because using computer programs would mean I can continue doing this on my own without the need to go through the painstaking task to recruit band members and when ever I feel like I want to compose songs, I just turn on the computer.

I have been releasing demos every year since 2006 and it was loads of fun reading comments and feedbacks, be it negative or positive, from those who have been kind enough to spend their precious time listening to my music. You can always sell tons and tons of records and get a huge paycheck for your work, but at the end of the day I personally believe that the best accolade for a musician is when people tend to appreciate and value his works.

Orchestrated under the influences of three legendary home grown bands in the likes of Sil Khannaz, As Sahar and Riusgnal, I do believe that, with the right formula and ingredients, local bands can be as much as fundamental as any metal bands coming from the outskirt of Europe, United States or the isle of Great Britain. Originality is and has always been the key for any local bands to smell the scent of success. For instance, I am still in awe each and every time I put on Pendita Gila. One word that I can use to describe that record is precision. The riffs were very much haunting, mind sticking, awkwardly groovy and the fact that they used a drum machine made the record even more defined and original than any other metal records available during that time, locally or internationally.

As for As Sahar and Riusgnal, it was the idea that made them into icons. The music was a beautiful amalgamation of brutality and straight forward melodies, although not as original but it was the fact that both of these bands introduced the idea of incorporating Malay occultism and mysticism in their lyrics with heavy metal that had made them into pioneering bands. It was really an eye opener and it caught my attention. It was from the brilliant and luminous idea of these bands that made the music eventually evolved into a whole new heavy metal genre, what is now called Eastern metal. That’s originality my friends. I even dare to say that it was the idea to incorporate Ulek Mayang into thrash metal that made Cromok ever so popular with the Australian Metal crowd back in the late 80s. Rather than turning to Lavey’s Satanic Bible for lyrics, you can always turn to your own backyard.

With Filsufatia, originality is still way ahead of me. I am still struggling to capture the grandiose of heavy metal music but who knows maybe after a while, after I have exhausted all these crazy riffs inside my head, I will finally be able to see a point where I can be original with my music.

Filsufatia on MySpace.

East Coast Extreme Metal Assault - Kelantan Metal Army: 2 comments

Posted at 11:09 AM in

It is obvious that my first rant would be on Kelantan Metal Scene, my good old home town. I am quite delighted when I first encountered a number of serious Kelantanese bands trying to make it big in the Malaysian metal scene. When I was still living in Kota Bharu, punks and skinheads were all over the place and to find one decent metal head back then was like finding a needle in a haystack.

It is always amusing to have in mind the fact that one of the first few Malaysian metal bands who were responsible for the pioneering of Death Metal music in Malaysia and one of the first to release a death metal album was a bunch of long haired metal loving pretty boys from Kelantan, Suffercation. Suffercation’s first album, Days of Darkness which was released in 1992 was the most brutal, highly technical and most intense, not to mention the top notch quality, death metal record ever to came out from Malaysia back in the old days. Suffercation took the scene by storm.

Positioned north east of peninsular Malaysia, Kelantan was and still regarded as a very socially conservative and Islamic state with open metal shows, among others, were constantly monitored and rushed by the intolerant local authorities. Being under the administration of the theocratic Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party for more than 18 years, Kelantanese metalheads had to put great effort to keep abreast with the contemporary growth of the Malaysian metal in general.

Over the past few years, despite the fact that they were under constant surveillance of the bigoted religious authorities, Kelantan Metal scene managed to survive and evolve within the rampant and extensive obstacles thrown to impede the movement. The Kelantanese metalheads even managed to systematize and organize themselves into one vigorous terror front which goes by the name of Kelantan Metal Army, a small dedicated group of metal enthusiasts committed solely for the elevation and appreciation of extreme music in a land where no music could thrive.

With strings of successful heavy metal gigs and their annual Extreme Terrorism metal shows, Kelantan Metal Army earned their much deserved reputation from their fellow metal compatriots for their never ending efforts and endeavors, trying to bring in renowned Malaysian metal bands to play in Kota Bharu.

Newer local bands under the wings of Kelantan Metal Army, in the likes of In Torment (brutal death metal), Dark Regime (brutal death metal), Incarcerate (death metal), Diman (melodic black metal) and Slaughter Soul (melodic death metal/heavy metal), just to name a few, were proud torchbearers trying to put Kelantan on the map of local extreme music following the path paved by their older sibling, Suffercation.

All hail Kelantan Metal!

Kelantan Metal Army on Myspace.

Book Review: Bang Your Head - The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal: no comments

Posted at 3:49 PM in

Bang Your Head: The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal, David Konow, Three Rivers Press, 2002.

I always have been fascinated with both music and history and a book about the history of a particular music is just like killing two birds with one stone. I have read a few books about the history of heavy metal and Bang Your Head is the least elevating one. Of course it was a fun read, but all Rock n Roll books are fun to read. The only thing that made me bought this book is the fact that I have yet to find a book about the rise and fall of the 80’s Cock Rock (Malaysian equivalent to Rock Kapak) scene, and this book, although not as comprehensive and thorough as I hoped it should, contained some murky information about the craze, the 80’s world wide fad, which helped launch MTV to a gainful and profitable broadcast.

Towering hairs and cans of hair sprays, fishnets and spandexes, groupies and backstage passes and the unforgettable Power Ballads and yes, the bands. Bands in the likes of Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Quiet Riot and Poison took the world by storm. It made its way to the Malaysian shores and before you know it, Search, Wings, Lefthanded and May, just to name a few, became Sunset strip’s little ambassadors.

The book is 496 page thick and the front cover depicts the dullest book cover I have ever seen. Being a person who normally judges a book by its cover (literally), it would have been better if the publisher opted to coat the front cover black and print the title somewhere in the middle white, I would have bought the book right there and then. The cover was sort of a cut and pastes assemble, with zerox quality coloration that I believe for the purpose of going after the old school fanzine feel.

The story telling was light; it gave a good bird’s eye view of the cock rock scene back in the early 80’s; the book was a fun read nonetheless but it could have been better though. Besides the lack of depth, the book was also in short of photos. You do not write a book about Rock N Roll, describe the glorious vista of the legendary Sunset Strip, illustrate hundreds of crazy ass bands and have just a couple of photos in it!

I bought this one Frinday last week. Got it from Kinokuniya, KLCC and it costs me RM60.
Editors Note: Original article was taken from Metaforakami, my personal blog.

Book Review: Lords of Chaos - The Bloody Rise of The Satanic Metal Underground: no comments

Posted at 3:47 PM in

Lords of Chaos – The Bloody Rise of The Satanic Metal Underground, Micheal Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind, Feral House, 1998

I bought this book a few months ago and managed to finish it a few days after buying it. It was an intense but a good read altogether although the approach, the style of writing is quite academic, necessary, from my point of view, for a book which chronicled the world’s most notorious music since the formation of the hexachord system by Guido of Arezzo, which spurred the unearthing of the satanic chords (diabolus in musica) way back in the 18th century, to be taken seriously. The music they call Black Metal. It requires a tune so that people will take the book seriously.

I have been listening to this kind of tune since primary school and the one accountable for introducing me to this music was not any of my friends or older relatives, but a local Malaysian tabloid. Untarnished still in my hazy remembrance, I was quite captivated by this diabolical music through an article in that particular tabloid that did a 2-page special report on the subject, complete with cool pictures and band logos. They even listed all these so called satanic rock bands for my trouble-free reference. And that was in 1995 if my memory serves me correctly. I was very inquisitive and very much the curious cat. It was like a giant whirlpool sucking me in and there were no ways for me to escape these enthralling madness of sorrow, supremacy and extreme aggressiveness. I got to try this, I said to myself. It took me no more than 5 second to convert myself from a nerd into a metal and hard rock listening nerd. Still a nerd but a different kind of nerd. It took me no more than the next week later for me to buy my first record. Talk about ultra influential. I have been a devoted fan and an avid listener ever since. I live happily ever after and my life has never been the same again.

Enough about my metal fairy tale and lets check this book out. Since the orientation of this book is quite academic, the read was quite deep, hectic and more often than not, quite tiring since the authors have widened their extent of investigation beyond the musician and its miniature circle. This includes outsiders who were directly involved with the satanic scene. Thus giving the reader more elaborative facts from different perspectives and distinguished angles. Although there are several general issues covered and discussed by the authors, I can see that the reason for the publication of this book was more towards exploiting the notoriety of the Norwegian Black Metal scene, the birthplace of what was known to be as the second wave of Black Metal (Mayhem, Burzum, Dark Throne, Immortal, Emperor, Enslaved are all Norwegian bands). A chunk of pages was dedicated to its early inception, the power struggle, suicide, the murders and the church burnings, which all in fact happened in Norway. In case you do not know, Black Metal was once Norway’s main export. Black metal bands being nominated in the Norwegian Grammy is quite normal there. I would like to see that kind of openness here.

Two of the most important individuals, highly influential to the early inception of Satanic Black Metal in Norway, Oysten Aarseth aka Euronymous and Varg Vikernes aka Count Grishnackh, were heavily dealt with in one of its chapters. Besides touching on the history or the early development of the Black Metal sound, the book also features interviews with who’s who from the scene (the infamous members of the Inner Circle. the Black Metal Mafia as the Norwegian press called it) and quite elaborative on the music’s influence through out the world.

It is a good read, highly recommended to those who really want to dig deep into the music judging the music by its cover, since Malaysia had (still having) her fair share of controversy (known worldwide, even Ian Christe mentioned the conservativeness of Malaysia in his book, Sound of the Beast. Maybe we do live on trees) with regard to this highly intolerable form of entertainment (yes, entertainment. Intolerable but still entertainment). At the peak of the second wave of the so-called Black Metal controversy, instigated, by the way, by the very same tabloid responsible for introducing me to this wonderful music 18 years earlier, I found a book about Black Metal written by one Ann Wan Seng, a local muslim author, published somewhere in 2007, simply titled Kesesatan Black Metal (the deviousness of Black Metal) which was totally crappy and nauseating. That guy just copy pasted some crap about Satanism from wikipedia, got some pictures from the net (anything with goats, five down-pointed stars and inverted crosses) and name the book Kesesatan Black Metal to get some extra money for coffee. Pathetic.

Anyway, I got this one from Kinokunia, KLCC, with 394 pages and it costs me RM75.80. My copy was the second edition and was published in 2003.
Editors Note: Original article was taken from Metaforakami, my personal blog.

Book Review: Anvil - The Story of Anvil: no comments

Posted at 3:44 PM in

Anvil!: The Story of Anvil, Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner with Robert Uhlig, Bantam Press, 2009.

I do not know why I had not lifted this one of the bookshelf earlier. Since that day, I made it a mission to get my hands on this book as soon as possible and 2 days ago, I finally got it. Anvil! The Story of Anvil is one hell of a read. I spent one whole day finishing this one. Anvil is a Canadian heavy metal band and many considered them the first few bands whose music paved the way for the entire genre of Speed and Thrash Metal, among those in agreement are the likes of Scott Ian of Anthrax and Lars Ulrich of Metallica.

Basically this book illustrates the journey of two friends, Lips and Robbo, childhood friends who made a vow when they were fourteen years old to rock together, for ever and they meant it. It was an emotional journey. They toured with all the greatest bands ever lived. You name it, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Scorpions and all of these bands sold millions and millions of records around the world except Anvil.

It depicts a story of staying true to yourself, staying true to your dreams, not losing hope and to do things not for the sake of doing it but for the love it. When they first stormed the scene back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, everybody thought that Anvil was the band that will turn the world upside down with their brand of fast and odd timing heavy metal. Though most of the lyrics are kind of sleazy, but musically they were revolutionaries, ahead of their time. They should have made it big.

Anvil remained obscure. Nobody knows about them. But they were true to their dream to become rock stars and to become successful. They kept releasing albums and do small tours. They lived for music. It takes a heart of a lion to have that kind of dedication, my friend. This also a story about friendship, a story of two heavy metal brothers staying true to each other despite their ups and downs of life. Fighting personal demons in the shape of drugs and what not. It is an emotional read. Whether they finally achieve that dream or not, that you must find out on your own if you choose to read this book.

This book came in support of the movie, a documentary made about them which goes by the same name. I have yet to watch the movie, but judging by the power of this book and the trailer I just watched recently, I know it is a must that I go and see the movie. Even by watching the trailer almost made me cry. I am a fan.

I got my copy from Kinokuniya KLCC. Bought it when I was on my way for a meeting. This book is 313 pages thick and it cost me RM123.90. Worth ever penny spent.
Editors Note: Original article was taken from Metaforakami, my personal blog.