Books - Steven Adler and Acrassicauda: no comments

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According to Blabbermouth, Steven Adler had just begun promoting his tell-all autobiography called “My Appetite For Destruction: Sex and Drugs and Guns N Roses”. If you do not know who Steven Adler is then you are an idiot. Adler commended his popularity and super stardom status for his 5 years stint as the drummer for the world renowned heavy metal band the mighty Guns N Roses. When everything's not working for you, your projects were not that well received by the popular culture, always remember that you can at any time write a book about your previous band for a few chunks of cash, even though you’re just the drummer. Hell, drummers have stories to tell too.


Have you seen Heavy Metal in Baghdad in 2007? Never heard of it? Well, Heavy Metal in Baghdad was the name of a 2007 documentary film about this one heavy metal band who called themselves Acrassicauda from Baghdad the glorified capital city of Iraq. Basically, it was about these four Iraqi headbangers trying to endure playing heavy metal music and surviving the bombs and bullets from the second gulf war in Baghdad. It was a very fine and pleasurable documentary which I would recommend to everyone. I shall write a late review of that film some other time. I have just found out that they also had a book accompanying the film which was just recently released. The book was basically the complete autobiography of the band and their myriad of experience relocating from Baghdad to Turki to the good old Uncle Sam.

Hopefully these books will be available here in Malaysia.

Bands - Death Story: no comments

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I am currently listening to Vociferation Eternity – Meadows Yearn. Fuck yeah.

DEATH STORY

Death Story is a death metal band hailing from the royal city of Kuala Kangsar, Perak, Malaysia. First of all I must say that I like the simple and memory friendly moniker. I like the visible logo too. It reminds me of Septic Death and I do not know why.

This five piece death ripping band plays stripped down straight forward death metal, the sort of death metal that I personally favored. Started off as a jam band in 2002 covering songs from bands in the likes of Hypocrisy and Therion, the band later evolved into this unit of death metal deadly assassins (so death metal) with one demo under their metal belts fittingly titled “Endless Stories of Death” which was on the rampage in 2008.

There were 5 songs available for preview on their Myspace page, one of which was a one minute acoustic intro I guess and I do believe that most of the songs were taken from their debut 2008 demo.

Death Story

I love the fact that the songs sounded organic and simple, maybe due to the fact it was only a demo. In terms of the songs, straight forward death metal meant that there were neither of those ultra technical riffs nor those ultra hyper blast beasts that would end up confusing the listeners and making emo boys vomit blood. All you got were these plentiful chunks of gritty and straight forward dark and deathly riffs through out the 3 minute period of each of the songs, headbangable mid tempo drums with a few blast beats here and there just to keep things interesting.

The bass was audible enough in the mix and it managed to hold the whole structure of their songs to be quite solid and heavy despite of the gritty guitar sound. I was quite annoyed with the vocals though, I honestly believe that the vocal effects were unnecessary and the vocalist should concentrate on producing traditional brutal death growls and extreme high pitch shrieks. For a demo I guess the production of this demo was quite ok although it could have been better.

Death Story: Harryat – vocals, Lord Raven – Guitar, Eibon – Guitar, Amygoth – Bass and Mme – Drums.

Death Story Myspace

Download: Intrusion of Dark Journey [1993] 3 comments

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I am currently listening to Infectious Maggots – Unknown. Infectious Maggots is a local band that has been around for quite sometime, with three full lengths under their belt, playing industrial grindcore to the fullest. Fuck yeah. “Unknown”, their second album, was released in 1996 by Pony Canyon music.

In my previous post, I have determined that I will be putting some downloadable materials up in the bullet belt and this shall be the first entry under that newly created download tag. I think the best approach to initiate the preamble to the Malaysian Metal music is by letting the listeners indulge into the earliest form of Malaysian Metal compositions and the “Intrusion of Dark Journey” compilation is the best way to kick starts the engine.

“Intrusion of Dark Journey” was one of the earliest extreme metal compilations ever to be recorded and I suggest that every metal heads in Malaysia should consider getting this compilation tape as an essential document to the history of Malaysian extreme metal. But please be informed that you do need to excavate unfathomable archeological sites to find this one since it is extremely difficult to find the tape nowadays.

For the Malaysian headbangers, go and look for the last available copies in Campbell Complex, Kuala Lumpur. I found my copy there and that was like 10 years ago. If you are interested to get yourself in the know of the evolution of Malaysian Metal from the earliest of form then this recording, in my honest opinion, would be a good place to start.

This compilation was produced by the historical Dark Journey Records, to my best of limited knowledge, one of the earliest independent record labels ever to emerge from Malaysia championing extreme metal, in 1993. There are 8 Death metal and Black Metal bands featured in this recording. The bands were Demisor, Profane Creation, Incubated Worms, Nebiras, Bazzah, Aradia, Misanthrope and Kitanai-Chi.

Correct me if I am in the wrong about these facts but if I am not mistaken Demisor was and very much still is a Singaporean godz of grind and as far as I know Profane Creation, Incubated Worms and Kitanai-Chi have all been dissolved. Profane Creation contributed 2 songs for another local compilation called "Ipoh Metal Militant Supremacist" in 1998. Kitanai Chi went on to release a four song EP in 1995 titled "The Mystery of the Dark War Come true" under the moniker Mystery.

I do not know the status of Nebiras since their last offering, “The Great Rites” in 1998 but you can still reach the band through their Myspace page, Misanthrope changed their moniker to Ravenlord and released an album titled “Martyr, Hail” in 2000, the legendary Bazzah is still active and their latest offering was in 2006 titled “Possessed by Evil” and Aradia had just been recently reformed and finally with a full length album under their bulletbelts titled “Draconis Eulogy”.

Bazzah: Myspace | EncMetallum
Aradia: Myspace | EncMetallum
Nebiras: Myspace | EncMetallum
Profane Creation: EncMetallum
Ravenlord: EncMetallum
Mystery: EncMetallum

Name: Intrusion of Dark Journey Compilation
Label: Dark Journey Records
Size: 39.6mb
Year: 1993
Bands: Demisor, Profance Creation, Incubated Worms, Aradia, Bazzah, Misanthrope, Nebiras & Kitanai-Chi.

DOWNLOAD

Bands - Akhnakh 1 comments

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AKHNAKH

Akhnakh is a five piece melodic death metal band from Ipoh Perak. Citing Amorphis, Sentenced, Dissection and Shadows Fall as their influences, the listeners might have some idea of what to expect from Akhnakh. The band was formed in 2004, and being a band from the mighty Ipoh, I do believe that these guys have a reputation to live up to since Ipoh had been known since the early days as the breeding ground for local extreme metal heavyweights in the likes of the mighty Brain Dead, Vociferation Eternity, Langsuyr, Necrotic Chaos, and Hayagriva just to name a few.

I have always been rather fond of Ipoh. I would usually go there four or five times in a year and would always find it funny and amusing that Ipoh townsmen would normally have myriad kinds of fried rice for breakfast, the kinds of which the KLites would usually have for dinner. They got a thing going on down there in Ipoh with their Ipoh Metal Militia thingy and all of the above mentioned bands were either originators or instigators commanding godly respect in the league of their own.

Judging from the three songs available in their Myspace page, musically, Akhnakh seems quite promising if you are looking for your typical one-lead-guitar-riffing-through-a-structure-of-chords melodic death metal with a few chunk of heavy metal here and there. My only complaint was the vocal and the guitar solo department.

I was never really a fan of those choking core growls that were neither brutal nor horrifying. It was too monotonous. Unfortunately the vocalist seems to be having a hard time catching up with the tempo of the songs, something that I could not really tolerate because it would just spoils the whole song, not to mention my mood. The guitar solo was done half heartedly, that I can tell.

It is quite normal for the local bands to produce their songs themselves rather than having an actual producer with them in the studio, which is for me is quite an unhealthy prcatice since band members have the tendency to get themselves immunized of the mistakes or glitches that would sometime (most of the time) result in fatal.

Having a producer in the studio can actually help you a lot in terms of identifying mistakes in the production and giving a breath of fresh air in to the creativity department. Financing a producer, however, was always the main problem with most of these bands, not to mention that there are only a few producers nowadays who produce metal anyway.

I honestly do hope that these guys can produce better songs in the future since they have already got a few releases under their belt since the inception of the band anyway. Akhnakh is Ajak – vocals, Amzar – Guitar, Abe – Bass, Nan – Drums and Soll – Guitars.

AKHNAKH on MySpace

Rants - Malaysian Metal Downloads: no comments

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I am currently in the office and I am too lazy to read my files or to attach myself to anything related to work. I had been contemplating to put up a download section in The Bullet Belt, weighing the pros and cons of having the section in this blog, for a more than a couple of weeks now.

When I first started this blog, it was solely out of the idea to promote the obscure Malaysian extreme metal scene and its music. Come to think of it, the best way to promote the music is by letting the music speaks for itself. I can write and promote the bands as hard and creative as I wanted, but at the end of the day, the only thing that would remain relevant will always be the music.

Sure, I can write about how good and cult Malaysian local bands, in the likes of Sil Khannaz or Silent Death or Nebiras or Negation, are, but with out the pleasure and opportunity to listen to their respective brand of good and cult heavy metal, all the promotions that I have been doing all these while, at the end of the day would only land on deaf ears and blind eyes.

Thus, I believe among the best way to promote Malaysian metal music would be by giving the readers (non Malaysian especially) the opportunity to experience Malaysian metal music for themselves.

No, I am not going to turn this blog into a music download blog. I will only feature the albums which to my personal opinion should have been regarded as local landmark albums or those local metal albums that I think should be shared to the rest of the world.

Looking at it from the brighter side, having a download section would also attract more international visitors especially those metalheads out there who often scour and scavenge the cyberspace for downloadables (I should know because I am one of those so called cyberspace scavengers haha). Hopefully they would remain to be unique frequents of this small unattractive blog.

Bands - Ghastly Of Gill no comments

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I am currently listening to Entombed - Clandestine. Fuck yeah!

GHASTLY OF GILL

I like the name of this band; it has a nice ring to it. Having said that, Ghastly of Gill, according to the depiction written about the band in their MySpace page, plays melodic black + death metal, hailing from Pulau Pinang, the pearl of the orient, located to the north of Malaysia.

The band itself is not really new to the scene and has been around since the year 2000, recorded a four track demo which never had the chance to see the light of day, was invited to contribute a song for local compilation arranged by one of the most prominent local record label at that time, Psychic Scream Entertainment which also was never released, before breaking up in 2004. The band was reformed in 2006 with an almost entirely new line up and a new headquarter, Shah Alam Selangor.

There are 3 songs uploaded in their MySpace page. Although the sound quality was a bit sub par and the solo was a little bit everywhere and the notes were like all over the place, evidently in the track “The Tyrannical”, the riffs were not as bad and headband friendly in most of the chops. I honestly think that, musically, the band gave the monotonous Malaysian Metal scene a breath of fresh air. The band even added layers of synths appending a really dark and gloomy atmosphere to the chaotic, frequent tempo changing songs that they’ve had, reminded me of another local death metal band called Mandatory.

I personally liked Damnation of Eternity. A decent black metal-isque track with crazy tempo changes. Kudos to the drummer. Even though I love the addition of the keyboards but I sincerely think that keyboard players in general should really crack their heads once in a while and come up with better ways to utilize the keyboard sound. I am really tired and exhausted of listening to the same Dimmu+Cradle orchestraic synths and to that typical classical piano riff that you would find in almost every melodic black metal song there is nowadays.

The problem with the Malaysian heavy metal scene is that you can not earn a good living with music except if you are involved in the music production business. Even that doesn’t guarantee you a decent meal on the table. At the end of the day, music would only be considered a side project for some, rather than being the primary. This usually led to bands breaking up, talents being unpolished so on and so forth.

What ever it is, Ghastly of Gill is a band worth supporting and I hope they will write more songs in the future. Ghastly of Gill’s current line up is: Jepp – Vocals, Aizad – Drums, Isey – Bass, Menn – Guitars and Fuad – Guitars.

Ghastly of Gill on MySpace

Videos - Until The Light Takes Us: 5 comments

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Until The Light Takes Us, Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites.

I have managed to watch this yesterday and as a huge fan of documentary flicks and black metal music in general, I was quite disappointed with how "Until The Light Takes Us" turned out to be. In fact when I first heard the rumors about the making of this documentary a couple of years before its actual production, I was quite reserved as to how they're going to pull this off. Disappointed but I think I kind of saw that was coming.

I must admit that I am not really a big fan of the earlier Norwegian black metal music due to lack of exposure and to the fact that I could not really bring myself to tolerate with the lo-fi sound production, the gritty cold sound opted and championed by most of the bands from that era, although I have to say that I have always been a snotty fan of Immortal and the earlier stuff by Emperor. I have always been fascinated with the controversies though, thus the reason why I’ve made myself endure this time consuming piece of frog crap.

The phase was too sluggish. There were quite a number of scenes which I regard as absolutely unnecessary, absolute waste of time and contributed absolutely nothing to content of the documentary. For example, the part where they filmed the mighty Fenriz in a black metal art exhibition or the part where they filmed Frost doing some silly pantomime while cutting himself open and shocked some Greek teenage emo girls.

Do not miss the part where they found a crazy hobo, dressed that poor fucker with a leather jacket, corpse paint and all, and filmed that buffon doing a tap dance routine to a gothic score, headbang, metal horns and all. What does that got to do with black metal? I have no fucking idea.

Basically, UTLTU is a documentary about the Norwegian Black Metal music scene, its history and its world renowned notoriety. If you are fascinated with the myriads of myths behind that celebrated scene, you might want to check this out just for fun. But if you are looking for in depth researches and investigations, I would simply recommend you to go and read Lord of Chaos.

Well, for a kick, you will be able to see Abbath and Demonaz, a whole chunk of Fenriz, a whole chunk Varg Vikernes, Some chunk of Frost, Hellhammer, Garm, Faust and some other names you might recognize. Dont forget Tony the tap dancing black metal clown.

Rants - Metal : A Malaysian Headbanger's Journey Part 2 no comments

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Metal : A Malaysian Headbanger's Journey

Being a very naive and somewhat dormant kampong (rural community far from the outskirts of the city) boy, I was so thrilled about this new “satanic” music, so thrilled that I went out and bought my first record soon after. Instead of scaring this naive 13 year old (which the tabloid is still trying to do till this day to boost the sale of their crappy tabloid), that bloody tabloid converted me to Heavy Metal. Haha in your face assholes.

I saved my daily allowances (which was not much), took a bus ride to the city and head straight to the record store with a mission to buy me a “satanic” heavy metal record. My first heavy metal record was Helloween’s Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2 and that fucking Kiske blew me away. It was quite an old release since the record itself was released way back in 1988 but I had no time to give a damn. I was on a mission to be a headbanger and a headbanger I have been ever since.

The supercool "black metal" album! haha

My second record was Kreator’s Endless Pain. I bought it because it had a super cool cover artwork and Kreator had a super cool heavy metal logo. I hurried home and put the cassette tape (ahh those were the days) into the player and got myself my first dose of Teutonic Thrash fuckin Metal. Unfortunately being a naïve 13 year old still with the ears for singing birds and late night lullabies, I hated the record. Petrozza’s growls were so alien to me and I couldn’t figure out the riffs because it was too fucking loud and it was too fucking fast. “This must definitely be a black metal record” I said to myself.

It was from this point on that I started to learn to appreciate band’s logos. I think it is an under rated art. Look at those early Norwegian black metal bands, you need to have a very imaginative head to come up with those wicked logos. It was fun trying to decypher the name of the band just by looking at the logo. Back when I first started buying my own metal cassette tapes, if it aint got a cool logo, it aint heavy freakin metal and I aint buyin it.

to be continued...

Read Part 1

Bands - Irotori: 5 comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in

I have been browsing the net again keeping my eyes and ears open for any talented Malaysian metal bands in the rough. Lo, seek and I shall find and look what have I found. I kept my ears opened every now and then for the bands with promising skills on their respective instruments. It is not just about promoting Malaysian bands; it is also about promoting the quality of Malaysian instrumentalists. Behold.

IROTORI

Wow! Irotori is one promising melodic death metal band ever to come out from the muddy banks of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. First of all I have to admit that I was totally captivated by the vocals when I first listened to their song “Winds of Pain” on youtube. The singer’s high pitch black metal-isque growl has that robust grimness quality and it was executed perfectly by the vocalist.

In that one song alone featured an impressive three sets of vocal styles; the high pitch growls for the main verses, harmonized clear vocals for the choruses and some angry hardcore screams at the end. The brilliantly constructed flow of emotion was all over the place. Well done. Yeah, everybody can do multiple styles of vocals but how many have you heard doing it nowadays?

As a drummer myself, the first thing that I would try and appreciate when I listen to a particular song was the drums. I can seriously say that I felt that the drummer had fun recording his part, flawless tempo changes showing the faultless musicianship of the drummer, executed beautifully through the song.

3 second after the drum intro, waves of keyboard riffs, which was a bit high in the mix, were thrown into the song giving the listeners some ideas on what will they be getting next. Needless to say that guitar parts, although unfortunately were a bit low in the mix, were also beautifully done. The band even gave a few slots here and there for the low end guy to show off some of his skills behind the four strings. A perfect song indeed.

I felt the sincerity in the song and I have nothing but positive words for this band. I highly recommend this band. Try and give them a listen, they will blow you away with their powerful brand of melodic death metal. Untowardly, my review was only based on one song, the only song they had on youtube as well as on their myspace. Hopefully we can here more songs from them soon.

IROTORI MySpace

Book Review - To Live Is To Die: The Life and Death of Metallica’s Cliff Burton: 2 comments

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To Live Is To Die: The Life and Death of Metallica’s Cliff Burton, Joel McIver, Jawbone Press, 2009.

With out any shadow of a doubt, Cliff Burton can be considered the most influential heavy metal figure out of the 80s Thrash Metal scene. Yes, Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) (with the former two, each being a major influence to the playing of the mighty Burton himself), just to name a few, were all great bass players but the legend, momentum and impact that each and everyone of these legendary bassists have had on the underground metal scene, in my honest personal opinion, is incomparable to those of Cliff Burton’s.

With Metallica being the most successful heavy metal band of all time, the legend of Cliff Burton is not just some second page yesterday news.

This book was written by the mighty Joel McIver (the author who brought you the 2004 “And Justice for All: The Truth about Metallica” and 2008 “The Bloody Reign of Slayer”) with Metallica’s Kirk Hammet penning the foreward. Now that I am quite familiar with McIver’s methods in constructing the contents of his books, I have managed to finish this 272 page book at one go. One heavy metal biscuit for me, cheers.

This book can be considered as the most complete autobiography of Cliff Burton (none had ever been written anyway, except for the chapters written about him in every book written about his band). Covering in detail the journey of Cliff Burton, from his days playing in EZ Street with Jim Martin to his days in Trauma to his days in Metallica detailed down to his last days in September of 1986.

It felt like it was an off shot read to Justice And For All, McIver’s book on Metallica, since in And Justice For All, McIver had already dedicated a spread of 16 pages on the mighty bassist alone. If you have already read And Justice For All, reading through the pages of this book will give you a stint of déjà vu, if you get my drift.

What ever it is, this one is a must for all you Metallicats out there. RIP Cliff Burton.

Worshippers.