Karl Cromok The Interview: 6 comments

Posted at 7:00 PM in

Cromok is a widely known and popular thrash metal band coming out from the shores of Malaysia. They first made their name within the Australian Underground Thrash Metal scene rising the ranks along with Australian Godfather bands in the likes of Enticer, SSDC, Mortal Sin, Frozen Doberman, White Trash, Addictive and Detriment. Cromok consist of Tarmizi Mokhtar - Drums, Shamsuddin Ali - Bass & Vocals and Khairul Anuar Shariff - Guitars.

First of all, it is an honor to be able to interview this legendary icon, on of the many reason why a lot of young kids were attracted to heavy metal in Malaysia back in the middle of the 90's. Everybody knew the band and everybody knew the riffs from the 1993 Forever In Time and everybody went over the top for Another You. It was the year 1995 when I first listened to them. I have heard of the name quite a lot before but was never bothered to find out. I was too busy with my radio rock ballads.

Until one fine day, I decided to fulfill my overstaying curiosity about this rock band with this odd (kelantan-isque) name, Cromok. I persuaded my uncle to buy me Forever in Time at a local record store in Kelantan, my third cassette with the first two being Helloween's Keeper of the Seven Keys and Kreators' Endless Pain, went back and played Forever In Time on the cassette player. Once Karl's first chord and solo note in the introductory riff to Memories, weighted with Miji's thundering bass drum kick followed with chugging guitar section moving along with Sam's spoken words, stomped my ears like nobody's business, I was never the same again. I believe at least a few younger metal heads out there shared the same story as mine.

It took me quite some time to really appreciate Cromok's first album, Image of Purity which was released in 1991 most probably due to the ugly sound. Now, I listen to Image of Purity more than I listen to any of their later albums.

I consider myself a big fan of Cromok and just like everybody else at that time, went gaga crazy when I first heard that Cromok will be releasing Yours Truly, a new album in 1996. I also bought all the albums by D'Cromok, Din's solo project (Din was the original guitarist, another founding member of Cromok who left the band in the midst of the bands biggest break in their carrier in Autsralia, an opening gig for Motorhead).

I followed the silent war between the two camps (Cromok and DCromok) via their thank list, made obvious to those who were sharp and die hard enough to notice. Cromok chose not to mention Din in their Forever In Time thanklist. Din, in the thanklist for his IIV Years IIV Days part 2 album, thanked Cromok for not mentioning him as a sign of frustration. However in the later 1996 album Yours Truly, Cromok mockingly mentioned Din in its thanklist with the tag: a very special mention. It was funny and I loved both bands to death but I honestly think Cromok was being a bit harsh on Din at that time. Din later died of Malaria in 1997.

i stoppped following the band after original guitarist Karl left the band. Although his replacement, Hillary Ang, was a guitar maestro and a legend in his own league, truthfully he does not belong in Cromok. I stopped buying Cromok's albums post Yours Truly. Not as a sign of protest but because Hillary's riffs and solos were not that appalling to me. I was too familiar with Karl's melodic solos and not in good term with Hillary's ultra technical yet less melodic solos. I parted ways with Cromok, the band responsible for introducing me to Malaysian Metal.

A couple of years ago, there were some rumours that Cromok will be reuniting with Karl. I was so excited. This is my interview with Karl Cromok made via FB. I would like to thank Abang Chot for his warm welcome and answers. Thank you. Here it goes:

1- How are you these days?

Great! Apart from writing songs for my new solo album, i am running my seminar in educating people on how to evaluate a business opportunity using the 16 fundamental criteria.

2- There were a few events in the likes of the April showcase, the inspiring moment showcase etc signifying your return to the music scene. Is this a definite return?

Yup definitely. I met some very talented musicians and i was so disgusted with music industry now. So I decided to do something to help those fellow musicians and other artistes. These musicians are so talented but they have no avenue to promote themselves. SO perhaps by collaborating with me, I can help promote them.

3- What inspired you to return after all these years? Fans? Passion? Heavy Metal?

Tangan gatal nak main! Ha! Ha! I met a frined of a friend 2 years ago in one of the concerts in KL and he mooted the idea of my comeback. In orincipal I agreed with the idea but could not find time to do it. After 2 years I decided to do it. So in december 2009 I started writing songs for my solo album. I started my facebook in January 2010 and up to now i have 3700+ friends. The support from fans has been very encouraging and that has kept me going till now. I am still passionate about heavy metal as you know my motto is Metal Forever!

4- How does it feel to be back on stage in front of a very driven crowd?

It feels great! Karl & Friends in MyEvo Clubhouse was a fun project. We enjoyed ourselves and actualy I was testing myself to see if I could play again on stage. See whether i still have the guts and skills to be on stage! Ha! Ha! I still have butterflies in my stomach everytime before going on stage especially after 14 years of dissappearance! Those friends (Shah & Zali nrocinu and Affey) were really good and actually they make me feel comfortable on stage knowing that i was performing with one of the best heavy metal musicians in Malaysia.

5- Everybody is waiting for a cromok reunion. Will it ever materialize?

Only time can tell.........

6- What have you been doing all these years being out of the band? Are you in constant contact with the other two?

I have not contacted Sam for 10 years until we jam recently in Hot Sound studio in Wangsa Maju. Check out my facebook photos. With Miji, I think we only spoke about 3-4 times in that 10 years. I spoke to him recently though. All these while I have been busy building my career in the marketing communications industry.

7- Did you bought any of the post Yours Truly albums? What do you think about the all the albums recorded with Hillary Ang?

I have never heard any of their songs!

8- Can we expect another showcase/product from Karl or Cromok? Another album maybe?

Insyaallah my single will be released during this fasting month. I am collaborating with one of the legendary singer in malaysia. I will announce it soon. My solo album is schedule to be released after Hari Raya and many more stories and activities to come. I will announce all those when the time comes. So stay tuned!

Karl Cromok Website | Facebook

Download: Sil Khannaz - Conception of Madness [1993] no comments

Posted at 6:23 AM in

The introduction to the Malaysian Death Metal music would not be complete with out the inclusion of this wonderful album by the mighty Sil Khannaz. One of the earlier land mark death metal album from Sil Khannaz, the album, grotesquely titled Conception of Madness, was released in 1993 by Valentine Sound Production (VSP).

Sil Khannaz, at that time consisted of Jaei Jokhannaz - Vocals, CD Khanzab - Guitars, Joe Slaughter - Guitars, Tom Decibel - Bass dan Lan Bye - Drums, recorded the album in the legendary King Studio located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Although I loved their Pendita Gila EP, which was released 2 years later, it was this album, to me, that stood the test of time and remained a death metal classic and that opening riff in the song Sinner Burning With Out Humanity will always be the best riff to headbang to in my book.

This album was remastered and reissued in 1999 with 3 bonus tracks and some re recorded guitar parts.

Sil Khannaz changed their direction immediately after the release of this debut with the release of their EP, Pendita Gila which saw Sil Khannaz dwelt deeper into the realm of progressive metal thanks to their guitarist, CD Khanzab.

Track List:
  1. "Slaughter" - 0:45
  2. "Sinners Burning Without Humanity" - 4:28
  3. "Frantical Scream" - 4:02
  4. "Legion of Damned" - 3:01
  5. "Debauch Absorption" - 2:46
  6. "Beyond My Darkest Moment" - 2:01
  7. "Catatonia" - 4:18
  8. "Obscured Denial" - 3:58
  9. "Conception of Madness" - 5:31
Sil Khannaz : Facebook | Myspace | EncMetallum

Conception of Madness
Label: Valentine Sound Production
Size: 65.42 mb
Year: 1993
Band: Sil Khannaz.



Posted at 8:40 PM in


What the fuck was that all about? Oh another wonderful act of ludicrous judgment from the ignorant society. Why could not they just understand that it is only music? A form of entertainment? Yes, it is heavy, it is dark and it does not appeal to everybody, but it is still some form of entertainment.

What about their own backyards? Their lovely tudung clad daughters going crazy over some cute nasyid singers? Aint that some form of hedonism that to my opinion is far more worse than some black metal open society gay bullshit? Remember, a hidden enemy is far more dangerous and they can fuck you up real bad.

Do you really think that your daughters listen to nasyid for the message? Nasyid today is just another form of popular entertainment no different than your typical radio fueled non religious pop songs by the likes of Siti Norhaliza and Misha Omar with pseudo religious lyrics. How many nasyid songs nowadays that sang about boyfriends and girlfriends under the cloth of some arabic words here and there to make it sound religious. I can name you a thousand of them.

Hey, I am not here to bash nasyid. I am from that background. Even had a couple of nasyid groups myself during my university days and almost went for an album. I even helped wrote one chart topping nasyid song last year for a well known mainstream nasyid group with a couple more to come. But come on. This extreme music bashing gotta stop.

I have been listening to black metal since I was like 13 years old. I came from a well known religious school in Kelantan, furthered my studies in a local religious university and where am I now? All praise be to God, I now work in a reputable law firm in Kuala Lumpur and I still listen to Burzum, Mayhem and Dark Throne. You? Having no form of life what so ever, spending your days bashing heavy metal on the internet with your ignorance.

If all the accusations made by the media (Harian Metro, Mastika) these past few years against extreme music had been proven to be accurate and true for some reason, then i do believe even the people in the metal scene themselves would be more than happy to go and kick these blood drinking, goat worshiping motherfuckers. But the problem is, none of it had been proven true!

All the accusations made were fueled with sensationalism, ignorance, judgmental, hate, prejudice and insecurity, all the typical ingredient of your typical society.

Islam is a wonderful religion and it teaches its followers to use their brains extensively. Muslim should be wise, intellectual and smart. Stop sending messages that Muslims are stupid, insecure, hateful and dumb. For the love of God.

New Song By IROTORI: no comments

Posted at 11:01 PM in

Irotori in action

I have already posted a lengthy post on this young and talented progressive metal band from Kuala Lumpur. Their first song Winds of Pain they posted last year stormed my nerves like nobody's business. While browsing the youtube recently, I just learned that they have recorded a second song and i can get enough of the song, damn it. The second song was called Vitreous minus the vocals. Wow! just fucking wow! I loved the vocals they did in Winds of Pain and i guess if the vocals were added into Vitreous, it shall definitely be a complete headbanging masterpiece since the vocals had this grim quality that may put fucking Abbath into the fucking gallows. If there are any international record labels out there who wants a good investment then you should definitely check this band out. I have already got people from as far as Germany asking about them. Highly recommended!

Listen to IROTORI - Vitreous.
Previous post on IROTORI.

Silent Death the Interview: no comments

Posted at 7:05 AM in

It has been a while indeed since my last post. The hectic life again. What do we have here then? This is an interview with Stone of the legendary Malaysian Death Metal band, Silent Death. The band was formed in 1987 and was originally called Bacteria before the change of moniker to the now Silent Death.

The band recorded a demo in 1990 titled Eternal Damnation and went on to sign with a local label called Dark Journey records. In 1992 Silent Death went on to release its debut album called Before The Sunrise and provided 2 new songs for a local metal compilation called Dark Live Collection in 1993. In 1997, Silent Death managed to release an EP titled Breaking The Silence under Psychic Scream Ent. Silent Death recorded a tribute album called harbinger of Devastation and recorded 2 new songs for a compilation called Storm of Nebiula which was released by Nebiula Productions in 1998. Silent Death also contributed one song for another local compilation called Tribute to Rusty Blade in 1999 before going on an indefinite hiatus shortly after.

December 2009, the Malaysian Metal scene embraced the reformation of Silent Death with Stone leading the band and the scene into the fire of death metal! I managed to interview Stone via Facebook and he was kind enough to provide me with the answers with regard to the new long awaited album from the masters themselves. Here goes:

Hello there. Can you please introduce yourself?

This is Stone, the vocalist and bassist for the band Silent Death.

Silent Death is currently in the middle of recording a new album. Can you please update the readers with the progress thus far?

As of current, we have already recorded all the drum parts since our drummer, Ian Han, will be off to Europe. The initial plan was to release the album in July but certain things did not went out the we planned. Right now, we are pleased to inform you that we have managed to finish of 70% of the recording but for the bass, guitars and vocal parts. the completed songs were as follows: Budak Botak, Mati Senyap and Diam Mati. There are 5 more songs to be completed not including the intro and the outro by Joe Slaughter.

Ian Han off to Europe? How it is then for Silent Death to perform and promote the new album with out him? Will you be using session drummers?

Yes. Silent Death will be using session drummers to fill the line up while Ian is away. As of right now, we are using Art, from the band, Forsaken.

What do you think of the current Silent Death line up? Any comments on their contribution to the composition of Silent Death's songs?

I like working with this current line up. We worked for the album together, sitting down writing songs and sharing all the ideas for the album. Which part goes with which part.. What should be included in this part.. It was fun. Not like when I used to do everything all by myself. Joe Slaughter contributed 2 songs, E.Jal contributed 1 and the rest were composed by me. All of the songs are killer songs! I truly hope that this album will become a Silent Death killer album after all these years of indefinite hiatus.

Do you think that with all the contributions from Joe and Ejal will, let us say, disrupt the Silent Death Death Metal sound which is synonymous with your compositions?

I dont think that it will. The contributions from Joe and Ejal will provide an extra taste or something different to Silent Death. The old Silent Death sound which was synonymous with my compositions will still be intact. It will not disrupt Silent Death's brand of Death Metal at all.

I am very sure that this album will be more varied and colorful so to speak. Will Silent Death remain loyal to the old style of death metal in the likes of the previous albums or will we be seeing Silent Death experimenting with the now popular Gothenberg sound?

Death Metal in the likes of our old albums of course. If there are any changes it would not be that obvious I think. It basically goes back to the personal influence brought to the table by each of the band members.

Can you please brief the readers with the behind the scenes of the production of the new album? The recording studio, sound engineer, producer.

The studio we used was Sutra Studio, in Damansara Perdana. It was engineered by Mr.Yusalman Azua and mixed by Zairi. The executive producer is Affi Ibrahim. This album will be produced by me and Silent Death.

4. The new drummer is Ian Han. Can you please tell us more about Ian. Will Ian Han be able to compete with the strokes of the mighty Ollie (Silent Death former drummer)?

We chose Ian Han for his commitments. He is so committed towards each and everything that he is doing. It was not just about the skills behind the skins that we cherished but also his contributions in terms of ideas, financial, experience and a whole lot more. He is a funny little fella and humble too. He is the youngest member in the Silent Death family and guess what? He taught drums in Bentley. You should buy the new album and then judge his skills yourself whether can he or can he not compete with Ollie.

Although I think it has been quite a while since the last time we saw Silent Death as an active unit, but the metal fans from all over the country still gave their fullest and biggest support. How do you feel about it? For me, it was like Silent Death had never been away at all.

Yes. It feels like Silent Death had never went away. I blessed with all the support and the reception of the local metal fans. I was stunned and left in disbelief that there are still so many Silent Death's fans out there and that every body is waiting for a new release from Silent Death. I used to gave up Silent Death but after seeing so many supporters and loyal fans out there, I marched through.

I think, maybe the older bands like Silent Death or Brain Dead for example has that sentimental values to the fans. What do you think?

It think it is true. There a lot of people out there who really wanted to see Silent Death reformed and putting their hopes on me to go out and reform the band. Back then life was a bit unstable. Now that I am more organized, i felt that I was finally ready to reform the band with the help of my manager. Yes. Sentimental values. I was quite shocked to learn that quite a number of people out there grew up listening to our music. Unbelievable indeed.

Now, for the last question, why, in your opinion, should the fans go out and buy the new album?

A long awaited album after 18 years since Before the Sunrise album which was released in 1992. Should i say more? Do you need any more reason to go out and buy this album? hahahaha. Experience the changes in me and Silent Death after 18 years ok?

(We need no reason to go out and buy this album once it hits the record store. Its fuckin Silent Death!-ED)