Videos - Sil Khannaz Rockumentari: 1 comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in


The first of its kind, finally a (local made) documentary about a local Malaysian underground death metal band and the mighty Sil Khannaz was without any doubt a well deserving and document worthy band in my book. Sil Khannaz is one of the more popular and well recognized death metal bands in the local heavy metal circuit today and one of the few bands (the only?) who stuck with their guns from day one against the neverending assaults from the government, media and the society since the 90’s.

Having formed way back in the 80s somewhere in the gloomy land called Perlis, a small state located in the northern part of Malaysia, Sil Khannaz had evolved (and is still evolving I guess) from playing thrash covers to straight no bullshit death metal in their early demos and debut album titled Conception of Madness, progressive death metal in their controversial Gerbang Kayangan album and melodic death metal in their latest album Berdiri Antara Panji-Panji.

This 2005 documentary was produced by Nebiula Production, the bands’ own independent record label and it mainly contains music videos, early concerts and interviews with the members of the band, the fans and a number of local veteran heavy metal enthusiasts illustrating the colorful history of the band and its undeniable influence to the local death metal scene and Malaysian metal as a whole.

Unfortunately the narration and the interviews were all conducted in the Malay language since I think it was only targeting the local market and was not really meant for an international release except to a few neighbouring Malay speaking countries in the likes of Indonesia and Singapore.

The only frustration I had was that it did not include any interviews from any former members of the band from the earlier version of the band except for an undersized and brief commentary from their previous guitar who played the guitars in their highly acclaimed debut album. Apart from that slight disappointment, this video was a decent documentary of the band. A must for every Sil Khannaz fans.

Bands - Vermillion: no comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in


Due to my hectic day job, I totally forgot about this one interview request that I had made to this one nasty melodic death metal band called Vermillion. Do you want a Gothenberg sound and worship the ground In Flames walked? Have you been dreaming about Angela Gossow (archenemy) tearing your ears lobes lately? Have you been wanking off a centerfold poster of Jessica Alba lately? Then I give you Vermillion that has nothing to do with Jessica Alba.

VERMILLION

Vermillion is a talented 5 piece melodic metal band from the muddy banks of Kuala Lumpur. Nothing new there except for the fact that this is an all girl band. Nothing new there either. What ever!

Besides the talented Singaporean thrashers, Tormentress, and another local thrashers, Shewolves, I have to say that I have got to tip my hat to Vermillion for doing what they are doing. I am very impressed with the hair rising Gossowic vocals though. Extremely brutal. Even to the extent of being so much better than some of the wimpy growls from a number of our glorified local male metal core vocalists ever had nowadays. Another female growler that had me impressed with her growling skills is that girl from Predicate Not Define, couldn’t really remember her name though.

Musically, there is nothing complex nor impressive about the songs (2 to be exact) uploaded on their MySpace page, but I honestly do believe that within time they will be able to polish their instrumental skills giving all the other bands a long and tiring run for their money. The solos were mediocre in my book. Well at least she can damn solo. Haha. Even the drummer can drum better than me for God sake. One thing though, wipe out the core elements, go for pure death metal next time ladies. That would be a shocker.

Maybe the local heavy metal gig promoters should open their eyes and arms for this young and rising band. Put their name on the bill for the next metal camp 4 gig next year. Get them out off the lame metal core circle more often. Those wimps does not deserve Vermillion. We do. Haha.

Judging from the gig lists on their MySpace, I have got to say that these girls have been marking their territories all over the place, which is very good. Obviously they have been very busy gigging since 2008 with up to 20 performances under their belt. Impressive for a three year stint of gigging and I hope we will see more of them in the future.

Vermillion is Aca on vocals, Hana on lead guitar, Yaz on rhythm guitar, Syahnaz on bass and Alie on Drums.

VERMILLION MySpace

Bands - Brabazom: no comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in


I have just finished doing my daily routine of religiously scouring the internet for any unknown Malaysian heavy metal bands that I would probably want to feature in this blog in the near future. I have made my search very specific this time around and for today’s session, Black Metal. I got it in the form of this one talented band from Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia, called Brabazom.

BRABAZOM

Brabazom is a six piece melodic black metal band that you would really want to pay attention to. From the songs uploaded in the band’s MySpage page (which I do believe were hauled out from their unveiling debut, a 3 track demo CD entitled Beast of Mortality which was released in 2009), I can tip my hat (my favorite phrase these days) to the execution of (thy unholy) instrument department, something, besides ear ringing melodies, that I have learnt to appreciate these days. A not so bad playing I must say.

The accumulation of the keyboard riffs and layers really adds some weight to the melodies and especially to the atmosphere of the songs. They totally have the ears for nice catchy melodies which I tend to concede and acknowledge. I would really like to hear more of that hopefully soon.

The band was formed in 2006 in Penang with the hideously ugly Brabazom Corpse as their first true moniker (haha). In 2009 being as self sufficient as they were, a three track demo was released in the form of Beast of Mortality. You will find some Hecate Enthroned in there, some later Dimmu in there and even some shades of As Sahar (a much glorified Singaporean/Malaysian black metal legend) were thrown in as well, especially during the slower parts where the band lets his keyboard player do his thing.

I am not going to tell anyone to be original because the fact is everybody have already done almost everything and finding the remaining portion of that almost would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I truly that this band would sharpen their musicianship skills, produce more listenable songs, throw in some more memorable lines, play some more gigs and finally write a thesis on what makes a good song good. I’ll give you a hint: Memorable hooks. Try and give this talented band a sincere listen, you wont waste a dime.

BRABAZOM MySpace

Rants - Metal : A Malaysian Headbangers journey part 1. 2 comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in

Metal : A Malaysian Headbangers Journey

I am writing this to the majestic compositions of Manowar 1988’s Kings of Metal galloping through the speakers bombarding my ears to kingdom come.

Actually being a metal head in Malaysia is not that bad of a deal if you don't mind being judged by the ever intolerant and ignorant society or getting caught wearing corpse paint while attending underground heavy metal concerts or getting your records seized by the custom officer from time to time. I have long accepted the fact that Heavy Metal was, is and always will be a tribal thing. Heavy Metal, this wonderful sick music, gave me some sense of pride, self empowerment and to a certain extent kept my head up high when life was being a hard on me. And one more thing, metal was never meant for fucking Ipods! My name is Hafeez and this is my story.

When I got my first dosage of heavy metal, I was about 13 years old. I think I have already written somewhere in here that I was introduced to heavy metal, not from any heavy metal uncles or any long haired heavy metal friends but from a shitty local tabloid called Harian Metro (a Malaysian daily metro; a still existing local shitty tabloid which regularly glorifies sex related “intelligence” as its major headline and from time to time launches crusades against heavy metal).

Before the life changing revelation, I was just your typical neighborhood adolescent nerd who would listen to whatever there was on the FM radio. Back in the early 90’s, although Hollywood rock, or glam metal or hair metal as some people would call it, was slowly losing its grip back in the United States due to the Seattle/Kurt Cobain’s phenomenon (read: grunge); here in Malaysia, Rock was fighting for her last few breaths against Rap music.

Behold! Its the dudes who ended the spandex phenomenon.

Despite of the matching jumpsuit and baggy pants wearing miggers (Malay niggaz haha) flooding and breakdancing all over the fucking dance floor worshipping their Kriss Krosses, MC Hammers and Vanilla Ices, there were still a couple of decent rock bands hitting the radios with a couple of slow rock numbers trying to relive their glory tight jaguar spandex days of the 80’s.

To be continued...

Rants - Depressive Black Metal? 1 comments

Posted at 11:37 PM in

I sure am not going to write anything on Depressive Black Metal. It is just that I am currently listening to some songs that I had composed for my own one man Depressive Black Metal band called Deep and nothing in this post will have anything to do with Depressive Black Metal except for this introductory paragraph. Nobody cares anyway. Bah!

I went web/blog hopping just now. Post metal monster, Isis broke up the other day which was a very big deal to a lot of people and I dont know why. I was never a fan of that band anyway although some of their slow churning sludgy gloomy songs were indeed quite compelling. Sludgy song rules!

Soulfly released another album? Sorry, am not interested. Cavalera Conspiracy rules!

My favorite vocodered singing progressive metal/"jazzy"death metal band Cynic will be releasing an EP titled "Re-Traced". According to Blabbermouth, it contains 4 reinterpretations of some of the songs in their 2009, quoting Metalsucks.net "now legendary" album "Traced In Air" and a new song called "Wheels Within Wheels". Somebody posted the song on Youtube and I cant wait for the next full lenght follow up. They are not using vocoders for that song but retained the falsetto vocals. Cynic rules!

Joey Belladonna will be re-joining Anthrax! He is my favorite Anthrax singer and man, that guy can really sing. I do not know what have happened to John Bush because when Dan Nelson was kicked out of the band, John Bush seemed to be the right person to man the vocals because i thought that Among The Living Belladonna-Anthrax reunion tour that they had in 2005-2007 was just a brief to-the-good-old-days tour. It would be exciting to listen to Belladonna on a new Anthrax song. Among The Living rules!

Korn got a new album? Fuck Korn!

Oh yeah, in case this blog do have any readers, i have scheduled some entries for this month. New entries will automatically be posted on all the dates which have even numbers in them (hahaha, call me an idiot but I really cant figure out what these dates were called). I will randomly post some new entries in between. Just like this one. I rule!

Bands - Zarquum: 1 comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in


As usual, there I was minding my own business within the unknown realm of cyberspace, browsing and peeping through some local Malaysian heavy metal band’s MySpace page, trying to sniff what were they up to these days, when I came across with quite a few stunning new bands (well, at least for me) which I think deserves more exposure than Lars Ulrich’s snare sound in St Anger. I Shall first start with this band.

ZARQUUM

At first glance I thought this was a Black Metal band due to its Black Metal-isque name. Then I listened to the songs uploaded and end up asking myself, what kind of Black Metal is this? Zarquum turns out to be a Death Metal band hailing from the muddy banks of Kuala Lumpur. Well, don’t blame me for associating them with Black Metal since the name Zarquum itself means The Fruit of Hell in Arabic. Arabic name? The Fruit of Hell? Its got to be a black metal band. Haha. Well, that was just me being stereotypical.

All bullshits aside, Zarquum plays a very well played technical death metal in the veins of Arsis or Necrophagia maybe. Well, I am not that good in providing references anyway. Seriously, you should give this band a try. The guitars were crunchy enough for my ears, with double guitar riff attacks here and there and not to mention the shreds were like all over the place which reminds me of that French technical band, Gorod. The timing and the tempo changes of the two songs uploaded on their Myspace were unbelievable. It was like jumping on a trampoline on a bad acid trip.

I’ll tip my hat for the solos. Very well played, sirs. The vocals were the typical dual growls and high pitch screams. Nothing can be wrong there. I hear some synths too. Maybe it was added to add some gloominess into the song. Guess what? It worked. My only complaint? Vary the licks.

Give this band a chance to develop and I am very sure that they can be the Malaysian answer to Arsis. Even with the current state of the production quality of Malaysian studios, I can honestly say that these talented guys will give Gorod a run for their money. Try and give the songs a proper listen and tell me what you think. Oh ya, the band is preparing to release a split with another local melodic death metal heroes called Goda, another band worth mentioning band from Shah Alam, Selangor.

Zarquum is Lord Nafkhatul Faza (Vocal) Sir Farex (Guitar) JY (Guitar) and Ajan (Bass).

ZARQUUM MySpace

Book Review - Sound of the Beast : The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal no comments

Posted at 1:00 AM in


Sound of the Beast – The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal, Ian Christe, Harper Entertainment, 2004.

If you are an avid heavy metal fan, you are new to the music and you didn’t know shit about the history of this blasphemous music, then this is the gospel for you. I got this book somewhere in August 2009 and managed to finish the book a few days later. Captivating would be a perfect word to sum the wonderful deliverance of this book. It’s a fun read.

It was not really the academic type so to speak. Compared to Lords of Chaos, this book is far more light weight, in terms of how the book was authored, content wise though, this book offers more information than anyone could handle thus living up to its title, the complete headbanging history of heavy metal.

The one I got was the revised edition with a newly added chapter discussing the perception and tribulation of heavy metal music in the muslim world. And guess what? Malaysia spearheaded the chapter and even Harian Fucking Metro got a worthy mention.

The content of this book follows the root of heavy metal in the 1970s, the NWOBHM, the thrash metal evolution in the 80s, the rise of death metal and the blasphemy of the Norwegian Black Metal in the 90s each with a chapter of its own.

A few pages in between were dedicated to explain the more major types of heavy metal in the likes of Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Industrial Metal, Grindcore just to name a few, complete with a list of influential bands and albums for each subgenre for easy reference.

This book also closely followed the evolution of Metallica, just so you know.

Tribute - Ronnie James Dio (1942-2010) no comments

Posted at 11:30 PM in

Ronnie James Dio 1942-2010

A depressing day indeed as we mourn the lost of our brother of metal, Ronnie James Dio.

Rest In Peace Bro.

Rants - Obssessive Compulsive Disorder. no comments

Posted at 7:46 PM in

Rants, rants and more rants. While I am writing this, I am feasting my ear holes with Nebiras 1996’s cult EP, Into The Medieval Cults. One of the best and finer Malaysian black metal releases from the 90s in my book. The band gained local notoriety when it was acknowledged by Darkthrone way back in the early 90s when the band was considered to be a brother band to its Norwegian counterpart. Fenriz even dedicated a poem for the band. So sweet of him that Fenriz. I remember dedicating the lyrics of Langsuyr’s Tangisan Embun Pagi to my now ex-girlfriend back in high school. Talking about being unoriginal. Haha.

But all jokes aside, for an unknown Malaysian (back in 1992-93, with the absence of Internet and all, I don’t even think anybody knew where Malaysia was located, so much so if they even knew the existence of the country so to speak) band to get that kind (or somekind maybe) of a blessing from the head quarter up north was enough to give them a right to brag. And brag they did. What ever it is, Nebiras was without a doubt, one of the most prolific band out of the shores of Malaysia. I’ll tip my hat to that.

Well, basically I am not really going to talk about Nebiras. This post is essentially dedicated to my hectic life. Not that I have ceased being hectic, it’s just that I think I have not been able to give this blog the attention that it deserves. It became worse with me knowing the fact that I had started this blog to promote Malaysian local heavy metal scene. I have not been very faithful to that cause I guess.

I hope you will like the new minimalist lay out. I almost wanted to start a new blog just because of the decrease of my fascination with the old template but I figured out that rather than I waste the contents that Ive already written for The Bullet Belt, it would be much easier to adopt a new look. Well, that was just me being me. Obsessive compulsive disorder. No, it’s not a title from an early Carcass song. It’s a symptom of being unable to tolerate and comprehend anything unorganized and out of order.

I chose the simplest template (actually it was one of the default templates in blogger. Minima Lefty if I am not mistaken), used my inferior knowledge of template scripting to edit the HTML settings in order to quash the ugly boarders for the Blog title, fixed the sidebars so that it would align to my right rather then the ugly original left, edit some colors and voila! There you have it. The new simple look for The Bullet belt.

And what has all that got to do with Malaysian metal? Nothing.

Rants - Back From The Dead. 2 comments

Posted at 3:25 AM in

Wow. How long has it been since the last post? I have been editing and re-editing this page for the past couple of hours. Nobody is reading it anyway so i might as well re-kick start this blog with this short post. Hopefully we (i) will be seeing more new posts after this.

AJAL

I went myspace strolling just now and found out that that this potential Thrashy Black Metal band had already released their debut 4 track demo neatly and appropriately titled "Ajal Tiba Bila Seruan Menjelma" with the help of a local label called Malaysia The Darkness Production. Ajal or simply "death" in malay, was consumated into existence somewhere in 2008 and playing raw thrashy black metal is their game. I liked the songs but I think the lead guitarist needs to brush up on the solos. Being raw does not mean that you are allowed to go off key. Try and give these fellas a chance by visiting their myspace.

AJAL MySpace

SILENT DEATH

The Malaysian Death Metal veterans! Apart from a few other worth mentioning bands in the likes of Brain Dead, Sil Khannaz, Nebiras and Suffercation, Silent Death was the ultimate (and penultimate) death metal band that helped shape the landscape of Malaysian Metal Scene back in the early 90s. I was in contact with the main man of the band, Mr.Stone, through Facebook because I was buying a Silent Death shirt which I wore it like it was nobody's business. They are currently in studios recording the follow up to the awesome 1997 "Break The Silence" EP and I cant wait.

SILENT DEATH FaceBook
SILENT DEATH MySpace


ARADIA

The return of the Warlords after 10 years of seclusion. Hailing from the muddy banks of Kuala Lumpur, Aradia was one of the worthy fews, alongside Cryptic Malediction, Ravenlord and Imperial, forefronting the Kuala Lumpur metal scene back in the days. Following the return from their 10 year hiatus, the mighty Aradia had successfully executed 10 majestic songs.. ehem, hymns, which was recently released as "Draconis Eulogy". Judging from the songs uploaded in their Myspace, I gotta say that the production was top notch. The multi layered guitars were crazy and melodic, not to mention a bit "clean". I really liked the effect that they have used for the vocals. It gave the vocals an evil and twisted sound. Gotta go and buy this one.

ARADIA MySpace
ARADIA FaceBook

Worshippers.