|KL Death Thrashers, Malapetaka. (credit to owner of photo)|
1. Malapetaka is a four piece death thrash band hailing from Kuala Lumpur and this is a review for their much anticipated 2013 death thrashing demo. I have written about them previously and there was also a cool interview with their frontman Ah Boon and Guitarist Ashok, somewhere in this blog. Check that interview out to find out more about this young talented band.
2. I really love this band and shall give them as much support as I could but I am not going to hold back any punches when it comes to reviews. Having said that, lets move on to the demo tracks. The demo contains 5 decent death thrashing songs including an intro. The guitars were a bit light weight for my liking but I dont really mind that as long as I can listen to their notes. The riffs were extravagant and plentiful. Kudos for that. The solos are original (heavy translation of Malaysian/Indonesian ethnic sound through a distortion) and executed with perfection. Its kind of weird but tolerable.
3. The bass sound were too low in the mix and its barely audible. That made metal their sound a bit dry. If the bass was audible, I believe it can add more dimensions to their songs since Ash's works on the riffs have already been good, with an audible bass, good can be elevated to bad ass.
4. Now, the drums. Man, where should I start with the drums. Being a drum enthusiast myself, the first thing that can affect my attitude towards any metal albums, would always be the drum mix. As much as I love the band, I can not bear to tolerate the drum mix in this demo. The sound was extremely dry, lack of reverb with a plenty amount of unnecessary feeback on the snares. It does not help that it was also quite high in the mix.
5. Stroke wise, I believe it can be better, because, to my puny little ears, the drum department lacked the groove and swing, two ingredients that are required to keep any good songs intact. The drum fills were extremely awkward and timing were a bit off here and there. Fills were meant to be bridges connecting different parts of a song, so when the fills were off beat, it may affect the whole song, the riffs and the vocals.
6. But I was also made to understand that drummer, Mr. Naji was recruited a couple months before the band entered the studio to record this demo. Give him more time to perfect his skills and in no time I honestly believe that he can be an incredible asset to the band. There were a few spots here and there where he showed real skills holding down the intense beats. More power to you, Mr. Naji and maybe more double paddle next time? Haha.
7. The vocals? Boon did a good job managing the vocals.It was high in the mix. But my only problem with the vocals were the off beat/tempo phrasing in some part of their songs. Properly timing and phrasing your words/vocals in perfect sequence with the tempo/beat is very very important because the failure to do so will affect the groove of a song. I believe the use of metronome would do the trick next time fellas. But being the vocalist, you got no other choice but to develop your own sense of tempo/groove. Having your own sense of tempo will also help you when ever you got a broken monitor for your live shows. I believe that can be done with more time and experience.
8. What ever it is, the band is still worth supporting. They are hardworking and friendly. I hope to see them more on the live stages, so organizers? Wutcha waitin for?