Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: UNHOLY GRAVE "REVOLTAGE"

Unholy Grave
Revoltage Cassette LP 2010
Revulsion Records

I can't remember clearly when a colleague said about Unholy Grave, I really thought it was a Malaysian band. There was a northern band with the same name if I can remember.

Then, this is the Japanese la.. said my colleague.

Ahh.. to cover the ignorance in an arrogance style.. "that one la...".

Truthfully, I can't remember the Japanese Unholy Grave. Later I checked on the metal-archives and found them, with Agathocles-like list of releases. Man!! Is this the price I have to pay to play grind/noise? Or is it an advantage? Yep, just produce 10-30 seconds song for half a million of it, and you finally can divide them onto 100 separate releases, you name it, split tape, split 7"EP, 7"EP, full-length, what the heck man. It's more than meet the eye!

To play grind (I am still confused with the label, grind? Or is it noise? What about d-beat? Crust maybe?) in the decade after Y2K, I guess there is some advantages. Globalization moved people and their preferences towards more "sharing-based" taste. Whether it is grind or crust or punk, whatever, you still have your own disciples. Hey, many awek are choosing this rather death metal, making death metal bands are real loser.

To close this, I'd rather not giving a review of 23 songs included in this Malaysian-produced tape (super-quality with 3 folded 100-grams piece of paper). Instead Unholy Grave prove to be one of the sustained grindcore (noise, err, crust?) bands from Asia, it's good by me.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Morbid Angel bersama title album terbaru 2011


Dah lama tak membaca even ada menerima rss feed dari blabbermouth.net. Malam ni terasa nak menyiapkan kerja tapi mood takde, so aku just menghabiskan masa dengan info pasal Morbid Angel.

Tak, aku tak pergi Singapore Mei nanti untuk menyaksikan diorang.
Reason: Aku dah rasa a bit loose dgn gig death metal especially stail Morbid Angel. So, better dengar lagu dari CD je la..

Anyway, as rumors spread about their 2011 album as follow up to Heretic (2003) aku rasa agak teruja untuk mendengar apa Morbid Angel 2011 akan tawarkan selepas hampir 8 tahun. Just copy and paste effort dari blabbermouth.net:

Florida-based death metal veterans MORBID ANGEL have set "Illud Divinum Insanus" as the title of their eagerly awaited new album, due on June 7 (one day earlier internationally) via Season Of Mist. Prior to the release of the album, a single for the song "Nevermore" will be out on May 16 as seven-inch vinyl and digital download. The B side will be another song from the album, remixed by COMBICHRIST.

"Illud Divinum Insanus" was recorded at Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with engineer Erik Rutan (former MORBID ANGEL guitarist and producer for such bands as CANNIBAL CORPSE and GOATWHORE). The new CD will be the band's first to be recorded without longtime drummer Pedro "Pete" Sandoval, who last year underwent back surgery for a deteriorating disc problem. Filling in for him on a temporary basis is Tim Yeung, who has previously played with DIVINE HERESY, ALL THAT REMAINS, NILE, HATE ETERNAL and VITAL REMAINS).

MORBID ANGEL guitarist Trey Azagthoth in 2009 spoke to Revolver magazine about the band's upcoming album, which will mark the Florida-based group's first release to feature bassist/vocalist David Vincent since 1995's "Domination".

"We played the new song 'Nevemore' on the last tour and that kind of shows where our heads are at," he said. "I'd say it's like an assemblage of all sorts of stuff from the catalog and some new influences. I listen to a lot of hardcore [techno] music now — the fuckin' serious, artistic stuff, not that crap you hear at the clubs. That stuff has impact and it's really extreme. Even if there's no guitar in it or no real drums, the energy coming out of the speakers is amazing." He added, "All I can say is, when it's ready, it's going to be extreme and outside the box. And, hopefully, the songs will inspire people to look deeper inside themselves for 'the stuff' and to tap that potential that we as human beings have."


Expectation: still fast, brutal with mesopotamian myths as theme.
Level of expectation: 6 out of 10 (not much differentiation with others)

Let's us wait for the light of June.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: SADNESS "EODIPUS" PROMO TAPE 1992

Sadness
Eodipus Promo Tape 1992
Self-released



Sikit saja band yang wujud pada Switzerland yang menarik minat aku masa awal 90an. Selain daripada Celtic Frost/Hellhammer yang mendominasi influence old-school black sehingga kini, aku kira antara band yang agak dikenali dari sana ialah Samael, Alastis (masih dalam black death punya genre) dan SADNESS adalah salah satu band yang banyak direview oleh zine tempatan mahupun luar negara pada waktu itu.

SADNESS lebih kepada doom death, satu corak muzik yang agak gloomy, menyedihkan, ditambah dengan perisa wordings seperti forlorn, despair, melancholic dan seumpamanya. Muzik sebegini, pada era itu, lebih berasal daripada UK, dengan kewujudan band perintis seperti Anathema, My Dying Bride, Chapel of Rest, Paradise Lost dan banyak lagi yang underrated.

Keistimewaan SADNESS? Sebenarnya tak banyak yang boleh diperkatakan. Muziknya tidaklah sebagus mana. Elemen clean vocals dan percakapan seolah-olah macam kemestian dalam genre muzik sebegini. Tetapi pada aku, ia "membunuh" mood doom death secara keseluruhan. Aku tak faham, mesti ke ada clean vocals? Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, semua dah berubah dari growl kepada clean-vocal-oriented.

SADNESS basically released a demo simply called "Y" pada tahun 1991. Demo yang mengandungi 4 lagu ni lebih cenderung kepada death metal yang temponya slow. Masih tiada unsur melankolia, melodramatik sebagaimana ditonjolkan dalam promo "Eodipus" 1992. "Eodipus" lebih kepada perubahan dalam struktur lagu, vocal dan elemen perkembangan.

Sangat sukar untuk aku dapatkan demo ini pada waktu dulu. Teringat lagi untuk membeli promo tape ni, aku kena mengikat perut (USD6, approx. RM13 je dulu, tapi sangat besar nilainya). Langkah untuk mendapatkan "Y" Demo 1991 termati apabila band tersebut reply mengatakan demo tersebut telah sold out.

Kini, anda cuma perlu google "sadness y demo mediafire" atau "sadness eodipus mediafire", hahaha
Nak lagi mudah? Masuk saja: http://raf666underground.blogspot.com/

(p/s: Gua against commercial downloading!! Kalau nak download, download demo/7"EP je, haha. jangan cakap gua galakkan downloading)

Sadness website official (last updated 2003 tuhhh)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

ACCREDITATION OF PRIOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING (APEL): NURTURING UNDERSTANDING OF APEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP

Invitation and organized by MQA, date: 11 March 2012, time: 8.30am to 4.30pm, venue: Grand Ballroom, Equatorial Bangi.

Untuk IPTS macam KIPSAS, mungkin tidak berapa terlibat sebab major students adalah daripada golongan lepasan SPM. Tetapi kepada IPTA/IPTS yang lebih besar, accreditation begini sangat penting untuk meningkatkan jumlah tenaga kerja Malaysia yang memiliki Ijazah Sarjana Muda (cuma aspek kualiti yang sangat perlu dipertingkatkan).

Sempat jugak aku berborak dengan wakil Kolej Islam dan Teknologi Antarabangsa (KITAB) Pulau Pinang. Mungkin make sense, katanya ada universiti terbuka (bukan bumiputera) yang mana market terdiri daripada pelajar Cina lepasan PMR, bekerja dalam 5 tahun, terus offer dibuat ijazah. It opens opportunity kepada banyak unethical issues dalam education semata-mata to increase the degree holder dalam Malaysia.

Sedutan daripada MQA website:

THE Seminar and Workshop on Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL): Nurturing Understanding of APEL Policies and Practices was held at Equatorial Hotel, Bangi, on 10 and 11 March 2011. The event, organized by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), was officiated by His Excellency Datuk Ab. Rahim Md. Noor, the Secretary General of Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia.

Dato’ Dr. Syed Ahmad in his welcoming remark thanked HE Datuk Ab. Rahim, international speakers and institutional participants for sparing their times and efforts to attend the seminar. He stated that this gathering was to look into these (APEL) practices, to understand better how it works and how to translate [life] experiences into formal credits that are respectable and acceptable for inclusion in awarding qualifications. He also added that the outcomes of this two-day event will be the basis for MQA to develop the quality assurance framework for APEL practices.

HE Datuk Ab. Rahim in his opening speech regarded lifelong learning as not entirely new in the Malaysian higher education system but its practice is rather limited and its scope restrictive. He added that the time has arrived for it to be more significantly located, and for it to enjoy the parity of esteem that it deserves. He also urged to stop give negative and de-motivating labels on lifelong learners as lifelong learning can only flourish if learners are motivated, respected and rewarded.

He also offered his view on the importance of addressing the issues of access, of progression and of success as one integrated package to ensure workable practices to support lifelong learners. He reminded APEL should not be regarded and must not earn a reputation as an easy access to higher education. The principle of educational merit at the point of access must still apply. Higher education providers must also put in place a sound and dedicated educational support system to ensure good, fair and credible learning progression of lifelong learners.

He also recognized this APEL undertaking by MQA is in line with the National Higher Education Strategic Trust on ‘Enculturation of Lifelong Learning’ and the quality document expected of it, once ready, would be a crucial guide for higher education providers to address comprehensively the provisions of lifelong learning in their program delivery.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review:THORNS OF HATE "ABOMINABLE TRIUMPH OF HERESY" DEMO 2010

Thorns of Hate (Malaysia)
Abominable Triumph of Heresy Demo 2010
Self-released

A simply amazing release from Northern THORNS OF HATE (later to be abbreviated as T.O.H)!!

I think T.O.H had made a wise choice to maintain a black death sound while other bands are towards new paradigm in death metal genre. Not that I have issues with progression of local metal scene, but personally I think most of technology-thingy affected the sound in a negative way. T.O.H, from my hearing and random guess, I think, also put on some make-ups with up-to-date gadgets, the black death sounds are mostly "clean" sounded.

Ah, ok. It's a requirement today. As long as it sounds great, that's fine by me though.

Nevertheless, T.O.H had made a great step by producing this demo in tape format. Lucky me, the tape was sold out quickly and I managed to get a promo copy from the band itself. To run the tape on the first time made me a bit astounded because it's been a long time since I last heard good bands from the north (Penang, Kedah, Perlis). Herriot was something, Storming Steel was a bit unoriginal.

T.O.H is also nothing new, musically. This demo offers 4 tracks (including an intro + 3 other songs). They have mostly influenced by other common black death acts, such as BLASPHEMY, some sounds of HELLHAMMER, SARCOFAGO, and the likes. It's was easy for comparisons actually. But the sounds are too perfect and that's the special thing about this demo.

As the sounds are too similar to other act, I'd rather not to review each and every track. The darkness surrounds the brutal black death, just like what BLASPHEMY had. So, I guess it clears up what T.O.H sounded like.

A promising band T.O.H is, now their 7"EP entitled "Heretical Dawn of Apocalypse" is still in pressing process under Swedish Blood Harvest. I guess for those who didn't have the chance to have a copy of their demo, check out their myspace, and just wait for their 7"EP!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Post-15th February 2011

Aku tak payah dah nak review pasal 15 February 2011 punya event. For a first timer tengok Iron Maiden live depan mata, aku rasa the performance on that date was way beyond expectation. Last DVD konsert diorang yang aku tengok pun rasanya Death On The Road. Personally, aku nampak Maiden dah kurang aktif atas pentas. Lagipun aku bukan suka sangat tengok konsert, err, betul tau. Tak tipu punya..

Tapi disebabkan Maiden, dari tahun 87 sejak belajar kenal rock, Iron Maiden la segalanya. Dulu, ada jual jual key, sling bag (bukan sling bag zaman sekarang ni, sling bag kain guni, dan pakai tali penyandang tu), pelbagai tshirt Iron Maiden iron-on, cap jaring-jaring motto "Killers" (tali biar terjurai kat sebelah), all those antara yang pernah aku lalui, walaupun tidak se"die-hard" blogger krenmaut dan deaf-angel. These die-hards dig all! Aku pulak, honestly, even kaset EMI warna kuning pun tak penuh koleksi. Dan honestly, sampai sekarang pun aku tak collect habis semua Maiden releases.

But when it comes to the songs, aku boleh ingat. Aku boleh ingat zaman kaset EMI dulu, mana ada lirik. Sampai album "Seventh Son" baru keluar printed lyrics dalam sleeve kaset. So, sebelum tu memang aku pun tak tau abang aku dapat lirik dari mana, aku siap salin dalam notebook khas aku dgn keratan akhbar apa-apa aje yang rock

Despite so many obstacles during my arrival to JB (lama tak bermusafir dengan sahabat), aku manage to find the venue early in time, dalam 6.00pm dah ramai orang. Dengan phone tak set roaming, member kejap kata nak balik JB, jap kata nak stay Singapore, dah aku menumpang, kena fikir alternatif nak balik JB weh. Thanks to En. Nasaruddin (http://berteromber.blogspot.com) yang sudi menumpangkan aku balik ke JB, or else aku menumpang bas kilang.

My experience discovering Maiden is always been private and special.
Aku akan try untuk talk about my own Maiden-story later.

Some rockers tua..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011