Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review: THE DEHUMANIZERS "HERE'S TO YOU

The Dehumanizers
Here's To You LP 1988
Ever Rat Records

Under the same label with A.M.Q.A's Mutant Cats From Hell, came The Dehumanizers with "Here's To You". A name that I've never before heard of.




The overall records was intended as insulting efforts towards Lou Guzzo, a commentator from KIRO Television Station. Well, I would not elaborate more on the issue since it was back then nearly 23 years ago. In addition, I hate to say or write something that is beyond my knowledge, and it was way outside my attention about what's going on with Lou Guzzo.




The Dehumanizers was formed in 1984, had several releases that mostly unknown to Malaysia market (as far as I concerned) and broke up in late 80s. This ain't a band that you can gather information easily from the web. Of course they had their myspace account (but due to my hatred against waiting-time in downloading a page of myspace, which really sucks that I'll never open any myspace page!) and their own website, http://www.thedehumanizers.com/ which of course, had too many precious information in one index page, but nothing really had my attention and gaining knowledge about them.



All I can say is that their music is merely fast hardcore punk in style, which is sometimes quite dull in presenting the variety of punk itself. Of course, what would we expect then? The screaming, the over-looping guitar chords, it is much more like UK-Subs, in US veins. Not much specialties that I can detect on this release.

Perhaps I can quote a friend of mine who once said, "punk is an attitude, not music". I should make that as a conclusion, that their music sucks, but the lyrics and musical aggressiveness, the attitude then showed up in a funny way that it never attract me much.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: A.M.Q.A "MUTANT CATS FROM HELL" LP

A.M.Q.A
Mutant Cats From Hell LP 1988
Ever Rat Records


My third attempt to buy this album, it went through a lot of shits..


First attempt was I was in high school when this album went out in local market. It was in white cassette format, released by VSP (the most well-known metal distributor in Malaysia back then), labeled "TRASH METAL" in front artwork. I believed it was in 1989, together with DARK ANGEL, MIDAS TOUCH, DEATHROW, they were all released in white cassette if I can remember. People were crazy with thrash during that time, and death metal reign a couple of steps lower than thrash. It's all about thrash. And I was in deep interest in Metallica, Helloween, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Death Angel, Wild Dogs, and during that time, the shifting era, the transition towards heavier metal as Death, Dark Angel, etc. So, with limited resources, I spent more into what was really needed, and A.M.Q.A IS NOT A PART OF MY NEEDS that time.

Second attempt, during my early years knowing ebay and A.M.Q.A is a band that I looked for. First time I got it with low bid and price, but the package lost somewhere in the middle of US and Malaysia. I've never looked upon blaming the seller for being a rip off. Rather, I believe that the postal service in Malaysia is quite bad. Of course, the proof of sending by the seller is somewhat acceptable (although proof of sending doesn't ensure the acceptance).

Third attempt, still low bid and low price, and I got it!!


So, I believe after the journey of nearly 23 years, I managed to hold this album in my hand.

Basically, what do you need to know about A.M.Q.A? They are 3-piece band from Seattle, US. Quite underrated, playing thrash/ crossover. It is much into old DRI or something if you get what I mean. This album contains 20 tracks, each is not more than 2 and a half minute of duration. In fact, most of the modern thrash/ crossover still maintain the short duration in their songs.

Funny thing is that I couldn't find the name of their band members, even through http://www.metal-archives.com. I tried to google or find it on wiki, but still not much information about this band.


This album is quite nice to play, but like other bands in this genre, I prefer to play it once in a while just to avoid the boredom of having the same style looping again and again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lawatan wakil IAIN Sumatra Utara


Lawatan Prof. Dr. Hj. Ramli Abdul Wahid, Timbalan Rektor 4
Institut Agama Islam Negeri Sumatera Utara - Medan

Banyak knowledge baru tentang fiqh ramadhan discovered dalam sejam pertemuan.
Terbuka juga ruang untuk pengajian di peringkat Ijazah, Masters dan PhD di Indonesia.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sacrifice bersama "The Ones I Condemn"...

Bukan review..
Aku baru je dapat tau Canadian old-time thrash masters, Sacrifice, rupanya masih hidup. Album terakhir mereka pada 2009 berjudul "The Ones I Condemn"..

So, here comes the humiliating part. Aku download je dulu sebab nak dengar macamana 2009 compared to their 1993's "Apocalypse Inside". Dekat 16 tahun jugak tu.

Selepas dengar 2-3 round, aku agak interested untuk dapatkan satu copy (walaupun dah 2 tahun usia rilisan ni). Basically, sebab aku suka dengan Canadian thrash sebenarnya macam Voivod, Razor, Annihilator, Infernal Majesty, they're good! Aku pun layan sangat dengan "Torment in Fire" dan "Forward to Termination".

Tapi, sebagaimana Sadus dengan "Out For Blood", aku rasa aku takkan dapat feel thrash metal sekarang dengan 80-an dulu. Tak tau la apasal, either it is sentiment or aku lebih berminat dengan sound dulu dengan kaset sebagai medium pendengaran. Sound sekarang "bersih" sangat, result daripada high-tech recording.

Tapi tak kira, aku nak jugak beli... muahahaha.. tapi bila tu tak tau lagi.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: CELESTIAL SEASON "FLOWERSKIN" 7"EP 1993

Celestial Season
Flowerskin 7"EP 1993
Witchhunt Records

Perhaps to be a death/doom freak, Dutch's Celestial Season, was one of the bands that I recommend you guys to dig into. Their history can be traced back in 1992's "Promises" Demo, which was a normal death doom genre, highly influenced by the British acts such as My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Chorus of Ruins and so on and so forth. There were no other fine comparisons that you could make back then.


"Flowerskin" actually has nothing more than a moderate and standard death/ doom metal with an addition of violin characterizing the overall package of Celestial Season. Unlike My Dying Bride, the using of violin in Celestial Season is no more than a spillover role, a spice to get the overall looking great. MDB's violin (referring to the "Turn Loose.." and its predecessors) creates the ambient that what it got to be labeled as death/ doom, drafting a pure serenade and melancholic journey.


The unique thing about Celestial Season, despite being progressed towards stoner/ rock like what The Gathering, Xysma, Disgrace had turned into, is the high price for its mediocre releases. Their first album, "Forever Scarlet Passion" is still selling for over USD30 (or Buy It Now option in ebay for at least USD40.00). A proof that value is not derived from the music itself. If you hear "Forever Scarlet Passion", there are some parts that either be composed in that way or mistakes in recording, but the value is still high.



To conclude, Celestial Season is one of the band that worth checking out, reflecting from their latest releases. A worth checking out, but provided only if you can accept the openness in metal world.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let's quit the scene!!!

Mokhtie, hope you enjoy reading this.. ;)

Si dia: En. Hafiz, saya ingat saya nak quit scene la..
Si saya: Apasal pulakkkkk?
Si dia: Nak kawin..

This kind of dialogue is perhaps universally standard to all Malaysians.. Well, another inappropriate generalization actually.. But really, honestly, how many times have you heard the abovementioned? Aku pernah dengar, banyak kali jugak dari kawan-kawan lain..

Dan begitu jugak aku, sebelum kawin, selepas kawin, selepas dapat anak.. But luckily, I have never said that I "quit the scene", nevertheless, to play safe, aku selalu kata "slow dah sikit" (bila kawan-kawan tanya "kau dengar lagi tak lagu setan ni?").

So, what's the point, really..

There quite one or two things that I need to pinpoint here:

  1. Perlukah kita quit something that we adore, we followed, something yang kita suka, hobi kita, minat kita, as long as it doesn't langgar the akidah, syariah, akhlak aspect? Tak lagha.. Tak melalaikan.. So, if you're quitting, than poserkah anda? Haha...
  2.  Do we really have a scene that made us say "nak quit scene"? And the important thing is, are we IN THE scene? Hahaha.. aku bukanlah sesiapa dalam scene (if there is a scene) and to be in or out , it's my own choice. Never effected anybody in anyway.
Mokh, gua pernah jual barang untuk slowkan minat dalam metal.. Pastu menggagau nak cari semula dalam ebay. Pernah menyesal, pernah tak menyesal jual beli cd yang sebelum ni susah payah kumpul duit. So, if you are to quit the scene, refer to point number 2. You don't have to quit the scene, all you can say is to slow down. Don't talk about quitting the scene, and few years or perhaps months, kau dengar lagi lagu metal ke, crust ke, punk ke.

Quitting from what you like requires istiqamah.. If you had that, then it is ok...

Kesimpulannya, ke awek lu tak bagi lu dengar lagu keras??? Kena dengar justin bieber kootttt.. muahahahaa

Monday, May 9, 2011

Words from Anton Ego...

Malam tadi, aku tengok Ratatouille dalam Disney Channel. Dah banyak kali tengok, tapi sebab layan ke anak-anak, aku pun tengok sekali la. Kat hujung cerita, lepas pengkritik Anton Ego makan kat restoran tu, dia punya review memang best. Aku dengar versi BM, org Melayu la katakan.. Tapi bila fikir-fikir balik, there are some valuable points for editors/ reviewers dalam kerja-kerja memberi kritikan terhadap sesuatu hasil kerja, whether assignment students, review demo, review zine, IP, etc, semua laa..



"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."

Review: AGALLOCH "FROM WHICH OF THIS OAK" DEMO 1997

Agalloch
From Which of This Oak Demo 1997
Self-released


Holding this tape in my hand makes me feel very lucky in a couple of ways:

a) I never thought this band had achieved so much in these years of existence.
b) This tape is saved from 2002's flood disaster in my hometown.
c) The songs have been a foundation of what Agalloch is now.

This morning, I, once again, listened to this demo, which was not much differ from what Agalloch are today. Their demo indicates more into depressive moderate speed, not so death-metal and not so doomy, but the atmosphere of Agalloch is instilled in this release. The song structures has, as always, been a result of intelligence. Vocals are more into black-metal-alike screaming, but rest assured, there is no evil in any way in Agalloch.

Having only their demo makes me feel that I need to have all of their releases. Unfortunately, they are quite rare and hard to find for those who concerned about having first pressed release. Price range is quite unbelievable in ebay. By the way, it's worth the dollars if you are into depressive music.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Exit-13 and dope..

The importance of "mary" theme with Exit-13 depicted in most of their official printed shirt..


Sekadar berkongsi..

Review: EXIT-13 "THE UNREQUITED LOVE FOR CHICKEN SOUP" 7"EP

EXIT-13
THE UNREQUITED LOVE FOR CHICKEN SOUP 7"EP 1990
THRASH RECORDS


My first encountered with Exit-13 is nothing special. I remembered reading Vortex From The East #3 (if I can remember it correctly) and there was a review about Exit-13, popping my curiosity up to the max with it's unique grindcore way. During that time, Earache just released the legendary Grind Crusher Compilation, and some bands I know their existence and innovative through that compilation, say.. Heresy and Sore Throat, and reading about Exit-13 was really intriguing.


My first hearing of Exit-13 is this 7"EP, got from tape trading with a friend. Exit-13 is somewhat beyond my expectation! I remembered it being almost every time in my cassette deck and walkman player.

Exit-13 combines various aspects of musical life into so-called grindcore genre. The sounds of trumpet, jazz, the wordings, the fast-and-slow tempo interchangeably, grabbed my attention towards digging more and more. That's what simply I could say within the context of this EP.

But not until 20 years later that I can afford to dig their stuffs again, in a most decent format, CD and EP, which before only in jurassic era of cassette tape.


It feels good to see this as a result of 20 years waiting. But sadly though the band has called it off.