Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Review: PARADISE LOST "TRAGIC IDOL" 2012

Paradise Lost
Tragic Idol CD 2012
Century Media Records

Ok, I must confess that starting on their 1999's "Host" I felt that Paradise Lost would never return to the dark path of doom metal. Things went too mellow for them since then. And another confession that I have to make is that I've never heard of their "Faith Divides Us...", their 12th album since I got a crack CD (thank you Mr. Postmastarrr!!). Therefore, I find it difficult to compare this 2012 "Tragic Idol" to their previous latest album.

Nevertheless, things went quite well after I spin the CD for the first time. The memories refreshed back with their "Icon" or "Draconian Times" era, where most of their dark sounds were still a contributing factor towards their heaviness. I thought that "Tragic Idol" is a great reminiscence of their mid-90s era, which more like a tombstone of death doom metal, and a new-born era of Depeche Mode-alike gothic metal.

Not that I totally ignore the slow paced gothic metal like what Paradise Lost offered. But to hear "Tragic Idol" the time slowly crept back not only to their 95's "Draconian Times", but it took me back to their 1991's "Gothic", an album that I favor most, and some riffs in this album (i.e. "Theories From Another World") are reminding me to their 1991's album.

So, how should I conclude all the elements in 2012's "Tragic Idol" without having to touch the technical aspects? I would say that this album has melancholic, melodic riffs, blended with semi-tortured clean vocals (somehow over Hetfields'), heavy drum works that varies parallel with the variation in guitar riffs, resulting a heavier gothic metal sound, of course intensity is an element that Paradise Lost tried to insert in all of their songs in this album.

I would say that "Tragic Idol" might not be the best album of 2012, but surely this album has been spinning for quite some time. Who knows, in a few days left, "Tragic Idol" might be nominated as the best 2012 album in my own chart. And oh, this album is highly recommended for those who are into their 2009's "Faith Divides Us.." and the early works of Greg Mackintosh (also his works in Vallenfyre).


Review: PURTENANCE "SACRIFICE THE KING" MCD 2012

Purtenance
Sacrifice The King MCD 2012
Xtreem Music

Once again, a comeback made from the Finnish gods of death metal, Purtenance. Are we had enough with this "comeback" events? Or we do need this "comeback" due to the fact that the scene is now crowded and overloaded with bands trying to be a copycat of what those 90s bands (or I'd say as early death metal bands if you are not fond of associating the term "90s death metal"), and we need those bands to revive and to show that all others are wimps and only the 90s death metal is real?




I don't prefer to say that those 90s bands could do better, especially a decade after the new millennium which mark a far milestone from the early 90s. Tastes and preferences are changing, although we are talking about the same sound of "old school death metal". The technology contributes to divide the gap of musical quality, and resulting the clean version of "old school death metal".

To cut the crap, Purtenance's comeback is one of the most anticipating event for me, but the MCD reflects biggest problem as what I explained in the first paragraph. In spite of having sounded like brutal and a VERY ORDINARY death metal, the productions of their debut "Members of Immortal Damnation" is far beyond what this MCD brings. Again, the differences of time (the debut was in 1992) makes my expectation towards this MCD slightly lower and thank God, the perceived quality of this MCD surpassed the expectation.



This MCD runs about 17 minutes, a period of semi-brutal death metal, leaving all the "old school", dark feelings which you can heard in their "Member..." debut. The MCD plays fast and without doubt, it is not a release that I will spin more and more. The guitar works are less distorted. If I could compare it to the Malaysian band, I would say that it is the sound when SUFFERCATION breaks a chain of brutality towards more groove in their third album "In Sufferance".

To conclude, I would say that PURTENANCE are doing fine. Their comeback is accepted positively worldwide, the supports are there. But as I said earlier, the expectation of what reformed bands are offering should be set lower to avoid any disappointment. I did that, and I glad that I am still a fan of PURTENANCE!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

THE CASKET "DEAD IS ALIVE" MCD 2012

The Casket
Dead Is Alive MCD 2012
Earblast Records

Sabah is still increasing their productivity in producing metal releases. I am proud to present you THE CASKET's "Dead Is Alive" MCD/EP, their first roar ever as a band. What THE CASKET had to offer was not an errant to what our local death metal scene is offering. The music is intense death metal, something that reminds me to latter Dismember albums, Disincarnate, and a little bit of Obituary would help. The tracks are no-time-wasted, a straight flush of heaviness. On the other hand, the guitar works sounded harsh and destroyed half of my positive perspective.

My overall evaluation is this 4-track MCD is an average release. Although the song arrangements and vocal works were quite good, the band need to find a real drummer to add heaviness and originality. It is possible to get a deal or going further for the band, but again, it will be much easier to remain developed and progressed.





http://www.facebook.com/pages/thedeadcasket

Friday, September 7, 2012

BACTERIA "END OF HOPE" MCD 2012

Bacteria
End Of Hope MCD 2012
Self-released

BACTERIA, better known as pre-SILENT DEATH, a notorious old death/thrash metal band existed over 20 years ago, just got their first and only release "End Of Hope" in MCD format. The self-released format often has its weaknesses. Sorry to turn you guys down, this MCD format doesn't come in what it supposed to be after nearly 23-24 years of existence. First off, it came in a slim-case version, which gave us a sign how minimalistic took place. Then, after eagerly waiting for this release (of course it was since day one that I saw they advertised this on facebook), I quickly grab the CD and play it in my stereo. The worse thing happened, it just didn't play.

Realizing it might be a damaged copy, I, in despair, keep the CD back and wait for the moment to complaint and get a new copy.

Tonight, I just gave it a try to play in my notebook. Using the holy "winamp", it still didn't play. Browsing through the explorer, I just realized that my copy came in windows media audio file, which made me launch Windows Media Player, open the file manually (to make sure it played it correct sequence) and there it is, I am sitting, listening to what BACTERIA has to offer.

First song, "Kebangkitan", played in a semi-thrash, more into dark heavy metal kind of riffs. Most of the times, the keyboard seems to cover the song making it darker. The song doesn't have any resemblance with any ordinary death metal, which I positioned in my mind in the first place when hearing this CD. For me, it is more a Rotting Christ/ Root/ Dark Reality of death metal. Dark, semi-fast with great solos. Seems to be a great starter for the whole package songs!

The second song came, "Unknown World", an acoustic, well-written song. Not really my cup of tea because the darkish vocal seems to destroy the beautiful melody. But if you are viewing (while listening this) as being in a dark woods, then Blind Guardian's "The Bard Song's" would be a great comparative. Once again, the construction of this song is quite beautiful and complex.

Track 3 kicked in with "Virus". A kind of new Maiden-style-starting-songs. Slow plucking, dark ambient with keyboards playing an important role for a minute or so. The next riff is a bit like progressive death metal. I would say that it reminds me a lot to DEATH's works in "The Sound of Perseverance". Yet I couldn't find much aggressiveness in this track although the vocal seems to really emphasizing on something. It hard to refer without it lyrics of course. Have I indicate that this song is quite progressive in nature? I really mean it! A really astonishing 7 minutes journey of pure darkness!

"Survivor" came as track 4, a fast tune at first and in certain points. Some riffs are reminding me to early thrash metal sounds such as Mortal Sin or Intruder, in minimum amount. Nice solos but not so much progressive as the previous track. The intriguing vocal brings me to the memory of Greek bands. Not much goodness I can find in this track.

Track 5, "Wali 9" started with keyboards for few seconds before guitars and vocals took place. It starts slow as a heavy metal tune should be. I would say that it has a bit of Manowar-ish/ Dark Tranquility/ Amon Amarth sound. The music is well-written, it's simple yet beautiful in terms of guitar solos and melody. A great song to listen.

This release closed with just another acoustic reprise of "Unknown World" (minus one).

Overall, I would say that musically, BACTERIA have what it takes to go further, given some proper label names, they will have their chance. But in the current Malaysian scene, I would say that it needs harder efforts in making the music came with higher expectation in quality packaging. I would definitely say this release worth the bucks for those who are not looking for brutality in death metal.



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: ATOMIC DEATH/ BLOODSTONE "HELLISH NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION" SPLIT 2011

Atomicdeath/ Bloodstone 
Hellish Nuclear Destruction Split CD 2011 
Blood of War Records

Upon hearing this release for the first time, I'd simply say that this is brilliant! Atomicdeath is a thrash band from Malaysia while Bloodstone is in the same genre from Singapore. Blood Of War Records? Sorry I don't really know about the label. But this release is pure awesome!

Started with Atomicdeath, whom first release "Missile Massacre" in 2009 has paved their own way of thrashing with copying Destruction. Original sounds don't come in package but they managed to create heavy sounds. The most inspire song for me from Atomicdeath is "Kombat Six Six Six", nicely written, some heavy shit we are talking about here!

After 5 tracks from Atomicdeath, Bloodstone came in. Again, it's thrash metal but in different angle from what Atomicdeath offered. Bloodstone is darker, more into Venom/ Onslaught kind of thrash metal. The music are much more complex yet tuned just to fit what thrashers are looking for. The riffs also reminds me to US-thrash metal bands such as Metallica, Dark Angel, Forbidden or Faith or Fear.

This complete package is perfectly done: the cover artwork is not bad, printed, organized in quality manner. The sounds are acceptable, for those who emphasis high-end quality sound should avoid this. This release remarks the rise of eastern old school thrash metal.


 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review: DAMOKIS "GRINDING MOTHER WH*RE" CD 2012

Damokis 
Grinding Mother Wh*re CD 2012 
Grundar Productions

Malaysian Damokis is not a new name. Started in the mid 90s, Damokis, for me, was just like a side project of a well-known friend, Bob Agigi, who was also in Demisor/ Castigate. It happened that my perception prove to be wrong. Damokis is Damokis, as a grindcore band despite being old enough in the scene to just release an album in 2012.


In Damokis, I was overwhelmed with the shadow of Demisor. Perhaps the collaboration between those two bands in term of sharing of band members gave me this conclusion. Musically, Damokis is Damokis and far from what Demisor is. The grindcore offered by Damokis is colored by different and variety of riffs. Sudden changes in tempo and speed made this release reminds me a lot to the influences of hardcore/punk, some Impetigo-alike and Indonesian death metal bands.


There are 17 tracks in this CD, no lyrics available, and what for? The package is good and professional. To conclude, not much that we can expect in terms of differentiation in Damokis as we can always hear the same sound in other grindcore bands. Maybe I've been longing for more Nasum-alike grindcore. No doubt Damokis has gained international recognition (through international touring, radio, etc) but this CD is not played frequently in my player.

The classic collage style
Good package comes in!

Thank you Mr. Malaysian Custom Department..

As a tax-payer, I, as a citizen of Malaysia, contribute to the nation's growth. Although the portion is small, yet it contributes to a tiny percent of the Malaysian Custom Department staffs' salaries (in fact all the government servants I think).

With all the pay increases yearly and bonuses the government servants had (included all those "duit Raya", which came from Government's funding, which means the contribution of all tax-payers) I am proud to have the Custom Department to serve professionally and ethically.

But after few years of buying goods from overseas, rarely I have complaining regarding the status or condition of the goods I have received. But this time it drives me nut to see the unprofessional, should I say unethical, behavior of handling materials, which was packed in bubbled envelope to ensure it safety.

 Looks like the bubbled-envelope doesn't help at all, or I guess, the misbehavior of those handling the materials was very unprofessional! The result: both CDs are unplayable, damaged, the cases are cracked.


Digibook seems find on the outside

And the back, oh so lovely

Cracked case 1
Cracked case 2
 

Cracked CD
Who should take responsibility for this?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Di antara Humiliation dan Bolt Thrower

Memang tidak dinafikan kuatnya pengaruh Bolt Thrower ke atas Humiliation.

Meskipun ada yang tidak menggemari impak muzik sebegini kerana ianya agak straight-forward, simply played death metal. Namun pada saya, Bolt Thrower adalah antara icon death metal yang cukup menggambarkan gahnya senario underground di UK suatu masa dulu.

Begitu juga dengan Humiliation, band yang diasaskan oleh rakan-rakan dan menunjukkan komitmen yang tinggi dalam mempromosikan muzik mereka. Walaupun tidak 100% Bolt Thrower, tetapi jurusnya ke arah itu.

Baru-baru ini saya diberi link youtube ini. Kebanggaan kepada mereka kerana band yang diminati memakai baju Humiliation atas stage.

Saya terus terkenangkan Azlanthor dan Azmaniac (Langsuir) yang menceritakan Proscriptor (tak silap) yang memasang demo tape mereka dalam bas sewaktu Absu tour bersama Impaled Nazarene. Dan Mika dari Impaled Nazarene turut menyatakan bahawa demo Langsuir best. Seronok sungguh Lan pada waktu itu (mungkin Dr. Ben pun sama).




Thursday, August 9, 2012

Humiliation signed to US-based Deepsend Records

Just an update from Humiliation camp.

After 3 full lengths, an MCD and a 7"EP, Humiliation is now stepping ahead by signing to US-based Deepsend Records. This, of course, portrays a new dimension in their musical history and hopefully by signing with an international label will bring value-added in terms of promotion and such.

Deepsend Records Signs HUMILIATION!!!

Malaysian war-themed death metal soldiers, Humiliation have signed a multi-album deal with Deepsend Records. Their as-of-yet untitled fourth album will be released in early 2013.
 Read on.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Graduan Palsu

Dalam muka hadapan Berita Harian versi bercetak, Isnin, 23 Julai 2012, (boleh dilayari bagi mereka yang melanggan secara digital, www.ebrowse.com.my).

Wartawan BH bongkar kegiatan jual ijazah

Petaling Jaya: Hanya membayar RM7,500 dalam tempoh seminggu anda boleh bergelar graduan sarjana muda dari universiti luar negara.

BH semalam membongkar kegiatan sebuah institusi pendidikan swasta yang mendakwa menjalin kerjasama dengan tiga universiti luar negara masing-masing dua di Amerika Syarikat (AS) dan satu di United Kingdom (UK).


Sumber: http://www.bharian.com.my/bharian/articles/2012072307325220120723073252/Article/artikel

Baca lanjut dalam versi bercetak.


Apabila akademik terlalu diperniagakan, dan masalah ini bukan masalah di Malaysia, malahan di peringkat antarabangsa.

Semuanya jalan mudah, ingin mudah!

Tiada masa? Distant learning ada. Tak mampu jugak berjumpa? Online tutoring ada. Tak boleh jugak datang? Login forum 8 jam seminggu pun boleh la. Tak mampu jugak? Buat assignment dah la. Tak mampu jugak? Bayar RM10,000 and voila, welcome Doktor!


Sebagai seorang dari kalangan IPTS, saya secara peribadi melihat senario "shortcut" ini amat merisaukan. Alhamdulillah, tiada berlaku (dan saya akan tegah sekiranya ada berlaku) di kalangan pensyarah di KIPSAS, tapi diketahui ada juga berlaku di kalangan IPT lain sekitar Kuantan. Begitu mudah untuk mendapatkan penghormatan sebagai PhD holder tanpa keringat.

Nilai akademik segelintir IPTS di Malaysia perlu dipertingkatkan dalam cara yang lebih bermoral!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Review: Majestic East "Mandau" EP 2012

Majestic East
Mandau EP 2012
Derangement Project Production

From the biography, it says that this band started back in late 1997. Their first demo was in 1999. Those were the years where I paid very little attention to the local underground scene, since I was graduated and just started my job back then.


Majestic East hailed from Sabah, a state in Malaysia which lately produced a  lot of materials and good bands. I myself had a crush with Crown Ov Horns since their 2009's "Ungodly Supremacy". Being an outcast from mainstream development in metal music industry, Sabahan tried to develop their own, which I found out to became a scene-with-the-most-bands until today.

Perhaps I have been exaggerating a little. But if we tracked our local scene in the early 90s, Sarawak had the good ones, like Ungodly Death, Sputum, Senseless, and not much came from Sabah until Mantak came with their "true" black metal image in 1998. From there, the Sabah scene was getting stronger.

Majestic East is a name that I don't register. In a recent trade with a Sabahan then I discover this band and I follow them in their myspace (although not much updates). Mandau is their first attempt EP released in 2012 (exact date is unknown). They played black metal, in melodic ways. I am not a black metal fan, so that was the first barrier causes me to be a little bit biased in combining the negative perception of black metal with their melodic sounds, which sounds too decent for me.

This 5-tracks EP is black metal, no doubt, if you are listening and paying attention to its vocal styles. Musically, it does have a combination of screeching black metal, with melodic riffs that might reminds me to Carpathian Fullmoon, or As-Sahar.


All in all, Majestic East still need a long way to improve its quality and musical arrangements. Not to forget to find the originality in delivering black metal is quite impossible. So there are bumps ahead and let's hope that Majestic East will find its way to progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: NECROHILE "MOMENTOS IN THE MISTING WOODS" LP 2011

Necrophile 
Momentos In The Misting Woods LP 2011 
Me Saco Un Ojo Records

Apabila mengingati semula zaman tape trading, NECROPHILE adalah antara band yang paling banyak saya ingati wujudnya dari Jepun. Saya mengenali namanya lebih awal daripada Transgressor. Demo 1988 "The Terminal Derangement" adalah favorite saya ketika itu, mungkin kerana demo tersebut yang kerap diminta oleh tape trader luar negara (selain dari Abhorer "Rumpus Of The Undead"). Agaknya ketika itu (era 1992-93), NECROPHILE lebih menyerlah melalui Split LP mereka bersama Abhorer.

Muzik mereka lebih kepada death/thrash metal. Keunikannya tidak begitu ketara, ia sama seperti apa band lain yang memainkan genre muzik death metal di hujung 1980-an. Pengaruh thrash metal mendominasi muzik keseluruhan. Kelebihan NECROPHILE dapat dilihat dari penglibatan mereka seawal 1987 dalam menangkap perhatian mat metal sedunia. Demo "The Terminal Derangement" pada tahun 1988 telah menjadi permulaan penting kepada rilisan band Jepun lain seperti Messiah Death dan Transgressor. Sudah tentulah nama Takashi Tanaka (Transgressor/ Anatomia) memainkan peranan dalam pembangunan band ini.

"Momentos In The Misting Woods" merupakan satu pengiktirafan dunia terhadap band dari Jepun. Versi CD dikeluarkan oleh Dark Descent Records dan LP oleh Me Saco Un Ojo Records patut dimiliki oleh peminat death/thrash metal, dan merupakan satu kemestian bagi mereka yang sukakan muzik adunan death dan thrash metal yang raw. Kompilasi lengkap ini mengandungi demo 1 (1988), demo 2 (1989), 2 lagu dari 7" (1991), 1 lagu dari kompilasi "Weird Tales of Madness" dan 2 rakaman live di Waters Club, LA pada 1991, cukup lengkap untuk anda mengenali, mendalami dan mengingati NECROPHILE sebagai icon death/thrash metal utama dari negara Jepun.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: VASAELETH "CRYPT BORN AND TETHERED TO RUIN" CD 2010

Vasaeleth
Crypt Born and Tethered To Ruin CD 2010
Profound Lore Records

Saya tidak dapat mengikuti perkembangan death metal dalam persada antarabangsa secara mutakhir. Terlalu cepat band yang muncul dan meriliskan material. Banyak yang baik, banyak juga band yang langsung tak dapat dihadam oleh peminat. Untuk tidak ketinggalan, saya banyak bertanya kepada rakan-rakan yang masih setia mengikuti setiap perkembangan, baik dari label underground, mahupun melayari youtube atau myspace. Sungguh, saya tidak ada masa untuk itu.

Seorang rakan telah memperkenalkan saya kepada Vasaeleth, band 2-piece dari US dengan permainan yang agak terhad dari segi originality mahupun skil. CD ini dirilis pada tahun 2010 di bawah Profound Lore Records, label Kanada yang menawarkan kepelbagaian dalam genre metal melalui band yang dipilihnya. Vasaeleth, seperti namanya, amat occult, jika dinilai dari aspek persembahan CD ini dengan logo yang pelbagai. Muziknya sangat mirip kepada Incantation, Father Befouled, Crucifier dan kebanyakan band death yang ada sekarang ini. Ia tidak menjadikan Vasaeleth sebagai sebuah band yang mementingkan keaslian.


Aspek positif dan negatif MUNGKIN menyumbang kepada penerimaan mat metal terhadap band ini. Negatifnya, ia hanya sekadar copycat, tidak adalah butiran yang asli dalam permainan lagunya. Positifnya, kewujudan band ini memang selari dengan tren semasa, death metal semakin popular semula!

Mungkin ada yang tidak setuju dengan label "old school" death metal yang terlalu dicanangkan (termasuklah oleh saya). Namun begitu, apabila death metal itu sendiri progresif dan dipelbagaikan (saya kira bermula dengan Gothenburg Death Metal), maka sangat general sekiranya saya letakkan Vasaeleth sebagai death metal. Old school death metal saya gunakan untuk band yang memainkan muzik mirip kepada death metal 80 dan 90-an. Itu saja. Jadi apa muzik Vasaeleth? Old school death metal (pada saya) adalah jawapannya.


Secara keseluruhan, Vasaeleth memiliki kekuatan dalam aspek vokal yang growlnya terlalu deep. Lupakan apa yang Swedish atau Finnish death metal tawarkan, Vasaeleth amat dark, muziknya sangat rendah tunenya. Ini membuatkan saya lebih menerima band ini, dan saya kira seolah-olah US sedang melahirkan semula banyak band death metal yang baik sekarang ini.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Resuscitation of evilness...

With reference to the title, recently I was told by a friend that Purtenance (Finland) had released an MCD and asked me whether I already ordered that. I was a bit shocked to hear that, asking myself, when the hell that Purtenance have an MCD. I quickly surfed metal-archived to find Purtenance's latest news and to my surprise, they had released "Sacrifice The King" MCD under Spanish Xtreem Music. Of course it went out on July 2nd. I quickly placed the order through the label website. Not that I am afraid that it'll quickly sold out, but I am more concerned in discovering what would their new sound would be. It's been past 20 years since their "Members Of Immortal Damnation" album released, and let's hope that the waiting for all these years worthwhile.


Recently too that I found out Finnish Convulse just reformed and kicking with their shirt with demo motive released. I contacted Rami Jamsa, vocal/guitar of Convulse to confirm their resuscitation. Few days ago, I got the reply, it is confirmed!

I mean, in the early 90s, Purtenance's "Members.." and Convulse's "World Without.." had really influenced my musical preference. It's Finnish and British bands that most molded my taste in music. When hearing these 2 bands are reforming, I cannot refrain myself. I have to have their releases!

While waiting for the Purtenance MCD to arrive, the disturbance is whether they have changed the sounds to groovy death metal like what other Finnish bands were doing, or will it still be death metal in ancient way..


Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: BLOOD LEGION PROMO 2012

Blood Legion (Malaysia)
Promo 2012
Self-released

A multi-racial band, I guess one that depicts the good spirit of 1Malaysia. I was in contact with Hann from the band, and after a few days, this promo came and surprisingly, it was not from the band itself. I was asked by another friend to review this promo on their behalf.

Since I am planning for something, thus I can only show a short review about this release. It is a 3-track promo, the sound is moderate, not in the top notch quality, but above par as a promo. The tunes are mid-tempo, quite catchy, less aggressive. It takes me back to the early 90s in terms of less complexity in guitars, simple bass line and straight forward drums.

I guess Blood Legion is ready to release something bigger than this, but the risk of not being accepted by the market is there. I mean, how many of Malaysians now dig this kind of old-school demo-era tunes?

Good job bros! I hope to have some more from Blood Legion..
For more information, contact the band: bloodlegion666@yahoo.com or facebook.com/bloodlegion666


Monday, May 28, 2012

Dialog hari ini..

Pelajar baru: Encik, saya nak mohon tukar kursus.
Saya: Dari kursus apa nak ke kursus apa?
Pelajar baru: Business Studies nak ke Pengajian Islam Dakwah.
Saya: Kenapa?
Pelajar baru: Saya suka bidang agama.
Saya: Business bukan bidang agama?
Pelajar baru: (diam)
Saya: Seorang businessman tak boleh berdakwah?
Pelajar baru: (diam lagi)
Saya: Dakwah hanya boleh dibuat oleh orang berlatarbelakang Islam?
Pelajar baru: (diam lagi..)
Saya: Graduan bidang Dakwah yang bekerja jadi cikgu, kenapa tak jadi pendakwah?
Pelajar baru: (diam lagi)
Saya: Baik terus terang, kenapa awak nak pindah ke Jabatan Dakwah?
Pelajar baru: Err.. ayah saya suruh.

Borang terus ditandatangan tanda perpindahan dipersetujui..


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: CELESTIAL SEASON "CHROME" CD 1998

Celestial Season
Chrome CD 1998
HKM Records

Groovy stoner metal, at least from what I can conclude from their 1998's fourth album. A cult, hard-to-find status this album is, and luckily the price was not too high for me to get this CD and to complete their album discography. Those who followed their track will recognize 1995's EP "Sonic Orb" as their milestone towards a new direction from ordinary Dutch doom/death genre to a more mind-seducing stoner rock/metal.

I would say that "Chrome" has more atmospheric, more rocking side of stoner and more groove compared to its predecessor "Orange" in 1997. Tunes like "Stardust", "Who Sent the Workers Back Underground" and "21:20 Desire", on the other hand, have more heavy sounds like Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, Kyuss kind of thing.

Celestial Season, yet to achieve its success in the metal scene, although its 1993 "Forever Scarlet Passion" debut does have high value, but it doesn't contribute to its stardom. With early retirement in doom/death genre, Celestial Season perhaps had made mistakes by converting into their current sounds since "Sonic Orb". I guess their split-up in 1991 contributed to either good or bad side. The good thing was that their materials were quickly recognized as "rare", but the bad thing is that they do not last longer for a fan (like me) to appreciate their music. Anathema did constantly releasing albums with their atmospheric sounds.

Perhaps with their reunion in 2011, they can get something and some more to offer.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bulan ini bulan Rejab..



Bulan Rejab tiba, hari ini 4 Rejab, saya mengikuti tazkirah pagi Jumaat tadi. Rupanya banyak hadis palsu yang dikaitkan dengan bulan Rejab. Ini di antaranya buat renungan kita semua.. Wallahua'lam..

"Rejab adalah bulan Allah, Syaaban adalah bulanku, dan Ramadhan adalah bulan umatku"

"Kelebihan bulan Rejab atas bulan-bulan yang lain umpama kelebihan Al-Quran atas zikir-zikir yang lain"

"Rejab adalah bulan Allah, sesiapa yang berpuasa satu hari dalam bulan Rejab dalam keadaan iman dan kesungguhan, maka dia wajib mendapat keredhaan Allah yang terbesar"

Sesiapa yang berpuasa 3 hari dalam bulan Rejab, Allah akan memberikannya pahala sebulan berpuasa, dan sesiapa yang berpuasa 7 hari maka akan ditutup daripadanya 7 pintu neraka”.

Sesiapa yang solat Maghrib pada malam pertama bulan Rejab, kemudian dia solat 20 rakaat, setiap rakaat dibaca Surah Al-Fatihah dan Surah Al-Ikhlas sekali dengan 10 kali salam, kamu tahu tak apakah ganjarannya? Allah akan memelihara dirinya, keluarganya, hartanya, anaknya, dilepaskan dari azab kubur, melintasi jambatan Sirat seperti kilat tanpa disiksa”.
Sesiapa yang berpuasa Rejab dan solat 4 rakaat, dia tidak akan mati kecuali nampak tempatnya di dalam syurga atau diperlihatkan kepadanya”.

Sesiapa yang solat pada malam pertengahan bulan Rejab sebanyak 14 rakaat, setiap rakaat dibaca Surah Al-Fatihah sekali dan Surah Al-Ikhlas 20 kali…..”.

Sesungguhnya bulan Rejab adalah bulan yang agong, sesiapa yang berpuasa satu hari dalamnya, Allah akan memberikan pahala puasa 1000 tahun”.

Aku diutuskan sebagai Nabi pada 27 Rejab…..”.

Sesiapa yang solat pada malam 27 Rejab sebanyak 12 rakaat…..”.
Berkata Dr Yusof Al-Qardhawi, Tidak ada satu pun Hadis Sahih tentang bulan Rejab, melainkan ia merupakan salah satu dari bulan-bulan yang diharamkan berperang, sepertimana yang telah disebutkan oleh Allah SWT dalam kitab-Nya: “di antaranya empat bulan yang dihormati” (Surah At-Taubah: 36) iaitu bulan Rejab, Zulkaedah, Zulhijjah dan Muharram, yang terdapat dalamnya beberapa kelebihan.

Dan tiada satupun Hadis Sahih yang menceritakan tentang kelebihan khusus bulan Rejab, melainkan sebuah Hadis Hasan (Baik) iaitu: “Bahawasanya Nabi SAW paling banyak berpuasa (sunat) dalam bulan Syaaban. Apabila ditanyakan kepada baginda tentang itu, maka baginda pun menjawab: Orang biasa melupakan bulan itu (Syaaban) yang berada di antara bulan Rejab dan Ramadhan”. Maka, dapat difahami dari hadis ini bahawa bulan Rejab juga terdapat kelebihan. (Direkodkan oleh Imam Ahmad dan An-Nasai

Saya baru tahu...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lebih sebulan lalu..

I guess it is over a month since my proper postings. Proper in the sense of "constantly willing to write", most probably because overwhelming planning and implementing the "job requirements" right after term-break.

Some things went on descending chronological order:

An invitation to play gig with VISITANT. I have never involved in a band, this is the first one in order to help uplifting Kuantan scene, and guess what, we did release something! And when the invitation came, I guess I had to make the most critical decision, that is either YES or NO.



Preparing for new intakes next week. We are always lacking in promotion/marketing. So I thought I might be pioneering this old-school fashioned of promoting professional course offered in Kipsas. Alhamdulillah, the response was good.

CAT Preview, held at Zenith Hotel on 12th May, the first ever KIPSAS program to have a preview exclusively in a 5-star rating hotel.

The team..
There are yet some issues here and there but the situation is not conducive enough for me to write (it is now Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna shown in TV2, and yeah, it kills my "rock forever" soul).

Not to forget, SELAMAT HARI GURU for all teachers, headmasters, lecturers, administrators, and who ever's job involved developing students. May our nation becomes prosperous with your touches. Stay ikhlas!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review: LEMMING PROJECT "HATE AND DESPISE" CD 1992

Lemming Project
Hate And Despise CD 1992
Century Media Records



When their 1991's "Extinction" came out in Malaysian local market, I wonder what their music really is. After seeing their band members in a magazine, I thought this might be some glam rock band, but the mind was battling against it due to the record label, CM Records, which, around that time, became housing for death metal bands. It was few years later that I bought their tape and discover that they played death metal.

Having a CD version in the new millennium is not really a mind-blowing experience since you can easily get it with a low price in ebay. Nevertheless, it is actually a great flashback to my nostalgic moments of buying the old death metal on tapes.

Lemming Project is death metal, no doubt. The great reminiscence of the old good times. Although appeared in the musical platform that gained additional interest today, Lemming Project is somewhat underrated. For me, their music is much more listenable to those old 90s death metal bands (I cannot stand Morgoth, and I've never even liked Obituary).

But the music lives on, sadly without Lemming Project appeared in any references.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: ANGUISH "HUNG ROTTEN" UNRELEASED DEMO 2012

Anguish 
Hung Rotten Demo 2012 
Self-released
 

It's good to see progression. I mean, death is a part of life, the struggle to be alive before death is somewhat beautiful in nature. I have seen bands went ups and downs in their musical careers, some faded away, some are just in struggle just to make sure their music survived.

Anguish is a band from my hometown. We have been friends like since the dawn of time. Apart from TASYIM, NAGILEUM, VISITANT, AGHAST, ENSLAVED CHAOS, the old BRUTALATOR, ANGUISH, which I can label as the "third wave" of Kuantan metal bands ever established, is another band that had caught the attention of metalheads nationwide. I still remember when they did their "Mass Dismemberment" Demo 2003, or was it their 2002 Promo Demo, I have seen that they progressed, struggled and downed. Yet the spirit lives on in some of their bandmates.

Being well-known with "Brutal Death Metal" band, I have to admit that it is not my favorite genre. Despite trying to support the band in any way that I could, the band slowed down after recording 3 songs in 2005. Syahrizal took a big step 7 years later to re-recorded the vocals for these 3 songs and pressing it into tape format. This is the result, "Hung Rotten" was released few weeks ago (early April).

There it is, the most beautiful part is to stay true to things you loved. I saw the struggle of Syahrizal just to keep the band breathing. These 3 songs demo (2 of their song plus a cover of Hypocrisy's "Pleasure of Molestation") is a follow up of what you had in their "Mass Dismemberment" demo. Their songs were pretty much evolved into technical grind-alike, but there are of course some flaws here and there. I could say that the songs are semi-heavy, great riffs and drum blastings, but I hope I can see more good tunes from the band.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: DARK REALITY "BLOSSOM OF MOURNING" CD 1995

Dark Reality
Blossom of Mourning CD 1995
Witchhunt Records



It was in mid of 90s, 1995 to be precise. Bands were trying to find originality during that period. Although the waves of black metal (and all stupidities it carries) dominate the world, I personally feel that those were the days where most zine editors trying to find the x-factor in each band.

Dark Reality, a German band, with lower exposure, trying to find the x-factor during those days. The rate of success cannot be determined as not much they have been into any zines during those years.

Musically, the uniqueness of Dark Reality, perceived from the 90s view, was the using of flute in their semi-mid-tempo songs with grunting vocals which stands in between of death and black metal, although the resemblances are more likely into thrash metal.

One thing I like about this release is that the sounds are pretty clean and without lightning-speed riffing, I guess Dark Reality is a perfect band for those who want metal while transcending into the journey of melancholia.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HUMILIATION "FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH" CD 2012

The third release from Malaysian Bolt-Thrower-Asphyx-influenced band, HUMILIATION. I just got their flyer today. A very productive band, no doubt, since just like yesterday that they released their second album "Seek to Survive".

I just hope that I can grab a copy in this short while.

UPEN Pahang

Meeting di UPEN, atau nama penuh Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Pahang. Sementara menunggu, kami makan di kantin Wisma Sri Pahang.


Kali terakhir di sini ialah waktu darjah 6 tahun 1988. Lepas habis pengakap pada pagi Sabtu, di sinilah kami singgah sebelum meneruskan aktiviti melepak di Kompleks Teruntum.


Kantin ini banyak nostalgia. Paling diingati, mee goreng 30 sen. Tak banyak berubah sejak 24 tahun. Mungkin ada perubahan tapi saya yang tak perasan


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Lawatan Unisza 16/4/2012

Sedang di dalam taklimat penerangan kepada  rombongan delegasi Unisza, terdiri dari.pensyarah Fakulti Pengajian Islam.Kontemporari.


Semoga kerjasama dapat direalisasikan.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

Books: A Cambodian Prison Portrait by Vann Nath


Abah dan mak baru sahaja pulang dari Kemboja, kira-kira rombongan dengan geng mereka yang veteran. Tidaklah pula saya mengharapkan apa-apa buah tangan dari negara yang agak mundur berbanding Malaysia. Namun begitu, sebagaimana kebiasaan, abah akan mencari buku berkaitan sejarah, terutama yang menarik perhatian dunia di era 1975-1979, rejim Khmer Rouge di bawah cengkaman Pol Pot, berkuasa. Era di mana berjuta rakyatnya sendiri mati di tangan bangsa sendiri.

Agak sedih melihat kualiti cetakan buku setebal 118 muka surat ini. Senantiasa kita merujuk kepada kualiti tanpa mementingkan isi kandungannya. Seolah kitab turath yang buruk berabuk di belebas, tetapi isi kandungan diguna sepanjang zaman.

Menurut abah, sepanjang perjalanan dari Phnom Penh ke tempat Angkor Wat, tidak kelihatan kedai yang menjual akhbar, apa lagi buku. Oleh itu, segala peluang terjumpa buku yang ada tidak beliau tinggalkan. Ini antara buku yang dibelinya dan saya mengambil masa 2 malam untuk menamatkan bacaan.

Buku ini mengisahkan tragedi kekejaman Pol Pot dari kacamata penulis. Seorang rakyat biasa, bukan militan, bukan pembangkang mahupun revolusionis, tetapi namanya tersenarai dalam "ghost list", iaitu yang perlu dibunuh. Namun begitu, ketua penjara telah mengasingkan beliau atas bakat sebagai seorang pelukis.

Meskipun wujud plot yang melompat (saya kira agak sukar untuk menulis semua kisah yang hitam dalam hidupnya), segala kisahnya telah disusun kemas dan diterjemah ke Bahasa Inggeris yang amat mudah difahami. Ia bermula dari kehidupan penulis dan keluarganya, terpisah, diseksa, diselamatkan oleh bakat, kejatuhan rejim Khmer Rouge, perjumpaan kembali dengan isteri (anak-anak beliau mati kebuluran), dan kerja bagi menghidupkan Genocide Museum yang asalnya penjara tempat beliau diami selama setahun.

Kesimpulannya, memang tragis. Tatkala saya dilahirkan ke muka bumi, dalam era kita di Malaysia membangun (saya mungkin masih merangkak ketika itu), kegelapan menyelubungi jiran Asean kita. Walaupun begitu, dunia sekarang masih tidak ada beza..

Alhamdulillah, bisik hati kecil saya

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: MY DYING BRIDE "THE DREADFUL HOURS" CD 2001

My Dying Bride
The Dreadful Hours CD 2001
Peaceville Records



I was about to buy a copy of their latest offering, Evinta (not too latest though, it is a 2011's release), and I thought it'd be better to dig back what MDB offered a decade ago. Here it was, "The Dreadful Hours", a great milestone that marked their time-line from being a pure doom metal to a more lenient, gothic, yet so wonderful experimental doom opuses.

"The Dreadful Hours" came after a lot of fans started to hang loose with MDB. I mean, "The Angel and The Dark River" (1995) was said to be more slow, yet losing metal touches. "Like Gods of The Sun" (1996) was more traditional drone styled doom metal. 2 albums later although just being fair enough to me.

"The Dreadful Hours" is more like a concluding release of MDB since their demo days to 2000. It contains growls, double-pedaling bass drums, and some fast parts. I guess that contribute to my personal favor, although a bigger slice of the vocals are clean.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Di antara BALLS dan BOLA

Sedang menonton movie HBO "Licence To Kill" versi BM.
Terconfuse sejenak bila ayat crook berbunyi "Awak ada bola yang besar En. Bond".

Rupanya "You have big balls Mr. Bond".

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

MoA Kolej Universiti Insaniah dan Kipsas

Isnin, 2 April 2012, Alor Setar Kedah Darul Aman.



Berada di pejabat MB Kedah, menunggu MB bagi menyaksikan Majlis Menandatangani MoA. Selepas ini insya Allah program Ijazah Syariah Insaniah mereka dijalankan di Kipsas.