Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Singapore - A Country of Extremes And Broad Scenes

This is my first feature that focuses on music and bands from countries all over the world. The features won't be too exhaustive and will even feature some bands you've heard of, but my aim is to write about exciting music that I've discovered and my journey begins in Southeast Asia and Singapore to be precise. Thanks to some great individuals, labels and the Internet (gasp), I've been finding out about how broad and varied the small Singaporean extreme metal/punks scene is.


(Photo taken from Abolition A.D.'s Facebook page)

Abolition A.D.

I'm starting at a logical point, as Abolition A.D. were the most recent Singaporean band that I reviewed. Their debut full-length After Death Before Chaos was released in 2014 via homeland label Pulverised Records and it blew me away with it's sheer force and infectious heaviness.

Abolition A.D. formed in 2009 and released their first EP Pain in 2010 and they started working with Pulverised Records in 2013. They don't identify with any one-particular sub-genre and prefer to create extreme metal with varied influences from punk to sludge and everything in between. It's their enthusiasm for their music and their scene that makes them stand out. I for one, hope that they somehow make it over to the UK in future.

You can stream After Death Before Chaos and earlier EP Pain here -



I caught up with Azri from Ab A.D. and asked him some questions about people's reaction to the band and the scene:-

TNIO: For a heavy bands like Abolition A.D, what was it like starting off? Did you get encouraged by people or were people suspicious of the music?

Azri: We do received both kind of responses. It's fun to see the crowd looking all confuse trying to figure out what we are playing. Encouraging indeed!

TNIO: I don’t have great knowledge of alternative culture in Singapore, so what is the heavy metal/punk scene like there? Is there a big DIY network of bands and venues?

Azri: Yeah, there is a network of bands and venues here in Singapore and even across the borders. People are interconnected here and that's awesome. We have bands from region played damned fest last year in Singapore and we are stoked to hear it will be a yearly event.  To add on, we played Chaos in Rumah Api 2014 at  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Another yearly event which consists of bands around Southeast Asia. To name a few, do check out: Keladak (MY), Maddame (MY), Wwhirr (MY), Snaggletooth (SG), Pazahora (SG), Beelzebud (SG), OATH (IND)

TNIO: Have things changed in your home country for Abolition A.D, since the release of “After Death Before Chaos” and are you started getting more attention in the music press and on social media?

Azri: We’re still unhappy and oppressed as a nation. Besides that, with that recent album release, we got an opportunity to have mini-tour with the Italy giants Hierophant soon. After which, we'll be starting to write new stuff for a few upcoming projects.

They have both records for sale there too.

After Death Before Chaos can also be purchased from Pulverised Records here - http://pulverised.bigcartel.com/product/abolition-a-d-after-death-before-chaos-super-jewel-box-cd

Abolition A.D Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AbolitionAd/timeline
Pulverised Records - https://www.facebook.com/pulverisedrecords

My review of ADBC - http://thisnoiseisours.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/abolition-ad-after-death-before-chaos.html


(Photo taken from Yumi's Facebook page)

Yumi

I discovered screamo band Yumi through Dog Knights Productions. The band's LP Epicureans was released by Darren last year. Yumi's take on screamo is pretty heavy. The record itself needs to be seen to be believed, it was pressed onto clear vinyl that contained a brown/gold strip in the middle. Check the picture below:-


(Photo Credit: Yumi)

Yumi have recently toured Japan and the record is available from loads of stores. You can stream Epicureans here:-


You can buy it directly from Yumi's bandcamp page above.

If you're in the UK, buy it from Dog knights Productions here - http://dogknightsproductions.bigcartel.com

For further news on where to pick it up and on Yumi's antics, visit their Facebook page -
https://www.facebook.com/yumisg


(Photo taken from Abrasion's Facebook page)

Abrasion

When I talked to Azri of Abolition A.D. about this feature, I also asked him to name some bands that he likes from Singapore. One band he mentioned was powerviolence band Abrasion. I've not been able to find a great deal of music to share in this post, but I did find a couple of Youtube clips that will give you a clue as to how they sound -



Abrasion also has a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Abrasion

Somebody needs to release this band!


(Photo taken from Oshiego's Facebook page)

Oshiego

I wanted to cover a varied cross-section of bands in this feature, even though I'm only just scratching the surface really. My search takes me back down the metal path this time and to a death/thrash band called Oshiego. Oshiego seems to be one of the more prolific bands currently active in Singapore, having released three full-lengths in the last four years. The latest one being Crossing The Bridge If Siraat, which is the second record to be released by US extreme metal label Horror Pain Gore Death Productions.

Stream Crossing The Bridge Of Siraat here:-



It's available for digital download above or on CD from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions here - http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/store/hpgd107.html


(Photo taken from Tormentress's Facebook page)

Tormentress

The final band in this feature is all-female thrashers Tormentress. It's no secret that I love thrash (especially the artwork) and the cover of their 2014 album Operation Torment features futuristic robots with guns, so what;s not to love!


Tormentress champion feminism and women's rights, which is something you have to admire considering their allegiance to a male dominated scene like Thrash. Operation Torment is their debut full-length and was released via French old-school/speed/thrash label Inferno Records.

You can stream one of the album track "Why" here - https://soundcloud.com/gwnocide/tormentress-why.

CD, Digipack and Tape copies can be purchased directly from the band, but Europeans can grab them from Inferno Records here - http://www.inferno-records.net

Tormentress Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/tormentress666
Inferno Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/INFERNÖ-Records

Pulverised Records

I couldn't finish this feature without talking about (probably) the most active label in Singapore. Roy and Pulverised Records has been championing Singaporean bands, including Abolition A.D. above and the mighty Impiety (to name a few) but has also been insanely busy for as long as I can remember, releasing extreme music by bands from across the world. Lately, the label has worked with UK band Winds Of Genocide and are due to release music by Orator from Bangladesh.

You can sample the majority of Roy's releases here:-



Support Pulverised Records via the above bandcamp page and also via the label store here - http://pulverised.bigcartel.com

Pulverised Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pulverisedrecords

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