Sunday, April 29, 2012

Killer Corpse Release Party 4.22.2012

Back at Rumah Api, only 2 weeks after the Capitalist War Holocaust CD release party.  This time the gig was in celebration of Killer Corpse's Death Rising EP.  An American friend who recently visited me in Malaysia was overwhelmed by how cheap everything here is; he would have been impressed by the fact that the RM 20 admission fee included a free copy copy of Death Rising (and poster).  5 bands and a CD for just over the price of a fancy coffee back in NYC? Game on, homes.

Of course, there was still the issue of Malaysian start times.  The last show I saw here was advertised as starting at "3 pm sharp" and actually started closer to 6; I figured I could safely arrive at 7:00 and be right on time.  No such luck.  Killing time reading The Omnivore's Dilemma as the cigarette smoke visibly thickened around me, I started to wonder if this is what waiting rooms in hell are like.  I did get to share a couch with Kathgor's vocalist (sans corpsepaint) and Lobotomy's guitarist (thrashperm still in glorious effect).  I tried unsuccessfully to get an interview with Atomicdeath's mainman Faiz, though he did sit down and talk to me about their upcoming tour with local thrashers Hereafter and Australia's Desecrator, and about another 4-way split that's in the works.  And he gave me a pretty sweet Atomicdeath patch, though with no denim jacket, I'll have to settle for sewing it to my cargo pants (or maybe my jiujitsu gi).

The show opened with Daighila (and an impressive number of FX pedals) doing their best to simulate a car crash between Orchid and Converge.  Screamo and post-rock is an interesting combination of two well-trafficked styles - I'm sure someone has done it before, but nothing personally comes to mind.  Keeping my eye out for a CD.

Atomicdeath, of course, were the reason I came to the gig, and I was glad that I didn't have to wait long for them. This time they had their lead guitarist with them, meaning they didn't have to improvise his lead parts a cappella (which they did last time, and was both TRVE and LOL).  Atomicdeath don't fuck around; their thrashpunk is a patch-jacket go-cart pushed down a very steep hill, with no regard for either pedestrians or occupants.  If I have one mission during my time in the jungle, it's this: Atomicdeath and Mass Hypnosia must tour together.

Metal bands with female vocalists aren't really my thing, though I will fist-fight anybody that doesn't think the Gathering with Anneke wasn't pure distilled awesomeness.  Unfortunately, Kazanna are more in the Nightwish vein of symphonic/power metal. If they were a store, they'd be one well-stocked in feta and brie.  Most of the audience actually left before their set, and I can't blame them: Kazanna are particularly egregious in their embrace of frilly-shirt metal cliches.  A song titled "The Never Ending Story" had me cringing at the idea of a heavier version of the movie theme song; the reality was surprisingly much, much worse.  These kinds of bands often succeed or fail on the strength of their vocalists; Kazanna's singer, unfortunately, had problems maintaining both her range and her power, and her Malaysian Idol gesticulating didn't make up for that.  The worse part is, they'll probably be huge locally.

Sarjan Harsan present a unique mix of 90's hardcore and 80's crossover, one that doesn't seem to gel but makes the crowd lose its shit regardless.  Their simplicity was a nice palette-cleanser after Kazanna's histrionics. Back-to-back covers of Minor Threat were an unlikely impetus for their fans to roll around drunkenly onstage and their closing rendition of Slayer's Raining Blood was a joyous mess, but still good considering their bassist handed his instrument to a fan who couldn't play, and the band switched drummers midway through the song.  Slayer held together by spit and duct tape is still Slayer.

Tools of the Trade, crust/grind titans and the only other band I'd seen before, are getting ready for some European dates, including the hesher overload that is the Czech Obscene Extreme festival. Maybe this mounting pressure is the reason that they're not as tight as they were a few weeks ago - a kind of metal senioritis? Maybe it was equipment problems, as the bass kept cutting out.  Regardless, they were still brutal as fuck, and even the points where they seemed to be spiraling out of control made their grind sound that much more dangerous (Brutal Truth, anyone?).  I can't think of many local bands that I'd want to represent me overseas, but Tools are better than most.

The night's headliner, Killer Corpse, play the kind of groovy, mid-paced death metal that inspires less headbanging than thoughtful nodding.  I personally like my metal more full-throttle and bloodthirsty, but if one can find fault with Killer Corpse's style then there's very little to be found in their execution.  I have to admire their chutzpah for titling one of their own songs "Raining Blood," though I suppose there have been stranger plagiarisms in metal.  And with a free copy of their CD in my backpack, I have an excuse to let them grow on me... much like the Malaysian metal scene itself is growing on me.