This is surely not the first time I chant the praises of Bangladesh’s extreme music scene, one of the most brutal and surprising I encountered thus far in my travels across Asia.
Dhaka has a burgeoning subcultural scene that gravitates around the University of Liberal Arts… funny how a bunch of eggheads are the ones saving the musical destiny of a country that most consider as an assemblage of wreckage, flood and destruction. Well, let me tell you that it’s all what you’re going to get listening to DISSECTOR, a very interesting old-school thrash metal band from… errr… DHAKA!! Where else, actually? Barisal? Probably not.
Yes. It’s all been heard a thousand times before. The riffage is a blend of Slayer, early Megadeth, Nuclear Assault, “Agent Orange”-era Sodom, and other Teutonic thrash such as Destruction and Kreator. BUT… it really sounds tight, fresh, and good. Tropically good. South Asian good, like a hot plate of Chicken Kasha garnished with the right masala. Oh yes…
In a metal world that’s currently bent backwards, inspecting the 1980s leftovers of crap around his own arsehole and assessing which one’s the most authentic, I pick modern day DISSECTOR’s “Samsu the Slaughterer” and raise my horns to the sky!!!
I will be honest with you, I always though and still believe grindcore is a bunch of farts coming out of loudspeakers. When I went to Obscene Extreme Festival in the Czech Republic working for Cripple Bastards, I was forced to listen to the ungodly music for three days nonstop, developing more than a pet peeve for it. To put it mildly, grindcore to me is uninspiring and boring, especially when it explores the pathological or sexually perverted parts of the spectrum. C’mon guys, there are just four limbs and three holes, please come to grips with reality and stop belching about it, thanks.
ANYHOW… here and there, there ARE some grindcore bands who are truly interesting, gifted, or just plain face ripping. TOOLS OF THE TRADE from Kuala Lumpur is one of them, besides being a bunch of good guys with a penchant for good ayam penyet.
As I already stated in my Best of Malaysian Underground 2013, Tools of the Trade possesses those rare qualities to be found in Malaysian arts, among which perseverance and professionalism are most important. To me, they are currently the Malaysian grindcore act at the top of their game. They are about to release their third full-length LP “Proclamation” and embark on their first USA tour, where their recording has been powered at Mammoth Sound Mastering.
Hear one of the finished tracks, “Catalysts”, and please hang to your chair as you do so. You have been warned. Catch them live and buy their stuff if you can.
(picture credits: Cole Yew)
One of my pieces on SOUNDMAKER, Penang’s den of alternative subcultural rocking, is out now on the Penang Monthly. Read an excerpt:
“No doubt, to virgin eyes, a visit to Soundmaker might be a shocking introduction to Hell, hardcore-punk style. Cigarette smoke thickens as you throw a token to the spiky-haired punk rock Charon in charge of the door. And when the Gates of Hades open, the dominant darkness is dispersed by dim lights.
On stage, a band of young guitar gangsters with a barely necessary PA spray the walls with three-chord bullets as if they were wielding sonic machine guns. Before the musicians, dozens of “souls” slam-dance against each other furiously in a circular mosh pit. A few get trampled under army boots and sneaker-clad hooves. One of them leaps spread-eagled from the edge of the stage, but just moments before this airborne Lucifer hits the floor headfirst, a forest of limbs cushion his fall and safely guide him to the ground. All the while on the stage, the band continues to preach its chainsaw-punk gospel.”
READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE