With a name as such, one wouldn’t expect anything less than total gore and brutality from Singaporean death metal outfit Asilent. Having ply their trade for more than 10 years, the band released their sophomore full length The Unconsecrated last year, and are ready to suffocate you this May 5 at Metal United World Wide, Singapore. We talk to them to find out more.
Greetings Asilent, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. The band was formed all the way back in 2004, making this the 14th year of its existence. Tell us origin story of the band, and how the band’s name came about.
Fiaz: What’s up guys, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Asilent orginally was just a side project, at that point I was playing bass in another band at that time but my ultimate love was still Death Metal, Brutal Death and Grind music. I got together with some close friends and formed Asilent. The band name came about when I was sitting around playing around with words and voila the name Asilent was created. The name Asilent is the total opposite to the kind of music we play lol.
Nizam: Well, I came in as a sessionist for their Undead Infesting Indonesia Tour & eventually joined the band when their guitarist had to leave due to some personal reasons. From there we had some line-up changes and in the end it all comes down to the magic number of 3 haha.
What was it that sparked the love for brutal death metal in each of the members?
Fiaz: It has been something we love for a really long time now, the sheer aggression, heavy guitars, fast paced heavy drums, growling low guttural vocals is so beastly and it keeps our adrenaline going every time we listen to it or play it. So it did not really spark us but more of we love it all this while.
Nizam: The combination of heavy tunes, gore vocals and the irresistible urge to bang your head against the wall are needed to spark the love for this genre.
The band released its sophomore full length last year, The Unconsecrated, to raving reviews. The band’s music has been described as being similar to such legends as Devourment. How did the style of the band come about, and who are some of your influences that may surprise listeners?
Fiaz: Thank you for the kind compliment, means a lot to know our hard work is appreciated. Honestly, all of us have a diverse musical influences, from rock to chill hop, punk, house music etc. lol. Our ultimate love is still brutal death metal, death metal, thrash metal and grind core. We combined what we enjoy listening to into our music and that is how we sound like now.
Nizam: I roughly knows the style of the band when Fiaz introduced me to some of his influences, I’m much more to the old school death metal bands like early Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Kataklysm, Nile & etc. so when we did some brainstorming on our music composition, I tried to implement some of my ideas into the songs & try not to stray away from the original style. There’s quite a big difference if you hear our previous album and to the Unconsecrated but we still maintain the brutality and heaviness of our songs.
The band’s lyrics also revolve around lots of gore, zombie, and sounds like a brutal death metal soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic film. Where does the band get inspiration for its lyrical content?
Fiaz: Our lyrical content tackles modern issues but in a post-apocalyptic gore audio form. We have always enjoyed horror / gore music and films. Nizam came up with the idea of making this album the beginning of an undead post-apocalyptic audio film (concept album). He has always been a fan of how King Diamond made each album tell a different story. He proposed the idea of doing something similar. We loved it and decided to roll with it.
The album was also mixed and mastered in Jakarta’s Cubicle Studio. What was it that made the band decide to have this done in Jakarta?
Fiaz: Our drummer Alvin is from Jakarta Indonesia. It is easier for us to fly to Jakarta to record with him rather than having him come here to do it. Jakarta is like home to us, going back there doing music related stuff and meeting friends there is always a blast. The owner of Cubicle Studios Mr Erikson Rudy is an old friend of Alvin and they have worked together on other projects before. So we decided to get our album done in Cubicle Studios and it was amazing working with Erik.
As of last October, the band has been seeking labels for physical presses of the album. How has the search been so far?
Fiaz: Honestly, not too good. An Asian band to break into the International Extreme Music market is really difficult. Sacrifices have to be made in order to get great returns. Asilent had so much downs over the years that did not allow us to infiltrate the European Market earlier by setting up tours and shows before. Now with the 3 of us, same mindset, passion and drive, we are setting out to establish ourselves and getting recognition for our effort that we put out. Not having a label interested in releasing our album does not deter us. We will keep moving forward and release it on our own. Keep playing shows, keep touring and eventually, our hard work will pay off.
This May 5 at the Metal United World Wide show will be the band’s final local show of the year. Having been around for more than 10 years, how has the scene changed over the years?
Fiaz: The scene honestly has changed a lot in terms of musical preference. The music that some bands put out evolves as time goes and some bands will still stick to the style they believe in. Music gets mash together into a different genre, creating a new entity. Waves of followers will jump on the hype train. Bands come and go, amount of new bands increases, old bands reform, project bands happen and that pretty much sums it all up.
Nizam: Yes there have been a lot of changes in the metal scene. Although we are in a very small community but I do have to say nowadays we were quite fortunate to have a lot of gigs/concerts where we could see some of our childhood bands that we’ve grown up with in action. However there are lesser supporters compared to the old times but I kind of understand as we aged, we have many commitments in life that hinder us in our musical activities. Our only hope is that the next generation will continue the scene to a better and thriving status.
What are some of the interesting encounters that the band has had over the years performing in different countries, on different stages?
Fiaz: Travelling and performing in different countries is always an amazing experience. You get to experience new traditions, culture, see new places and faces. Make new friends, see old friends, make new fans, the appreciation and love you get will keep you going no matter how tough the going gets. One of the most interesting encounter we had was performing in Solo, Indonesia. Apparently the dressing room we were in, the night before there was a black metal gig so they did a ritual in the dressing room. There were ashes, flowers and a rotten stench lingering all around. It was crazy, we wanted to just play the show and get out of there pronto ahahah.
Nizam: I still remember the raid by the Islamic government group in our hotel. It was during our New Year’s Eve show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Wormrot. Wormrot got taken into jail just because a group of friends, guys and girls are hanging out in a room and it was deem illegal.
Also, with the intensity of the band’s brand of brutal death metal, what are rehearsal sessions like? How does the band prepare for its live performances?
For us rehearsals work entirely different. As mentioned before our drummer Alvin is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. We have his drum tracks on mp3 format, we will plug it into the jamming studio’s PA system and will jam together with it. When Alvin is here or when we fly over to Jakarta for shows, we will jam it out together. Jamming is not as often but we love working with Alvin and would not change the formula of this awesome relationship.
The band will be embarking on a European tour this coming August/September. How did this tour come about?
Touring has always been the main priority of Asilent, the only problem we had before was the constant change of band members or band members that could not commit to touring and performing overseas shows. It was a huge obstacles in terms of progression for the band. The three of us now have the same goal / mindset and we are constantly looking to tour and play live shows. We decided about 2 years ago during The Unconsecrated album recording phase that the Europe Tour needs to happen and we planned for it in 2018. Fiaz got in touch with all the Europe contacts he had and also with Azean’s help (Doomstar Booking Agent), the tour manage to finally take shape and it is happening this year in Late August / Early Sept.
Catch Asilent, and many other quality Singaporean bands this May 5 at the inaugural, Singapore edition of the Metal United World Wide. More details at this location.