Guttered Down The Gutters: Joe Suicide

Here comes the second issue!
For this month, we managed to catch Joe Suicide during one of his gigs…
Joe Suicide
It is really hard to keep up with the projects and bands of Joe’s, his passion for music spawns many new creations…and he is not really that young unlike us *grins*. He’s probably been around since we were watching Power Rangers and trying to Transform into a T-Rex bot. (That is if you were born in the 90s like us.)
We stalked and caught him when he was chilling out at the back of his van while waiting for his gig with his family’s band Gypsy to start one Sunday afternoon. We chatted with Joe a little bit, got Hongrui’s albums signed, and left with a mystery unsolved…”Why Mr Dixie Ferdinands still have big hair at his age?” Aren’t men suppose to start thinning and balding at this age? Beats us.
Joe Suicide said:

“More emphasis on Music, Less emphasis on ‘Fame’…” 

…. read the interview for more…

“Study hard & get a good job in life…”


and plays tic-tac-toe with us but didn’t win it…takes a bloody long time to think about what girls are to him…he must be pretty confused… lol

Check out a few candid shots during the interview on our facebook profile here:
Joe Suicide (Guttered Down The Gutters) Photos

A very long Jpeg file. You guys should totally check out the PDF version.
You can view (and download) a high resolution copy of this interview here.
©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner

Album Review: Skeletal Augury – Victory of the Holocaust

Skeletal Augury [CHINA]
Victory of the Holocaust
Full Length
Black/thrash metal

Being known for it’s tight rules and heavy censorship over media, Skeletal Augury is one of the few China extreme metal bands that managed to catch my attention (besides Ritual Day, the band that appearead on Sam Dunn’s Global Metal documentary and Tomb Sound, another black metal band). I chanced upon Skeletal Augury’s Victory of the Holocaust on one of the metal blogs I frequented. They are also one of the bands featured on Metal Hammer’s April 2010 issue.

On first listen, this band sounds highly influenced by early blackened thrash metal bands like Sabbat (Japan). Raw production quality (without compromising any of the instruments), fast and thrashy guitar riffing and drum beats, complete with shrieky black metal vocals.

Skeletal Augury’s music and lyrics are highly influenced and derived from the horror genre. There are a lot of 80’s movie-like spoken parts (with low vocals narrating a horror story), telling the story of zombies and vampires, yet constantly reminding listeners that “It’s just a movie. It’s just a movie”.

While having spoken parts to let listeners know its influences are definitely innovative (though not the first of its kind), the band has incorporated so much spoken parts that it gets irritating at times, especially on 5 minute tracks where the listener has to go through approximately 2 minutes of spoken parts before getting to the music. However, while the wait can get irritating, it is definitely worth it with the music that comes after the spoken parts.

As I do not actually own the CD (all music were previewed online), I can’t comment on the album art work and the actual physical product itself.

Highly recommended for fans of old school black/thrash metal bands like Sabbat.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Interview with Burhan Skullbanger

Burhan Skullbanger, better known as the mastermind behind Chugga Ritual, Bualgitar Metal Matinee and Brader Bo of Vicious Volume. Heavy Metal Tribune recently got the opportunity to conduct an email interview with him, allowing him to share his experiences and his views on radio and metal.

HMT: Thank you, Burhan for granting us this email interview with you. Without further ado, let’s go on with the interview. First and foremost, give us a basic introduction to Chugga Ritual.

Chugga Ritual is the continuation of my metal music journey. It’s a project in which I’m the mastermind and I have total freedom to write and record my ideas and also the freedom to choose who to collaborate with for recording and live shows.

You mentioned on your MySpace page that “CHUGGA RITUAL is NOT a band” and that “CHUGGA RITUAL songs are tributes to “the metal gods” that have perfected the dark arts of heavy metal guitar playing techniques”. How did that idea come about?

The blame goes to ROADRUNNER UNITED ALL STARS. That’s how the idea came about but at that time in 2005, I was still with Urbankarma, which disbanded in 2006. In the same year, I reformed Manifest but I quit in 2008 to realize my poor man’s ROADRUNNER UNITED, CHUGGA RITUAL.

Since you mentioned that Chugga Ritual is not a band, wouldn’t it be difficult to find members to play whenever Chugga Ritual is invited to perform live?

Not at all coz I more or less know who are the reliable ones. Live, I don’t go for that every song different musicians thing. Well, maybe not at the moment.

Burhan, you are known to most in the local metal scene as Brader Bo, host of local rock and extreme metal radio show, Vicious Volume. Give us a brief history of how you managed to become the host of Vicious Volume.

Ria has this show called Rock Ria Rock which started in 1999.In 2000, I took over as the show’s host. In 2006, the show was renamed Vicious Volume, making it more heavy and brutal.

I once heard Behemoth’s Ov Fire and the Void being played on Vicious Volume. With metal being such a controversial genre, and Singapore’s stand on religious and racial harmony, were there any difficulties in getting Ria to allow for such music to be played over the airwaves?

I stay away from songs that are inflammatory or politically subversive. Of course you know the ones with the cuss words can’t go on air. I exercise self-censorship and responsible broadcasting. It’s either that or no metal show at all. Which one do the metalheads or fans of other forms of extreme music want?

With the internet making even the most underground music easily available to listeners, do you think that radio is still relevant at this time and age?

Radio in SG for metal purposes is still relevant coz it reaches the over-40 crowd, the blue collar hard rock /heavy metal fans which may not be very IT-savvy.

Vicious Volume is hosted on Ria, a Malay radio station. When the show debuted, were there any considerations on whether people who are non-Malay listeners would tune into the station?

Of course from the day Rock Ria Rock became Vicious Volume, there was some intent on my part to target the non-Malay listeners coz I know the non-Malay fans of extreme music in SG is growing.

How does it feel that even though your show is hosted on a Malay radio station, there are members of all races and walks of life tuning in every Sunday nights to listen to your show, and even know who you are?

It feels good. It shows that extreme music can be a common ground, a unifying force. It shows that language is not a barrier to people who want extreme music on local airwaves.

You are also the host of the string Bualgitar Metal Matinee “workshops”, where bands play gigs with a twist. How did the idea of having such a gig cum workshop come about? How have reactions towards Bualgitar Metal Matinee workshops been?

I have always wanted to do such a workshop type show since way back during my Urbankarma days. Maybe, it is a result of me seeing very ‘well-behaved and non-moving’ crowds in most metal gigs in the past. Well, if people are gonna sit still and not go apeshit, might as well turn it into edutainment/infotainment. So far attendance-wise is very encouraging. There were some bands that I approached which were rather apprehensive about playing a BMM show but I don’t blame them. BMM is still in its infancy and a very new concept.

What are your views on the current local metal scene?

I honestly don’t know each and every metal band there is in Singapore but the ones that are in Chugga’s myspace list have very good production and musicianship, Oshiego, Nafrat, Arbitrary Element, Xanadoo. I don’t have the opportunity to check out every gig that is held coz I’m married with two kids and don’t quite have the time, so I can’t comment on the live qualities of the bands or the qualities of the gigs. I hope that there will be more bands to follow the footsteps of Impiety, Rudra and Wormrot.

Finally, any parting words for aspiring musicians?

Know your talent, passion, abilities and surrounding realities/context. Then know what you want to achieve and from there formulate the processes to achieve your targets. Worry about what you can control, not what’s beyond your control.

Once again, thank you for taking the time off for this interview.

Catch Burhan on Vicious Volume on Ria 89.7FM every Sunday nights, 10-11pm.
Check out Chugga Ritual on MySpace.

Click here to read the pdf version on!

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Album review: ChthoniC – Mirror of Retribution

ChthoniC [TAIWAN]
Mirror of Retribution
Full Length
Melodic black metal

Taiwanese black metal band is perhaps one of the biggest extreme metal bands out of the Asian region, proving global metalheads that Asians can come up with quality black metal as well. Perhaps more well known in Taiwan as outspoken icons and pushers for Taiwanese independence, ChthoniC do not let listeners down with their latest offering, Mirror of Retribution.

Compared to their previous works such as Seediq Bale, Mirror of Retribution features more melodic music and a more polished production quality (courtesy of Rob Caggiano). From their opening track, Blooming Blades to their closing (and title track), Mirror of Retribution features blazing fast guitar and drums work, giving listeners barely enough time to breathe in between tracks (with the exception of 1947, an instrumental/spoken word track).

ChthoniC (Taiwan)

What sets this band apart from your typical melodic black metal band is the utilisation of the er-hu (or commonly known as the Chinese two-stringed violin) in the music, providing the emotions and atmosphere n the music, in addition to the presence of the keyboards. The sound of the er-hu can sometimes be reminiscent of the sound of a woman crying, while at times set the mood to become more ethereal. Freddy’s vocals are also worth mentioning, with the ability to go from a high pitch shried (think Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth) to a low death metal styled growl.

Lyrics-wise, ChthoniC has definitely gotten more political, and their intense passion and belief for freedom and independence definitely shows through their music. This can be seen through the release of the bonus track, suitably titled UNlimited Taiwan, a song that was composed in conjunction with their tour with the similar name. You can read more about their UNlimited Taiwan tour here.

A music video for the song, Fourty-Nine Theurgy Chains was released. You can view it below.

Recommended for fans of ChthoniC’s older works, Anthelion, Cradle of Filth and melodic black metal in general. This is an album not to be missed.

This review was based on the English version of the album (released on Spinefarm Records). A Taiwanese version of the album, with the lyrics in the native Taiwan language is also available in Taiwan.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

Views from the Pit: Baybeats 2010 Audition Round 2

An early Sunday morning, a scorching sun, a hangover, a (almost) dead crowd. Not exactly an ideal combination for a metal band to take the stage for the Baybeats 2010 round 2 auditions.

As frontman Dannie says, “Sunday mornings are for recovery of the hangover from last night.”

However, Meltgsnow didn’t fail to impress what audience was there and the judges, performing 2 songs for the auditions. For those who could not wake up early enough to catch their audition, here’s a quick recap. Soaring screams and gutteral growls, complete with heavy riffs and Dannie’s rigorous headbanging, something that is expected from a Meltgsnow performance.

The judges seemed hesitant about letting them play their second song, but finally decided to let them play “half a song”. Meltgsnow took the request in their stride, and managed to end the song nicely when requested by the judges halfway through, displaying their professionalism and tightness of the band.

For those who missed their performance, watch the clip that we managed to record below (pardon the video/sound quality!):

Editor’s Commentary:
Personally, the bass drums were not doing the drummer/songs justice. The vigourous and powerful double pedal beats by drummer Adrian was barely audible. Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with the drummer, he was awesome, and flushed by the intense heat of the unforgiving weather. Vocalist Dannie had to cool himself with his bottle of water.

Albeit the addition of two new members (Guitar: David, Bass:Bexxx), the band displays cohesion as though they have been playing together from the start. The first impression that the new guitarist, David, gave us a vibe of one of the band member from Taiwanese poprock band Mayday, not in a bad way though (it just means he’s pretty handsome, from Cynthia’s point of view)! Lord Insanity (aka Dannie) will probably get jealous, but hey, share the love!

For a really short set, the band was dressed to the nines. (Fishnets & Rustic Wristbands are definitely kinky.) We thought that the band had individual styles and fashion sense, but there was a tinge of harmony in chaos, just like their performance. We really loved how Zach the guitarist complimented Lord Insanity’s vocals…to Bexxx‘s yakuza-oriental guitar strap.

Their ‘Sound-Check’ itself was almost like an introductory song, which sets the band apart from the rest. How many times do you see bands sound-checking as a band? (Togetherness, hello?) 

An Open Letter To The Baybeats Organiser:
We really could not figure out the rationale behind an audition which is on a Sunday and MOREOVER, morning. It was really hard for the bands, and hard for the fans. ALL the bands who auditioned were definitely decent enough to play an audition as a gig itself. Why not a later slot?

Feedbacks from many bands were that the sound man/system was really awful. They were not really happy with your sound man messing around with their preferred settings. For further details, please have a chat with the bands.

Nevertheless, we would love to thank the organising committee and everyone else involved in the audition to make Baybeats a success year after year. We, on behalf of the metal community would really love to have more metal acts up the next few years. We know your efforts on fighting for our genre’s chances. So keep the fire burning Baybeats.

(Apologies for the static sound quality. We recorded this impromptu with a mobile phone. In Which we’d love to appeal to fellow enthusiasts who might have better equipment to offer their help to Heavy Metal Tribune. 😀 )

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | CynnedCynner and Hong Rui

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