Along with the recent saga came a surge of interest in the black metal genre. Just look at posts on alternative media such as this:
Perhaps it is in good time that we also introduce some local (Singaporean) black metal acts as well. In no order of preference, we present to you… Black metal in Singapore.
When it comes to black metal in Singapore, who could forget the mighty Impiety? Formed in 1988, Impiety‘s discography spans the entire extreme metal genres. Beginning with the traditional 2nd-wave of black metal sound on Asateerul Awaleen, Impiety‘s style has transformed over the years to incorporate more bestial elements on albums like Formidonis Nex Cultus (which has a thrashy vibe), to the more progressive works on Worshippers of the Seventh Tyranny.
Their material has drawn comparisons to such legends as Blasphemy, Sarcofago, and Angelcorpse. Along with their long-running history, the band can easily be considered one of the black metal legends coming out of Southeast Asia, let alone Singapore.
Speaking of legends, how can one not speak of Abhorer? With a string of demos, splits, EPs and just a single full-length album, Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt, the band’s musical style has remained one of the cornerstones of the black metal sound coming out of Singapore.
Vedic metal band Rudra burst into the scene in 1992, but it was not until 1998 that the band released their now landmark self-titled album. Unlike Impiety or Abhorer, Rudra adopted a more death metal leaning sound, while incorporating elements of Vedic philosophy and spirituality into their lyrical themes. What made them such a unique band is the ability to also fuse Eastern elements into their musical output, into a sound that they can proudly call their own. The band even got local filmmaker Jacen Tan to direct one of their music videos, which launch remains one of the most memorable events personally.
A considerably younger band than the aforementioned, Infernal Execrator takes much of their musical cues from bands such as Impiety, along with other black/death metal legends such as Infernal War, Blasphemy, and the likes. With 2 full lengths under their belts, and their latest offering being last year’s Obsolete Ordinance, Infernal Execrator is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Ilemauzar takes a more traditional black metal route compared to their compatriots, incorporating symphonic elements into their musical output. With their debut album The Ascension, the band has managed to capture the blackened hearts and souls of the Southeast Asia region. Fronted by mainman Mike (who also runs regional booking agency Vent Box Productions), the band has already garnered a sizeable fanbase through their tours in such countries as the Philippines and Indonesia.
Draconis Infernum remains one of those local bands that has stayed close to my heart, being one of the first Singaporean black metal bands that I really got hooked onto. The band burst into the extreme metal circle in 2008 with their debut full length album, Death in My Veins, and has continued destroying the eardrums of their followers with Rites of Desecration & Demise, and The Sacrilegious Eradication. The band also has the honour of being the first band to perform on German black metal festival, Barther Metal Open Air in 2009.
Band leader Khaal is also the founder of Ravage Records, a record store that feeds to the desires of local true metal fans. Balberith takes their cue from bestial war metal bands such as Blapshemy, and even regional acts such as Zygoatsis in their musical style.
The list is non-exhaustive as new bands come, and old bands leave their legacy. Know of any bands that we should have mentioned, but failed to make their appearance here? Leave your recommendations in the comments below.