For this feature article, we travel to Singapore, located in South East Asia, South of China and west of the South China Sea. Singapore has a diverse community of Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians. Singapore has had a few major exponents to the international extreme music scene, namely war/black/death metal veterans Impiety, grindcore savants Wormrot, and old-school thrash/black/death metal deviants Abhorer. This fact will come as a big surprise to most fans considering that Singapore as a nation is roughly the size of a small city in the United States. This feature article showcases five other underground extreme metal acts based in the country, starting with the band, Battlestorm…
Battlestorm is comprised of Iblis on drums, Hades on guitars, vocals, and bass, and Djinn on guitars. The three-piece from Singapore merge black metal, speed metal and old school heavy metal in kvlt underground fashion. They’ve released one full-length album called Demonic Incursion, two demos and two Splits, one of the latter includes Defiling the Altar of Gods with Fetid Zombie. The band is active in releasing records and their latest EP, From Hell, is a 7” vinyl record with five killer tracks released by US label, Warhemic Productions. This band is underground but thankfully active in the South East Asian metal scene, and continues to assail underground fans with releases showcasing blistering pace and raw brutality. Check out their cover of Sarcofago’s now-classic, “Nightmare,” as well as their other samples via youtube below:
Inquire about booking or merchandise via the band’s email.
Blackened d-beat is a style I welcome with wide open ears, so Blood Division comes with instantly higher expectations than with others. The band are clearly impressive as an old-school outfit hell-bent on inspiring armageddon. The band hardly features blast sections but does add some for nuance. The band is clearly on the upswing with the recent release of their debut full-length album, Traitors to the Gallows. Fans scavenging for back to the basics metal should covet this band’s discography of underground kvlt releases. Blood Division is comprised of anonymous members that are scene veterans in the underground Singapore scene, including a former member of the legendary band, Impiety.
Damned Eternal got my attention with their well-traveled 2014 EP, Infernal Majesty Worship, with its classic second wave black metal sound. They’ve been active since 2009, releasing a split, called Demolition, a demo called Diabolical Requiem, and their aforementioned EP from 2014. They are currently signed to Anti Cosmic Productions and their primitive metal is exactly what the doctor ordered for fans of the earliest second wave black metal records that saw an explosion in popularity throughout Europe in the nineties. Tremolo picked minor chords traveling up the fretboard to a 4/4 snare drum/bass drum beat helps me reminisce of the best underground second wave black metal the scene was proliferate with in second wave’s heyday. This is a can’t miss!
Perhaps the most active band in this feature article is Singapore’s thrash/death/black metal trio known as Demonification. They have been around since 2000 and the band has a longer discography of releases than any of the bands mentioned here. Highlighting their career thus far are three full-length albums with two released in 2012 and 2014. They also have three splits, an EP, a demo and a single. Of all the elements that mix into their kvlt underground sound, thrash is most predominant. The music is suitably fast and brutal. The production leaves the music raw and punishing, and the vocals are notably thrashy shouts that sometimes climbs the registers with a high-pitched wail a’la the old-school thrash and heavy metal style of the old days, reminding me somewhat of Tom Araya and Bruce Dickinson after hearing it. Fans are encouraged to check out their full-length albums to hear more of what the band has to offer. Contact them by email here to order merchandise.
Draconis Infernum is another prominent band in this list. They are signed to Ketzer Records and have released three full-length albums, a single, and a Compilation of older material. Like the other bands featured here, Draconis Infernum plays raw, underground black metal of the anti-cosmic ideal, for fans of throwback second wave black metal that doesn’t simply blast end-to-end.
The full-length albums are still available in small amounts, but fans can listen to their albums on youtube and subsequently support the band by contacting the band’s label for copies. The band has been received well by critics, and bandmembers Profanator and Serberuz Hammerfrost have been involved with other projects including Cemetery Urn and Belligerent Intent. Check out the youtube links below for samples of their music.
Stay tuned for the next Singapore Underground Metal Scene article!