Monday, November 16, 2009
80 page, A4, pro-print, English
Krisiun, Blood Red Throne, The Crown, Vomitory, Setherial, Grosteque, Kataklysm, Eternal Lies, Callenish Circle, Immolation, Maze of Torment, Nail Within, Hearse, Fragments of Unbecoming, Necrophobic, Neuraxis, Dimension Zero
My first issue of this mag starts with issue #13. That issue totally blow me away! When I know issue #14 is on sale, I asked Shenck (the editor) for back issue and to my luck #12 is still available (and also save on postage when buying 2 copies, #14 & #12 at the same time). So I am now reviewing the old issue after reading the new one. Issue 12 is the 10th anniversary so it means it is quite special issue for them. There's a page featuring the front cover of all the issues released, good for us to know some history of mag. If you seen the layout for the issue after #12, this is kind of a letdown hehe. The layout for the interview are OK but for the review, its the boring style column by column on white background which we can do using MS Word. But still, the interviews are as interesting as usual. As you can see from the band featured here, the mag is more into DM. Another interesting part of the mag is the reviews are separated by genre, not by format like most of the mag/zine do. The reviews are separated to Black Zone (black metal), Death Zone, Grind Zone, Thrash Zone (unfortunately metalcore is grouped in this zone) and my favorite "Hail To Sweden" (all stuff from Sweden). Since Sweden produce great bands in almost all metal genre, the decision to put all reviews in one section is good and not to forget, very original idea too. Whether its true or not, there's 666 reviews in this issue! This issue also comes with 2 free CD sampler (from Displeased Records & Voice of Life Records). Normally the sampler comes separately but here, 2 page (1 for each sampler) dedicated for this sampler with some info and the CD is glued to it. So this will make it hard for the news stand or distro if they want to sell them separately haha. At the time of this review is made, issue #15 is already out!
64 page, A4, xerox, English
Inferis, Necrolisis, Enshadowed, Spearhead, Witchcurse, Black Abyss, Hellghast, Grave Desecration, Shackles, As Sahar, Maniak, Abhorer
Embrace of Thorns, Paganus Doctrina, Dark Breed, Tantrum, Symphony Jimbalang
Scruples of An Old Metalhead, Slaves of The Portal, Pearls of Abyss
The thing that amaze me with Virus is, beside Deadhead Zine, Virus Zine is also the most interviewed editor in the local scene. Virus must be great I guess so I have very high expectation for this new issue. And luckily, it meet my expectation. This is my first issue by the way, never read them before (all back issues now sold out). First, the xerox quality is damn clear, the size is A4 (big size) and the layout is done the old cut n paste style and some with frame artwork, have table of content and page number, and the content are nicely arranged. So the visual expect pass 100% by my standard haha. How about the content or the reading material presented here? That's is hard to comment because that depend on your personal taste. The questions are OK, maybe not lenghty but it covered the 'musical aspect' of the band. Some people would also like to know non-music questions asked to the band (well, I read some review about this zine saying they want to see some 'life' questions) but I'm not. Not that I dont like to know what kind of food the band like to eat for dinner but for me that is not important. Some reviews here are contributed by some people which Fauzi gave the stuff due to lack of time. Probably they got few more stuff for reviews after this zine is complete so they give 1 extra sheet with some last minute reviews. Another thing, if you noticed the articles sounds familiar. Ok, those articles are written by Adam of NECROSCOPE ZINE. Adam also use that title for his articles in his own zine but that should not be problem. I think not many people read zine these days so will not know if that article already published elsewhere or not. I only detected 1 section on the article have been featured in issue #19. This issue also comes with a CDR sampler and the zine is hand-numbered in green. Oh yes, 1 last note before I end this review. I almost laugh looking at the blue stamped wording "YOUR COPY IS TRUE IF THE INK IS BLUE". But on serious note, do respect these editors. I will not mind if you made a copied of my zine but making profit out of it, that will piss me off. Oh, another last note hehe, you noticed ABHORER in the interviewed list, right. Well, that's done by Frank Stover, published with his permission and I think I do need to tell you who Frank is. Avid underground metal readers should already know.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
96 page, A4, xerox, English
Impetigo, Rabbath Ammon, Blackfire, Headhunter DC, Inside, Metal Savage, Transgressor, Nocturnal Vomit, Levifer
Nearly 100 pages but less than 10 interviews?? Is there any space wastage or too many pages on news? Its not true if you think that. The interviews are one of the in depth interviews I ever read in a local zine. Oh yes, it is very informative and really entertaining reading those intie. Syamsul really study the bands, even the band are surprised! He also put lots of picture that makes you "on track". You know, its quite exhausting to read just text like NECROSCOPE so that really sooth the eyes. He still stick to the format he used to do, using frame artwork with computer-typed text and pro-printed for the front cover. Reviews also cover all formats (CD, vinyl, zine, demo CDr and tapes). Seriously, not much to comment to comment here, only compliment I can say here. Oh well, on some pages the xerox quality on the upper part of the pages is not good, I can't read that clearly but it is still readable though. Hah, at least I found some thing to complain about haha. Support this zine and also his label, AFTERLIFE PROD. Latest news I got is, issue #5 already completed. Can't wait to get the new issue. No email or myspace, just the old snail-mail way to contact him.
c/o wan Syamsul
10 Lrg. lang Lompok,
Taman Sri Bintang, Kepong,
52100 Kuala Lumpur,
48 page, A4, xerox, Malay
Catarrh, Antacid, Sailendra, Dosa, Rengkong Tekeluaq, Samartary, Abhorence, Farasu, Destroyer666, In Torment, Neruka, The Sick, Beast Petrify, Nrocinu, Torch, Impiety
Argon, Talisman, Noiratasya, Maar, The Legion, Zubirun, Disinter, Internal Suffering, Dark Rival
The second issue, released in 1 year time frame after the debut. But unfortunately no more issues coming out after this but don't be dissappointed. I got SMS from the editor saying the work for 3rd issue will start in Oct. 09. The news is also up in the myspace at the time of this review being made. So it took 4 or 5 years to release the third issue. What are they been doing all this while? I found that they also write in local rock magazine (they come with intie of metal bands) which is cool. Other than that I dont know. About the second issue, layout-wise it almost the same like the debut issue. Some improvement here is there's TOC (table of content) and with page number, the news section (or called "Info Metallik") have been reduced to 5 page only and the addition of "Media Massa Metal" (zine review). Other than that, there's still "Rebiu Metallik" (done like before, all format gathered in 1 section) but renamed "Militant Attack" to "Metallik Warrior" (band bio section, probably it was changed because there's a band here with that name). No improvement on the xerox quality though. In issue #1, they requested for article from readers. They give the guideline or the topic the article should be based on (but I don't know how to translate that in English hehe) but I dont see that here. Probably no response from the readers. As replacement they put some other article which is quite OK. Its hard to find article written in metal zine as opposed to punk zine. Maybe metalheads dont like to think?? Or too drunk to think? haha. Well, this issue is already 4 years old. Some bands already not active now. You can either get this or wait for new issue but spending few RM for this issue will not harm your wallet.
40 page, A4, xerox, Malay
Catacomb, Tasyim, Kherow, Violator, Crystal Tears, Humiliated Grapes, Effluvium
Violator, Mytra, Mukhong, Catacomb, Damokis, Scent of Death, Korihor, Koma, Anguish
I've searched the local distro for zine they have on sale. So Metal Zone informed me about Death Attack and I quickly wired the money for a copy each of the first & second issue. There's not many good Malay-written zine around. I must say that this debut issue is quite good considering its their first issue. Not much to complain on the layout, nicely done "desktop publishing software" way @ computer layouted except for the page that used 4 columns per page. Don't know why, but I dont like to look at it haha. Xerox quality can be improved though. Although they have table of content but no page number which is not the way it should be. The content are 100% in Malay except for Effluvium interview which is in Malay. I think it is better if it is translated in Malay. Other section they have in the zine; "Metallik Attack", news section and 13 pages of news (separated to local and international news) which is too much for me; "Rebiu Metallik", "rebiu" is review in Malay. The reviews are grouped together (CD, etc) and not in alphabetical order; "Skolah Lame", that's direct translation of 'old-school'. Reviews of some old local stuff (including rock bands); "Militant Metallik", band bio section. I bought this around mid 2009. I didn't asked the date of release though so this one is outdated but probably Metal Zone have some copies for sale. In case you are interested to have a copy or send in promo, check out their myspace for more detail.
Monday, November 9, 2009
82 page, A4, xerox, English
Azaghal, Merciless Death, Enshadowed, Hellish Crossfire, Horna, Grave Desecrator, Suicidal Winds, Riddle Of Meander, Nifelheim, Invocation, Bahimiron, Unholy Force, Death Invoker, Balmog, Force Of Darkness, Syphilitic Vaginas, Exciter, Witchaven, Deiphago, Flagellum Dei, Necrolisis, Facebraker, Thy Rites, Amnion, Hijo de la Aurora, RIP, Evilized, Bestial Holocaust
Very professional looking zine, which put some pro-mag to shame! Although it is a xerox publication, the photocopy quality is excellent. Combine that with the computerized layout, I think most people like me will be impressed. And not to mention the grim looking NIFELHEIM on the front cover! Almost all pages have border art or background art and if the page is on background art, the text are still looking sharp and readable. The layout on the zine reviews is made to look like a cut n paste style and have the front cover the zine as well. There's some Malaysian zine being review here (Sangwitok, Virus). Some info that I know that the previous issues are in Spanish and comes with a free CDr but in this issue, it is written in English and no more CDr sampler (due to $$$ problem). His English is much better than mine haha. That will get your attention and will not be bored to read the interviews from start to end. Beside all this, there's also "Necroview" (review, ofcourse) on music stuff and also "On Stage" (gig reviews). There are some type error, either intended (its not an error if they intended) like the page number is at the top and upside down but they are too small to notice. The editor also run a label (Occult Records) and if not mistaken, also involved in a band. Ask that if you are going to contact them to ask for the next issue. This issue is limited to 250 copies and mine is numbered 111. Might have some copies left. Try your luck!
c/o Gilbert Miranda,
Apdo. Postal 2711,