Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Singapore Metal Scene
Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week I am exploring the Singapore scene.
The music scene in Singapore is predominantly indie and pop, with the biggest musical output being from indie bands. Rarely is metal heard over the airwaves with the exception of a one-hour metal show every Saturday midnight on a Malay radio station (the main spoken language in Singapore is English, so that shows how little exposure to metal there is over here). However, this has not stopped a large number of metal bands from sprouting up in recent years, with the wide availability of alternative forms of music via the Internet.
Whether locally or over the Internet, here are three underground metal bands from Singapore worth checking out:
Having been around for almost five years (they formed in 2005), Draconis Infernum has already gained a cult following despite having only released one full length album in 2007. They have even been invited to play in last year’s Barther Metal Open Air festival in Germany, alongside black metal giants like Urgehal and Koldbrann, being the only Asian band on the bill and also the third Asian band to ever set foot on that stage.
Live, they never fail to shine. With the departure of Kount Cider, drummer Serberuz has taken over vocal duties in addition to bass duties, with Syroth from Warsaw filling in the drum seat. Coupled with axe-wielders Xepher and Niloc’s furious trem picking, Draconis Infernum is often a crowd favourite, uniting all fans of metal (black or otherwise) and bringing the house down. Check out Draconis Infernum’s MySpace page here.
Draconis Infernum – "Belial Rising" (Barther Metal Open Air 2009)
With their tongue-in-cheek lyrics, Xanadoo is certainly a very fun band to listen to and also a good introduction to music of the thrash metal/crossover genre. Playing music in the vein of bands such as Municipal Waste, their music never fails to bring a smile to a listener with their silly analogies, with lyrics on songs such as Man Vs. Fetus ("Fetus has come into town | Sucking on the peoples’ tit | An embryonic deformation | That wants the human race to die"). Listeners not from Singapore may find the lyrics meaningless and stupid, but Singaporeans will definitely find the things mentioned very familiar, since it deals mainly with issues that Singaporeans face in their lives (such as conscription). Check out Xanadoo’s MySpace page here.
Formed in 2002, Meza Virs is one of Singapore’s leading gothic/melodic black metal acts. In 2003, the band released their first professionally filmed music video for the song "Tragic Vendetta," which is rarely seen in the Singapore metal scene, and has shared stage with other prominent bands such as Impiety and Abigail. The band then ceased all performing to focus on their debut album, "Vida Sacrificium Meum Est." Upon the release of the album in 2007, they were well received by the media and critics alike, and were invited to play in the Ultimate Metal Fest in Taiwan in 2008. In 2009, they were the first ever extreme metal band to play in Singapore’s renowned indie music festival, Baybeats, bringing to the masses their relentless brand of extreme metal. Check out Meza Virs’ MySpage page here.
Meza Virs – "Tragic Vendetta"
Certainly there are more quality metal bands in Singapore. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground Singapore metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
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