a country where it seems pretty unlikely to see a healthy bloom in
underground Death, Black, Thrash and Heavy Metal bands, China has
always given this writer the impression that only a handful of rock
and metal bands have managed to rise up. But I was wrong about this.
China does have a real underground metal scene, as the bands featured
on this compilation, Resurrection Of The Gods, show. CALVIN
CHIANG gives a track-by-track run down.
song kicks off with a short sample which is very techno-like, but
when the song finally starts, it is filled with aggressive melody
lines. This band is actually a studio project of Painkiller magazine,
so it is not really a real band. With a strong European melody feel,
this reminds me of Stratovarius mixed with Swedish melodic metal.
A really great instrumental to start off the compilation.
is a four-piece Death Thrash band with old school, '80s Thrash riffs,
and Suffocated remind me of Malaysias Sil-Khannaz, with their
brand of catchy songwriting. The vocals are your typical cookie-monster
growls, the guitar solos really complement the song with very powerful
Thrash melodic phrasing.
Nightmare Went On
which have been in the China underground Metal scene since 1993,
broke up in 1999 soon after they recorded a promo demo. This track
starts off with a very interesting intro Chinese Opera being
played in the background, then the vocals enter with a monstrous
growl and the whole band kicks in with a killer and simple headbanging
Thrashy verse. Although Hades have been hailed one of the pioneer
Metal bands in China, they also inject some modern Metal ideas on
this track the most obvious are the grooves. One can also
observe a pattern in Chinas Metal approach to songwriting
they like to slow things down in the middle of the song and
Hades use the same formula as well. But Hades do it differently
it is the monotonous zombie-like chanting that makes the
song slightly eerie. The guitar solo sort of reminds me of a typical
Kreator solo. Still, great music by this underground Metal legend!
Unholy Year Is Coming
Black Death Metal band, with influences ranging from Samael, Dissection
and Opeth, this is definitely one of the most evil bands that I
have heard from China. The vocals are really evil and harshly cold,
piercing and torturing me with every growl and sentence. It also
has a clean acoustic passage which is very classical sounding. I
would love to get hold of their new CD to see what Ritual Day will
Us (We Will Rule This World)
Florida Death Metal is what you are into, then you must check out
am sure there are many who will say that this track sounds like
Deicide the vocal phrasing is exactly the same as Once Upon
A Cross, and one wonders if the band realises this. Beeline have
managed to create that "American" Death Metal sound.
a three-piece with a female bassist, are a twisted experimental
Extreme Metal band, although it was written in the CD booklet that
they are an old school Death Metal band. The song slows down to
a mellow passage in the middle while the vocalist is still singing
in a low grunt combined with a clean voice. The vocalist does a
Chris Barnes (during the Cannibal Corpse era) and it really enhances
the extremity of the song. Vomit also use a strange airplane engine
effect with grinding drums during the last part of the song, which
makes the song even weirder than it already is. Fans of experimental
industrial Extreme Metal should give this track a listen.
are inspired by '80s Speed and Thrash Metal. They play a style of
energetic Speed Thrash Metal and they really remind me of our local
Thrash maniacs Zeotz. It is clearly audible that the vocals are
sung in Mandarin. This track really portrays them as a barbaric
Thrash band, maybe because of the way the vocalist sings in that
primitive harsh tone that makes Bloodbath sound like a huge, filthy
and ugly Thrash engine! They have also put out a four-track demo.
Of The Empire
the guitar sound is very similar to that of Ritual Day fuzzy,
dark and evil sounding. Seraph play a blend of Darkened Melancholic
Black Metal with backing female vocals, but nothing like Cradle
Of Filth. March Of The Empire is pretty simple and straightforward
and it also has Iron Maiden influences as well, during the mid-tempo
Gift From Satan
play a style of aggressive Black Metal, displaying merciless power
on the track. Although I may not be a big fan of Black Metal, Purgatory
really do a great job conveying the message about extreme filth.
The song is made up of just a few riffs but it is already enough
to slaughter the Christians. Purgatory remind me of a defunct Dutch
Christian-slaying Blackened Death Metal band Centurian. For those
into uncompromising, straightforward, hate-filled and filthy Black
Metal, Purgatory will surely satisfy!
Corpse, from historic Xi An, China, display pure Thrash energy and
power right from the start and then blast off in grindcore fashion.
But a downside is the slowed-down, mellow acoustic part in the middle
of the song. The track ends off with a Cannibal Corpse sound-alike
Around is really a catchy '80s Thrash and Heavy Metal song. Its
almost like a Thrash anthem in my opinion. Here, vocalist Wenchang
Shen really sounds like Tomas Lindberg during the The Crown period.
I guess the tracks off Crimson Flags first demo CD are all
sung in Mandarin, so just imagine Tomas Lindberg singing in Mandarin
and you will have a very good idea of how Crimson Flag sound like!
Crimson Flag even sound like The Crown at times, with their brand
of Death, Rock and Punk elements. This is a band to watch out for
and if they polish up their songwriting just a little, they might
just be the biggest Thrash act in China.
only Brutal Extreme Death Metal along the likes of Deeds Of Flesh,
Insision and Sinister on this compilation. The drums are actually
drum machines. Still, this is really an awesome track, and the highlight
is the guitars, really great fretwork, just as technically proficient
as the bands influences mentioned above. The guitarist also
has a solid guitar tone that fits perfectly with the brutality of
the song. Definitely one of the killer tracks on this compilation!
stands out is the weak sound for most of the bands only Beeline
and Hades have decent sound. It'd be better too if there is an email
address for the respective bands.
The writer would like to thank Wang Xiao from China, who is also
the editor of Painkiller Magazine (www.pkmagcn.com),
for sending the compilation.