It's time to me for a nostalgia. Now, I'm looking backward to seventeen years ago, or exactly year 1995. Not many Indonesian Thrash band have produced solid Thrash stuff, however Sucker Head is one of few exceptions. Released four studio albums and one compilation entire career, Sucker Head has been becoming local Thrash hero among Indonesian metal fans. With classic problem like unhealthy line-up, at least Sucker Head has released two solid stuffs; The Head Sucker
(1995) and Paranatural
(1998). In this occasion, I try to review their debut The Head Sucker
Sucker Head debut album line-up was; J. Sadrach on vocal and all at once as bass player, Nano and Untung on guitar, and Robin Hutagaol (R.I.P.) on drum. This formation, among fans is considered as the most solid line-up. However it didn't last for long time, Robin Hutagaol finally quitted the band after second album Manic Depressive
(1996) officially released. Drummer Bakkar Bufthaim (ex-Rotor) was recruited to replace Robin's spot. As the result, third album Paranatural
has become a such legacy among young Thrasher in Indo-scene.
Regarding The Head Sucker
sound like, some rhythm guitar patterns are little bit reminiscent of Dave Mustaine style, song (Mario) Budak Industri
is the finest example. This song is my favorite due to outstanding rhythm with many 'headbanging' groove part in typical. It's a mosh-pit fire starter, without a challenge, fans will sing along during the performance. It's so thrashy and all at once I consider it catchy! Anyhow, Kreator and Sepultura are still their main influences in the side of ferocity and aggressiveness of sound. Sucker Head duo guitarist, Nano and Untung, have led themselves in dual guitar harmonies. We can find killer rhythm play in song like Blinded by The Light
and Butcher's Soul
. For awesome shredding solos, Brutal Hope
is perfect example. Sucker Head dual guitars play have significant
contribution in many vital aspect of the album as whole. However, an intense songwriting will mean nothing without their solid duo guitarist behind it. Furthermore, Robin Hutagaol solid and tight-drumming also completed the album to become an outstanding debut.
While his three band-mates did a great and solid job in the spot, J. Sadrach also tried exploring his bass playing style into the line of song. Fear Come Freedom Lost
are real proof of examples. His band-mates, seemingly give him a space to show off the skill in middle of the songs. In vocals line, J. Sadrach has own signature. I'm sure he is not anyone liking. In range of Thrash genre, of course! He has middle heavy vocals, and sometimes somewhat growly. If I have to conclude, perhaps, Max Cavalera was his real prominent figure in building his own vocal characters. In this album, J. Sadrach handled all vocal line except song Catatan Terakhir
. In this typical of tasty 80's hardrock song, he grabbed role as backing vocals (or exactly as backing growl). Nano (?) took leading as main vocalist. Catatan Terakhir
might be inspired by slowly tasty Metallica's The Unforgiven
. Personally, sometimes I hate and love this Catatan Terakhir
song. To say honestly, I admit the song is actually good enough. It has memorable melodic riff. Well produced, and amazingly performed. However I feel little sprag, after their all harsh of Thrash, this song is somekind of spell that ask me to sleep tight. "Enough, Bro! We end! Now, in count of three, you have to sleep...". Then a half minute later; I'm in annoying Zzzzhhhh!! Hahaa, April joke, so don't take it seriously!
Lastly, with ten tracks and 42 minutes long, The Head Sucker
offers more than a solid run from beginning to end. Superb old Thrash stuff. Concerning Indonesia context of mid-90s, this stuff must be classic. With lyrical themes concerned on social problems, this album deserves 'Anthem of Rebellion' predicate. The song such as Fear Come Freedom Lost
and Don't Lock Me Up
, could be kind of massive chant for student movement against dictatorship. I was in kindergarten when this album released in 1995, and still in kindergarten when student movement did May Revolution in 1998, but now, I can feel and imagine spirit of the album. What should we do if Dictator locked our freedom of expression up? When we feared, so we know we lost our freedom! Or, we just shut the eyes toward repressive act and injustice around us, but hey, when we open it again we are blinded by the light. Ooh, we're too despair and afraid to fight, so the butcher's soul will laugh us in the face. Let God fuc
k off and burn Dictator in hell, in the end we know we felt in a such brutal hope. For the answer, I think, we all already know what it is...
For old school Thrash fans, I recommend all track except Catatan Terakhir
+ Hati-hati! = Beware!
+ (Mario) Budak Industri = (Mario) Industrial Slave
+ Catatan Terakhir = The Last Note