1 of 1 thought this review was well written
When Sil Khannaz released Conception of Madness
in early 1993, they might not suppose it would be a sort of classic stuff in Malaysian metal history. Those who strongly love that debut probably would feel disaffection upon the succeeded-releases, not because they are bad, but it is more on merely about musical direction. Listening to the sophomore Gerbang Kayangan
(1997) and the latest Berdiri Antara Panji-Panji
(2007), fans must get different style of Sil Khannaz, not typical Sil Khannaz who played awesome and aggressive death metal tunes as found in debut. In second effort, Sil Khannaz chose a more melodic and less aggressive approach. In lyrical concept, they apparently gave priority to "safety-first" attitude - choosing old Malay folklore theme over hell, evil, darkness, or such. You can only find filthy theme in their debut and earlier demos; Doctrine to Hell
(1990) and Assassin Led by Blasphemy
Why did Sil Khannaz decide to change direction? In the side of musicality, they always said that they want each album has different style and nuance. Such a reason is acceptable, yes definitely understandable, nothing wrong with being experimental and trying something new in music. In other side, when they changed evil theme or such to a more secured one like folklore, that because it is the only choice they had. If you are Malaysian and play extreme metal music, more and more famous you are, so more and more "religious-authority" and right-wing media hate and condemn your ass; they would always have an awesome capability in writing anything and telling all lies to calumniate you and all of your friends. Yes, Sil Khannaz have experienced such situation and left them with the worst choice. This is pathetic, really, why that bunch of people are more interested in taking care of what a metal band should sing and what must avoid, it's indeed ridiculous! Why do not they take care about how to eradicate corruption, for example, huh, like Malaysian said; pelik laa...
Well, what makes Sil Khannaz's debut album quite good, it is because of their outstanding performance - aggressive in one hand, undoubtedly technical in other hand. Vocalist Jaie Jokhannaz relatively was pretty consistent - he fitted the music. Though in few moments his heavier growl and high-pitched vocals somewhat overwhelmed his fellow band-mates' instrument sound, but it is not big deal though - it's just a minor flaw. Jaie's style sometimes is slightly reminiscent of typical atmospheric black metal vocalization. It was not a big surprise then, because basically Sil Khannaz evolved from black to death metal (their first demo Doctrine to Hell
was considered black metal stuff, meanwhile, Assassin Led by Blasphemy
somewhat represented full-length album Conception of Madness
). Overall, Jaie the frontman got his job well done. However, it's quite fair to cite one of most notable part of this record must be guitarist CD Khanzab's amazing skill presentation (yes, that it is the stage-name of their guitarist; CD Khanzab). In almost entire album, Mr. CD's riffs and solos hit the spotlight and make the listener automatically headbanged harder and even harder. And then, while bass section was somewhat decent, drumming actually deserves the thumbs-up. The drummer had an excellent showcase on this album - all was delivered in sharp and pummeling with enormous double-bass and proper high-pitched snare sound of drum-kit. His young blood seemed to spirit him up to spill all of rebellion and anger feeling, of course, such a spirit left the record a good impression as the result. Then, in relation to Sil Khannaz musical influences, those who gave Conception of Madness
a listen possibly would remind to late 80s style (sound) of what people often cite as "Florida death metal". However, track like Legion of Damned
showed that Sil Khannaz have learned a lot from Teutonic thrash heroes so as to develop their own style. Just listen to that 2:55-minutes track carefully, it is true a killer thrash-inclined piece!
In more than two decades of musical creation and with only five LPs so far, there must be a gloomy question among fans whether Sil Khannaz have a plan on working on new material of "Conception of Madness pt. 2", fair question though. But, whatever Sil Khannaz plan in future, it’s better for them to keep it for secret. Lastly, as conclusion, this is great debut release, solid amalgamated death/thrash from start to finish. If early 90s was considered as the first reign (popularity) period of death metal, which at the time so many great releases circulated from all around the world, so Conception of Madness
should be one of those great stuffs, or at least it is the stuff that any death metal fan should be acquainted with when they ask whether there is any cool extreme metal stuff that Malaysia metal scene ever produced...*