Without a doubt the most influential band to ever peer out of the dense Asian metal foliage (rather contrived, I know.), Langsuyr along with Eibon, Sil Khannaz and Impiety have been the perpetual pacesetters in a region where metal has been condemned to complete obscurity. South East Asia has never been a region of much interest as far as the general metal populace is concerned, and as such this brilliant outfit have been obscured from public view for far too long. ‘Tis about time that someone sat up and took notice, dammit, because they surpass 80% of the musical output being exhumed from the ‘black metal underground’ these days. This is a collection of their best material to date, as pressed by uber-poser label Nebiula, and should make a most worthy addition to your collection.

Musically Langsuyr tread a path that is as ancient as their fabled heritage, a concoction of the oldest Rotting Christ (some of the very best music on the planet), Thou Art Lord, Mortuary Drape, black metal-era Master’s Hammer and smidgens of Treblinka for good measure. One must commend them immediately for opting for such an unfavourable musical direction from the start, instead of churning out the Nordic nonsense that most people showered praise on. Everybody and their pet budgerigar knows that Master’s Hammer and Thou Art Lord have met with some rather snide criticisms in the past.

Fiercely melodic and yet maintaining an instantly recognisable ancient metal vibe, every song drips of class and a dark, esoteric sophistication. Melodically literate guitar lines alternate with chunky, thrashy ancient riffing, crafting songs that satiate even the most discerning headbanger. The vocals are more akin to old-school death metal grunts than the modern black screech, which suits me perfectly, and complements the music equally well. Insistent, simplistic yet infectious rhythms and rifferama grasp you and threaten to swarm around your subconscious for unhealthy stints of time…ah, what a record this is.

Lyrically Langsuyr have been accredited with introducing Malay/Riau Bugis ethnic occult themes to extreme metal, and as I can’t make out the Malay lyrics, this only adds to the aura of elegant mystery surrounding this mighty musical entity. A definite landmark and milestone in the annals of Asian metal and testament to Langsuyr’s criminally overlooked heritage, and will see them inducted into the hall of occult metal luminaries like Mortuary Drape and Bewitched (Chi) Take some time out to locate this. You will not be disappointed.

[a fucking 10!]

© 2000 equimanthorn