By Adam Ariffin
The metal music in Malaysia has been one of the genres that create a phenomenon in terms of the mistakenly accused ideology and the way the music itself is being delivered. In order to be specific to the situation, the group of under metal scene in Malaysia is being focused on. The focus group is the underground metal scene. As the element of the underground metal scene itself is divided into sub-genre such as death metal, black metal, thrash metal, doom metal and many others, the acceptance of the underground metal music in Malaysia is still not well received.
Black metal in Malaysia has been labelled as ‘anti-Islamic’ after it has been a sensational of the issues amongst public. The escalation of the panic situation began after the media in Malaysia reported stories regarding religious desecration by the black metal follower (Liew & Fu, 2006). The situation was getting worse when authorities failed to determine categories of the metal music. During the crisis, all kind of music that involved growl vocal, loud music and skull logo was accused as black metal. As the media continues to promote hatred to the underground metal music scene, the government took an action in 2001 to band black metal music. The Northern state of Kedah has been labelled as a centre of black metal and a number of people were detained. Their urine were tested and they were questioned regarding their faith (Hoffstaedter, 2009). Under the shadow of the black metal issues, local Malaysian bands such as Silent Death, Sil Khannaz and Braindead were developed and tremendously accepted by the Malaysian metal followers. The momentum of the scene keep gaining support from the local underground music lover such as Napalm Death, an international metal band that performed in Malaysia in 2001 (Ferrarese, 2015).
Moving towards globalization, people of Malaysia may seem to be very sensitive in issues pertaining religious and culture. The acceptance of the underground metal scene must be looked upon different angles of thinking as the Eastern metal scene has its own forte and approach. In other countries, metal scene situation is usually understood. The Western culture also provides space to the metal bands in expressing their frustration through music. Metal music also can be translated into a reflection of societal changes brought by globalization (Timbang & Ibrahim, 2017). The year 2020 is around the corner and sceptical view of underground metal scene in Malaysia should be changed as we are moving towards a developed nation and the new world order.
Ferrarese, M. (2015). Eastern desekratorz and nuclear metal lust:1 Performing ‘authentic’ black metal in Malaysian Borneo. Metal Music Studies, 1(2), 211–231. https://doi.org/10.1386/mms.1.2.211_1
Hoffstaedter, G. (2009). Contested spaces: Globalization, the arts and the state in Malaysia. Ethnicities, 9(4), 527–545.
Liew, K. K., & Fu, K. (2006). Conjuring the tropical spectres: Heavy metal, cultural politics in Singapore and Malaysia. Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 7(1), 99–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649370500463182
Timbang, A., & Ibrahim, Z. (2017). Malay Metalheads: Situating Metal Music Culture in Brunei. Situations, 10, 7–26.