Posted in Music

I’m a Carbon-based Cynic

After reading Angry Metal Guy‘s review of this EP, I decided to give this EP a go. He gave it a 3.5 out of 5. Personally, I’d give it a 4.

For all intents and purposes, this EP isn’t metal. Cynic seems to have ceased being a metal band since their last EP; Re-Traced. The distortion’s there, the intricate drumming is also there. But the metal riffs are gone. It seems that Paul Masvidal, the driving force behind Cynic have gone out of the metal headspace and into a meditative realm of thought. The biggest banner that indicates this is The Space for This; the second song off of Cynic’s second album Traced in Air.

Perhaps it’s deliberate that The Space for This’ chorus “can I be the space for this” is exactly the same as Eckhart Tolle’s philosophical utterance. Tolle himself is what I call a philosopher. After having been an intellect in his early adult life, Tolle suffered long periods of suicidal depression which led to his  epiphanous “inner transformation”. It is from this experience that he wrote several monographs on spiritual improvement which promotes peacefulness in spite of the frantic nature of (post) modern life. And, it seems that Cynic’s mastermind, Masvidal drew hefty inspiration from Tolle as well as all things spiritual. Come to think of it, putting the terms “Tolle”, “spiritualism” and “meditation” in one bracket doesn’t sound off at all.

With the above in mind, it’s easy to understand where Cynic (or at least Paul Masvidal) is heading in terms of music. It seems that Masvidal & Co. are intent on creating music that blends their past metal sensibilities and their newfound understanding of spiritualism (or perhaps Masvidal’s own personal mindset).

Musically, Cynic’s Carbon-Based Anatomy sounds very eclectic. The intro and interludes sounds as if they’re from Delerium’s Karma album. And some of the riffs are vaguely reminiscent of The Gathering’s The West Pole. Both of which are have intersecting soundscapes.

Having been familiar with “atmospheric” music since adolescence, Cynic’s Carbon-Based Anatomy fits right into my musical sensibilities.

Posted in Music

Who Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

After some time in hiatus, I thought I’d share some of my favourite Kittie live performances…

Kittie – My Plague & Cut Throat live at Saginaw’s Altered Skin Revolution

Kittie – This Too Shall Pass live LieTv

Kittie – Brackish live at The Rock

Kittie – Everything That Could Have Been live in Bakersfield, May 2007

Kittie – Oracle live at Espaco Lux, Brazil in November 2007

Posted in Music, Rant

Siti Nurbaya’s Had Enough

Art and life have always held a close relationship short of full intercourse. However, there’s an undeniable imitative relationship between the two which often result in confounding outcomes.

Simply put, when life imitates art, it can result in irony.

Marah Rusli once penned a feudal tale of forced marriage where one Siti Nurbaya was to unwillingly marry a rich old fart named Datuk Maringgih. The plot behind the marriage was a simple case of a fathers debt which can only be abolished through his loving daughter’s marriage. The rock in the road comes in the form of Siti’s love for a dashing and age-appropriate man. Not being in a society that allows a ménage à trois, what entailed was a tragic drama of heartbreak and harsh lives.

Siti Nurbaya novel by Marah Rusli

This tale from Minangkabau went on to inspire a philosophically stirring song in the 1990s. The group that created it was called a god, and the song title takes its name from the female protagonist who inspired it.

The group was Dewa 19 and the song is Cukup Sudah Siti Nurbaya.

Loose lyrical translation by me:

    • Oh,
    • Still exist, shackles in the corridors of love
    • Absorbing now, into the walls of time
    • Trying, trying to corrode the human instinct
    • Cheap agitation reappearing
    • Please nullify, and look away

How true the world blurs one logic
As if our lives are valued into currency
Listen to men sharpened by philosophy
When they proclaim; ’tis no dogma

Say to dear mama
That love is neither treasure nor throne
And please ensure them all
That only love could calm the world

not that, Mama

not that, Papa

’tis enough that Siti Nurbaya tasted this sour world
For my life, yours, and everyone’s
Are not as strings that predestine our paths
Listen to men sharpened by philosophy
When they proclaim; ’tis no dogma

Not that, Mama
Not that, Papa

Sounds profound, doesn’t it?

The video tells the tale of a vagrant daughter contemplating life and society after being forcibly betrothed to a snobby, fat, and presumably rich socialite. In a bout of innocent rage, the daughter decries this decision and decides to pack up her things and make a life of her own, only to see the appalling ills of the world which shatters her resolve, driving her to return into the loving arms of her mother. Seeing the errors of their way, the parents decided to break the betrothal (modernly known as an engagement).

What’s highly peculiar is the tale of the heroine of the music video; Bianca Adinegoro.

After one fallout of a marriage, Bianca went on to marry a rich bureaucrat and became a socialite herself. Perhaps in an ironic twist in comparison with the life that befell Siti Nurbaya.

Socialites: Bianca Luthfie (née Adinegoro), Cynthia Risjad, Gaby Bakrie

Recently, I revisited my bookshelf and picked up my dusty copy of Marah Rusli’s most acclaimed tome.  After careful re-reading, what I found amused me.

In truth, Siti Nurbaya’s father, Baginda Sulaiman, was the one who refused Datuk Maringgih’s marriage proposal to Siti. It was Siti herself who wanted to marry him in order to abolish her father’s odious debts. Maringgih himself has promised to erase all debts in the event of his marriage to Siti.

Although more preculiarly, it was Datuk Maringgih’s plan from the start to burn all of Sulaiman’s boats, trapping him into mounting debt. A debt which could only be repaid by his daughter’s marriage.

Moral of the story?

Look behind the lines!

Posted in Music

The King’s Feet


Once in ever so while a male gets ever so intoxicated by a female which can lead to obsession. Although obsessions are passions of the mind, it can border into fits of adrenaline and heart-tugging sighs of just *aaah*.

And this time, it is instigated by both a strikingly humble personality and fret-masturbation skills par excellence. Suffice to say I’m currently infatuated by a god. More precisely, a goddess.

Continue reading “The King’s Feet”