Monday, April 29, 2013


It is only in Indonesia! The biggest and most prestigious Extreme Metal concert in South East Asia, HAMMERSONIC are back for its second year. Last year, line-up NILE (USA), SUFFOCATION (USA), PSYCROPTIC (Aust.), D.R.I (USA), and dozens of metal bands has terrorized Hammersonic with style. The Hammersonic Festival hosted at a new venue, different from the previous Lapangan D Senayan Jakarta which had successfully accommodated an audience of more than 25 000. This year, they have chosen Ecopark Ancol, approximately 34 hectares located in Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, North Jakarta, a perfect venue for such an open air festival.


Since will it held for 2 days on 27-28 April 2013 just one week before Malaysia’s PRU13 (general election). It worries me and Badril very much, if we have to cancel this amazing trip to Hammersonic for the first time. Luckily we made it after all!

When you’re going to a massive metal festival like this, you need to be a little organized. You need their schedules to plan for your rest, launch, dinner, or just to shop around at the merchandises booths. You can never being able to watch the whole lists. Or can you? You must select your favorite bands or bands less known to you with interesting and unique offerings worth your time and strength to bang your head for.

When we reached LCCT at 10.30 am, we wondered was there legions of metalheads waiting to be boarded to Jakarta? No. We just saw 1 or two boys with metal-shirts maybe we are the only guys late for the shows?

Looking toward Badril with his books, fb and whattapp obsessions, tons of clothes, tools, toiletries and make-up reminds me off Katy Perry’s “Hot and Cold” song. Hahaha! Nah.. so much for heavy metal journey!

Upon arrival at Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tenggerang at 6.00 pm, local time 5.00 am, we finally meet up with troops of metalheads from KL. Most of them came yesterday, shopping in Bandung, the nearby cultural city. A musical city, they said? One thing I noticed while up in the Jakarta’s sky, I saw so many mosques in the city. I dare to bet, there is 20 mosques in every 5 km per square! It is spectacular!

Well, we didn’t know how to pick up the cabs. So we just pick an illegal taxi caravan, a Toyota Avanza, known in Indonesia as Kijang. The driver was nice man, told a story and gave an advice like a best friend. He impressed us with his patience over Jakarta’s heavy trafficking. Hell! 10 million people live in Jakarta! While Badril is good on his knowledge about local legends and heroes and patriotic shits ties a very good conversation with him. I’m impressed with Badril. A little we knew the driver already smashed us with rupiah 200 000 for 1 hour ride to our hotel. Later we knew, other Malaysian boys take Blue Bird Taxi, (known as Toyota Vios in Malaysia, actually all taxi in Jakarta we saw is Vios) was charged using meter and they only paid rupiah 70 000 for a ride to Mangga Dua. Badril booked WOW! Hotel in Mangga Besar Lorong 7. A perfect place for ‘cewek shopping’, taxi driver teasing us on prostitution activities in our area.

At the hotel, we bought kartu, local simcard just for rupiah 7000. Indonesia’s communications service is good, excellence coverage and data transfer. But, WOW! Hotel sucxXX big time! We checked in a room on level 5 with no lift and dysfunctional air-condition system. We complained but they just ignored our request for a new room. Just imagine a room without windows with bad air conditioning. We asked for our money back. They just ignored us. So, guys, DON’T YOU EVER STAY IN WOW! HOTEL.

After shower, we roamed Mangga Besar, it is hawker’s paradise. Dirty streets, one old man pissing next to of dinning table facing the road, beggars are everywhere, local Viagra’s are everywhere, badminton rackets are sold everywhere even next to the toilets, every 500 meters there was an exotic foods stalls. The cobras! Badril must be having nightmare about it, he couldn’t finish his fried rice dinner that night. I guess, cobra dinner plate haunt him the entire night. Haha! And like Thailand, there is no season for durian in Indonesia. King of fruit reigned Jakarta. Ojek (taxi motorcyclist) and Bajaj (known as Tut Tut in Thailand) can be easily found here. But, the taxi driver already warned us not to take an Ojek, because they wear no uniform, they are just a stranger asking to send to anywhere for money. But you never know who actually that Ojek is. Furthermore, almost 90% motorist in Jakarta wore masks. It is dusty and smelly, but it is an interesting world to explore. Indonesia’s music, black magic, women, and their majesty islands and juggles are one of the most mysterious in the world!

Day 2, We woke up early in the morning even we slept at 4.00 am, We roamed again. Stuck with no idea to find halal breakfast, we went to 7 Eleven or known as Sevel in Jakarta. Luckly, almost every Sevel marts got clean and nice resting corner, coffee machine with various coffee and teas. We had a breakfast there before we went for sight-seeing journey in ITC mall by Bajaj. The rider charged us rupiah 25 000. We thought it was a great deal. But we again were fooled by them. It is normally rupiah 20 000. We knew it when it used this transportation again and again. Some Bajaj’s are reckless riders, if you had a heart-problem. Better stick with Blue Bird.

We took Bajaj to Ancol Ecopark and reached there at 1.30 pm, paid rupiah 15000 for entry we walked about 2 km to Hammersonic stage, upon Ancol entry gate we saw Baturrahman mosque where lots of moslem metalheads resting and bathing or performed evening prayer. At the Hammersonic gate we were warmly greeted by beautiful Djarum Super (ciggarate’s brand, the main Sponsor for the festival) girls. They are supergirls without doubt!!!


Badril claimed our ticket from his friend, who bought it earlier. It is barcode ticketing system, with heavy security check at the gates. No outside foods allowed.

It was 1.57 pm, SIL KHANNAZ was on stage. SIL KHANNAZ was from my town, I guess seeing them perform here make me proud. Maybe?. It was a good decision when they played most of the songs taken from their remarkable debut album. But I think, there were only Malaysian crowds enjoying the show. And yes, the sun stood exactly up on our heads and boiling our brain. But it never slowed down Djarum’s girls from promoting their cigarettes. They’re angels of Hammersonic, we will remember the most! Hahaha!

Zizie Row was so so happy to see us!
Badril declaring his vote at Ancol!


Meeting up with Craig Priestly and co, was something we looking forward to. They looked excited and ready to rumble with full force of Satan. After a good chit chat, we went to official merchandise booth. I bought Hammersonic jersey and stickers, so does Badril. Good product and professionally manufactured. Other than that were el Diablo bar, food corners, and photobooth. So strange they had no official booth for bands to sell their merchandises, cds or LP?? Of course, we are dying to get those stuffs directly from the bands!

We take a nap beside the river, waiting BELLIGERENT INTENT show at 3.00 pm. Taman Impian Jaya, Ancol is a great place. Green grass, clean river, fresh air. I love it!

BELLIGERENT INTENT performed their set with full power. The same madness and strength we saw back in K.K and K.L only this time in massive sound and larger stage. Hope they can get back to Malaysia again to promote their new album they’re working now.

We back to rest our legs and feet, get some sleep at the surau (mini-mosques), yes Surau! One of the fact that make this festival unique and outstanding, Hammersonic even provided surau for a moslem to perform prayer. Located just few meters from Diablo bar. Here you can see, many female metalheads perform solah and then continue enjoying headbang without being paranoid. We meet up Hidayat and his friends from Surabaya sharing the strange things about Malaysia and Indonesia.

BURGERKILL marched on stage at 4.00 pm. BURGERKILL was formed in 1995 in Bandung and named after the American fast food restaurant Burger King to Burger Kill as a prank. Left only Eben as the founder since 1995, BURGERKILL now are Ebenz – songwriter, rhythm guitars, Ramdan – bass guitars, Vicky – Vocals, Andris –drums, Agung – lead guitars, rhythm guitars. BURGERKILL are the highlight on daytime show, their supporters are huge and their set were tigh, modern, blasting and powerful. They has been nominated in Golden Gods Awards by Metal Hammer magazine (UK) in Metal as Fuck category.


We take a rest again by the river while POWER METAL’s power metal show is in the air. POWER METAL was formed in 1987 and considered legend and mascot for Surabaya by the local. I got their tape entitled “Kebesaran Mu” back few years ago and they are Indonesia’s answers to HELLOWEEN. Back in late 80’s and the early 90’s Indonesia was known for skilled musicians but with lack of vision, they intended to copy their mentors entirely. POWER METAL was one of them. But today, Indonesia breeds thousand of world’s class musicians. We witnessed the revolution in Indonesia music scene that has taken the world by storm. Hammersonic is the proof!

POWER METAL delivered a perfect and pure musical show. As for us, we’re having a picnic by the river. Just to warned you the price of the foods over here was 2x expensive than the outside world. Even a small bottle of mineral water costs you rupiah 10 000.

Hammersonic stopped 5.40 pm for Magrib prayer break. And Australia’s VOYAGER took the stage at 7.30 pm. From the surau and on my way to take a wudhu, I saw and I heard them. They were tight, powerful, and perfect in every departments. It’s just like watching a rock supergroups show or maybe they really are the rock gods in Australia? Listening to their live was like listening to audio cd without a scratch!!!


Here comes EDANE, local heavy/thrash metal legends formed in 1991. They have opened for SEPULTURA’s Jakarta concert in 1992 just right after releasing their debut album “The Beast”. Eet Sjahranie (lead guitar) is famous from his works with various artists including glam supergroup, GOD BLESS. EDANE is an elite thrash unit with a killer showmanship especially from the bass player, Daeng Oktav. It was hard for me to choose who is the best bass player for tonight between Daeng Oktav or Shane Embury? But after seen Shane for the 3rd times, I vote for Daeng for his energetic performances and tremendous tones slapping.

Italian HOUR OF PENANCE replaced EDANE with blasting death metal carnage but it seems they had some problem with the sound. We just rest our asses on the grass, have some chit chat with Djarum girls, and guys from BELLIGERENT INTENT while watching H.o.P on 3 giant HD screens. Surprisingly, we learned that BELLIGERENT INTENT parted away from their newly recruited guitarist, Hans Yamin just after the show because of personal matters.

American death metal monster from Maryland, DYING FETUS stood on Hammer stage on 9.00 pm. Born in 1991, DYING FETUS is known for their consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing, heavy breakdowns and political lyrics. The vocalist/guitarist John Gallagher remains as the original member, as well as the band's driving force. DYING FETUS had an issue with Malaysian promoter few years back, when they came and played in their first visit to KL at One Café. They were pissed off by the crappy equipments over there and officially stated their anger in facebook. Hopefully they still want to play in Malaysia again. But, DYING FETUS is one of the best tonight. They’re brutal, technical, and macho. Their reign of supremacy suit their 7th album “Reign Supreme” (2012) by Relapse Records.


On 10.00 pm, the most awaited bands beside OBITUARY are LOCK UP. To be honest, musically LOCK UP is just an average grind/death unit if not they were formed by metal super musicians, Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Venomous Concept), Nicholas Barker (ex-Cradle of Filth, Dimmu Borgir) and Jesse Pintado (Napalm Death, Terrorizer). Lock Up was joined by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy) for its debut album, 1999's “Pleasures Pave Sewers”, and Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, Disfear) for 2002's “Hate Breeds Suffering”. As it is called side-project, I’m pretty sure the song probably came from re-arranged compositions of Napalm Death’s rejects or Brujeria’s rejects or Terrorizer’s rejects. LOCK UP made it sounds good! Hahaha!

What make LOCK UP so special? Let’s forget about the popular Shane, Danny Lilker, Peter Tägtgren and the late Jesse Pintado. The band also joined by guitarist Anton Reisenegger, a godfather of Chilean heavy metal scene, originator and founder of PENTAGRAM (1985) disbanned in 1988. Reformed in 2001.

Thomas Lindberg aka Tompa has been involved in many musical projects within the metal and punk scene. He has fronted HIDE, THE CROWN, DISFEAR, SKITSYSTEM, THE GREAT DECEIVER, CEREMONIAL OATH, and most well known was the 1995 release of the highly acclaimed “Slaughter of the Soul” album from AT THE GATES. An album considered for many people as one of the heaviest album in the world as well as a benchmark of Gothenburg melodic death metal. It was the birthday of its kind. Strange enough, Tompa was also believed to be the one who sketch the logo of black/crust band DARKTHRONE.

Now you interested? Haha! Well, it was a great show. Everybody enjoyed the show.

Topan (in the middle) the one who invited KHEROW to play in Monster of Legend in Jakarta, 2 years ago.
EPICA replaced LOCK UP at 10.50 pm. I know almost nothing about this Dutch symphonic metal. I only heard one of their tracks from youtube and it is boring. All I knew, the band was formed after their vocalist/guitarist split up with AFTER FOREVER and their main vocalist Simone Simons is nominated by metal magazines as one of the popular female vocalist. Well, when I looked and listened to them, I think they were just morons wanted to be another NIGHTWISH at all cost. And this Simone Simons is just an average operatic singer. Maybe her bitchy style suited the imagery of heavy metal. Boys and girls in EPICA love to play with their hair like a shampoo commercial in TV. By the way, Simone Simons is pregnant.

If you asking is Simone Simons hot? I think Indonesian dangdut singer is far hotter, mas!

On Sonic stage at 11.50 pm was the OBITUARY. Born in 1984, the band comprises two brothers, vocalist John Tardy and drummer Donald Tardy and is one of the most successful death metal bands in the world. After broke up in 1997, OBITUARY still remaining as fundamental act in Florida death metal scene. During the hiatus, Donald Tardy played in W.K, Allen West focused on SIX FEET UNDER, and Trevor Peres formed CATASTROPHIC. Anyway in 2003 OBITUARY was reformed but without Allen West on lead guitar. Last year 2012, Donald Tardy starts a Cat Sanctuary organization called Metal Meowlisha. Haha!

We enjoyed Obituary sets but if only they choose the right tracks on that night. It was doomy atmosphere, sometimes crunchy and moshable. The credit goes to Donald Tardy with his old school structures, punchy double paddle, and excellence showmanship. He might be less technical or speed, but hear the tones and the energy in his drumming. The best drummer for tonight! I admired him!

We took a wrong cab to the hotel. The driver charged us rupiah 200 000 for 15 minutes ride, we get to know from other metalheads they only paid rupiah 40 000 to Blue Bird taxi. Damned! After shower we went to A & W and slept at 4.30 am. And by now we understood, Jakarta experienced quick float every night time during full moon!! Believe me, hygienic city boys and girls… you won’t like it!

Bakso in Rawon Setan?

Cain Cressall of THE AMENTA
Dan Quinlan of THE AMENTA

Day 3, woke up at 8.30 am, we went to Mc’D for a breakfast and then took Bajai’e to ITC mall again. This time we shop for nice and wonderful Indo-fabrics for our loved one at homes. We went back to the hotel, had some rest, like I’ve said before, you don’t need to see all the bands. Hahaha! We’re off to Hammersonic again at 5.50 pm, it’s 8.00 in Malaysia. THE AMENTA conquered the stage. My knowledge on this band is zero, but hell! They’re evil, brutal, and technical black death metal in which what modern MAYHEM tried to achieve but failed. These guys did it perfectly. I wonder how their studio works sound like. Killer band!


6.50 pm SERINGAI was on stage. Man, I never knew this band is sooooooo good!! From local friends, they said SERINGAI was formed in 2002 played a mixture of Rock & Roll and Thrash in vein of MOTORHEAD, SLAYER, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK FLAG, MC5 and S.O.D. I will definitely check this band out!

GOROD played their set on 8.00 pm. I don’t know a thing about this band too. So, I just enjoyed their music of highly technical death metal with great showmanship from their vocalist Julien "Nutz" Deyres thru wide HD screen next to the stage. GOROD loves their fans. They’re not stingy to throw countless cans of beer from stage. Later I knew, GOROD was GORGASM, they changed the name to GOROD in 2005 to avoid confusion with an American band also called GORGASM. But I don’t know which one is more famous. But this France really knew how to make love… You rascal Julien "Nutz" Deyres! I saw you…

AS I LAY DYING got up on Hammer Stage and crushed with their brand of New Wave of American Metal. I guess, at this moment the crowds were at the full force, havoc and insane. While we ‘the true metalhead’(hahaha!) believe there is only death metal from USA, and they were from Florida. We have this ego that drove us to sit on the grass next to Sonic Stage waiting DESTRUCTION doing their soundcheck. Hahaha! It’s funny. But the truth is, I stopped from listening to DESTRUCTION many many years ago, their last album I bought “The Antichrist” sounds like shit. I sold it to my friend. To me when Schmier decided to disbanned DESTRUCTION IN 1989 and later regroup in 1999 for “All Hell Breaks Loose” album. I give them a change but they failed me. So, I guess it’s a matter of music business when neo thrash metal scene is getting bigger.

We just enjoyed a few minutes in front of stage and then moved back and lay down on the ground and watching it thru wide screen. Good show with some technical problems. I saw Schmier shouting at the crews, the bass sounded too loud while the guitar sounded too thin. Anyway, everybody was happy.

American CANNIBAL CORPSE played their brutal tunes at 10.00 pm. Brutal death at its finest form. Corpse ‘Fisher’ Grinder’s voices are massive, monstrous just like his looks. He even challenges the crowds to bang their heads like him. Sorry to say, an average show. One of world’s most brutal rocker back then, but today! They are just an old men with a story to tell.


The biggest and most highlighted band in Hammersonic 2013, CRADLE OF FILTH marched on stage at 11.15 pm. The most controversial band from England, the originator of symphonic black metal, but has broken free from the underground to mainstream publicity. Their leader, Dani Filth known for his gymnastic vocal range, weird make-up is an all time icon for the whole vampiric black metal and goth scene. While their female vocalist, Sarah Jezebel Deva is an asset the band has for many years. Not for her body but her great talent in imagery and voices. But she never claimed to be a permanent member COF.

It was a wise choice for CRADLE OF FILTH to play all their famous tunes here. And it was ironic, Martin Skaroupka has to drumming the best he could since Nick Barker played the same stage last night with LOCK UP. Who can deny, the first 3 albums of CRADLE OF FILTH, “The Principle of Evil Made Flesh” (1994), “Dusk… and Her Embrace” (1996) and “Cruelty and the Beast” (1998) with Nick Barker on drums are the best of the best!! Even Dani claimed the “Cruelty..” was an album he most proud of.

When CRADLE blasted with its first song, all you saw was a thousand of little light coming from i-pad, i-phones, cameras, and smartphones. This showed how famous are the band in Indonesia. The line-up for tonight are Dani Filth on vocals, Paul Allender on guitars, Daniel Firth on bass, James McIlroy on guitar, Martin on drums and Lindsay Schoolcraft on keys and female vocals. Only Lindsay and Martin didn’t come with make-up tonight.

CRADLE delivered an okay showmanship tonight. There was some technical problem during “Funeral in Carphatia” when James McIlroy lose his guitar’s cable, but the band still move on professionally until the crews plugged it back for him. And when Dani Filth greeted and thanked Malaysia causing some heat in the mosh pit. I don’t know what make him think he is in Malaysia. But we only laughed and take it as jokes.

Hammersonic closed at 11.40 pm. It was amazing festival and absolutely going to have a special place in my memory. I hope they will provide more booths next year for bands to sell their official merchandises and they MUST add more toilets. How can thousands of people fit into 8 portable toilets?

We stopped at Sevel for a coffee and snack with Malaysian friends. I finally saw Hammersonic and Obscene Extreme fest tickets sold in Sevel. I wonder if this can be happening in Malaysia. Hahaha! Forget it.

And finally we got on bed at 3.50 am after having dinner in KFC again. One thing you should pay attention, most of western and fast food restaurants in Indonesia, doesn’t need American or Brit Pop/Rock songs to entertain their customers! Their local pop/rock songs are good enough for your appetite!

Day 4, woke up early at 8.00 am, Subuh Gajah. We headed to Soekarno Hatta Airport for departure. No problem with the check in and immigration department. We have a breakfast at the airport. And I was happy meeting up with WHORETOPSY on departure hall. It’s heard WHORETOPSY shows in Vietnam few days before Hammersonic went wrong. The cops raided the venue shutting them down just after 15 minutes WHORETOPSY on stage. The authority took all the promoters money and the show had to be cancelled. Anyway the show at Bangkok with Obituary the next day went smooth.

We reached LCCT at 2.15 pm, and fled back to our hometown at 8.30 pm. The best holiday of the year!

Report: Raimi
Photo: Raimi

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