Stereotypes + 5 More Malaysian Bands You Need To Listen To

“You don’t look like you listen to stuff like this”: a remark I get pretty often when people find out that I like metalcore and screamo.

I suppose if you have a stereotype of people who listen to that genre, a bespectacled bookworm approaching her 30s is probably the farthest from it. I’d look so out of place in a moshpit!


Now, how about this girl?

Probably fits the bill more. The hair covering half the face, the eyeliner, the gloomy unsmiling look, the way-too-many-bracelets.

Fun fact: that was me – before life happened and I got a dayjob and gained like x30000 lbs lol. I’m still working on the day I might (keyword: Might) get back to this form (far off, but a girl can dream?)


My teenage days were filled with angst, anger and rebellion. I was a very angry person, and I was not on good terms with… anyone, really. Especially family. I had a boyfriend then who had the same disposition. He was a good person – he just looked unconventional, with his purple hair, piercings and stretched earholes. We were ‘goodie goodie’ kids – we didn’t smoke (well, he does now, like a chimney), drink (much) or do drugs. Sure, we skipped the occasional class, but we always had our grades up to par. Society simply assumed we were bad because of how we looked.

Circa 2012

I’ve always liked rock music, but college days were when I really got into more ‘hardcore’ music, so to speak. I loved gigs, rock concerts and the feelings of euphoria one gets from being in the moshpit and letting loose. I dressed to express, and it often got me weird looks from ‘respectable’ members of society. When I played songs in my room, my mom called it ‘devil music’, lol.

Course, these days, I don’t look like that anymore. One grows up and learns to mask things – that’s just how society works. But love for the music has always remained, and I think it speaks to my inner young self – to never lose that part of the identity that has shaped me as an individual, no matter how many fake smiles I have to plaster in the corporate world.


I was listening to some old songs from the late 2000s and early 2010s, when I was really into the local metalcore scene. Some of these bands have already disbanded, while others are still going strong (with a change of style, perhaps) – so I’ve only listed the old songs that I like.


Massacre Conspiracy – Karma 

MC was the first local metalcore band I listened to that eventually introduced me to other bands. I heard them on a promo clip for Rock The World (an annual rock concert with local talents) and was fascinated by the short snippet they played, so I looked them up (the wonders of Youtube!) and instantly got addicted. They’ve maintained their style through the years, with a new music video in 2018 called An Empty Promise.

Tres Empre – Captivating 

I legit thought they were a foreign band because of the Saosin vibes. They’ve largely been quiet since the end of 2017, so hopefully there will be some new music soon.

Arsonist – False Hope 

The band is defunct, but their music can still be found on Youtube and an occasional Facebook post. Perhaps a status update sums it up best: “Sekarang pkcik xlarat dahhh.. hahaha!” (Uncle can’t do it anymore…hahaha!) referring to how age has caught up to them. I kind of feel the same way – my last mosh was three years ago and I felt like shit afterwards with the joint pains and stuff… the heart is willing, but the flesh is weak. 😀

Sekumpulan Orang Gila – Satu Melayu / Sumpah Pendekar

They’re still active, with a new album released in 2018.

Ballad for Layla – The Awakening 

Disbanded in 2015.

Naratu – Kau Bangsat 

One of the oldest hardcore bands in Malaysia that has been on the scene for over 20 years. What distinguishes them is probably that they sing exclusively in Bahasa, which was uncommon back then in this genre.

The Padangs – Waste No Time

They still seem to be playing at gigs and stuff, and have a merchandise line that they promote on FB but no new material (or at least not that I’m aware of).


Have a fun trip down memory lane, and rock on. Now, time for me to return to the daily grind. Sigh.


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