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Monday, December 9, 2013

Seach and Destroy EP review

Photos courtesy of Search and Destroy



Your tender ears will be satisfied

This is gonna be my first review for a Malaysian band discography and what way to start with Kuching's very own metal group, Search and Destroy. I'm gonna be reviewing their self-titled EP, so let's begin shall we?

The album has 9 tracks in total that runs 27 minutes. Those 9 tracks break down into 3 fillers/ transition tracks, 1 instrumental track and 5 songs. Let’s begin shall we?

The EP begins with the first track Intro. It begins will piano sampling that slowly riffs of guitar start to flow in. And then there is break where electronic sound that you might hear in a pac-man game and all of a sudden, DROP THE BASS. The first time I played this EP, I actually skip to the next song and replay this track to make sure that I’m actually listening to the right EP. It sounded like metal and dubstep had a freaky baby, but in a good way.

“It sounded like metal and dubstep had a freaky baby, but in a good way”

The song then transition smoothly to the next song titled Ocean in the Cage. I used to listen to this song on youtube before I actually got this EP and it seems something is off with the beginning of the song but after I hear this EP it all made sense to me that Intro is building up to this song. This song is more on the upbeat and fast paced side, and the message behind this song seems to be the right to voice out and express your thoughts. The screaming for this song is right on and the cheer of the backup singers sounds like a group of people chanting at a protest, for their voice to be heard.

It then transitions to the next song titled Home, a bit more on the slow and sentimental side intro. It then breaks into more steady riffs throughout the whole song. The song maintain similar screaming style, but there’s seems to something left to be desired. I would personally preferred more slower singing and screaming only a certain part of the song. I believe the message in this song is about love for the place where someone grows up in, their home.

The next song, Contempt is definitely a mosh pit song. The fast riffs of this song will definitely get the adrenaline pumping. It really gives out the anger vibe and it sounds like there is an angry conversation between two people. The screaming of the backup singer sounds a little muddy at some part and needs some brush up. It then transitions into Interlude, which start slow and quickly builds into strong riffs that continue to the song Your Alaska. This is another song that I’ve actually heard before on youtube but it didn’t seem to face the same awkward intro like Ocean in the Cage. This song continues similar momentum as Contempt but as the song goes on; its tempo starts to slow down. It seems as though the person in this song questions whether to forgive someone for her mistake and by the end of the song, he found his answer.

“Questions whether to forgive someone for her mistake and by the end of the song, he found his answer”

The North Pole is actually an instrumental song. The sound of rain in the background with the slow melodic guitar tune goes well here in this song. I’m not even gonna question why there is rain in North Pole. This track is the longest in the EP and it gives a moment to the listener to cool down from the rapid shredding from the previous tracks. It really gives an impression that you are standing at the North Pole and observing the Aurora Borealis (Sorry if it’s actually the South Pole).

The next track, Waves Above the Air has a similar formula with Intro where it mixes guitar with electronics and continue the same melodic riffs that continues to build up to the next track Rusty Wheels. This track on youtube suffers the same awkward intro as Ocean in the Cage but in this EP, the transition is flawless and spot on. Rusty Wheels is by far the best track on this EP and I believe defines the sound of Search and Destroy. The gritty riffs and crisp screaming for this song sends a tingling down my spine each time I hear it.

“The gritty riffs and crisp screaming for this song sends a tingling down my spine each time I hear it”

Overall, very good effort for a first EP. Transitions are seamless and tracks are tight. There are some parts that need brushing up. Can’t wait for what will be in stake in the next discography. Search and Destroy may be spearheading the next wave of Sarawak metal.

Pros:
  •  Awesome transition between songs
  •  Riffs are tight and melodic
  •  Fillers does not seem unnecessary

Cons:

  •  Brush up needed in some part
  •  Vocals sometimes sound muddy

Rating: 4 out of 5


 
You can get both the EP and Tees for RM40


For more info you can contact the band directly on their fb: Link

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review : Ninetology Stealth II (i9500)

Era of the underdog
You need a huge hand for this one

With loads of Android devices out there in the market, it will reach a point where an average consumer will have to do some pondering before grabbing the next device upgrade. It might even reach a point where there is only a fine line to differentiate a "premium" built android phone (eg. HTC, Samsung and etc.) or the "local" phone brands such as Ninetology, Micromax and their clones.
This review will serve as both technical and philosophical review on this particular phone.

Looks can be deceiving

Lets start off with how the phone looks. From the front, this phone looks decent. It has a 5-inch screen, a physical power button placed on the right side of the phone, a volume rocker on the left side and three capacitive touch button at the bottom of the screen. It also spot a micro-usb/charging port and 3.5mm audio port at the top. It has chrome finish on the speaker at the front, around the trim and also around the camera. I don't mind the trim and the button but the camera does give out a weird kinda feel. The back cover has a gloss finish and also ninetology logo printed on top of it. The back cover feels really cheap and looking at the photos of Micromax A110's back cover, I feel kinda jelly. Overall,  without taking another glance at this glance at this phone,  you might mistaken it for Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or S3.

It's what inside that counts

Phone-ception
The Stealth II on paper is a shocker as it sports a 1 GHz dual core processor with 512MB RAM. It also supposedly have 4GB but most of them are used for the operating system leaving an internal SD memory of 1GB. It also can supports up to 32GB of SD card memory. This phone also allows dual sim support and it's a boon for me as I am currently using two numbers for different purposes.

Paranoid Android

This might be the strongest point on why I can recommend this particular phone over most premium brand phones out there. The support for this model and it's clone is immense. Being the best selling phone model in India, with loads and loads of custom ROMs and now with Jelly Bean updates,  there is no reason for me not to recommend anyone from getting this phone.
But if you are going to stick with the stock ROM of ninetology,  you might be a little disappointed as it is loaded with GO Launcher as its launcher and I am a person who finds responsiveness more important than looks (My favourite being CyanogenMod's ADW Launcher being the best), I ended up flashing a custom ROM.

Final bout

As a conclusion, after using this phone for a while, I have realized that this phone and its clones which are considered as "local"  phones might be able to triumph over those goliath mobile phone companies out there. This type of phone will be able to cater average user that only requires adequate power and specs for their phone. This underdog might need to be watched by everyone that is already in the mobile phone scene for quite sometime.

Verdict

+ Nice design
+ Bang for bucks
+ Loads of custom ROMs and supports

- "Cheap"  back cover
- Stock ROM does not feel very responsive
- Not much accessories for it yet



Rating: 4 out of 5


Make sure you get the case for free if you are getting this phone

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas came early because of Nintendo

Rejoice Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors!

Definitely you guys had downloaded the 10 Gameboy Advance games that was available on Friday 16th. I'm just gonna write some short review on those games but more in a sense of how I felt connected to the games.

First Game on the list:
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity

This game personally I have played it, but upon trying it out on the 3DS, it feels kinda cool. I tried racing in one of the track and it felt like racing in futuristic high speed kinda race.

Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island

I played this on an emulator and it was the SNES version. The graphic in this game is amazing, the art style really suit the game. Basically it's a platformer with a twist where you can shoot the egg with Yoshi after it eats the enemy. BTW, don't let baby mario fly away because the cry is annoying as hell.

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

I haven't try this out but I believe that it is the second in the series to be released out of Japan. I have played the first game and I believe that the game is going to be similar. The gameplay is awesome and the storyline is engaging but at one point, it might be hard not to let anyone die during each mission.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

Oh Kirby, you cute little pink ball, or is it Jigglypuff? Anyway, this is similar to previous versions of Kirby where you suck up the enemy and consume their power to progress through the game. The difference? 4 Kirbys!

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

This is similar to the mario kart on the SNES. And it is kinda weird that Nintendo offered 2 racing games for the GBA Ambassador program. Is it because they didn't give any racing game in their NES list.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

Personally, I'm not a big fan of this game. It's a puzzle that requires reflex and platforming skills which I personally do not have. Sad.

Metroid Fusion

This game is one of the best on the list. This game is a bit different from the previous Metroid game due to it being kinda linear in the beginning but none the less, this game is awesome.

Wario Land 4

This is a replacement of Mario. Really cool as the controls are expanded from the normal Mario games. And the exploration to collect the treasure and CDs are really a nice touch. Love it, third best game in the list for me.

WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames

Uses the concept of 5 second mini games, this game will definitely get you hooked and test your reflexes. Even my girlfriend, Jes was playing it non stop. Cool.

and last but not least
Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap

Basically this whole post was a build up to this game. This was the game that I was hunting for years after I have gotten my Gameboy Advance. But was to no avail due to the fact that GBA games are mostly fake when it is sold in Malaysia. Even after looking up on Amazon, the price of the game even without the box and manual was to costly. But finally, I got this game even though for a virtual copy, it's good enough. The best game that has been given by Nintendo in their Ambassador program and one of the best Christmas present ever.

Hey look, we at the top of his list. F**k yea!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hitz.fm Birthday Invasion!

Of course this is a givaway by Sarawak Bloggers and Tweet-Up Kuching .

They are awesome enough to give away 15 pair passes for this event!

Just follow these steps guys:



  1. Blog about Tweet-Up Kuching (Details can be obtained at http://twtupkch.sarawakbloggers.com).  You must include links to Sarawak Bloggers (http://sarawakbloggers.com) and Tweet-Up Kuching ( http://twtupkch.sarawakbloggers.com )
  2. Send us the links and details of your post in the form below.
  3. Wait for a confirmation email from us on the morning of 8 December 2011. You will receive a special code to identify you have won the passes.
  4. Collect the tickets from our representative at Starbucks, The Spring Mall Kuching from 12:00PM-1:40PM on the 8th December 2011 (Thursday).




Or you could just go to this LINK.

Hope you guys win your passes too! WOOT!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (Android) Review

Alright, time for a review! This time I'm gonna review Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for the Android. Since I'm running this game on HTC Sensation, I'm gonna base this review on that phone. There might be some resolution and loading time differences on different model of phone that you use to play this game.


The title screen

Presentation

On the graphic side, this game really amazes me. It may not be vibrant as games like Asphalt 6 Adrenaline but the approach that EA went with this game is more realism. The detail on the cars are awesome. I zoomed in on the cars like Ford GT and the grills are still gorgeous and does not pixelate. Even the presentation on the tracks is detailed, the trees and the background are so detailed. The developer has definitely put the effort in this game to make it look beautiful.

Gameplay

The controls of this game, you can either love it or hate it. I'm some sort of the middle. It feels really weird for me to play a racing game without pressing buttons or analogue stick. Of course the control scheme are similar of other racing games on touch screen devices. It uses accelerometer to steer and by touching the left portion of the screen, you brake. You can activate the Nitrous by sliding your finger upward and by sliding downward while turning hard will allow you to do a handbrake turn. Of course there are trick under your sleeve whether you're a racer or a cop. Racer can activate jammer, oil slick and also overdrive to overcome the cops and the cops can stop the racer by using spikestrip, EMP and roadblock.


The detail on the track and the car is good for a mobile racer

Sound

The roar of the engine of each car are distinguishable between all the cars available in the car. Talking about cars, there are total of 20 cars in the game and 10 of them are the same for both racer and cops. The sound of vacuum machine of RX-8 to the sound similar to F1 of Zonda Cinque are recognizable in this game. And the soundtrack of this game is similar to the console's, so I guess it is a plus point. But sadly the intro song by 30 Second to Mars is absent in this version.

Spoiler, Y U no go up?!

Overall

As a whole, this game is a solid racing entry to the mobile platform. Every aspect in this game is polished and the game is really fun to play.

Rating : 7 out of 10.

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