CHECK OUT | ARKM
FROM | Hong Kong
Photography by: Phey Palma and Kenneth (Tang Kam Hong Kenneth) at Rollakostacreatives https://www.facebook.com/rollakostacreatives/
Hong Kong’s little scene of underground metal has been around for decades. Though the scene has put in time, heart and energy, and the few diehards are still doing what they can, the agitation, frustration, sense of hopelessness continues to have a stranglehold. Many of us have witnessed over the three or more decades the energy and passion come and go. Sometimes we ride high and see some light at the end of this long dark tunnel, only to come tumbling right back down into a cavern of despair. No wonder there are some from the underground have chosen to leave it all behind, fully embracing pop. There are only so many punches to the gut one can take.
While stewing in this seemingly endless cycle of desperation, every once in awhile, far below the glitz and glamor of our disgustingly opulent shopping malls, and soulless rows of jewellery and garbage designer label shops, deep in the bowels of Hong Kong – the passions of a few find themselves reignited. They get that itch again, set out to find like-minded individuals, and painstakingly restart the process of creating something, anything, that will bring their lives some sense of purpose.
These are called lifers. And one such band that is currently grabbing everyone’s attention is…ARKM.
ARKM is an experimental metal band that came together in October 2018. The band’s name was inspired by Arkham Asylum (Batman), which makes sense considering those who make up the band use their life experiences to inform the direction both lyrically and musically through reflecting on the darker shades of their psyche. Those annals of your being that most people are afraid to explore: artificial love, self-delusion, confabulation, erotomania, betrayal, deceit, regret, corporate and societal expectations and derangement.
The darkness is real.
The band, who has yet to debut a full track besides the snippets they’ve put up through social media, are harnessing their love for ALL types of heavy music. Everything from progressive rock/metal, industrial metal, nu-metal, hardcore, deathcore, mathcore, grindcore, post rock and electronica with a touch of ambience. The band is clearly trying to forge their own path, and not just metalcore-ing their way through playing “heavy music” as is as common in Hong Kong as the polluted air we breathe. In Hong Kong, metalcore is done. Finished. It no longer brings any energy or excitement because the same riffs, vocal patterns, production, have been used and reused over and over being vomited out over the same tired songs again and again. ARKM are not here to join the gigantic ocean of metalcore acts, they’re here to create something their own.
The band may be new, however, their members are veterans of Hong Kong’s underground:
Lead vocalist, Allison Gentry, was formerly the vocalist of Prayforme and is an integral member of Hong Kong’s Roller Derby squad.
Lead guitarist, Samirze Kong, previously played in insanely technical progressive metalcore band Parallel Horizons, and currently plays in instrumental band AXIOM.
Founding member of deathcore band Black Night Red Sky, and former guitarist of metal band Shepherds the Weak, JR Gabuya, is on rhythm guitar.
And to close out the ranks, Bryan Mendoza is the bassist/vocalist, and JM Inot (of Oi Squad) is on drums.
The band will be dropping their debut single on May 1, followed by their debut show on May 18 at a show hosted by The Underground. Information about the show (including full lineup) can be found at this link: http://undergroundhk.com/?p=7943