REVIEW: 66 Roads | Dendam Mantra EP (2014)

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BAND: 66 Roads
RELEASE: Dendam Mantra EP (2014)
REVIEWER: Riz Farooqi of King Ly Chee
Final Rating: 8/10

Malaysia – home for some of the most metal motherfuckers on this side of the world!

Here’s a brand new release of Malaysian deathcore band 66 Roads entitled “Dendam Mantra” (Malay for “Revenge”) that was released in December of 2014 – a slab of 6 heavy metallic tracks that certainly proves that Malaysians do deathcore with phenomenal skill and precision.

Having never heard this band before I didn’t know what to expect but I was given one of the most amazing press kits I have ever received from any band on this planet. 66 Roads is a band that is certainly taking themselves very seriously and all I can say is – MORE POWER TO YOU GUYS! A band that treats themselves with respect and tries to go the extra mile is a band that deserves respect.

On to the music on this particular release…

I’m not a fan of any electronic/dance type of heavy music…so when this album opens with a 3 minute intro track where the first half seems to be delving perilously into that territory, I brace myself to find a way to get through the next 6 tracks. However, midway through this track it goes right into something that could’ve easily been on a Through the Eyes of the Dead record – syncopated e-string madness which gets painted with beautiful melodic guitar octave work above this rhythmic attack – great combination, allowing me to breathe out with relief and greatly anticipate the rest of the EP.

Second track Spit in, Spit Out is where the magic and power of this release shines. First thing that stands out to me is the overall production. Metal releases (deathcore, metalcore, any version of this genre) require a certain polish that makes the music an absolute pleasure to listen to and where the intricacies of the instrumentation can be heard clearly. Malaysia is a country that has released metal-influenced punk rock, hardcore for many many years…but I have been out of it for a few years – so to hear the immensely clear and heavy production on this release is a great surprise and definitely a sign of just how far care for production has come. When word gets to me that ALL of this was recorded, produced, mixed/mastered in Malaysia by Sendart Drummee I’m even more blown away! Dudes from the Asian metal universe need to look out for this name – he does this genre more than justice.

The Malaysian onslaught continues into third track Young Blood (you can preview this track below) with a spectacular intro and where the bass guitar truly stands out. Good for Sendart and 66 Roads to choose a bass guitar tone that allows this instrument to shine and actually be heard. 66 Roads’ dual vocalists also really get some more room to breathe on this particular track as well. Their singing style certainly compliments the music perfectly and thankfully, they don’t add a hint of melodic clean vocals – these two vocalists, Gbumbob and AZ, keep their vocals brutal and I GREATLY appreciate that.

The rest of this EP continues down this path perfectly. 66 Roads packs the riffage and heaviness so much on this album that the only time you get to feel yourself breathe again is when the EP wraps up at just under 30 minutes. (30 minutes = EP in metal?!!? That’s a full length in the land of punk and hardcore! Hahaha…)

For any fan of this genre – 66 Roads is proof that you really don’t need to look past this continent for your deathcore fix. You’ve got an immensely talented and heavy Asian representative of this world right here and now.

Check out this professionally done lyric video below:

Check out the song Young Blood’s below:

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