Raw, Dirty And Evil: IBLISS Is The M’sian Demonic Doom Band That Might Just Save Your Soul
Does the shrivelled husk of your metalhead soul recoil in defeat as you scroll and scroll, looking for the perfect diabolical, blood-curdling tune to accompany you as you shower?
Do you imagine, as the Hell-hot water washes over your skin, that you’re bathing in the blood and flesh of your worst enemies?
Or do you let out a sigh each time you listen to your favourite doom metal anthems, longing for the chance to see them live without having to travel hundreds of miles away?
If any of these sounds like you, read on.
IBLISS is a three-piece demonic stoner rock/doom band from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; formed in June 2020 by a talented and non-conforming trio who shared a common interest in stoner rock and doom music and began jamming together to compose their own crude, dirty and dark hymns- mainly about sex, drugs and murder.
Commonly referred to as the ‘mutant bastard cousin’ of Uncle Acid, the group is made up of Fo (bass and vocals), Faiz (drums) and Wan (guitar).
They released their debut full-length album Demonic, Her in December 2020.
With gruesomely-titled songs along the lines of Iblis Bloody Iblis!, Acid Day and Dark Room Charm, it’s hardly gruelling to comprehend why the music videos were deemed vulgar and previously removed by Youtube.
However, the band’s controversial nature and wicked reputation has not impeded their success- IBLISS has had their lyrics featured in doom bible The Stoner Freaks Anthology, and have even scored a few super engaging editorial features such as this one. (The one on Doomed Nation is pretty cool too).
Their latest single Bintang Fajar also made waves in Indonesia, adorning several playlists alongside other popular death metal bands- a headbanger’s audio paradise.
IBLISS also has its own saw blade vinyl by DHU Records, for their album Demonic, Her, which is housed in a re-sealable sleeve with a Bandcamp download code, among other exclusive items, mixed and mastered by Mokhtarizal:
Pictured below is the US edition, which has been remixed and mastered by Subpop legend Tad Doyle at Witch Ape Studio.
Here comes the best part- although IBLISS is not new to the Malaysian doom metal scene, the group is still very much active, performing gigs across the nation.
Their shows at Rumah Api, where audiences get to witness infernal bliss in close proximity, sell for as low as RM9.
The band usually publishes updates and info regarding their upcoming shows on their Facebook page.
IBLISS @ My First Grind Experience gig at Soundmaker, Penang was another show that got people talking.
Of course, some of the publicity garnered had resulted in infamy and lots of rage- but you know what they say: All press is good press!
IBLISS’s full digital album in currently accessible via Bandcamp.
Let’s take a look at their discography:
Iblis Bloody Iblis!
Released in Sep 2020, this memorable tune is their very first recorded song. Layers of amplifiers emit a haze of despondency and muddled feedback…
While the pulsing drone gives way to a rim of slow, cranking guitar licks that dip and soar, instilling a sense of eerie anguish within listeners- the classic melody of doom metal, revealing the band’s true potential.
Sweedheart, I Need Blood
The band’s second single in the year of doom.
Slow tempos and fatalistic lyrics make the music sound thick in a manner that more punk-influenced thrash or speed metal songs do not.
That ambience, coupled with a grim, dreary, and sombre element in their instrumentals, is the kind of raging inferno that slowly ignites life into doom metal.
IBLISS’s debut album, which was released in December 2020, features stunning bluesy riffs attempting to break through the swampy stoner doom fog.
Distorted, groove-laden bass-heavy tones shine through, with extensive use of guitar effects like fuzz, phaser, and flanger.
Released in February of 2022, this EP delves even deeper into the dark shadows of doom than Demonic, Her.
Track #1 concludes with frantic, mangled vocals before cutting to an unsettlingly serene sampled tinny radio to begin #2.
All of this is supplemented by pulverising riffs, massive fuzz, feedback, and noise.
IBLISS’s most recent single, released earlier this month. Despite the bleak, doomy lyrics, the vocals are clear and communicated in an articulate fashion. It’s absolute nightmare fuel.
For context, the intro goes,
“Malam yang kelam
Kau ku seru
Darah nan merah
Menyatukan kau dan jiwaku”
It’s okay, I wasn’t planning to sleep tonight either.
Fans have compared the band’s rhythm to the 70’s stoner and Black Sabbath era, where deliberately doomy and loud guitar-playing were prevalent, accompanied by dark and pessimistic lyrics.
Early doom metal bands also tampered with very slow tempos and melodic tones, creating an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia- and therefore, impending doom.
Another fan noted that the songs on Demonic, Her emulate the flames of Mephistofeles, a band from Paraná, Argentina.
They describe themselves as proto doom/heavy psych rock, and are known for infusing black and death metal with occasional jazzy moments.
Even those who decided the music was ‘not for them’ claimed that they were happy to see their countrymen represented in a niche music scene- and we couldn’t agree more.