As-Sahar, the pioneers of Malay-oriented Black Metal, started as a nameless thrash metal outfit in 1987. The first line-up consisted of Malik Hanael and Sam Uriel, joined by Hanael's younger brother One Barchiel. During their first years the young band kept to their rehearsal room, playing covers of their heroes like Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, Poison (ger), Mercyful Fate, Venom, Hallows Eve, Postmortem & Fantom Warior. In time they started to write songs of their own too, but things like the compulsory National Service kept the band from recording a proper release until 1993 when a two song promo was released in July. The style, influenced by the Nordic black metal bands of the time, especially Burzum, Darkthrone and other Norwegians, had developed from the thrash roots to melodic/atmospheric black metal. This tape got a good response and encouraged the band to release another tape, the Primitively Eastern Winds demo, in September. The demo sold almost 700 copies worldwide and was later re-released by Nebiula Productions. In 1994 As-Sahar recorded a demo tape titled Devillation Masters, more aggressive material influenced by the band's thrash metal roots, but decided not to release it, instead withdrawing to seek their identity in order to create something more original. This lead to the 1995 release of the cassette EP Santau, mixing their black metal style with traditional Malay melodies and a strong concept of Malay-Archipelago occult themes. This nationalistic stateme...
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