Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Featured Artist: Truth Be Known

As stated in an earlier post, we will be taking a closer look at the band that is Truth Be Known.

'Who?', you ask.

Basically, Truth Be Known is a five-piece Singaporean metal band comprising Joshua Nair on bass, Gene Yeo on drums, Damien and Mac on guitars and the flamboyant Subash 'Ramone' on vocals.

Truth Be Known play a rapid, aggressive brand of death metal/hardcore punk music which bandleader Ramone likes to label 'funcore' - a nod to how the band members, while dedicated, do not take their music, lyrics or performances overly seriously.

Also, the band likes to have a good Singaporean laugh - testament to this are the satirical undertones in songs like 'Men In White' (about a certain political party) and 'Life Kills You' (obvious).

Satthia and I had the pleasure of attending a gig of theirs at the Hood Bar recently (they opened for the wonderful Kvelertak) and they certainly brought their A-game to the show, though with a session drummer instead of their usual one. The speed and intensity in their music were on full display there, and on top of that they were a blast live, interacting with the fans, cracking jokes, and performing the sweat out of themselves. The band then tipped us off about their Facebook page (, complete with free, downloadable tracks.

What tracks?

Well, 'Oblivion Youth' starts off with a pulsating double-bass sequence which leads into Ramone's screamed verse and then a short guitar break (a common theme in Truth Be Known's music) followed by a grinding blast-beat sequence (which starts at 0:49 in the track). The chorus reverts back to double bass and pedal tone riffing (another common feature of the band's songs) and then the song heads into a hard rock-style build up into the song's climax, the guitar solo.

'Just Another Lamb', in comparison, makes use of dual vocalists and is a high-tempo, hardcore punk-style effort with the recognisable vocal hook 'Just another f***ing lamb!'. Ramone favours the more punk-oriented 'shouted' vocal in this tune instead of his typical death growls, though both vocal stylings are on show here.

'Go Asphyxiate Yourself' is perhaps the piece that straddles the middling line that divides 'Oblivion Youth' (heavy death metal) and 'Just Another Lamb' (post-hardcore). This song is all-out aggressiveness from start to finish, as the title would suggest. The riffing in this song brings to mind Slayer; the vocals Bullet For My Valentine, minus the Welsh accent. The song gets off to a furious start, complete with aggressively-pinched guitar riffs and vocal lines, and does not let up at any point - the band, when playing this live, takes it up a notch by going even faster and more aggressive (especially Ramone).

These three pieces perhaps sum up the band musically: the band may play across a variety of genres - spanning post-hardcore to brutal death - but the songs are alike in that they promise full-on aggressiveness, worthy vocal efforts from the versatile Ramone, and a tight, crisp and blazing fast rhythm section. To top things off, the band is unquestionably even better live than in studio, because of their casual humour and ability to connect to audiences (a trait that, sadly, not many Singaporean artists have).

- JE

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