THT Productions, January 1998 (cassette)
Sonic Wave International, October 1998 (CD/cassette)
Persetan Records, June 2014 (CD)
Kekal, June 2014 (digital)
Kekal's debut full-length album "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" was previously released in 1998 on cassette format by an Indonesian label THT Productions, and then CD format by Candlelight Productions / Sonic Wave International (Singapore).
This was the first experience for the band to record 10 songs in a professional studio back in 1997. The result is a more than 50 minutes of intense extreme metal music, combining strong stylistic elements known as black metal, death metal, classic/power metal, doom, gothic and even darkwave, all fused into one unique solid style backed with in-your-face lyrics, which later is known as the original Kekal style. This album simply got numerous great reviews and positive responses from the magazines and fanzines, other publications, labels, and all the people in the underground scene, especially in their own region. "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams" is considered as one of the best extreme metal releases coming from Asia. The original version of the album (in CD and cassette tape formats) was sold for over 5000 copies from 1998 until it became sold-out in 2002.
This album was remastered by Jeff in 2014 and re-issued by Indonesian extreme metal label Persetan Records as a limited-edition CD (with added 5 bonus tracks from 1996 demo) after 12 years of the original's sold-out status. The re-issue version gets a new cover artwork, courtesy of William Blake (1805). The original version of the CD has become the sought-after 'collector's item', and at some point, some of the used CDs were listed for over $70 on eBay.
Album line-up: Harry (Vocals), Leo (Guitar/Vocals), Jeff (Guitar/Vocals), Azhar (Bass/Vocals)
Produced by: Jeff with KEKAL
Recorded & mixed on 16-track analog at: Yaski Studios, Jakarta, Indonesia, April and December 1997. Engineered & mixed by: Habil Kurnia & Denny Andreas
Music & lyrics written by: Kekal
Female vocals by: Julie, Hana, & Vera
Drums by: The Black Machine
Vocal narration by: Leo
Keyboards by: Jeff, Habil, & Leo
Note: The original 1998 CD version has been sold-out since 2002.
Re-mastered Re-issue version is available from Persetan Records
It was fun recording that album.. I remember it was the first time we recorded an album in a so-called professional studio, and it was all analog, we put everything to tape.. We had to sleep in the studio during the recording session, as we booked the overnight recording shifts because it was cheaper (we got 2 extra hours for the same rate as the day rate, I think), and all of us had to work or study during the day.. We had a very small budget, we used all the money we received from the sales of our demo tape plus from our own pockets, so the hours were very tight and we had to split the sessions into two, first in April 1997, and the second one in December 1997 after we could save enough money to rent the studio again.. You can notice the difference in production between the first 5 songs and the rest.. There were 2 studios in the property, both analog, and we booked the small 16-track one.. We managed to get 3 guest female vocalists with their own different characters, so that they would give some more interesting twists on the songs.. It achieved a good balance between the extreme brutality, ethereal atmosphere, and naivety, I must say.. Most of the songs were already old by the time we recorded them, some of the riffs were written in the early 1990's, even before Kekal was formed, while many of the songs were written during the demo period between 1995 and 1996.. We once thought to re-write the songs with more advanced chords and riffs, but as it was a basic, simple debut album, I thought that it's good to leave them as is, as close to the demo versions as possible.. I'd say, overall it's a good debut with, of course, less maturity level than Kekal's later albums both musically and lyrically, but it has some fresh energy, particularly because we recorded the album on a 16-track analog tape, so the limitation of recording tracks made us to focus on the basic energy over the other elements.. We did not expect anything from the debut, other than to have a proper sound quality for a CD release..
Yes, it was pretty good number for a self-produced debut album from a non-touring, obscure underground band like Kekal.. But most of them, more than 3000 copies, sold within the Southeast Asian market, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and they already knew Kekal since the 1996 demo tape because of the tape trading circuits..
Get the entire Kekal digital album discography (a bundle of 15 Kekal digital releases sold on Bandcamp including 12 full-length albums and 3 EPs) for only $27.5 USD. That's a 50% off a-la carte price.
A great way to check out the music of Kekal.