THT Productions, August 1999 (Cassette, CD)
Fleshwalker Records, June 2000 (CD)
Kekal, May 2012 (Digital)
Hitam Kelam Records, October 2017 (2CD combo)
*Only available on THT Productions release
The band's 2nd full-length album "Embrace The Dead" was recorded back in 1999, and has been marked as the band's most challenging and problematic album recording session ever, ranging from technical issues, financial difficulties, to many other things including the label rip-off and lack of promotion and distribution of the album. The idea of the band's 3rd album title, "The Painful Experience", was actually referred to "Embrace The Dead".
The original releases (CD and cassette tape versions) have been sold-out since 2004.
The album was re-mastered in 2008, and in 2009 it was re-issued as "Embrace The Dead 1999" as a limited edition free-download to 1000 downloads only, and was closed once again after it reached the number of downloads in less than a year. In May 2012, the album was made available again digitally, but no longer being offered for free.
In 2017, the album was again re-mastered digitally (from original mix) and was re-released again in physical format as a 2CD package along with "1000 Thoughts of Violence" album
Jeff : guitars / vocals / keyboards / programming
Azhar : bass / vocals
Leo : guitars
Produced by: Jeff with KEKAL
Engineered & mixed by Habil Kurnia, Prastowo Aklisugoro, Denny Andreas, & Jeff
Recorded & mixed at: Yaski Studios, Jakarta, Indonesia, February - July 1999
Mastered by: Habil Kurnia at Dunia Digital Mastering House (original THT Productions cassette version)
Cover lay-out design by Jeff / Soundmind Graphics
Keyboards by: Jeff & Habil
Additional guitars by: Azhar
Additional bass by: Jeff
Female Vocals by: Vera
Drums by: The Black Machine
Note: The original CD & Cassette versions have been sold-out.
Well, we were dealing with a few aspects during the songwriting and recording the album, in which I consider to be our least 'honest' album that we've recorded, because we wanted purposely to record a melodic album with typical black metal and power metal riffs and adding some gothic romanticism with the keyboards, but not because we really like the music styles, but more to get away from the shadow of "Beyond The Glimpse of Dreams", to appeal to a more 'normal' mainstream audience in metal.. I thought that was a mistake, because the album then became less-Kekal in direction, but technically as well as the songwriting, it was a huge jump over "Beyond The Glimpse", and I like the guitar sounds.. We used a 1969 Fender Bassman amp the studio had at that time.. It sounds amazing.. Let me set it straight: "Embrace The Dead" is a pretty good album from what it is, and it is still a solid Kekal album.. The only problem was because everyone was confused.. Back in 1998 and 1999, Indonesia was in a political turmoil and we watched and read news everyday as things became more and more violent, and it was very hard to find a decent job in Jakarta.. The economy was hit really hard, and we ran out of money.. When you're in a situation that you don't know what to do, the natural way of doing is to conform to what's already established, and that's what we did on this album.. So I remember discussing it with Leo when we started to write the songs, that this album will be less offensive and more melodic with some black metal, power metal and gothic metal elements thrown in.. The first song we developed together was "The Fearless and The Dedicated", and it sums everything.. Music genres play the biggest role to "Embrace The Dead", and we talked about genres more than basic ideas or moods for the musical references, and started to listen to what's 'hot' in either mainstream melodic black/death metal and gothic metal music around that time, tried to incorporate all the interesting pieces from those genres with hope that more people will buy the album.. That's what I call a mistake or misstep if you wanted to be honest with your music.. Music is not like selling cupcakes, it should be based from the inside rather than from 'what's currently in'.. Also, the recording session was very chaotic and disorganized, so everything just fell all over the place..
"Embrace The Dead", to me, is just another classic example of a new band in the late 90's with no money trying to record a self-produced album, independently.. It was a year before we actually used our computer to record the music digitally, so we had to rent a studio to record the album using analog tape.. It was started with almost no budget, we entered the studio in February 1999, and right from the first hour there were problems with the 16-track analog tape recorder.. It was working at unstable speed that resulted with constant changes to the tune and pitch of the recorded instruments.. After hours of putting down guitar tracks and hearing the terrible results, almost frustrated, we gave up and quit recording that day, as the machine needed some rest.. Due to the lack of steady budget, we couldn't even book the studio beforehand.. We had to use the studio during off-time sessions between the other customers' booked days of recording sessions. Like when they already finished their recording sessions before their final reserved days, they would leave some time off, and that was the time we should enter the studio! Not only we had to be ready with all things, we made a total uncontrolled chaos in production and sound settings as well. You can figure out how many sound engineers we used, and we needed almost 7 months to complete the album, that's because we only used the studio no more than 6 hours per week!! Imagine that we needed to set the mixer and sound settings every time we entered the studio, and chased by time to record our tracks in few hours.. We even left some small mistakes on the tape!
Get the entire Kekal digital album discography (a bundle of 19 Kekal digital releases sold on Bandcamp including 13 full-length albums and 4 EPs) for only $29 USD. That's a 50% off a-la carte price.
A great way to check out the music of Kekal.