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Cromok performing live in the late 1980s
Background information
Origin Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Genres Thrash metal
Years active 1987–2006, 2010–present
Labels EMI Malaysia
Associated acts F.T.G, Langsuyr, Amuk
Members Shamsudin Ali (Sam)
Tarmizi Mokhtar (Miji)
Khairul Anuar Shariff (Karl)
Past members Hillary Ang (Hill)
Khairudin Muhammad (Din)
Che Dean (Denan)
Muhammad Fadhil (Mat Puck)

Cromok is a thrash metal band from Malaysia. They are known to be the pioneers of thrash metal music in Malaysia. Consists of three members, Shamsudin Ali as Vocalist and Bassist, Khairul Anuar Shariff as Guitarist, and Tarmizi Mokhtar as Drummer.

Their song structures are characterized by simple riffs and minimalist drumming overlaid with melodic guitar solos.[citation needed]


Cromok was formed in 1986 by four young students, Shamsuddin Ali (Sam), Khairul Anuar Shariff (Karl), Muhammad Khairuddin (Din), and Tarmizi Mokhtar (Miji). They were studying at the University of Wollongong, in Australia. While in Australia, they decided to form a thrash metal band and they frequently perform their music in small concert and gigs. They got positive responses and steadily gaining their fans, made their name within the Australian Underground Thrash Metal scene rising the ranks along with Australian Godfather bands in the likes of Enticer, SSDC, Mortal Sin, Frozen Doberman, White Trash, Addictive and Detriment.[1][2] Their single, 'Misty' was their most popular song among their fans in those days.

In 1991 Sam, Karl and Miji graduated and return to Malaysia meanwhile Din still carry on his studies in Australia. Their first album which was recorded during their studies, 'Images of Purity' were released in 1991. They receive positive responses, mostly among the teenagers, and build a huge local fan base in a short period of time. Their songs such as 'Another You', 'I don't Belong Here', 'Misty', 'Metallurgical' and 'Memories' was highly praised by their fans. However their success was limited due to limited access to mainstream media by the Malaysian government at the time (Thrash Metal was unacceptable. Always being discriminated, and banned during late 80's and early 90's in Malaysia by Malaysian government). Instead, they keep expanding their musical career, releasing five more albums; 'Forever In Time' (1993), 'Yours Truly' (1996), 'Mean, Meaner, Meanest' (1999), 'Image of Purity' [Remastered & Re-released] (2000), and 'What's Left?' (2001). 'Forever in Time' was their most successful album to date, sold over 100,000 copies in Malaysia.

Din died in 1997, allegedly because of drug overdose. However, it was later discovered that he died because of malaria. The band then continued as a trio. However, in 2001, Karl was seceding from Cromok because he wants to concentrate on his professional career and his family. Karl then was replaced by renowned guitar maestro in Malaysia, Hillary Ang from Malaysian rock icon band, Search. Cromok then issues two more studio albums, 'Deafening Silence' (2002) and 'Untitled' (2004).

At the end of 2005, Hillary returned to the Search, leaving Sam and Miji as the remaining member in Cromok. Sam then announced that they were going on sabbatical hiatus and all band activities are suspended. After almost five years of sabbatical hiatus from music arena, on April 8, 2012 they held a Reunion concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, consisting of three original members (Sam, Karl, and Miji), which also celebrated the band’s 25th anniversary. This was the latest concert of Cromok, after their last concert in 1992.[3][4] On August 21, 2013, Cromok was performing an opening act for Metallica LIVE concert in Malaysia.[5]


The group sings in English. They are also known to have at least one instrumental track in every album. Sam uses a teutonic thrash vocal style, while the band's music sounds similar to the Bay Area thrash metal. Cromok also often experiments with Malay cultural music elements and sounds, adding Malay elements to their artwork.


Many fans especially during the era of Karl were not happy when Cromok released their 4th full studio album 'Whats Left'. The reception for this album was mixed. Many fans opined that Hillary is not suitable to replace Karl since he has no metal background. Hillary was a former member of mainstream rock and roll band Search. His approach on guitar's solo more towards rock and roll, heavy pentatonic scale and not melodic. His hi-mid focus tone has tremendously changed Cromok's original sounding heard in the previous album which has hi-cut in mid frequency. The vibe on his tone also has to much crunch and less in gain which make his tone still a rock and roll sound. He was also criticized for improvising Cromok's original solo on song such as 'Misty', 'Journey' and 'Memories' during the band's live performance. There were also albums released just to harvest money out of name Cromok. Most notable an album called 'Hail To The King by Various Artist", an album to honor Cromok for its contribution to Malaysian's metal scene. Most of bands on this album have totally revamped Cromok's original riff, song's arrangement and solo lines. Sil Khannaz for example has entirely changed the song called Metallurgical. If you are new to listen to this song, you will think both are two different songs. This album was a pure 'incest' in Cromok's carrier.


  • Shamsudin Ali (Sam) - Bass, Vocals
  • Tarmizi Mokhtar (Miji) - Drums
  • Khairul Anuar Shariff (Karl) - Guitars

Former members[edit]

  • Hillary Ang - Lead Guitar
  • Khairudin Muhammad (Din) - Backing vocal,Guitarist
  • Muhammad Fadhil (Mat Puck) - Guitar
  • Che Dean (Denan) - Guitar


Studio albums[edit]

Year of Release Title Label
1991 Image of Purity VSP (Malaysia)
1993 Forever in Time EMI (Malaysia)
1996 Yours Truly EMI (Malaysia)
1999 Mean, Meaner, Meanest EMI (Malaysia)
2000 Image of Purity
(Remastered & Re-released)
EMI (Malaysia)
2001 What's Left? EMI (Malaysia)
2002 Deafening Silence EMI (Malaysia)
2004 Untitled EMI (Malaysia)
2005 Untitled + Raw EMI (Malaysia)


  • Image of Purity (1990)


  • Mentera Metal - Pelbagai Artis (1998)
  • Cromok & FTG (2000)
  • Engraved In Eternity (2003)
  • Soundtrack Gol & Gincu - Various Artist (2005)


  • CROMOK REUNION Thrashing Kuala Lumpur (8 April 2012)


External links[edit]