Bio : Band History and Introduction

Altera Enigma is the Jazz Fusion influenced Progressive Metal/Rock band of Jason De Ron (the former guitarist of Paramaecium), and Jefray Arwadi (guitarist and vocalist of Kekal). Both these musicians have a career that has seen them record and released nearly 20 albums between them.

While both Jason and Jeff may be more well known for their metal, with Paramaecium and Kekal having both released many critically acclaimed albums of intense, evocative metal, in actual fact both musicians are heavily influenced by Jazz and Progressive music in all it's forms.

Altera Enigma was formed as an outlet for Jason and Jeff to work together on music that would push their boundaries, challenge them musically and allow them to broaden their horizons and explore progressive music in all it's forms. The addition of Kenny Cheong in 2005, a Jazz Fusion 6 string bassist, allowed Altera Enigma to further develop their Jazz Fusion influences and develop their signature sound.

In 2006 the band released their first album “Alteration”, which covered musical territories ranging from heavy progressive metal with jazz fusion influences, through to ambient electronica. After the release the band took sometime off to individually work on their other bands, to record and tour, both locally and overseas, always with the plan to get back to writing the next Altera Enigma album as soon as they were able.

Even though they were on hiatus, 2007 saw the addition of drummer Jayson Sherlock, who had played together with Jason in Soundscape, and the two were busy working in Paramaecium, and then inExordium.

Jason finished up with inExordium in 2008, and after taking some time off completely from music, started writing for the second Altera Enigma release in 2009. Around this time co-founding member Jefray Arwadi decided that he was stepping back from Altera Enigma and music in general for a while.

Through 2009 and 2010 Jason and Kenny worked on writing and recording new material. The band’s second album sees the band developing their Jazz-Fusion influences, while retaining and building on the heavy aspects of their sound.  As of mid 2011, the album is close to complete with an expected release by the end of 2011.

 

Jayson started swinging magic markers around to KISS Alive! back in 1979. With only a years formal drum tuition in the ten years that followed, Jayson joined Mortification in 1990, recorded four studio albums, one live album and toured Australia extensively.

In 1993 he joined Paramaecium and commenced fulltime study in art and design. Paramaecium's lighter recording and touring schedule was the perfect fit. 'Exhumed of the Earth', 'Within the Ancient Forest' and 'Repentace' followed. Personal commitments moved him onto a break from music for the next few years, ending in the formation of Soundscape with long time friend and guitarist Jason De Ron.

Many rehearsals resulted in a very tight set of progressive instrumental songs which are yet to see an official release. Having thoroughly enjoyed 'Alteration' he feels tremendously privileged to be a part of Altera Enigma in 2007.

Kenny started bass playing at the age of 15 due to necessity rather than interest. That grew very quickly after hearing the likes Jaco Pastorius, John Patitucci, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, all huge early influences. He started by playing a five string tenor bass (without the low-B, add high-C), quickly moved on to the six string.

Kenny currently listens to a wide variety of music like James Brown, Tower of Power, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Jing Chi, Dream Theater, Greenday; basically anything that has a pulse and grooves. Apart from bass playing, Kenny is a big fan of audio equipment, enjoys watching movies and driving to different places in Australia.

Jason De RonJason began playing guitar in 1987 after hearing a guitar solo by Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, and joined Paramaecium in 1992. Jason first met Andrew Tompkins in a cemetery one night in 1991. He was there with Mosh (Colin Mynard) who was a friend of his, and Paramaecium’s original guitarist. They were there to photograph the grave for the cover of the Silent Carnage demo.

Jason got to know Andrew further when he attended a Paramaecium rehearsal as they prepared for an upcoming gig with Mortification. That same night Jason also met Jayson Sherlock and the two have remained close friends ever since.When Mosh left Paramaecium in 1992, Andrew spoke to Jason about joining, and after a few meetings and songwriting sessions, they knew it would work. From there they began writing for what would become the album "Exhumed of the Earth". Jason recorded the albums "Exhumed of the Earth", "Within the Ancient Forest", the EP "Repentance" and has added some guitar to the newest Paramaecium album "Echoes from the Ground". Along with Andrew, Jason transcribed all the music from the first two Paramaecium albums for the music scores.

He has also played in the progessive metal band Soundscape and death metal band InExordium with former Paramaecium/Mortification drummer Jayson Sherlock. His influences include musicians like Larry Carlton, Chick Corea, Dave Weckl, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Scott Henderson, Simon Phillips and Joe Satriani to name a few.

Jeff started to play music back in 1989 when he was 15 years old. He began by playing guitar, and actually couldn't play metal riffs yet. In 1990, with his high-school friends, he formed his own band. It was a totally primitive punkish thrash metal band called Obliteration, who just wanted to play fast and extreme metal, and was influenced by early Black Metal/Thrash bands such as Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, early Sodom, and Bathory. He was playing bass, but quickly changed to drums.

He decided to quit this band in 1991, and spend time learning the guitar more seriously. In 1992 he bought his first electric guitar and joined a band called Sonic Warfare, which later changed it's name to Inner Warfare. This was Jeff's first serious band; Inner Warfare wrote their own music, played shows, and also recorded some demos. Inner Warfare disbanded in 1997. Jeff officially joined Kekal in 1996, although he was involved with the band since it formation as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Kekal started to play extreme metal in the early days and gradually progressed into more electronic-influenced experimental/avant-garde rock/metal.

Kekal have released 7 full-length albums ("Beyond the Glimpse of A Dream", "Embrace The Dead", "The Painful Experience", "1000 Thoughts Of Violence", "Acidity", "The Habit of Fire", and the new 2008 album "Audible Minority"), An Official Demo ("Contra Spiritualia Nequitiae") and a split release ("Chaos And Warfare"). Kekal have also released "Spirits From The Ancient Days", which is a collection of early demo recordings as well as a best-of album "Introduce Us to Immortality".

Jeff also owned and run Vision Studio in Jakarta up until 2006, and in addition to his musical responsibilities in Kekal engineers and produces their albums. In 2006 Jeff moved to Canada and now lives in Calgary, near the rocky mountains.