Devil-M – Revenge of the Antichrist

Band

A tale of torment and corrosive emotional shadows, Revenge of the Antichrist is a compelling concept album which ignites the imagination, pushes thoughts, and inflames ears. As much as those are always wants, at times the body also needs a stimulus to feed from and the new album from German industrial metallers Devil-M is packed to the rafters with rhythmic bait and hypnotic sonic incitement persuasion to pull limbs and torso into its imaginative devilry. At times a release which makes you draw rapid awe bred breath and in other moments a testing yet enthralling challenge which needs some work to embrace, Revenge of the Antichrist is a gripping and rigorously fascinating treat.

Devil-M is the brainchild of Max Meyer, the band emerging in 2006 as a solo project for the Schöningen hailing musician. Merging his interest in movie scores with pungent electronic diversity, the project was soon contributing soundtracks for independent movies like Die at Dawn. 2009 saw Meyer turn the proposition into a band format which was swiftly followed by a relatively well-received release of debut EP Willst Du sterben and a host of live shows with bands like Nachtblut. In 2011 first album Kannst Du sterben was unveiled to strong and positive responses, its success followed a year later by the uniting of the current line-up of guitarist Lars Everwien, bassist Lisa Hass, and Sonja Langenfeld on keys alongside Meyer. Shows with band such as Grausame Töchter, Centhron, Vlad in Tears, Angelspit, and FabrikC pushed the band’s presence and reputation further which Revenge of the Antichrist and its fiery blend of industrial metal and cinematic/theatrical endeavour can only reinforce and open a wider attentive spotlight upon Devil-M.

Drawing on inspirations like Lars von Trier’s movie Antichrist and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Revenge of the Antichrist tells the dark story of Astharat, a man suffering schizophrenia who kills his wife, and his mental turmoil and descent. The album begins with the two parted Rising, both Unholy and Siddhartha Gautama within the seamless track uniting for a transfixing opening. Keys instantly craft an appealing lure which a potent rhythmic enticement accentuates before an ascent of dark harmonies and energy comes in to help build an imposing and intriguing wall of sound and coaxing. Moving into more antagonistic shadows, the track begins stalking the senses and prowling the imagination with raw riffs and threatening beats, guided by the equally caustic tones of Meyer. It is a trap impossible to resist entering; the melodic call of keys a deceitful welcome into the jaws of an intensive examination and corrosive landscape. Like a mix of Nine Inch Nails and God Destruction, the track is an irresistible doorway into the album’s musical and lyrical narrative.

The following Apokrypha soon rewards entry with an even stride of pulsating beats and crowding riffs within a climactic atmosphere of harsh electro squalls and acidic melodies. The song is a bruising and simultaneously seductive Albumcover - Revenge of the Antichristproposition, the varied guttural roar and clean vocals of Meyer a pleasing texture within the climactic air and inventive stroll of the song. The track is the coming out of the tale’s demonic character with sounds colouring thoughts and ideas as potently as the lyrical premise. Its impressive presence is matched by the clearer but no less menacing scenery of Astharat, the full emergence of the album’s protagonist adorned with celestial harmonies latched to predatory intent and textures. Again as with its predecessor, the often subtle and at times dramatic twists and turns makes for a riveting encounter though they are not as imposing as in the previous song or as addictive as in the next up Scrabbed Angel. Its initial electro teasing is a tempting which soon takes on a leering edge to its addictive beckoning. Once the rhythms are in open swing the virulently contagious instrumental provides an inescapable toxicity of turbulent intimidation and primal seduction.

From one pinnacle of the album another instantly steps forward to steal the soul. Rebirth is a rabid surge of charging rhythms and tenacious hooks, a nimble footed and heavily shadowed dance of evocative lures and destructive ingenuity honed into another powerful charm offensive crafted by the keys and the delicious backing tones of Langenfeld. Openly inspired by Marilyn Manson and blessed with a Hanzel und Gretyl like revelry, the track is a glorious incitement and pleasure, a success which in many ways the album never manages to match again.

From Birth To Death though is certainly a formidable successor and proposition, its initial repetitious nagging of whispered vocals rich bait behind which a raw blaze of guitar busies itself before erupting into a ferocious slice of metal seeded brawling with a thick air of early Pitchshifter and Prong against the swirling electro colouring of keys. The song is an unfussy and thrilling grazing on the senses, a voracious onslaught to bring another varied twist to the album as the lead character relentlessly spells out his presence.

There is a feel of the harsher side of Dope to the following Good Way Of Dying as well as a Numan-esque gothic resonance to the impressive track. It is another where the guitars take a slightly more prominent position and the song definitely blossoms from their caustic lead to offer something different again before the two parts of the title track envelope ears and thoughts. Pt.1 is a maelstrom of malevolent vocals, angelic melodies, and hypnotic persistence around the darkly serpentine psyche of Astharat with its viciously rasping temperament. Pt.2 is a briefer and clearer provocation from the album’s central figure, its uncompromised intent and less muggy atmosphere presenting a clarity which is as imposing and intimidating as the tempestuously spawned onslaughts.

Both the piano led Love Is Not Available with its appealing scuzzy touch and the bewitching Garden Of Eden leave thoughts and ears engrossed, though neither can live up to the earlier songs. Each does provide their own individual and rewarding dramas, the first of the pair an emotive reflection which shines with beauty within a more vociferous hazy breath. Its successor is fuelled by an infectious rhythmic resourcefulness within a meandering and magnetic caress of melodic keys and heaven spawned harmonies. It is an elegant instrumental unafraid to show its sores and blemishes and though as mentioned it cannot live up to earlier successes, it lingers to pleasing effect.

The wonderful I Am God has no such problems, its beauty and majesty creating another major highlight. With again the piano honing the song’s expression behind the enchanting unique tones of Langenfeld, the track is mesmeric and littered with gripping touches like the colder surfaced backing vocals of Meyer and the rustic electronic scattering which brings a real edge to the smouldering grace of the song. Its emotive grandeur is followed by the weighty intensity of the narrative’s closing chapter Harmful Scab. A short and imposingly potent press on the imagination, it makes a satisfying conclusion to the album’s story, though it still has a trio of remixes to offer, from Centhron, Blackest Light, and Grausame Töchter, all offering pleasing interpretations to a thoroughly impressive and enjoyable release which just gets better and more colourful with every listen.

Revenge of the Antichrist is available now @ http://devil-m.bandcamp.com/album/revenge-of-the-antichrist

http://www.devil-m.de/

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Various Artists – Operation: Underground

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There are nowhere enough compilations albums around these days especially when it comes to unleashing and promoting the potency of the underground scene. The seventies and eighties saw a plethora of important collections bringing impressive introductions to hordes of bands and often making a springboard for those propositions to find healthier and stronger horizons. Today it seems almost a rare treat to be presented with such an encounter, though amongst those which have emerged there have been many impressing releases. Adding to that list of triumphs and setting a template and example for others to follow is Operation: Underground, the new release out of New England independent label Bluntface Records. Consisting of 27 of the most potent attention grabbing extreme metal bands from the world’s underground, it is an outstanding slab of creative hostility and malicious introductions. The fact that it is released as a free download only adds to the might and weight of the uncompromising incitement.

Created and sculpted by label owner Otto Kinzel, himself renowned for his solo work and with his band Chemical Distance, Operation: Underground it is fair to say has no real fillers in its body, something else few releases of this size can claim. It comes with a showcase of quality and talent which demands close attention, exploring everything from black and death metal to grindcore and other varied extreme provocations. The album quite simply goes for the jugular from its opening moment and is unrelenting until the last pleasing violation of its final track.

Operation: Underground gets off to a voraciously impressive start through its opening pair of bands. Hailing from New York, brutal death metallers Abdicate make the first blunt incision with their track Burning Ascendance. Taken from the album Fragmented Atrocities, it is a furious decaying of the senses with grind seeded carnality. Clad with inescapable malice driven by gutturally spewed vocals which themselves are aligned to rampant riffs and a violently rhythmic tenacity, the song instantly chains and enslaves ears and thoughts with its hellacious intensity and scintillating causticity. Perfectly raw and loaded with exciting potential, it is an immense start soon left in the wake of the following Human Decimator. Uncaged by Massachusetts five piece Carnivora, the track from an opening sample lure wraps ears in a venomously addictive groove and angrily cantankerous rhythms. It is a staggering start swiftly pushed on by the outstanding vocals and magnetic signs of guitar and predatory bass baiting. Subsequently entwining groove and thrash in a unique explosion of flavoursome toxic metal, song and band instantly take a swing at top track honours and to be honest never relinquish their hold despite numerous challenges. From the Danvers hailing band’s excellent Eternal album, the song with its predecessor sets a high marker for the album which to be fair it never really strays too far from.

Ireland’s Legion of Wolves comes next with their death metal spawned track Kings Of Tyranny. Taken from recent release Legio Luporum XIV, the song prowls ears and imagination with a black hearted demeanour and similarly coloured sounds. There is a pestilential air and intimidation to every riff and swing of sticks as well as with increasing malice the gruff vocal squalls, but also an emerging melodic craft which transfixes as it tempers the enmity of the track. From the Irish success both US band Goreality with the rapier like corrosiveness of Skin On, Skin Off and Florida’s Echaton keep imagination and satisfaction high, if not quite matching the early songs. The first of the two creates an incessant thrash fuelled death metal rapacity which is as easy crawling over the senses as it is discharging an adrenaline lit trespass whilst its successor with Behold The Nexus offers a more technical premise compared to its barbarous predecessor. Do not expect to have things easy though as the song roars and scythes with jaundiced respect and impressive individual prowess over the senses and into the passions.

Markradonn come next with a track from Final Dying Breath EP called Internal Hate Unbounded. One of metals most individually sounding propositions, the Florida band create an experimental tapestry of death and black metal filtered through a progressive and symphonic rapacity, resulting as the song shows in a startling imagination fuelling encounter. Its ferociously compelling presence is left a little pale though by the caustic sonic irritancy of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds from Arkansas duo Critical Dismemberment. The song is an abrasing and unpolished smog of bad blooded death metal soaked in inventive rancor and appealing potential proving ears with healthy pleasure.

Maine’s Sacrichrist suffer from an unflattering production to their song No Savior to really impress though it does not fully smother a promise which suggests more than it delivers. Nevertheless the track grows in strength and persuasion over time to make the band one to keep an eye on alongside extreme heavy metal quintet Wrathsputin. The Massachusetts band unleash a gripping fury of sonic nastiness and rhythmic bullying in their song A.N.U.S. (A Nation Under Satan), to create another riveting moment in the album, especially with the potent enticement of contagious grooves and melodic spillages which litter the excellent song.

     Green Army from Bangladesh is another to have a diminished success thanks to the poorer recording quality of their song Reborn of the Blackened Phenomenon, though again to be fair it does not stop the accomplished and adventurous skills of the band shining through before The Slip from the excellent Garbage Can takes over. A two-piece from Ottawa, the Canadian band creates an irresistible savagery of slam grind which manages to seduce and scythe through the senses with equal attraction. The song is another setting the loftiest pinnacles on the album definitely not matched for personal tastes by Malcontent Manifestation from Inverticrux. Actually from its first gothic clad doom brewed musical seconds the track flirts with the imagination to reasonably strong success but vocally the New Hampshire band leaves emotions cold and unconvinced, that aspect a maelstrom of textures and styles which will either click for you or not.

Another Irish band in the tasty shape and sound of Syphor step up next, their track For What Remains, from the album of the same name, a predatory blend of thrash and death metal courting many other textures and spices in an 10625117_10202114872106082_8340698001833330811_ninfectiously gripping web of riffs and grooves hosted by great serpentine vocals. The Dublin band easily set themselves as another to explore further as does the ear grabbing Solium Fatalis who follow them. Dead Sands Of Time is a beast of a track, its tone bestial and weight trapping whilst its strenuous grooving and rhythmic animosity spins an inescapable web for thoughts to bask within. Maybe their sound is not rife with originality but certainly the band leaves a hunger for more as insistent as the imposing sounds which breeds it.

Infested Prophecy also fails to a light fire in ears and imagination with Abandon Departure, though there is plenty musically to spark a watch of the Massachusetts band once their blackened malevolence is given a willing production to aid the trio’s musical talent and adventure. Certainly as all the bands they are not lightweight in their offering to the album, the same easily said of both Canada’s Accursed Spawn and Florida’s Prophecy Z14. The first of the pair sear ears with a sonic and rhythmic violence through their song Burned Into Sterility which is as warped and psychotic as it is ridiculously captivating. If wanting some new Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus like sounds then turning to the Ottawa five would be a rewarding move whilst the following protagonists roam and hunt down the senses with a weave of technically driven death metal annihilation to matching success. With a swing and swagger to every element of its tempestuous onslaught, Torn from the Flies is a thought provoking proposal, not as dramatic in its capture as maybe it should be but providing a wholesome and mercilessly ravaging exploit all the same.

New Yorkers Gutted Alive lifts the lid off another stretch of commanding and impressive offerings with their track Force Fed Acid. Arguably the most brutal track on the album it is an addiction fuelled tempest of cruel rhythms punctuating sonic and vocal spite complete with a delicious nagging slingshot of grooves and flesh stripping riffery. The song is a masterful temptation to embrace and fear simultaneously which is matched stride by violent stride by Infection of the Masses from New York sextet Assault on the Living. It also niggles its way in to the psyche, repetitive textures and grooves only adding to the virulent bait and lure of the expansively flavoured sound. One of many bands you immediately feel will not be a secret for much longer they are swiftly emulated in might and quality by My Missing Half. Another foursome from Massachusetts, the Bostonians forge an enthralling canvas of melodic death metal in Empty Dreams which is as enticing with its sonic and melodic colour as it is through its rigorous design of sinew built antagonism. With essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me bringing hues to an otherwise fresh sound and presence, the band add another name to the busy check out list inspired by the album.

Italy’s Symbolyc provide their very palatable style of extreme incitement next, blastbeats and grooves as binding as the alluring vocal predation and melodic veining the stormy heart of 300 Demons. Their fury is as potently enticing as that of German metallers Spreading Miasm and their sonic pestilence The Harvest, a track which is unfussy aural toxicity with every enjoyable twist and violation wished for in an accomplished slab of extreme metal. It also finds an unpredictable invention which lifts a strong song into a great encounter, something not quite discovered by Texans Core of Desolation in their track The Return of Death’s Glorius Design, though it also is not blessed by the most understanding of productions which smothers the chance of greater success as certainly hinted at within the still enjoyable offering.

Operation: Underground begins its closing run with symphonic black metallers Aberration Nexus, the solo project of Chris Meyer from Victoria in Australia. The erosive and immersive embrace of The Solvent That Cleanses The Earth immediately smothers the senses in a melodic expression filtered through a thick atmosphere and sonic rabidity. It is an absorbing if uncomfortable experience pointing to a potential which will flourish ahead with the right touch and scenery for Meyer to grow within. Its strongly satisfying presence makes way for the Egyptian influenced death metal of Romanians Horus, their sound a warm melodic wash over a hostile frame, governed by deep throated vocals. Their track Revelation is an imaginative entwining of symphonic seducing and menacing landscapes which again lays seeds to a keen appetite to learn more before it in turn is followed by the similarly imagination capturing Suffer The Winter from Ohio metallers Vengeance Within. Without courting open originality, song and band cast a shadowed and intrigue rich terrain of potent melodies and jaundiced intensity which casts a widely flavoured and lingering presence to entice more investigation.

The album is closed by Terminality from Californians Dark Measure, yet another band on the release unafraid to explore a merger of styles and ideation to create a fiery and richly appetising conclusion to a tremendous doorway into some of the best emerging bands in extreme metal. Operation: Underground is a thrilling project from a label which lives the independent scene and really does support the cause.

Operation: Underground is available from Tuesday August 26th for free download @ www.bluntfacerecords.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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No Sin Evades His Gaze – Age Of Sedation

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Introductions from emerging bands obviously come in many shapes, sizes, and with varying success, but few leave as rich a hunger and lustful an ardour as inspired by UK metallers No Sin Evades His Gaze and their debut album Age Of Sedation. A riveting maelstrom of styles and flavours honed into a dramatically imposing and scintillating tempest, their release is an extraordinary entrance from a band young in years but mature in creativity and craft. There has been a loud buzz brewing around the quintet for a few months now and it is obvious as to why now.

No Sin Evades His Gaze was founded in the middle of 2013 by vocalist James Denton (ex-Ravenface). Completed by guitarists Kevin Pearson and Dan Thornton, bassist Matthew “Moat” Lowe (ex- Bleeding Oath), and drummer Theo Harvey (ex-Ravenface), the band gripped attention with the release of the single Age Of Sedation in May of this year, the track soon earning critical acclaim and media attention to match the appetite of the band’s growing fans. It was a potent hint of things to come, a rich suggestion of their new album but still merely a teaser to its blistering presence and might. Forging a ravenous and fluid web of everything from metalcore to technical and groove metal, progressive to death metal, the album is a raw and brutal hostility brought with the most elegant of touches and intensity of adventure. Not all songs startle as rigorously as others but each dramatically impresses with insatiable aggressive invention and rapier like imagination. Age Of Sedation may not top best album lists come December but it will be high in the majority of candidates.

A Crack In The Looking Glass is the opening intro to the album; it’s coaxing a thought challenging vocal sample surrounded by a melodic fanfare fuelled by a portentous breath. It is not a dramatic entrance but certainly awakens 10514663_279269198932257_7855588474433333182_nattention and intrigue which the following title track swiftly exploits with its masterful provocation. Continuing the brewing almost epic ambience of the first piece, riffs are immediately rubbing on the senses as a climate of change and volatile intent boils up around them. Percussive incitement and heavy bass tempting soon add to the fascination embracing ears with the guttural growl of Denton a savage provocation in their midst. The track in full stride is a beast, tight melodic veining and caustic riffery aligning to violently antagonistic rhythms from Harvey and the ravenous intensity of the basslines. There is also an intimidating swagger to it with teasing grooves simply igniting the senses. It is obvious to see why the song set greedy anticipation in motion for the band’s album and it is only the start of something special.

     Motionless In Obedience instantly sets out its own contagious bait as drums and guitars unite for an initial canvas of temptation which brews up into a magnetically layered and impressively textured weave of ideation and sound. Orchestral whispers and sultry melodic colours permeate the intensive pressure and intent of the track whilst grooves and hooks offer a barbed lure which slips comfortably into the agitated depths of the encounter. As with all songs, each moment is a passing twist in a growing picture, the aggressive growls of Denton evolving into an outstanding clean delivery with the frontman impressive in each extreme, and the overcast menace of the song finding a clearer melodic air to seduce through. Like a mix of Meshuggah and TesseracT merged into another of Between the Buried and Me and Sepultura, but still only part of the sound, the track continues the immense start of the album.

The sonic enticement of Filth makes a transfixing lure to a bordering on carnivorous onslaught, essences of Korn and Mudvayne flirting with the industrial hints and barbarous maze of the song’s invention. It is an addictively compelling provocation, much like the album, which uses every note, chord, and pestilential syllable to assault and inspire. Its apocalyptic presence evolves into a sense of awakening as it fades away with crystalline charm before air and ears are baited by another unpredictable threat of tenacious riffing and rhythmic athleticism which sizzles with spite and ingenuity. Vocally as its predecessor, the blend of roaring rancor and melodic enticing is as masterful and rewarding as the seamless merging of vicious intensity and creative rabidity.

Both the predatory Roll Up The Royalty and Debris strikingly feed a hungry appetite. The first is a bruising fury of raptorial grooves and scarring riffs caged by inventively pounding rhythms off set by the again excellent vocal mix courted by the cantankerous charm of the bass and a mystique wrapped sonic exploration. Its successor sees the bass of Lowe offering another predacious character of sound and rugged contempt whilst over him vocals scowl and croon entwining venom and harmonious enticement. At its heart the track is a toxic treat with scything beats and scorched grooves sculpting a scintillating net of creative resources and bewitching imagination.

Age Of Sedation continues to abuse and ignite the senses with its enthralling tapestry of sound and inventiveness, The Cycle Resets an incendiary blaze of sonic poise courted by a twisted fight of rhythmic brilliance whilst the next up Biometric Alchemy laces its vigorous terrain with industrial strains of tempting and potently evocative flames of sinister melodic radiance. It is another glorious pinnacle in the album; the song’s first half a towering oppression of carnal malevolence which evolves into a stunning progressively seeded fire of melodic expression and vocal brilliance. Think Soilwork meets Fates Warning to give some kind of idea to its excellence.

The release is completed by firstly the infection dripping enmity of The Guillotine Blade, a creative war for the senses and template for the imagination to immerse in. Its every turn oozes ingenious challenges and stirring provocation cored by an infestation of enslaving grooves and sonic tempting. Its triumph is matched by closing track Affinity, the most aggressively mellow proposition on the album but still littered with rhythmic animosity and stabbing riffs. It is the swarming flames of melodies and warm vocals which steal the passions though, their beauty an absorbing caress in the final creative and ravenous blitz of the release.

The song is a richly flavoursome end to a stunning debut from No Sin Evades His Gaze. The fact that Age Of Sedation just gets more powerful and enthralling with each listen, not forgetting exciting, suggest that the UK has a band to set the metal world ablaze if not now within near horizons.

Age Of Sedation is available digitally and on Ltd Ed CD now @ http://nosinevadeshisgaze.bandcamp.com/album/age-of-sedation-2014

http://nosinevadeshisgaze.com/

9/10

RingMaster 21/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Edge of Haze – Illumine

(c) Olli Kiikkilä

(c) Olli Kiikkilä

As much as there is a creative adventure and aggressively provocative breath to Illumine, the new album from Finnish metallers Edge of Haze, there is also a unique and mesmeric charm to its melodic metal which sets it and its creators distinctly away from the crowd. It makes for a tremendously striking proposition which brews up an atmospheric embrace through the entwining of progressive and alternative metal with a melodic and ambient fuelling. The Espoo quintet’s sound is a thick and vibrantly textured proposal which is as thrillingly adept at seducing or savaging the senses. From this the band’s second album emerges as a masterful treat which like an emotive sea laps upon the ears and imagination with varying intensities and successes whilst offering a perpetual enthralment of invention and irresistible persuasion.

The seeds of Edge of Haze begin with the metal band Damage, a project vocalist/bassist/guitarist Eero Maijala and drummer Janne Mieskonen began in 2007. Subsequently joined by guitarist Lenno Linjama two years later and with a couple of demos under their belt, the band expanded with the joining of keyboardist Akseli Savola and vocalist/guitarist Iivo Kaipainen which led to the renaming to Edge of Haze in 2010 as well as a change in direction sound wise, a new progressive and melodic strain of ideation and flavour merging with the heavier metal sound bred through Damage. The departure of Kaipainen led to the addition of Markus Hentunen as debut album Mirage begun its birth in 2011. Released the following year to strong acclaim, its success and presence is destined to pale against that of Illuminate such the latter’s riveting journey and potency. Loosely based on the book Escape From Camp 14 about a man living under a totalitarian regime that upon realising his submission to this life attempts an escape and sets out to find the landscape of his soul, Illumine musically and lyrically provides a fascinating presence which paints that theme’s journey with imagination sparking colour and thought involving prowess making a thrilling treat for ears.

Opening track Drawn releases a haunted whisper of ambience before guitars cast a provocative web of melodic expression courted by a just as magnetic keys spawned atmosphere. It is a potent start which is soon settling into a sturdy yet Cover artwarm stride, its sinew sculpted grooves seducing ears as the excellent tones of Hentunen work on the senses. His vocals are immediately compelling and masterful within the slightly tempestuous breath of the track, adding greater strength to the narrative and the impressive canvas below him. A soft and elegant drift of voice and sound brings another unexpected and intrigue ripe twist to the already absorbing and impressive emprise, the eventful track sparking thoughts and passions with sublime ease.

The Pyre brings an openly more aggressive and muscular proposition wrapped in a sinister and imposing climate of dark shadows and intent. As its title suggests, the song is a blaze of scorched sonic endeavour and rippling invention, its ravenous air entwined by a melodic beauty and that almost mesmeric vocal quality of Hentunen, which here is supported potently by the coarse growls of Maijala. The track continues to climb over the senses and imagination with an inescapable web of enslaving sounds, a solemnly flavoursome gothic darkness and drama aligning its lures to the voracious and seductive essences soaking the persistently evolving picture. Its heady almost oppressive design is powerfully contrasted by the melodic beauty of Urban Reverie, its opening gentle parade of rhythmic vivacity within a vocal and guitar spawned majesty providing an emotive urbanity which spreads throughout the imaginative coaxing terrain of the song.

The following Crushed is like a reality check to the dreams of its predecessor, riffs and rhythms an antagonistic stabbing from its opening second whilst snarl spewing grooves and vocal scowls add further predacious bait. The melodic and harmonic side of the track is equally as pungent in its voice and resourcefulness, Edge Of Haze able to merge both extremes whilst giving each a creative clarity which radiates its side of the drama. The scintillating maelstrom of ingenuity is first followed by the decent instrumental 3:30 A.M., its dystopian ambience another reminder to the tale’s political and social landscape, before Into The Red Sun makes its piano composed engrossing entrance. Over scenery of possible escape, Savola transfixes ears and thoughts before the track erupts into a powerful ball of sonic heat and creative tenacity. Riffs and grooves seduce with a slightly carnivorous texture before a relaxation of intensity makes a refined platform for Hentunen to lay his ever fascinating tones. Possibly not the most overall gripping track on the album, its every turn still brings an appetite filling adventure which tightly grips attention and stirs up greater hunger for track and album, its epic finale alone a creative alchemy.

Both Unlearn and A Storm At The River keep listener and release entwined, the first an exciting charge of energy and virulence coloured with celestial fire before unveiling the richest vein of hostility found on the album. Of course like all, the track is a series of moments seamlessly linked and united for a compelling and exhilarating incitement of ingenuity whilst its successor is a smouldering glide of emotive grace and evocative ambience woven into a melody fuelled flight of passion and reflection. The pair epitomise the complex structures and contagiously intricate flavours which paint every song, as mentioned every shift of a track’s body or thought a new expanse of pleasure and intrigue.

Illumine is concluded by firstly the fiery atmosphere and sultry sounds of Rainfall, its exploration bringing an emotional continent of insecurity and suffocating angst within the fluid movement of the song which easily combined being mellow and immersive with stormy and intimidating within a swoop of a chord or a caress of vocals. Final track A Newfound Horizon provides a ten minute journey of its own to bring the album’s musical and lyrical narrative to a powerful close. Again in all aspects the song merges serenades and croons with roars and inhospitable ambiences, its ridiculously addictive investigation of new lands and emotional extremes glorious.

Illumine is a sensational release, one where some tracks steal the heart more than others but each piece of the creative puzzle leaves ears basking, imagination devouring drama, and passions bursting with a want for more. Edge of Haze has made a striking statement for progressive and melodic metal, and you can only feel it will be the first of many ahead.

The self-released Illumine is available digitally and on CD now @ http://edgeofhaze.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/edgeofhaze

9/10

RingMaster 22/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Six String Slaughter – Born Unspoiled

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Creating a tempestuous onslaught bred from the pestilential malevolence of death metal and the virulent antagonism of thrash, Danish metallers Six String Slaughter unleash their debut album to reinforce and push into greater attention their emergence as one of the more compelling protagonists within extreme metal. Ten tracks of exhaustingly confrontational and ravenously intensive enterprise, the release is a brutal and riveting protagonist twisting an old school spawned sound with intrusive invention and merciless sonic savagery. It is fair to say that the album is not flooded with striking uniqueness and undiscovered toxicity but with the band members bringing forward two decades of experience and adventure into its ruinous incitement, Born Unspoiled is a ruggedly accomplished aggressor with a hunger and intent which leaves the pack in its wake.

Six String Slaughter was formed in 2007 by ex- Corpus Mortale members Søren Jensen (guitars/bass) and Nicholas Maschøln (drums) who not having played together for many years decided to “collaborate on this new project to see if the original energy was still there.” Spending a year writing songs and searching for the right vocalist, Daniel Wilkens was brought into the band which swiftly led to the release of The World Slaughter EP. Their debut release was eagerly received and met with acclaim as was the Frederikssund trio’s The Next Slaughter EP which was uncaged a year later in 2010. Signing with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions not so long ago, the band now unleash their first full-length and such its corrosive rabidity of sound and intent aligned to pure thrash contagion it would be foolish not to expect similar and stronger attention rising up around the Born Unspoiled as with those earlier encounters.

The album opens with its title track and in no time is running over the senses with nagging riffs and heavily swung rhythms which are soon joined by the bear like growls of Wilkens. It is irresistible bait especially as a hornets nest of riffery frontcoverniggles away before being pushed aside by an intensive heavyweight pressure of vocal and portentous energy. It is a fleeting moment in the persistently turning gait of the song though, the great irritant of riffs returning to re-ignite the senses and imagination whilst Maschøln pounds the former to an inch of their being with inventive and violent beats. Jensen casts an inescapable web with his guitar alongside the deliciously threatening and throaty bass endeavour which adds further to the masterful and pleasingly unpredictable start to the album, though it is soon left standing by the outstanding Holy Lies. The second track from its first breath is swinging grooves and rhythms around like Godzilla throwing buildings, every second a colossal incitement of creative rabidity and toxic enticement honed into one of the year’s best tracks. Managing to lumber with the sheer weight of its intensity but also bounding with voracious enterprise, the song is magnificent, a horned beast driven by the craft and energy many bands dream of and few achieve.

The following Gathering Dust makes a more reserved but concentrated entrance with a winding flame of guitar. It is soon a rampant barbarity but still reins in some of its rancor and intensity to stalk rather than devour ears. Not quite matching its predecessors though, the song still fires up thoughts and emotions potently ready for the challenging maliciousness of Everywhere (There are Prophets). It also prowls the senses but finds a greater concentration of infectiousness to its core hostility whilst brawling group calls add to the persistently gripping guttural baiting of Wilkens. Riffs lash and tease with open rancor whilst rhythmically again the song is a maelstrom of attitude and viciousness, it all making for a thrilling violation.

Both Nothing but Death in the End and I am not at War bring a different colour to the constant pugnacity of the release, the first a corrosive predation of darker toned riffs and bass predation twisted into a virulent and mouth-watering groove of the richest persuasion. A brew for addictiveness but tempering its inescapable bait with a blackened sonic expression which slowly meanders and permeates the senses from within the unrelenting blasting of Maschøln, the track is another pinnacle of the album swiftly backed by its successor. With only the lyrical prowess something to challenge with its at times ‘lazy’ and simplistic repetition, the track is still a forceful and captivating quarrel to sink eager teeth into for strong satisfaction.

Virulent Narcissism is a less dramatic brute of a song but still holds plenty to light ears and appetite with its strenuous riffing and sharp grooves within a cage of pungent rhythms whilst the next up Careless which features Anders Lundemark of Konkhra, is a tangle of waspish grooves and crippling rhythms led by bile splashed snarls. Like the previous song it also fails to reach heights of previous tracks but makes a statement to enhance the album and puts other bands in the shade.

Born Unspoiled is brought to a close by firstly the brawly charms of Building the Monuments and an excellent cover of the Brutal Truth track Birth of Ignorance, each a maelstrom of intensity and sound bringing an outstanding release to a thunderously thrilling conclusion. As said earlier maybe strong originality is a low factor in Six String Slaughter’s album but few death or thrash blended releases have pleased and impressed as powerfully or with the shape of invention the band offers here.

Born Unspoiled is available via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions now @ http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/born-unspoiled

http://www.sixstringslaughter.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues!

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It is fair to say that Finnish doom metallers Cardinals Folly is a band you are going to take to or not. Certainly there is a middle ground too where intrigue keeps attention and thoughts embraced in interest and indecision over the band though listening to new album Our Cult Continues!, it seems to demand adoration or avoidance with little in between. Cardinals Folly is not a band to just soundtrack an hour of simple listening pleasure is soon obvious as the band’s second album challenges the senses.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, Our Cult Continues! is a dark trespass of ears and thoughts with a generally crawling pestilential persuasion which at times ignites the imagination as forcibly as it violates the senses. It can be a riveting intrusion with imposing heavy riffs and deeply permeating rapacious grooving but also a lingering threat which loses its potency through the length of songs, a seeming aversion to spread its creative wings, and the daunting challenge of the vocals where notes are often dishevelled and squeezed of flavour. As mentioned it is not going to be for all but it must also be said that it left a compulsion to investigate the release again and again and is definitely likely to lure the appetite of those with a passion for bands like Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard. For sure it needs time to make its persuasion a full argument, with still no guarantees of success, but if band and album clicks with wants it has the potency to make for a unique test and enjoyment.

Formed in 2004 as The Coven and called Cardinals Folly since 2007, the Helsinki based trio of vocalist/bassist Mikko Kääriäinen, guitarist Juho Kilpelä, and drummer Sebastian Lindberg soon made an impression with their first pair of EPs, 2008’s Heretic’s Hangover and Orthodox Faces the following year. Two years on the band signed with Shadow Kingdom and unleashed debut album Such Power is Dangerous!, again to strong responses which the new release is sure to emulate with those holding a taste for the band’s distinct takes on doom metal.

Opening with the evocative and cinematic Chant of Shadows, the album makes an imagination poking entrance. It is not a hugely dramatic start, but an introduction to the dark realms and sinister devilry of the band which holds enough a2356633421_2coaxing for fans and newcomers to take the plunge into the hellish depths of Our Cult Continues! As its satanic call drifts away the following Morbid Glory steps forward and soon presses ears with acidic grooves and hollow but pushy rhythms. There is an immediate shallowness to the production which takes time to acclimatise to but is not as big a leap to embrace as the vocal tones of Kääriäinen. With a voice which flirts with melodies whilst infusing a monotone lilt equipped with tonal alienation, the bassist croons and serenades throughout the track and album with varying success. It is another aspect to get used to and will of all the things about Cardinals Folly, probably be the biggest test for many, but to be honest it is also something to gradually warm to and embrace in the singers potent moments and hold reservations over in their less momentous turns. The song itself lurches and lumbers with ravenous intensity and labour intensive predation to seduce ears and rile the senses.

The Black Baroness makes a greater impression than its more than decent predecessor with a carnivorous throat to the bass and sonic enterprise from the guitar. There is a punk air to the acidic strokes of Kilpelä, riffs an abrasing antagonism and the meandering chords bleeding whispers of Spizzenergi and The Pack. With a healthier contagion to its bait, it crawls potently through body and mind before passing over to the oppressive rapacity of the title track. A thick web of riffs and blunted rhythms, the track is appealing smog of sound and intent, a sonic cloud veined with an engaging raw groove and a moment of bewitching clarity. Vocally too the song is persuasive, Kääriäinen better in an aural crowd than providing a driving lead in many ways.

The virulent surging of Sighisoaran comes next, the song a torrential abrasion held on a slight rein as it rampages and an even shorter lead in its slow consumptive twist of primal voracity. As most tracks it is a proposition which takes time to explore and come to terms with in many ways but ultimately provides an uncompromising assault enhanced by the great guttural snarl of the bass and a keen repetitious incitement. Like the majority of songs it is also border line on whether outstaying its welcome length wise, though when things begin to labour the band does throw in a timely twist to pull back any negativity a little.

The pair of Walvater Unveiled and The Lover´s Crypt smothers the listener in a sonic causticity and vocal starkness to again challenge and solidly persuade. The first is a lumbering expanse of venomous riffs and demanding rhythms which from an underwhelming opening evolves with scorched grooves and another potently gripping bass temptation to enthral. Its successor brings a more classic heavy metal breath in its melodic toxins and healthy doom swagger on its way to sculpting one of the bigger highlights of the album. The song also invites a richer invention and imagination from the band which in turns flirts with the listener to greater effect as it creates another reason to give Our Cult Continues! time before deciding its fate.

Last track Fallout Ritualist provides, despite its far too long a presence, a highly convincing conclusion to the album, its Sabbath-esque swagger of riffs and incendiary grooves along with the previous track crafting the best part of the album with ease.

Even after numerous visits Our Cult Continues! still leaves us undecided; its raw production defuses as much as it enhances and with a vagueness of imagination at times, the album seems to be an adventure of missed opportunities. Yet it also makes for a compelling proposition to keep considering. Cardinals Folly is one for the individual and to be honest the only way to know if they are for you is to allow them a chance to challenge and convince.

Our Cult Continues! is available via Shadow Kingdom Records now @ http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/our-cult-continues

https://www.facebook.com/cardinalsfolly

7/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Escape The Cult – All You Need To

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All You Need To is a persistent little temptation, an album which admittedly did not really blow thoughts and senses away initially but did engage them in a pleasing and intriguing proposition. Away from its aural embrace though hooks and melodies, rhythmic twists and grooves kept swerving around the imagination and memory, all leading back to and revealing themselves as being bred by the debut album from Escape The Cult. The seven track encounter is still not an experience to leave you intensely awestruck but with its lingering and ingenious enterprise certainly enthrals as one of the year’s more exciting progressive metal propositions.

Escape The Cult is one of those super groups you read about, a collection of established musicians taking time out from their more recognisable exploits to explore new hopefully impressive avenues, something the quartet does with ease from start to finish. The brainchild of Kamlath bassist Peter G. Shallmin, Escape The Cult came to life in 2008 with its founder drawing on the qualities of vocalist Matthieu Romarin of Uneven Structure, guitarist Mike Wead from King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, and Primus/A Perfect Circle drummer Tim Alexander to help realise his vision of creating a progressive metal audio/visual experience. It has been a journey for the band to this point and for Shamlin who talked about the album saying “It was a dynamic and exciting start, with blood, sweat and tears shed throughout the process and a long exhausted preparation for the attack. Every day was worth to make it real. We were sincere in our ideas that are embodied in our debut.

The gentle but resourceful entrance of opener Backfired, with a bass twang courting spicy guitar enterprise, swiftly catches the imagination and though it is not a dramatic start to the album, an intrigued appetite for the song’s offering is

Created by Igor Omodei

Created by Igor Omodei

drawn. The distinctive tones of Romarin bring a familiar and passionate texture to the emerging narrative of the song, one never forceful or in a rush to challenge ears and thoughts but leaving inventive tendrils of melodies and strains of sonic incitement to infest the passions. It is a potent and riveting start to the album, basking in the renowned individual skills of its creators whilst forging a compelling and unique suasion of its own.

The following Clandestine opens with a muscular and aggressive threat which is soon tempered by an evocative heat of sonic colour and warm vocals. There is still an intensive weight to the rhythmic potency of Alexander though to keep senses on edge and balance out the almost Queens Of the Stone Age like sultriness coating the melodic exploration of the song. Grooves are seemingly slight in their bodies yet make for the most addictive and as mentioned earlier relentless temptations, the outstanding second track one of those which makes the most re-appearances in thoughts away from its source, whilst the flames of guitar endeavour from Wead transfixes as they scorch air and senses.

A definite pinnacle of the album, it is soon backed up by the gentle croon of I’m Absolute. With an immediately delicious web of hypnotic bass flirtation and the similarly mesmeric vocals of Romarin, the song sways and immerses ears in a smouldering and jazzy emprise of progressive fascination. The beats juggled by Alexander further captivate and ignite an already invigorating breath to a song, which as the album as a whole, does not explode in the passions but worms its way seductively into the psyche to forge an even more intensive bond.

Both the melodically tender Feel The Flight and the rapacious Tired Of The Past provide an absorbing canvas to lose one’s thoughts within, the first adding tense riffs and restrained yet incendiary grooves into its impassioned but mellow landscape. It is another where particular elements fire up ears and the passions rather than an overall combination but that united blend provides the embrace and rich foundation within which the sublime twists and essences can impress. Its successor is a feistier encounter in sound and intent which boils with imagination and unpredictability, preying on and tempting the listener with a provocatively charged invention which snarls and seduces with equal predation. An exceptional track binding ears in a thrilling adventure, it also sows seeds which blossom at a later date, though that is something truthfully which applies to all songs, as shown by the brilliant This Time Will Come. Hints of Alice In Chains and Tool, which have flirted with other songs too, make a rich enticement within the masterful blaze of intensive melodies and sonic acidity. There is also an underlying snarl and angst fuelled growl to the track which simply scintillates within the impressive and constantly evolving invention as it pushes itself to be the pinnacle of the release.

Where No Grown Up Grapes brings the album to a fine close with its web of heavy vocal and sonic passion. It is another where it simmers without lighting fires but then in a twist of a chord or rhythmic shuffle finds an enslaving idea or slither of imagination to set thoughts and passions ablaze. That sums up All You Need To as a whole, it at times simply pleasing with skilled ease and then striking with sheer genius and expectations slaughtering ingenuity. It all makes for an album which leaves a rich impression and presence with even deeper laid lures which prey on the listener later. How frequently Escape The Cult will be exploring ears and imagination ahead we will see with its members ‘day jobs’ etc. but anticipation and hunger for more is already breeding healthily thanks to All You Need To.

The self-released All You Need To is scheduled to be unveiled in September 2014.

www.facebook.com/EscapeTheCvlt

8.5/10

RingMaster 19/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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