Stuntman Mike – Triangles

stuntman mike pic

UK alternative rock band Stuntman Mike has brewed a potent rising reputation for their vibrant sound since forming around three years ago, a certain trigger coming with the release of debut song Triangles. Following on from the keen promise of the single Blackout Revolvers released at the tail of last year, the trio from Glasgow now unleash their debut album, also called Triangles, to make a strong and enjoyable statement about a band finding their creative and enterprising feet. The release offers a collection of accomplished and passionate songs which leaves an eager appetite for their persuasion in place. The album it is fair to say is not one stretching the boundaries of uniqueness for the genre but certainly adds a fresh and heart bred spice.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Kasabian, The Police, and Queen into their ideas and organic sound, the trio of vocalist Scott Hetherington, guitarist Billy Mulholland, and drummer/backing vocalist Affy Ahmad have earned an impressive reputation live which has included shows alongside the likes of Kassidy, The Dykeenies, The Damned Things, Gun, Barry Hyde (The Futureheads) and the Virgin Marys. Their previous self-released singles have also garnered great support and acclaim with the song Secret Forces winning Rock Recording of the Year at the Scottish New Music Awards. Continuing to be passionately DIY, the band is primed to brand a deeper mark with the album, an evocatively fuelled release recorded with famed Scottish producer Stuart McRedie (The Fratellis, Pete Doherty, The Dykeenies, Codeine Velvet Club).

Coming in new to the band, it has to be said their name is not the most inviting for some reason but that is soon forgotten as the 1098022_623813610973427_2105731101_nalbum’s opening track Buffalo confidently strolls up to the ear. Crisp beats and fiery melodic guitar teases immediately draw in attention whilst the brewing intensity and excellent vocals add further potent persuasion. It is not long before a Manic Street Preachers feel emerges from within the song, a flavour which with the band’s own invention makes for a sizzling and impressive invitation. Hooks continue to scythe a deep lure in the imagination whilst sonic hues stand side by side with the delivery of Hetherington to incur greater temptation upon the passions. New ground is not being laid with the song but satisfaction is undoubtedly thick in its presence.

The following Great Exploitations with its fizzing electronic spices and vocal harmonics finds a Muse tint to its magnetic temptation. The stomping core of the song leads the emotions on a heady venture beneath the continually shifting and exploring melodic weave and anthemic breath to forge an encounter which like its predecessor just lifts and ignites the appetite and passions. It continues the impressive start which is not quite matched by next up Modern Glory and Promise, both songs lacking the spark which marked the first pair. Neither lack craft and imagination though, the first having a Mind Museum like emotive energy to its narrative and the second an infectious if not quite tightly griping call to its encroaching cloud of sonic intensity and provocative adventure. Taken alone the tracks leave a lingering impression but on the album pale against the surrounding opening twosome and next up We Say Fire. This song is a sinew sculpted confrontation with a feisty swagger to match. Not neglecting the melodic flames and skill the band already unveils on the album, the track is a storm of rapaciousness and restraint, the extremes brought in a seamless and compelling alignment.

Through the likes of Cartel with its broody guitar and bass probing and the tantalising Roses and Razors, the band continue to hold thoughts and attention in their direction but into its second half the album loses that fire which earlier songs seduced with. Again though these and tracks like Ashes and Champagne Wolves are never less than pleasing and enjoyable in their company, just not lingering once departed.

Closing with the enterprising romp of Kingdom to provide a strong finish to its enjoyable presentation, Triangles marks out Stuntman Mike as a band to keep an eye on. The album does not reach the peaks found by some of its tracks consistently enough across its length to fire up the passions intensely but with all songs soaked in promise and adventure it makes a healthy base for the band to spring from.

http://www.stuntmanmike.co.uk

7.5/10

RingMaster 29/09/2013

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Lucifer Star Machine – Rock’n’Roll Martyrs

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lsm- pic by-tinakorhonen

Caked in the filth of life and the passion of instinctive rebellion, Rock ‘n’ Roll Martyrs the new album from UK antagonists Lucifer Star Machine is quite simply unbridled, uncompromising punk n roll. From first violent note and lashing syllable through to its last vicious squall on the ear, the twelve track assault is nothing less than dirty hunger driven confrontation, but a fusion of punk and heavy to hard rock which leaves satisfaction greedy and thrills a plenty. With their third album the band is presenting the sound and merciless energy they are renowned for but have taken it up many levels of contagion and impacting persuasion to unleash their most potent and enjoyable moment yet.

Hailing from London, Lucifer Star Machine has left a legacy of destructive pleasure in their wake from live performances and releases. From intimate sweat drenched halls to festival stages across over ten countries the quintet has challenged and ignited audiences alongside the major names of punk rock whilst from debut album Fire In Your Hole in 2005 and its successor Street Value Zero four years later the band has marked out a portion of genre territory for their furious sounds. Released via I Sold My Soul Media and recorded with producer Andy Brook, Rock’n’Roll Martyrs stirs up the air, senses, and appetite with a blaze of corruptive addictive sounds which plays like the anarchist offspring from a union between Generation X, Turbonegro, and  old school Misfits. It is arguably the most accessible album the band has unveiled and certainly the most unforgettable and incendiary.

The riot begins with Hold Me Down, a fire which offloads a crucial groove spiked with intensive hooks from its opening breath. Often leading and never far from the surface of the song, the lure is as insatiable as it is addictive and twists lustfully around the ear as riffs and rhythms flail the atmosphere and tight sonic melody soaked invitations spark into an anthemic chorus and group calls which further capture the imagination. It is a magnetic tempest of a start which breeds real hunger for what is to follow, especially with the charge and inventive flames sculpted by guitarists Dave Malice and Laughing Boy Fernandes.

The following Sulphur & Speed starts with a healthy glam rock teasing which would not be out of place in the seventies but soon chews it1235933_717631201587116_811714221_n up and transforms it with a Misfits/Danzig like intimidation. The vocals of band founder Tor Abyss snarl with contempt and force whilst his clean delivery only adds to a great alluring presence. The merger of all that melodic swagger and feisty intensive rhythmic, riff, and vocal abrasion leaves a potent persuasion which has feet and throat in unison more often than not.

Through the old school bred Hammer Me Dead with a more caustic hardcore delivery from Abyss raging over the excellent cantankerous rhythmic testing of new drummer Txutxo Krueger (formerly of Last Resort and Total Chaos), and the irrepressible fist pumping anthem Death Or Jail, the album continues to ignite the passions and an instinctive fight within thoughts whilst the initially Clash like For Reasons Unknown, where the bass of Crusty Chlamydia coaxes in the imagination with ease, explodes another level of satisfaction and temptation upon Rock’n’Roll Martyrs. Evolving into a virulently catchy and dramatic treat, the song has elements of The Damned and New York Dolls to its stomp adding further adventure and variety to the album and pleasure.

Both Poison Arrows and Dead And Gone leave a pleasing taste on the palate, if without managing to reach the heights of the previous tracks. The first has a more restrained and poised gait though it does not lose any energy and impact in relation to its predecessors whilst its successor is a undefined smog of garage rock with a scuzz lining that intrigues and satisfies yet like the song before lies pale against the stronger elements of the release. Dark Water also lacks the spark which made the first half of the album so magnificently imposing and commanding but nevertheless has attention and appetite eager to consume and join its mission to provide honest ear barracking rock ‘n’ roll.

The malevolent Cancer Daddy pushes things back towards the thrilling peaks of the album, the song another breath stealing storm of anthemic bait and enterprise making way for the sinister charms of The Curse. It is a more than decent encounter which makes a good appetiser for the tempestuous excellence of Rotten To The Core, a furnace of middle finger attitude and punk confrontation which in its one minute twenty lays waste to the senses and emotions showing the emerging young punk bands how it is done. Explosive and bloody-minded, the track is another pinnacle to the album.

The closing I Hate You Forever leaves one final punk infested fight upon the ear, the Sex Pistols tinted riffs and hooks wrapped in a hard rock assault with rapacious sinews. It is a strong end but does not steal memories from the song before and earlier triumphs ultimately. Lucifer Star Machine offers punk ‘n’ roll at its dirtiest accomplished and weighty best, and Rock’n’Roll Martyrs their pugnacious call to arms.

http://www.luciferstarmachine.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/09/2013

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Master – The Witchhunt

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Eleven albums in with the twelfth upon us, US death metal pioneers Master shows no signs of letting up or taking their creative feet off of the pedal from continuing to make one of the most inspiring potent impacts on the genre. The Witchhunt is their latest phenomenal scourge of the freshest contagious grooves and sonic temptation crafted within an insidious web of bone shuddering rhythms and predatory corrosive riffing.

Since being formed thirty years or so ago by vocalist/bassist Paul Speckmann and drummer Bill Schmidt, the pair meeting when the latter was brought into the former’s band at the time War Cry, the Chicago hailing band has helped sculpt and drive US death metal whilst influencing the genre across its extensive field. The band’s start was not quite a fluid event with the pair struggling to find a suitable guitarist. This led to Schmidt joining Mayhem Inc. and Speckmann starting up Death Strike which used some of the songs intended for Master.  Eventually Speckmann reunited with Schmidt in Death Strike which was subsequently renamed Master and its history truly began. Across their previous swarm of albums the band has continued to enthral and impress, let along incite and inspire many others, their releases never less than gripping and often acclaimed pinnacles of death metal. The trio of Speckmann, guitarist Alex Nejezchleba, and drummer Zdenek Pradlovsky now unleash another undoubted peak with The Witchhunt. Released via FDA-Rekotz, the release comes with a raw and coarse texture which you can imagine will not be for all but certainly brings an intensity and caustic breath which only accentuates the potency and venom coursing through the album’s veins.

The title track starts of the irrepressible temptation, riffs rhythms seizing the ear as a toxic groove permeates the synapses with MASTER_The_Witchhunt_cover_300dpiridiculously addictive bait. Barely a minute into the track with the vocals of Speckmann squalling nastily over the lure, song and album has hunger alight. Settled into its torrential assault the track does lose some of its surprise impact but offers an intensive unrelenting suasion of heavy shadowed urgency and sonic flames instead. It only accentuates the strength and call of the song, the band still yet refreshingly creating their trademark fusion of old school Motorhead, Venom, and early Slayer corruptive death metal enterprise.

The following Plans Of Hate continues the ridiculously addictive climate of sound and aggression if without matching the immense impact of the first. Grooves and imaginative guitar fire spirals across the plain of intensive provocation, whilst the gait of the track is juggernaut like and fuelled with high grade rapaciousness right through to its final swipe before Another Suicide parades its lumbering intensive pads of sound split with wonderfully niggling sonic rabidity and that vocal maliciousness and scurrilous delivery distinct to Speckmann.

The album continues to increase its grip on the senses and passions, getting better with each subsequent track with Waiting to Die next devouring ears and thoughts with its chugging thrash bred resourcefulness and contagious swagger. It alone confirms that the band still has the instinctive ability to create songs which ravage and annihilate whilst taking the listener on an impossible to resist ride of pure infectiousness and impossibly addictive sonic temptation. The guitar imagination which flails the song later on is equally as delicious and bewitching, ensuring every wants and needs of the appetite are catered for. The likes of The Parable with its swarming predation and the smothering, almost suffocating rampage of God of Thunder twist the passions taunt around their sinews and breath-stealing toxic crusades; the constant waspish grooves and sonic stings stalking the senses through the embroiling rhythmic barrage of invention and violence. Equally tracks such as the exceptional and transfixing Remove the Clowns, a song which shows more compelling twists and sonic curves than a pole dancer, and the Motorhead similar Wipe out the Aggressor, well until it unchains grooves and enticements which should be illegal such their addiction, leave the deepest greed for the album’s presence and corruption.

Manipulated to Exterminate sees Speckmann offering a spoken narrative alongside his usual excellent pestilence of a delivery which brings the lyrical side of the song more to the fore. It has to be said that lyrically the album is a bit of the blur but that is more to do with the epidemically narcotic pull of the distracting sounds; with close attention the word side of things is generally as firm as the maelstroms raging around them. The outstanding track is another major highlight in nothing but peaks with the closing furnace of The American Dream a matching destructive conclusion to one beast of a thrilling release.

The band continues to set benchmarks and certainly The Witchhunt will be another marker for fans and bands alike. The album is easily one of the most impressive and enjoyable extreme metal releases of the year, though do we really expect anything else from Master?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Master/18521536017

9.5/10

RingMaster 27/09/2013

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Maths and the Moon – Night Train Daydream

Maths and the Moon pic

As soon as the opening track of Night Train Daydream, the debut album from UK band Maths and the Moon, began its tantalising flight of persuasion and rhythmic dance a broad grin emerged pushing back lips in lustful anticipation. The track took mere moments to ignite an intrigue and hunger which was last rife back in 1977 when the albums Pink Flag and more so Chairs Missing registered their instinctive temptation upon the passions. As the band unveil more of their psyche bred sounds across the release thoughts of those album’s creators Wire whisper very loudly across the imaginatively hued, transfixing addictive journey Maths and the Moon skilfully conjure. There is plenty more to the spellbinding sonic travelogue of course, all of which only teases and thralls the senses and imagination into its tense and dramatic escapade.

Hailing from the New Forest area of the south of England, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Andy Fielder, drummer Luke Taplin, and bassist Matt Hirst formed Maths and the Moon in 2009 and made their live debut alongside legendary Can frontman Damo Suzuki the following year. Night Train Daydream and its startling contents were recorded and produced by the band across 2009 through to 2012, a journey of time and internal venture for the release which finally has its departure into the thoughts and you can only suspect hearts of the country September 30th. Already preceded by the single Old Days/New Daze which was released as  free download invitation, the album provides one of the most unexpected and thoroughly, greedily consumable treats of the year.

The provocative intensive dark charms of FFWD (Fly From Danger) opens up the dramatically imposing and scenic expanse of the album.a3240501242_2 It is a riveting first stop on the imaginative travelogue of sound and invention, a brewing rhythmic virulence emerging from a sonic mist to mark its first call. A cavernous breath calls from within that evocative chilled ambience as restrained whispered vocals tempt and coax in the passions further. Submission to the deliciously claustrophobic toxic fumes is unavoidable especially as voice and rhythms darken their presence and intensity to crowd and incite the imagination and emotions further. It is a staggering entrance of repetitive discordance which strongly pushes forth that Wire reference, which is confirmed and cemented in thoughts by the following On A Knife Edge. Another bait of rhythms beckons whilst a minimalistic bass and guitar call alongside the again reserved yet expressive spoken vocals seduces with ridiculous ease. Once the narrative sends the delivery of Fielder into a more mania bred uncertainty there is a sense of The Mae Shi to the song which merges with post punk chills of again Wire for a captivating almost nightmarish wonder.

The stunning start is next taken into a schizophrenic waltz of sonic and emotional discordance in Hekyll And Hyde which challenges its own psyche and the imagination of the listener; dark and light, peace and mania all conflicting yet seamlessly united provocateurs which explores inner turmoil whether emotional or physical. The great thing about album and songs is you can interpret things into personal potent landscapes as easily as sensing the band’s intent, their aural descripts guides without dictating which ensures each continued trip with the album is unique.

It’s Okay To Be Afraid continues the incredibly addictive and immense presence of the album, the track an initial caress of melodic warmth and tender comfort sculpted by sensitive guitar melodies and bass pawing which embrace the shoegaze glaze of the chorus, the mesmeric tone adding an extra reassuring kiss within the coarser shadows of the track. Another magnetic enticement which recalls the likes of House Of Love and My Bloody Valentine in many ways, it leads the senses into the mesmeric instrumental Recurring Dream Number 13. The chilling verging on sinister atmospheric piece is the continuation of the previous narrative of dreams and sleep within its predecessor, the track a hypnotic meditative embrace with imposing edges.  The outstanding Old Days/New Daze is the awakening from this track, its busy and feisty bass stroll and rhythmic rounding up of the senses and thoughts a forceful slightly deceptive lead into new fearful yet rewarding if faced, adventures. The guitars carve a sonic storm of riveting enticement across the sky of the song whilst the drum and bass bait make a perpetually enslaving inducement alongside the monotone but engaging vocals, again so reminiscence of Wire and the early solo work of Colin Newman.

Through the likes of the air blistering menacing WWYB (The Demons March), the acoustic and starkly elegant Anxious Cats, a song which launches upon a larger intensively dramatic stance midway, and the deceptively hypnotic Monochrome which finds an invention and roving stance that is pure post punk toxicity, the album takes the passions and imagination through strikingly and intensely coloured emotive explorations which stretch not only thoughts but the boundaries of the songwriting and album.

From the slightly industrialised instrumental Lolocomo, Night Train Daydream heads to the completion of its absorbing dark ride with firstly the exceptional Light At The 11th Hour, the track a fiery garage punk infused slice of rewarding fun for the traverse of so many exciting dark stops on the journey, and lastly the electronically propelled Polychrome. The song is a scuzz driven dance of bright sonic lights and heart spawned celebration, though as now expected it does not come without dark corners and shadowed distractions to ignite even greater rapture and intrigue.

 Night Train Daydream is a brilliant debut, a mesh of droning seduction, fire drenched corrupted melodies, and uncompromising imagination. Maths And The Moon almost make you believe in musical reincarnation, as though they are not the new Wire they are surely the kings of their legacy.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maths-and-the-Moon/168962103158259

www.mathsandthemoon.bandcamp.com

10/10

RingMaster 25/09/2013

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Hell’s Domain – Self Titled

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Giving the body and senses no time to grab a breath from its first brawling note through to its riotous last, the debut self-titled album from Danish thrashers Hell’s Domain is a storming blaze of thrilling aggression and voracious energy. Without pushing down the walls of the genre, the album is one of the freshest and invigorating thrash releases to come along certainly this year and a marker for other bands to aspire to if they want to permanently enslave the passions.

Formed by bassist Lars Knudsen and guitarist Bjørn Bihlet in 2007 with an intent to conjure up some contagious Bay Area-inspired metal, the band was soon drawing on the combined experiences of being in bands such as Crionic, Hatesphere, Pixie Killers, Artillery, Grope, Koldborn, and Exmortem from the mid-eighties and over three hundred shows with a line-up completed by drummer Anders Gyldenøhr, vocalist Alex Clausen, and guitarist Andreas Schubert in 201,. Produced by Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Sick of it All, Kataklysm, etc.) and released via Punishment 18 Records, the band’s first full introduction to the world is armed with all the weaponry and virulence to thrust them into the widest recognition of devouring passions possible. With a sound sure to re-ignite the hunger bands like Testament, Exodus, and Slayer bred over the years, Hell’s Domain is a force destined to re-vitalise their genre.

Days in Hell opens up the fury, riffs searing the flesh of the ear whilst belligerent rhythms rap hungrily upon the smarting doorways to Hell'sDomainCoverthe senses. It is an immediately incendiary confrontation elevated by the excellent vocals of Clausen and the escaping grooves which taunt before wrapping tightly around the still torrential flow of antagonistic riffery. There is a swarm like incessancy to the attack which only accentuates the song’s temptation and merciless persuasion, but also an intent which is equally sure and precise in its picking and seizing of targets.

The following The Needle and the Vein and In The Trenches continue the immense start, the first caging the listener in a web of drum stabs and hearty riffs before flaring up with scythes of melodic flames which have a near on psychobilly lilt to their punk bred strikes. The song ravages with pack like intensity and ferocity from every second and note whilst drawing a tempering seduction from its melodies and sonic enterprise to defuse the suffering. The mighty encounter is soon matched by its successor, the song initially a more restrained and deliberate enticement with a hard rock beckoning soaking the vocal’s entrance before casting a greater thrall through an Anthrax like adrenaline led predation.

Even at this point you sense something special is brewing up potent toxicity, a hope and assumption confirmed by the likes of the slower persuading yet ultimately passion seizing Order #227, the sonic sand blaster The Walls Come Tumblin’ Down, and especially by the exceptional Crawling in the Shadows. The second of the three is a blistering tempest sculpted by ever impressing destructive rhythms and scathing consuming riffing ridden by magnetically alluring and powerful vocals. The song epitomises the album, it not exactly stretching boundaries but creating a presence and attack which is compelling, virulent, and lanced with individual sonic devilry. The last of the trio opens with a smouldering weave off melodic caresses upon the ear and imagination, its ambience building up to a climactic expulsion which holds off until the colour hued narrative of the guitars have crafted the landscape for the sinew clad adventure to forage. The track once in full stride stalks the listener with its predatory yet welcoming charm, showing again the diversity and inventive thought within the thrash cored tornado of an album.

There is not one sign of weakness or a dip in the staggering strength and lure of the release, songs such as the mighty Dead Civilization, a bruising assault loaded with greedy rabidity, and the corrosively riveting and deliciously wanton As Good As Dead only accelerating the deepening call of a set in rapture whilst the exhilarating primal force of A Good Day to Die leads the pulse rate and heart into dangerous territories, whispers of Suicidal Tendencies only raising the toxicity of the song’s bait.

Completed by a cover of the Crionic track Sneaking Disease, Hell’s Domain has unleashed undoubtedly one of, if not the very best thrash record of the year and a contender for the most enjoyable metal album full stop. Now this is how to spend those coming autumn months, locked in the maelstrom that is Hell’s Domain.

http://hellsdomain.dk/

10/10

RingMaster 24/09/2013

 

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Aeris – Temple

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     Temple is an imaginist’s playground, an album which allows the listener’s instinctive mental adventure to cast its own potent narratives within unique expansive journeys. Sculpted and presented by French progressive metallers Aeris, the seven tracks/movements within three chapters is a magnetic and enthralling landscape, each piece of music a guide and suggestive lure through absorbing and melodically hued textures and sonic scenery.

The quartet from Nantes create a presence which has essences which remind of bands such as Pelican, Sunn 0))), and Red Wave whispering strongly at times in their sound but only as flavours to something distinct and vocal to Aeris. Consisting of guitarists Manuel Adnot (Sidony Box , Detruire Tous Les Humains, Thinking Noise, Swim, 1Band4A Crew) and Louis Godart, bassist Emerson Paris, and drummer Boris Louvet, the band creates and explores more in the less than a half hour in length release than a great many bands achieve in epically lengthy propositions. It is the precise and imaginative touch of each note which provides an incisive frame and canvas for the aural tale of sound and the listener’s own invention to unfold and colour the encounters.  Nothing is forced or laboured and at no point is a second or moment left without rich evocative colour and persuasion working their temptation, the result a masterfully crafted experience and a riveting fire of melodic expression.

Released via Ex-Tension Records, Temple opens with the first part of the opening venture Flame. Entitled Fire Theme, the track is an 968792_10151791686264840_1977370947_nimmediate forceful burn on the senses, a rhythmic inducement crisp and almost antagonistic within the sabre swipes of sonic passion and twisting melodic spires. It is almost Meshuggah like in its entrance soon expanding into a web of intense and acidic melodic guitar stalked by the excellent bass which develops a more carnivorous breath deeper into the piece, its menace a disturbing shadow and danger to the cauldron of heat and energy. The midway flight into calmer if no less intimidating skies offers some sense of safety, once more the guitars painting an enchanting yet caustic atmosphere which leaves thoughts entangled in a scorched world of hopeful yet seemingly destructive fantasy. Moving into its second movement Hidden Sun, the track immerses in a haze of sonic lava, melodic fumes shimmering off of the guitars with an acidic rub to their touch. More dangerous than its predecessor the travel through its corrosive terrain is daunting and toxic, the doom clad ambience and guitar descript within a sludgy rhythmic cage of lumbering intensity verging on suffocation, that is until Rising Light evolves from the perilous stance with feisty sinews and a raging melodic blaze which guides the listener to slightly safer if no less hungry climes.

The second section of the album Richard-Horizon-Robot starts with Richard and immediately the adventure is distinctly different and separate from the previous episode. Vibrantly lighter but equally as creative and exploratory, the track finds the guitars reaping jazz seeds for their slightly schizophrenic intent, riffs and bass casting a dark shadow around the incendiary and frenetic sonic maze of sound and ingenuity. All together they forge a union which plays visions like an eccentric dance through an intriguing neurotic tempest. The emerging Horizon tenderly kisses the ear, keys a seduction which calms the senses and lay imagination within a warm celestial embrace. Like a blossoming flower, the song slowly stretches its lures and elegance across its emotive beauty, gently holding the hand of thoughts as it moves into Robot. Initially like an epilogue to both previous parts, the piece is soon creating its own unique waltz, melodies and the increasing sinewy textures of the guitars carving out a starker imposing template for the band to stretch and investigate.

Final track and chapter is Captain Blood, another piece of creative excellence which stands with a character unique to what came before and able to forge a new in this case noir drenched adventure for the listener to immerse within. There is a sixties progressive bait to its opening stormy gambit, moving into another caress of calm and crystalline enchantment before exploding into a tempestuous but mesmeric fire of soaring invention and melodic chaos all honed into sonic majesty.

Temple is an outstanding album with only one issue preventing it being a classic and that is the production on the drums which to us sound flat and unflattering to the obvious talents of Louvet. Despite that with the at times extraordinary skill and invention of the guitarists and the dark transfixing presence of the bass, the album is a delicious exploit. Aeris create realms and premises it is a pleasure to explore and lose oneself within.

http://www.manueladnot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AERISTEMPLE

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/09/2013

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Necromessiah – The Last Hope Of Humanity

Necromessiah

Smothering the senses in the caustic excrement of hostility and a ravenous malevolence of blasphemy, The Last Hope Of Humanity the new album from Italian extreme metallers Necromessiah is a ferocious and fearsome confrontation which you only want to devour. It is a violation which emerges as a thoroughly compelling and exhilarating antagonist leaving exhaustion and satisfaction as its lingering toxicity. Raw and uncompromising, and at times a victim to similarity across its malicious venture, the album is a raging torrent of blackened thrash/heavy metal which ultimately only seduces the emotions and thoughts, if in a harsh, destructive, bordering bedlamic way.

Formed in 2002 the band has unleashed their self-acclaimed ‘Heavy-Powered Death & Roll’ in the venomous forms of releases such as first demo In nomine deus quad ecclesias igne absumor, their debut album Instar Gladii in corporem Christ… of 2004, its successor Antiklerical Terroristik Death Squad of 2007, and a split 7″ EP called The Oath Of Bacco Militia with Dewarsteiner. Tours and shows across the UK and Italy have also earned the band a strong reputation which the 2010 released EP Get Ready and the Unleash Disorder EP of last year has cemented further. Signing with Punishment 18 Records for the release of The Last Hope Of Humanity, the trio of vocalist/guitarist NecroManiac, bassist SGT Baal, and drummer Darken are poised to take a leap up the recognition ladder. It is not an album one suspects to break them into the biggest spotlight but one certainly to ignite a new legion of ravenous followers to their malignant creativity.

From the forty five second maelstrom of sonic bestiality and pit borne hellishness that is Opening the Gates the album explodes into NecromessiahCoverview with Returned from Hell, sulphur fumes spiralling off of its grooves within an aggressive cage of rhythmic spite. The vocals are equally as noxious in their guttural squalling and demonically coated appetite, and though they initially take time to acclimatise to are the bearers of the blackest serpentine shadows and depths alongside a thrash seeded fury which is more compelling than fearsome but thoroughly riveting.

Next up Bio Terror Beast snarls with bass rabidity from the very start before the guitars and drums stomp all over the senses with premeditated savagery and organic virulence, their bait breeding a tighter grip on attention and hunger than its predecessor sparked. The merciless clawing of riffs and the rhythmic barrage give no peace or mercy to the listener whilst the sonic invention of the guitar which explores the ear is a flailing lure which only accelerates the contagion of the song. There is a swagger and groove to the track which equally steers its temptation, a lure that is equally apparent in different infectious guises on other tracks such as the following Pedo Priest, the track a caustic thrash steeled predation which scars and bruises whilst simultaneously chewing rabidly upon the senses. As mentioned without close attention there is a general similar scourge across the songs, this track an open example but beneath there is an insidious invention working away to almost secretively enslave the imagination and appetite of its recipient.

The likes of the vigorously envenomed Dead or Alive and the sonically baneful pestilence that is Kill the Pope taunt and ravage the senses with brutality and injurious adventure to continue the strong presence of the album but they and all before are soon left in the shadow of the two biggest pinnacles of the album. Arm Your Machine Gun is a malignant contagious march on the senses with a hoard like attack of riffs and rhythmic punctuation to rival its animosity and enterprising barbarity. Vocals and guitars combine to form a sadistic frontal attack which leads to greater hunger and pleasure as they prepare the bloodied ground for the appearance of the brilliant Don’t Touch My Glass.  A more intensive barbarous growl and sanguinity coats the guitars from its first breath, whilst an already strongly hinted Motorhead essence has a louder wind to its sail across the hostile truculence to ignite real ardour.

Unleash Disorder stands toe to toe with the previous pair providing the album with a more potent and towering second half to its still impressive first, the song another unbridled tempestuous assault of air sucking, bone shuddering rhythmic craft and sonic pugnacity. The brief gladiatorial instrumental Blood Boiler makes a tasty lead into final song Goat’ N’ Roll where all the sonic whores and muscular rhythmic violations swarm and pour from Hell into a discordant yet greedily flavoursome quarrel of an encounter. It makes the an outstanding mountainous close to an equally heady ride of thrash driven, black coated, metal veined heavy rock ‘n’ roll.

With the wares to appeal to fans of Motorhead, Venom, Sodom, and Impaled Nazarene, but truthfully all extreme metal and thrash fans, the album is the next major step in what looks like a certain elevation in stature for Necromessiah. It bites, it destroys, but The Last Hope Of Humanity is an intrusion hard to resist.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Necromessiah-Alkoholterrorists/171444929567104#

9/10

RingMaster 24/09/2013

 

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Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came

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     Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came, the new album from Jesu has been over two years In the making, partly for the passionate intent and adventure explored upon it and equally for the creative vehicles band main man Justin K Broadrick has been involved with. As always the musician has been heavily engaged with numerous projects since the release of previous album Ascension, most notably with the reunion of Godflesh as well as masterminding remixes for the likes of Mogwai and Cult Of Luna. The new album reveals that Broadrick has been no slouch with his own solo project and its evolution though, the Avalanche released Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came seemingly with a fresh appetite for the exploration of even darker intensive emotive depths but transferring that somber flight into a magnetically reassuring and potently hued closer to home provocation which initiates self-appraisal and reflective thought in experiences and shadowed corners of the psyche.

The dark adventure starts with Homesick, a rapaciously draining expanse soaked in melancholic intensity, where from within gnawing away behind the melodic temptation, riffs soak the ear and thoughts in drone spawned predation. It is an enthralling mix of raw yet measured rabidity and shoegaze mesmerism which intimidates and seduces simultaneously whilst its consuming breath ridden by the mellow coated vocals of Broadrick, permeates every pore of thought and imagination. As across the whole album there is plenty going on within the riveting textures and depths of the song; a wealth of open shadows and secretive light which unveil their presence with further ventures through the magnificent opener.

Comforter is a thick almost tempestuous flame of ethereal enslavement, though with hungry intensity and a snarling touch to its meditative brawl of warmth. Like its predecessor the track is an evolving exploration with a shifting emotional narrative and sirenesque presence, and at times as menacing within its smouldering discord wrapped ingenuity. The invention of the track is startling and in many ways such its uncompromising twists and ideas should not flow as magnificently and poetically as it does. As the track takes the mind deep into its provocative crevices the suggestion that this is the finest Jesu moment to date is loud and as the album continues to impress it is hard to raise much in the way of argument.

The moody resonating bass croon and metronomic beats which open up Everyday immediately seduce, a deepening of that hook secured with the post punk seeded guitar sonic colouring which adds its bewitching voice soon after to the wonderfully repetitive stroll of the rhythmic inducement. It is more of a stalking really which vocals and guitar taunt and skirt with their My Bloody Valentine/Joy Division like acidic beauty. It is a masterful entrapment for the passions with every hue and flavour of bait needed to solicit the imagination and ardour.

Exceeding seventeen minutes in length, The Great Leveller is an epic passage in its own right within the colossal emotional examination of Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came. Also featuring the bewitching skills of Nicola Manzan who provides a powerful stringed narrative across what seems a close and personal exploration for Broadrick, the orchestral guided evocation of emotionally immersive tides is a breath-taking landscape and sludge entrenched journey which only rewards as in a sense it suffocates the mind and soul into deep thought and investigation. The song is arguably overlong though it feels like its presence is far less than it actually is, but that is down to personal reactions rather than the track labouring at any point, a preference which would have conversely preferred Homesick to have stayed around longer. The extensive track is ultimately a masterful experience, in craft and effect which only elevates the album to another exhausting plateau of satisfaction.

Closing with the entrancing yet menacing Grey Is The Colour, another irresistible search of thoughts and emotions, Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came is a sensational encounter which only time and numerous travels fully reveals all its remarkable depths and incitement. Broadrick maybe be back with Godflesh to stir up the psyche but right now there is here a more eager appetite for Jesu.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justin-K-Broadrick/

9/10

RingMaster 23/09/2013

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Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit – Vertilger

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Extreme invention and imagination for extreme suffering might be the best way to describe Vertilger from experimental German duo Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit, but that is just a chapter of the tale and experience which comes with its corrosively destructive adventure for the psyche. We have often said a release is not the easiest listen or experience to run with but this album might be the most uncomfortable yet, though throughout there is a siren call which demands attention and seduces thoughts breeding a startled appetite.

The follow-up to 2010 full-length Psychohygiene, the five track release cannot be viewed on one listen, nor 2 or 5 come to that; it needs an intensive time consuming investigation which even then for a great many will never emerge as a palatable proposition. Whether it ever entirely convinces is debatable but certainly there are aspects and moments within its brew of varied metallic and noise sculpted maliciousness which steals a hunger for the ingenious and frightening imagination offered. The promo accompanying the album talks of ‘the sexualization of the psychological trauma’, of the provocation of a fetish in the deeds and psyche of man, but to be truthful it was as confusing to thoughts as the sounds investigating them so to offer a fair or logical input to the theme’s impact on the release and lyrics which are sung in German is impossible. There is an open mania, a psychological bedlam across the music and songs which challenges preconceptions and the imagination though, and at times it has you wondering if maybe finding a passion for Vertilger can be equated to a ‘fetish’ at the end of the day.

The Temple of Torturous released album opens with Lachenvieh and immediately has thoughts and emotions running for cover, Vertilgerswarming riffs and scything sonic manipulation scuttling over and ravenously consuming the ear. There is a virulent aspect to the intrusion though, the guitars weaving a web of schizophrenic mastery which grips like aural velcro to the senses. Musically the perpetually evolving and twisting raw embrace of the invention is enthralling, bordering on hypnotic but that is soon tested by the vocals. It has to be said that after plenty of plays the delivery of the vocals, a fusion of desperate serpentine clad drama and Teutonic authority, still does not lie easy on the ear and for personal tastes the album with another style of vocal delivery or as an instrumental would have had greater success .  To be fair though they do add immensely to the deep searching intent and psychological mayhem conjured across the album which possibly with another vocalist would be lost.

The following twenty minute plus long Schabenbrut opens with a celestial spotting of the air before a bestial breath spews its malevolence across the magnetic expanse woven. The ‘enchanting’ start is soon lost in an industrial toxicity which scours the ear and beyond, laying waste to the earlier breath of the song soaking it in a caustic apocalyptic nightmare where needs and urges seem to steer the psyche. A tantalising yet brainwashing run of brief ever changing exhaustive sonic temptations employing everything from noise to jazz, heavy to avant-garde metal follows. The maze of sound is impossible to pin down but riveting though again the vocals temper the success of the confrontation but musically like its predecessor, the track is an insidious bewitchment which flirts with rapture.

Multiformale Leiberdimension is the best track on the album and arguably the most accessible which is maybe why it sneaks top honours. Another swarm of sonic provocation opens up its chilling embrace whilst a fearsome mechanical rhythmic stalking soon adds to the riveting beckoning. This time the vocals are spoken with an industrial effect offering a Rammstein like voice. It is a controlling cold authoritarian narrative which guides and directs the victim, suggesting control of one’s actions and intent is a false promise. The sounds are more restrained but again controlling, enslaving the body in a tight industrialised wrap which scores and smothers the senses whilst bringing a deceitful reassurance. It is a masterful provocation for the imagination and thoughts which other tracks also achieve at times but without the clarity, though to confuse and leave the mind lost in its own maelstrom is their remit.

Both Kadavermeer and Prothesensucht are extensive examinations of the listener’s sanity to complete the album, the first an eleven minute tempest which starts off with a comforting walk before falling into the hands of another mentally frazzling sonic and inventive pyre of sound and the other a near eighteen minute furnace of sound and passionate violence which finds addiction causing grooves and insatiable magnetic scorches of imaginable and ferocious adventure.

Vertilger through time has come to be a distasteful, deceitful friend who lures an appetite back time and time again, but you would not expect this to be the norm for everyone. Vom Fetisch der Unbeirrtheit is a band which shows no mercy or restraint though that is what ignites the passions ultimately. Vocals aside it is a demonic temptress of a release which should be approached with care and safety words, but should nevertheless be approached if brave enough.

http://www.voldsom.net/

8/10

RingMaster 23/09/2013

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The First – Take Courage

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With 2010 debut album Swimming with Sharks, UK melodic rockers The First stirred up a fair bit of acclaim and support for their lively and potent sound, a strong reputation garnered as equally through their energetic and raucous live performances. The band now returns with new full-length release Take Courage, an album which builds on that very solid start with a clutch of fiery well-crafted songs. It is an encounter which will only enhance their status and fanbase even though in many ways what is impressively on offer is hardly breaking into new avenues of adventure and originality.

Hailing from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the quintet of vocalist Benny Salter, guitarists Tim Crane and Ben Knowles, bassist Adam Masters, and drummer Rob Knight instantly leap upon the ear through the thumping invitation of opener There’s No Place, a start which soon evolves into a riotous brawl upon the senses with rhythms cutting off all retreat and guitars taunting with sonic enterprise. The song soon settles into an adrenaline driven flight of intensive pop rock with a strong punk breath to its rapacious intent. With great vocals from Salter supported by the rest of the band and the guitars carving bright acidic designs around the continuing to challenge rhythms, the song is a richly satisfying if expected blaze.

The single from the album Take It Back launches at the listener next and immediately raises the stakes of the encounter. Riffs tower The First TC COVERabove their recipient with predatory expertise whilst the rhythms whip the ear with precise and venomous skill, both elements fused into the dramatic temptation of the song and then wrapped in the tight melodic invention and contagious grooves which fight for airspace within the brewed aggressive maelstrom. Each receives their clarity though and combine for an incendiary explosion of adventure and excellence which in hindsight actually makes the rest of Take Courage play under a slight anti-climactic cloud.

In saying that the likes of the explosive Dare I Say I Ruined Everything and the provocative Monster leave nothing less than full satisfaction in their wake, it is just that they lack that killer touch, the dramatic spark to ignite the passions and lingering memory for their persuasion. The second of the two offers a strong flame of guitar carved enterprise within a sinew clad presence which takes little time in securing the submission of feet and thoughts, whilst the continuing to impress vocals, singular and as a crowded narrative, are equally as pleasing and potent.

Through the title track with its stirring anthemic choruses and melodic spires leading to those pinnacles, and the feisty Shark Attack whose thumping start gets the senses and passions embroiled in an intent to stomp, though the song then teases by relaxing time and again between building up those fighting crescendos, the band continues to incite nothing less than full attention for a satisfied appetite whilst William which features guest Elissa Franceschi, lays down an emotive landscape which increases its hold and seduction further once both vocalists unite in an intense tonic of a finale.

Love Regret Forgive Forget provides the album with a final anthemic enslavement for the emotions, its muscular and intimidating rhythmic and guitar caging a platform for the vocals and the passion of the song to explore their individual textures and depths. As infectious as anything on the album and not far from the heights of Take It Back, the song still shows little to sets it apart from numerous other impressive and skilled artists, something which the album falls under too ultimately despite its very enjoyable presence.

The evocative ballad Tonight Tonight brings the Destroy Everything released album to a more than decent if pale end; the CD of the release also offering the bonus song Enough Is Never Enough which though crafted with care and imagination and is certainly pleasing is a shadow of what came before. Overall though Take Courage is a thoroughly enjoyable album, just not one which ignites enough triggers for the passions to fully engulf its creative offering.  Listening to the heart drenched songs though you can easily see why The First is raising such positive and eager responses with a sound which will appeal to fans of the likes of Deaf Havana, Mallory Knox, and Lower Than Atlantis with ease.

https://www.facebook.com/thefirstuk

7.5/10

RingMaster 23/09/2013

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