Chaos – Violent Redemption

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    Steamrollering the senses with a tsunami of ravenous riffery and adrenaline charged predation, Indian thrashers Chaos reinforce the fact that the band’s homeland metal scene is one of the most exciting adventures to be explored with debut album Violent Redemption. Eleven tracks of insatiable high octane thrash metal brought with hungry craft and contagious energy, the Trivandrum, Kerala hailing quintet ignite the ears and passions with a blaze of old school/Bay Area thrash ferocity. Whether there is much new going on with their first full-length can be debated but for full-on impressive and exhilarating metal, band and release are simply scintillating incitement.

    Rampaging around India for around a decade without finding that opening to wider recognition beyond their home borders, Chaos has earned a strong reputation and following in their underground scene. Their first demo EP in 2009, also called Violent Redemption marked the band out as an intensive force but with their album you feel, with that bit of luck and fortune all bands need, a widespread awareness is poised to envelop their thrilling confrontation. The double award winning band cast their sound with a thick influence from the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motherjane, Anthrax, and Testament in its voracious hunger and intensity. You can hear much of those flavours throughout the album which raises the lack of originality question to proceedings but used as a broad and inventive swipe in their enterprise, Chaos turns the familiarity into an addiction forging weapon in their creative armoury.

     The opening atmospheric intro Ungodly Hour is a haunting and sinister embrace giving little away to newcomers of what is to coverbe unleashed. The wait to find out is minimal though as barely a minute later Torn thrusts its muscular presence through the ears, riffs gnawing waspishly on the senses whilst rhythms punch and jab with precision and controlled rabidity. It is an immediately tempting assault, one soon energised further by the excellent vocals and melodic sonic endeavour searing the walls of the rapacious provocation. Neck muscles do not take long to start aching from the intensive response to the song’s virulent lures whilst emotions are enflamed by the anthemic call and unbridled contagion of the track.

    The immense start is instantly backed up by both Game and War Crime, the first a snarling beast of a track with explosive rhythmic jaws clamping down hard on the senses for the riffs and sonic adventure which breaks out to savage and score the imagination respectively. Three hungry minutes of prime energised thrash stalking, the song is a mouthwatering tsunami of intent and intensity matched by the equally raucous and infectiously fuelled second of the two. The almost whining essence to the grooves and riffs licks the passions into a feverish appetite whilst rhythmically and vocally the band just incites further greed for more of the same. As with most songs the solo design is striking and unpredictable whilst at times testing the limits of its place in the larger scheme of the track. Chaos though has the intelligence and ingenuity to merge it all into a narrative which rips attention and affirmation from the emotions its way each and every time.

     Saint pounds and stalks the ears with a low swinging swagger littered with irrepressible grooves and uncompromising beats. The group calls behind the again excellent delivery of vocalist JK soak the track in another almost call-to-arms temptation whilst the bass groan is a wonderful dark menace within a weave of melodic flames and sonic invention. As across all songs though it is the thrash sculpted stomping which steals an unreserved submission to what is on offer, a potent bait replicated throughout Violent Redemption in individual incendiary guises such as that of Heaven’s Gate, a song which steals the passions with an enthralling blend of Anthrax like revelry and Rob Zombie bred devilry with more than a whisper of Motherjane to the melodic craft and elegance which has its say too.

     Blacklash and Merchant of Death keep the dosage of high quality and intensively persuasive thrash enterprise hectically consuming the senses, the first with a breath-taking Metallica meets Down vivacity and the second through a creative maelstrom which seduces and gnaws the ears simultaneously whilst twisting in some of the most imaginative ideas and exploits on the album. Both leave that early hunger slavering whilst the esuriently riffing Self Deliverance and the outstanding and blistering imaginative storm of Cyanide Salvation send it and passions into a new lustful satisfaction.

    Completed by its title track, a furious unbridled juggernaut of thrash antagonism, Violent Redemption is an unashamed and exhaustive furnace of old school thrash. Putting aside the very slight issue of not offering anything truly new, Chaos has unleashed an album which does everything right and to the most virulently contagious levels. It is up there with the best genre releases over the past twelve months or so but we would suggest leads the way in providing the strongest pleasure and thrills. It is exceptional stuff with go check it and Chaos out our parting recommendation.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosindia

10/10

RingMaster 04/02/2014

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Artillery – Legions

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With more charge to it than the national grid and stronger adrenaline fuelled rapaciousness than a swarm of ladies on day one of the sales, Legions the new album from Danish metallers Artillery unleashes a horde of riotous and rampant melodically sculpted furies. The album is a magnetic beast of enterprise and passion and one which takes the accomplished and acclaimed presence of the band to new heights.

To be honest the evolution from earlier releases from the Copenhagen hailing quintet is not as dramatic as you might anticipate but something has clicked within the band, whether it is the addition of new members or the finding of a certain element in their intent and songwriting, but where personal tastes could previously take or leave Artillery, Legions has sparked a definite hunger and compulsion for its exhaustive adventure. Formed in 1982 the band released four enthusiastically received and acclaimed albums before disbanding in 2000, for the second time. 2007 saw Artillery reform and release two years later When Death Comes, to be followed two years later by My Blood, both again earning success and acclaim. With a few changes across the years the current line-up  emerged last year with vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl and drummer Josua Madsen joining founding members and guitarists Michael and Morten Stützer, and bassist Peter Thorslund who joined in 1989. Following a triumphant European tour this past May, the band entered the studio with producer Søren Andersen and what has emerged is a thrilling unrestrained ride of thrash soaked speed metal within an album which simply ignites the imagination.

The Metal Blade Records unleashed record opens with the intriguing entrance of Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh). A tribalCover rhythmic coaxing is soon joined by a folkish dance, both aspects reserved yet wrapped in an eagerness which is hard to resist. It is not long before the song erupts into a blaze of sinew powered riffs and thumping rhythmic provocation whilst still leaving room for the initial beckoning to continue its call. Mere moments later and the band is rampaging through the ear with bass and drums adding a fiery predation aligned to the scorching of guitars whilst the immediately impressive vocals of Bastholm Dahl add their particular melodic flame to the proceedings. It is a magnetic onslaught which drips craft and imagination whilst chewing the senses like a rampant wolf.

The immense start is instantly continued through the following God Feather, the track taking over where its predecessor left off, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation and contagious persuasion ridden by the outstanding clean and fluid vocals. Imagine Testament meets Flotsam and Jetsam with a healthy dose of John Bush led Anthrax and the track and album comes into view whilst offering plenty more for the appetite to breed a real hunger for. The song is a virulent anthemic lure matched by the exceptional title track. As with most the song gnaws on the senses from the start, riffs a corrosively seductive temptation punctured by the potent rhythmic antagonism of Madsen. With an almost waspish irritancy to its grooves and a swagger to its breath the track is a breath-taking blitz on ears and thoughts.

Both Wardrum Heartbeat with its stalking rabidity and Global Flatline through its inventively shifting and evolving raid of diverse metallic flavours reinforce the towering start; the second of the pair simultaneously unpredictable, enthralling, and expectations satisfying, a pinnacle to match the opening two songs whilst next up Dies Irae provides an unsurprising and safe but still riveting anthem all great speed metal conjuring requires. The guitar play of both Stützers is stunning across the album with this track and the following Anno Requiem open showcases, the pair’s ability to savage and seduce within a blaze of time irresistible.

It is fair to say that the album is not smashing down metal walls but as shown by the individual majesties of the epically sculpted melodically drenched Enslaved to the Nether and the sinister Doctor Evil, where menacing predacious riffs and enchanting sonic ingenuity hold hands as they rush the senses, Artillery rigorously embrace thoughts and emotions in a storm of adventure which stands side by side with some of the very best this year.

Closing with the Middle Eastern seeded insatiability of Ethos of Wrath, the song a sultry muscular temptress which excites in every aspect, Legions is a scintillating and arguably unexpected treat for ears and passions to indulge greedily in. It is also a release which just gets stronger with greater captivation the more sorties you take within its exceptional siege, right now Artillery is at the top of its explosive game.

http://www.artillery.dk/

9/10

RingMaster 27/11/2013

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Magoa – Topsy Turvydom

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    Topsy Turvydom might not be setting new standards and adventures for the metal world but with ten tracks of bruising and invigorating craft it makes for one sizeable and feisty encounter, a confrontation which leaves satisfaction and enjoyment lively responses. Created by French band Magoa, the album is a multi-flavoured rampage employing an expanse of styles and invention within its explosive body and though it maybe is not the most original fury of modern metal it does provide a very easy to devour and return to exploit.

The album from the Ermont hailing quintet is the successor to the band’s well-received debut Swallow the Earth, a superbly sculpted and delivered blaze of metal which builds on the strong base of its predecessor to push the band to greater depths in their songwriting and aural manipulations. Released via Klonosphere and produced by Charles “Kallaghan” Massabo, Topsy Turvydom initially engages the ear with a rich suggestive ambience, its brewing mass and intensity punctuated by electronic beats. It soon unveils the entrance to opener Ailleurs where the guitars of Vincent Alvarez and David Teixeira are instantly carving the air with concise sinew clad invention and the rhythms of drummer Martin Montergnole punching as forcibly as the riffs beside them. It is a magnetic introduction where the squalling vocals of Cyd Chassagne sit perfectly upon the djent/metalcore filtered enterprise The already impacting encounter lures the passions further as an electronic teasing and the bass of Vincent Blondel add extra contrasting yet wholly persuasive tempting. The song is an immense start which provides the core knowledge of the album, a storm of slightly familiar attributes unleashed in a resourceful and contagious tempest.

The following Wall of the Damned is a sturdy confirmation of the strong start, cleaner heavy rock vocals and grooves the opening Pochette_cartoninvitation within another rapacious cage of hungry riffery and rhythmic provocation. The song twists and turns in its presentation, fusing a mix of John Bush fronted Anthrax and TesseracT which slowly burns its way into the senses and imagination, moving from initially a pleasing encounter into one of the highlights of the album, its emotive keys caressing and melancholic atmosphere an endearing and lasting suasion.

As the likes of the commanding Max Bet, with its infectious blend of lethal intent and melodic swaggering, and the intriguing Betraying Grace next play upon the ears, the album continues to enthral and breed a strong hunger for its presence. The second of the two swings from a Pantera like snarl to a pop metal coated harmonic embrace, its structure imaginative and impressively crafted as it entwines the extremes into an appealing and ultimately convincing assault. Another track which takes time to fully persuade and to ignite the energy of pleasure others reap with ease, the track only leaves attention and appetite engrossed in what Topsy Turvydom next has to offer.

     Party Time brings an electro metal bred suggestiveness to its encounter which without lighting the fires and an appreciation like its predecessors still makes a worthy incitement for the album and emotions, if not a long term one, the same which can be said of the classic metal seeded Eat You Alive and the Estamos Locos. The first of these two is less potent in its merging of styles, the song shaking the throat gently rather than ripping out its flesh like other tracks on the album, whilst its successor even in providing a brutal and ravenous predation on the senses fails to find that spark or fuse to a lingering and deep thrill, though both in craft and skill leave no one wanting.

     Broken Record is a different story; featuring Threat Signal’s vocalist Jon Howard, the track is a ravishment of the senses with an intensive rabidity soaking every riff and rhythmic strike whilst vocally Chassagne, backed strongly by the band, chews every syllable of his narrative before sharing its aggressiveness. Infusing rap vocals in to the antagonistic rage works well as do the harmonies which caress the ears in the latter part of the song even if neither delivery escapes the shade provided by the great lead attack, but it is the imagination and adventurous experimentation of the song and its structure which makes the richest convincing; and certainly the virulent grooves and Korn like breath which breaks out at times does it no harm either.

Completed by the strenuous and inventive might of Forgotten Saints and the excellent closing insidious fury of the thrash lit There Is No Tomorrow, the album is an impressive and convincing slab of accomplished and thrilling metal. Magoa might not be stretching limits but undoubtedly creates a tempest of enterprise and skill which feeds the needs of any metal release. Intelligently carved invention, exhausting passionate energy, and the eagerness to push themselves, the album has it all and more.

http://magoamusic.com

8/10

RingMaster 06/11/2013

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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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Athanator – The Perfect Enemy / Architect of Disaster

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Though Athanator was a name often on the wind surrounding our ears the RR had never taken the plunge and investigated the band further despite their mention always coming in positive and strong declarations. Thanks to an email from Alberto Arias of their Columbian label LIXO Sonido & Discos the chance to remedy that fell into our laps as two of their albums The Perfect Enemy and Architect of Disaster were sent our way for covering. Neither is new, from 2006 and 2009 respectively, but such their quality and compelling persuasion another of our intermittent retrospective reviews was definitely the order of the day.

Hailing from Medellin, Colombia, Athanator formed in 1989 and was soon one of the biggest draws on the country’s metal underground scene. Demo recordings began building an emerging stature for the band with the usual line-up shuffles many bands go through adding spice to the progress of the band. 2000 saw the band release debut album Rise the Death which not only cemented the band’s place in the passions of the underground but sparked wider world awareness for their contagious melody fuelled thrash metal. A place on Raise The Slaughter- A Tribute to Slayer in 2002 only brought greater recognition upon the quartet leading the band to selling out numerous shows and supporting German thrashers Destruction, whilst second album Earth of Blood, a release bursting with old school thrash might, pushed the band further into the sight of the world before the two albums concentrated on here sealed the deal and set  the band one of the best emerging metal bands not only from South America but the genre itself.

The Perfect Enemy instantly warns the ear with the first track’s war zone introduction. Thoughts On The Battlefield then erupts into viewathanator and into a charge of thumping rhythms and explosive riffs; its eager and hungry assault gnawing the ear to spark an immediate appetite for release and sound. As the hoarse vocals of Jaime Ocampo graze the senses from within the fiery and greedy exploits of his and Eder Zapata’s guitar enterprise, the track brings the prime essences of Slayer and Anthrax into a keen and potent mix. It is maybe not the most staggering start but is the perfect appetiser for the likes of the rapacious Fill Your Heart With Fury and the predatory Unsocial God to build upon. The first of the pair employs essential grooves into its adrenaline driven riff attack with the vocals finding an even more impressive position at the heart of the climactic song. The bass of Kike Ramirez enjoyably grumbles and prowls gloriously throughout song and album whilst the drums of Juan Carlos Sanchez, which for personal tastes are given a weak tinny production, cages it all with flare and skilled eagerness.

The third song on the album is a trigger to greater things on the release, its imaginative welcome and twists bringing a varied slant to sound and release. There is a Metallica like whisper through its emerging shadows and riveting sonic premise whilst Cavalera Conspiracy intimidation teases across the restrained but potent provocation. This new level is matched by the creative riots of Purified and the scintillating Gallery Of Dreams whilst Smile Of The Death with riffs and rhythms flying from its core like missiles steals top honours on the album with its mix of Static X and Megadeth seeded invention. After a more than decent start The Perfect Enemy evolves into one fine thrash/metal album finishing with another triumph in the mighty shape of Hatred In Shater.

architect     Its successor Architect of Disaster again opens with a scene setting breath, this time an industrialised haunting atmosphere generating menace and fear. It leads into first song Morbid Fear with evocative hues which seamlessly evolve into confrontational jaws of the opener. Instantly there feels a darker more predacious energy and breath to the album than its predecessor which soaks the song with formidable intensity. Like on the previous album the opening song is a very solid and welcoming encounter which awakens the senses for following songs to exploit better, though it should be noted the guitar play and spicy latter hooks offered are pure addiction.

The following tempest of The Army Of Death raises the temperature and intimidation higher whilst the likes of Scarred For Life and Method To The Madness whip up deeper passion for their destructive temptations. The first of the two songs grinds away at the emotions and body with grinding grooves and rabid riffs whilst the drums of Repe Mejia, the only change in the line-up to the last album, punch and slap the ear as a mighty hunger for the album breaks loose, soon to be satisfied by the blistering storm of the second of the pair. As it taunts and drags the passions into its anthemic fire thoughts of Testament and Kreator are no strangers but as before it is fair to say the song and sound is distinctly Athanator’s.

There is an open maturity and adventure pinning this album to the wall of glory, a thrilling build on the previous impressive endeavours. Tracks like the viciously tantalising Into The Shadows and the even more malicious Void bring the album to another powerful and intensive climax which the throaty bass lure and lethal swing of No Room For Error and the brilliant closing The Path Of Anarchy endorse passionately. Best track on the album with vocals, riffs, and rhythms enslaving the passions in a defined brawl of creative ferocity, it leaves body and mind declaring Athanator as eternally welcome violators.

Both the Jose Uribe produced albums are tremendous and if like us you have been slow to catch on to the might of Athanator they are the essential gateway to their impressive presence. Though The Perfect Enemy probably has the greater individual moments in its body Architect of Disaster, which comes with an equally exciting live DVD, is the stronger and more accomplished of the two, but truthfully both leave even current thrash releases floundering in their wake.

http://www.athanator.net

The Perfect Enemy 8.5/10

Architect of Disaster 9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2013

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Obsessive Compulsive – Seculo Seculorum

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There has been a good buzz about Seculo Seculorum, the second album from UK punksters Obsessive Compulsive, since its release a couple of months ago but now having allowed its thrilling exploits to tease and excite our senses the record far outweighs the plenty of good responses draped upon it so far. It is an outstanding release, a collection of songs that stand toe to toe with the ears intimidating and coaxing them and all beyond into its riotous and provocative charge. Rife with feisty riffs, probing rhythms, and more hooks than to be found in an angling store, as well as the excellent spitefully seductive tones of vocalist Kelii, the album is an irrepressible temptation declaring the rock and punk fused presence of the band as one of the most exciting in the UK.

The Manchester quartet first drew attention with a couple of EPs but fired up a stronger awareness with debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams in 2010. Released on their own Vociferous Records and produced by Russ Russell (The Wildhearts/Evile/Napalm Death), the album triggered strong and eager responses as well as a wealth of underground media acclaim. Renowned for their live performances, which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Goldblade, GBH, Anthrax, The Damned Things, KMFDM, Wolfsbane, and The Japanese Voyeurs as well as igniting festivals such as Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, and Download Festival, Obsessive Compulsive are now poised to raise their stature to a much loftier level with the James Loughrey (Skindred/Bjork/Page & Plant) recorded Seculo Seculorum (meaning ‘forever and ever’).

As immediately evident on the album, Obsessive Compulsive reaps the finest essences of punk, alternative rock, and a multi-flavoured OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArock rawness which combines to create a confrontation which leaves you breathless and gripped by a hunger for more. Imagine The Distillers and The Duel tied down and milked for their antagonistic charms whilst Karn8 stands astride adding their wantonness and you get a sniff of what the album offers. There is also a melodic fire and bite which harkens back to the late seventies with both The Photos and Penetration coming to mind at times. The moment opener Sick Sick Sick bursts into a blaze of hypnotic riffs laced with a contagious groove and commanding rhythms, there is a cage around the passions sparking them into life especially as Kelii brawls into the ear with sexy intimidation. There is a sense of US rockers Mongrel about the song too when it flares up in pissed off crescendos around its virulent infectious call. It is a scintillating start that lingers around for a long time inside though it is soon matched by the brilliant Regurgitate.

The second song on the album initiates the strongest lure just by the instant firm stroking of guitar and vocals, the combination a temptation which seems to know there is no escaping its toxicity. Into its stride once again the suasion is immense and impossible to resist, the roguish roam of the riffs framed by crisp beats seemingly seeded in old school punk rock whilst Kelii provides a Pauline Murray like snarl and melodic craft to her delivery. It is another instant pinnacle which alongside its predecessor puts the rest of the album under pressure.

Both the inventively unpredictable Stamp Your Own Path and the smouldering Jardim Gramacho put up massively satisfying efforts to grip the same heights whilst Nail In My Coffin stands shoulder to shoulder with the openers with its scything riffs and barracking rhythms egged on by the continuing to impress vocals. The track engages full thrusters in the energetic chorus to rampage as melodic flames hang on to its wind, though they are later allowed to settle and bewitch the listener with skilled and inventive narratives either side of the storm. The track again shows the variety in sound and imagination already on the album, the diversity brought with invention and an array of ingenious barbs which are never too much or allowed to get too complicated.

Float idles up next with bass and deep toned guitar edging the sultry tones of Kelii as the track unveils a slightly chilling and menacing beauty to its expansive breath, keys bringing an enveloping atmosphere which almost haunts the ear whilst shards of hot guitar coals light the skies. Drawing up its sinews and malevolent passion the song builds into a rapacious fire before settling down again into the initial smoulder. It is another slice of brilliance helping to propel the album into classic areas, the evidence of that status cemented further by the twin glories of Soul Sucker and Things Clean And Unclean, the first very much a Karn8 type inducement with elements of Hole and Hitchcock Blonde to it and its successor a gritty slice of dirty punk with L7 whispers to its stunning suasion, the steely bass bait a greedy temptress. It should be noted though for all the references mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive sound is still as distinct as you would hope.

After the metallically honed triumph Fight Or Flight the album unleashes its finest moment in the punk fury of No Logo. The track is pure venom and belligerence, a blistering X-Ray Spex like piece of contentious savagery which squalls and scowls with no mercy shown or considered. It is a bruising fight which accentuates the beauty of closing song Swallow The Sound all the more, the song a compelling rock ballad with a melodic heat that frames the vocals perfectly.

Obsessive Compulsive is a band which leaves only the richest appetite and urgency for their creativity in play, and Seculo Seculorum an album which seriously threatens the best UK rock album claims for the year. A must listen release.

http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 23/08/2013

 

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Heart Attack – Stop Pretending

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It may have taken French metallers Heart Attack six years to unleash their debut album but the time was well spent honing their rapacious sound as Stop Pretending is one impressive and attention grabbing encounter. Consisting of ten mighty and finely sculpted aggressive provocations, the release instantly marks the band as one with a formidably promising future and an already accomplished and carnivorous enterprise.

Hailing from Cannes and formed in 2007 by schoolmates vocalist/guitarist Kevin Geyer and bassist Flora Capello, Heart Attack with guitarist Chris Cesari and drummer Chris Icard alongside the founding pair has built a strong reputation around the French Riviera through their mass of shows which has seen them play with bands such as Dagoba, Loudblast, The Arrs, Headcharger, Lolicon, Vetha, and Cliche Boys. 2009 saw the release of their Lullabies For Living Dead EP and though it is fair to say the release did not take their awareness far from home you can only suggest that the Apathia Records released Stop Pretending will amend that situation.

The promo labels the band as groove and thrash metal and though you have to agree with both suggestions there are other rich heart-attack-stop-pretending-webessences of sound ripe for use in their invention. The title track ravages the ear first, its intense riffs a heavy suasion on the ear backed up by the immediately impressive and continuing to thrill drum attack of Icard. Finding its muscular stride with a more thrash laden intent to its combativeness, the song barracks the senses with a tight acidic groove, throaty bass menace, and that already thoroughly compelling rhythm attack of the drums. Vocally Geyer grazes the ear with a strong and expressive delivery, one which reveals its ability to shift tact and attack as the album progresses along its sinewy course.

The adrenaline fuelled impressive start is immediately backed up by the following Face the Music. Emerging from a sample from Gladiator, the track rampages with the artillery of rhythms parading their irresistible might to instantly have knees buckling and a surge of intrusive riffing that leaves the appetite thoroughly awoken. Geyer mixes a death coated guttural attack with his cleaner delivery whilst the strings of Cesari dance with melodic flames trailing from their creative notes and narrative especially in a quite delirious solo. Primarily though the song is another piece of metallic rabidity that seizes and commands attention whilst employing neck and leg muscles in its predacious storm. As with a lot of the album it is fair to say boundaries are not being challenged in originality on the song but it is impossible to dismiss or refuse the craft and potent imagination at work.

The next up Sweet Hunting, which features Dagoba vocalist Shawter, again works its intensive charms on the passions with skilled antagonism and thought, its tsunami of crippling force merging with colourful enterprise. Like a mix of Machine Head, Hatebreed, and maybe John Bush era Anthrax, it is a blistering tempest of sonic danger and temptation, something you can equally apply to the likes of Lazarus and Raging Load too. There is surface chastisement across the album which does at times does blend tracks together if not paying attention but the rewards for that extra concentration are plenty and imaginative as shown by the again stunning guitar work across the first of these two songs and the rhythmic tsunami of excellent which especially makes its successor an incendiary proposition though the guitars again make their declaration openly clear. With the vocals again twisting in another dimension to their incitement the track stands out amongst numerous highlights.

If there is one niggle of the album it is that the fine bass craft and invention of Capello is often in the shadow of the rest of the sound. It is always there and you feel Capello’s presence throughout but sadly not always with enough clarity, though thankfully Down the Way is one song where she is allowed space to shine, and the lady can play as shown on further album pinnacles, 1902 which features William Ribeiro of Moghan Ra, and the scintillating and dirty Wasted Generation. Every song it should be said is a beast of a collision for senses and heart on this album, Thrash Your Neighbour especially savage and memorable, and leave only thorough satisfaction.

If Stop Pretending does as stated lack enough original inspiration to stand as a best of year contender it does stand as one of the better corrosive and inventively sculpted releases, one which for most is one formidable introduction to Heart Attack, a band we will hear a lot more of.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 24/07/2013

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