Dead City Souls – Self Titled

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Potential loaded and aggressively contagious, the self-titled release mini-album from UK rockers Dead City Souls is simply an irrepressibly enjoyable and impressive debut. It is an encounter which is firmly established in a recognisable heavy and hard rock seeding and stomps more with the presence of an already familiar friend than a brand new provocateur, but it does not stop the release from switching on appetite and emotions with its thoroughly satisfying and adventurous rampage of sound and energy.

Rocking out of Stoke-on-Trent, Dead City Souls formed in the spring of 2013 and were soon drawing and breeding potent local support and attention. This spread as their live presence and their reputation for fiery energy soaked performances. Spending last year also recording a host of demos in preparation for this album, the quintet hit the studio with Paul Hulme (Lawless, Demon) in May of this year and the result is a potently stirring riot posing as an album.

Starting with the almost blink and you miss length of decent intro Embark, band and album fully explodes with the following Back Against. The guitars of Jay Meehan and Scott Pinnington are swiftly upon ears with raw bracing riffs whilst in close attendance the crisp beats of Jake Nixon and bass predation of Glenn Culver add to the infectious lure of the song. In no time the strong vocals of Jordan Davies are adding their expression and weight to the increasingly punchy drive of the song, every aspect converging on an addictively catchy and fiery blaze of a chorus. The song is insatiable in its anthemic tempting and infectious tenacity from start to finish, an entrapment of body and emotions which arguably is not opening new doors of originality but does not prevent it making a seriously compelling and thrilling start to the release.a1944187688_2

The following Breathe makes a gripping entrance as artillery of pulsating beats rain down on the senses but it is defused slightly once the song hits a more merciful stride. Nevertheless with thumping rhythms and caustic riffs against the increasingly impressing vocals of Davies roaring across its muscular frame, the track makes for a highly pleasing aggression driven slice of melodic rock with a pop tempting. Overall it is a steady if unimposing track but with enough invention for thoughts to get to grips with before the outstanding Save Me launches its predacious enterprise. Prowling with sinew clad riffs and as expected unrelentingly heavy rhythms, the song almost flirts with its antagonism before unveiling a seriously addictive and incendiary chorus; the type classic anthems are bred from. There is imagination to the guitar designs and flaming emotion to the thick texture and heart of the strong vocals, each only adding to the drama but it is that chorus which seals the deal enlisting feet, voice, and passion with ease.

Say Goodnight has the task of following the release’s pinnacle and with its intrigue of keys and rampant rhythmic rigour, the track soon has its own hold on ears and thoughts with another uniquely tenacious slab of rock pop. It also shows yet another twist of colour and diversity to the band’s sound, not a major leap but as shown by all tracks certainly an open side step in flavour and character which reinforces the success of the album, as again shown by excellent snarl of Hurt No More. The track is another major peak in the lofty heights of the release, its flaming riffs and acidic grooves the web to which thick vocal expression and a rugged terrain of riffs and melodic blazing bring a tasty John Bush era Anthrax spice.

The album is closed by the meaty hard rock stomp of Watch The World Burn, a track which is simply raw and irrepressibly contagious rock ‘n’ roll to test neck muscles and fill the appetite. It is a heftily pleasing end to a great introduction to Dead City Souls. There is unfiltered promise across the album which ignites every song in tandem with the sounds themselves, this not only provides a thoroughly enjoyable encounter but raises real anticipation for the band’s endeavours and evolution ahead.

Dead City Souls is available now through all good online stores and @ http://deadcitysouls1.bandcamp.com/album/dead-city-souls

https://twitter.com/DeadCitySouls

RingMaster 10/11/2014

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Chainfist – Scarred

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It is fair to say that Danish metallers Chainfist with their new album Scarred, has not ventured too far from the roaring core which made their debut album Black Out Sunday an acclaimed and greedily devoured storm. To that easily agreeable seed though, the quintet has found a bolder, fuller, and melodically driven freshness which makes second full-length and even stronger and gripping proposition. The release still wears the inspirations of thrash metal’s founding fathers openly and proudly on its sinew bulging sleeve but twists them into a new creatively exciting and voracious adventure.

Formed in 2007 by members who have the likes of Infernal Death, Epicenter, Panzerchrist, and Frozen Sun to their pedigree, Chainfist made their first major impression in their homeland and around Europe with Black Out Sunday in 2010, it gaining further recognition when the band signed a management deal with Rock N Growl two years later. It was a release making strong first impressions before growing to be an increasingly persuasive potential soaked thrill. Scarred makes the biggest impression right away, the band fulfilling the promise offered on their debut whilst building a more distinctive presence of sound and invention. There is still not a massive uniqueness about the release but with a melodic emprise and imaginative resourcefulness which inescapably captivates ears and emotions, the album stands as a thoroughly riveting and anthemically powerful proposition.

The Michael Hansen produced and Jacob Hansen (Primal Fear, Volbeat, Anubis Gate, Pretty Maids) mixed and mastered release swiftly grips ears and imagination with the start of opener Scars of time. A lone guitar within a chilled ambience offers a haunted and portentous yet inviting coaxing which soon opens up the door to rugged riffs and thumping beats. It is prime thrash antagonism which gets the blood running urgently through ears and emotions but also carries an infectious swing leading to a rampant chorus. In no time vocalist Jackie Petersen is driving the song to greater ferocity, his clean but welcomingly raw tones backed perfectly by group harmonies whilst the guitars of Michael Kopietz and Thomas Hvisel provide an abrasing and melodically bracing temptation to fire up the senses even more. It is an impressive if not startling start, in comparison to things to come, which sets the tone for the album perfectly.

1000 ways to bleed strides intimidatingly in next, the rhythms of drummer Jesper Heidelbach flirting with hostility whilst bassist Braca Pedersen provides a heavy compelling lure around which vocals and guitars cast their addictive ChainfistScarredCoverdesigns. Less aggressive than its predecessor in some ways and more intimidating in others, the track explores a melody rich but imposing scenery of invention and enterprise before making way for the outstanding Black rebel noise. A spicy groove wraps ears early on before the track finds a swagger to its punchy incitement. There is a definite Volbeat feel to the energy of the song whilst musically and vocally it is hard to look past Metallica and John Bush era Anthrax as references but the track soon develops its own contagious suasion to enslave body and passions.

Both Another day in hell and Poison moon keep the thrills and quality coming, the first bursting from an evocative stormy ambience coloured by a melodic caress of guitar and the continually impressing vocals of Petersen. It subsequently evolves into an emotive reflection which is at ease whether smouldering with melodic calm or raging with virulent hostility. Melodic meets classic heavy metal within a thrash bred predation the track is an unpredictable and impassioned blaze of sound and craft. Its successor goes for the jugular from the start, almost moving in reverse as it brings warm washes of melodies into its unrelenting tempest of intensity and ravenous riffery. It is a striking and richly pleasing provocateur but soon shaded by the next up 10.000. Prowling ears from the start with menacing riffs and brutal beats, the song stalks with tenacious vocals and sonic enticement, guitars spinning a caustic and infection soaked web to bind ears and thoughts. It is a glorious muscular anthem unafraid to explore its more devilish side through toxic addictive hooks and a scorching solo.

Know you hate similarly sets the heart afire with its ridiculously catchy temptation within an aggressive weave of riffs and rhythms. Volbeat again comes to mind whilst also thoughts of Disturbed make their suggestive hints from within the exhilarating slab of addiction. It is not quite matched by Seven minutes of pain, but the following song powerfully lays down a bordering on savage assault of riffs and rhythms which is prone to scythes of sonic intrigue and melodic radiance vocally and musically. It is another song where its infectiousness is irresistible for feet and voice, an aggressive provocative fuel for the passions.

Through the similarly structured and creative Statement, band and album reinforce their potent persuasion whilst Mass frustration provides the most intensive and volatile track on Scarred without neglecting the radiant melodic side of the invention running through the release. It is a powerful encounter which leaves ears on an agitated high for the final acoustic version of Black rebel noise to restore calm and peace to. It is an enjoyable and skilled end to the album but the meat is in the richly flavoursome meal of the previous songs.

Chainfist have moved their sound on to a striking new plateau with their album and it is easy to feel there is still more to come even as impressive as Scarred is. The album confirms the Danes as a major proposition in the making and a thrilling encounter of insatiable metal in the now.

Scarred is available now through Mighty Music @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarred-Chainfist/dp/B00M9JLS06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412602534&sr=8-1&keywords=chainfist

http://www.chainfist.net/

RingMaster 07/10/2014

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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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