Stranger than brutality, bloodier than fiction: an interview with Morgue Orgy

Morgue Orgy Dispose-of-the-evidence

If you have not come across UK metallers Morgue Orgy yet, then you have missed out on one scintillating violation of your psyche and person. But it is never too late to catch up on the brutal beatings especially as the Birmingham sextet has just released their debut album The Last Man On Earth, to savage the senses and all for free. Creating a malevolent pestilence of inventive and melodically blackened death metal, the band is one of the rising forces in British metal, a mischievous scourge to tempt the deepest passions. Offered the chance to delve deeper into the mayhem and creative bloodshed, we greedily gathered up questions to feed Carter, Tris, and Ben from the band, subsequently learning about the beginnings of Morgue Orgy, the new album, live exploits, a passion for a certain American punk rock band and much more…

Welcome Gentlemen and many thanks for taking time away from the mayhem and brutality to talk with us.

Tell us about the history of you guys pre- Morgue Orgy through to the early days of the band.

Carter – Gray, Prok, Ben and I were in a thrash/punk horror band before Morgue Orgy. Gray and Prok asked me to join the band in 2000 and Ben joined in 2005. We got a large following in Birmingham, but we only played a handful of shows outside our hometown. The band was a lot of fun, but when our drummer quit in 2007 we decided to start something new. Gray wrote a couple of songs (that would end up as The Black of Hearts and The Arkham Waltz from The River & I EP) and suggested we name the new band Morgue Orgy. Gray used to sing and play bass in the previous band, but he wanted to concentrate solely on vocals with Morgue Orgy, so he asked Tris to join on bass. It took us a year to find a new drummer and when we auditioned Tom we knew immediately he was the man for the job.

What was the spark or intent in the band at the beginning and has that original ‘purpose’ of the band remained the same or evolved over the past five years?

Carter – The main intention for us is to have fun, and I think we’re enjoying being in the band more than ever! When we started Morgue Orgy, we wanted to write heavier music than we’d done before, and just focus on metal, instead of the endless genres (including ska, drum & bass and funk rock) we’d bounce between with our old band. Our sound has definitely evolved as we didn’t really know what we were doing when we wrote The River & I, we were experimenting and learning.

What are the inspirations you have taken into the band musically and lyrically?

Carter – We all listen to a wide spectrum of genres, none of us are metalheads, as such. We are inspired by a lot of different artists, for example Gray takes a lot of influence from rap artists, as he tends to write quickly-bellowed lines with a shit-load of syllables to fit in. Of course we take a lot of inspiration from bands such as At The Gates, Anaal Nathrakh and Dissection, but we also influenced by the likes of Queen, Rancid and Bartok.

Am I right in thinking some of or the band as a whole has a bit of a passion for Bad Religion?

Carter – HAHA yeah they’re fucking awesome! We give free merch to anyone that comes to our gig in a Bad Religion shirt.

Musically you are tagged as melodic death metal but as the new album shows there is much more in your maelstrom of invention Morgue Orgy 1and sound. How would you describe it to newcomers to give the closest representation?

Tris – I don’t think we can tag ourselves specifically as melodic death metal, we end up with all sorts of sub-genres in there but maybe because of ignorance of these ridiculously specific sub-genres on my part I have no idea how to even class it. People seem to think we genre hop a lot and don’t seem to be able to comprehend what they’re listening to sometimes but we’re not exactly Mr Bungle! There’s shouting, d-beats, blast beats, minor bar chords, shredding, keyboard melodies, the odd proggy(ish) bit and if you listen closely enough – I got my bass to sound satisfyingly like the bass tone on the recent Sick of it all re-recordings album! The album is free on our website anyway – download it and make up a genre for it!

Your first pair of EPs The River & I and Murders Most Foul made a potent statement musically for the band and were seemingly greedily received; with your debut album freshly unleashed this month how do look back at them in comparison to The Last Man On Earth?

Carter – We think the River and I is a bit shit now, to be honest. Maybe it’s because they are our oldest songs and we’re bored of them. As I’ve mentioned, the first couple of years for the band was a learning period and there’s a massive difference in quality between The River and I and The Last Man On Earth. I still enjoy Murders Most Foul and I especially love playing 70 Dead and Scared To Death Of My Own Face, I think they’re great songs. Our new album though is much better in my opinion. Each member has improved vastly over the last couple of years and our progress is evident when you listen through our discography.

So how has your sound and presence changed then in the period between your first release and the new album in your eyes/ears?

Tris - We’re still kind of the same band but we’ve improved so much at playing our instruments that we’ve basically ended up a lot faster and heavier. A constant evolution in music taste also plays an effect without you even necessarily realising. We’re all getting back into punk now which I know I haven’t really listened to in a good few years. Just wait for the next album we’re going to end up sounding like the Descendents.

The Last Man On Earth as we mentioned has just been released, an album we said was ‘a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination’. You must be proud of its invention and impact as well as what seems to be a full on soak of acclaim from fans and media alike?

Carter – We are immensely proud of this record. We worked long and hard to create this beast but we never imagined it would be so well received. It has filled us with confidence and justified our direction.

Please give us some insight into the evolution of the album from its first seeds to the final impressive scourge?

Carter – We definitely took our time with putting the album together; the first song that was written for the album was 4 Days, which Tris wrote shortly after recording Murders Most Foul. We used Guitar Pro to demo the riff ideas and would upload them to SoundCloud for the rest of the band to listen and give feedback. Once a song had a rough structure, we’d take that track into the practice room and go from there. We recorded with Ow Davies of Loud Noises Production, who recorded our previous EPs too. We love working with Ow because he gets the most out of us in the studio and he enjoys a good laugh too! He’s got better and better over time and you can hear that on this record, the production quality is outstanding and that is all down to Ow.

1535704_454685597971479_1209997831_nDid the album emerge from the studio exactly how you envisaged going into its recording?

Ben – YES! We had nailed each song from start to finish in the recording studio and as a rhythm section knew exactly how the songs were to sound. The synth/keys were put down later on and tied it together in the way that Carter wanted them to, and it works!

So you are a band which has songs as good as finished before their recording or still prefer to let them develop in the studio?

Carter – The bulk of the songs were fully written before going into the studio, but some vocal deliveries from Gray were altered at times, and he’d improvise recording random noises to add atmosphere/comedy. The sound effects were all put down in the studio once the instruments were tracked. Our guest sax-player, Colin Mills, came in and improvised on Barnum & 399 and the title track, which was fucking awesome. Dunc from Fukpig co-wrote the lyrics for Castle Freak, but we hadn’t heard his vocals for the song until he recorded them.

The Last Man On Earth can be described as psychotic, schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious; three traits you were aiming for or simply the natural emergence of the band’s characters? ;)

Ben – We were all really really angry. Not really! We don’t actually know why our music comes out so brutal. We are all stupid idiots who go out dancing to 90s pop and listen to Bad Religion so why we are even a metal band is beyond any of us. It seems to work though!

You released the album initially as a free download before Christmas, what was the thinking behind the decision and giving what is sure to be a top contender for best of year lists in twelve months so generously away?

Ben – When an audience of people don’t even want to part with £2 for your 5 track EP’s you know you are in a fickle scene. So when that happened several times it was time to think outside the box.

 Carter – Free music is so easily accessible now it seems naive to fight against it. If you can’t beat them, join them. Our main focus during this release is to gain awareness of the band, and charging for the album would have been a limitation.

We also mentioned in our review a mischievous or maybe that should be rascality to the band and the album in our review, this is a major part of your intentions as a band to have fun and grin in the sonic bloodshed?

Tris – Absolutely! Basically we’re a bunch of idiot mates who decided to form a ridiculous metal band with a bit of inspiration from the horror films that we (well actually just Gray) watch. Somehow I think we’ve managed to put that across in our music. People seem to think us pricking about is a gimmick but it’s just what we’re like. We recently released a dildo because we thought it would be funny – If anyone gets irritated and thinks we’re not metal enough for doing so…that is also funny. If you come and see us play a gig we definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously. You’re more likely to see me do squats at 220BPM with a smile plastered on my face than headbang, act like a serious rock star and pretend I’m not enjoying myself.

Tell us about your live shows then and why people need to join the orgy.Morgue Orgy We-play-in-a-band

Carter – Our live shows are all about letting loose and having a good time. We act like idiots on stage and encourage the crowd to do the same. If everyone is smiling by the end of the show, we’re happy.

What has been your stage highlights so far as a band and personally?

Carter – It would have to be playing Bloodstock Festival in 2010, we worked really hard to win the ‘Metal To The Masses’ competition in order to play the festival and the turnout for our set was amazing. I really enjoy playing hometown shows, in front of friends and fans that have watched us for years. We’ve played a couple of really fun gigs in Rugby, Leeds, and Torquay, but I don’t think there are many stand-out shows for me… as long as the audience are enjoying themselves and the sound guy isn’t a prick, I have a great time!

Your bio describes the band as ‘the UK metal scene’s last hope for melodic death metal.’ Do you feel that it is as that suggests on its last legs or maybe it just has not really erupted from a relatively sleepy state?

Ben – We do tend to be one of few bands in this scene who actually think of melody as being important. Perhaps the trend to revolve a song around a beat down has killed off peoples’ brains. We come from the Pantera/Bad Religion/Take That end of the musical scale, where melody is as important as crush!

2014 looks like being a busy and major year for the band, what is next for Morgue Orgy?

Ben – We hope to push our album out to labels and to find a good booking agent to push us further than we could possibly do ourselves.

Once again big thanks for putting aside the bodies for us, any thoughts you would like to leave the listeners contemplating?

Carter – A female bed bug doesn’t have a sexual orifice, so the male has to traumatically inseminate the female by piercing her abdomen with his penis. So if you ever feel depressed remember it could be worse, you could be a female bed bug being fucked in the belly.

Ben – Bad Religion

Morgue Orgy Little-shit-dogAnd finally give us your top five ways in the disposal of bodies.

Now we’re guessing in this scenario you’re assuming we’ve done the killing? Because if you just happen to stumble across a dead body you should probably alert the authorities who can launch a full investigation into what has transpired. Also, we are not actually morticians and couldn’t give you advice on disposal if you are looking to start your own morgue. Again you should alert the professionals who will be able to give you proper advice. But if you’re asking for actual murder tips I suppose we can take a guess but don’t take this as an excuse to start doing it…

Carter – 1. Grind them up and mix them in with the kebab meat 2. Use their bones to make a go-kart and their skin to make a nice coat, throw the rest in the bin 3. Leave them outside a hospital with a note saying ‘for science’. They’ll be grateful for it, honestly 4. Drill them into the sea 5. Package them and label it with any address, Royal Mail will just lose it in the post!

 Ben – 1. Feed them to the ducks 2. Kill them twice 3. Horses 4. Find a keen worm 5. Sit on them until they hatch

 Tris – 1. Drill it over the fence 2. Drill it into the sea 3. Leave it out with the dirty dishes in the kitchen and eventually someone will get annoyed enough to clean it up for you 4. Seal it within a mattress and leave it on the drive for your local council to fail to collect 5. Get Prok to discuss his guitar solos with it and it should get up and leave of its own accord.

Get Morgue Orgy’s debut album The Last Man On Earth @ www.morgueorgy.com and read the review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/morgue-orgy-the-last-man-on-earth/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 11/02/2014

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Australasia – Vertebra

Australasia - Vertebra - Cover

Lifting the listener’s thoughts and imagination into an expansive and emotional almost visual flight through an ever evolving soundscape broken up into smaller evocative sceneries, Vertebra the new album from Italian band Australasia is one of those absorbing emprises you just cannot pull away. Ten tracks of predominantly instrumental merging of post rock, shoegaze, classic electronica, and enthralling ambience, the release is a masterful and compelling adventure. There is though much more substance than that description suggests, flavours and styles bred elsewhere seamlessly employed in the melodic web cast, and when vocals are rarely used they are more another texture to the creative narrative than any lyrical storytelling. The album as skilful and magnetic as it is equally suggests this is a project still in evolution with greater glories waiting on its horizon, something which just adds to the pleasure bred by Australasia.

The band is the creation of multi-instrumentalist Gian Spalluto who has linked up with Mina Carlucci and Giuseppe Argentiero of fellow Italian band Vostok. Touched by influences which include the likes of Red Sparowes, At the Gates, Joy Division, This Will Destroy You, Angelo Badalamenti, Mogwai, Pelican, Ennio Morricone, Cult of Luna and more, the band provides emotive landscapes and mesmeric incites which never restrain themselves musically or imaginatively to any singular intent or limiting frame. Australasia’s debut release, the Sin4tr4 EP of 2012, opened up the gateway to the band and its invention which the Immortal Frost Productions released Vertebra continues with striking strides into the awakening imagination and aural world of the band.

The journey opens with Aorta and a guitar cast melody which as the album progresses is a regular protagonist if in varying guises and intent. It is a mellow coaxing of a start to the song which gathers intensity in its breath as it opens up its creatively sinewed arms and melodic armoury. Hitting full stride early there is a tempestuous union of post rock provocation and metallic sculpting which flows and moves towards a stretch of sonic beauty and evocative reserve. Impressive rhythms and drums steer the enterprising exploration superbly and the guitar play is quite riveting across the body of the song. In its final thirty seconds or so the track unveils a union of male and female vocal harmonies which provides a last wash of warmth and elegance to the impressively crafted flight.

The following Vostok immediately offers a vintage electronica sound to thoughts though it is soon smothered by a strong cloud of sonic shadows and blackened emotion. The song undulates thrillingly as it progresses, big mountainous rhythms and textures mingled fluidly with tender elegance and those returning electronic caresses before dissipating for a lone acoustic guitar to wave the dark climes away. It is a track which seems to pass so quickly in time and though almost four minutes in length its successor Zero is soon feeding the senses and providing another heady structure of melodic imagination and rhythmic incitement. Not for the first or last time, the music reminds a little of The Cure around the time of the Seventeen Seconds /Faith albums, a shadowed energy coating the air of the song but speared by a melodic beauty which only raises the spirit and light.

Next up Aura roams through a more electro pop /shoegaze realm with eighties synth pop flavouring, though yet again there are intimidating resonances and dark clad tempting which tempers the radiance enough to add wonderful doubt and menace to the calm. The track also sees the captivating voice of Carlucci swarm siren like over the senses. Lyrically the track is uncluttered with effective repetition whilst gentle soaring harmonies make the prime successful persuasion. Like all the tracks, the song seems simple but holds a real deception as everything is so precisely and imaginatively woven together. The closing vocal scat does not quite work for personal tastes but it does not deflect from the smouldering piece of enjoyment.

Both the melodically flamed but intensively blackened Antenna, one of two tracks on the album taken from the earlier EP, and the excellent towering bulgingly muscular Volume continue the impressive height and stature of the album whilst the title track provides a pleasing short Spring respite with expressive tones and soft weaves, even if it feels a little like an anti-climax from the immense and lofty force and heights carved previously.

The second track from Sin4tr4 steps forward next. Apnea provides a reflective blend of imposing density and melancholic beauty wrapped in another bewitching vocal wash from Carlucci and an electro courting which pokes light through the cloudier ambience. It is a delicious embrace which makes way for the bordering on corrosive presence of Deficit. Scuzzy and thickly bonded to the ears, the track thrillingly riles up the senses but then before they can accept the intimidation the piece twists in on itself to lay a beauteous glaze of melodic endeavour on the incitement. It is a short but scintillating piece of composing and realisation waking up the appetite even further for the closing seven minute plus epic of Cinema. Arguably the track is a shade too long but it is a mere quibble when it makes such a compelling temptation across its emotionally clad presence.

Vertebra is a spellbinding release though to temper that slightly maybe it does not ignite a fire in the belly of the passions as often as it arguably could or should have, though again to put that into context, it is fair and easy to say that Australasia has created an adventure which is impossible to resist or stay away from. The band has the potential to create their own legacy you feel as their album permeates through thoughts and emotions, Vertebra a very striking start.

www.australasiamusic.com

www.facebook.com/australasiamusic

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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Rainwill – Zer0ed By Pr0gress

Rainwill

Bringing an absorbing and accomplished tapestry of melodic death metal to bear on the imagination, Zer0ed By Pr0gress the new album from Russian band Rainwill provides a wealth of satisfaction which matches an eager creative adventure. Though not ground-breaking as such the eleven track release is ripe with an invention and exploration which sets it apart from similarly sculpted releases. Evocative and unafraid to push ideas, the band and album make for a deeply appetising triumph to treat the ears and more.

Rainwill began in the October of 2000, formed by vocalist Sergey “Sclep” Grebenkov, guitarist Alexander Krylov, and Alexey Gunenko to explore their desire to create melodic-death metal. The first few years saw the band build a sturdy presence through their live performances and appearances at festivals, the band sharing stages with the likes of Rossomahaar, Kruger, Necropsy, Little Dead Bertha, Skyfall, and Non Immemor Mei. 2003 saw their debut demo Will Of Rain appear to be followed five years later by a three track promo. Debut album Canvas escaped Rainwill’s imagination in 2009 to eager responses as was a tour across the Ukraine with Ambivalence. From 2011 the band worked on creating Zer0ed By Pr0gress over the next couple of years, and with a line-up of guitarist Kirill “Dr. Horror” Mashkov, bassist Dmitry Ponomarenko, and drummer Dmitry “Kain” Grinenkov alongside Grebenkov and Krylov, the Fono Ltd released album is poised to wake up a wider enthusiastic attention for the band.

The Voronezh based quintet immediately stretch and ignite the senses with the album’s title track, guitars expelling spirals of 1420514_729467937081305_618408450_nsonic heat and acidic persuasion whilst rhythms rampage with the hunger of the devil through the ear, their touch punchy and commanding. Intimidating vocal growls frequent the battlements of the song built by menacing riffery and rhythmic predation but aligned to this tempest  is a melodic endeavour which coaxes out greater adventure as it reveals its persuasive hand through impressive harmonies and keys to continually tempt with the twisting sonic sculpting by the guitars. It is a very strong starter, not strikingly setting new borders for the genre but a full captivation which is immediately surpassed by its successor.

Pleasure from Amusement instantly launches its carnivorous jaw lined with senses tearing riffs and a rhythmic breath of rapacious intent. Bestial with a great djent seeded stutter to its riffery, the track soon expands its melodic arms with excellent clean vocals persistently switching with impressive heavy growling; musically melodies and enticing grooves similarly sharing temptation with the track’s predatory instinct. A scintillating testing seduction of the senses making the first pinnacle of the release it is soon matched by the alluring Value of Life, the song taking the mixture of its predecessor to richer appealing heights, and the electro induced Slipstream. The second of the two has an industrial essence to its presence, a feel of Fear Factory pervading the savage intensity and creative dark rabidity which marks the band’s sound and invention.  It sculpts another peak on the album and confirms the strong appetite already in place for the album.

From the delicious evocative melodic instrumental Starving the album seems to stretch its creative legs even further, the likes of Hatred Rises with a vibrant progressive appetite fused into another raptorial heart and the powerful One Word with its soaring vocals and destructive intent, firing up greater bouts of pleasure and enterprise. As mentioned there is plenty which is familiar or certainly has been trodden by the genre over the years but it is fair to say that Rainwill takes it into a new and exhaustingly enthralling domain.

Every track on the album uncages a voracious provocation and a craving for creative adventure, Self-Deception Progress a prime example of the addictive proposition with its scorching melodic embrace within a ravenous bordering brutal storm. Completed by the spellbinding key spawned, melody soaked emotive caress of Model2 and the final intensive examination of the psyche Last Man Who Saw The Day, the album is a magnificent release which earns greater reactions and acclaim over each traverse of its magnetic glory.

Rainwill must surely become a more recognisable name and presence in the wake of Zeroed by Progress, the album an unreserved recommendation for genre fans and especially fans of bands like Soilwork, At the Gates, and Sonic Syndicate.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainwill/258431803801

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/12/2013

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Aetherium Mors – Entrails Of The Soul

Entrails CD Front

Having impressed with their debut album of last year, UK blackened death metallers Aetherium Mors confirm it was just a platform for greater things with the release of the Entrails Of The Soul EP. Consisting of four dramatic and viciously sculpted expanses of intensive and creative confrontation, the new release takes the richest essences and promise of its predecessor, Drenched In Victorious Blood, and evolves them into an even more captivating and exploratory maelstrom of adventure. The EP is not a release to instantly unveil all of its imaginative depths and corners either but an intensive and welcome violation which makes a constantly stronger declaration on top of its initial persuasion over numerous encounters.  The band provides a textured and evocative extreme metal encounter which lingers and feasts upon the imagination, a companionship for the senses which is never comfortable and respectful but certainly immensely enthralling.

Formed in 2004 by multi-instrumentalist Dan Couch and vocalist / lyricist Kane Nelson, Aetherium Mors became a studio project for the pair despite the intent for it to have a full band line-up, the lack of musicians able to realise and deliver the complexities being created driving that direction for the project. Creating songs inspired by the sounds of bands such as Death, Carcass, At The Gates, and Dissection, the duo were also busy with other projects which saw Aetherium Mors going on hiatus, Couch heavily involved as guitarist with Plymouth based progressive rock/metal bands Wishlist and Daggers Drawn, and as drummer with black thrash band Holodomor, whilst Nelson was the frontman for sludge/death band WarCrab. As these commitments and bands came to an end, the pair resurrected Aetherium Mors and set about writing and re-recording early demos for debut album Drenched In Victorious Blood. Its release last year ended an eight year wait and pushed the band to the fore of British underground extreme metal, a position Entrails Of The Soul could very well take to greater levels of recognition.

The EP opens with its title track, a song which makes a seductive first contact through an evocative coaxing from the guitar within a rapidly brewing caustic ambience. Welcoming and intimidating, the air of the song has senses and thoughts on full alert, unsure of which way the confrontation will turn but eager to stand before the emerging tempest and find out. It is not long before riffs scorch the atmosphere whilst the destructive invention of the drums harries and menaces the ears. The vocals of Nelson equally show no restraint, his insidious malevolent tones squalling with a slavering rabidity as they deliver every spite drenched syllable of the viscerally soaked narrative. It makes for a compelling storm, a tsunami of inventive maliciousness raging ferociously whilst almost hidden below is a ridiculously addictive groove, the great production just giving enough of a glimpse for it to tease and excite the healthy appetite already in place for the EP. The production on the release a critical part of the success of Entrails Of The Soul, its approach different to maybe what one expects from an extreme metal offering but with an ability to bring clarity to the underlying contagious grooves and tempting deceptive hooks whilst boiling up the intensity to almost suffocating degrees it is as impressive as the sounds. Unleashing a waspish vitriolic groove towards its closure which is quite irresistible, the track is an immense start and already has pushed the boundaries set on the previous album on to new dimensions.

The following Ritual To Evince The Subsurface Of Purity opens with another melodic temptation but soon has a torrential blaze of exceptional merciless rhythmic onslaught and sonic adventure raging, the band again accomplished at brutalising and seducing simultaneously with elements which for many would not work together. It is an absorbing thought pressing song which makes for another peak in the passage of the release, a height soon matched by the outstanding Divine Order Without God, grooves and rabid drumming barely taking a breath before unloading their delicious nasty abuse. The track is a hostile environment for senses and emotions, a rancor clad sonic landscape which ignites even greater hunger for the band’s unbridled inventive vitriol. Within that harsh climate the guitar play of Couch is fully magnetic whilst Nelson sucks the air from the lungs of hope and calm with a toxic bitchery which intensifies the poison of the song.

The closing Souls Diseased By Faith takes the EP to another high, it’s exhausting consumption of the senses a fascinating creative beauty and the beast, animalistic almost feral intensity and confrontation driving the aggressive suasion whilst an almost classical bred beauty breeds a melodic and sonic imagination which virulently engages the passions. It is a tremendous finale, the pinnacle of the EP and a lasting confirmation of the new heights Aetherium Mors has attained. British extreme metal is in strong imaginative hands if this duo continues on this impressive path.

www.aetheriummors.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

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Scordatura – Torment of the Weak

Promo Picture

Let us cut to the chase and announce that quite simply Torment of the Weak, the new album from Scottish band Scordatura, is one of if not the most impressive death metal debuts of recent times. It is a monstrous declaration of an emerging potency which already consumes and ignites the senses like a veteran destroyer of souls. It is a bestial rage of unadulterated death metal which preys on, takes up the chase against, and devours its victims in one devious swoop. The band do not stretch existing boundaries it is fair to say upon the album but instead give the genre a fresh and invigorating passion wand enterprise which leaves the deepest, hungriest satisfaction.

Consisting of vocalist Daryl Boyce, guitarists Owen McKendrick and Dave Coia, drummer Tam Moran (all founding members), and bassist Mark Scobie (joined 2011), Scordatura  have built an intense reputation around their local scene and beyond. Since forming in 2007, the Glasgow quintet has wreaked their heavy toxicity across the UK supporting the likes of Cryptopsy, Misery Index, Aborted, Beneath The Massacre, Malevolant Creation, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Condemned as well as also joining Cerebral Bore on tour in 2011 and making their own successful tours around Scotland before that. Earlier demos and the Open Skies EP as well as their live album Live in Edinburgh [Deadhaggis Deathfest] earned a building acclaim and presence for the band but Torment of the Weak should be the key to full nationwide recognition whilst taking the band to the fore of the extreme metal scene in the UK, and with the self-released album also having distribution throughout North America and Canada by Blasthead Records, maybe the world will be making their calls upon Scordatura very soon too.

Recorded in 2012 with Scott Fuller of Abysmal Dawn doing the mixing, the eight track Torment of the Weak scorches the senses coverimmediately as opener Necromantic Disposition emerges from a sampled piece of cinematic blood soaked mayhem. Their songs are themed lyrically by serial killers and gore bought with an open black humour and the first track brings it all into devastating play. Once the rolling film and final dreg of live has been taken the track explodes into a savage assault of exhausting riffs, suffocating intensity, and crippling rhythms all ridden by the excellent guttural malevolence of Boyce. There is an instantly contagious pull which is impossible to resist within the carnally bred tempest and for all the predacious riffing and cage fighter beats from Moran, groove is king and twists around the spine of passions with intrusive majesty. This addiction causing weaponry is as lethal as the corrosive aspects of the songs and gives no respite from the merciless proceedings despite its impossibly tempting claws.

The following Visceral Disembowelment is bred from the same rapacious heart and also takes a mere moment to clamp its jaws around the ear and send snarling lashes of riffs through its defenceless throat whilst the bass of Scobies prowls in the wake escorted by the continuing to impress bone splintering rhythms of Moran. The track crawls and sizes up its recipient, crowding and provoking with compelling intimidation rather than going all out to ravage all life from the body. With again irresistible grooves littering its path to seduce whilst the rest of the song chews further into the psyche it continues the impressive start with riveting ease.

Both Neurotic Aberration and the title track bring their equally dramatic and distinct rabidity to work, the first with a jackhammer provocation merged with a thick oppressive intensity and its successor through a maelstrom of blood soaked textures and primal hunger brewed into an annihilatory tsunami of violence. As throughout the album the guitars of McKendrick and Coia have a craft and guile which leaves undiluted riffing as potent as the melodic and sonic imagination and they as ruinous as the insidious riffs.

Incestual Convulsions is sheer momentous filth, a sonic irreverence in league with an inexhaustible brutality that turns those toxic grooves into pure venom within the vicious storm. It is a glorious confrontation which uses the intense platform of its excellent predecessor Back to Crack, a song which softens up every aspect of the mind, to launch its merciless grievous tirade.

Completed by the scintillating disorientating pestilence of Sutured Flesh and finally the virulently poisonous jeopardy of From Chin To Hole, the immense Torment of the Weak leaves a blissful shattered wreck in its tumultuous wake. It is a staggering introduction to Scordatura, a band bringing the essences of the likes of Suffocation and Dying Fetus into something new and thrilling. With more tours throughout the UK and Europe ahead, including a tour with Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an appearance at The Northern Darkness Festival  in December alongside bands such as At The Gates, Decapitated, Napalm Death, Graveworm, and Hour Of Penance, 2013 looks like the year Scordatura will stake a claim to sit at the top table of death metal.

https://www.facebook.com/Scordaturaofficial

9.5/10

RingMaster 30/07/2013

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Agrimonia – Rites Of Separation

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Exhausting, mesmeric, destructive, and provocative are just four potent declarations to place upon the impressive and riveting new album from Swedish metallers Agrimonia. Rites Of Separation is an angry aural magnet for the senses, a rapacious tempest of ear twisting, passion brewing, and psyche sculpting atmospheric malevolence. It is a consumption which feeds and fractures thoughts and emotions whilst exploring the soul, the bands and listeners, with startling enterprise. Not always an easy listen it is perpetually a compelling and impacting confrontation with rewards far outweighing its caustic touch.

The Gothenburg-based quintet featuring members of Martyrdöd, Skitsystem, At the Gates and others formed in 2005 and from the very first days has employed a constant regime of live shows and tours. Their self-titled album of 2008 brought the band to the attention of post-rock and crust devotees with its caustic imaginative textures which their follow-up Host Of The Winged two years later built upon, taking the band to wider recognition. It led to the band hitting on the US and Mexico for a successful West Coast North American tour. Having signed with Southern Lord in mid-2012 the band return with their third full length in the mighty shape of Rites Of Separation, the record another hour long expanse of corrosive yet invigorating intensity alongside inspiring imagination and an inventive diversity which offers new horizons and twists with each intriguing and fully committed encounter.

The album again fuses crust, progressive, and sludge rich metal provocation of one full landscape through five individual intensive emotively exploitive endeavours, all a startling and evolving, perpetually shifting aural travelogue of ingenuity and sonic revelation. Opening track Talion immediately sets the scene, the song emerging from a bristling breath speared with highly acidic and irresistible sonic scorching which comes and go within a full and almost suffocating atmosphere. Into its stride the track offers sinews in rhythms and riffs which drive the passions to the surface and flames of brass or keys which try to break free in the background behind the scowling and serpentine rasping vocals of Christina Blom. The air of the track is hazy, its touch scuzzy refusing definition to some elements yet enhancing and elevating the intensity and already sweltering touch of the song. It is a thrilling start, those hidden treats a seductive tease within the changing fascination of gait and expression cross the eleven minute sensation. There is little to dislike or not find an ardour for in the song leaving the appetite for the rest of the release dripped in hunger.

The following Hunted opens on emotive keys, their slight melancholic voice a sheltered beckoning light which lures in thoughts and emotive responses before the equally potent bass narrative adds its presence. Once the scene is set the band smother it to unleash a towering blitz of thumping rhythms and gnawing riffs, the arrived fury bruising and incendiary as its effect is sculpted further by the again great malicious vocals of Blom. The song like its predecessor is an ever evolving fire of imagination and irresistible invention with a seamless fluidity and descriptive majesty.

Through the outstanding While Life Lies, a track with a deliciously haunting but welcoming keys led opening embrace being subsequently forced into the blackened grasp of a doom laded fluctuating inferno rife with sonic captivation for a sweet and sour taste, and the equally impacting The Battle Fought, the release offers an enthrallment which carves up and sears the senses whilst leaving them basking greedily in a creativity which is pure sonic alchemy. The second of the pair and shortest track on Rites Of Separation at just short of seven minutes, is a black metal intensity with a predatory storm of energy and psyche twisting invention pervading its spiteful atmosphere, and another dramatic treat.

Closing on one final and the most extensive exploratory experiment upon thoughts and senses in the scintillating emotive violation Awaiting, the album leaves one lost in fully awoken thought, Rites Of Separation offering a canvas which colours the imagination yet leaves a wealth of visual contemplation to be completed by the listener. At times tracks do stretch limits with their length, though not always in time used but the amount of rich invention at work making moments occasionally hard to absorb, though as mentioned each return unveils more depths to devour so not really a long term issue. Agrimonia have provided an album which employs every responsive atom of the listener for a wholly stimulating and engrossing experience, a release all metal fans should get involved with.

http://agrimonia.info/

8/10

RingMaster 08/05/2013

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Raven Lord: Descent To The Underworld

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    Looking at the line-up of Raven Lord it is impossible not to imagine and expect their debut album to be a rather accomplished and imaginative slab of creativity, and Descent To The Underworld certainly does not disappoint. It is a thunderous expanse of riffs fired by a furnace of melodic might and invention, an explosion of classic metal all fans of the genre will expel a full passion for.

The sextet consists of the fiery vocals of Csaba Zvekan (Killing Machine, Sardonyx, Emergency), guitarist George Karafotis (Vermillion Days, Operation X), bassist Jamie Mallender (Tony Martin Band, ex-Black Sabbath), keyboardist Alessandro Duo (Voodoo Highway), drummer Lawrence Paterson (Blaze Baley, Iron Knights), and newest member lead guitarist Joe Stump (HolyHell, Reign of Terror). Together they have ignited a sound which combines power metal and neo classical influences to their core heavy metal heart for a towering encounter which commands the ear. Released via Mausoleum Records, the Zvekan produced and Fredrik Nordström (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Nightrage, In Flames, Dream Evil and Opeth) mixed Descent To The Underworld is a continually enthralling album which offers plenty to reward anyone with a taste for melodic metal if not the genre it is settled in. It is a muscular confrontation at times which sparks as much enthusiasm as the sonic and melodic flames which sear and engross the senses throughout.

The album opens with the compelling charge of pulsating bassline, tightly grasping riffs, and warm mesmeric caresses from the keys CD ArtWork - Descent To The Underworldof The Rebel. The track is soon blazing with the expansive vocals of Zvekan who rings the emotion and sound from every note with skill and passion to match the guitar play of Stump. It is an impressive start to the release which immediately confirms expectations and more which were in place over the formidable line-up.

Through the likes of Attila the Hun with its Middle Eastern kiss from the keys and surging sonic enterprise, the mesmeric Seal Of The Cross with its symphonic gait, and the rampant hunger and energy of Promised Land, the album persistently offers variety and smouldering imagination to keep a strong intrigue and unpredictability within the umbrella of classic metal electricity. The latter of the trio is an outstanding brawl of seductive mysterious keys, ravenous riffs, and evocative solo mastery from Stump which leaves one breathless.

Further greater highlights come with the majestic yet corrosive Black Friar and the riveting Metal Knights, another song where the keys wash the senses with a golden glow of Eastern promise from within an exhausting drive of devouring riffs and caging rhythms. Both tracks show the band at its best creatively and musically with the vocals of Zvekan certainly in the latter of the two, scorching the small hairs from the surface of the ear with his sonic squalls which run the fine line between pain and bliss for great results.

Descent To The Underworld is an album fans of the likes of Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath will find a rich home within but it also has plenty to keep those of us who do not necessarily find the deepest of riches in classic metal more than satisfied. Raven Lord is a band destined to lead their chosen genre in the near future.

www.raven-lord.com

www.facebook.com/ravenlordmusic

7/10

RingMaster 20/02/2013

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