Gravehill – Death Curse

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For a pestilential onslaught of black, death, and thrash metal, moulded into one voracious tempest of raw and dirty metal it is unlikely many releases will surpass the new uncompromising ravaging of US corruptors Gravehill. The band’s third album Death Curse is a bestial examination of the senses; savaging violations soaked in causticity and stripped to their primal bones and intent. At times an anthemic contagion and in others simply a predatory gnawing of the senses, the album is an increasingly potent annihilation which evolves an initial strong showing into a truly impressive and exhausting incitement. There is no wastage of frivolous trickery or excessive showing off just concentrated undiluted primeval metal at its best.

The Californian band was formed in 2001, a trio which took little time in unleashing debut demo The Practitioners of Fell Sorcery; it was short lived triumph though as Gravehill disbanded soon after. 2006 saw the band reform, original drummer/founder Rhett “Thorgrimm” Davis linking up with vocalist Mike Abominator. A second demo Metal of Death in 2007 was followed by the EP Metal of Death/Advocation of Murder and Suicide the following year from the quintet. First full-length Rites of the Pentagram was next uncaged on Enucleation Records to strong reactions in 2009 as also its re-release in a package with a third outing from the band’s first demo via Ibex Moon Records a year later. The line-up saw a change in 2011 with guitarist Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey (Exhumed, Dekapitator, Repulsion) joining the band before second album When All Roads lead to Hell on Dark Descent Records. The next year saw another shift in personnel with both Hellfiend and fellow guitarist Rob “Bodybag Bob” Babcock leaving due to extensive touring demands with Exhumed to be replaced by CC DeKill and Hell Messiah.

With the new members slotting in with ease alongside Thorgrimm, Abominator, and bassist J.T. Corpse, Gravehill set about creating what CDBO04.pdfhas emerged as their most ferocious and destructive triumph to date. Again out through Dark Descent and featuring guest appearances from the likes of Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler of Autopsy as well as Kam Lee (Massacre, Death and Bone Gnawer), Death Curse is a masterful protagonist of the senses from the exceptional artwork provided by Christopher Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy)to its last lingering venomous note. Though the introductory opener Gates of Hell does not show the storm to come, its epically sinister portent of sonic certainly brings an intimidation to bear on the senses, a brewing threat soon realised with the explosive entrance of the title track, riffs and rhythms a merciless rampage whilst the coarse even rawer vocals scar air and ears. Eager in its thrash driven gait and acidic in the eruptions of sonic enterprise, the track is a magnetic encounter which maybe does not trigger an immediate hunger but with good variation to the vocals and a resistance proof groove certainly has full control of attention.

At Hell’s Command is much swifter in taking a submission from senses and passions, its yawning sonic bait from the first second irresistible and the spark to an incendiary examination of a brutal rhythmic battering and a venomous and compelling sonic intrusion. There is an insidiously commanding element to the song, and subsequently the album, which manipulates the imagination and emotions into subservience either instantly or over time as in the case of other songs, but always succeeding in its intent. The guitar toxicity of CC DeKill and Hell Messiah is especially impressive and tempting, their designs as in all aspects of the release, skilled and striking but never dosed with a wasteful indulgence.

The following Open Their Throats emerges from the fluid gothic like link between it and its predecessor to prowl around the ear with a doom bred stance. The song stalks with venom dripping from its rhythmic jaw and slavering riffs whilst the guttural intense vocals add further insatiable predation. Intensity and violence waits in the shadows before being freed from their reins for a fiery antagonism driven second half of the impressive rage, vocals and guitar craft again formidable lures within an equally compelling rhythmic enticement.

Both Fear the Reaper and Unending Lust for Evil take release and passions to another level, the virulently contagious drum and bass entrance to the first opening a doorway to thrash anthemic glory within a death seeded animosity whilst its successor digs deeper inside itself for a blacker toxin with which to infest song and listener, its constantly shifting attack and creativity a ridiculously infectious almost salacious offering. The pair of tracks marks the pinnacle of the album, though to be fair its whole range is never far from the lofty filth encrusted heights of the two as proven by the rapacious malevolence of Black Blood Rising, the blackened scourge a welcome primordial predator in modern extreme metal.

The album is at its strongest in its latter half with the final two songs continuing the intensive potency and senses gorging maliciousness of the last few offerings. Crucified is the loudest boldest anthem on the album, an irritable nagging soon recruiting full allegiance with its group vocal baiting over heavy booted rhythms and riffing. Speared by excellent sonic craft from the guitars, the song is a leader of rebellious intent igniting the pulse rate ready for the closing doomy weight and thrash swing of The Ascending Fire to exploit with its equally anthemic power. The song makes an outstanding last assault to an addictive treacherous plague, a Death Curse which violates and thrills with even voracity.

http://www.gravehill666.com

http://www.facebook.com/gravehill

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Alexanred – Non-Stop Non-Stop

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Just in case in the Christmas rush you missed the release of the debut single from Alexanred, we thought we would give you a nudge to one contagiously addictive track. Non-Stop Non-Stop is pure industrial virulence, a pulsating infection soaked song which pounds the senses with anthemic temptation and captures the imagination with arguably not ground-breaking but fresh and magnetic irreverence. It is not a release which will have your thoughts and emotions stretched and lost in contemplation but unashamedly a song which skilfully and mischievously goes straight for the primal and rhythmic beast inside with a bait of tub thumping rhythms and coarse electronic wantonness.

Formed last year Alexanred is the creation of Aleksi Susi, guitarist/synth player of Finnish industrial metallers 2 Wolves. Listing influences which include the likes of Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost, Septic Flesh, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Autopsy, Nile and more, some which you could almost guess from the single, Alexanred makes an undeniably impressive entrance with the Inverse Records released Non-Stop Non-Stop. It is never wise to make a full judgement of a band upon one song, every artist more often than not having one acceptable gem inside them whoever they are, but it is hard not to anticipate and suggest richly promising and thrilling things to come from the project ahead.

Still from 'Non-Stop Non-Stop' video

Still from ‘Non-Stop Non-Stop’ video

The opening seconds of the song alone incite full attention; they maybe clad in a simple rhythmic lure and a restrictive pulsing electro rub but there is immediate intrigue and temptation which takes hold. Barely another moment passes before the track is in full muscular stride, synths stomping with devilry dripping from every note as vocals taunt from the surrounding shadows. Once Susi makes his full vocal appearance the sounds show a restraint to allow his almost whispered provocation to wash smoothly yet sinisterly over the senses. Soon though, the song is thrusting out its imposing chest within a riveting rhythmic caging, exploding into an anthem of sound and epidemic vocal incitement to confirm the seduction of thoughts and emotions.  As mentioned the track is not really setting new boundaries but with a raw threat and empowering intent to its vocal and rhythmic barracking, and a virulent toxicity to its electronic suasion the single is pure irresistible temptation.

Like the bastard inventive son of a union between Rammstein and Rob Zombie, Non-Stop Non-Stop is the perfect appetiser to band and their horizons, something it is hard to wait for with patience.

http://www.facebook.com/AlexanredFinland

10/10

RingMaster 08/01/2014

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Ulcer: Grant us Death

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    Grant us Death from Polish death metallers Ulcer is a release which does not really ignite any fires of passion for its admittedly accomplished and impressively crafted musical animosity but it is still a release you can happily and want to come back to time and time again. Enriched in the depths of old school Swedish death metal, the album is a nasty violent cacophony of exhausting and malicious intensity engineered through raptorial riffs and blood thirsty rhythms for a more than pleasing confrontation.

Formed in 2006 by guitarist Lucass as initially a solo project for himself, the band soon grew with the addition of vocalist D.ssipline, guitarist Mścisław, and bassist Kuba. Two demos A Property of God? in 2006 and Slitwrist Society the following year were recorded though never released, each just spread amongst fans. As Kuba left the band second vocalist Angelfuck joined up and debut album Serpent Trinity was recorded in the summer of 2007, though again it was not released, just passed around like the previous  demos. A period of quiet and ‘inactivity’ followed before the band re-emerged in 2011 with drummer Vizun and bassist Kamil added to the ranks.  With a change in musical direction and new material primed to be unleashed, the band which features present and past members from Deivos, Blaze Of Perdition, Squash Bowels, and Azarath, signed with Pulverised Records, Grant Us Death their first voracious full assault upon the world.

The title track emerges from a melodic invitation within a foreboding ambience which gives no real essence of the decayed inferno Grant Us Death Coverto come. It is a ravenous assault with caustic vocals complimented by group shouts bristling upon uncompromising rhythms and a gnarly intent and sound from bass and intimidating guitar riffs. It does not exactly trigger mass euphoria but the track leaves one bursting with eagerness to delve deeper in to the album whilst basking in the already impressive corrosive malevolence on offer.

The strong start is elevated by the following Devilspeed, the start of a trend as the following Bloodpainted Salvation and The Love Song each take the album to ascending plateaus. The first of the trio is an adrenaline charged surge of rampant riffs and demanding rhythms crossed with malice soaked vocal squalls. Like the majority of the album the intensity created by guitars and bass saw across and ravage the ear with little relief or mercy but still leave one enthralled and eager for more of their violating presence. Bloodpainted Salvation pins the listener to the floor by the ear and savages the senses with further annihilatory intent and skilfully sculpted violence whilst the last of the trio is an inspiring furnace of rabid intensity and predatory synapse bruising sonic barbarity infused with a magnetic melodic teasing which takes the track impressively away from the pack.

From here as good as the likes of Godcremation, Devialize, and My Lord Has Horns are, the album fails to find the same heights again but nevertheless leaves a full satisfaction for the senses to devour with the inventive and accomplished sounds displayed to ensure the release is a formidable and appetising proposition again and again.

The closing track When Horror Comes brings a different flavour to the album and does give the album a heightened departure. Its mix of blackened death metal and almost gothic metal like vocal mesmerism captivates the imagination from start to finish, the constant harshly grizzled riffs and energy stretched and embellished with potent shadows and rich sonic flames to leave intrigue and a sustained appetite to follow the creative exploits of the band as they evolve further.

With an exclusive macabre painting by Bartek Kurzok (Abigail, Demonic Slaughter, Goat Tyrant) for its artwork, Grant Us Death is an album deserving of attention and a release fans of bands such as  Entombed, Nihilist, and Autopsy will find plenty of maybe not original but well-crafted and passionate sounds within.

www.facebook.com/Ulcerdeathmetal

7/10

RingMaster 21/02/2013

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Vorum: Poisoned Void

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   Released via Dark Descent Records and Woodcut Records, Poisoned Void is the long awaited debut full length album from Finnish death metallers Vorum. In 2009 the quartet unleashed what has been called as one of the best underground death metal of recent times with Grim Death Awaits, so anticipation for this first album was keen to say the least for a great many and it is hard to imagine they will be disappointed with its merciless intent.

Formed in 2006, Vorum has earned a notable place within Finnish death metal and the genre as a whole mainly through that first EP and also a split release with Vasaeleth entitled Profane Limbs of Ruinous Death in 2010. Whether Poisoned Void has built on or actually managed to equal that first triumph is debatable but the new album certainly is a striking and ravenous confrontation which does the reputation of the band no harm at all and will surely lead to a wider recognition. It is a dangerously aggressive and unrelenting violation which uses existing tools of the band and genre in an accomplished and pleasingly violent way. From first track to last the album is a dynamic and thunderous brute of a release which swamps the senses with dense hungry intensity and destructive riffs whilst offering an enterprise which grabs the attention. The album misses out on igniting a real fire for its impassioned insidious consumption but still leaves one satisfied and willing to be violated often again.

Impetuous Fires opens up the carnage with exhausting rhythms and debilitating riffs all presented with a merciless pace and Vorum_Cover_Netenergy. Vocalist Jonatan Johansson spills venom with every rasping syllable whilst his and Matti Jalava’s guitars grind and sear flesh away from the ear with nasty irresistible riffs and sonic grooves. The rhythmic onslaught from drummer Mikko Josefsson is numbing whilst bassist John Finne bruises with every predatory note; it is an impressive start to the release which leaves no one wondering why the band has earned the acclaim they have.

The following Death’s Stains and Rabid Blood continue the impressive work, the first with an initial grooved sonic twisting which evolves into a storm of exhausting massive riffs and an intensity which smothers with thick relish whilst the second gnaws and chews on the senses with a malevolence which gives the devil himself a bad name. Though both are distinctly different they have the same effect of bringing their recipients to their knees and begging for more whilst whimpering under the barbaric annihilation. Arguably especially in the second, the glorious melodic twists of sonic flames do not feel at ease within the tempest and the tracks are more secure and insatiable when left to devour the listener. It is a minor niggle but one which does leave the album wanting against its predecessor.

Thriving Darkness is a stalking piece of persistent malice with a delicious groove to match, its presence an intimidating disease eroding away the senses and igniting a replacing consuming rapture. Like the album the track is a real slow burner which emerges as certainly favourite track if not the best on the release. It passes its evil baton onto the sonic demon Evil Seed, a song which burns and disfigures synapses like a sonic acid. It is pure sin, an injurious wash of malicious invention and intent. Like its predecessor the track takes time to make its carnal persuasion but succeeds with relative ease, though again the heated melodic spears of craft do not necessarily settle as easily upon thoughts as they would wish.

In Obscurity Revealed and Dance of Heresy offer further pleasing crippling ravishment whilst the closing title track is a final deep scarring to leave one blissful yet sore. From vocals to the heart driven sounds, track and album are certainly impressive if falling short of the very high standards Vorum had already put in place. It is with ease  though a cut above a great many of the other emerging underground death metal releases to appear over the past twelve months or so, and a must investigate for genre fans and those of the likes of Autopsy, Asphyx, Incantation and Convulse.

www.vorumdeath.com

RingMaster 26/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deus Otiosus: Godless

With the world wide release of their debut album Murderer last year, Danish death metallers Deus Otiosus left one of the biggest impressions and most rewarding confrontations of 2011, their old school inspired yet strikingly inventive sounds firing up the passions whilst marking the band as one of the most refreshing and promising emerging forces within extreme metal. The quintet from Copenhagen now returns with second album Godless, a release which actually puts its impressive predecessor in the shade whilst revealing the band as an even mightier and creative proposition. The new album is a colossal beast of imagination and aggressive engagement, a record bulging with incendiary sonics and melodic enterprise alongside thunderous riffs and debilitating grooves.

Started by vocalist Anders Bo Rasmussen and guitarist Henrik Engkjær in 2005, Deus Otiosus grabbed positive attention with their 2007 demo Death Lives Again and a split release with Hideous Invasion two years later, but it was with the release of Murderer in South America in 2010 and especially its world release via FDA Rekotz the next year, that the band ignited an intense positivity and acclaim towards their uncompromising aural attack. Godless takes everything to a new level, the songwriting, imaginative enterprise, and the intrusive thrilling sounds. Out through Deepsend Records, the album unleashes eight brutal tracks which numb and invigorate which equal success. Themed by the premise of the world devoid of gods or presences to guide the human race thus leaving it ‘to fend for itself like feral children’, the album is a crashing expanse of old school death metal skewered with veins of thrash and black metal and loud melodic whispers.

As soon as the opener Snakes of the Low thunders in with merciless rhythms, driving riffs, and an acute twisting groove, there is an immediate sense of the growth from previous releases, the immense start that strong and impactful. The guitars of Henrik Engkjær and Peter Engkjær rage with a furnace of sonic manipulations and bone crushing intensity whilst bassist Jesper Holst roams with a rabid hunger to his lines. The staggering onslaught leaves one breathless with the drums of new drummer Jesper Olsen leading the assault with unbridled energy and stunning craft. The result is a contagion which swamps the senses and ignites the passions whilst with the inciting heavy guttural tones of Rasmussen leaves thoughts open to the darkest shadows.

Off to a towering start the album steps up another level with the excellent In Harm’s Way. Starting with a catchy tease of drums the track strolls with an incessant breath of anthemic unity and pulsating resonating energy. Riffs and rhythms hold a constant urgent charge whilst the vocals snarl at the ear with a malevolent hunger whilst the sonic scorching lights up the song with caustic flames of invention. It is an insatiable riot setting up a strong and pleasing contrast to its successor, the doom clad prowling beast New Dawn.  Oppressive with an intensity which looms over the senses without quite devouring them, the track crowds the ear with its weighty presence to allow its restrained but ever shifting twists of ideas to open a stream of great satisfaction.

Throughout Godless is unrelenting in offering irresistible invention and fiery imagination, further tracks such as the astringent and ravenous Pest Grave as well as Cast From Heaven with its burning abrasive consumption of the synapses and the openly infectious Face The Enemy leaving awe struck ardour and unbridled enthusiasm in their wake. The latter of the three is a maelstrom of multi-faceted sounds and invention which flow and tease as if borne from the same original seed of inspiration.

Closing on the delicious irreverent waltz of Death Dance, an apocalyptic beauty in sound and atmosphere, the album is just outstanding and a release which easily rivals the best extreme genre releases this year. If bands like Obituary, Autopsy, Entombed, and Sepultura raise your temperature, than Deus Otiosus and Godless will break you out in an eager sweat.

http://www.deus-otiosus.com

RingMaster 19/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Poisonous: Perdition’s Den

Originally out in 2010 as a vinyl release through Blood Harvest Productions, Perdition’s Den from Brazilian death metal band Poisonous is one of those albums which deserves a wider route into the ears of the world and that is just what it has got with its upcoming re-release through Metalhit.com on July 17th.  The album is not one to rip up the blueprint of the genre or overtly stretch its boundaries but is simply a well formed and strongly presented slab of straight forward unadulterated death metal.

Poisonous emerged from the ashes of Impetuous Rage, a band which found its own decent respect in the underground scene and for their album Inverted Redemption. Whereas Impetuous Rage had a sound which could be said to be influenced by the likes of Monstrosity, Deicide, and Vital Remains, the sounds of Poisonous have a heavier and fuller consumption borne from the dark corners of death which bands like Autopsy, Immolation, and Incantation frequent.2009 saw a two track demo from the band gain good approval and included a great version of The Black Vomit from Sarcófago, the same song also closing up Perdition’s Den to great effect. With the re-release of their album one can only think those great responses will escalate far beyond what it received with its previous limited exposure.

The album immediately rears over the senses with opener Subterranean Rules, its bulk a weighty intensity preying on the ear with shuddering riffs and jabbing beats. As the lurking evil of the song exposes itself through the vocals the track raises its temperature and attack, the rhythms at times stepping out of the driven assault to offer a seemingly chaotic and loose aspect to the track. It is all intended and controlled though and is a pleasing feature which reappears throughout the release.

The venomous Worthless Christ ruptures synapses with pure malevolence next to be forcibly backed up by the ravenous breath of Creeping Impurity and the sheer blackness of heart and sound of Blasphemy Arises from the Knowledge. The album as it drives through the ear to permeate every pore with its tenacious venom is a soiling storm with only earns positive thoughts and reactions. From the songwriting through its realisation in further strong songs like Black Clouds And Fever and the title track, to the giving production, Perdition’s Den is an enjoyable and easy to access release. As mentioned it does not force open new avenues but brings what we will call traditional elements of death metal through a fresh and sure touch.

Poisonous have a release which makes no apologies for exposing and violating shadows or the black heart of its victims. It is nasty, uncaring of your sanity, and a vicious rage, it is also a release all old school death metal fans will adore.

RingMaster 10/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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