Left For Red – Vol 002: Mercy Fight

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Being a sucker for riffs which prey on the ear and rhythmic encounters which rumble with an anthemic lure, it took little time for Vol 002: Mercy Fight, the new EP from UK rockers Left For Red to grip attention tightly as its opening track stomped into view. Proceeding to entice and captivate the imagination as it blasts through three heavyweight provocations, the band continues to impress and raise suspicions that with the promise flowing through the release they have the potential to be very formidable antagonists within UK metal. Still arguably searching for originality, Left For Red make a sinew driven declaration with their second EP which cannot be ignored or left alone.

Formed in 2010, the Stourbridge quintet merged early influences of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest into newer discoveries of bands such as Strapping Young Lad, Tool, and Deftones as their own take on heavyweight metal emerged. The five-piece soon grew a strong reputation and following for their live performances, which was only enhanced by the release of their debut EP, Vol 001 – Empty Shell. The band since starting has shared stages with the likes of Beholder and Breed 77, supported Chimaira and Revoker on their Age Of Hell Tour, as well as undertaking their own successful shows including headlining a sold out gig at the 02 Academy. Recently crowned winners of Kerrang!’s TNA competition Left For Red is on a sturdy ascent, one which Vol 002: Mercy Fight will only add extra fuel to.

As soon as the forcefully beckoning drums beats of Rob Hadley probe the ears it has to be said that opener Kneel Before You Left-For-Red-Vol-002-Mercy-FlightDie is halfway to recruiting a hungry response. Once the gnarled bass tones conjured by Dan Carter and carnal guitar riffs also add their intimidation a major appetite is awoken as passions begin to stir for what is on offer. It is a primal start, one pinpointing and exploiting the rhythmic savage in us, and irresistible lead into the equally rapacious expanse of hungry riffs and melody soaked enterprise which erupts from its temptation. Into full stride the song is an accomplished and magnetic blaze of endeavour, the vocals of LC a firm and expressive antagonist around which the riffs and invention of guitarists Aaron Foy and Phil Smith carve and paint a skilled and pleasing adventure, even if there is nothing dramatically original to the event cast. Despite that it is an impressive and increasingly contagious start which leaves a healthy appetite for what is to follow.

My Obsession enters on a weighty carnivorous prowl from the bass skirted by sonic ambience, a presence soon enveloped in a cage of rhythmic predation and brewing intensity. With an air of doom and foreboding to its breath, the track slowly stalks the ears; circling them with preying riffs alongside the emotive narrative provided by LC. All the while though it is brewing a web of virulent temptation which shows its face in the chorus and evolving grooves. There is an undefined familiarity to the incitement though there are moments where Breed 77 comes forcibly to mind to add extra spice to the already delicious recipe. It is a magnificent song making its predecessor look slightly pale in comparison.

The closing Mercy Flight breeds from the success of the second track to unleash a perfectly crafted fury of rampaging riffs and rhythms clad together in a brawl of ferocious energy and rapaciousness. Again there is something recognisable to the song especially when it opens its melodic rock arms, though even then the track is eating your children and having it away with the wife. It is a tantalising conclusion to a compelling release, an EP which is not bothering boundaries yet or setting truly unique marks down for the band but one to thrust them onto the radar of newcomers and confirm the suspicions of something special evolving as seeded in the previous EP.

Left For Red has some way to go to stand out from the crowd but on the evidence of Vol 002: Mercy Fight it is certainly on their horizon which can only be an impending treat for us all.

http://leftforred.co.uk/

8/10

RingMaster 09/12/2013

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Promethium – Origins

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Two years ago UK rockers Promethium impressed with their debut album Welcome to The Institution declaring themselves as a band rife with promise and enterprise. Their mix of heavy and classic metal, despite its strong and gripping entrance, also seemed to be saying ‘you have seen nothing yet’ as it left a certain hunger in its creative wake. Now awaiting its moment to burst into the world on September 30th, Origins with ease backs up that apparent statement with a collection of tracks which scream from the rooftops just how much Promethium and their sound has matured and evolved between albums.

Formed from the remains of Skin Crawl, Bodies, Desolate and Natual Thing around six years or so ago the Lancaster band first opened up a wave of attention with their first EP Tribute to the Fallen of 2009. Followed by the successful and well received Welcome To The Institution the feeling that the band was about to erupt upon the higher levels of UK metal was maybe a little premature at that time. Met with acclaim and support things still seem to have moved on slowly for the band in regard to recognition though certainly tours with the likes of Furyon and Beholder as well as their own shows, did their stature no harm at all. Listening to the rich textured sounds and riotous energy and appetite of Origins only supports the notion that we all jumped the gun on their ascent but now could be the time it all kicks off for vocalist Gary McGahon, guitarists Daniel Lovett-Horn and Rossi, bassist Barry Mills, and drummer Dominic Clayton.

Whereas the previous album was a multi-flavoured mix of metal, for Origins the quintet has gone back to the roots of the band and promethiumcentred the core of their sound in prime heavy melodic metal, though it is as full of aural colour and sonic spice as ever. This definition of their direction we would suggest goes much towards the bigger deeper sound making the songs immersive and captivating, that and the obvious evolution in maturity and musical skills. From the opening track Won’t Break Me the leap in sound and composition openly hits, the track immediately wrapping the ear in sonic flames from the guitar and a bass and rhythmic inducement which stands bold and tall in craft and presence. The vocals of McGahon have also found a richer voice and delivery to match the sounds, and as the contagious opener rampages it all makes for an intensive lure for thoughts and hunger. There is a familiarity to the song which teases but as from day one with Promethium, band and music refuses to be compared to anyone else such the unique flavour of their music.

From the impressive beginning the album unleashes two more fierce encounters in the form of the confrontational Gunslinger and the antagonistic beast The Art of Hurting. The first of the pair, and the track which has been publicly teasing people up to release date, brings a great mix of vocal styles and intensive riffing veined by a cage of rhythmic prowess but it is the searing charm and flames of the guitars which steal the show before passing on to its equally rapacious successor. Holding its rabidity in check certainly compared to the previous songs, the track prowls the senses sucking air from the lungs with its oppressive and menacing nature. It is a brute of a treat which continues the vigorously strong start of the album provoking more thoughts that the band’s time has come.

Bringing a less intensive but no less striking offering, Counterfeit with sonic spires of melodic potency and riveting craft leads the listener into further fresh avenues whilst Rain with its power ballad like passion pushes the envelope of the songwriting and its realisation on the album yet again. The song is a real slow burner with its first engagement drawing strong acclaim and over subsequent listens drawing real ardour.

The riff sculpted almost Sabbath like The Hunted reeks old school metal in the best of ways though the vocals lack the bite and potency on earlier songs, especially the less successful mix of harsh and cleaner hues. It is still a richly satisfying ride which is matched by the slow melodic drawl of Plagued by Evil, another song which reminds of something else but will not give up the source, probably because there is none. The songs make for a less impacting but undoubted magnetic middle to the album which is given another adrenaline boost with Revolver, a song which conjures up a predacious animosity and within its storm an anthemic persuasion to capture the imagination.

Completed by the excellent Believer, a track which has more twists and turns to its inventive sound and melodic furnace than a dog chasing its tail and an invention which leaves each listen a little more rewarding and revealing, and the closing mesmeric instrumental title track, The Sky Rocket Records released Origins is a mighty release and step in the dawning of Promethium as one of UK’s most thrilling metal bands. Strangely it still suggests there is more to come from and hone within the band which is as dramatically exciting as the album itself.

Origins is released on October 7th

http://www.promethiumband.com

9/10

RingMaster 28/08/2013

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Arceye – At First Light

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Welcome to one of the candidates for album of the year, certainly in the darkened hungry hall of this site. This is a contender which feeds and devours with imagination, craft, and a devastating predacious invention that takes the listener on one of the most enthralling dangerous aural journeys lying in wait this year.  The beast is At First Light and its creator UK death thrashers Arceye, a band who have built on earlier acclaim and promise to stand as one of Europe’s, if not the world’s, most creative bands.

The second album from the Shrewsbury quartet, At First Light sees the band at a pinnacle though still only one level of a mountainous evolution of their invention one feels as the album explores and expands thoughts and emotions. Formed in 2004, Arceye has been no stranger to critical acclaim certainly with from debut album The Divide Between Chaos & Order of 2009 which followed the As The Ground Consumes You EP of two years earlier. From the first album the band has continued to increase their stock with impressive live performances, a trait of the band from day one, which has seen them support bands such as Decapitated, Man Must Die, Beholder, Finntroll, and Kataklsym as well as making successful appearances at festivals at the likes of Bloodstock Open Air in 2010, where they closed The New Blood Stage, and Hammerfest. The new album unveils a strong evolution in the band’s sound though still bred on a canvas of prime thrash metal with invading death metal shadows, but now the colour soaked progressive nature of the foursome of vocalist/bassist Al Llewellyn, guitarists Dave Roberts and Luke Durston, and drummer Craig Mackay, explores greater rich hued narratives upon the muscular black hearted canvas. It is a stunning combination breeding scintillating and impacting songs, ones which either offer a devastating confrontation or a captivating evocation, but all that enthral and ignite the senses and passions.

The Hostile Media released and Scott Atkins mixed (Sylosis, Cradle of Filth, Gamma Bomb, Amon Armarth) album steps from within Cover 001crackling flames with an inviting potent guitar lure leading the way, the call of the title track increasing as rhythms and a darker tone add their beckoning whispers. Soon with drums unleashing their full sinews and riffs following suit soon after, the track opens up an intensive prowl which recruits attention and hunger with ease. Into its stride the song rampages with guitars and drums sculpting a battlefield of intimidation and senses barracking skill whilst the gruff scowling vocals of Llewellyn, ably aided at times by the backing scarring tones of Roberts and Durston, parade a venomous and antagonistic breath that only fuels the intensity of the song.

The following track takes things another rung up the immense ladder of the release, The Storm sonically what its name suggests with the already ridiculously impressive skills of Mackay caging the tumultuous and imaginative adventure and persistence of the guitars and again the great mix of vocal threats. The track is a fury of invention and innovative thrash/death exploration, its underlying groove a rapier like hook ripping the ear open for the melodic and extensive flames of the guitars’ emprise to tempt and magnetise the imagination. The bruising from the towering encounter are soon soothed by the short instrumental The Longest Drive, the thought provoking piece of elegant composing and its realisation a resourceful caress and prelude to the staggering might and presence of I Silently Wait. Honed from a web of grooves, melodic beauty, belligerent riffing, and a cauldron of ferocious rhythms and vocals, the aural predator seamlessly moves from rampant aggression to seductive kisses and on to voracious rage, subsequently combining them in an unpredictable and fluid transgression of magnetic enterprise.

The deliciously sublime progressive radiancy and smouldering invitational glory of Sirius follows to again transport thoughts and feelings into an instrumental painting of suggestion and emotive incitement, the song alone showing the full extent of the songwriting, skill, and imagination of the band and the even greater promise of things to come over the next horizons of the band. Its building height and emotional depth grows in potency the further the song pulls the listener into its powerful soundscape, transfixing them into place for firstly Brother Disarmed with its savage rabidity to stir up the nest of previously settled emotions into another welcome turmoil, soon reinforced by the riveting Prey Forgiveness with its cracking tempest of carnivorous creative fire and sonic fascination and the magnetic Damage Done where clean vocals make a strong and pleasing offering within the rhythmically stretching slice of melodic and imposing triumph.

The album is completed by the crushing, yet seemingly respectful onslaught of The Thirst, though the track still demands and is welcomingly given its pound of flesh, and the closing instrumental sunset Dusk, another instrumental temptress this time coaxed into the passions by outstanding mesmeric guitar play and the open skill of the band. They provide the perfect conclusion and parting reminder of the quality and strength of Arceye and their brilliant album. At First Light is a real joy, a release which tears you apart whilst kissing the wounds it is simultaneously chewing upon. One of the real treats of the year, maybe the very best.

www.arceye.co.uk

10/10

RingMaster 08/08/2013

 

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Cambion: Last Rites

Though it was released the tail end of last year the recently brought to our attention EP Last Rites from UK metallers Cambion is just so good that a sharing was a must. Without breaking down boundaries or driving into new areas Last Rites is a full and muscular pleasure that brings an extra fresh breath into an already lively flurry of emerging UK metal bands. Cambion have something extra though not something which can be pinned down but their music just rips through the senses to invigorate, light up, and bring them wonderfully to the boil. They just bring a maelstrom of raging aggression, skilful technical accomplishment, and simply heart lifting uncompromising metal.

Formed in 2009, the Devonshire band openly state their influences and start their sound with seeds of the likes of Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and Divine Heresy. There is much more to their sound but you can hear those inspirations within the five songs that make up Last Rites. The year after forming saw the band on tour with Fozzy and in 2011 Cambion played a return performance at Wizzfest in Belgium alongside Blaze Bayley. That year also saw the release of their second EP City of Ember as well as new members, bassist Colin Beale and rhythm guitarist Liam Neary joining drummer Frank Dennis and lead guitarist/vocalist Elliott Alderman-broom. With the band in their time also sharing stages with the likes of The Defiled, Malefice, Fury UK, and Beholder, they have become as shown by the EP a tight and formidable band which deserves being placed at the fore of the new metal blood coming through.

The EP opens with the muscular rampaging Death March. The track rifles the ear from the start with threatening riffs, concise guitar asides, and growling venomous vocals. The song is a towering aggressive animal which breaks down any resistance with its deliberate and intense drive. Midway the song steps back in pace as a wonderful solo lights up the darkened corners of the song but it is not long before the insurgent rhythms and barracking riffs resume control. The song is a strong start to the release if not the most remarkable but it is impossible not to be swept up in its overpowering force.

The following Jester steps up a gear adding a fine groove metal vein to the assaulting riffs and intensity. It is with the excellent clean vocals though alongside the sharp melodic play that one is openly shown just how good this band really is. That previously mentioned undefined essence a sure presence as the track wraps its intrusive manipulative groove and touches around the ear tightly. There is a mix of Malefice and Periphery that come to mind as the track plays though  just  strong spices to their flavours.

It is with Quantum Concept and Salem that the release really ignites all the inner sparks. Both tracks are immense and as satisfying and intriguing as they are intense and consumptive. The first brings its Meshuggah incited elements to the forth to puncture and persistently jab the senses with tight and eager riffs, whilst alongside there are crystalline melodic strikes which mesmerise. The rhythms from Dennis are immense showing him , as do all the tracks, what a masterful and inventive drummer he is, the driving force for the songs but with an intelligence and imaginative flair. Salem is the best song on the release though a close call between them all. It stomps and grooves with a devilment that rides the intrusive spikes of sound which the track pitches into the senses. It is like being plugged into the mains listening to it as it forces a hyperactive response to its violations and a mesmerised addiction to its caressing melodic and harmonious play and vocals.

The closing Virus Pt.2 The Infection is a bristling pulsating metal mix offering a Fear Factory industrial tone and a scraping Static X electric intensity. As it stirs up the senses the song adds a melodic progressive metal side step which shifts the song into a warmer feel before returning to rupture the senses once more with direct and manipulative  strikes.

Last Rites is excellent , simple as that. It not only hits the spot and gets the blood flowing in a torrent it declares Cambion as one of the most impressive emerging UK metal bands and one to watch very closely.

https://www.facebook.com/CAMBIONOFFICIAL

RingMaster 02/05/2012

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