Primal – Prophetae

Primal cover

Prophetae is the third album from one man Polish black metal project Primal, an encounter which immerses imagination and senses in an investigative compelling web of sound and emotion. Exploring the themes of madness, darkness, cruelty, and the beauty of apocalyptic prophecies as well as delving into the insanity of man’s minds in creating them, the five track release unveils a tortuous seduction and a caressing abrading which envelopes and permeates everything from ears down to emotions. It is a challenging encounter but one which is simultaneously enthralling and intrusive in its touch, an expanse of starkly toned soundscapes and ravenous fermentation.

Primal is the work of Warsaw musician/songwriter PrimalOne, a project he began in 2008. Across the years he has released a couple of demos, Ominous Deity and a self-titled EP both in 2010, a split with Iugulatus and Deep Desolation, and a couple of albums starting with Deathzone in 2011 and Obłęd a year later, the pair split by the Duch EP. Recorded in 2012 also and released to the rear of last year, Prophetae is bred from the constant anger and defiance to religious idiocy which marks PrimalOne’s creativity and work. As the quintet of songs soaks through the pores and submerges ears, there is a ripe passion aligned to antagonism which spurs on the invention and intent of the pieces, it alone bringing stern textures and imposing structure to the tempestuous evocation of the tracks.

I opens up the release, church bells laying out their persuasion before being suffocated in an avalanche of destructive rhythms and carnivorous riffs; all determined to challenge and consume the suggestive religious peace. The track is ferocious and merciless in its ravaging of the ears, blackening out light and escape as its vitriolic narrative is offered through heavy nasally spoken words and aural predation. The track alone is an exhausting experience, its moments of respite and melodic acidity as magnetic as the fury before and around them. It is not the most violent encounter you will come across within black and extreme metal but one of the most incessant and insatiable, a description applying to the whole album.

The raw breath and glaze of the track adds to the corrosive provocation and pagan-esque whispers of the premise, fuelling extra venom and beauty in the more patient and classically honed parts, a potent blend emerging again in II. From its dark cavernous depths, the track coaxes and seduces the imagination, rhythms ensuring intimidation and danger is lurking whilst the resonating elegance of the track’s entrance brews a rapturous appetite. The track is soon unbolting its raucous energy and corruptive intensity, guitars winding their incendiary and inflaming melodic toxins throughout the heavy attrition spawned body of the track. There is a bolder anthemic urgency to the track than to the first but only within a determined stalking of the listener, the again spoken and generally unintelligible but thought inspiring vocals adding to the dark demonic drama and senses binding success of the track.

The seven minutes III is relatively short within the album but wastes no times in notching up the raw caustic surface lure of the album, steering the listener through a blackened network of crowding sonic corridors and emotive windings, all converging to test and provoke with insidious charm and uncompromising intent. As the track plays out the body feels as if locked in a dungeon of intense and chilling incitement, trapped underground with a coarse and scourge bred presence which toys with the psyche whilst sparking multiple incendiary reactions.

From the choral sample waking up IV, the track prowls and probes the senses; its lumbering gait dignified yet threatening as sonic flames circle over the smouldering venom you feel brewing within. The track never veers from the object of its steely glaze, twisted vocals adding their evocative narrative to the unmovable intent of sound and intensity. Waves of urgency and muscular intimidation ebb and flow across the track, never diverting it from its focus, the masterful and magnetic repetitious core as infectious as the guitar craft and fiery atmospheres around it.

The closing V opens as its predecessor and with a more voracious and vicious volition emulates its unbridled and unyielding persecution of its recipient. It is only part of the story though as haunting and ingeniously warped twists of the opening vocal harmonies bring a blackened angelic colour to the pestilential glory of the track, whilst there is a general discordance to the tone and heart of the excellent track which draws a rich submission.

Prophetae is not a kind or easy listen but unreservedly rewarding, a full stimulation to thoughts and emotions. There are moments where the album has an arguably unadventurous evolution across tracks which are for the main 10 to 11 minutes long, deviations in sonic and imposing scenery minimal but such the power and potency of the bait it does not become obvious until hindsight kicks in. The album is an absorbing triumph nevertheless and Primal a proposition which deserves proper attention.

Prophetae is available through Q.E.V.Productions/The End Of Time Records now.

http://primalband.bandcamp.com/

8/10

RingMaster 22/04/2014

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Patria – Individualism

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Our introduction to Brazilian black metallers Patria came with their previous album Nihil Est Monastica; an encounter last year which without crossing into new boundaries with its early nineties driven sound was an exhausting and thrilling release. Now having signed with Indie Recordings, the band unleashes their new violation Individualism. As its predecessor the eleven track feeds and ruins expectations, a similar texture and sound as their previous provocation providing the voice of Patria’s sound but veined and underlined by another increase in exploration of the band’s continuing to grow imagination.

The new release is the fifth album from the quintet of band founders, vocalist Triumphsword and guitarist Mantus, alongside bassist WS Vulkan, guitarist Igniis Inferniis, and drummer Abyssius. The band was formed in 2008 and soon forging a reputation at home with their merger of dark Scandinavian ravages and South American designed metal. Their roots continue to inflame their releases as evidenced by their 2013 album and now its successor, but an evolution of invention and experimentation also spices their endeavours. The result, as mentioned in regard to Individualism, is an incitement which stays within the walls of traditional black metal but colours it with inciting designs and vicious seductions.

Recorded in the last three months of 2013, the album was mastered by Oystein G. Brun of Borknagar and features special guest Fabiano patria coverPenna in the songwriting and arrangement of the closing track of the release and the opening instrumental title track, Individualism making its bow with a brief orchestral call held in a cavernous ambience and clad in portentous intent. Its respectful incitement is soon smothered by the raging torrential blaze of Blood Storm Prophecy where rhythms jab and pummel the ears whilst riffs and sonic enticement rampage and intrigue respectively. The track meanders purposely around the senses in between its corrosive spurts of intensity, vocals a spiteful glaze upon the narrative and imposing breath of the track. Though the song is arguably not openly offering anything truly new it easily slips beneath the skin and psyche, terraforming resistance into a submissive and keen appetite soon fed potently by the third track of the album.

     Uncrowned God of Light, as it predecessor, makes a savage entrance. The guitars sear air and flesh with violent rabidity whilst vocals add their own rich causticity to the suffocating mix. It is a welcomingly imposing assault but one which truly sparks imagination and passions when the band uncages thick addictive grooves and a richly tempting swagger. From its ferocious start the song finds a clever restraint which allows colourful melodies and infectious imagination to permeate and expand the riveting adventure. The track is outstanding and holds onto best album moment, though it is often seriously challenged t by songs like the following Outrage, a masterful track stamping its authority rhythmically and inventively from its opening seconds. Striding beats hits the ears first before a maelstrom of acidic hooks and scarring riffs clad a further destructive twist of drum intrusiveness. The sonic lures sweep around and lash the senses throughout to feed a continuing to increase greed for the album, whilst melody bred hues flame and score thoughts impressively within the blistering blaze.

In many ways the album does not get any better than across this pair of songs but thoughtful invention and dramatic exploits are never far from capturing the imagination to keep the album initially a powerful encounter and ultimately an increasingly persuasive and revealing investigation. The next up Orphan of Emptiness epitomises this, its first suasion enjoyable though breeding a few doubts but becoming a firm favourite with its constant unveiling of new textures and ideation over time. The song again parades its wares and intent with an unmistakable confident revelry, grooves and riffs marching boldly before slipping into a reserved but creative prowl. The initial rapacious attack of the song is soon seizing control again, though its shares and switches throughout with its counterpart to strong success as the persistently shifting landscape of the track becomes very compelling. The bursts of power metal like vocals and thrusts at its latter shows further bravery in song and songwriting but do fail to convince though they cannot defuse the strength of the tempest.

The severe consumption of Far Beyond The Scorn brings an enjoyable if underwhelming ravaging in comparison to previous tracks whilst Catharsis reignites ears with its controlled tsunami of multi-flavoured sonic and emotional vitriol, the song careering with a mouthwatering blend of melodic and raw textures which again never settle primarily into one stance to keep thoughts and senses busy and unrelentingly excited. By this point a breath is needed and the band offer the opportunity with the excellent instrumental Epiphany, a track bringing classical elegance together with sinister drama, the union another potent seed for the imagination. Its dark peace allows a steeling of emotions for the venomous squalls of Your Rotten Heart Dies Now and God’s Entombment, the first of the pair a sonic predator stalking thoughts with serpentine melodies and sonic toxicity, both licking air and senses with merciless mordancy. The guitars provide a poisonous web of menace and emotive severity but equally engage and enthral with an overpowering bait within the rhythmic chaining, an enterprise also explored by God’s Entombment but with a more direct abrasing enveloping.

Closing on the expansive yet intimate climate of Requiem For The Ego, another instrumental which permeates every pore and corner of mind and emotions, Individualism is a magnetic and rewarding violation. It is an encounter which builds in weight, intensity, and sheer quality with every plunge into its blackened depths. There are still parts where you are looking for sparks of originality but those gaps with each release seem to become few and far between as Patria continue to emerge as one of the more potent and gripping extreme metal propositions.

Individualism is available on CD/ Vinyl/Download via Indie Recordings now!

http://www.patriaofficial.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 21/04/2104

 

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Shrike – Sieben

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The third album from German black metallers Shrike, Sieben marks a new chapter in the evolution of the band, a new turn in the seven year creative adventure to date as marked by the release’s title. A concept album providing arguably the rawest intent and musical breath from the Berlin quartet so far, Sieben is a savage and ruinous affair but equally one ripe with choice hooks and tempting grooves escorted by a mouthwatering imagination. The five track release does not expel a wholly unique proposition it is probably fair to say, but thrusts one over the senses which makes you stand up and take notice whilst marking out the potential and inventive depths which course through the band’s veins for possibly even greater future impacts.

Formed in 2006, debut album Meine Wucherung that same year ensured that the band was available to a certain attention, which last year’s successor Hinab in die vertraute Fremdheit reinforced and took to a stronger, wider spotlight. Sieben takes band and sound to new levels and you suspect similarly potent recognition. As mentioned it is not ground-breaking stuff unleashed within the powerful and aggressive confrontation but a constant and persistent persuasion which can enchant like a temptress and ravage like a wounded wild animal with intensive and skilfully crafted enterprise.

The self-released provocation preys on ears, thoughts, and emotions from its opening seconds, the first track Kreise casting an unsettling shrike_sieben_coveraural mayhem over the senses for a few seconds before exploding into an onslaught of horde like riffs and a barbarous concussive rhythmic intimidation. With the coarse vocal squalls and their scathing instigation only accentuating the raw feel of the incitement, the band vein the ruinous encounter with riveting grooves and acidic guitar swipes that increase the vitriolic colour and evocative intrigue of the black hearted storm. It is a masterful and wholly magnetic start which is backed up potently by Kadaver, its primal challenge rhythmically and vocally courted by a carnal violation of guitar and bass, the former also uncaging rabid sonic stabs and brief but irrepressibly manipulative lures within the ear smothering weave. As with the first and subsequent songs individual skills stand out from inside the destructive web, the guitars especially striking when stepping out from the oppressive tempest and in this track unveiling a mystique kissed melodic seduction which intrigues and ignites the imagination.

The title track makes its declaration upon an almost tribal bred rhythmic suasion, its initial enticement irresistible in capturing the emotions before the guitars and drums begin their maybe expected scourge of the senses but taking it to an inventive and masterfully alluring violation. Merging an antagonistic swagger and seductive melodic sways within its compellingly shifting sonic landscape, the song engages on every level; crooning the ears, coaxing the imagination, and ravishing the senses. It is a combination forging the best track on the release and making a strong statement for the increasing promise and strongly established reputation of the band.

From the blackened rage of annihilatory rock ‘n’ roll Shrike take the listener on a flight of heavily weighted slowly labouring doom spiced black metal. Von den Farben der Sehnsucht is a whispering and intrusive dirge but one from within its nightmarish realms which casts an enchanting incantation of mysterious vocals and simmering melodic rapture. It is an absorbing and imagination stretching fall into the darkest depths of the album, a suffocating plunge lit by warm and vibrant beacons to deceive and temper the demons clawing sonically the senses.

Sieben is completed by Grimassen, a track which wraps an abrasing smog of caustic riffing and concussive rhythms around the ears. It is an entrance which envelopes and oppresses but reins in its hostility a little to wait for the emerging intensive predation of the song. One of the strongest elements which makes sure Shrike is not lost within the sea of emerging bands is their ability and hunger to reinvent the direction and flavour of their tracks within their walls, the track a prime example as it easily slips into a venomous melodic embrace, broader ruinous vocal pressure, and lingering spiteful hooks. It does not quite stand up to previous songs but still brings the release to a dramatic and gripping finale.

Shrike still have some way to go to stand fully out within black metal and draw the majority of attention their way but Sieben shows they are definitely and potently on the right lines and are armed with all the attributes and imagination needed.

http://www.shrikeberlin.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shrike/494739873889284?fref=ts

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/04/2014

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Invertia – Another Scheme of the Wicked

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US band Invertia and their imposing sound is tagged as industrial black metal by the accompanying press sheet to their new album Another Scheme of the Wicked. It is a label which fits suitably but only hints at the depth of the sinister textures, rapacious ingenuity, and insidious breath on offer. The band’s second release is a threatening invasive corrosion of senses and emotions, a consumption and incitement of the imagination which leaves you clutching at sanity. The album is virulently compelling, an entrapment rife with powerful hooks and intrusive manipulations which seduces and violates simultaneously whilst inviting thoughts to step through gateways of primal and man induced corruption.

Hailing from Massachusetts, Invertia is the creative union of guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson. The pair first sent attention scurrying for cover with their self-titled debut album last year; the release marking out the band as a potentially incendiary proposition if without finding enough passions to awaken. Another Scheme of the Wicked not only realises that potential but takes it to darker dangerous potent levels and it is easy to assume it will be the spark to catch the radar of a much wider spotlight within extreme metal. Released via Ohm Resistance, the album consists of five new malignant journeys courted by another quintet of destructive remixes, doppelgangers of the originals if you like though which side is the most malevolent is debatable.

Invertia is said to be ‘A mirror displaying some of the darkest paradoxes and truly terrifying segments of American society’, and as soon as invertiacoverofficialopener The Sidewinding immerses the senses and thoughts in its thick body of intent with excellent samples littering the oppressive scenery, you understand its meaning. The track almost ambles in but with an intimidation and haunted feel wrapping the coaxing guitars. It borders on invitational until the first sampled vocal stab opens the lock for a charging enticement of twistingly nagging riffs entwined with a serpentine groove and understated yet punishing rhythms. The heavy rasping tones of Coppola alongside the interjections of hellish samples only accentuate the intensive danger and malice of the proposition, the emerging blackened rabidity abrasing with weight and acidic ferocity. The track is a magnetic suffocation of light and emotional escape, a drop through demonic realms with a diversely flavoured and feverishly impacting soundscape leaving thoughts resonating and senses exhausted.

Whereas the first track thrust the listener into the blackest grip within seconds, the following Cross-Eyed Christ engulfs ears in a Ministry like predation, short grooves and scourging riffs entrancing before the heavy shadows and vocal rancor takes hold. Samples again punctuate lyrical and sonic declarations whilst the guitars scythe the air with irresistible swipes, a combination with the leviathan groove which steals away the distraction of anything outside of the song. Brutal yet impossible infectious the track continues the immense start before making way for the toxic erosion Void of Community. Its climate and touch is poisonous though like its predecessor its initial incitement is pure contagion. This lure never relinquishes its hold across the encounter but is soon tempered by the caustic vocal squalls and barbarous drumming for another blistering tempest of harsh extremes and conflicting yet united textures. The album is one which needs time to blossom in the passions, each venture a greater persuasion and success as evidenced by this track, its first touch agreeable and its sixth and counting viciously bewitching.

Both Hourglass Without Sand and They’re Everywhere continue the slavery of thoughts and passions, the first as the previous song a rampaging incessantly catchy torrent of abrasing riffs, merciless and varied rhythmic confrontation, and devilish hooks. A shift in weight and gait into a lumbering tsunami of intensity and drama provides further proof of the inventive twists and imagination to the album which its successor takes further and into a truly destructive and malignant landscape. Vocal winds smother the senses like a sandstorm whilst the blackened niggle of the guitars simply grazes and scars with every vitriolic note unleashed, matched by the scourge of vocal animosity. It is an evil conclusion to the first part of the album, and an irresistibly enthralling if scary one.

The five tracks are next presented again with remixes from notable artists within the Ohm Resistance camp and more. Remixes never sit easily with us as regular readers will realise and the quintet here provides a confirmation of our doubts and equally at times a reasoning to embrace them. The Justin K. Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu) take on The Sidewinding, pushing it deeply into the suffocation lying within the original. It thickens and slows the flight of the track unveiling the intensive blackness within. It works well as a companion to and inverted insight of the song but fails to come near to the grip of its founder though it does spark the imagination just as powerfully.

The End.user (The Blood Of Heroes) version of Cross-Eyed Christ tantalises and teases with all of the lures of Invertia’s version, cleaning up the industrial and metallic parts of the song but entwining them with an electro bred matching virulence. It is an invigorating success matched fully by the Submerged (Method Of Definance, The Blood Of Heroes) remix of Hourglass Without Sand which comes after the smothering jaundiced take of Void of Community by TranZi3nt. Both tracks appeal in varying degrees but the unrelenting ebm spawned Hourglass Without Sand is just breath-taking.

The release is completed by the R3TRD look at They’re Everywhere, a track bringing in samples of ‘a Pentecostal preacher vampirishly admonishing children to visit with him as he speaks in tongues’ to create a version which strikes further chills into the already fearsome throat of the song. It is a powerful end to an impressive release which by just talking the first half of its spiteful endeavour is an exhilarating and almost demoralising treat. The remixes depending on your take add more weight to the proposition but it is Invertia’s own tracks which make this an unmissable injection into extreme music.

http://www.inv3rtia.com/

For the first five tracks 9/10

As a whole 8/10

RingMaster 04/2014

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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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Hiidenhauta – Noitia on Minun Sukuni

 

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     As Noitia on Minun Sukuni, the debut album of Finnish black metallers Hiidenhauta menaces, toys, and seduces the imagination the overriding thought is that here we have a mouthwatering proposition with the potential to be a major force within the genre in the future. Brewing up an encounter best described as symphonic meets folk in a black metal landscape, though that only hints in many ways at the adventure sculpted, their first full-length is an unpredictable and enthralling eight track exploration of the senses. It is not without a few moments which are not as successful as others but from start to finish it captivates and stirs emotions to create one of the more refreshing and exciting blackened exploits to come along over past months.

    The band was formed in the early weeks of 2012 by vocalists Fornjotur and Riena. The pair soon enlisted keyboardist Gastjäle, bassist Ihtirieckos, and drummer Rostiof to explore and expand their inventive sound before guitarist Marras was added to complete the line-up that summer. With lyrics written in old Finnish kalevalametre and finding inspiration from nature, Baltic-Finnish mythology, anti-Christianity aspects, history, and darkness to create dramatic narratives to match the sounds, the band unveiled their first EP Surma saapuu suota myöten in the wintery beginning of 2013. Well-received it was followed a few months later by the Eikä aurinko valaise EP, again to strong responses. It drew the band to the attention of Inverse Records who now release the new record. The Satakunta sextet make a striking persuasion and presence on their to be widely released album, an initial full strike triggering what you can easily see as being a triumphant and long term journey ahead.

    The release opens with a scenic ambience but one soon soaked in a portent atmosphere and brewing intimidation. Keys bring hiidenhauta_cover_2400the first wave of drama within Tuhkasta with thick punchy rhythms in close attendance as the track expands its embrace and stretch. As soon as the carnivorous bass snarl aligned to caustic riffs stalks the senses alongside rapaciously delivered vocals squalls and the increased adrenaline of drums, the track becomes a contagious beast of a proposal. But then just as you take a tight grip ready to charge eagerly across the ravenous torrent the band rips the ground from the feet with the excellent temptress tones of Riena. The music instantly relaxes to caress her seductive voice but it is a brief respite as the track reasserts its predatory appetite and leaps voraciously at the listener once again. Acidic grooves and imagination infecting hooks incite with the richest toxicity whilst the twists and intrigue of the song simply satisfy every want of the imagination. It all makes for a stunning start and confirmation of a band on the rise.

   The following Raato opens with a gothic breath, mere seconds of House of Usher like mystery before uncaging another ravenous intent and intensity. The corrosive delivery of Fornjotur is a pungent vocal incitement for the incendiary rhythmic onslaught and tightly entwining grooves, whilst the sirenesque lures of Riena only accelerate the mesmeric danger rather than temper is suasion. Pestilential in attack and sonic predation, absorbing in breath and melodic enchantment, the song like its predecessor evolves before the ears without deviating for its almost insidious purpose, the enslaving of bodies and emotions.

    Tuo On Tuuli Nuolen Tuoja preys on the senses from its first slow sonic wrapping of guitar around the ears. It is not an open intimidation though as a reserved and potent hook teases from within the reined causticity. The track is a relatively brief instrumental which worms under the skin and across synapses setting up thoughts for the dangerous charms of Hiiden Virsi. Featuring Jonne Järvelä from Korpiklaani who provides a wonderful shamanic abrasing, the track is a simultaneously vitriolic and meditative intrusion. Almost like being lost in a self-induced altered state where all the light and dark hopes and fears flail at the senses in physical form, the track is a transfixing yet uncomfortable tempest. It gives the imagination and emotions a playground to exploit though the same can be said about the whole release to be fair.

   The classically bred keys of Gastjäle add a crystalline evocation to the bordering bedlamic Sumussa Soutava next. It is a track which bewitches and savages, once again creating a consumptive tapestry which never settles or leaves warning signs within its meandering soundscape. Though it does not stand up as impressively as the earlier songs it still leaves a rewarding bait to greedily devour, the dual vocals of bestial and beauteous depths especially thrilling. Its closing acoustic caress leads the listener into the eager ravenous jaws of Ruumisvedet, raw riffs and scowling vocals welcoming submission for its grizzly rock n roll majesty. An irresistible groove makes the first irrepressible trap, soon backed up by expressive keys and uncompromising rhythms. There is a devilish swagger and repetitive bait to the track which is wholly addictive but similarly the enchanted allurement of Riena and the melodic weaves which emerge without warning from within the brawling aggression, make a lingering temptation.

     The brilliant scourge ensures that the nine minute plus landscape of Kaartuvat is under pressure. It is a slightly overlong oppressive exposure for the senses, attention wavering at times, but it is still one which never leaves a moment redundant of enterprise and intrigue as it provides another aspect to the songwriting and stance of the band. It is followed by Sula Pohjaan Luut Levolle; an inspiring emotive piano crafted instrumental offering an epilogue if not to the album to the previous adventure.

    Hiidenhauta is a band with a powerful destiny ahead of them and using Noitia on Minun Sukuni as evidence, will be making fine and potent use of it.

https://www.facebook.com/Hiidenhauta

http://hiidenhauta.bandcamp.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/03/2014

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The Committee – Power Through Unity

 

The-Committee_Band

    Originally a doom metal proposition, The Committee has added and woven in a black metal breath and guitar enterprise to a sound which has begun drawing in attention and fascination within the metal world. The release of debut album Power Through Unity, with its chilling drone sculpted soundscapes around an equally cold tongue which licks and lashes the senses with blackened malevolence and abrasing persuasion, is sure to push the band into a stronger potent spotlight. It is not a release to ignite the most ferocious of passions but one with a menacing magnetism and certain craft which like a siren constantly calls attention back into its pestilential body.

      Formed as a one man project in the winter of 2007 by vocalist/guitarist Igor Mortis, The Committee expanded into a quartet with the addition of guitarist Aristo Crassade, bassist Marc Abre, and drummer William Auruman before unveiling the four tracked Holodomor EP to strong interest amongst the metal underground and various internet sites and magazines. Based in Belgium with its members bred from roots set in Holland, France, Ukraine, and Russia, the band has a blend and mix within its fusion of black and doom which persistently captivates upon their first album. Released via Folter Records with songs themed by ‘history, occult manipulation of the mind and fascinating past events’, Power Through Unity is like an intensive ritual, a passage of rites to the heavy dark realms the band find their inspirations. Their motto says it all, “History is written by the victors, we are the voice of the dead”.

     Opener Not Our Revolution makes a reserved entrance; an applauding ambience alongside an intriguing single guitar enticesThe Committee - Power Through Unity - Artwork thoughts with decent potency before the drums call in the full slow scourge of sound, guitars and bass prowling the ears whilst vocal squalls roar from within the oppressive breath of the song. The lowly slung voice of the track drags its heart and intent deep into the imagination whilst an almost cavernous wall of riffs aided by sadistic rhythms cages and enthrals with a ruinous and deceptively varied persuasion. The track is as imposing as a tsunami but as patient as an ice age in its consumption of senses and emotions.

   The strong start and intrusion is followed and matched by The Man of Steel, another track which is in no rush to devour but working at that aim from its first seconds with ravenous riffs and antagonistic rhythms plaguing ears. The melodic and sonic invention of the guitars merges drone and repetition within their invasively hued narratives laying a coaxing which as the drums and bass compel and intimidates with predacious efficiency. The threatening squall of sound envelops every inch of the senses and like the first track is dramatically bewitching.

    It is probably fair to say that the tempestuous surface of songs carry a too similar a temptation across the release and needs a more intensive dive into the corruptive hum at times to discover their uniqueness, but the rewards are always waiting and in a track like By My Bare Hands offered in a more easily visible and digestible meal of caustic charm and icy toxicity. The Last Goodbye also casts out more open bait and like its predecessor opens on an intimate melodic touching of the imagination before being consumed by the brute force and intensity of a hungrily howling ravenous storm. The production of the album provides a little uncertainty in the appreciation of the release though, its touch at times smothering and defusing the underlying melodies and tempering elegance which ignites a song like this and the following Katherine’s Chant, but simultaneously its glacial feel fuels the bone-chilling temptation of the release which it is hard not to find a small passion for.

   Through the insatiably pungent ruin of Katherine’s Chant and the even more rabid air of the closing title track, its appetite and mordant atmosphere the most voracious and eager on the release, Power Through Unity leaves the senses on an acerbic high and rigorously satisfied. The EP lacks enough diversity to truly ignite the passions and to be fussy that production issue does dull too much of the release’s success and sound to build a formidable stature for The Committee, but there is plenty to be drawn to often and with keen relish creating a strong and exciting first introduction certainly for us to a fiercely promising proposition.

www.thecommitteecult.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/02/2014

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Bast – Spectres

 

BAst pic

    If you have ever imagined being lost in a blizzard where every sound and danger, open and hidden, seduces and smothers the senses to their limits then try stepping into Spectres the debut album from UK sonic sculptors Bast. Every intensive note and emotion within the blackened doom bred tempest suffocates with merciless passion and intimidation yet infuses the imagination with a beauty and compelling toxicity which is just as mouth-wateringly impressive. The five track release is an epic confrontation which is not an easy companion to embrace and at times endure, as that envisaged storm, but certainly one of the most rewarding as it infests body and psyche.

    Formed in 2008, it was the coming together of vocalist/guitarist Craig Bryant, drummer Jon Lee, and bassist Gavin Thomas three years later where arguably things really began to stir up a greater attentive spotlight for Londoners Bast. Since starting initially as a duo, the band certainly made an imprint on the capitals metal scene, sharing stages with the likes of Ufomammut, A Storm of Light, and Ramesses. Across the years the trio has expanded their presence supporting and playing with other bands such as Nachtmystium, Minsk, Winterfylleth, earthtone9, Mother Corona, XII Boar and hordes more, persistently leaving a rich mark and breeding an eager anticipation for their first album.

     Recorded at Skyhammer Studio with Chris Fielding, Spectres is the first offering from new label Black Bow Records, run by 1452364_10152025214408684_29610896_nConan frontman Jon Davis, its limited to 300 vinyl release a joint unleashing with a CD/digital assault from Burning World Records. The album is a heavily consumptive provocation which swallows and chews the senses with a creative rabidity which simply intimidates under the massive weight of doom spawned atmospheres and malevolence. Just as ravenously though, the release leads the listener through inventive weaves which dazzle in elegance and seduce in majestic radiance though never truly released from the hands of rancorous oppressiveness.

    In The Beginning initially offers a respectful sonic coaxing to bring the album into view, its chilled ambience wrapping the ears before an exhaustive fire of riffs and rhythms consume the senses as the rasping caustic vocal squalls of Bryant scorches the air. As its stalks and piles on the dark drama with every second, the track winds around the imagination with a near insidious voice and corrosive intensity, stimulating thoughts with an enveloping and emotive suffering. It is a powerful opening matched by the next up Denizens, its slow flight into darker and deeper caverns of intensive emotional corruption as mesmeric as it is ruinous. Like the first, the black and doom metal seeded blend brews an erosive breath over a melodically teased sonic adventure, both soaked in a mutually cathartic and damaging tsunami of intensity.

      Impressive as the songs are, the album does not truly ignite into something uniquely distinctive and special until the title track erupts in a ferocious brawl of crippling rhythms and unrestrained riffing. The track hits with the carnivorous heavy assault of a Black Tusk, with heavily shadowed but tempting grooves to match, before diving head long into a blackened swamp of sonic rabidity and doom lit venom. It is an irresistible onslaught taken to greater potency by a deliciously barbed rhythmic temptation alongside a bass and guitar snarl which has you contemplating scurrying into the deepest burrows of safety. Spectres preys upon and swaggers with the imagination and passions, an unpredictable constantly evolving waltz of inventive toxins and destructive virulence with pestilential charms and animosity which echoes the overall presence of its namesake, the album.

     The exceptional confrontation is matched by the instrumental Psychonauts, the piece a developing imaginative scourge for the passions which from a seemingly primordial sonic soup spawns an irresistible and addictive union of contagion clad drumming and savage bass temptation. It proceeds to provide an exploratory and weighty flight through menacing expressive textures and atmospherically driven visually provoking scenery. It is another immense stimulus for mind and emotions to eagerly delve into, a demanding and controlling doorway to the band’s and our imaginations. Its twelve minute violation makes way for the equally enthralling and lengthy Outside The Circles Of Time, the closing song crafting a landscape of melodic temptation and magnetic beauty within a warm embracing ambience. The ever raw tones of Bryant, even in their more reined in delivery, add to the epidemic enticement, helping pave the way for the fiercer sonic wash of guitar and passion to lap over the senses beside another stretch of impossible to resist rhythmic bait, the song intensifying its pressure and contagion with every passing minute.

     It is a magnificent finale to an album which firmly puts Bast on the doom metal map. Spectres takes a little time to truly explode in the psyche, though it is certainly grips from its first breath, but emerges as an album destined to be one of the most impressive doom and 2014 debuts.

www.facebook.com/Bastmusic

9.5/10

Bast upcoming tour dates with Conan 2014

March 14th Nottingham, Soan Studios

March 15th Bournemouth, The Anvil

March 16th Birmingham, The Asylum 2

March 17th Glasgow, Audio

March 18th Aberdeen, Live at Downstairs

March 19th Manchester, Kraak Gallery

March 20th Cardiff, The Full Moon

March 21st Brighton, The a Prince Albert

March 22nd London at Electrowerkz

March 23rd Mousetrap, Basingstoke

RingMaster 23/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Father Murphy – Pain Is On Our Side Now

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     It is fairly safe ground to state that Father Murphy and new release Pain Is On Our Side Now is not going to be for everyone whilst plenty of those brave enough to completely immerse in its scalding sonic explorations will need therapy of some descript right after. The band has consistently transfixed ears and psyche with challenging, at times uncomfortable, provocations but their new incitement disorientates and consumes the listener in their most hellacious nightmare yet. Released via Aagoo Records/Boring Machines and coming in two single-sided 10” vinyl incitements containing two movements intended for simultaneous play, Pain Is On Our Side Now is beauteous mental and sonic bedlam, Receiving a digital promo for the release meant we could only experience the four tracks consecutively and that was startling, intimidating, and haunting enough so playing the tracks in the way intended maybe having a psychiatrist on speed dial would be a good pre-plan.

      Consisting of Freddie Murphy, Chiara Lee, and Vittorio Demarin, the Venice born Father Murphy have released a trio of albums with numerous EPs and limited releases alongside which started with a debut album crafting twisted psychedelic pop. Their sound has evolved across each subsequent release, their 2008 second full-length And He Told Us To Turn To The Sun exploring a concept of heresy and a darker predacious sound. Gaining praise on both sides of the pond from an acclaiming media and fans such as Julian Cope, Deerhoof, and Michael Gira, the trio has constantly pushed their and our imagination and shadows. Pain Is On Our Side Now follows acclaimed 2012 album Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It, and a remix album titled Father Murphy: Heretical Review which featured interpretations of tracks on its predecessor from artists such as Black Dice, Philippe Petit, Sic Alps, Indian Jewelry, Thulebasen and E.M.A. Like its predecessor, the EP was recorded and produced by Greg Saunier from Deerhoof, and with its concept of failure guiding its tortuous ingenuity, makes for a frightening but thoroughly captivating violation.

     Opening track Let The Wrong Rise With You is a hell bred snarling beast of an incitement, a sonic predator with slavering -3noise sculpted jaws and deviously deceptive intent. A slow stalking yet voraciously breathing mix of industrial like scarring and psychedelic ambient seared with melodic cinders, the piece envelops the senses and emotions, its dawning and slowly towering presence revealing the bowels of hell and the beauty of submission. A mid-way calm or rather respite is the doorway into an even stronger haunt, choral breezes soaked in discord flirting within the dank once hallowed now corrupted jowls of the song’s cinematic intent. You almost feel the band has missed its time in a way as they would have made the perfect complement and antagonist to the films of Dario Argento.

     The first song on the second disc is They Will All Fail You, which played together with the opener creates a new disturbance under the name Let Them All Fail With You. Violence is soon followed by a discordant drone and sampled female vocals/shouts/cries. It reaps the darkest nightmarish possibilities but with a restraint which threatens and plagues the imagination whilst allowing some sense of escape. That is until the demonic beats and a howling sonic slow ravishment emerges to deepen the mental mire. You can only imagine the result of the combination of songs without the physical forms to toy with but it certainly does not promise to be healthy but you suspect will be enthrallingly invigorating.

     The second pairing sees Bones Got Dry and Despite All The Grief laying upon each other for Grieving for our Bones. The first of the two is a rasping, ground dwelling pestilential sonic scraping of the senses with a heightened drama to its walls and climate. It is a chilling and cold fall into the darkest, blackest Gehenna which the second piece you can only see accentuating and deepening with its own pit spawned humming and heavy background malevolent drone.

     Pain Is On Our Side Now is a startling and insidious confrontation when taken as single tracks and you suspect must come with an intensity to leave whimpering a suitable response when combining those elements. Father Murphy is a band to devour and cower from, a proposition which can only do you harm and good, if you dare brave their invitations.

http://fathermurphy.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fathermurphyband

9/10

RingMaster 06/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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http://www.audioburger.com

Hangatyr – Elemente

 

SONY DSC

     Oppressive, stark, and cold hearted, Elemente the new album from German pagan black metallers Hangatyr provides a landscape to be feared and enthralled by. It is a demanding and intrusive adventure emotionally and aurally which takes the listener through intensive and intimidating climes but one which expands a melody shaped temptation and sonic allurement which is hard to stay away from. Though not the easiest of listens at times with prevalence to a surface similarity in its intensity, bravery to the chilling Nordic riffery and caustic embrace aligned to melodic acidity only results in an absorbing and evocative proposition to recommend out.

     Founded in 2006 and taking inspiration from ‘the mythology of the band members’, Hangatyr made themselves a compelling presence through firstly their 2007 self-titled demo but more so through debut album Helwege which was released in 2010 via German label Nocturnal Empire. It was well-received pushing the band into a stronger spotlight which Elemente can only intensify. The Thuringia quintet began working on their second full-length in the April of 2012, entering The Unholy Studio with producer Christo who had previously worked with the band on the first album and also provided bass on the new record when regular and since returned member Marco could not commit time to the recordings.

     Mastered by Alexander Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn, Chemical Burn Studios), the self-released Elemente consumes and takes Hangatyr_Elemente_Coverover the senses from the start, leading its victim through an unrelenting and punishing yet magnetic tempestuous exploration, one which dramatically and corrosively infests and ignites the imagination. The brief scene setting instrumental title track brings everything directly into view; the mountainous terrains with yawning beauty and overpowering vastness all openly displayed before the following Die Sprache der Zwölf intensifies on one aspect and draws the ears into its aggressive narrative. Musically the song, and subsequently the album, works on the imagination right away, sparking thoughts of a rampant flight through skin buffeting and emotion stretching terrain. With the lyrical and mythology being investigated presented in German for us less able linguists, the music is the key to the emerging canvas and it is hard not to feel thoughts and visions erupting as the track evokes with melodic expression within the torturous soundscape around their folkish beauty.

    It is an impressive start which is not quite matched by the following pair of Eisenwald and Zwischen den Ufern, though both again are skilled and eager in their impact. The first of the two nags and coaxes with an excellent unrelenting groove and rhythmic battering, both aspects further repeated and adjusted across the album but like an intensive wind with shifts in energy and tone constantly if not as varied in design. It is a positive rather than an issue within what is varied and descriptive scenery within each song but occasionally the repetition, more so rhythmically, can antagonise. Like with its successor there is a spark missing which lit up the opener and many of the subsequent tracks, the second of the pair arguably even more devoid of that essential bait, but both with the rasping serpentine vocals and creative sonic causticity bring a strong enticement to enjoy rather than endure.

     Zersetzung next brings an emotional potency to its sonic colour, the guitars casting inciting mercurial patterns soaked in elegant yet uncompromising hues whilst rhythmically the song borders abuse but still lies within the weave of pestilential enterprise to compliment rather than overpower the song’s intent. The next up excellent Grimmfrost expels even greater dramatic investigation, drums and riffs carnivorous in their rabidity whilst the sonic craft and invention of the guitars paint an emotive turmoil to spark again the already over worked imagination. The best track on the album it is a masterful contagion.

    The pair of Gelobt und gejagt and Sie vergessen nicht without quite remaining on the new plateau impress and engage thoughts with ease, the first offering a more hopeful tone to its darkened skies whilst the second courts a virulent rapaciousness which feeds on the senses and the air around its insidious presence. It is the darkest threatening track on the album though the closing Rückzug stalks the same climactic and intensive black depths of its premise and the listener’s thoughts to rival its malevolence. It is a thrilling end to a very satisfying confrontation, if one admittedly losing out to the fact that the lyrical secrecy prevents it making the fullest impact. Hangatyr has undoubtedly matured and grown as a band and through the enjoyable Elemente look set to increase their stature and success around the world.

http://www.hangatyr-metal.de

8/10

RingMaster 31/01/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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