Alexanred – Rest After Result

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Upon covering Non-Stop Non-Stop, the debut single from industrial metallers Alexanred near the end of last year, we admitted though the song strenuously impressed it was too early to make a judgement of the band as much as the potential seeded real anticipation for future endeavours. The release of new single Rest After Result brings two more songs into the equation and all the promise and thrilling attributes of that first song have now been reinforced and pushed on. The new release is a thumping and rousing anthemic roar of electro and metal invention, again not one diving into brand new undiscovered territories but a proposition to ignite imagination and passions with a predatory virulence.

Alexanred is the solo project of Finnish industrial metallers 2 Wolves’ guitarist/synth player Aleksi Susi. Formed in 2012 and taking influences from the likes of Rammstein, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost, Septic Flesh, Rob Zombie, Prodigy, Autopsy, Nile and more, many of which loudly call out within both of Susi’s releases, the band makes a rigorously compelling persuasion with its raucous energies and ridiculously addictive qualities. As its predecessor, Rest After Result infiltrates the ears with a voracity and hunger which virtually stalks down thoughts and emotions, demanding attention and ultimately submission to its fiery charms. It is a predator of the senses but one which just as potently takes them on a stomp of electro adrenaline aligned to industrial rapaciousness within a web of metallic antagonism.

The title track launches its predacious crawl from a deep breath, electro teasing uniting with raw thrusts of guitar as beats place their heavy fingers into the mix. It is a menacing start which takes little time to remove the reins on a feisty energetic chorus spurned on by electronic urgency and melodic infectiousness. It is highly anthemic bait which is prepared to slip back into portentous shadows as the track slows back into its initial prowling intent, happy to lie there waiting for its moment to again fill and incite ears and passions. In many ways especially around the chorus there is a strong essence of early Ministry to the song, the time before Al got all macho on us, whilst the darker evocative and intimidating passages holds a Nine Inch Nails breath to their imagination.

It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which is straight away exceeded by the accompanying Effective. From its first second soaring melodies soak the flight of the synths whilst guitars and beats paint a sinewy aggressive canvas clad in shadows and challenging textures. Right away thoughts of Rammstein come to the fore through the vocal and muscular drama of the emerging song, but with evocative keys and unsettling twists in the gait of the song there is plenty to temper any over familiarity with the Germans. Feet, body, and neck muscles are soon given an intensive workout as the song pumps through their veins inciting full involvement though respite is given when the track unexpectedly and extremely pleasingly slips into a cavernous epically cast scenery. It has thoughts and imagination racing with pleasure before the previous inescapable toxicity merges with the new landscape for an exhausting climactic finale. It is a glorious track revealing more of the invention within Alexanred than arguably the other two songs from Susi together whilst continuing to seduce and infect a growing appetite for the man’s sound and imagination.

Rest After Result and Alexanred are not offering anything openly new in industrial metal but it sure is a frighteningly exciting proposition and that is good enough for us.

Rest After Result is available via Inverse Records now.

http://www.facebook.com/AlexanredFinland

9/10

RingMaster 22/05/2014

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Devoid – The Invasion

 

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     Formed in 2005, thrashers Devoid has emerged as one of the most noticeable and notable bands to emerge in recent years in Indian metal through their accomplished and commanding sound and their acclaimed debut album A God’s Lie. The Demonstealer Records released mix of thrash with a healthy shadow of death metal to its breath put the band in a brighter spotlight certainly at home if not quite as potently further afield. Now with the release of their impressive new EP, The Invasion, the Mumbai quartet has unleashed a darker, heavier, and more dramatically intensive declaration which could thrust the band into the widest awareness and recognition. Exploring more of their death metal brutality without diminishing the thrash endeavour and voracity which set the band’s rise in full flight, the release is an absorbing and ferocious encounter with a craft and imagination which intrigues and places Devoid onto a new lofty plateau.

    Starting out as a trio consisting of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Arun Iyer, drummer Shubham Kumar, and lead guitarist Keshav Kumar, with bassist Frank Pawar joining the following year, the band first made their mark by winning Campus Rock Idols, a big competition for rock and metal bands back then. Shows and tours with bands such as Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut, Myndsnare, Kryptos, Brute Force, and Infernal Wrath brought the band’s sound and presence into an eager and swiftly growing fanbase. 2010 saw the release of A God’s Lie as well as a tour across cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune with UAE death/thrashers Nervecell. Since then the sharing of stages with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Decapitated, and Sybreed has only cemented and accelerated Devoid’s stature in India and surrounding areas which The Invasion threatens to take to new climates. With line-up changes seeing guitarist Sanju Aguiar replacing Keshav Kumar in 2011 and Abhishek Kamdar coming in for the departing Pawar a year later, Devoid has evolved its sound and intensity into a stronger and darker yet just as contagious creative savagery; a powerful storm to thrill the full global presence of thrash metal.

     The release emerges with a provocative and atmosphere instrumental intro, a guitar shaped design filling intimidating and covertowering epically sculpted walls of sound. The acoustic caress which expands throughout the piece coaxes the imagination to dare a journey through the imposing and epic heights surrounding them, leaving thoughts exposed for the following ferocity which explodes in the shape of the title track. The opening narrative of the concept of the world under an invasive fury is expelled though a rasping vocal malevolence as punishing rhythms aligned to exhaustive riffery and sonic causticity lays welcome siege on the ear. It is a furious and compelling mix, the thrash heart and core of the song irresistible in its brutal consumption of the senses and the malevolent death bred breath of the track an insidious but potently alluring temptation. Opening up its melodic arms with a great solo and reducing the energy of the attack with an equally intensive yet more respectful thickly caressing ambience, the rage dissipates into a closing fade but leaves a lingering menace which is soon taken up by its predecessor.

    Pandemonium Is Over goes straight for the throat with even more dangerous and vicious rhythms in league with corrosive riffery whilst the excellent vocal squalls of Iyer are like lightly grained sandpaper and pleasingly abrasive and inciting. As the track impresses and steers a wide awake appetite for the EP into even greedier urges of hunger, it is fair to say that the band is not delving into new unexplored realms but still creates a proposition which is fresh and antagonistically eventful, a predacious chewing of the senses and imagination which stands aside of plenty of other bands uniting the two core essences of the band’s sound.

     To this point The Invasion is a tremendous adventure but soon given a new adrenaline shot of contagion and riveting hostility with Brahma Weapon and the hellacious closing track, The Grand Design. The first of the pair is an exhilarating and exhausting blistering of the ears, riffs insatiably hungry and acidic whilst the rhythms of Kumar are so accomplished and malicious in their bone splintering sculpting  that they hardly seem to break sweat, something the listener cannot say once drawn into the intensive tempest of addictive enterprise and sonic violence. The best track on the release it is almost matched by the EP closer, a song with a lumbering heavyweight presence and an almost Pantera like vehemence and ferocity to its stalking rabidity, musically and vocally. Crawling over the listener with an intrusive leering breath and potentially lethal sinews, the song never quite unleashes its full vitriolic energy but certainly increases its intensity and hunger allowing its fearsome rancor to soak every second of the outstanding quarrel.

      Expanding and exploring their previous more old school trash inventiveness, Devoid has moved into being an unpredictable and imposingly darker force. The Invasion suggests this evolution is still a work in progress making the band’s next proposition easy to highly anticipate whilst the EP declares itself an encounter all thrash metals fans should make.

https://www.facebook.com/devoidindia/

9/10

RingMaster 04/02/2014

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Morgue Orgy – The Last Man On Earth

    We play in a bandThe Last Man On Earth is one of those malevolent pestilences which rather than run and hide from its toxic virulence you just have to dive head first into the exhaustingly inventive depths of melodic blackened death metal. The debut album from UK metallers Morgue Orgy, it is a toxic torrent of maliciousness fuelled by a rabid expanse of intensively magnetic flavours and styles from within a brutally predatory imagination. It is mischievously psychotic, rampantly schizophrenic, and masterfully vicious and one of the most tempting rages of extreme sonic violations to come from the British Isles in quite a long while.

     Exploding from the darkness in 2008, the sextet from Birmingham has emerged as a tour-de-force at combining a diversity of sound and ingenuity into a melodic death metal proposition as shown by the album which bewitches and savages with equal intensity. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder, Abigail Williams, and Cradle Of Filth whilst sculpting their own unique acclaimed presence, the band has earned a fine and imposing reputation on stage. That encounter has taken Morgue Orgy to a slot at Bloodstock Open Air in 2010 as well as stages appearances alongside the likes of Anaal Nathrakh, Evile, The Rotted and many more. Debut EP, The River & I only enhanced their emergence as did its successor the Murders Most Foul EP which featured guest vocals from Dave Hunt of Anaal Nathrakh. A release just as ripe with riveting and grand neoclassical keyboard seduction and crippling technically sculpted grinds as it is with blackened venom and melodic death corrosion, The Last Man On Earth is the declaration of a band at its imaginative height and fullest merciless malevolence, and you still feel that there is so much more to come from the band ahead.

     Across the album not a moment is wasted, ideas and twists spearing every minute if not second of every song with an adventure TheLastManOnEarthCoveryou can suggest is barely alive in melodic death metal elsewhere. As soon as the opener They Came From Outer Space hits the ear senses and imagination are swiped into action by band and sound. Lively classically bred keys embrace the ears at first whilst a warning buzzer makes a call of impending menace. It is an instant coaxing which suggests numerous possible paths ahead which the album may take without revealing which initially. The gothic breath of the entrance is the predominate lure but one which offers an Adams Family meets Cradle Of Filth like tease before the track  reveals itself fully. That is does with thunder rich rhythms and rampaging riffs stalked by a female spoken narrative. Again it is mere hinting until the song settles into a delicious stomp of tantalising sonic revelry and urgent intensity which in turn soon evolves into a melodramatic gothic waltz. Barely two minutes in and a canvas of multiple textures and hues have been laid to intrigue and disorientate. This is the way of the song, and album from start to finish, and one reason why both are thoroughly riveting. Halfway in and the vocals of Gray, backed by those of keyboardist Carter, savage air and emotions with an expected but again varied and eventful poisonous attack. It is a mighty introduction to the album soon backed up and at times surpassed ahead.

     Both 4 Days and Phantasms of March rampage vehemently across the sense’s landscape, the first a fury of guitar enterprise from Prok and Pence which sears and soars with artistic rabidity and primal savagery whilst the keys pulsate and swoop around the aggressive tempest with melodic rapture and temptation. Like the first and album as a whole, the track is a voracious flow of imagination and hostility which you cannot take all in on one or two listens but rewards intensively for all the extensive time spent in its caustic wrap. The second of the two is a slower bestial incitement at first but cannot not hold back the rapacious energy boiling up within and soon unleashes a rabid assault with guitars creating grooves which finger the passions and a rhythmic barracking from the lethally crisp beats of drummer Tom and the predatory throaty tones of Uncle Holloway’s bass which is instinctively addictive.

     The Last of the Summer’s Wine steps forward next soon diminishing thoughts of old men in childlike escapades with a horde of ferocious riffs and rhythmic bitch slaps which are subsequently aligned with melodic suggestiveness from the keys alongside crazed grooves and a guitar solo which only ignites greater submission for the impressive storm. To be honest it is impossible to describe every dramatic turn and rich bait provided by each song as with this one such the constant imagination and ingenuity of the release but we can reassure that it is something at times bewildering and always scintillating.

     The likes of Barnum & 399 and Castle Freak continue the strong encounter with the same flocking of ideas and intensive rhythmic barbarism, if without quite matching those early pinnacles, whilst splitting their storms is the excellent ruinous swagger of the pestilential 70 Dead pt 2: The Scarecrow of Medan. The track caustically engages and impresses whilst the piano and keys designed instrumental Waiting for the End is a glorious grandiose neoclassical aural painting to take a breath over and allow imagination and thoughts to reflect before the album’s finest moment viciously thrusts its jaws around the jugular.

    The Last Man On Earth (Diary of George) simultaneously is cultured and barbaric, vocals and rhythms merciless predators upon the senses whilst the guitars and keys cast a mesmeric if vitriolic haze over the damage. With a brilliant discord kissed sax wailing over and taunting the carcass of your sanity, the song is a blackened fury with a melodic harpy on its shoulder but one constantly twisting and evolving as it moves towards an expulsion of a riled almost hardcore brawl of vocal scowls and shouts over a punk spurred ferociousness. It is a stunning track and almost leaves the remaining songs an impossible task to follow but IT LURKS BENEATH!!! and Paradise irrepressibly and cantankerously in the case of the first make light work of the challenge.

   Closing on the enjoyable and impressively presented but less commanding In the Smoke of the Green Ghost, though that is again down to the quality elsewhere, The Last Man On Earth is an exceptional album.  There is little to raise up against it, though you suspect some will find it just too intensive and unrelenting in its inventive maelstrom. Released as a free digital free on Christmas Day and getting its official retail release on 13th January, Morgue Orgy may just have delivered the best melodic death metal release of the coming year. It is a tall order to follow for sure for them and the genre.

http://www.morgueorgy.co.uk/

10/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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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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Eibon La Furies – The Immoral Compass

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It is fair to say that The Immoral Compass, the new and second album from UK dark metallers Eibon La Furies is not going to be for everyone and will possibly draw as many unfavourable responses as acclaimed ones. It is extreme metal in its most provocative though maybe not for the reasons you would suspect. Bringing black and avant-garde metal into a devious league with dark symphonic rock, the quartet and their album challenge emotions, rising up against thoughts and expectations to deliver an unforgettable encounter, though not always memorable for all the right things. At times the release pushes one’s limits over the edge with an almost deliberately obtuse proposition but all the time there is a toxicity which lures in the senses and brews an intrigue that is hard to ignore.

Formed as a solo project by vocalist/guitarist Paul D Sims under the guise Lord Eibon Blackwood in 2006 and with the intent to create industrialised black metal and dark ambient music inspired by Victorian occult spirituality, Eibon la Furies released the demo EPs Something Wicked This Way Comes and Yours Truly…From Hell. The project next expanded to a trio with the addition of drummer Jamie Batt (as Battalion) and bassist Matt Cook (The Furious Host). Following an appearance at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in 2009 as the best unsigned progressive band, the threesome signed to Code666 who released their debut album The Blood of the Realm the following year. To help push their boundaries and creative ideas the band recruited lead guitarist Neil Purdy last year and set about writing their second album. The Immoral Compass is the result, a release which does have its ups and downs but is fuelled by riveting imagination and undeniable musical craft.

Inspired by the shadows in humanity the album is a melodramatic narrative lyrically and musically, its large melodic fires and sinew ELF Artworkdriven rhythms helping to sculpt songs which twist and turn on a whim and continually enthral like a sonic magnet. There are less successful times where you wonder what went wrong, but you never want to leave as when the album is on full song it is a dramatic rewarding beauty.

The opening instrumental intro The Compass Awakes is an evocative piece which paints an emerging dual sense of wonder and uncertain menace, the guitars and keys overpowering thoughts into creating their own dramatic revelation. The piece passes into the following Immoral Compass to the World, a track which takes an instant to cloak the ear in intensive guitar strikes and atmospheric keys from Sims whose vocals stand astride the emerging aural palette of suggestion with a gruff growl of a delivery. As the keys swoon and soar before the senses the track plays like a mix between Cradle Of Filth and The New Jacobin Club, but a paler version of what you would imagine their union to produce to be honest. Despite that the song is still a strong enough temptation to delve deeper into the album which repays with a mixed but persistently satisfying bag of adventure.

The opening song does instil one requirement when taking on the album, the need to engage in its confrontation numerous times before making a decision. There is so much going on in each track that you have to make many visits to dredge their depths and imagination, most emerging better and stronger the more you explore them as with second track Astronomy in Absences. From a celestial flight the song flexes its muscular riffs and even more ruthless rhythms, a thrash coaxed blackened tempest consuming the ear whilst the guitar of Purdy lights its skies with some stirring sonic flames and enterprise. The track does not exactly get the pulse racing but again there is plenty to investigate and devour for an increasingly greater flavour the more you immerse in its progressive temptation.     Imperial Jackal’s Head is the same though the song is the first more notable moment within the album. An initial almost like Rammstein call especially vocally, prowls along the galloping sonic blaze which cores the entrance of the song. A slip into a venom bred vocal tale puts a rein on things before expanding its evocative heat of melodic and sonic commentary. Musically the track boils impressively with hooks, grooves, and melodies all lingering treats but overall vocally the song does little to match the sounds, though at times they do work rather well.

The merger of beautiful potent classically shaped keys and again less satisfactory vocals marks Flames 1918 (A Song for the Silence) to give more doubts room to think but suddenly from this point the album seems rise many levels starting with An Enigma in Space and Time. Bordering hostility throughout whilst simultaneously being just compelling the track twists and turns through a maelstrom of textures, styles, and pace with a hunger and energy that intimidates and seduces contagiously. It crawls along the lips of rock opera it has to be said but with further impressive guitar work, rapacious bass lines, and flames of imagination the song is a pinnacle soon matched by both Who Watches the Watchers? and Conjure Me. The first swarms over the senses with a choir of glorious voices veined by dark hearted riffs and forceful rhythms before the serpentine grizzled tones of Sims add a delicious alien presence. It is a tremendous track, with only the flat sound of the drums something to moan about. Its successor dangerously beckons the ear with female siren calls whilst riffs and grooves swarm like hornets in her charm.  With familiarity to the predacious song which escapes definition it eagerly romps with a bedlamic breath and presence.

The sultry yet threatening voice of Ascending Through Darkness offers up another powerful encounter whilst the ballad The Vanguard with its spoken narrative and absorbing guitar elegance, just gets better with each listen, especially the folky march of rhythms and song towards its end. Final track The End of Everything… (Or the Beginning of it all) provides a closing wall of inventive and enthralling instrumental storytelling leaving thoughts and emotions wanting more of certainly the second half of the album.

The Immoral Compass is a very decent album that has to have time and patience to prove its case which for the main it does with strength and craft. Eibon La Furies may not have given us a classic release or one which you can take to immediately, but it is definitely an album given time which makes a companion you get the urge to return to.

http://www.eibonlafuries.co.uk/

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2013

 

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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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Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

AMON AMARTH by JOHN McMURTRIE

Continuing their ever impressive and powerful stance within melodic death metal, Amon Amarth unleash ninth album Deceiver of the Gods, a thunderous expanse of aggressive energy, dynamic enterprise, and melodic flames. Bursting with the prime essences and sounds the band has become legendary for, the release also sees the Swedish quintet pushing those elements into newer intensive imagination and adventure. It is being hailed as the band’s finest moment, something which can be debated long into the night considering the might of some of their previous releases but it is certainly an album that leaves a potent satisfaction and pleasure in its wake. The downside to the album is that despite all its strengths it is fair to say that there are few tracks or moments which linger in thoughts and memory when away from its undoubtedly impressive presence. It is hard to say why this is so when it is an openly thrilling companion when facing its immense stature eye to eye and certainly in its muscular embrace it is a richly enjoyable confrontation and that is in many ways all that matters.

The Metal Blade Records released album has been recorded with legendary producer Andy Sneap (Cathedral, Arch Enemy, Cradle Of Filth) and comes with a definite live feel which the band was seemingly looking for, vocalist Johan Hegg saying “We wanted more of a live feeling to the recording and we felt that Andy’s style of producing could definitely help us with that. At the same time, knowing the records he worked on previously we felt he could probably help develop our sound so it became a little bit more angry and dangerous, without that polished sheen of our recent records.” It is a fiery encounter with an abrasive edge to its ravenous  exploits, a rampant raw and explosive persuasion of classic and melodic death spun enterprise around an expected narrative seeded in Norse mythology.

The title track opens up the release with warm winds of sonic and melodic tempting, its initial embrace soon squashed under Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Godsrolling sinews from drummer Fredrik Andersson and a tirade of ravenous riffs. The rhythmic intimidation gallops into deeper provocation as the vocals of Hegg, as impressive as ever, squall and add caustic animosity to the now charging sounds. Into its heart the melodic craft of guitarists Johan Söderberg and  Olavi Mikkonen sculpt a colour emblazoned temptation before handing over to another rabid burst of urgent and predatory intensity. It is an impressive start which awakens sure appetite for the album ahead, a hunger duly satisfied in varying degrees by all tracks.

The following As Loke Falls is an open contagion of rapacious riffing and equally inciting rhythms, a track employing intense and harsh manipulation of the senses through near brutal energy and skilful melodic shaping of the song’s voice, whilst both Father of the Wolf and Shape Shifter step up to tease the passions with recognisable yet evocative invention. The first is a primal collision on the senses, its ruinous impact persistent and invitingly savage with the bass of Ted Lundström a beckoning lure, whilst the second, one of the biggest highlights on the album, is a bestial tempest of charging riffs, sonic teasing, and rhythmic goading. With vocals equally predatory and delivered with a great diversity to its pack like menace, the track bends the will of the listener into full compliance for its imagination and instinctive inducement.

The biggest and one moment which does not disappear with the trailing whispers of sound of each song, is the outstanding Blood Eagle. A melodic barbarian, the song is a coarse and savage storm which ignites the strongest emotions and primitive urges, riffs and rhythms colossal purveyors of vengeful and ingenious barbarity whilst once again the melodic imagination intrudes and fingers the very heart of the passions.

Through the likes of We Shall Destroy and Hel, which features former Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin, the release only feeds the needs of the best melodic death metal and Amon Amarth albums with adventure and innovational thought whilst the closing Warriors of the North brings an immense epic conclusion to Deceiver of the Gods. There are so many great things to say about the excellent album and its individual songs when in its company but the fact that even after listening to it multiple times that it is very hard to recall its contents without sneaking another listen stops it from being a classic and a pinnacle of in the band’s creativity. Despite this for melodic death metal, Deceiver of the Gods is an album worth every second of your time.

http://www.amonamarth.com

8/10

RingMaster Review

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Dark Energy Discoveries: The Cosmic Light EP

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    The Cosmic Light EP is an intriguing two track release by Dark Energy Discoveries which combines the shadowed corners of dark electro and industrial with the shimmering radiance of electro pop and warm ambience. It is a deathwave fuelled encounter which challenges and mesmerises in equal strength and mystery and leaves a certain desire to know and hear more.

The little info which seems to exist about the project declares that ‘A clan of inter-dimensional beings have joined forces to explore the ever-expanding reaches of existence through the intersticed galactic portals of the Ravener and record those Distant Wisdoms they uncover. They will encounter strange, enthralling worlds and realms of science, magic, and arcane knowledge. This team of abnormal sages is known throughout and beyond time and space as Dark Energy Discoveries.’ Now for personal tastes this poetic kind of story only raises more options to ignore than investigate but it would certainly be a mistake in regard to Dark Energy Discoveries. Their EP is a free release to lead into  debut album Distant Wisdom and as said an intriguing as well as magnetic invitation into the band itself.

The title song emerges from a brewing ambience of crystalline ambience complete with heated melodic brilliance and compelling electro resonance. Once into its stride the track expands to embrace the senses with firm heady beats and a consuming dark wash of emotive breath wrapped in the continuing golden electro persuasion. The dual vocals are the first element to ask questions of thoughts and reactions, the clean smooth vocals accompanied by a restrained yet caustic malevolent delivery offering a black metal vein to the now enjoyably imposing piece. To say the track is Ultravox meets Cradle Of Filth with Ghost In The Static and God Destruction in attendance would not be that far from the mark even if still vague in revealing all that is going on within song and release. It is a compelling track which lingers and continues to tease thoughts long after its departure as does its companion.

Beyond The Ashes is a gentler caress though no less impacting in sound, imagination, and in the craft to inspire uncertainties, delight, and questions. The harsher vocals this time have a more spoken narrative to haunt alongside the once again impressive clean delivery as well as the glowing electronic shards and rays of aural flames and sunlight. As its sister track, the song immerses ear and thoughts in a soundscape of glorious sonic colours and vibrant shadows which float across and around the heat of the piece.

The Cosmic Light EP captures the imagination with ease and leads to a keen desire to keep close attention on band and their forthcoming album.

Check out and grab the EP at http://soundcloud.com/darkenergydiscoveries or http://darkenergydiscoveries.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/DarkEnergyDiscoveries

7.5/10

RingMaster 27/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Antagonising the quiet: an interview with Fuckshovel

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February 18th sees the release of an album from powerful and incendiary UK rock band Fuckshovel, which is quite simply a masterful brawl of irresistible rock n roll. An insatiable muscular pleasure, This Is What We Are incites and thrills with every rampant note to leave the listener breathless, exhilarated, and ready to take on the world. The London quartet has worked long and hard to bring the album to the world and such its impressive quality it feels like it will be the trigger to a massive year for the band. Obviously we wanted to find out more about band and album so did not need asking twice when offered the opportunity to question the band…

Hi Guys and welcome to The RingMaster Review. We are on the eve of the release of your debut album ‘This Is What We Are‘, how are things emotionally in the Fuckshovel camp?

We’re just about holding it together! It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride making this album. It’s taken a long time and we’ve put so much into it both physically and mentally. For us up to now it has always seemed like it’s on the drawing board, so to finally be putting it out there seems bizarre, like the end of an era. Maybe the release is the closure we need to get on with the next album!

The first single from the album Schizophonic certainly brewed up a fevered anticipation for the album, as represented by the enormous reception when playing the track on The Bone Orchard podcast. Has its success and deserved acclaim, made you less tense and more confident for the album’s introduction to the world?

Well to be honest, we know that the playing is good and we’re confident in the songs so the only thing we’re really concerned about is finding enough people who agree with us! Reviews and the like are so subjective it’s not something we can control so we try not to worry about it too much.

Before talking more about ‘This Is What We Are’, tell us how Fuckshovel began and those early days starting out?

The original plan was basically Jon, Ian and another mate (Kermit) getting together with a couple of mates and playing for a bit of fun. For various reasons this never really happened so John and Dave were recruited to the good ship Shovel. We started writing and gigging immediately and got some good reviews and feedback but it was quite difficult to settle on a sound that we were all happy with. Eventually we parted company with Kerm and began writing material that suited the remaining four of us.

What is the history of the band members previous to the band?

Many and varied: Dave (Virago – drums) played with Cradle of Filth, did the MTV Awards with Basement Jaxx and more recently appeared with Dizzee Rascal. John (Faulkner – bass) was formally with Latch and played on a couple of tracks on the first Plan B album, Ian (Fisher – guitar) was in Decimator and before doing this Jon (Stone – vocals) was working with Laurence Archer (Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam & UFO).

Many bands have been raised as having essences in your music, including Discharge, Anthrax, and Ministry. For us your distinct ??????????sound held strong whispers of Therapy?, The Wildhearts, and definitely Ruts. Any of those fair and what are the major influences which inspired you as musicians and band?

As you can see from our previous histories we’ve got quite a disparate bunch of influences. For instance, Ian is into old school thrash, punk and Eminem! Jon likes Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden and Killing Joke. John would cite Deftones, Rage Against The Machine and the Bronx while Dave is a big Pantera and Alice In Chains fan. And we all agree on Slayer. And Peter & The Test Tube Babies! From our first rehearsal we wrote new stuff without ever knowingly incorporated any of our influences into the overall Shovel sound so whatever we sound like is just us playing what we enjoy; which is generally the sort of noise made by the bands you mention. So yeah, those references are fair in as much as Therapy? and The Wildhearts go for an aggressive sound with strong melodies, which is something we aim for.  The Ruts is a niche reference but we’ll take that – Babylon’s Burning is one of the very few covers we’ve ever bothered to learn!

Obviously we have to ask about the brilliantly provocative band name. It smacks you in the face like your sounds with energy and mischief, any problems or restrictions come because of it though, especially in the regard of radio play?

It can be slightly problematic! As most bands will tell you the hardest thing to agree on is the name – we had the name before we’d even rehearsed so we were lumbered with it from day one! We’ve had radio play from BBC Radio 6 (Bruce Dickinson’s show), XFM (Ian Camfield and John Kennedy) and the likes of Total Rock so it’s not impossible but they do tend to call us F-Shovel which might make us slightly harder to track down. We had the video for Long Time Dead on Headbangers Ball quite regularly too so it can be done.

You have already grabbed strong attention both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, how did you come to play over in America?

Quite simply, we applied to showcase at SXSW and got accepted. It was a bit of a shock! We did it all off our own back so we probably didn’t get as much out of it as the more established bands… having said that, we did get a big crowd at the main showcase and a really good reaction too. It was great fun but not as fruitful as we’d hoped.

Fuckshovel cover artworkBack to This Is What We Are, an album which for us ‘is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing’. Do you have any set intent when writing songs?

Mainly we try to write to keep all four of us happy and as the meeting of our influences is generally in the aggressive section of the Venn diagram that’s what usually comes out. Plus, obviously, being called Fuckshovel does tend to mean we weed out the power ballads quite early in the writing process!

There is an open defiance and inciting attitude to your music, what predominately inspires your ideas?

People and politics (with a small ‘p’. And sometimes a big ‘P’). Basically, anything we get worked up about. Lyrically they deal with subjects like the nanny-state (Portia’s Box), people letting their lives drift by (Long Time Dead) and the mongrel nature of society (Schizophonic). Germs of Empire is a line from the novel Heart of Darkness and is about the nature and genesis of tyranny (or so Jon tells us!)

 Did the tracks and album emerge from the studio how you envisaged going into its realm or did they evolve further?

Well, this is the second time we’ve actually recorded the album so they’ve definitely evolved! We originally had the album pretty much done and nearly dusted but when we listened back we’d got so immersed in the whole studio technology thing that we’d lost the band, so we scrapped it, which was quite time-consuming… And expensive! We went back to basics, took the songs apart, reworked some, dropped others completely and started again.  So when we began tracking we were pretty sure we had all the sections as we wanted them. We allowed ourselves one week for all the tracking and did the vocals and overdubs later.  The vocals were predominantly recorded in our rehearsal space which gave us time to play around and experiment with them so they definitely evolved.

How did you record the album? The songs have such a live and organic feel it suggests they maybe were recorded live so how did you lay down the tracks?

That was the initial aim. As we mentioned earlier, we were very concerned with capturing the sound of the band playing live. Long Time Dead and Skull &Bones were definitely done live. The rest were a combination of live and layers.  Although, we did institute a 3 takes rule for everybody. And sometimes we stuck to it.

Is there any particular moment on the album which brings the deepest tingle and feeling of pride personally?

Probably the little things that you wouldn’t notice or know about if you hadn’t been involved in making the album:

Our children all shouting ‘You’re not one of us!’ in Auslander, the various musical parts all played by different people visiting the studio e.g. Jon’s daughter on the wah pedal in Schizophonic and remembering the atmosphere at various different times in the studio during recording. When we tracked Vegas Nerve (which used to be called God) the lights were really low in the studio and there was an epic thunderstorm that shone through the sky-light in the studio ceiling. There are also the one-offs such as Johnboy’s high-pitched scream in All You Got, a total random one-off fluke that has and will never be replicated. If you go on youtube you can see quite a lot of footage taken during tracking, for example Randy (Ian Fisher) in the vampire cape recording Auslander – that one in particular lives fond in the memory.

The artwork for ‘This Is What We Are’ comes from the legendary Jamie Reid. How did that link up come about and did he have a free rein to interpret your songs visually?

Jon and Ian know his agent (who used to do A&R for Poison Idea trivia fans). We asked him if he thought Jamie would be interested and were told to write to him and ask. So we drafted up a begging letter, sent him some lyrics, a couple of tracks and the track-listing and he said yes. He came back with a choice of 4 or 5 ideas and we got to pick the ones we wanted. It was quite surreal!

Usually we are asking bands what they learned from working with renowned and acclaimed producers, but here we have to ask did FuckshovelJamie offer something other than his art which impacted on you?

Well, due to his schedule the process from start to finish took about 6 months so we definitely learned patience! And the fact that it’s okay to refine and re-do until something works. A good idea’s a good idea but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.

What is in the immediate future for Fuckshovel in association with the album?

It’s due to be released on the 18th February so we’re pushing to get as many people as possible to be aware of it. We’ve got some gigs already confirmed and we’re actively looking for more. It’s all about searching out people who agree with us!

We imagine, not having the joy yet to see you live, that your gigs are brawls of energy and attitude. How do you approach each show, like it might be the last one and give it your all every time one assumes going by the album.

Yeah, pretty much. These aren’t the sort of songs you can play half-arsed so no matter how many people we’re playing to we tend to go at it full-tilt. The aim is get everyone into it and singing along with Portia’s Box by the end.

Many thanks for sharing time to talk with us. Any parting words you would like to set free?

We’ve probably said too much already!

Lastly give us some of the most important albums which shaped your personal musical direction.

Killing Joke (2003 album with Dave Grohl on drums)

Velvet Revolver– Contraband

Peter and The Test Tube Babies – Loud Blaring Punk Rock

Read the review of This Is What We Are @

http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/fuckshovel-this-is-what-we-are/

The RingMaster Review 13/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fuckshovel: This Is What We Are

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    This Is What We Are is an album you cannot fail to become wrapped up in and find yourself recruited to its defiant brawl of irresistible noise and energy. Unleashed by UK rockers Fuckshovel, the release is a riotous storm of rampant rock n roll with no intent to compromise or accept mere appreciation of its forceful sounds, it is all or nothing and for us it is everything such the compelling and inciting muscular pleasure on offer.

Formed in the back street of London in 2005, Fuckshovel has a striking sound which is so easy to joyfully describe. The quartet stare the listener straight in the eyes with a confrontation brewed from the metallic imagination and might of Therapy?, the defiant pose and infectious punk abrasion of The Ruts, and the raw dirty rock n roll of The Wildhearts. To that you can add essences of early Anthrax and The Adicts but primarily throughout the album the first trio come to mind with the punk quartet the major spice to the music which is undeniably from the distinct ownership of Fuckshovel. The pedigree of the band members included experiences gained through playing with the likes of Cradle of Filth, Decimator, Basement Jaxx, Plan B, and remnants of Phil Lynott’s Grand Slam, the foursome infusing those elements into their new venture. The years since has seen the band share stages with bands such as The Germs, Fucked Up, Jaguar Love, Glen Matlock, and Innerpartysystem, receive an invitation to showcase material at SXSW in Texas to great success and response, as well as receiving acclaim and strong radio play upon the release of debut single Long Time Dead, something equalled by the accompanying video too.

Released on February 18th, This Is What We Are is primed to thrust the band to the widest national recognition well if Fuckshovel cover artworkirrepressible and skilfully contagious sounds are any degree of persuasion and the album has those in thrilling abundance. Recorded with producer Rohan Onraet, the album just barges through the ear from its first note to the last middle finger vocal scowl of the release. It is a merciless tempest of antagonistic rhythms, crippling riffs, and caustic emotive vocal. Opener Germs Of Empire bursts free with drums and guitars fighting each other for attention though both receive the fullest from the first bruising touch they deliver. Once settled into its stride the track brings in the Malcom Owen like vocals of Jon Stone to further inspire The Ruts flavouring already washing over the senses whilst the music spreads into a sinewy rock adventure with attitude and melodic teasing to the fore. It is a fiery encounter which starts the album off at a great height and alone makes the release and band one you want to know much more about.

The Antidote scrapes over the ear next, the scarring riffs of Ian Fisher and enslaving drums of Dave Hirschheimer demanding whilst the glorious throaty bass tones of John Faulkner bring instant submission to their predatory mastery. The track is less distinctive than the first but with ease lays a contagion and beckoning which is impossible to refuse. It takes no time in grabbing the enthused enlistment of feet and emotions whilst unveiling compelling enterprise to keep things unpredictable and inciting, the same claim which can be said of Black, another song which arguably does not venture to far into new territories but is just a thrilling assault of ravenous riffs and sonic teasing. It has a towering presence nonetheless to leave one exhausted at its departure and enamoured in its company.

The first Fuckshovel single and their newest stand side by side and both spark the richest of rapture. Long Time Dead chews synapses with its gnarly bass attack and niggling sonic riffing before unleashing a punk rock furnace of imagination and greedy raptorial addiction. Anthemic and as infectious as lustful thoughts, the track is a near demonic addiction brought through insatiable energy, rampaging sounds, and aggression veined by a bass sound you just drool over. New single Schizophonic is the same viral violation in a different guise. Once again the bass of Faulkner ensnares the heart whilst the sonic manipulations of Fisher leaves the senses twisted in ardour within the numbing result of the barbed beats from Hirschheimer. The punk and rock tempest evolves with the vocals into a presence which consumes and riles willing emotions. It is a riot which can only be devoured again and again.

This Is What We Are is an outstanding debut from a band we can only see becoming a real force in UK rock. Tracks such as the melodically snarling Vegas Nerve, the towering All You Got with its Dead Kennedys like hooks and One Minute Silence aggressive gait, and the violently cajoling Skull and Bones all continue to ignite more unbridled fire and euphoria for the release whilst the closing pair of tracks, the insistent juggernaut 2500 Days and the unruly Portia’s Box without arguably reaching the heights of the rest of the album, impressively close off an impressive and exciting debut. The release is rock n roll at its very best and Fuckshovel the worse antagonistic nightmare for all who like a quiet life.

www.facebook.com/F.Shovel

RingMaster 17/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright