Near Death Condition – Evolving Towards Extinction

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Sure to give extreme metal a big nudge to their existence and intimidating quality, Swiss death metallers Near Death Condition have unleashed their third full-length Evolving Towards Extinction, a towering and brutal assault on the senses. Thrusting eleven tracks of uncompromising and ravenous ferocity through the ears, the release also holds a rich vein of inventive imagination beneath the tsunami of vicious endeavour and intent. At times it is understated or needs extra attention to really explore, but it constantly makes each track an individual incitement of increasing rewards, all combining for an impressive stature to the album. It has to be said that the release does not consistently light a rigorous blaze in personal passions or excite as intensely in places as others, but there is no denying that attention and appetite are thrillingly fed.

Hailing from Valais, Near Death Condition emerged in 2001 with inspirations from bands such as Morbid Angel, Deicide, Deathspell Omega, Death, and Gorguts driving their immediately imposing sound. Since forming the band has lit up stages alongside the likes of Origin, Hour Of Penance, Darkane, Texture and numerous others whilst releasing a pair of full-lengths. Demo release Delusional Perception of Reality was uncaged in 2005 to good underground attention. Its success went towards the band eventually signing with Unique Leader Records with The Disembodied – In Spiritual Spheres released in 2011 to potent acclaim and responses from fans and press across the globe. March of this year saw Evolving Towards Extinction uncaged to again strong reactions and with its threatening gait, testing hostility, and creative tempest it is easy to see why.

The quartet of vocalists/guitarists Patrick and Stéphane, bassist Simon, and drummer Guido give a brief twinge of sinister drama before going straight for the throat with some of the most rabid riffs and destructive rhythms sure to be heard this year. The entrance of Words of Wisdom literally bowls the senses over, savaging their very being with increasing toxic sonic violation and rhythmic barbarism as riffs gnaw their surface and heavy guttural vocal expulsions roar malevolently. It is a hellacious introduction, one which never relents in its intensity even as the guitars begin unwinding equally venomous grooves and an underling swagger. Subsequently melodic acidity and shifting gaits join the tempest to engage the imagination as impressive guitar enterprise burns the surface of the by now predacious crawl. The track continues to twist and spit animosity with every note, beat, and syllable as it persistently evolves for a staggering first assault of the release.

The following Between the Dying and the Dead is no less vitriolic and hostile but takes little time in colouring its grievous landscape with swipes of celestial yet demonic harmonies and ravenous inventive bait. The guitars NDC coverpersistently carve rich grooves and ingenious hooks into the body of the song whilst bass and drums sculpt a bestial baiting. It is a glorious ferocity soaked in rabid dread but unafraid to spare room for a fire bred solo and additional imaginative detours. The track is at its strongest and most potent when it is going for the jugular but all the unpredictability and at times unsure turns, definitely keep the imagination engrossed. Its stirring presence is emulated by the barbaric Intelligent Design, another slaughter of the senses which is prone to flirtations of sonic and fiery melodic scorching as well as intriguing almost wrong footing exploits. Not as gripping as the first pair the track still leaves a hunger in place which is further healthily fed.

Pandemic of Ignorance stalks ears from its first breath, its shoulders heavy laden with hate over a spine of rhythmic bile wrapped in vehemence spawned grooves. It is a pestilential predator, its slow crawl sheer intimidation until eventually breaking free of its reins for a throat tearing onslaught, ears and senses overwhelmed by a storm of merciless aural and lyrical rancor. It is a compelling violation which sets emotions up for the outstanding Praise the Lord of Negation. It also is a song which flies for the jugular, this time with a swarm of sonic pestilence and rhythmic cruelty; that alone baits and traps a new greed within the passions but it is the insatiable maniacal fury to its psychotic repetitious seducing which hits the sweet spot.

The leviathan weighted crawl of The Anatomy of Disgust wrapped in similarly laboured but magnetic grooves comes next, its sultry flames of guitar across bloodlust driven rhythms and destructive riffery highly satisfying but lacking the spark of certainly its predecessor. The animalistic Anagamin finds its own incendiary fuse to invigorated responses, its pestilence coated prowl inspiring an animosity clad weave of invention which pushes the song enticingly into the grinning imagination. In many ways the album ebbs and flows, to be fair not in quality and individual skills but in degrees of success with personal tastes. As the following rapaciously consuming title track and the carnivorous Vertigo prove there is never a track where Near Death Condition does not bewitch and threaten with their inventive sanguinity, or impress.

Evolving Towards Extinction closes with the deliciously nagging Communing with Emptiness, a track swarming with serpentine grooves and riffs around the ever impressive artillery of disorientating drum voracity and dual vocal abrasions, and finally Nostalgia for Chaos. The final song is a beast in nature and stature as well as gait, but as the previous song endowed with some scintillating and feverishly enjoyable guitar enterprise. The ferocious incitement brings the album to a formidable and rapturously thrilling conclusion leaving the listener breathless but wholly satisfied. It is an album which also gets better and more potent over time, still undulating with some of its moments but with a baseline of rich satisfaction, a strong recommendation of Near Death Condition and album to all extreme metal fans is a no brainer.

Evolving Towards Extinction is available now on Unique Leader Records @ http://www.indiemerch.com/uniqueleader/band/near-death-condition

http://www.neardeathcondition.ch/

8.5/10

RingMaster 17/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lesch-Nyhan – Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome

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The first album since their return, Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome makes a ravenous and richly satisfying confrontation from US death metallers Lesch-Nyhan. The successor to the band’s 1991 demo Indistinguished Remains, the seven track savagery is a rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of a proposition, a bestial encounter recalling the seeds and original toxicity of the Philadelphia quartet whilst equally holding an unhealthy dose of modern intrigue and fresh faced twists. It is not an album to blow extreme metal away but certainly a ravaging to make Lesch-Nyhan’s comeback a highly joyous and thrilling one.

Formed in 1989 by vocalist Gary Hadden with brothers, Mark (drums) and Anthony Delacandro (guitar), Lesch-Nyhan was soon completed by bassist Greg Oreski and guitarist Mike Carr. Quickly getting to play live shows with the likes of Suffacation, Incantation, Crucifier, and Ripping Corpse, the band released their demo in 1991 from which the band was invited to play a showcase in front of numerous label representatives. What followed though was the demise of the band; a slow falling apart which new members could not bring any halt to with the band stopping in 1994. Fast forward to 2012 and a discussion between Hadden and guitarist Rob Vanderveer (a member of the last line-up of the band), about reigniting things, to “Put our stamp on this shit”. A year later saw Lesch-Nyhan reform with a re-issue of Indistinguished Remains on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, just as the new album. With guitarist Jack Carmichael, bassist Chris Miller, and drummer Mark Stainthorpe alongside Hadden, Lesch-Nyhan has produced a riveting scourge of sound and intent with Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, a furious hostility sure to excite those with an appetite of bands such as Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Carcass, Gorguts, Immolation, and Napalm Death.

Recorded live in the studio helping to bring the raw brute creative force of Lesch-Nyhan to life, the album opens with World Destruction, a track as expected from its title with all the hostility and rancor to bring all before it to its frontcoverknees. It also comes with a passions binding groove which from its first breath grinds and worms deeply into the psyche as rhythms cascade voraciously down on the senses. Complete with the barbarous rancor of Hadden’s throat and the nagging contempt of the bass, it is an irresistible blast of insidious feuding which ignites appetite and passions just as forcibly as the album itself.

Its stunning start is not quite matched by the following Septic Hole and Flock Of The Misfortunate, though it is more to do with its might than their failings. The first of the two again is offering a scathing infection soaked groove around with rhythms bring a barbaric unpredictability and guitars a sonic smog of contagious endeavour. Vocally Hadden lurches syllable after syllable across the senses, his delivery breeding a pestilential persuasion which is as sinister and merciless as the predacious sounds scarring his way. It is another masterful proposition if without bringing too many surprises, similarly as its successor. The album’s third track prowls with purposeful weight and predation, every riff and rhythmic provocation concentrated in its oppressive incitement which an emerging fiery but respectful groove cannot defuse. With the vocals at their most demonically intimidating and caustic, the track sends primal shivers down the spite but fails to find the same spark to ignite the passions as the opener and subsequent tracks hold.

Bathed In Phlegm returns the senses to a tempestuous torrent of frenetic riffs and rhythms bred from the darkest despair. It is a storm which has a rein on its hunger though, switching intensities of gait and ferocity for a filth clad waltz of insurgent sounds and rabid animosity which ebbs and flows in its voracity and ultimately success. To be fair though it is a proposal which ears and emotions welcome with open submissive arms, but one again only stirring up the passions rather than igniting them. The following Regurgitation Through Decapitation has little problem in seizing imagination and those passions, such its corrosive beauty and invention. Marking the moment where the album reveals it’s most potent and addictive nature, the song thunders against ears with a wall of barbaric rhythms and an intensively fused swarm of riffs. It is tsunami of spite and malignancy turned into a sonic vendetta in turn driven by a great dual squall of vocal spite from Hadden feverishly backed by Miller. The song stomps and rages with little regard for the health of its recipients, bass and drums crafting a frame of tortuous entrapment which any dungeon would be proud of whilst the guitars and vocals lay waste with an emotion violation of hellacious enterprise.

The glorious rhythmic coaxing which brings the title track into view is one of those instinctive baits there is no resistance to, an insatiable coaxing which only increases its toxic potency when aligned to the serpentine bred vocal cancer brought by Hadden. It is not long before the enthralling leviathan tones of the bass stalk air and guitars spread their caustic waves, the emerging blend of ferocious rapaciousness only reaching deeper into the psyche and greedy hunger inspired by the album. Roving with pack like relentlessness, the track is a predator of sound and bestial appetite, its grinding incitement and gutturally shared narrative an evil suasion to unrelentingly and sublimely excite the whole body.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is brought to a powerful close by Internal War And Hate, a final purge of hope and security brought with an increasingly dangerous consumption of single minded grooves and scarring riffs within a network of bass rabidity and rhythmic enmity. It is an outstanding end to a thrilling encounter, not one as we said to turn extreme metal on its head but a release to easily place Lesch-Nyhan back in the heart and intensive spotlight of death metal.

Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ http://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/lesch-nyhan-syndrome

https://www.facebook.com/LeschNyhanMetal

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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TRIVERSE MASSACRE come out ‘With Bared Teeth And Truths’, on 4th August.‏

Triverse Massacre Online Promo Shot

UK DEATH METALLERS TRIVERSE MASSACRE UNLEASH KILLER NEW EP!

 

Wielding a gargantuan passion for fast furious riffs and igniting glowing comparisons to The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse and Slayer, Triverse Massacre spit out a collision of galloping hi-octane metal that will drop you to the floor. The formidable Northern quintet serve up their explosive ‘With Bared Teeth And Truths’ EP through national outlets on Monday 4th August.

 

Born on April 2010, haling from the grim northern city of Carlisle and featuring Liam Clark (Vocals), James Graham (Guitar), Chris Kelsall (Guitar), Dan Fisher (Bass) and Mike Collins (Drums), Triverse Massacre have been causing a stir on the metal underground for the past three years. With a strong gig ethic that has seen the Brit riff monsters rack up the shows, chalking up supports with every one from Aliases and The Sun Explodes to Meta-Stasis, and aided with an impressive creative output, the progressive five-some are destined to make their mark on proceedings.

 

The Carlisle bruisers are now set to stride forward with a reboot of their enticing new EP ‘With Bared Teeth And Truths’. Armed with four brutal slabs of hybrid metal that encompass death, groove and thrash, Triverse Massacre have shaped a record that it is brimming with buoyant intensity.

 

‘With Bared Teeth And Truths’ starts in ferocious fashion with the hammering beatings of ‘Wolves At Your Gates’ before ‘Exhale Betrayal’ grabs you by the scruff of the neck, thrashing and attacking your eardrums. ‘Bullets Kill Beats’ continues in rampant form, packing abrasive riffery with a full frontal vocal assault. And as ‘Torn From The Throne’ hits the speakers with it’s barbarous groove, your senses will be fully laid to waste.

-TRIVERSE MASSACRE RELEASE ‘WITH BARED TEETH AND TRUTHS’ ON 4th AUGUST THROUGH ALL STORES-

Triverse Massacre Cover Artwork

https://www.facebook.com/TriverseMassacre

 

Bjarm – Imminence

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Listening to Imminence, the debut album from Russian symphonic death/black metallers Bjarm, is like standing in the middle of two separate but merging dramatic climates. Walking the line between beauty and savagery, both extremes embracing each other for a tumultuous ravenous tempest, imagination and emotions are buffeted and stripped raw yet simultaneously seduced and exposed to gloriously epic and invigorating ambiences. The release is an enthralling and intimidating journey, a treacherous and at times disorientating conflict but dramatically compulsive and rewarding.

The Severodvinsk band was formed in the early months of 2009, taking its name from a territory mentioned in Norse legends and tales. The following year saw their demo Defect released, live shows, and subsequently as the next year fell changes in personnel before the band settled down to work on their first album. Self-produced, the Pavel Korotaev mixed and Tony Lindgren (Paradise Lost, Kreator) mastered album was recorded last year and has emerged as a striking and potent introduction to the impressive band.

The scene and atmosphere is imposingly set by opener Approaching of the Close, an instrumental with the charmed harmonies of angels and portentous intimidation of war. It is an epically rising portrait of the time and land Bjarm-Imminence Cover Arttheming the release, every scenic exposure caressed by orchestral beauty and dark shadows within predacious climates. Though it does not come with many surprises in its cinematic grandeur, the track grips attention ready for the opening clutches of Knowledge of Doom. Riffs rub invitingly on ears first whilst the symphonic lure of keys swirl with melodic intrigue, both swiftly joined by pungent rhythmic strikes and the throaty rapaciousness of the bass. The track expands its magnetic narrative musically with increasing washes of keys and threatening intensity whilst lyrically hoarse guttural vocals unveil the blackened premise. With siren-esque harmonies gliding overhead the track embraces and violates in equal measure for a formidable and increasingly impacting suasion. The twists do not slow, captivating female vocals laying elegant melodic hands on ears whilst intensity and provocation laps at the senses with sea like relentlessness.

It is an impressive track matched by the heavyweight presence of Ominous Dreams. Rumbles of doomy beats and brewing antagonistic air smothers ears first before keys and guitars cast a web of ill-boding enterprise. It is a strong entrance but the song really gathers pace and riveting invention with a contagiously predatory groove which emerges and the following raw rabidity which fuels a twist in vocals and the sonic toxicity expelled. The mix is insatiable in its voracious intent and merciless attraction, permeating every pore and thought as does the evolving symphonic radiance and melodically rich hues which crowd in later dripping expressive beauty. The track bewitches across its traumatic and thoroughly rewarding landscape before making way for the equally menacing and fascinating enticement of The Nine Worlds. As across the whole release, the listener is thrust into the heart of brutal intent and transfixing melodic romance, the track a battlefield for tenebrous depths and intent with golden hope and enchantment accentuated by again stunning female tones.

Fire Lord’s Torment comes next to make a strong and imagination sparking incitement but despite its skilfully crafted invention and powerfully sculpted textures fails to invite the same strength of passion and hunger for its accomplished offering as other songs, the same slip found by the instrumental title track straight after. Both tracks leave ears and thoughts alive and keen to explore more but fail to leave a lingering and deep rooted impression in their company or after, something the mouth-watering Oracle does not have a problem with. From a deliciously captivating acoustic and melodic coaxing with rising breezes of keys courted by sinew built rhythms, the song sways and immerses senses and emotions in a superbly evocative and spellbinding serenade of sound. Admittedly the caustic vocal scowls which are at odds to the seducing take time to accept but as the song continues to cast its binding spell on the emotions they become a strong texture to the siren song.

Both Secret of the Immortals and The Highest Hall keep the by now greedier appetite for the encounter well fed, the first a provocateur with thrashing swipes of riffs and rhythms aligned to a concentrated charge of intensity. It is a rolling adventure striking out from the poetically smothering melodic breath of keys which also soak the start, an emprise given greater infectious toxins by the great female vocals; something not used enough on the album, as well as unpredictable stabs and scythes of guitar imagination. The second of the two is as primal and brutal as it is rigorously compelling and masterfully incendiary, thanks again to melodies and a female croon. It is a bestial predator at times and a comforting mother’s breast in others, a torment suffocating and strangling hope tempered by the peace and security of instinctive beauty.

Imminence is closed by Tree on the Bones, a threatening and skilled fury to consume the senses but lacking that fuse to full lustful reactions, even though it creates arguably the most intricate and emotion involving proposition on the album. Bjarm has created a striking and at times startling entrance into the world of metal, with only the fact that many tracks are swiftly gone from memory and thoughts once leaving the ears. Nevertheless it is a potential loaded and thrilling incitement to suggest the Russians have a rather healthy future.

Imminence is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/ru/album/imminence/id889323814

http://www.facebook.com/bjarmofficial

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless

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Two years after unleashing the gripping and exhilarating Blood For The Master, an album which without setting new templates for black-hearted death metal got the passions boiling, Goatwhore uncage successor Constricting Rage of the Merciless. It again is an album which delivers an encounter which is attentive to needs whilst staying within well-trodden avenues yet consumes ears and senses in a tempest of ravenous sounds which leaves satisfaction full and appetite greedy. Brutal and uncompromising, as expected from a Goatwhore release, Constricting Rage of the Merciless also brings a more deliberate and concentrated creative foreplay to its climactic endeavour. Whereas the previous album exploded like a beast in season, the new onslaught prowls and sizes up its opportunities before stealing its prize.

Less than a handful of years away from entering into their third decade, the New Orleans based Goatwhore has left plenty of landmarks and inspiring indentations within metal since being formed by guitarist Sammy Duet (ex-Acid Bath/Crowbar ) in 1997. Their albums, starting with debut Eclipse Of Ages Into Black in 2000 and followed by Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun three years later as well as A Haunting Curse and Carving Out The Eyes Of God of 2006 and 2009 respectively, have thrust the band and their persistently intensifying and potently growing sound into an acclaim lit ever deepening stature. Goatwhore has simply become one of the sure fire attention grabbing, passions igniting propositions in death metal, defying the moment when the band was involved in a near-fatal van crash that left vocalist Louis B. Falgoust II temporarily paralyzed and the future of the band uncertain as well as other bouts of disaster which seemed to stalk the band.

The Erik Rutan recorded Constricting Rage of the Merciless is Goatwhore at their creatively rabid best, entwining new songs with the imagination and invention we have come to expect. With bassist James Harvey and drummer GW-ConstrictingRageZack Simmons alongside Duet and Falgoust, the release also holds surprises which arguably are at times slight but open within a presence which is an organic continuation of Blood For The Master. There is also preciseness to the release, no doubt in some ways down to it being tracked to two-inch tape, something which brings out the intricacies of songwriting and presentation perfectly though it does defuse a little of the always tasty venom which flooded previous encounters. Overall though Constricting Rage Of The Merciless is a thrilling and irresistible proposition which immediately steals ears and emotions with opening track Poisonous Existence in Reawakening.

Riffs and rhythms are instantly ganging up on ears, battering on the senses with urgent predation and merciless intent. Once breaching attention, a raw and fiery examination explodes with incessant rubs of guitars and bass as rhythms persist in their brutal barracking. Riding the unrelenting provocation the vocals of Falgoust grouchily squall and gruffly expel the song’s narrative, another unsurprising but eagerly devoured aspect of the band. Across the song the mood of the assault ebbs and flows, at times rabid and in others moments holding a dark pestilential breath but always demanding and rewarding. It is an excellent mouth-watering and exhausting entrance swiftly emulated by Unraveling Paradise. Again the charge is as hostile and urgent as a horde of slavering beasts, riffs and rhythms grinding and rapping with breathless purpose upon the senses respectively. It is a viciously solid attack but the initially subtle underlying groove which erupts eventually into a contagiously acidic nagging is where the track enslaves the passions. It is masterful bait which binds tightly around the imagination and a rising hunger to overwhelm with the stinging potency of a swarm of hornets.

Baring Teeth for Revolt steps in next with a ferocious burn of heavy metal enterprise, a flavour which dominates the song from start to finish offering a quick twist to the release. It is a track which took longer to convince than certainly its predecessors, but under numerous doses of its persuasion and the impressive spiteful shift into a heavier rapacious savagery around its middle, the track becomes a firm favourite upon the album.

Both Reanimated Sacrifice and Heaven’s Crumbling Walls of Pity keep things boiling enjoyably, the first a muscular tsunami of vitriolic beats and malevolent riffs which never quite goes for the jugular but definitely leaves a gleeful wasted pleasure in the emotions, especially with its brief but flaming solo. It’s almost concussive texture and energy is matched in quality and ferocity by the second of the two, a song which slowly unwinds its voracious attitude and intensity before stalking the senses with urgent gait through a sonic malignancy. Each leaves a rich dose of virulent satisfaction before making way for the atmospheric haunting of Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh. The track opens with a stark and chilling ambience veined by evocative guitars. It sparks the imagination immediately, opening up exploratory thoughts before coming out of its emotive ambience with a lumbering heavy crawl of intense rhythms and pit bred vocals, all laced by emotive sonic designs of guitar. The track is as mesmeric as it is threatening, a fascinating incitement which also takes longer to find success with its suasion but eventually seduces for the strongest satisfaction.

The thrash punk assault of FBS, a virulent urgency driving its caustic expression and tenacity, and the predatory natured Nocturnal Conjuration of the Accursed ravage and excite years next, both tracks unfussy and surly confrontations which bring a big smile to ears and emotions even if neither finds a flame of unpredictable ingenuity to their bodies. Their enticing presences are assertively matched by the vindictive Schadenfreude, its enticing yet mistrustful grooves leading into darker shadows and infectious savage depths. The song is a spellbinding violation which never quite goes where you want or need yet provides an inventive slavery which is thoroughly inspiring and enthralling.

The album closes with Externalize This Hidden Savagery, a final barbarous consumption driven by volatile rhythms and wonderfully fractious groove spiked riffs. It is a mighty end to a tremendous album, much as expected from Goatwhore but never taken for granted. For personal tastes Constricting Rage of the Merciless just misses the levels set by the last album even though the craft and invention is undoubtedly stunning and presence exceptional but there are fewer songs which stick in the memory. That is the only thing leaving it in the shadow of Blood For The Master but to the fore of death metal releases this year.

Constricting Rage of the Merciless is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.metalblade.com/europe/releases/goatwhore-constricting-rage-of-the-merciless/

www.facebook.com/thegoat666

8/10

RingMaster 08/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Morbidity – Revealed from Ashes

Morbidity-RevealedfromAshes

Forging a ferociously gripping old school death metal bred presence with the fury of thrash and more grooves than to be found on the tread of a wet weather racing tyre, Bangladesh metallers Morbidity presents one of the furiously compelling and thrilling extreme metal release of the year. Revealed from Ashes is an insatiable torrent of raw and predatory death metal which infests and consumes ears through to emotions but comes equipped with barbarous hooks and gut foraging grooves to equally give the imagination a torrid and welcomingly intensive examination. It is not a release to sculpt new realms or templates for their seed genre but employing existing strains of voracity and rapacious ingenuity as it does in the band’s own refreshing and seriously invigorating way, the album is a comfortably impressive onslaught.

Hailing from Dhaka, the quintet of vocalist Defiler (Ex-Slaughter Cult), guitarists Skorcher (Retribution) and Azerate ( Nuclear Winter, Ex-Catastrophe, Ex-Urfaust), bassist Sethos (Ex-Idolatry), and drummer Nefarious goes for the jugular with every note and rhythm unleashed. The band’s influences such as old school Grave, Morbid Angel, Dismember, and Death, as well as the likes of Carnage, Slaughter, Impaler, Kaamos, Grotesque, Entombed, Cancer, Benediction, and Venom openly spice up the irrepressible Morbidity sound and it is easy to see why the band is garnering and earned strong attention and support in their spot on the globe.

The album breaths out an atmospheric mist initially as intro instrumental Decaying Souls spreads its haunting enticement. As death knells toll a thrash seeded stride crosses ears to the senses, a mystique kissed Metallica like groove entwining their swiftly satisfied welcome as the otherwise weighty coaxing of the track warms the imagination and appetite for the impending fury of Incarnation Of Death. The second track unleashes the floodgates of a voraciously intensive rhythmic testing and similarly eager riffery. Acidic grooves and continually twisting guitar enterprise binds the raging rhythms and song intensity as tightly and magnetically as they do the seamless step into a more reserved but no less rabid passage of suasion. Skilled sonic expulsions burn impressively on the senses to add stronger toxicity to the impressive storm whilst the guttural scourging masked as a vocal deliver from Defiler, just hits the submissive sweet spot perfectly.

There is a familiarity to the track and the following Let There Be Chaos, as across the album, which defies a real sense of originality but only adds to the roaring pleasure found in the searing might and weight of the incitement. The third track again unleashes a bestial ferocity and uncompromising flood of thrash seeded riffery and death metal corruption to remind that no matter how enjoyable and impressive some of the modern twists on the genre are, there is something about the origins of death metal which hit the primal instincts for unrivalled rewards.

Both Morbidity and next up Pits Of Eternal Torment ensure the foot is firmly on the accelerator of intensive confrontation and energy. The first of the two bruises air and senses with an avalanche of merciless rhythmic provocation around which the guitars spin a delicious sonic web of enterprise and vitriolic expression. The track sears the hair within ears as its lights thoughts and emotions but as elsewhere it is the pure primal sound of the bass which even within swamps of oppressive sound and adrenaline sets the brutal tone. Its successor is one of a couple of tracks which labours in the wake of those around it, though to be fair with body flaying rhythms and toxic acrid flavouring to the eventful exploits of the guitar and psyche lethal riffing, it is impossible to resist or dismiss the lure of the track.

The title track storms the barricades next leaving an exhausted and thoroughly contented wasteland of emotions, its barbarous hostility and prowling predation constantly prone to tearing chunks from the senses just riveting. Again the track loses some of the early potency of songs but still grips tighter than a dead man’s grip whilst its successor Skullcrusher reignites the richest reactions and passions again with its virulent temptation of malevolent riffs and slowly stalking rhythms beneath the darkest vocal presentation and poison yet unleashed by Defiler. It is a tsunami of spite and depraved death bred maliciousness but one easily happy to hold back at times to prey slowly upon its victim with intensive and intrusive sonic creative violence.

The release comes to an imposing and intrusive close through Unholy Resurrection, its demonic persona and pit spawned malevolence soaking every syllable and psyche splicing chord. The track is an absorbing intimidating final attack bringing an excellent album to an impressive conclusion. Revealed From Ashes maybe short of true originality but it brings everything you could wish for in a death metal release. Morbidity is without reserve a strong recommendation for all after old school malice.

Revealed from Ashes is released via Memento Mori shortly http://memento-mori.es and on vinyl via Me Saco Un Ojo Records http://www.mesacounojo.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morbidity/133630130030339

8.5/10

RingMaster 07/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Across The Swarm – Self Titled

ATS photo by Gianvito Greco

Hailing from Bologna, Italian extreme metallers Across The Swarm are an emerging force destined to great and major things if their self-titled debut EP is anything to go by. Consisting of five fascinatingly inventive and irresistibly brutal tracks entwining everything from groove and nu-metal, hard core and drum and bass into their persistently evolving and violating landscapes of sound, the release is a towering and gripping onslaught of intrigue drenched ferocity. It is a startling entrance by the band, one clad in an invigorating unpredictability and exhaustive experimental attitude which is seemingly rare to absent in a great many new bands.

Formed in 2013 out of Lacerater, which released a series of demos itself, Across The Swarm set about working on their first release last December. Recording it at Sliver Studios, the quartet of vocalist Francesco A. Flagiello, guitarists Luca Sammartino and Marco Lambertini, and drummer Riccardo Grechi brought in NK and Sygo from Hallucinator for the DnB samples as well as Simone Bertozzi (The Modern Age Slavery, Mnemic) to provide bass for the recordings. The result is the exhilarating torrent of ideation and voracious sound found on their self-titled introduction, a proposition inflaming ears and imagination right through to hungry passions.

     Hang Out is the first pestilential treat, a grievous rhythmic assault and similarly bred riffs flying at the senses within the first second. It is already more than a straight forward confrontation as varied vicious vocal squalls alongside across-the-swarm-300x300vitriolic grooves wreak havoc with toxic intent and craft, whilst the unpredictable drumming of Grechi disorientates as it impresses. The track is from start to finish incendiary to the imagination, torrentially blasting and irrepressibly seducing with mouth-watering enterprise and striking ingenuity as in its successor Just Bodies. Once again first touch is as barbarous as it is heavy, beats and riffs churning up the senses for bass and guitars to offload a venomous bait which itself twists with a breath-taking ideation. Swinging temptation of drum n bass bred invention soon adds its weight to the suasion, though its brief entrance is soon lost under an avalanche of rhythmic hostility and rigorously intensive grooving. Raw and uncompromising yet precise and deliberately structured in its creative fury, the track consumes an already keen appetite for the release with its staggering endeavour, the smile on the face at its departure the sure sign of something special.

That grin is never far away from the EP to be fair, reprising its joy with Cynical Eyes and beaming even more loudly with the outstanding Formless Wreck. The first of the two is sonic and rhythmic savagery driven by vocal and creative predation. The track starts in a rage and boils up into a carnivorous rabidity yet from its first caustic touch it unleashes waves and veins of acidic grooves and invention sculpted twists which enslave the imagination. It is a contagious tempest of malevolent beauty matched and exceeded by the second of the two, bass and guitars coaxing and licking ears with invention beneath a scourging wind of sound before that previously only glancing bait of drum n bass makes a more thrilling and provocative presence on the release. At any point on the EP it is hard to find true comparisons to suggest and here especially difficult, yet essences of The Browning, Bloodsimple, and Dark Tranquillity is some kind of clue.

The release closes with the virulently compelling Like Water, a hellacious inventively twisted slab of extreme maliciousness cast with technical rapaciousness and imagination bred toxicity. It is a colossal closing to an immense and enthralling incitement. Across The Swarm has uncaged one of the best metal debuts certainly this year and last whilst suggesting a potential which if it comes to bear, and you dare not doubt it, could see the Italians setting new levels and templates for extreme storms ahead.

Across The Swarm is available now @ http://acrosstheswarm.bandcamp.com/album/across-the-swarm

https://www.facebook.com/acrosstheswarm

9/10

RingMaster 04/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Question – Doomed Passages

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Uncaged from the darkest corners of Querétaro, Mexico, death metallers Question immediately with their debut album Doomed Passages prove themselves to be a formidable and compelling proposition. Consisting of nine monstrous pestilential seductions which you do not know whether embrace and immerse without reservation within or take the first escape into the strongest light you can find, the release is a daunting and imaginative provocation. Certainly the album is not sculpting new climates or avenues for the genre but it undoubtedly shows its creators to be a band worthy of anyone’s investigation.

Released via Chaos Records, Doomed Passages instantly seizes ears and attention through the pulsating rhythmic opening of first track Mournful Stench. It is a magnetic lure enhanced by the nagging virulence of riffs and the darker threat of the bass. The trap set is already sprung by the imagination at this point, the bulging beats and scything riffs irresistible bait which once in control aligns with contagious grooves and acidic sonic invention across the intensive canvas of the song. The guttural predatory roar of the vocals take their fair share of the plaudits too, the hellacious slow squalls of Marco a tempering predation against the freer flowing and almost swaggering stride of invention round him. It is an exceptional start setting high standards from expectations for the album, a demand soon met by the following Nefarious Conclusion. Its entrance also makes a dramatic crawling impact, the bass of Héctor against skittish beats almost jazz like in its enticement before a blaze of guitar and vocals sear the landscape around them. Once its heart expels its toxic breath, things delve into pit spawned rabidity, the mighty psychotic swipes of drummer Iván punctuation to the malevolent narration of Rodrigo’s guitar.

   Grey Sorrow wraps the psyche next; its initial insidious grooves a slow toxin to the impending violent urgency and tempestuous emotive QUESTION-cover pressheat. As with all songs though, it does not come without intrigue and fascinating twists, a noir soaked bass led reflection and a subsequent broadly grinning stride adding rich and exciting inspiration within the unrelenting oppressive weight of the track. It is a strong and pleasing proposition if lacking the trigger to spark the same depth of reaction as its predecessors but a joy soon surpassed by the subtly melodramatic Through The Vacuous River. The instrumental is a bewitching piece of evocative composing and expressive playing, its drama and presence understated but riveting as it makes its way towards evolving into Universal Path Of Disgrace. As expected the reins are off the rhythms and guitars again, the band casting a ruinous tsunami of sound and enterprise which is like a predator’s hunt, riffs and drums hunting down their prey under the lead of the invidious vocals, gnawing and clawing at their victim before playing with the capture through teasing sonic grooves and caustically flavoured melodic scorching.

The gripping violation is succeeded by the outstanding Devoured From Within, once more band and song are a bestial intrusive into the darkest corners of the heart and soul. From vocals to guitar, rhythms to energy there is a pursuit of senses and thoughts, a concentrated chasing down of hope by a fearsome entity borne in the minds and talents of Question. More intensive and exploratory than most on the album, the song is a slow burner but one revealing and giving new rewards with every listen.

The pair of Sea Of Black and …Bitter Gleam of Inexistence engulf ears next, the first a venomous maelstrom where every aspect tunnels under the skin as psychotic tendencies persuade with gorgeous toxic grooves, and the second another slowly persuading but deviously infecting protagonist. Though some tracks make a swift submission of ears and thoughts, others like here take longer to find a lingering relationship but such the progressive revelry within an extreme sonic climate the song is an enthralling exploration, though maybe too long at over ten minutes.

The wonderful instrumental Departure is the leaving gate for the album, its Latin crafted guitar hand in hand with an acoustic colouring mesmeric and charming. It is an unexpected type of finale but an exceptional one confirming both Question and their triumphant debut as highly recommended prospects for all.

The Chaos Records released Doomed Passages is available soon via chaos-records.bandcamp.com/album/doomed-passages

https://www.facebook.com/QuestionMX     

8.5/10

RingMaster 11/06/2014

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Valdrin – Beyond the Forest

Valdrin

There are two sides to Beyond the Forest, the debut album from US black metallers Valdrin; one a flowing landscape of poetic imagination basking in colossal emotive melodies and enveloping atmospheres and the other a pestilential savaging infesting senses and thoughts. Both are irrepressibly compelling and entwined into a masterful captivation of ruinous intent. Brewing an enthralling toxin of black metal with twists of thrash and death metal bred voracity, Valdrin is an attention grabbing and exciting new protagonist, and their album a demanding and intensive experience which makes you work for its rewards but offers them impressively.

Hailing from Cincinnati, the trio of Carter Hicks (guitar/synth guitar/vocals), James Lewis (bass), and Ryan Maurmeier (drums) have drawn comparisons to the likes of Emperor, Bathory, and Dissection with their uncompromisingly creative scourges masquerading as songs. Their music is not just ravages of the senses though as the trio’s ability to cast weaves of orchestral and intimate beauty woven with riveting melodic design within angrily tempestuous climates and assaults is bewitching. As mentioned it is not an easy accessibility offered by band and album but one which fills and ignites every spark of a synapse, thought, and emotion.

Beyond the Forest emerges through instrumental A Drain in the River, it a heavily portentous and disturbing scenery of dark menace valdrin-beyondtheforestand emotional suffocation leading into a world of danger and tormented souls. The journey of the album is menacingly afoot and soon thrust into the malicious jaws of the title track. Riffs and rhythms rampage with a pack like rabidity from its first breath, never reining in its voracity even as insidiously serpentine vocals and warped sonic grooves spread out from within the maelstrom. The track is a savage aggressor but one with sleek invention and sonic poise to not temper the hostility but certainly shed a magnetic light over its violence. The narrative of the ten minute adventure is venomously expressed by the acidic vocals, their presence another aspect to acclimatise to but embraced heartily before the track is in its final throes of animosity. With a terrain which is persistently evolving and shifting the band immediately shows the depth and invention to their songwriting and imagination. With classical guitar and melodic reflection as absorbing as the ferocity burning elsewhere, Beyond the Forest is a masterful and gripping continuation of the entrance into the heart of the album.

The individual skills of the band is a constant open source of pleasure, the following Rusalka Succubus right away continuing the almost progressive flair each member explores within the vicious turbulence and spiteful malevolence bursting from each track. Again the song is an intensive oppression on the senses at its core, a thick abrasion which alone would be hard to penetrate or arguably endure; it is scored and laced with irresistible melodic grandeur and ingenuity though which simply seduces ears through to emotions as a ghostly elegance calls with sirenesque persistence from within the beauty.

   Serpent Willow launches at the senses next with a flailing barrage of rhythms and ravenous riffs, a thrash seeded bitterness driving the thrust of the song. It is a tremendous violation of ears, a savage bestial ferocity which digs deep and long with its rabid hooks and insatiable grooves before making way for Impaled Visions Breed Within the Vines. This is another track where the thrash instincts of its primal intent steers the rage but where its predecessor is single minded in its attack, this thick wind of sound and emotion breathes with a celestial grace and melodic appetite within a rapacious animus. As with most tracks the song needs time to unveil all of its dark crevices and evocative structures but the bait right away is merciless and an ever increasing lure as the track reveals its glory.

Both Calling to the Canidae Hordes with its refreshing but malicious flume of bad blood around a spellbinding enticement from the guitars and the epic flight of Through the Catacombs enslave attention and imagination next. The first is a galloping call to arms, an almost festive swagger and glee to its web of sonic endeavour shining from within an open rancor whilst the second of the two songs is similarly buoyant in its suasion but darker and more intimidating in its shadows and clawing rhythmic nagging. As with all breath-taking melodic sculpting and evocation brought by Hicks it comes under an exacting examination of not only drums and bass but his vocal enmity, but always succeeds in making an impacting persuasion. It is a masterful mixing by the band under a great production which whilst clouding and accelerating the dark cavernous pressure of songs allows clarity for the caressing intricacies and inciting melodies of songs. The brilliant and exhausting race against time fuelled torrent of riffs and rhythms at the tracks climax is mouthwatering, igniting a greedy appetite for the demonic beckoning and pillaging of the senses from Come Forth. Thrash riffs and tenacity again infiltrates and swamps the passions, the track a blistering and scintillating onslaught with thrilling guitar toxicity.

Through the nefarious yet enchanting call of Darkness as Black as Evil and the infernal climate of Battles in the Medieval Sky, band and album cast new and constantly twisting provocations whilst an expansive submergence into In the Vortex of Time / Relinquish Flesh is as breath-taking as it is disorientating, the heart of the blackest soul wrapping its damned elegance tightly around the senses. As all songs on the release, the tracks are never a clear or straight forward picture as inspired ideation and creative bravery contrasts and complements the heart of songs.

Closing with the impressive drama and rich melodic colour of Forgotten Souls and its final dark invasive premise, Beyond the Forest is a fascinating and richly exciting introduction to Valdrin. Do not expect to understand and discover everything about the band and what they have to offer quickly or easily but that just makes their album a long-term investment for the imagination and passions. Valdrin has the potential to be very special; they are half way there already with their deeply striking debut.

Beyond the Forest is available through Blasthead Records now @ http://blastheadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/beyond-the-forest

https://www.facebook.com/valdrinausadjur

8.5/10

RingMaster 04/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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