Slain – Before The Inferno

 

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There is no re-writing the text book of death metal with Before The Inferno, the album certainly re-working but treading down existing violations, but it has to be admitted that the debut album from Polish band Slain is a thoroughly enjoyable and potently contagious provocation. Consisting of eight monstrously aggressive and openly accomplished violations, the release grips from its opening track through to its intrusive last. There is admittedly a certain mix of success within the release but never a moment where band and album leaves satisfaction wanting and pleasure lacking.

The creators of this impacting release were formed in 2005, though the band’s seeds in many ways harken back to the nineties when band founder and guitarist Paul was in Cryptic Stench. Some of Slain’s songs originated from that time with the band reworking and rearranging them to fill the full blooded onslaught of their ferocity. Initially Slain went through a few personnel changes whilst the band continued to earn a strong reputation and fan base with their live performances. A stable line-up emerged though before the album was recorded; Paul joined by second guitarist George, bassist Lucas, drummer Wojtass, and vocalist Marcin. Recorded in 2012, Before The Inferno found its release with The End Of Time Records at the tail of 2013. Since its release, Slain has seen the departure of George and Marcin, the pair being replaced by Hannibal and Balrog respectively. The turn of the year the band has begun working on new songs for their second full-length whilst this, their debut continues to make an impression and mark the radar of a persistently widening attention.

The Bełchatów quintet comes at the ears through a sinister ambience, demonic shadows, and intrusive breath conspiring to infest senses Slain-BeforeTheInfernoand imagination. The niggling start to Confession of the Blind Messiah erupts into a torrent of predatory riffs and punching rhythms whilst vocally vitriol and ravenous intent clad every word. It is a magnetic entrance, the track enslaving with its concentrated confrontation before unleashing a further increase of aggression and malevolence. Speared by skilled sonic flames and a persistently shifting antagonistic stance, the riveting track makes for a mighty start to the album, essences of Behemoth and Decapitated offering their presence.

The following Wings of War strides murderously into view next, clad in a tsunami of destructive rhythms, flailing riffs, and an underlying groove which is two-toned in voice and lethal in effect. Well into its purpose, the grooves mutate into an infectious lacing of the senses whilst the vocals similarly squirm maliciously between textures, the combination rigidly enslaving an already rampant appetite for the release. It is a ferocious onslaught but ripe with contagion and addictive toxins, especially the impressive sonic blaze of guitar which colours the track with its piercing solo. As suggested at the start there is not a great slap of true originality to the encounter but thrills and neck muscle manipulation show no restraint in their persuasions.

There is a thrash sculpted fire to the sound and album, its rabid hunger again insatiably driving the force of Malleus Maleficarum and War Is Coming. The first is a feisty stalking of the senses with an angry spine of bad tempered rhythms within an acidic veining of skilfully crafted sonic incitement. Its successor takes the rapaciousness of the other track to greater immensity, its carnivorous rabidity spurring on prowling rhythms and a pestilence of riffery. The track is voracious savagery but again infuses a swagger and swing to its barbarity which infests the passions. When a song straddles the imagination and treats it to a rodeo of feverish energy and vivacity it is hard to resist even when the wounds left bleed profusely.

Fucking Gods continues the violent and irrepressible suasion of the release, its brutal rampage unrelenting yet pronounced in its precise baiting whilst the following Deadly Midget presents a more restrained attrition but one no less hungry in its predation and manipulative toxicity; grooves and riffs sharing the imposing canvas for their fevered taming and consumption of the senses. There is a touch of Sepultura to the poise and intensive intensity of the track whilst its ravenous incessancy and melodic adventure slips easily under the skin and into the memory.

The album is completed by the raging turmoil of Thorn and the imposing enterprise of Omen, both tracks a tasty horde of vindictive rhythms and scourging riffs spiced by sonic invention, though neither quite match the heights of the earlier songs. Nevertheless the pair brings a great album to a stirring close to leave satisfaction full and emotions eager for more. Before The Inferno may not carve out new inventive avenues for death metal but when it provides a hellacious ruin as exciting and stimulating as it does it is hard to raise a care. Slain has ensured that anticipation for their sophomore album is already gearing up.

Before The Inferno is available via The End of Time Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slain/1395976333996090

8.5/10

RingMaster 22/04/2014

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Dark Century – Murder Motel

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A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel

www.DarkCentury.ca

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

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Brewed and Canned – Execute The Innocent

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The press release accompanying Execute The Innocent, the debut album from Austrian death metallers Brewed and Canned, suggests band and release is for fans of Cannibal Corpse and that is in many ways is all you need to know in deciding whether to face the brutality of the album. Except there is plenty more to the thrilling violation to take on board too; certainly the quintet from Vienna which formed in 1998 has a recognisable sound firmly seeded and bred in the older schooled premise of the genre but it comes with a technical rapaciousness and vicious intent that separates Brewed and Canned from the crowd.

Formed by twins Maximilian (drums) and Michael Fingernagel (guitar), whilst aged 15, Brewed And Canned has taken its time to unleash its first toxic full-length upon the world though the time has seen a trio of self-released demos which more than hinted at the impressive senses tainting which marks their debut album. The line-up of vocalist Florian Greiter, bassist Will Wöber, and guitarist Philipp Oppenauer alongside the brothers, uncages a provocation which has no time for trivial persuasions and intensity lacking temptations, the ten tracked onslaught an exhaustive and compelling aggressor but one with the knowledge and skill to damage through precise sonic endeavour as well as primal hostility.

As soon as the barbaric rhythms of Max slam down on the senses to the venomous courting of the guitars and the deliciously demonically BC-ETI-Coverthroated bass, attention is gripped by Multiple Bone Injection soon followed by an eager appetite as the band surge forth with rhythms flailing and riffs tearing the ears. It is an intimidating ravishment completed by the guttural spewing of Greiter, his voice a heavy yet coaxing toxicity grounding the fiery rampage of the track. The opener stirs up the psyche just as thoroughly too, a guitar solo adding citric spice to the virulent poison swamping the air, and though arguably the tempest is not offering anything openly new there is a vein of invention which begs to differ.

The following Behind 8 Doors also takes no time to settle on its intent, riffs and rhythms scarring and beating the senses voraciously from the first second as the vitriolic fury of the song and its narrative builds venom to soak the twist into a slower predatory gait. Complete with a contagion built groove, the song seduces with violence in its mind before switching back and forth into a vindictive cyclone of energy and power. The track leaves a bruised recipient in its wake, one never going to find any respite as the savagery continues with the outstanding Harvest and similarly intensive Perverse Reflections. The first of the two lurches over the senses with a menacing swagger and another irresistible groove which is not too distant a cousin to that of Pantera’s walk. With incendiary guitar scorching and a rhythmic fisting equally stealing the passions, it passes over to its successor and another immediate triumph. A varied vocal delivery sets out the premise which the guitars colour with expressive hues and sonic enterprise whilst bass and drums provide a crippling voracity in yet another prowling encounter. As with all songs, every member impresses singularly and as a united vicious roar, the guitars especially immense and inventive as well as mouthwatering with their intensive designs here.

From the two pinnacles of the album, there is a small dip as Killfuckfeed ferociously tucks with an unrelenting predacious gnawing into the senses. It is a slight drop really and mainly because of the might of the song’s predecessors, but it is fair to say that the protagonist never allows the hunger for the album to drift as neither does the severe Into Slavery, a track which traps and grievously enslaves the ears before spearing them with unpredictable sonic temptation and an undulating but constantly imposing carriage. It is another highlight though the fading out of the song annoys, a short grievance soon forgotten as the brilliant title track instantly has body and imagination involved with its emerging exploratory coaxing. A slow canter accosts whilst a guitar soars with caustic melodic flames through its thick scenery, the almost progressively spawned enterprise bewitching from within the building tension and intensity. Providing a flowing harsh landscape to revel in, the instrumental removes its intrusive charms for the rampaging and equally inflammatory might of Breathing The End to unleash its fierce breath and muscular malevolence. Barely two minutes long, the hellacious maelstrom has passions surging, and though again maybe some will claim there is little that has not been unheard before, it is a captivation of incredible infectious passion and enterprise easily defusing any doubts.

The final pair of songs, Vomiting Liquified Innards and A Violent Malestorm, do not quite match what came before but certainly in the case of the first stretches the invention and boundaries of the album with a masterful sonic web of intrigue through the skill of the guitarists and a rhythmic insistence which is quite breath-taking. Its successor with also a colourful enticement of melodic patterns is a final inhospitable slab of addictive vehemence and uncompromising craft leaving ears ringing, senses hurting, and passions longing for more.

     Execute The Innocent may have been a long time in its gestation but has introduced Brewed And Canned to a wider audience and spotlight with impressive endeavour and merciless voracity. It feels safe to say that we and death metal are heading for massive exploits with the Austrians, though hopefully in more frequent assaults.

Execute The Innocent is available through Blacksmith Records now.

http://www.brewedandcanned.com

https://www.facebook.com/brewedandcanned

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ferium – Reflections

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Parading a roaring muscular sound built from numerous metallic essences around a death metal spine, Israeli metallers Ferium more than lives up to the brewing buzz around them with debut album Reflections. Twelve slabs of creative brutality and imaginatively skilled endeavour, the release is a formidable and striking big step into the wider metal world, one which hits hard and impressively initially but only truly reveals its depths and strengths and those of the band across numerous exploits with its intrusive presence. The quintet delves into the rich wells of groove, technical, general extreme metal and more to enhance their core viciousness and persuasion, a fusion as proven by their first full-length which is something not exactly unique but definitely seizing attention and a hungry appetite as it starts setting its own path now and for the future.

Ferium was formed in 2006 taking initial inspirations of Pantera and Lamb Of God into their intent though that expanded over the years with influences from the likes of Textures, Gojira, and Death adding to the fuel driving their invention. Equally growing up in Haifa and the situation in their country has added depth to the lyrical and musical side of their emergence. The band does not directly or openly explore any aspect of the conflict and climate they grew within and felt personally but it is scenery which has brought a raw and uncompromising breath to their sound and presence. Their first release, The New Law EP in 2009 took the band into a strong spotlight at home and further afield, helping to lead Ferium to appearances at big home events such as Summer Carnage and Hallejujahas well as those abroad like Wacken 2009. Last year saw a more intensive time for the band, tours supporting The Agonist, Threat Signal, Mors Principium Est, and Dawn Heist around Europe and the UK following a show opening for Gojira in Israel. The end of 2013 was marked by the band signing a deal with Transcend Music and the worldwide distribution for the 2012 recorded Reflections, a release you sense could open up a highly receptive hunger for their presence.

Opening track By The Book lays an initial abrasive guitar coaxing upon the ears, a sonic wind brewing alongside it before being punctured Reflections Coverby the heavy probing rhythms of drummer Ron Amar. It is an intriguing start, one offering various options of where the song and album might go without revealing anything too soon. It is not long though before the drums increase their pressure, the bass of Yoni Biton closes in with dark intensive shadows, and the guitars of Elram Boxer and Guy Goldenberg sculpt a weave of tight grooves and searing riffs to transfix thoughts and emotions. With the harsh yet welcoming vocal abrasion of Tiran Ezra unleashing the first narrative, the track wakes up eager attention early, leading it into a magnetic fascination which in turn ignites the imagination. The thrilling song does not really explode at any point but is a constant blaze of invention and technical prowess which is stretched to more dramatic adventures across the album, in fact right away with DownHill From Nothing.

The second song entwines the ears in an infection fuelled groove from its first breath, the guitars seducing with full potency as bass and drums badger the senses into another swift submission. Again the vocals graze and roar with an unbridled causticity but only to accentuate the virulent lure of the song. The bass of Biton prowls and growls with understated but open ingenuity throughout the tempestuous offering yet it is the work of Boxer and Goldenberg which more often than not steals the focus upon the song, the melodies and emotive designs from their strings richly colouring song and imagination. Like the first it has an inescapable contagion to its enterprise and especially its grooved bait, and like its successor draws a greedy appetite for its invention.

Both The Very Existence and Mirror exploit an already eager attention with their individual persuasions, the first creating a weave of djent seeded technical manipulation with an almost thrash spawned antagonistic fury of death metal with metalcore bred essences. It is heavier and more intense than its predecessors without dismissing any of the melodically nurtured sonic exploration which marked their success. With a strong evocative ambience also washing the canvas of the song it is a thought provoking and longer to convince encounter, as is its successor though both refuse to relinquish the grip already seized by the release. The second of these two squall over and ravage the senses with again a stronger rabidity; vocally and rhythmically the track an abusive suasion whilst sonically it sears air and flesh, the combination another offering to feed the hunger inside.

The entrance of Side Effects is exceptional, an intimidating but irresistible gentle tempting from the guitars and the perfect lure into the spiteful aggression to follow. Its gait is almost stalking the ears whilst the outstanding bass hook and acidic guitar toxicity steals the passions below an unreserved rhythmic provocation. Its masterful adventure is replaced by the instrumental The Black Eyes, a piece ripe with classical keys elegance and scuzz surfaced energy. It is music which builds its size and intensity across its skilful narrative, inviting the imagination to cast its own tale though it is less successful with the passions especially with the bestial Lust Fool bursting in right away. It is a bear of a song, muscles holding sway within the black density and throat of the onslaught whilst the guitars lash and rhythms pummel the senses around the ever malicious vocals. It is a drama fuelled, adrenaline driven monstrosity of an encounter and thoroughly scintillating.

After the similarly predacious Caustic Value, an intrusion which easily feeds wants without lighting fires, the album takes another upturn with the brilliant Change Of Winds soon matched by Business On Demand. The first of the two romps with and dancing over ears and senses with grooves and jagged riffery from its first second, the track gnawing, jarring, and disorientating senses magnificently whilst Ezra riles syllables and tones for an equally malevolently textured assault, his variety in delivery a constant pleasure. The track twists and lurches wonderfully, all the time depleting energy and scything slices from the synapses until an exhausted pleasure lies in its wake, one soon re-energised by its successor. An open and familiar groove leads the way under the persistent cosh of rhythms and barracking riffs, the temptation recruiting full allegiance for the subsequent savagery vocally and musically which envelops the still dominant groove cast toxins.  Both tracks provide the pinnacle of the album and the band’s songwriting in brutality and epidemic seduction.

The album is concluded by Blood and its title track, the pair insatiable trespasses bringing an outstanding release to a mighty end, the first of the two an insidiously nasty demonic capture of ears and beyond whilst the last song simply churns up and suffocates emotions with mouthwatering invention and crippling intensity respectively. Wrapped in excellent artwork from Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Sodom, Atheist), Reflections is extreme metal of the highest order and shows Ferium as having the potential of forging truly major horizons ahead whilst giving a rather breath-taking treat for the now.

http://www.feriumband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

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Mass Infection – For I Am Genocide

Mass Infection - For I Am Genocide band photo

A smothering which denies a breath to be stolen and light to pierce its intensive tsunami of voracious intent, For I Am Genocide from Greek death metallers Mass Infection is an immediate treat which just gets better and stronger the more time given to its infestation of ears and imagination. On first encounter the immediately impressive and compelling release is a brutal persuasion which does not leap out as something particularly unique in the grand scheme of extreme metal but as with all releases a concentrated focus needs to be given to which in this case the rewards are rich and full. That is not to say that For I Am Genocide stands alone in the torrent of equally rapacious bands and releases but it definitely has an individualism to its character and striking creativity which is contagiously refreshing.

Released via Comatose Music, Mass Infection’s third album pushes the Livadia quartet into a richer and more intensive spotlight to that already earned by their previous releases. Formed in 2003 the band has been a constant attraction for their technically resourceful and barbarous sound, taking influences from band such as Deeds of Flesh, Hate Eternal, and Severe Torture into their own exploration. Their sound is a brutal engagement and as their previous albums alone have shown the band is able to strip senses and emotions bare with barbaric efficiency. Both Atonement for Iniquity and The Age of Recreation left a formidable mark for the band in presence and sound which made anticipation towards For I Am Genocide more than eager, and it is with this impressive release where it is easy to feel the band’s time to step into the higher echelons of metal is nigh.

There is no initial coaxing or gentle persuasion from the album, opening track Praised By All the Entities charging the ramparts of the Mass Infection - For I Am Genocide 5x5 300dpisenses with flailing riffs and ravenous rhythms heading the onslaught. Their voracious appetite is an immediate unveiling but shaped by a precision and intent which puts accuracy before barbarity. The equally antagonistic guttural vocal squalls rigorously enhance the venomous suasion, their scowling touch strong if not dramatically gripping but adding another coarse texture to join the violating sonic prowess and intrusiveness of the band. It is a masterful magnetic start to the album setting appetite and imagination alight with hunger.

The pestilential rapaciousness of The Scourge of Living Forms is next to aggressively embrace the ears, the track a maelstrom of craft and malevolence which is as exhaustive as it is primordially infectious. The mouthwatering grooves as in most songs do the true enslaving so the vicious rhythmic enterprise and vocals causticity can cast their insidious web. It results in a threat and corruption which buckles knees and destroys emotions but leaves full satisfaction and committed temptation in its wake, an evocation covering the whole of the album as shown by the similarly corrosive Hierarchy of the Highest Abomination. The song is a plague of insatiable riffery and rhythmic disorientation speared by acidic strikes of sonic lures which entwines toxic bait around the ears. Again it is a captivating abuse though the track does reveal the issues, though minor, which prevent the album being thought of as a classic. Not for the last time there is a repetitious element across songs, here incestuously bred grooves from its predecessor making admittedly appealing but openly obvious calls. Such their potency and of other examples like it, this does not deflect from the might of the album but does help that inability to stand aside from the crowd, as does the surface similarity of violence which enslaves the senses making that intensive investigation essential to discover the deep rooted ingenuity.

     Beholding the Throne suffocates the body next, its darker throat of sound and breath a predatory consumption matched by bile driven heavy vocals whilst its successor Unearthly Legion continues the hellacious blight of merciless rhythmic cruelty and horde like attack of riffs and grooves. It also infuses a veining of sonic pathogenic like tempting which ignites further fierce flames in the passions. Both tracks leave body sapped and imagination, not to forget appetite greedy, a lustful want easily sufficed by firstly the asphyxiating malicious web of intensity sculpted by Maelstrom of Endless Suffering and then the hateful depths of Beyond Perpetuation, a track which ensnares, tenderises, and devours the senses before taking them on a hellacious descent into the darkest pit of the album within a soundtrack of crippling rhythmic skill and sonic malefaction.

Nihilism Reigns is a glorious sonic scourge of melodic intent envenomed by addictive toxic seduction which leads the listener blissfully into the closing transgression of the body by The Genocide Revealed, a last drowning within carnivorous intensity and grooved spitefulness sculpted by the band’s expert individual skills honed into one irresistibly hostile trespass. It is a superb end to an even more immense release. Mass Infection with For I Am Genocide has not set new benchmarks for death metal but without doubt provided one of the highlights of extreme and creative enmity for the year so far.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mass-Infection/129646357120635

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Gravehill – Death Curse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.gravehill666.com

http://www.facebook.com/gravehill

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/04/2014

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Insain – Enlightening the Unknown

 

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     First the good news; we can present to you one of the most brutal and exciting death metal releases you are likely to hear this year. Sadly the bad news is it is from a band which recently decided to call it a day. French metallers Insain had already announced themselves as one of the more promising and impressive emerging bands with their debut album Spiritual Rebirth which from a self-released unveiling was given a world wide release through Kaotoxin Records in 2012. It is fair to say though that their new EP Enlightening the Unknown thrusts the band into a greater intensive spotlight, one which they will not be seizing the opportunity of which is the only negative thing about the voracious release.

    Also released via Kaotoxin, Enlightening the Unknown sees Insain reaching and delving into deeper pits of black pestilence and unbridled brutality, its six tracks and intro throwing off what little restraints crept into the previous release to uncage thick torrents of pure death metal maliciousness and inventive savagery. Every aspect of the release finds the band at a new dangerous intensity and level, from their skill and hunger to the lethal impact and vicious craft of the songs. It is a stunning beast which bellows deep from its guts, announcing not only a final swansong but the loss of a band capable of making an enduring inspiring mark on death metal.

     The ruinous affair is begun by Abyssum Invocatis, a brief atmospheric introduction featuring guest malevolence from Eye 760137621423_TOX033_Insain_Artwork_600x600-300Of Solitude vocalist Daniel Neagoe. It is a portentous if slightly underwhelming scene setter which still ignites intrigue for what is ahead, that something going straight for the jugular in the thunderous form of Absorbing The Masse. From its first second, riffs are scorching skin and sonic insidiousness squirreling through the psyche like a predatory cyclone, both David Schonbackler and Nicolas Becuwe merciless in their rampaging intent. Equally drummer Jonathan “Sangli” Juré unleashes a rhythmic rabidity which injures and compels the senses. The EP also features the musician’s final staggering performance of rapacious craft and blistering energy, Juré having fought for more than a year in the hospital to recover from a violent car crash which subsequently ended his musical career. The track consumes and suffocates in a thick tsunami like assault but as equally effective and dramatic is the contagious toxicity which brings even stronger temptation before the passions.

      Vocalist Louis Lafitte provides an almost scourge like persuasion with his irresistible guttural scowls and roars, a rage which continues to savage ears in the following The Faceless One; the diversity of the vocals as gripping and vicious as the sounds squalling around them. The bass of Benoit “Bono” Jean brings a throaty spite to the ferocity too, building on the snarl bred in the first song to coax guitars and drums to breed an almost pack like mentality to their ravenous onslaught. The track proceeds to prowl, stalk, and pounce as it plunders emotions and corrodes synapses, raising another rapture of pain and satisfaction with only the fade-out end a small niggle.

    Both Beyond Stellar Remnants and The Scourge take up sonic arms to continue the increasingly impressive and enthralling album, the first a ridiculously addictive and hellacious violation. Juré as usual is sensational, his arms and feet flinging beats and rhythms like lassos around the senses whilst the guitars scythe through the air and ears with a punishing intensity and ingeniously vindictive enterprise. The track swaggers and sways within its primal pillaging, igniting body and soul with a virulent infectiousness to its barbaric provocation. The track provides a mountain top in a heady range of peaks whilst its successor is a just as brutal and invigorating pestilential bombardment, grooves and vocals the perfect protagonists scavenging the beleaguered senses within a rhythmic threat just as intensively hungry and clad in animosity.

     The title track, with Neagoe adding more of his distinct venom, ensures there is no let-up in the epidemic of violence within the new level of searing causticity, its cruel vehemence and fearsome energy a tornado of noxious endeavour. As with all the tracks, it needs numerous ventures in front of its sonic sand blast to reap all the excellent skills and rewards on display but well worth every scar and wound incurred. The release is concluded in similar style by Apex, the song as groove laden and nastily uncompromising as its predecessor and the EP as a whole.

     Enlightening the Unknown is quite irresistible, a dangerously addictive venture which brings a sigh at the loss of a band once probably destined to be a giant of metal. There is obviously great anticipation of what the members of the band turn to next, expectations of notable things easy to build but it will not be Insain and from this release alone it is a major loss. You should always end on a high they say and Enlightening The Unknown is all that and much more. Available digitally and as a limited edition 1,000 strong MCD, this is one violent act not to be missed.

https://www.facebook.com/insaindeath

http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/enlightening-the-unknown

10/10

RingMaster 11/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Goatcraft – The Blasphemer

 

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    Having been impressed initially and even more so since our review of All For Naught the debut album from Goatcraft, it is fair to say there was certain anticipation for its successor The Blasphemer. The new release emerges as again a potent fire of craft and expression which even more so than its predecessor improves and permeates imagination and passions over time as the artist takes the passions through an extraordinary provocative landscape. The fourteen track scenery of self-termed necroclassical sound is an enthralling and absorbing spark for thoughts and emotions, a slab of beauty which is leaps ahead of the rather good first Goatcraft release and an unveiling of maturity and a fully rounded narrative which is quite breath-taking.

     Goatcraft is the one man project of San Antonio based Lonegoat, a composer/musician who created the project in 2010 to answer and use the frustration the artist had with occult and death metal, its commercialism and loss of soul for want of a better word. Piano and keyboard driven, his unique sound and presence was soon sparking intrigue and attention live and most potently with the release of All For Naught. Released via Forbidden Records, the album was an elegant and intensive tempest of passion and creativity within an intrusive and captivating ambience which aligned shadows to emotional investigations. The Blasphemer is bred from the same bed of seeds but with a much more evolved, grown, and complete incitement. Whereas the earlier release was a collection of individual tracks which did lie well together, Lonegoat’s sophomore album plays like one immersive journey with each piece a chapter in the wide narrative of the release. Equally the tracks work as smaller investigations alone too, each experimenting within the cinematic atmospheres emerging from the pieces of music.

   As mentioned there is also a richer beauty to the I, Voidhanger Records released The Blasphemer, something All For goatcraft_front_1500pxNaught was not lacking but like everything, upon the new album it has risen with new resourcefulness to seduce and pull the imagination into dark corners and blackened reflections. A concept album, The Blasphemer is themed around the works of English painter and poet William Blake, each piece taking inspiration and hues from his compositions aligned to theological observations. A quote from Lonegoat describes the release as being “Written and recorded from July to November 2013 under the influence of William Blake’s paintings and, The Blasphemer represents my quest to reconcile the mystical side of GOATCRAFT with its nihilistic side.

    From the invasive and brooding orchestral breath of Intro: Behemoth, the album explores and invites the imagination with every ounce of its creative and intensive expression. Temptation And Fall is the first full encounter on the album, a track which instantly envelops the psyche in its gentle shadows whilst punctuating that slow consumption with a poignant and dramatic piano evocation, its notes and melodic punches almost stalking the senses as it presses thoughts and visions into action. The following House Of Death is borne from a similar dark empathy, an instant indication that you can take songs singularly or as an extended tale to equal but different effect. Though as mentioned William Blake has inspired the release, it is hard not to involve imagery in the mind which is Poe-esque and noir kissed, all embracing melancholic and sinister gothic shadows.

     The excellent intimidating title track, with a slight discord glaze to its evocation, ripples and rifles the imagination next before both Hecate and Nebuchadnezzar challenge and seduce. The first has a cloak of darkness which is almost smoggy from where a Victorian landscape escapes and adds its own disturbed beauty whilst its successor flirts with high drama and stage bred emotiveness whilst again guiding the listener on a classically sculpted venture of shadowed elegance and erosive passion.

    Each track presents its own unique canvas but like a triptych squared, all slot into an emotive painting of sound and subsequent visualisation by its recipients mind as potently shown by the engrossing In The Arms Of Pity. The four parts of The Great Red Dragon though is a real version of that three pictured union, a symphony dedicated to Blake’s series of watercolours with the same title. It is a masterpiece all on its own, a haunting enlightenment which traps and embraces the imagination as potently and innovatively as their inspirations, and if you can study the paintings whilst listening to the movements all the better as they definitely inspire further side by side.

     The album closes around the senses and in presence with firstly the almost meditatively suffocating Eternal Prayer Of Urizen followed by the dark tonal exploration and emotions of Satan In His Original Glory, a piece like the rest which breathes torment and despair whilst bewitching ears and emotions. Finally Lonegoat brings the unique experience to closure with the brief Outro: Leviathan, a caress of music which plays like an epilogue to the shadows and dark dramas before.

    The Blasphemer is an exceptional encounter which cannot be assessed or examined in a mere handful of listens. Like a painting, the album offers something new and provocative with every flight through its dark atmospheres and almost erosive deep emotional textures. Majestic and threatening, it is an album of the year contender.

http://www.goatcraft.net/

10/10

RingMaster 06/03/2014

  Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Entrails – Berzerk

Entrails - Berzerk

    As Swedish death metallers Entrails work on the creation of their next full-length ferocity of terror, the band unleash new single Berzerk, to temper the anticipation and fill the gap to their future expulsion of distinct old school ruin. Consisting of two prime pestilential tracks, the 7” comes swiftly after the band’s split release with Graveyard in January via War Anthem Records. As mentioned it comes as a break in the preparations of Entrails next full onslaught, the band explaining “With a small sidestep from our work in the massive rehearsals for the new album we decided to do a halfway release. The new song ‘Berzerk’ is a straight forward fist of fury and Death metal terror, with some eerie elements. It’s a natural step from our latest album ‘Raging Death’.  It will also appear on the next long player, slightly different in every term as this single was recorded and mixed by Jimmy in Entrails own studio.”

      After the success and power of last album Raging Death last year, it did not take long for anticipation to rear its greedy head for more of the evolving potency and adventure of the band, something Berzerk brings a small and potent meal for. From the opening caustic claws of sonic predation and rhythmic provocation, Berzerk stalks and pressures the senses, sizing them up before the ever vindictive growls of Joakim Svensson abrase with a malevolent narrative and unforgiving squall. The guitars of Jimmy Lundqvist and Pontus Samuelsson snarl and ravage from their first note too but equally as the song submerges into a haunting dark ambience, they entice and seduce with unfussy lures for a precise coaxing. Constantly driven by the antagonistic beats of Adde Mitroulis alongside the prowling rapacious throat of Svensson’s bass, the song is soon returning its voracious jaws and energy upon its prey as the track comes to an uncompromising finale. It is hard to say that there is anything dramatically new from that shown on the last album but certainly you can feel and hear sonic fingers and drifting shadows looking towards stretching the band’s existing boundaries.

    The second song on the single is a cover of the Heavy Load track Dreaming. Entrails take it through their own dark toxicity and instinctive aggressiveness, giving the track a new aspect to explore and enjoy. Though not as impacting as the title track, the song makes a worthy addition to the release and the attention of the listener, the band’s craft and sonic cynicism something different and more intimidatingly intriguing than the original.

    Production wise the release does feel more like a demo which is no real issue, its sound dense without the dangerous spark you expect from the band but with the album yet to near the recording stages you get the impression that certainly Berzerk has a little more to find and give before its appearance on the full-length. Nevertheless the Metal Blade Records released single provides a satisfying and tempting snack as we wait for the next scourge from the band.

https://www.facebook.com/Entrails666

7.5/10

RingMaster 06/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Endless Chaos – Rejected Atrocity EP

 

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    Unveiling their introduction through a three track ravishment which simple devours the senses, Canadian metallers Endless Chaos have announced themselves upon the world in impressive style. Forging an inventively refreshing blend of blackened thrash with death metal, the Winnipeg based quintet take little time raising a greedy appetite for their incendiary sound through the Rejected Atrocity EP. Simultaneously the promise drenched fury also ignites a major anticipation for further things to come from the intensive band, expectations of even greater triumphs a hard to resist thought taking the premise of the outstanding debut from the band.

     With a presence and sound which embraces chaos and enterprise in equal depths, Endless Chaos has forged a formidable reputation through their live performances which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skeletonwitch, 3 Inches of Blood, Wretched, Aborted, Toxic Holocaust, and Kataklysm to great success and acclaim. The next step on their emerging domination of local and further afield metal scenes comes with their first EP, a released inspired by classic horror movie Re-Animator, a film which is definitely akin to the unbridled lust of their creativity. The self-released, Ryan Forsyth produced, Rejected Atrocity is a teaser and taster of things to come from the band, in the words of Jordan Dorge, the EP will “give you the best taste of what’s to come of Endless Chaos,” the vocalist going on to say “When we were writing these songs, we really took in everything we love about death, thrash and black metal and incorporated it into Endless Chaos.”

    The title track violates the senses first, rampaging riffs and pummelling rhythms an instant assault. Within the torrent of sonic abuse the guitars of Mike Menza and Mike Toews also unleash a twisting irresistible clutch of grooves and hooks to immediately seduce the imagination, their potent bait a bewitching and similarly lethal distraction from the carnivorous rhythms uncaged by drummer James Burton and bassist Jeff Humarang. It is a breath-taking and riveting web of intrigue and devastation from the opening second, the thrash driven ferocity speared and veined by the some of the richest compelling craft and imagination heard in a long time from a thrash/death tempest. The vocals of Dorge parade a vitriolic squall as intimidating as the sounds and invention at work, his slight variation in delivery enough to leave satisfaction ripe and song enhanced as well as listener blissful.

     The scintillating start is soon matched by the following Sacrificial Ritual, it a bestial consumption cored by serpentine vocal malevolence, unpredictable spite, and a maze of ingenious adventure sculpted by the continuing to impress technical craft and vindictive imagination of the band. Like its predecessor, the song is unafraid to launch into unexpected and bold detours whilst the guitars again carve a sonic sculpture which scars and invigorates the senses. The bass of Humarang brings an even throatier predation to the cyclone of malice whilst Burton simply splinters bone and synapse with a continued display of skill and aggression.

   The closing Condemned to the Pit drives at the jugular with its thrash bred energy and sinews crushing all before whilst rhythmically the track batters and concusses with hungry rabidity. As with all the songs, the onslaught is only half of the picture. The track reaches its mid-point and seemingly takes a step back to survey the damage, rhythms still plundering and provoking but sonically the song relaxes somewhat. It is a mere moment in time though as the feverish ferocity is soon letting its death/thrash rage and expertise off the reins to bring the unquenchable storm to a staggering close.

The Rejected Atrocity EP is just exceptional, a must have impressive and towering debut to inject real excitement into the world of metal. It sparks, without reserve, the belief that Endless Chaos will be not only a prolifically important joy ahead but one which will help take thrash, death, and metal itself into new mouthwatering realms.

https://www.facebook.com/endlesschaoss

http://endlesschaos1.bandcamp.com/album/rejected-atrocity

10/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

 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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