Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain

byAlexMorgan_01

Cannibal Corpse and their sound need no introduction to metal fans and in many ways nor does the band’s new slice of savagery, A Skeletal Domain. The thirteen studio album from the US death metallers feeds all the wants and expectations of the genre and fans yet also manages within its contagious surface turbulence, to explore new twists of endeavour and vehemence soaked adventure in the depths of songs. The distinctive fury is a fresh if not startling evolution in the onslaught we have all come to know and assume from the band; one providing the rich flavours the quintet is renowned for whilst providing a breath-taking rampage through the senses to again seriously ignite the passions.

A Skeletal Domain also sees the band move from the production of Erik Rutan who added certain richness to previous releases Kill, Evisceration Plague, and Torture. For the new album, Cannibal Corpse has recruited the talents of Mark Lewis at Audio Hammer Studios who has produced the recent albums of The Black Dahlia Murder and DevilDriver amongst many. His touch allows clarity to the emerging twists of ideation and sound within the violations posing as songs. The elements are arguably still not as vocal and instantly striking as maybe they could be but they are allowed a platform to increasingly tantalise from by a production which seems clearer and more conducive to the enterprise than on earlier encounters.

Lyrically there are no surprises; blood, gore, and violence providing aural ‘horror movies’ within the sonic and rhythmic severity as immediately shown by opener High Velocity Impact Spatter. From an intimidating waspish sonic mesh of sound, the track pounds ears with some of the heaviest swung beats heard this year, every swipe thunderous within the brewing assault of corrosive riffery and psychotic sonic endeavour. There is no escaping that recognisable Cannibal Corpse toxicity or the addictive web spun by the guitars of Rob Barrett and Pat O’Brien. It is an intensive and contagious furnace exploding within the ears, driven venomously by the thick caustic growls of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher and the increasingly intrusive beats of Paul Mazurkiewicz. There is always a ready and waiting hunger for the band’s sound and its appetite is potently fed by the song with extra flavouring from the swirling invention cast by the guitarists.

Both Sadistic Embodiment and Kill or Become seduce and ravage the air as well as senses with skilled animosity, the first a barbarous torrent of rabid riffery and bone splintering rhythms bound in a merciless predation. The bass of A Skeletal DomainAlex Webster growls spitefully from within the severe enticement, another aspect of the band given closer attention on the album compared to some earlier incitements. Its successor finds an even more bestial air to its prowling heavyweight presence, its muscles flexed through every hellacious swing from Mazurkiewicz and the venom unleashed through a horde of rapacious riffs and the increasingly contagious vocal suasion of Fisher. The track is a maelstrom of malicious enterprise, one threatening to become unravelled at times, especially around a senses searing solo, but always checks itself to parade a pestilential and irresistible scourge.

The title track tears through ears and imagination next, its intensive stomp flaring with malice and rhythmic sadism whilst vocally it sprays inhospitable emotion like a sand storm. A welcome variation in gait and intensity offers an intriguing turn whilst another potent solo flames excitingly across the track adding to the weighty fascination of the proposition. At first glance the following Headlong into Carnage is a close relation to its predecessor but eventually emerges with a distinctive tone and ruinous attitude which is as compelling as it is enjoyably oppressive.

The deranged and blackened suasion of The Murderer’s Pact is next, guitars crafting an addictive and destructive sonic trap to which vocals and rhythms make available their rewarding yet ruinous hues. It is an absorbing challenge, the band delving into tortured shadows with open relish and magnetic invention. The sonic ingenuity of the solo within its haunted climate is exceptional, not outstaying its potency but adding enough colour and radiance to light the cavernous malevolence of the song. Its triumph is matched by the pernicious lumbering atmosphere of Funeral Cremation, its increasingly expanding and toxic voice breeding an uncomfortable and invigorating onslaught of coarse sonic rabidity and rhythmic voracity. It is the winding groove of the song though which lights the passions most of all, its crawling temptation irresistible within the tempestuous climate around it.

The viciously chilling and tenaciously compelling Icepick Lobotomy and the enthrallingly inventive Vector of Cruelty ensure senses and emotions are ablaze with pleasure and breath-less satisfaction but it is after their outstanding efforts that the album hits its pinnacle, the final trio of tracks leaving the strongest lingering impression. Bloodstained Cement steps forward first and from its drama fuelled start unleashes an insatiable rampage of hypnotic rhythmic turmoil and contagion drenched riffery. There is a flowing addictiveness to the track which soaks every aspect of its unrelenting swarm of sound and ideation. The track is an exhaustive treat but soon surpassed by the brilliant Asphyxiate to Resuscitate. As expected there is no peace from its poisonous intent and rabid jaws, guttural growls and drums a finely honed and barbaric blitz on ears whilst guitars and bass combine to sculpt an impossibly infectious malignant gale.

The album closes with the hellacious creative fury of Hollowed Bodies, a last explosion of bad blood and ear seducing grooves within a back breaking intensity. It is a scintillating end to a mouth-watering release, seeing Cannibal Corpse at their best with very loud whispers of new exploits to tantalise within a recognisable presence and sound which fans will willingly embrace. The band’s best album can and will be debated but one of their most pleasing and enjoyable A Skeletal Domain definitely is.

A Skeletal Domain is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/item/27304

http://www.cannibalcorpse.net/

RingMaster 17/09/2014

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Antropomorphia – Rites ov Perversion

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The return in 2009 of Dutch death metallers Antropomorphia brought with it a potent impact on the extreme metal scene especially through the band’s acclaimed 2012 second album Evangelivm Nekromantia. Now the Tilburg quartet unleash its successor Rites ov Perversion, another accomplished and compelling savaging to put a spark into the heart of death metal. It is not an encounter to reshape or offer new realms for the genre but over time certainly one to thrill and add another tasty flavour to its impressive year.

Formed in 1990, Antropomorphia embraced inspirations from the likes of Celtic Frost, Possessed, Death, Autopsy, and Venom as they honed their own uncompromising and honest sound. The demo Bowel Mutilation in 1992 gripped attention, subsequently becoming a long sought after encounter among underground metal fans. Its release led to the band signing with Swiss label Blackened Recordings and the unleashing of Necromantic Love Songs a year later. Its well-received release was followed by band member’s time being taken up by their other projects and Antropomorphia being put on indefinite hiatus from 1999. They did not restrain from writing songs though and in 2009 the band sprung back to life, going on to sign with Metal Blade Records and unleashing Evangelivm Nekromantia. Reawakening interest and drawing new attention to the band, as well as almost getting banned by German authorities because of its violent and occult themed topics, the album led to festival appearances for the band at Neurotic Deathfest and Extremefest. Now Rites ov Perversion is poised to stir things up with its vicious and raw intent, as well as easy to suspect a greater hunger for the band’s imposing presence.

There is no escaping the force and ferocity of the album as opener Temphioth Workings draws up to ears on a crest of rampage riffs and thumping rhythms, all orchestrated by the vocal roar and vehemence of Ferry Damen. Expelling Antropomorphia - Rites ov Perversioneven greater malevolence through the dark tones of Marc van Stiphout’s bass and the increasingly vindictive swipes of Marco Stubbe, the track proceeds to ravish and seduce the senses and imagination respectively. Grooves nag and thrill throughout as the sonic invention of Jos van den Brand and Damen persistently entangle thoughts and song. It is a great start with nastiness to its breath which is just as rich in the following Carved to Pieces, an openly contagious and irritable proposition. Grooves again steal attention and passions, veining the inhospitable climate and intensity of the thrilling offering for an irresistible persuasion.

The pestilential predation of Inanimatus Absqui Anima comes next; its body a crawling ruinous enticement which stalks ears and emotions yet expels a swing to its beats and grooves which belies the toxic animosity drenching its appealing heart. Its success is matched by Crowned in Smoldering Ash, another rapacious proposal from the band taking its time to size up its victim before spilling demonic and sonic toxicity through its hostile design. Neither track matches the heights of the first pair of songs yet bind ears and thoughts in a healthy dose of creative malevolence to keep appetite for the album greedy.

     Nekrovaginal Secretions is a romantic little number if being smothered in venomous riffs and salacious sonic causticity lights your fire. Grooves twist emotions around their acidic flame with ease, again seducing without reserve as a punishing and creative tsunami of rhythms from Stubbe shows little restraint to their precisely skilled animosity. It is a glorious violation of the senses swiftly matched by the ravenous presence of Gospel ov Perversion. The track is a maelstrom of enterprise and raw hostility, merging a twisted melodic radiance with blistering sonic endeavour and rancor.

Through the hellacious and addictive bad blood of Morbid Rites and the intriguing and riveting Tevfelskvnst, band and album reinforce their already virulent animus with compelling force and charm. One thing about the album is the familiarity between groove structures and at times sound, yet they are woven into the individual characters of songs with an imaginative touch which defuses any over familiarity as strongly shown by the second of the two. The track rumbles and snarls from start to finish, the bass of van Stiphout especially inescapable bait within a torrential and impressively evolving landscape.

Completed by a powerfully enticing cover of the Death track Open Casket, the album is a formidable and thoroughly exciting proposition. Certainly it is not venturing into realms unknown but for primal yet organically inventive death metal there have been few releases better this year.

Rites ov Perversion is available now via Metal Blade Records @ http://www.emp.de/antropomorphia-rites-ov-perversion-cd/art_288907/

http://antropomorphia-official.com/

Ringmaster 17/09/2014

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Krullur – Grounds For Termination

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Hailing from Houston, extreme metallers Krullur have recently linked up with Horror Pain Gore Death Productions and their first fury from the union comes in the blistering shape of the Grounds For Termination EP. Six tracks brewing up a raw and corrosive storm from a healthy collusion of death and thrash metal, the release is a tenaciously satisfying savagery. Not an encounter to roar outside of established templates it is fair to say but one feeding heavily all the wants of a slab of extreme provocation.

Formed in 1989, the band is no newcomer to unleashing ravenous hostility. From early demo Enormity in 1990, the trio has drawn attention through the Godvomit Compilation, a split release with Tumorhead in 1996, and debut album Open Ass Surgery in 2001, amongst a handful of releases. As evidenced by the new encounter, the band uncages as proposition which blends the darkest contagious and hostile elements of thrash and death metal with a further blackened intent and punk predation. Grounds For Termination is their new assault, and though the threesome of band founders Jay Langston (drums) and Marty Langston (guitar) alongside Diego Garza (vocals/bass) who joined the band in 2009,has not uncaged a game changer, it is a release to turn new heads their way and offer a thoroughly enjoyable violation.

Krullur take a chunk out of ears straight away as first track Bringer of Destruction flails with viciously swinging rhythms and similarly driven riffs to set off the onslaught. It is just a grabbing of attention though as once in control the song uncages an infectious stroll of bass hooks and scything beats aligned to caustic scythes of guitar. It is potent thrash bred bait which strides antagonistically over the senses and into the imagination, the punkish vocal growl of Garza adding to the raucous brawl of sound and energy. An abrasive and raw confrontation, the song makes for a captivating start with its Toxic Holocaust meets Sarcofago like ferocity and intensity.

Necromancer of Death follows, building on the appealing entrance of the EP with its classic heavy metal furnace of aggression and enterprise. The guitar spins a web of sonic intrigue and melodic craft which manages to be pleasingly vocal and open within the otherwise oppressive and ferocious weight of the track. To this drums and bass sculpt a demanding yet catchy suffocation, increasing the violent lure and grip of the song. Its success is surpassed by the outstanding Designed for Failure. From its first second, the thrash fuelled tempest strides over and tramples the senses, its gait launching from a predatory stalking to an unbridled assault before combining both for the remainder of its impressive fury. Vocals and guitar steal attention with their punk and melodic enticement respectively, but overall the track is a punchy rage which leaves satisfaction full.

Both Pay by Pain and No Holds Barred provide a distinct and unrelenting savagery, the first a carnivorous monsoon of energy and malevolence but a tempest veined by riveting guitar invention whilst its successor ventures into a more punk rock seeded inhospitality. The song is an exciting blaze of sonic endeavour and rhythmic sadism but again a track which manages to be addictively catchy, its thrash swing an invigorating temptation in the merciless and corrosive rampage.

The EP comes to an end with Infestation, a slower spiteful proposition compared to earlier tracks which preys on the senses and gnaws on the emotions with its vehement coated frenzy of rhythmic incitement and sonic causticity. It makes a fine end to a strongly pleasing release, and though Krullur is not opening up new avenues with Grounds For Termination, the band is definitely putting itself in a bigger window with its enjoyable attack on the senses.

Grounds For Termination is available now via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions @ https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/grounds-for-termination

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Krullur/154413801249768

RingMaster 17/09/2014

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Miseo – Lunatic Confessions

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A brawling roar and intensive tapestry of the essential essences of nineties old school and modern death metal, Lunatic Confessions the debut album from German metallers Miseo, is an uncompromising fury which what it lacks in originality it makes up for with ravenous enterprise and imaginative hostility. It is a release which does not startle but easily wakens a greedy hunger to come back for more again and again.

Hailing out of Marburg, the band is made up of vocalist/guitarist Fernando Thielmann (MTGM, Carnal Ghoul), bassist André Rink, and drummer Timo Claas (Lay Down Rotten). Formed at the beginning of last year, the trio caught the imagination if arguably not the success it warranted with The Dead Will Predominate EP a few months later. Now they unleash Lunatic Confessions to evolve the promise of their first offering with a ferocious and captivating tempest of sound and intent. It is death metal without any pretensions but also a proposition unafraid to be adventurous and inventively expressive within the existing scenery of the genre.

The Blacksmith Records released incitement opens with the brief and expressive intro Trapped In Veil before exploding with the exhausting and thrilling storm of Daddy’s Girl. The track rages sonically and vocally from the start Lunatic_Confessions_CD_finalwhilst riffs rub incessantly across the senses as heavy duty rhythms tenderise the same surface. It is a striking eruption of sound and intent which creatively mixes up its assault in gait and intensity, grooves and sonic intrigue as prevalent as an inescapable hostility.

Greed Kills equally takes little time to encase ears in a rigorous examination of riffs, bone splintering rhythms, and vocal animosity. The track almost has a swagger to its maliciousness and dark hearted grooving, enslaving imagination and emotions as swiftly as its predecessor. It is a cantankerous treat of an aural bullying which is then shadowed by the outstanding title track. Unrelenting repetitive grooves bind ears first before its slower roam over the senses casts imposing shadows and appetite igniting temptation. Equally impressing with its sinew sculpted malevolence which drives drums and bass especially, the song is an early best track contender. Its lingering qualities followed and matched by the inhospitable predation of Skin Dress. The track stalks the listener, twisting with spiteful grooves and uncompromising rhythmic incitement whilst vocally Thielmann and band find their most caustic malice yet. It is a bordering on hypnotic consumption of ears and another pinnacle in the increasingly impressing release.

Both Überzucht und Untergang and Harlots For God keep things tempestuous and highly satisfying, even if neither grips quite as tightly as the previous pair of songs. The first harangues ears with an insatiable fierce blaze of riffs entwined with scorching grooves caged by a rhythmic provocation which alone numbs the senses. Its successor prowls with bestial intent whilst flirting with the imagination through veins of acidic melodies and sonic seduction. Both songs spark with extreme enterprise which only incites further hunger for the release which Everybody’s Victim feeds with its erosive savagery and venomous narrative.

It is impossible not to have addictive tendencies towards Lunatic Confessions by this point, every track presenting slightly familiar but invigorating and refreshing twists to their death metal offering, as evidenced by the barbarous No Guts No Glory and its blend of fiercely nagging riffery and creative seducing seeded from melodic toxins. It is an irresistible baiting not quite matched by Five Star Doc yet the song with its haunting opening and fiendish stroll still provides a richly satisfying proposition before final track Ingrate Deadbeat uncages its own threatening maelstrom of extreme vehement and hellacious intent.

Lunatic Confessions is a blistering and thrilling encounter which offers everything good and addictive about death metal. It may not be setting new boundaries but it leaves only the thickest pleasure which is more than enough to wholeheartedly recommend Miseo’s impressive release.

Lunatic Confessions is available now via Blacksmith Records @ http://www.miseo.de/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMiseo

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/09/2014

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Heboïdophrenie – Origin Of Madness

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It may not be healthy and it most probably will end up in physical damage of some sort or another but being ravaged by French metallers Heboïdophrenie is one of our new favourite pastimes thanks to their debut album Origin Of Madness. A mercilessly brutal and carnivorous onslaught of death metal which has been equally bred from the seeds of thrash metal whilst employing certain deathcore voracity, the release like the band’s sound, is an exhaustingly uncompromising and almost theatrically creative savagery which sets senses and imagination afire. Whether the band is carving out sonic atrocities which are as original as they could be can be argued but it is certainly one of the most demandingly satisfying and enjoyable extreme metal releases in recent years.

Erupting from out of Bordeaux in 2010, with influences from the likes of Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Ingested, The Black Dahlia Murder, Meshuggah, Cerebral Bore, Whitechapel, Carnifex, and Kataklysm raging in their own depraved invention, Heboïdophrenie were soon ignited local stages and gaining a potent reputation with their live shows, a presence pushed into a new spotlight home and further afield by Origin Of Madness.

From an Intro of hell bound human suffering, the album explodes into life with the track Heboïdophrenie. Instantly that thrash breeding shows its potency in the predatory striding of the riffs and rhythmic intensity. It is not an assault a0960544968_2with overwhelms but definitely sets the senses and imagination on edge ready for the coarse guttural growls of the vocals. They are as bestial as the sounds and unafraid to twist their delivery with varied guises. It has to be admitted we have a soft spot for porcine squeals within metal and they do not come any finer and more riveting than those offered by the song and album. The song continues to examine and test ears and senses, rewarding them with strenuous slab of extreme provocation before making way for the outstanding Feast Of Death. Irresistible grooves bind ears from its first second, intensifying with every second as their virulently nagging toxins work on the senses and passions. The track snarls and grinds vocally and sonically with irresistible hostility and merciless rhythmic provocation but it is that deliciously nagging of grooves which seduces and enslaves the passions.

Both Decay and The Butcher keep that ferocious tempting going, the first another stalking incitement which sizes up the listener whilst preying on their senses and psyche. As all songs though, it is not happy settling for one form of attack, expelling urgent bursts of destructive intent and dirty energy within its slower ear crowding incitement. The second of the two is an even more intensively intrusive stalker, its heavy footed gait coming with a rhythmic swagger and jagged riffery which belies its predacious intent. Returning swinish vocal squalls interrupt and enhance the intimidation whilst again the song agreeably shuffles the charge of its violation.

Rotten drives forward with its own predominately thrash seeded fury, merging it with heavy tempestuous stabs of riffs and beats throughout. A mouth-watering surge of sonic invention spears the track too, it’s solo moment a seductive lance in the pestilence of the track whilst the vocals continue to impress in their strength and varied persuasion. It is a masterful malefaction straight away matched by the unrelenting demands of Bonnet M. The drums mix up a stride of pack like military inspired strength with a brawl of dervish bred swipes to provide an insatiable and infectious spine to the inhospitable emprise. Across this guitars weave blistering sonic netting which sears and entices dramatically. Every song on the album is a bane to expectations but this is to the fore of thrilling unpredictability.

Heavy metal grooves bring their potent expression to the warlike character of Death To All, adding contagious colour to the voracious malevolence and intensity of the track. It is another skilled and irrepressible blend which flirts with the imagination whilst devouring the senses, as emulated in the anthemic Morbid Satyriasis. Old school metal spawned grooves also frequent the scintillating and gloriously barbarous track. Vocals and riffs chew the senses whilst hooks and grooves spill malice soaked seduction with every note. It is a brilliant hunting of the psyche, the listener the quarry to its creative and jaundiced vendetta.

The album closes firstly with Cadaver, a final impressive trespass where vocals worm virulently under the skin and adversarial rhythms conduct the sonic tempest of rage and flesh scorching enterprise. It is another contagion which never relinquishes its tight grip, and a last reminder of how infectious extreme metal can be in the right inventive hands and creative attitude. It is followed by the expressive instrumental Outro, an evocative close to an exhilarating encounter.

   Origin Of Madness is a provocation which turns existing essences and inventiveness into something belonging solely to Heboïdophrenie, and is mercilessly exciting not forgetting powerfully compelling.

Origin of Madness is available now @ http://heboidophrenie.bandcamp.com/album/origin-of-madness

http://heboidophrenie.wix.com/heboidophrenie

9/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

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From its outstanding cover art to its heaviest predatory note, Outbreak of Infection the new EP from Canadian death metallers Display of Decay, is one richly appetising and satisfying proposition. Unleashing five tracks which crawl and lumber over the senses with tenacious and skilled purpose, the release pushes the Edmonton based quartet another few strides towards the brightest spotlight. Maybe it does not hold any major surprises but without doubt the EP makes for a fresh and rigorously protagonist which is thoroughly compelling.

Formed in 2007, the band took little time in grabbing local attention with their old school bred death metal which, as shown on the new release, is unafraid to add doses of thrash and doom seeded ferociousness to the mix. First EP Blood Borne in 2010 brought the band to an instant attention which their band’s self-titled debut album two years later stretched even further, aided by their live presence which has seen Display of Decay infest western Canada with their sound whilst sharing stages with the likes of The Faceless, Origin, and Beyond Creation amongst many. Self-released as its three predecessors but their first international release, Outbreak of Infection has the potency to take the quartet to greater and wider attention, something hard not to see happening.

Display of Decay has recently expanded to a four piece with the addition of rhythm guitarist Jeremy Puffer, but Outbreak of Infection sees the combined talent and might of guitarist/vocalist Sean Watson, bassist/vocalist Tyler Display of Decay - coverGoudreau, and drummer Avery Desmarais uncage its creative pestilence on the senses. Opening track Born Of Rot immediately imposes itself on ears and imagination, riffs savage in touch and raw in voice. The steady rapacious start is soon striding with a thrash urgency and hunger as the heavy guttural tones of Goudreau growl into action. The song’s irresistible entrance loses none of its potency and voracity as the song expands with sonic tendrils amongst bestial bass lines and thumping rhythms. The band cites the likes of Pantera, Deicide, Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, and Bolt Thrower as influences and as the song tangles intimidating prowls and fury led surges essences of those hints come out in the flavour of the track, and EP overall.

The excellent start is continued by the following Manchurian Candidate, its reserved but open swing of riffs and short grooves infectious bait for ears to greedily latch on to. With a bestial charm, the song stalks the senses whilst flirting with strands of sonic enterprise which may not seduce as forcibly as the unrelenting heavy hunt of riffs and rhythms but certainly sparks a healthy intrigue and enjoyment through the craft and colour of Watson’s guitar. The song flows seamlessly into Praise The Gore, Goudreau and Desmarais setting up an imposing cage of rhythmic enticement to which Watson adds blistering sonic hues. Once again the band is adept at merging a furious charge and reserved gait with a flick of a chord, ensuring that predictability is never allowed to breed. As the last song, it does not quite rival the heights of the first track, but both ignite thoughts and emotions with a resourceful and inventive voracity which raises the pleasure found in the EP to another level.

The title track sears air and ears with a lashing of captivating grooves and a barrage of hostile rhythms all prowled over by Goudreau’s barbarous vocals. There is inescapable virulence to its enticement and energy which enslaves attention and emotions given extra potency by the dark intent and throaty twang of the bass as well as the inventive flames of the guitar. The song is incessant in its imposing presence and magnetic invention, and quite merciless in its hold of the passions.

Outbreak of Infection is brought to a fine close by a cover of the Kiss track Black Diamond, the song given a blackened make-over with death metal predation. It is a captivating version providing a pleasing finale to an excellent encounter. Display of Decay may have been Canadian metal’s pride and joy before but with the release of Outbreak of Infection maybe the rest of the world will now be making claims to the band’ time and attention.

The Outbreak of Infection EP is available now @ http://displayofdecay.bandcamp.com/

http://www.displayofdecay.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

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Various Artists – Operation: Underground

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There are nowhere enough compilations albums around these days especially when it comes to unleashing and promoting the potency of the underground scene. The seventies and eighties saw a plethora of important collections bringing impressive introductions to hordes of bands and often making a springboard for those propositions to find healthier and stronger horizons. Today it seems almost a rare treat to be presented with such an encounter, though amongst those which have emerged there have been many impressing releases. Adding to that list of triumphs and setting a template and example for others to follow is Operation: Underground, the new release out of New England independent label Bluntface Records. Consisting of 27 of the most potent attention grabbing extreme metal bands from the world’s underground, it is an outstanding slab of creative hostility and malicious introductions. The fact that it is released as a free download only adds to the might and weight of the uncompromising incitement.

Created and sculpted by label owner Otto Kinzel, himself renowned for his solo work and with his band Chemical Distance, Operation: Underground it is fair to say has no real fillers in its body, something else few releases of this size can claim. It comes with a showcase of quality and talent which demands close attention, exploring everything from black and death metal to grindcore and other varied extreme provocations. The album quite simply goes for the jugular from its opening moment and is unrelenting until the last pleasing violation of its final track.

Operation: Underground gets off to a voraciously impressive start through its opening pair of bands. Hailing from New York, brutal death metallers Abdicate make the first blunt incision with their track Burning Ascendance. Taken from the album Fragmented Atrocities, it is a furious decaying of the senses with grind seeded carnality. Clad with inescapable malice driven by gutturally spewed vocals which themselves are aligned to rampant riffs and a violently rhythmic tenacity, the song instantly chains and enslaves ears and thoughts with its hellacious intensity and scintillating causticity. Perfectly raw and loaded with exciting potential, it is an immense start soon left in the wake of the following Human Decimator. Uncaged by Massachusetts five piece Carnivora, the track from an opening sample lure wraps ears in a venomously addictive groove and angrily cantankerous rhythms. It is a staggering start swiftly pushed on by the outstanding vocals and magnetic signs of guitar and predatory bass baiting. Subsequently entwining groove and thrash in a unique explosion of flavoursome toxic metal, song and band instantly take a swing at top track honours and to be honest never relinquish their hold despite numerous challenges. From the Danvers hailing band’s excellent Eternal album, the song with its predecessor sets a high marker for the album which to be fair it never really strays too far from.

Ireland’s Legion of Wolves comes next with their death metal spawned track Kings Of Tyranny. Taken from recent release Legio Luporum XIV, the song prowls ears and imagination with a black hearted demeanour and similarly coloured sounds. There is a pestilential air and intimidation to every riff and swing of sticks as well as with increasing malice the gruff vocal squalls, but also an emerging melodic craft which transfixes as it tempers the enmity of the track. From the Irish success both US band Goreality with the rapier like corrosiveness of Skin On, Skin Off and Florida’s Echaton keep imagination and satisfaction high, if not quite matching the early songs. The first of the two creates an incessant thrash fuelled death metal rapacity which is as easy crawling over the senses as it is discharging an adrenaline lit trespass whilst its successor with Behold The Nexus offers a more technical premise compared to its barbarous predecessor. Do not expect to have things easy though as the song roars and scythes with jaundiced respect and impressive individual prowess over the senses and into the passions.

Markradonn come next with a track from Final Dying Breath EP called Internal Hate Unbounded. One of metals most individually sounding propositions, the Florida band create an experimental tapestry of death and black metal filtered through a progressive and symphonic rapacity, resulting as the song shows in a startling imagination fuelling encounter. Its ferociously compelling presence is left a little pale though by the caustic sonic irritancy of The Seventh Trumpet Sounds from Arkansas duo Critical Dismemberment. The song is an abrasing and unpolished smog of bad blooded death metal soaked in inventive rancor and appealing potential proving ears with healthy pleasure.

Maine’s Sacrichrist suffer from an unflattering production to their song No Savior to really impress though it does not fully smother a promise which suggests more than it delivers. Nevertheless the track grows in strength and persuasion over time to make the band one to keep an eye on alongside extreme heavy metal quintet Wrathsputin. The Massachusetts band unleash a gripping fury of sonic nastiness and rhythmic bullying in their song A.N.U.S. (A Nation Under Satan), to create another riveting moment in the album, especially with the potent enticement of contagious grooves and melodic spillages which litter the excellent song.

     Green Army from Bangladesh is another to have a diminished success thanks to the poorer recording quality of their song Reborn of the Blackened Phenomenon, though again to be fair it does not stop the accomplished and adventurous skills of the band shining through before The Slip from the excellent Garbage Can takes over. A two-piece from Ottawa, the Canadian band creates an irresistible savagery of slam grind which manages to seduce and scythe through the senses with equal attraction. The song is another setting the loftiest pinnacles on the album definitely not matched for personal tastes by Malcontent Manifestation from Inverticrux. Actually from its first gothic clad doom brewed musical seconds the track flirts with the imagination to reasonably strong success but vocally the New Hampshire band leaves emotions cold and unconvinced, that aspect a maelstrom of textures and styles which will either click for you or not.

Another Irish band in the tasty shape and sound of Syphor step up next, their track For What Remains, from the album of the same name, a predatory blend of thrash and death metal courting many other textures and spices in an 10625117_10202114872106082_8340698001833330811_ninfectiously gripping web of riffs and grooves hosted by great serpentine vocals. The Dublin band easily set themselves as another to explore further as does the ear grabbing Solium Fatalis who follow them. Dead Sands Of Time is a beast of a track, its tone bestial and weight trapping whilst its strenuous grooving and rhythmic animosity spins an inescapable web for thoughts to bask within. Maybe their sound is not rife with originality but certainly the band leaves a hunger for more as insistent as the imposing sounds which breeds it.

Infested Prophecy also fails to a light fire in ears and imagination with Abandon Departure, though there is plenty musically to spark a watch of the Massachusetts band once their blackened malevolence is given a willing production to aid the trio’s musical talent and adventure. Certainly as all the bands they are not lightweight in their offering to the album, the same easily said of both Canada’s Accursed Spawn and Florida’s Prophecy Z14. The first of the pair sear ears with a sonic and rhythmic violence through their song Burned Into Sterility which is as warped and psychotic as it is ridiculously captivating. If wanting some new Cryptopsy or Dying Fetus like sounds then turning to the Ottawa five would be a rewarding move whilst the following protagonists roam and hunt down the senses with a weave of technically driven death metal annihilation to matching success. With a swing and swagger to every element of its tempestuous onslaught, Torn from the Flies is a thought provoking proposal, not as dramatic in its capture as maybe it should be but providing a wholesome and mercilessly ravaging exploit all the same.

New Yorkers Gutted Alive lifts the lid off another stretch of commanding and impressive offerings with their track Force Fed Acid. Arguably the most brutal track on the album it is an addiction fuelled tempest of cruel rhythms punctuating sonic and vocal spite complete with a delicious nagging slingshot of grooves and flesh stripping riffery. The song is a masterful temptation to embrace and fear simultaneously which is matched stride by violent stride by Infection of the Masses from New York sextet Assault on the Living. It also niggles its way in to the psyche, repetitive textures and grooves only adding to the virulent bait and lure of the expansively flavoured sound. One of many bands you immediately feel will not be a secret for much longer they are swiftly emulated in might and quality by My Missing Half. Another foursome from Massachusetts, the Bostonians forge an enthralling canvas of melodic death metal in Empty Dreams which is as enticing with its sonic and melodic colour as it is through its rigorous design of sinew built antagonism. With essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me bringing hues to an otherwise fresh sound and presence, the band add another name to the busy check out list inspired by the album.

Italy’s Symbolyc provide their very palatable style of extreme incitement next, blastbeats and grooves as binding as the alluring vocal predation and melodic veining the stormy heart of 300 Demons. Their fury is as potently enticing as that of German metallers Spreading Miasm and their sonic pestilence The Harvest, a track which is unfussy aural toxicity with every enjoyable twist and violation wished for in an accomplished slab of extreme metal. It also finds an unpredictable invention which lifts a strong song into a great encounter, something not quite discovered by Texans Core of Desolation in their track The Return of Death’s Glorius Design, though it also is not blessed by the most understanding of productions which smothers the chance of greater success as certainly hinted at within the still enjoyable offering.

Operation: Underground begins its closing run with symphonic black metallers Aberration Nexus, the solo project of Chris Meyer from Victoria in Australia. The erosive and immersive embrace of The Solvent That Cleanses The Earth immediately smothers the senses in a melodic expression filtered through a thick atmosphere and sonic rabidity. It is an absorbing if uncomfortable experience pointing to a potential which will flourish ahead with the right touch and scenery for Meyer to grow within. Its strongly satisfying presence makes way for the Egyptian influenced death metal of Romanians Horus, their sound a warm melodic wash over a hostile frame, governed by deep throated vocals. Their track Revelation is an imaginative entwining of symphonic seducing and menacing landscapes which again lays seeds to a keen appetite to learn more before it in turn is followed by the similarly imagination capturing Suffer The Winter from Ohio metallers Vengeance Within. Without courting open originality, song and band cast a shadowed and intrigue rich terrain of potent melodies and jaundiced intensity which casts a widely flavoured and lingering presence to entice more investigation.

The album is closed by Terminality from Californians Dark Measure, yet another band on the release unafraid to explore a merger of styles and ideation to create a fiery and richly appetising conclusion to a tremendous doorway into some of the best emerging bands in extreme metal. Operation: Underground is a thrilling project from a label which lives the independent scene and really does support the cause.

Operation: Underground is available from Tuesday August 26th for free download @ www.bluntfacerecords.com

9.5/10

RingMaster 25/08/2014

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