King of Asgard – Karg

King of Asgard 2014

With their new album our introduction to King of Asgard, expectations of Karg were bred from the influence and suggestion of others. The band’s third album follows the widely acclaimed debut Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and the similarly well-received …to North two years later. The former especially is mentioned in lustful voices so hopes and anticipation for the bands new full-length was keenly high. What emerged is a release which initially did not completely convince. Certainly the band’s raw blackened death metal impressed in weight, craft, and malevolence yet it lay relatively dormant in the passions. As with all releases though the first couple of ventures were mere suggestions and subsequent listens began revealing a much broader and inventive proposition. It would be wrong to say that the album has managed to light a fire in our imagination and passions yet but it has become one tenaciously compelling protagonist over time. How it sits against the previous King of Asgard albums we will have to let others say for now but Karg is definitely an album worth a decent perusal.

The Swedish band was formed in 2008 by vocalist/guitarist Karl Beckman alongside drummer Karsten Larsson, the pair having played together in Viking metallers Mithotyn. Drawing on Norse heritage lyrically, the band released the demo Prince of Märings in 2009 before being joined that same year by bassist Jonas Albrektsson, once of Thy Primordial. The demo drew strong attention from labels and by the December of the same year King of Asgard has signed with Metal Blade Records. Fi’mbulvintr caused a big stir in the metal scene with its release the following year. Recorded with Andy LaRocque, as both the subsequent albums, it strongly thrust the band onto the folk/extreme metal map. Second guitarist Lars Tängmark was then recruited as the band hit the live side of things across 2010/11 before the band settled down to work on and create sophomore album …to North.

The dark and harshly lit soundscape of Karg is the next confrontation for ears and emotions from the band, its title meaning barren in English which is a perfect description of the stark atmosphere it carries, and to be honest of that first initial persuasion. As with all things closer inspection reveals creative nooks and crannies though; the unpredictable elements which breathe and tempt below the surface, and it is undeniable that Karg has a wealth of those lures.

The distant portentous storm of what feels like a brewing battle front makes way for the wonderfully nagging riffery of The Runes of Hel, the guitars calling invitingly from within the still rumbling scenery. Swiftly rampant rhythms are King of Asgard - Kargin league with the inciting guitars, as are soon after the gravelly growls of Beckman. There is virulence to the eventual charge of the track which has attention and appetite recruited keenly, more so as it expands its creative and lyrical narrative. Persistently guided by that niggle of a toxic groove which set it in motion, the track continues to enthral and impress with its at times subtle twists and caustic melodies within the overall intimidation of the song, making for an open attraction to greedily devour.

It is a mighty start which has hopes licking their lips for what is to follow. The Trickster comes next, striding in on imposing riffs to which shards of sonic enticement blazes. It is a magnetic entrance, especially with the group vocal calls, but despite prowling energetically loses its impetus. The grooving lures and crisp rhythms make a forcible draw whilst riffs and vocals roar pleasingly but the track feeds more than defies expectations, missing the inventive colouring of its predecessor. There are engaging twists within it to keep interest and satisfaction high though and make it an encounter you want to explore more, just like its successor Highland Rebellion. Aggression and antagonism is high from its first breath, the call to arms rhythmically and in atmosphere a potent coaxing within and around the menacing textures and attitude of the track. Again though, it lacks the spark to ignite the passions which disappoints, even if ears and imagination are admittedly quite content.

Remnant of the Past marks a shift in the strength of the album, the track returning its appeal to the levels of the first track with adventure and raw enterprise. Its coarse wind of riffs and punchy rhythms makes an intriguing beckoning but it is when the storm drops and the bass takes centre stage with its sinister tone as Beckman’s equally noir lilted vocals snarl out the lyrical bait, that there is a new potency to track and release. The song continues to stalk ears with roaming riffs and concussive rhythms but reined in by that threatening air. The song persistently surprises to incite a new hunger for the release, its winding melodic tempting and group vocals adding extra taste to the richly appetising proposition. It is soon left in the shade of the outstanding Omma though. From an elegant piano crafted caress the track builds a brooding dusty squall of sonic and rhythmic intimidation. It is not hostile but certainly warlike which is accentuated by the great vocal drone which comes in, its primal chant like a meditative tribal coming together in preparation for battle. That intensity erupts with warring rhythms and vocal causticity but bound again by delicious melodic straps of enterprise and emotively atmospheric textures. Ultimately barbarous in its intent there is also a seduction to the song which leaves thoughts and passions basking.

Both The Heritage Throne and Huldran keep things at a heightened level, the first especially contagious in its creative suasion. The track strolls in with rhythmic muscles poised and confident swaggering riffs. The bass finds a gutsier growl too which only adds to the captivating and bruising rapacity of the song. It is another track unafraid to explore different avenues, arguably too few of the songs doing so upon Karg. With slow moves into clean harmonies over melodic respites and equally restrained crawls of heavy weight predation veined by majestic sonic hues, the song is an enthralling offering. Its successor is pure vitriol in sound and presence, a furious rabidity but veined by irresistible grooves and intrigue clad ideation. Many of the songs on the album are slow burners in persuasion, this more than most but it evolves into one of the most eagerly digested incitements over time.

The album is concluded by firstly Rising, a brutally imposing and exciting encounter which also takes time to permeate thoughts and feelings but does so with a tenacity and tempest of sound and imagination which leads to a stealing of full praise, and lastly a brilliant cover of Bathory’s Total Destruction. I know this will upset a great many but with its punk/thrash fuel and urgency, and outright inhospitable infectiousness, the track takes the original to another level and along with Omma is the pinnacle of the album.

Karg has still not lit a fire in the belly but with each and every listen just grows and brings a stronger persuading and is easy to whole heartedly recommend.

Karg is available via Metal Blade Records now @ http://www.metalblade.com/kingofasgard/

http://www.kingofasgard.com/

8/10

RingMaster 23/07/2014

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Vile Regression – Empires

Vile Regression Promo 2014

Irish metallers Vile Regression are no strangers to acclaim, their debut release coming under eager praise but you can only feel that it was fore play for a much stronger and fevered attention once new EP Empires consumes ears. The release is a stunning onslaught of sonic voracity forged in the imagination of technical metal and ferocity of extreme metal in its broadest diversity. The band has inspired comparisons to the likes of Death, Opeth, and Gojira, and listening to Empires it is understandable but whereas at times other technically fired bands bewitch with their skills before falling into indulgences, Vile Regression sculpt real slabs of brutal invention. Their tracks are built on riffs and grooves which come with lethal hooks and melodic tempting, all aspects treated with the same love and attention as the technical alchemy at work. This is openly evident in Empires, a clutch of songs which leave ears gloating and passions bulging.

The seeds of the Dublin band began back in 2007 when brothers Barry (guitar) and Kenn Christie (bass) formed a band which went under a few names for early demos until settling as Visitor Q and releasing a debut EP to strong responses. 2010 saw the addition of drummer Robb Behan and the band name changing to Vile Regression. The Pattern Evolves EP was unveiled the following year to, as mentioned, keen critical praise, its success leading to the band landing support slots with bands such as Dyscarnate and Fleshgod Apocalypse. A line-up change saw vocalist Padraig Croke and guitarist Brian Brady joining the brothers and Behan in 2013, which was followed by a support slot with Unearth and subsequently the recording of Empires. It has been a strong rise for the band over the years but with the new release it would be hard to be surprised if the band now found itself to the fore of extreme metal such its triumph.

Ears are immediately challenged as opener Tides confronts their anticipation, thumping rhythms grabbing instant attention to which swirling sonic endeavour sparks the imagination. It is a potent lure which evolves into a fiercely front_coverrousing tempest as the swipes of Behan trigger a maelstrom of bass intimidation, raging vocals, and senses binding sonic causticity. It is a dramatic and feverish incitement which never loses its irresistible lure even under the cascading, creatively carnivorous technical exploration of the band. It is a seamless union, one as mentioned which feels united in every intent rather than elements trying to outshine others. Between the Buried and Me comes to mind during the track but only as a spice to something scintillatingly original.

The following Raze the Complexity similarly needs little time to inflame the senses, guitars dancing seductively and with agitated endeavour across ears as the grouchy growls of Croke spill hope linked animosity. It is increasingly magnetic bait which only increases its toxicity as the guitars flirt with the imagination through ingenious designs and craft. Just as masterfully contagious though are the merciless and adventurous rhythmic incitement of Behan and the corrosively riveting riffs of bass and guitar. Not one note or twist in the song comes without scintillating creative tenacity but it never dips into the realms of excess either, every alignment of savagery and technical enthralment a gripping and easily accessible drama.

The brief instrumental Dream of the Red Chamber allows a breath to be swallowed, though its melodic beauty then takes away the next before moving into the outstanding predacious storm of Thought Replication. The new track lurches with a sonic tempting which swiftly enslaves appetite and emotions. Sinew driven riffs add ravenous shadows to ever grizzled and compelling vocals, whilst the emerging creative emprise spreads elegant and mouth-watering tendrils. Not as intensively aggression as the first pair of tracks, the song bellows at and charms the senses in equal measure, their fluid union a through captivation from ear to passions.

It is hard to relay the skills at play and the even more impressive merger of that brilliance into the grooving almost bestial rapacious heart of this and other songs, that ridiculously thrilling success repeated and enhanced with The Abstract. For all the references which flirt with thought across the release, this song also imposes a veining of inhospitality which could be Ferium or Killswitch Engage bred , this again showing the broadness and depth of the band’s sound. The track continues to gnaw on and subdue the senses, its ferocity coming with a rabidity which is flirtatious and speared with staggered and jagged unpredictability and ear teasing sonic fascination.

Another mesmeric instrumental sooths next, Down to a Sunless Sea as radiant as the previous piece, before final track raises its rhythmic ire and sonic fire to sear and assault with glorious invention. The Empyrean Divide explores thoughts and soul with a rich Opeth/Death spiced, heavily shadowed breath. There is an even more menacing darkness and imposing grudge to the proposition but again it’s devouring only leads to brighter prospects echoed by lyrics and the melodic maze of invention veining and entwining the raw onslaught.

The final track is a thunderous close to an exceptional encounter, one which puts Vile Regression firmly on the frontline of progressive/technical extreme metal releases this year. Empires declares the band a new emerging leading light, a proposition the metal world has unknowingly been eagerly waiting for.

The Empires EP is available now!

http://vileregression.bandcamp.com/album/empires

www.facebook.com/vileregression

10/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

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Keitzer – The Last Defence

KEITZER_bandpic_WWW

The saying goes that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but if the Devil wants to give her a run for her money then he could not no worse than call on German metallers Keitzer. The band has never been slow in unleashing scourges of sonic spite and brutal confrontation but they have unlocked a new vat of hostility with latest album The Last Defence. The bands fifth full-length is as ferocious as it gets; a furnace of vitriol and blast beats which leave ears and senses floundering in their own waste but within the torrential downpour the band seduces with some of the most viciously tempting grooves. The 1999 formed Keizter and album are as pissed as they can be, showing time can only intensify sonic grievances as proven by this juggernaut of contagious mayhem, an assault leaving deep bruises and open satisfaction.

The follow-up to its successful predecessor Descend Into Heresy of 2011, the FDA Rekotz released The Last Defence takes no prisoners as it treats them to some not admittedly ground-breaking but voraciously vindictive and equally rewarding metal. The album’s press release suggests it lies somewhere within the assaults of Misery Index, Marduk, and early Deicide, something you cannot dispute or want to as it definitely gives a potent hint as what Keitzer has in store within the Jörg Uken mixed and mastered hostility. From opener Bellum Indicere, an introductory instrumental, the album boils up and over with the cruellest sounds and intent available to its creators. The first track brings an atmospheric storm to bear on the senses, a controlled but tempestuous climate of sonic and rhythmic incitement which provides a fiery but kind introduction before the savage ravaging of Exist To Destroy. Ears and senses are thrust into a brawling maelstrom of sound and intensity straight away, the guitars of Nicolai Hinse and Michael Dölle squalling with all the respect of a sandstorm as the rhythmic ferocity of drummer Tim Terhechte violates air and body. Driven by the excellently malicious and varied vocal enmity of Christian Silva Chaco the second track is an incessant conflict but also the source of a rich acidic groove.

There is no respite from the furnace of sound and aggressive with This Is The Only Solution, its body of vindictiveness in sound and lyrical bitterness devoid of mercy but virulent with grinding torrents of riffs, debilitating rhythms, KEITZER_cover_WWWand vocal causticity. Unveiling a hardcore seeded rabidity to its breath and an irresistible heavily footed groove from bassist Simon Venig, the track twists and flays around with a dervish like fanaticism, those hook lined grooves bringing even more potency to a lure which is intensified in the next up Forever War. Its opening melodic enticement is soaked in intrigue and mystique, a coaxing hinting at a valiant emprise ahead. What erupts is an avalanche of precise yet insatiably hungry drum provocation and flesh flailing riffery within further scorched grooving. In some ways what emerges is underwhelming from the song’s delicious start but those disappointments are soon smothered by and lost within the barbarous intensity and heart of the track, though it does fail to ignite ears and emotions as fully as its predecessors.

   Marching Forward To Victory is another which seems to lack the spark and irresistible bait of other engagements, but it still offers a wall of jaundiced passion and accomplished violence to keep attention locked in and cowering under its punishment before the outstanding title track triggers another lustful hunger. The carnivorous grumble of the bass is ferociously addictive bait but as with most songs to be honest, it is the swarming of grooves with their waspish tenacity and virulent toxicity which sear the sweet spot. The track continues to destroy and seduce with its shifting landscape of rapacious melodic relentlessness but never loses its core of repetitive and addictive bad blood.

The album continues to impress and uncage its ruinous appeal aligned to sheer pungent loathing, the likes of the bestial Next Offensive with its twist of heavy almost stoner seeded hate bred grooves, the similarly predatory We Are The Serpents Of Doom, and the pestilential Fleshcrawl in varying degrees leaving ears ringing and passions basking. The third of the trio especially teases and exploits the imagination, its corrosive opening moving into primal seduction with salacious grooves of wanton designs within a rhythmic battering which only takes a slight breath in its steely intent to suck air in for the next up Todgeweiht. The track is a minute and a handful of seconds of raw brutality and sadistic rhythmic suasion but still lines its wrath with an admittedly slight but nonetheless persuasive groove.

The album ends on a horde of triumphs starting with Glorious Dead; to some extent the release holding back its best for the closing stretch. The track is a jubilant waltz of decay and pestilence, its swinging gait and grooved revelry a contrast to the rancid attitude of the beats and bass incitement, as well as the song’s subsequent stalking of the senses. It is a riveting and thrilling assassination of emotions which is equalled in quality and intent by Ausgelöscht, the track as malignant as it is urgent as it tears the senses apart for the intimidating but seductive corrosive grooves which follow. It is a masterful annihilation of the psyche left in the shade of the best track on the album Crusade. Its title reflects its sound and purpose, a heroic air and stature wrapping the riffs and ear caging rhythms. This eventually parts though for the inevitable uncontrollable expulsion of inhospitable and frantic enticement though it never loses its touch on the song as it reassert its dramatic, hostility driven majesty time and time again.

The album closes with the tension drenched animosity of …Before Annihilation, though it has to be said that its title is a bit late, the destruction and blood-letting having been and not exactly gone but done its worst by the time of this final exhilarating violation. It is a great end to an exhaustingly exciting release, which probably you can say is not unleashing a new bloodshed or aural corruption but certainly delivering it in a style and inventive ferocity to rigorously enjoy being pulverised by.

The Last Defence is available via FDA Rekotz now on download and CD with Black Vinyl and Ltd Edition red vinyl versions available through 7Degrees Records and @ http://keitzer.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-defence

https://www.facebook.com/keitzer

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

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Black clouds and devouring pits: an interview with Richard Smyth of Servants of the Mist

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A proposition which consumes the psyche, festers with ruinous abrasion and sonic pestilence within emotions, Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation, the new EP from US metallers Servants of the Mist is without doubt one of the most hostile and excruciatingly bitter treats of the year so far. It is an encounter where bravery brings the weightiest rewards and an incitement finding its creators at their most creatively and emotionally vitriolic yet. We seized on the chance to delve deep into the heart and thoughts of the band at the kindness of vocalist Richard Smyth, with whom we talked EP, personal experiences and their influence on the music, Florida and much more…

Hi Richard and thanks for taking time to talk with us.

My pleasure…

Can we start with the origins of Servants of the Mist and the circumstances bringing members together and band into existence?

The band was formed in 2010 by our guitarist, Ed Tobar. Before I had entered the fold there had been several other musicians briefly involved, including a few vocalists. After meeting their then bassist at a concert I joined as vocalist that September. Humorously enough, by December I was the only remaining member (besides Ed, of course), as the other three band mates had all either quit or been fired. At this point I assumed the role of drummer in addition to my duties as vocalist and Tim, a childhood friend of Ed’s, was recruited to play bass guitar.

We carried on as a three-piece for the next two years until Tim was asked to leave due to his excessive drinking habit. One by one I started bringing friends into the band, beginning with Kenny Nguyen on bass (he eventually switched to second guitar) and RJ Howley on drums (he has since been replaced), which has led to our current line-up that also includes Jason Kleim (bass), Gordie Coop-Man (drums) and Brian Schille (keys/samples).

Did the band start out with a specific intent and purpose and does that still core it’s thoughts into new horizons?

I can’t necessarily speak for Ed, but I’d say the intent was pretty simple from the onset- to create music that is both sonically and emotionally heavy as a way of exorcising our own personal demons. Our sound has definitely changed a lot through the last four years though. We started with a more traditional doom style with some gothic rock elements and have evolved into a sound that has more in common with what could be called funeral doom.

To us on the outside Florida seems a place of warmth and fun, so where is the dark sufferance which compellingly soaks the sound and songwriting spawn from?

Hahaha. For the record, Florida is pretty awesome. The weather is nice (aside from the fact that it rains every fucking day from April to November), the cost of living is low and death metal is everywhere, but like anywhere else in the world it’s loaded with ignorant human beings who go out of their way to suck the life out of anyone or anything they come into contact with. Plus, life is filled with disappointment, pain, frustration and regret no matter where one lives. Also keep in mind that Ed works in an Intensive Care Unit. The death and suffering he deals with on a daily basis definitely goes into the songwriting process, as do my own emotional problems which stem from a traumatic brain injury I sustained earlier in life.

Since forming the band, until it’s now stable line-up, as you said has been through many line-up changes, has this in some way added to the venomous side of the sound which ravages senses across your pair of EPs, a predatory frustration bred by previous instability?

Good observation. I’m sure that added some fuel to the fire.

Tell us about the evocative band name, where did it spring from?

We took the name from a very early song of ours. The “mist” we “serve” essentially represents anything that we as humans, having an instinctively addictive nature, rely upon for sustenance, be it drugs and alcohol, pain or even love. It’s what we always run back to and it’s generally what destroys us.

You have just released the fearsome and ferocious Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation EP. Tell us about its inspiration lyrically and emotionally? som cover

Of the two original songs on the EP I only wrote the lyrics for one. That song would be Undeserving, which is an autobiographical account, detailing the feelings of shame and self-directed hatred with which I have to live on a daily basis. As for Gross Knowledge, Ed’s a bit of a horror buff and he wrote those lyrics. It’s written from the viewpoint of a sexual sadist. As to whether or not it’s autobiographical from his own psyche is not for me to say, as even I am not necessarily sure. Hahaha.

What has inspired you most potently in your music and lyrical provocations since you began writing songs? How much of the fury in tracks is as you suggested earlier bred from intimately personal experiences?

All of the musical fury is bred from our personal experiences. However, not all of the lyrics have personal relevance. For instance, some of the songs delve into themes of violent sexual perversion in relatively graphic detail. These particular topics, while not relevant to my own views or habits, work well within the form of creating dark, disturbing art in a similar fashion to bands like Cannibal Corpse and Carcass. As for other themes we tackle such as suicide, depression, self-hatred and addiction, those lyrics are generally spoken from our own experiences.

The new release follows the acclaimed Suicide Sex Pact EP, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved and expanded since then and indeed The Daydreamer EP before it?

Our sound has definitely gone through a pretty steady and drastic evolution over the past four years. It hasn’t necessarily been intentional either. The riffs that Ed brings to the table just happen to have gotten progressively heavier and noisier over time. As a result I have adjusted my vocals, which used to be almost exclusively melodic, to the harsher blend of growls and screams prevalent now.

In hindsight, the Daydreamer EP certainly seems to have been a turning point in the transition to where we are now. I don’t recall any conscious decisions being made at the time of its creation, but I’d say that it’s safe to assume that bringing a new group of musicians into the fold (Kenny, Jason & RJ) played a crucial role.

Do you write with specific things in mind or is it more an organic expulsion each time?

It varies. Some days are more eventful than others. For instance, Ed could bring in a riff on a day that has been particularly frustrating and emotional. As a result I will write lyrics based upon my feelings and experiences that day. On the other hand, Ed could present new ideas on a day where I’m not particularly feeling much of anything or perhaps I’m even (gasp!) in a good mood. In that case I would look towards other media or art for inspiration and write based on that.

On the evidence of certainly Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation, the band wants to provoke and challenge thoughts as much as punish the senses but equally there seems an underlying seduction which creeps up on the listener in songs; like a coaxing to promote the forbidden.

In the end it’s all about creating a dark, disturbing atmosphere for the listener. We’re not promoting any specific behaviors, but we definitely intend to challenge our audience to confront the darker side of human nature.

How does the songwriting generally work within the band?

The songwriting process generally starts with Ed. He brings in a few riffs, sometimes with lyrics, and we all work with them and arrange them until they cohered into a proper song. It’s a very organic process and you may not believe this after listening to the material, but it’s a pretty relaxed, pleasant atmosphere. For the most part it’s six friends getting together after work with some beer and seeing what happens.

Tell us about the potent opening track to Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation, the seriously haunting and disturbing Sadism & Suffering?

I’m going to be cheesy and use a cliché. It’s the calm before the storm. I feel the track helps to build up some anticipation for the cacophony that is to come. The repetitive nature also works toward firmly planting the seeds of negativity in the listeners psyche in an effort to add to the experience.

 som2We called the following Undeserving, a monolithic predator in sound and intent. It is a track which seems to us to encapsulate everything about the mind-set and creative voracity of Servants of the Mist at this moment in time. Do you feel that also in some ways?

Absolutely…That song in particular is very personal. I can’t speak for everyone else, but lyrically it sums up every emotion that inspires me to write. Musically speaking, it is an accurate representation of where we are as a band and I think that it encompasses all of the fury and raw brutality we strive to convey.

Listening to the track, and the whole EP, it feels like you guys have no control of what emerges from your ‘toxic invention and aural corruption’, but in full command with skilled invention of how that heart bred tempest is delivered and presented. Is it that organic or are we short-changing a predetermined aspect to the band and songwriting? 

Interesting take…I see it as a union of both. While the initial ideas come naturally and beyond our control, those particular elements are put together in a conscious effort of creating a proper song.

Are you a band which holds an element of hindsight which leads to self-critical analyse when it comes to previous releases or quickly move on to new horizons with new writing and sounds?

We tend to not look back, which can be both beneficial and detrimental. It definitely works well when applied to the creative process. Our lack of hindsight also adds an unpredictability to our shows and recordings, which could be viewed as either negative or positive, depending on the listener.

You have a very impressive live presence over in the states. As an unsigned band how easy is it to get gigs and get on more prominent shows as you have in the past with the likes of Jucifer, Ulcer, After Death, and the Tardy Brothers, nowadays?

It’s been surprisingly easy. It’s really just a matter of networking and going to shows.

What is ahead for the band across the rest of 2014?

We’ll be embarking on a tour of the east coast of the United States during the month of August, which will take us from Florida to New York City. As far as any other plans are concerned, it remains to be seen. One can’t force creativity.

Thanks once more for sparing time for us, any last thought you wish to leave us contemplating?

In the interest of art, nothing is sacred. If an artist doesn’t provoke thought or make a few people uncomfortable that artist has failed. At its best, art is honest and direct.

http://www.facebook.com/servantsofthemist

Read the Gross Knowledge of Genital Mutilation review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/servants-of-the-mist-gross-knowledge-of-genital-mutilation/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Across The Swarm – Self Titled

ATS photo by Gianvito Greco

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/acrosstheswarm

9/10

RingMaster 04/07/2014

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Hessian/Primitive Man –The Abyss Stares Back #2

front cover 2

Continuing their series of split releases The Abyss Stares Back which began with the impression union of Amenra and Vvovnds in May; Hypertension Records unveil the second instalment of dark consumption with a two track union between Hessian and Primitive Man. The second of a planned five splits, The Abyss Stares Back #2 brings again exclusive propositions from the two protagonists, a pair of tracks which drag the senses and emotions through cavernous, insidious landscapes but with the sweetest toxic lures which feverishly ignite the imagination and fears.

With future releases in the series to include Nihill, Scott Kelly, Drums Are For Parades, Mathieu Vandekerckhove, and Alkerdeel, Hypertension has already set a gripping standard and presence for the series through #1 and #2, the newest a startling and compelling onslaught of virulent hostile seduction. As all in the series it is wrapped in the artwork of Tom Vanuytrecht and with the photography of Stefaan Temmerman, but consumes and envelops in its own unique voracity with frightening intensity and ridiculously easy success. Both bands on the release are united in the devil’s oppression whilst providing an individual merciless savagery and invigorating violation to maybe unwillingly but certainly rewardingly bask in.

Having been rigorously persuaded by their debut album Manégarmr, appetite and anticipation for Hessian’s contribution to the release hessian (pic Stefaan Temmerman)was keen and swiftly satisfied by the Belgian band and their track Inward Dawn. Consisting of guitarist Levy Seynaeve (of Amenra), drummer Tim Bryon (of The Black Heart Rebellion), vocalist Bram Coussement, and bass player Kenneth Vanhoutte, the quartet threaten as they lumber in upon heavily punching rhythms and a sonic web of antagonism. It is a disarming sweep of sound and confrontation lorded brutally over by the vocal causticity of Coussement but one which swiftly enslaves the passions through the rolling and inciting drum enticement of Bryon. Like a puppeteer he directs and cages the imagination so the scorched sonic endeavour of Seynaeve can layer web upon furious web of deviously captivating and searing design. The repetitious lure of the track aligned to the rapacious rhythms is the prime bait though; it’s intermittent enticement the irresistible spine to which emotional enmity and aural chastisement explores their rich potency and hostile animosity. Gloriously insatiable and contagiously persistent, the encounter is a fall through the depths of organic persuasion, a sirenesque anthem come hymn to the primal core of body and emotion. The track is pure addictive venomous alchemy, Hessian reaching deeper into their rapacious ingenuity than ever before for a seriously hypnotic and ruinous triumph.

primitive man   Primitive Man swamps the senses in a darker corrosive tsunami than the pestilential but voraciously mesmeric suasion of Hessian, though neither you would trust with your soul. Their track Unable takes mere moments to invade and permeate body and feelings, its lumbering sludge tar coating senses and thoughts with suffocating efficiency. As shown on their impressive debut album Scorn, the Colorado trio of Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos, and Bennet Kennedy, venture into the lowest, base primal sounds and provocation, unleashing sonic swarms as lethal and disorientating as the destructive slab of slow rhythms and maliciously devouring intensity beneath. Similar to Hessian though, there is a potent lure of addiction forging enticement working away, warped grooves and anthemic rhythms breaking free just enough to entangle fevered appetite and eager passions with their riveting coaxing. It is often an understated but constantly infectious trapping within the malevolent corners of the song, a potent seducing for the same senses and psyche which are being unrelentingly worn away and viciously smothered by the doom entrenched pestilence. Closing on a brawling tempest of vitriolic energy and punk infused urgency, the track is a towering predator which easily draws submission for its hellacious fury.

Both tracks on the split are exhaustingly glorious, though of the pair Hessian has a toxin which steals body and mind for a truly lingering pleasure. Both also provide stunning introductions to newcomers to the bands and a raw hint of further things to come for fans, each breeding further waves of anticipation. Hypertension Records with their first two episodes of The Abyss Stares Back easily ensure the forthcomings offerings will be eagerly awaited, and with each split pressed on 180gr. vinyl for a one time only release of 500 copies, time procrastinating is the way to missing out on, certainly in the case of #2, one of the year’s finest essential releases.

The Abyss Stares Back # 2 is available now @ www.hypertensionrecords.com.

https://www.facebook.com/Hessianofficial

https://www.facebook.com/primitivemandoom

9/10

RingMaster 01/07/2014

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Burning Flesh – New Chaos Order

BF

Unleashing an irresistible nagging persistence through every track within its voracious body, New Chaos Order from extreme metallers Burning Flesh is a thoroughly captivating and exhaustingly invigorating beast. It is may be not the most original encounter but that is offset by the sheer weight and creative fire within the ravenous provocation, ensuring that its presence is a long-term and frequently explored incitement.

Consisting of members from both France and Switzerland, Burning Flesh took its first breath in 2005. The honing of their sound, with inspirations coming from the likes of Napalm Death, Behemoth, Severe Torture, and Blood Red Throne, and live performances followed before the band got down to making debut album Unconscious deformity in 2009. Recorded with Bruno Burel, the well-received album was uncaged in early 2010. Personnel changes ensued before by the latter part of 2011 the line-up of founders Lionel Fontana (vocals) and Anthony Martin (guitar) with Diego Graham (guitars), Guilluame Lagger (bass), and Paul Sordet (drums) was in place. New Chaos Order is the band’s full assault on world metal and it is very easy to expect Burning Flesh becoming under a rich spotlight if not quite with this certainly through future exploits.

The release rages against ears first with Rage, its opening sample soon quashed by the vehemence of riffs and brutality of rhythms which BF coverfollow. With raw uncompromising vocals unleashing the equally hostile narrative, the track is a destructive pleasure. A delicious spiteful grooving adds spice to the irrepressible temptation on offer whilst guitars and rhythms spare no degree of mercy in their malicious hostility. The tremendous ravaging is swiftly emulated by Corruption Of All Kings, another furnace of thrilling unrelenting provocation which violates and seduces simultaneously for welcomed wounds and raw senses. Switches of pace and intensity grinds intensively away just as devastatingly as the flailing riffs and rhythms across the demanding track continuing the impressive surge of the album.

Both Lies and Beginning’s End rip at the jugular with a torrential predation of carnivorous riffs and cruel rhythms next, the first arguably reining in its aggressive intensity for a more riveting web of melodic and sonic intrigue. To be fair as it is tearing the senses into strips it is a negligible difference but one which adds a new and needed flavour and design to the album. Across the album there is at times a close certainly surface familiarity to tracks and their attacking structures, and with a thick skin to the spite it very often needs a deep push into the heart of songs to split their animosity apart. The second of the two also brings an individual hook of rapacious intent to its corrosive quarrel but lacks the spark of its predecessors in many ways to stand as similarly virulent.

The insidiously hornet like lure of the title track comes next, its niggling groove a sweet sore you just have to push further for its antagonistic nectar. Once more rhythms and the intensity of the track are barbarous and with everything combined the proposition is a murderously compelling storm of whiplashing inducing endeavour and emotion savaging enmity.

New Chaos Order continues to do nothing but impress as the contagious rancor of Death Place and the predatory stalking of Total Hate next torments psyche and imagination, the first especially riveting and both leaving passions and hunger further aflame. The same can be said of the totally hypnotic Here And Beyond, which from an ok start evolves into a ferocious creative and rabid enticement, and the similarly malicious feud that is Injection. Admittedly the last of those songs is another where it fails to ignite the same ardour as others but casts a net of imagination and technically skilled incitement that you cannot avoid being impressed by.

Scums and In Hell We Trust unleash their creative savagery as the album comes towards its end with fine and hateful effect whilst bonus track Retch provides one final malignant pestilence for ears and emotions to be bruised intensively by. It concludes an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable release. Yes it is not breaking new boundaries and suffers that occasional lack of surface definition but it more than makes up for it with contagious enterprise and irritable persistence.

New Chaos Order is available via Great Dane Records now!

http://www.burning-flesh.com/

9/10

RingMaster 06/06/2014

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Exploring shadows and dark adventures: an interview with Tiran Ezra of Ferium

Tiran

Entwining groove, technical, and extreme metal into their own vicious and highly persuasive confrontation, Israeli death metallers Ferium have unleashed one of the most potent and thrilling albums so far this year with their debut Reflections. A release which roars, challenges, and rigorously seizes the imagination, the album thrusts Ferium into a deserved new world wide spotlight. Eager to find out more we took the opportunity to talk with vocalist Tiran Ezra, investigating the past of the band, Israeli metal, the new attention upon Ferium and much more…

Hi Tiran and thank you for agreeing to talk with us.

It is probably fair to say that Ferium is still a bit of a secret in world metal but that now seems to be changing especially over the past year or so. Does it feel like things are now happening for the band to you guys?

We feel very fortunate to be getting any type of recognition from people outside of Israel, we’ve worked and are still working very hard just to get a sense of fulfilment and only now we are finally getting a taste of that attention to our music that we needed in order to feed us with a drive to create more buzz around ourselves.

It certainly feels that way.

2013 was a busy and successful year for the band; looking back on it what are your reflections of it and how it impacted on your reputation as a band?

We are happy we did everything we have.

But there is always that bug inside our head that says that we should’ve done more; unfortunately it’s not that easy getting out of Israel every couple of months for a tour, it’s quite like hell on earth to be completely honest.

Before we look at your new debut album, can you tell us about the beginnings of Ferium and the driving force bringing the band into reality?ferium 2

Ever since our major line-up change, bringing Yoni Biton and Ron Amar into the band’s rhythm section, everything seemed a lot more real, providing a fresh sense of understanding towards the music business as a functioning band; I think THAT is the beginning for Ferium.

The past couple of years has made us realised there is quite potent metal scene in Israel but how is the death metal presence in the country?

The scene here is really active when it comes to bands forming or doing any kind of effort to get out of here; the death metal scene is fairly small here since the “core” scene really took the world by the balls, not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s become more than a fashion than a lifestyle. It’s kind of sad to watch from a side if you are a sworn metal fan, because it created this whole new line of people not liking metalheads, for being metalheads, just because they like core, I think that is narrow minded and redundant.

Has it become easier would you say for Israeli metal bands to be noticed and accepted at home and further afield over recent years though?

Absolutely not, no matter where you are from you have to put the same amount of effort to be any kind of a self-respecting band.

Israel is one of the worst places to be on earth when it comes to trying to get out of if you are wishing yourself to be a touring musician.

You recently released your excellent debut album Reflections; did you have any particular hopes for it in regard to attracting attention with a wider audience?

Again, we feel very thankful to get any source of recognition, this is usually not something that you come across, a debut album from Israel getting a worldwide distribution deal, I do believe that the people who catch our theme will be hardcore fans of the material to come in the not so far future.

Reflections CoverHow would you say your sound has evolved and grown between the album and your first release, The New Law EP of 2009?

A lot more organic and dynamic, and all together completely different in terms of approach and in the way we imagine the finalized product.

The album is a brutal and demanding release which on first few plays certainly impresses thoroughly but it is through further plays that the enthralling web of adventurously skilled enterprise and imagination within the dark depths of songs truly reveal their strengths. Do you deliberately sculpt songs that way or it just their organic growth as they come to life?

Very flattered first of all, it really is a bit of both, the true talent is the lyrics and the whole atmosphere of the songs being portrayed by being open for interpretation and not really pushing anything, down anyone’s throat.

How does the songwriting work within the band generally?

Elram and myself at the Studio work first, with pre-recorded riffs, after that going to the rest of the band for confirmation on input and insight.

How has lyrically and musically the band and its music been affected or indirectly found inspiration in the conflicts around your country and home town Haifa?

I believe that the air in Israel really has done something to our brains, every citizen of this place can just feel the atmosphere here, if it’s the honking in the streets by every person, the news on TV saying practically “hey, there’s going to be war n’ stoof” yeah, it sure isn’t nice.

Lyrically & musically it has done nothing to affect, but it has contributed to what all of us are today as intelligent human beings.

Reflections feels like it is part of something bigger rather than an individual encounter, though to be honest I am not sure why it makes me feel that? Am I imagining it or is there a wider aspect yet to be explored to the theme of the album?

Actually it’ll probably be the 1st part of a trilogy of albums that shows a darker side in mine & Elram’s mind.

..And that side is?

Elram’s side of the story is more of a hands on experience with the lyrics we write, and I usually link in to the whole atmosphere and imagine myself in a kind of world where these stories can actually take place.

How was the recording experience with the album, any unexpected obstacles or good surprises rise up in its creation?

Nothing in particular, except being a really long process of mixing and production so we could get that atmosphere we eventually scored.

Did you learn anything in particular which you can take forward into your future releases?

pic: Guy First Video & Photography

pic: Guy First Video & Photography

Mostly Elram did, because he really is the mastermind behind the vision which is Ferium, sound wise.

But when it comes to the actual performance and tightness of the tracks, this is something we all became a lot more professional in.

Can you tell us about the excellent art work wrapping the album?

We actually had a very early demo of the album that had an even more raw approach to the mix, once Eliran Kantor heard that, he decided that the drums will actually portray the Rhino on the cover, but the overall concept of the little man trying to pull down the huge rhino is the epitome of the concept put in a metaphor of a man facing his greatest fears.

Not having had the pleasure yet, the word is that Ferium is a mighty proposition live. Is that aspect the most satisfying of being in a band for you?

It most certainly is; I think that the fact we chose such a direct approach to our sound is to be able to perform them live, perfectly, if not better than the recording.

And talking of live shows, what is next for Ferium in that department?

We have a few autumn dates that we are looking at, but definitely will have a couple of tours until the end of this year all over EU.

Thanks once more for sharing time with us.

Any last thought you would like to leave readers considering?

Thank you for taking in interest in us, we are very grateful for this, buy our album ;)

http://www.feriumband.com/

Read the review of Reflections @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/ferium-reflections/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Anti Ritual – Self Titled

ANTI RITUAL_Band_large

Unleashing a tsunami of spiteful ferocity and voracious defiance within its tempestuous sounds, the self-titled debut EP from Danish hardcore/metallers Anti Ritual is an inescapable provocation which leaves senses bruised and battered but seriously alive. A joint release between Indisciplinarian and Vendetta Records, the six track sonic scourge is a challenging and testing encounter but one which abrases and gets right under the skin.

Brewing up a maelstrom of passion and malevolence from a mix of hardcore and extreme metal, the Copenhagen quartet use their musical platform to rail against the political and social evils which enslave the thoughts and lives of the people. It is forcibly aggressive, emotionally tearing at the diverse structures and wrongs ravaging man but also embracing the good in humanity and promoting constructive defiance. Musically their sound is imposing addiction, scorching grooves and rhythmic hostility a rampant contagion which openly reveals the craft and strength of the songwriting and band. Self-produced by the band and mixed by Jakob Reichert Nielsen (Rising, Lack) with mastering from Brad Boatright (Nails, Sleep, From Ashes Rise), the EP is a severe and uncompromising indictment, and exhaustingly compelling.

Ideals to the Fire begins the vitriolic erosion of ears and senses, its opening temptation of drums soon raging within a storm of scathing AntiRitual_Sleeve.inddriffs and carnivorous basslines which in turn coax the rhythms to become rabid and unpredictable. It is a savage attack driven harder by the caustic growls of vocalist Marco Malcorps whilst all the while a virulent groove casts its toxicity, constantly brewing up its intensity and bait across the brief and thrilling scourge. It is a blistering and formidable incitement, one stirring things up mentally and emotionally as it sparks unbridled enthusiasm.

The potent start is driven deeper into the psyche and passions with Slave Dogmatics, the track taking a mere second to worm under the skin as sonic scars are left by guitarist Jacob Krogholt under the rain of intensive rhythms from drummer Nikolaj Borg. Again grooves scythe with rabidity across the annihilatory onslaught giving it a swing and swagger which like the lyrical narrative, sculpts an enticing almost anthemic persuasion. The track is simply irresistible, showing that barbarous examinations can be just as thrilling and epidemically contagious as any smouldering seduction, that something you are not likely to experience from Anti Ritual we can safely assume.

The following No Second Earth grips the same wave of fury as its predecessor, twisting it into its own abrasing sonic predator. Framed and speared by the corrosive rhythms and heavily rapacious bass growls of K.B. Larsen, the track takes a more deliberately paced tempest to the senses, capturing the imagination with bestial and continually lumbering riffery. It shows a variety to release and sound, even if in more subtle than openly loud ways, which is continued with The Highest Privilege, its doom breathing, blackened squall a continually changing journey of destructive rampancy and sinister predation which ebbs and flows whilst permeating the roots of instinctive passion.

The closing pair of Blame the Victim and A New Discourse on Enlightenment ensure the release leaves as nastily as it entered, the first a pestilential cyclone of sound and vitriol flailing flesh as it man handles thoughts whilst its successor brings the richest layer of crust to the release yet whilst potently employing an intimidating chug of sludge/thrash riffs. It is the most intensive and dangerous slab of aural brutality on the EP, an unrelenting and rigorously compelling torrent of passion and raw antagonistic sculpting; a quite immense conclusion to an outstanding release.

Anti Ritual band and EP are not for fair weather hardcore and extreme metal fans but for those of a masochistic and defiance driven appetite. It is a thoroughly impressive debut from a band you can sense is going to leave major landmarks across their upcoming horizons.

The Anti Ritual EP is available now from Vendetta Records and Indisciplinarian on 12” black vinyl limited to 350 copies, white vinyl limited to 150 copies, and digitally.

www.indisciplinarian.bandcamp.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Ferium – Reflections

Ferium1.lo

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

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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