Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

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Never have open hostility and uncompromising brutality been as elegantly seductive and radiantly fascinating as within The Wreckage of Stars, the debut album from US progressive extreme metallers Black Crown Initiate. Actually that is not quite true as the band’s previous and extraordinary Song of the Crippled Bull EP offered such imaginative daring too but within the album it has bred a new bulk and exploration which is as fearsome as it is gloriously mesmeric. Their entrance was dramatic and startling and now with The Wreckage of Stars, the Pennsylvanian quintet’s emergence is complete, placing them right there side by side with the likes of Between The Buried And Me, The Ocean, and Opeth.

Formed in 2012, the Reading hailing Black Crown Initiate was soon drawing on experiences, individual inspirations, and a vast web of styles to create what is a maelstrom of gripping ingenuity and vicious enterprise. The evidence was immediately audible with the unleashing of Song of the Crippled Bull, an introduction which was as drenched in acclaim as it was in enthralling and unique inventive personality. Its attention grabbing success led to the band securing a coveted spot on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Goatwhore and Behemoth, as well as the sharing of stages with bands such as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Earlier this year Black Crown Initiate signed with eOne and now in tandem go for the psychological jugular and lustful passions with The Wreckage of Stars.

The release opens with Great Mistake and an instantly seducing enticing of melodies. It is an inviting coaxing by the guitars which only gains weight and potency as imposing rhythms and aggressive riffs join its bait. Continuing to warmly lure within the brewing tempest, the song leads the senses into the bestial tones of vocalist James Dorton, every syllable expelled loaded with malice and guttural intensity. Still the song is a seductive persuasion though and intriguingly, it is when the superb clean vocals of guitarist Andy Thomas grasps ears that the track finds itself at its most threatening as the music flares up around him. It is a delicious and surprising outcome, alone revealing so much about the skill and songwriting personality of the band. Across its extensive landscape, the track boils, squalls, and explores mellow intent, every second and twist of the song a new surprise and magnetic contagion, especially the Eastern veining which colours its engrossing finale.

The outstanding start places the album on an early plateau which subsequent tracks either stalk as boldly or certainly flirt with in presence and invention. The following The Fractured One is one hitting similar heights, its immediate BCI_coveragitated predation of tempestuous beats from drummer Jesse Beahler and throaty tempting from the bass of Nick Shaw, an enslaving death metal spiced frame within which the guitars of Thomas and Rik Stelzpflug cast tenaciously imaginative and hostile enterprise. One of the shorter songs on the album, it is an incessant and virulently contagious torrent of barbarous and sonically scorching savagery.

A breather of sorts after the inhospitable onslaught of the previous tack comes with Malignant, its opening of classically honed guitar a caress of calm within the established storm of the album. Guitars nestle creatively up to the imagination straight away though that suggested respite is eventually smothered by the serpentine venom of Dorton’s vocals and a pestilential tsunami of corrosive rhythms and caustic riffery. Of course nothing can be assumed with a Black Crown Initiate track, something learned early on the last EP, and soon the increasingly impressive warm voice of Thomas breaks the wall of maliciousness, aligning itself eventually with a similarly engrossing and graceful weave of melodic design and expression. Though it is restless to return to savaging the senses, the track courts this peace as long and creatively as possible, ensuring the song again leaves expectations a lost cause.

Both the carnivorous ferocity of The Human Lie Manifest and the exhausting technicality of Withering Waves leave senses cowering and imagination basking in majestic aural warfare; the pair, as all songs, parading more of the craft and inventive depths of the band. The second of the two is especially scintillating as extremes of light and dark, animosity and melodic beauty come together in one spellbinding emprise, a mouth-watering adventure matched by the primal and ruinous presence of To The Eye That Leads You. This erupts with a tornado of vocal enmity, the assault at times an inaudible suffocation of intent and lyrical intimidation which in allowing a coarsely veiled clarity to emerge intimidates further. Around it though there is a swing and swagger to the sounds which is no less vicious but does provides an inescapable infectiousness. It is a vat of bad blood and the thrilling dark-side to the climactic and forcibly elegant beauty of the album’s title track. Predominantly instrumental it closes with a vocal union of all sides shown so far on the album, to provoke a new hunger in appetite and thoughts.

There is no escaping the relentless battering and sonic violation uncaged by Shapes Collapse next, the track as so many, no matter how harmful and fierce it impacts on body and senses casting an addictive and seriously enticing infection. It is a constant lure throughout the tempest but especially pungent in the glade of melodic reflection ventured by song and guitars before climbing back into the outskirts of the initial storm.

The album closes with firstly the arresting terrain of Purge, a track which entwines imaginative charm and melodic beauty with voracious and vehement fuelled hostility for a mutually unsettling and seductive examination of ears and emotions. It is succeeded by Linear, a sensational final encounter where under persistent hellacious provocation, the lighter side of the band has full and irresistible rein.

     The Wreckage of Stars is a major triumph proving that the last EP was no flash in the pan but instead just the appetiser to greater sonic alchemy and brutal expression from Black Crown Initiate. Now is the time to explore their brilliant fury, though you can only feel as with their music, there will be no escaping their presence and touch from hereon in anyway.

The Wreckage of Stars is available now via eOne Heavy / Good Fight

http://www.facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate

RingMaster 29/10/2014

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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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

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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Mutagenocide – Devolve EP

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If UK metallers Mutagenocide have not reached your neck of the woods or gaze yet never fear they are coming with their ferocious and feverishly flavoured sound, certainly if new EP Devolve gets the breaks and attention it deserves. Made up of seven voracious onslaughts which rage and stampede with pure metal aggression, the release unleashes an unpredictability which is as compelling as the invention and array of styles which fuels its adventure. The band has been making a stir across the metal underground in the UK and now Devolve suggests the time is ripe for the quintet to find a wider intensive attention.

Oxford based, Mutagenocide showed their intent and brewing depth of sound with a self-titled debut in 2012, the four track EP a potent reinforcement of their already keenly followed and recognised live performances. Now the line-up of vocalist Jay Taylor, guitarists Pat Scott and Paul Clayton, bassist Tom Greenway, and drummer Ben Wilsker pounce with a provocation which suggests they are ready to stir up a countrywide hunger with the potential to fuel attention much further afield.

From the first swipe of sonic belligerence over a persistently winding flume of guitar, opener Hysteria has ears and appetite wide awake. It is a dramatic entrance which is soon twisted into a tempestuous charge of thrash bred antagonistic DEVOLVE COVERriffing and vicious rhythmic hostility, this ridden by the caustic vocal squalls of Taylor. But as is a constant across the whole release, it is merely a moment in an evolving landscape, grooves and addictive hooks as well as subsequent progressively seeded ideation, veining and working its way into the heart of the fierce and impressive incitement.

The immense start is swiftly emulated and surpassed by the title track, it also an immediate fury and explosive assault through ears. A melodic and progressive teasing plays within the demanding surge before merging into an addictive web of tenacious grooving and venomous melodic metal coaxing. It is a blistering mix which again seems to find a new avenue to investigate and contagious bait to expel within the unrelenting voracity of the song. It is a brilliant encounter which is full of drama and intrigue, incendiary craft and seductive predation, but most of all sheer compelling invention.

     Entombed and Swallowed makes a reserved entrance next, a guitar painting an emotive hue into an evocative atmosphere which carries no threat yet has an air of foreboding to it. It is the same as a melodic wind of progressive rock spicing opens up its narrative, guitars impressing with every expressive note but the darker shadows of the bass ensures a portentous tempering is lurking. That darkness seeps into the growing weight and punch of the rhythms before fuelling a corrosive maelstrom of acidic sonic endeavour, acutely jagged riffery, and an increasing spite to the commanding swings of Wilsker. Like a brawl instigated by Lamb of God and Sybreed with thoughts of Cambion also making their hints, but an aggressor with the poise and exploratory expression of melodic metal and the emprise of post metal, the track is a riveting blaze of adversarial emprise. It is soon outshone though by the similarly cultured but rigorously individual Half-Born, it’s closing seduction before a corrosive finale alone passion firing but as a whole proposition the song is a startling and ruggedly imposing and shifting triumph.

     Remeron Nightmares with its stomping thrash sculpted entrance and Wretched bring the release to a mighty conclusion. The first proceeds to spin a malevolent web of precision crafted inhospitable toxicity encased in a simultaneously intimidating and alluring storm, its presence as primal as it is intensively honed. Equipped with a familiar swagger, a sonic invention which leaves lips licked, and a primal virulence the track is a monstrous treat. The same which can almost be said about its successor, a final enthralling furnace of raw and hellacious enterprise which whilst lacking the stature and uniqueness of its predecessors, is still a mighty end to an outstanding triumph.

There is very little to put up against the Stu Mckay (Malevolence, Desolated, Ingested, Annotations Of An Autopsy, Eternal Lord) recorded and Tim Turan (Nuclear Blast, Candlelight Records) mastered release though a bit more variety to the admittedly excellent vocal delivery of Taylor would be welcome and interesting. It is a minor thing in a big thrilling step from Mutagenocide, a band you can expect to hear and see a lot more of ahead.

The Devolve EP is available now @ http://www.mutagenocide.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/mutagenocide

9/10

RingMaster 15/08/2014

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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Of warriors and hungry shadows: an interview with Jonas Albrektsson of King of Asgard

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Since its start in 2008, Swedish metal band King of Asgard has grown in presence and ingenuity with an accompanying potency of acclaim brewing alongside their impressive endeavours. Previous albums Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and …to North two years later, bred an impressed and continually strengthening recognition but new album Karg is where the band’s expressively flavoursome blend of blackened metal with folk instincts looks like drawing the widest canvas of ears and appetites. With a broad invention and sound which at times needs a focused attentiveness to discover all its unique qualities, the album easily pushes the band into a new spotlight. We had the pleasure to explore the roots and depths of King of Asgard, as well as the new proposition from the band with bassist Jonas Albrektsson who kindly spared time for us to talk about….

Hello Jonas and many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Hi Pete, and thanks for supporting us. Cheers

Before we delve into new album Karg, can we ask about the beginnings of the band, its foundation and the intent behind its first steps?

King of Asgard was formed by Karl Beckman, joined by Karsten Larsson in short time as a continuation of their predecessor band Mithotyn, a band which both Karl and Karsten were in. The longing of getting back to the roots and close to where it all (Mithotyn) ended got King of Asgard started, preferably in a new shape and with a new approach. As time went and the band evolved, King of Asgard became a sole creation standing proud on its own foundation which probably also became more evident when I joined in on bass and as a creative force. Later on Lars Tängmark came into picture as well to fill in and strengthen the line-up. So King of Asgard has reminiscence of what once was but has taken its own turns and led to something of its own yet with the past still, for obvious reasons, present. That’s in short how it all got started and from there on our three albums guide the way. Also check our biography presented at the Metal Blade web page for further digging.

Norse mythology is an open inspiration to your music and lyrics, was this a determined aspect from day one with the band and what inspired your interest in it personally as well as creatively?

Yes it pretty much was as such. As said above this was at first thought a continuation of Karl and Karsten’s musical past which was derived from Norse mythology concepts, the Viking heritage and the overall ancestral past. So I would say the main concept for inspiration was a determined choice but we’ve loosened up during the years and are not that forced to stay within those frames, though our name suggests that at first glimpse of course. So this was the case, at least that’s how it was in the beginning but times change and so did our music and lyrical approach. Karg for example to some extent deals with what previous albums have done, Norse mythology, the sagas and the age it reflect, but not close to what was on the debut for example. On this one we went much closer to our own immediate historical presence and also totally out of subject and I think this will be more realised in the future to come. The actual interest and inspiration I think we just got natural through our upbringing so it’s there just to grab and pick it up. It’s a great treasure and indeed a great source of inspiration for what we do and create.

Was the emergence of King Of Asgard in 2008 a swift realisation from an idea or was it something which had been brewing in thoughts of Karl for a while even whilst in other projects? king-of-asgard_photo01

King of Asgard has long before realisation been present in Karl’s thoughts and he has always wanted to pick something like this up but for several reasons never been able to do so until 2008. We’re close friends, me and him, so I know before King of Asgard he’s been talking about it several times and I’m glad he finally got his shit together and made reality out of his longing. It wasn’t that serious to begin with but after the demo was recorded I know he really was focused and eager. This was also the period when he first started nagging on me to join which took some time but I’m glad I finally did. So, Karl really ‘brewed’ on this constellation for a long time, probably since the day Mithotyn shut their business down. To sum it up I would say King of Asgard was formed way before in Karl’s mind and is a project stained with devotion and heart.

How do you see the band now against those early days not only in sound and presence but in its direction and intent?

I think we just keep on working from where we left off of our past creations and further on into our own development without really looking back. What happens is probably that it turns more and more into our own style as we write what we personally gets satisfied doing, creating our own sound. This album took quite a while before we felt where to turn from whence things just automatically took shape. The sound and material on Karg is much more stripped down and riff based which makes a somewhat new approach for being King of Asgard but I really feel this is where we feel most safe and personally satisfied. We kind of step back and rely on power combined with epic moments. The development between all three albums and the time duration has been very natural and when thinking of it one can actually hear what’s going on and the direction is somewhat clear. We’ve accomplished much and conquered some and reached our own identity but more needs to be adjusted. What’s important is not to get stagnant and still feel we have a direction and intent for doing King of Asgard and I feel we still do.

We are mentioning your just released third album Karg, how has its realisation differed from its predecessors Fi’mbulvintr of 2010 and …To North two years later?

I guess the thing is we’ve found a good and safe way of working which feels really pleasant. We’re these days very confident on what we do and do our thing from the heart, not trying to please others expectations, though we of course appreciate it if people like what we do ha-ha. Karl and I put the material together of which he writes the most, we structure and record pre-productions and so forth so there’s really a lot of thought behind all our stuff but still there can come spontaneous ideas in the studio for example. So we’re much more focused and structured in the writing process these days than in say pre the debut album but I guess such is also natural and grows within a band as time goes. So speaking of Karg it all went very smooth at least when we got inspired and the creative force got started. We know how to deal with things these days and are fully prepared before entering the studio and such so that the recording also will be as focused and held on maximum grade. We always want to improve and do our very best even if it many times faces hard struggle.

What about its inspirations and its growth in sound compared to the earlier albums for you?

Guess much of this already been discussed more or less but I think what is most evident is that it is more true to ourselves. We obviously never tried to be the most progressive nor innovative act, not at all but rather looked back and paid tribute to our own heroes and influential sources. We create music we ourselves appreciate listening to which I believe has grown more into our sound and at the same time built our foundation. I think on Karg we reached the point where we are most personal in sound and that sound being King of Asgard with full force and with identity. We don’t think that much or plan on the direction we want to turn, we rather follow our own intuitions and the result is what comes out of it but run with a thorough and careful hand.

KingOfAsgard-KargThe album title Karg is the Swedish for barren; did the name come after its making as a reflection of the songs within the release or was it the seed from which ideas and the atmosphere of the album grew?

It started off in all sorts of directions but once the first say two songs were close to finish we knew where we were heading with the material for this album. By this time we also came up with the album title, Karg, which by its mere significance has formed and influenced the atmosphere through the whole process, musically, lyrically as well as when considering art and pictures etc. We wanted it to sound bare, sterile and infertile combined with what one usually associates King of Asgard with…the absence of bliss. So it was probably both ways, we went with the flow as it started in the beginning of the writing process as well as we were determined of a certain goal. It was mostly a seed which grew into Karg, an interesting way to work actually.

It is arguably a more challenging and raw proposition than its predecessors in many ways, is that something you see and deliberately worked for or it arose more organically?

I think it came intentionally with the approach we strived for and the atmospheres we wanted to build. Our previous albums have been much more accessible in terms of melodies and song structure. This time around it’s still there but takes quite a few more spins to get the grip and comprehend the material. It was not a sole purpose to come to but rather just went that way and it’s more a reflection of us as persons. Karg is a more mature and honest album than the other two and a proof we’ve somewhat reached an identity of our own. It’s both ways of what you aim for here, we wanted it to sound a specific way and thus we deliberately worked in such direction as well as having it come our way naturally, allowing it to happen.

Do you see this as a breath to your music which will continue certainly into the next release(s) or are you a band which allows each batch of songs to find their own character within your ideas and musical exploration?

I think it will continue as well as develop. We don’t plan much but rather follow our instincts though within the frames of King of Asgard of course. It’s always hard to predict the future but for how I feel the work for Karg went, we will most likely still follow this newly discovered path. I don’t think we did such a radical change though but as said before, we’re in the phase where we’ve found ourselves musically and conceptually and really enjoy what we do as well as what we achieve and generate.

Lyrically do you go looking for tales and myths to brew your ideas from or is it things leap out and demand attention more often than not.

It’s all different depending on occasion. But mainly I would say I come across a subject or whatever I want to illustrate and from there start digging in detail to obtain as much facts or information on it as possible. Further I recollect, pen it down and assemble, try to structure and make it rhythmic, on and of back and forth. But, on the other hand, the lyrics that Lars writes is rather the opposite I think, he just spews it out and what comes around goes around ‘til of course it has to somewhere connect to our conceptual worth. Also some things come easier as for this album where many songs are based on and around our own immediate surroundings. So in a way we’re then using our ancestral path as inspiration as well as we give it our reverence; we’ve heard the tales and seen the sites since early childhood so it comes natural for us to use to bring out to others.

How do you feel your songs relate to the modern world and its conflicts etc., and is that something the band bears in mind when writing lyrics or do you just concentrate on the landscape emerging across tracks and releases from their seed idea primarily?

We’re all about looking backwards, ha-ha, we concentrate and reflect upon myths and sagas and our own historical presence…our heritage and ancestral path. Sure there are once in a while some that relate to modern times which could be religious mockery or things that could be related to in modern society and the struggles in daily life. We don’t really have any plan on what and how things such as this are going to be like on the albums as the songs stand alone. We neither have frames we have to stay inside and that’s pretty clear when checking the variety out on the songs for Karg which is more wide spread than ever before. I think it’s good to leave it open and still be able to reflect upon other things than just Viking era or Norse mythology…this of course being a big part of us but not solely. For conflicts, political and what not, these are subjects I don’t see or think we’ll ever dig into as that’s not really our thing or something we’d like to bring into the concept of King of Asgard.

Did you approach the recording of Karg this time around compared to previous releases?

It more or less has been in the same way. We got much studio experience even before King of Asgard and know what needs to be taken care of to be able to get the stuff on tape in the most effective way. As we’ve now also worked with Andy and Sonic Train Studios for the third time we know how to be prepared and what to expect. Entering with Karg I guess the working process was pretty much the same as the predecessors but in a way more confident and even more prepared one. We know what we need to work more on and know how to face obstacles which we’ve learned on the two previous sessions. So things work the same just way more professional and effective and also we now feel safe and experiment more on the sound.

Does the band like to take finished songs into the recording process or like to give them room in that scenery to expand and develop further?

More or less everything is finished in detail before we get into the studio; even pre-productions of the songs are recorded. But sure we have them open for new ideas and interpretations which often come up when you are in the studio recording. The last song was finished just a few weeks before entering Sonic Train Studios but nothing’s set until it’s on the master and delivered. We constantly change things during the writing process going back and forth. Same goes for the recording, things that pop up like background choir, guitars in different harmonies and stuff like that are carefully taken care of. This is also much do to the fact we got limited studio time and thus we need everything done and planned to be able to reach our goal. It’s of course a pity and somewhat frustrating not being able to finalize all ideas and try new ones in the studio but that’s how it is when finances run the whip.

How does the songwriting generally play out within the band?king-of-asgard_photo02

Karl and I are responsible for the songwriting. We work close together on all ideas and put everything together from the first until the last stage. He writes the most and the main parts and I bring in the details and structure everything, along with him of course. It works really well as we know each other very well and complete each other with our slightly different background and musical directions. All in all it turns into King of Asgard. From there on we bring it to the rehearsal place and further adjustments are being made along with the other guys. It’s always under construction and nothing’s set until the day of recording but I would say the songs are close to album structure before we enter the studio with both music and the words put upon it.

You mentioned earlier that the album was recorded with Andy LaRocque at Sonic Train Studios, as your previous albums. Obviously you guys get on well with him and he understands something which brings your sounds alive as imagined?

I guess he does. It’s a steady relationship we’ve built up and it’s a comfortable and a somewhat safe choice to enter Sonic Train as we’ve got limited recording time in the studio. We have returned to Andy because it is very, as said, comfortable and great to work both with him as person, engineer and co-producer in his studio and also this time we also got to work with his co-worker Olof Berggren. We have built a strong partnership where both parties are pleased and work very effectively together. We are both driven to constantly take King of Asgard a step further and with Andy as co-producer it gives us a lot and we push ourselves constantly to the ultimate. It has never been said though that it is the only studio for King of Asgard. It’s just the way it has turned out and the future will show where the next turn will take us. Andy is an awesome dude who has the right tools for us as a band to use and thus to accomplish what we want to achieve. Our visits get more relaxed and at the same time more professional and more effective. We enjoy working with Andy, as does he with King of Asgard…a great combination and basic foundation for an even greater production where he makes realization of our visions.

Playing Devil’s Advocate and talking generally do you feel that possibly working with the same person in the same place runs the risk of familiarity and too safe a feel for a release? Not, we hasten to say, that this applies to Karg ha-ha.

Sure this could easily happen but we have considered it well before going on another round as we’ve returned to work with same studio, cover artist and photographer. For us it was rather strengthening us as we know somewhat where we end up and what we have to face as our frames are limited and thus we have to work hard to get the best result out of it and not run into mistakes. But for sure it’s a risk one takes and we know it is and up until now we’ve conquered it and also discussed this topic so we’ll see what will happen next on this matter. It’s a risky business, ha-ha.

What comes next for King of Asgard?

Unfortunately there are no tours nor festivals planned at this moment; not the best time of the year to release a new album. Anyway, right now we’re putting all our focus on the release of the album which was just around the past corner, a lot of promotion to be done and still coming in. We’ll hopefully get our shit together and do some shows in the short distance and so forth. Most likely we’ll also starting to write some new material as soon as we feel the time’s right and I know Karl’s already begun.

Once again thanks you for sharing your time and words with us; any last thoughts you would like to end with?

Our pleasure, thanks for the support! Keep checking in on our channels, make sure to pick up Karg which now is unleashed upon thee in all possible formats!

Horns up you all followers of the King and first and foremost, Pete and the Ringmaster Review. Cheers!

 

Read the review of Karg @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/king-of-asgard-karg/

http://www.kingofasgard.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deconstructing Sequence – Access Code

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Immersing the imagination in a journey which is at times as bewildering and exhausting as it is evocatively enlightening, Access Code, the new EP from UK metallers Deconstructing Sequence is a spellbinding challenge of an adventure. Comprising of two tracks which weave strains and toxins of everything from black and extreme to progressive and avant-garde metal, the release is a startling and breath-taking creative emprise. Easily accessible yet imposingly challenging, intricately woven yet consuming ears in a maelstrom of intensive rapacity, Access Code is a masterly confrontation which sets the Taunton based trio as one of, if not, the most exciting prospect in the UK metal scene.

The beginnings of Deconstructing Sequence came from the demise of black/death metal band Northwail, who had relative success with the albums Enigma and Cold Season in 2008 and 2011 respectively. From the ashes of that band, members Morph (guitar, vocals, sequencing and synthesis) and Tiberius (lead guitar, bass, vocals) decided to continue exploring progressive and avant-garde regions of extreme music with a new project, that being Deconstructing Sequence. Taking inspiration from the likes of Emperor, Nile, Arcturus, Dødheimsgard, and God is an Astronaut, the pair has proceeded to sculpt a uniqueness of sound which they describe as Extreme Progressive Art. Next the band enlisted drummer J. Nerexo, also of Shadows Land, and forged debut EP, Year One with their combined ingenuity and imagination which Access Code now pushes further whilst threatening to thrust the band to the fore of European metal. It is a proposition which brings an innovative and invigorating presence to numerous genres and a creative alchemy to ears.

The release opens with A Habitable World is Found, a track which according to the band “is a space-opera metaphor for search of a place on this world, a path that leads to completion of one’s self. It’s also a statement of our musical ds coverway, an opening act of chapter two of the odyssey.” Riffs make the first rigorous persuasion from within the track, their almost bitter textures startling and incendiary. Around them a sonic brew of invention warms its hands before descending on ears and imagination whilst those imposing riffs and a rhythmic battering led by equally caustic vocal growls intimidatingly spawn their specific furnace of attractive yet destructive bait. The twin vocal assault in its relentlessly varied delivery from the band founders is as gripping and unpredictable as the now in full flight tempest of sound and ideation. To be honest the track is as difficult to portray in words as it is unpredictable in sound and enterprise, additives of post punk and post rock endeavour just a few of the flames adding to the continuously intriguing and bewitching soundscape. As proven by the track alone, handful of listens still barely scratches the surface of the song’s depths and unrelenting ingenuity, ensuring each dive into its ravenous structures and agitated imagination of sound and skilled musicianship is a freshly rewarding experience.

Second track We Have The Access Code, is an immediate scrub of sonic acidity and rhythmic hostility which again is as seducing in its presence as it is venomously uncompromising. As its predecessor, the track is a merciless turbulence of sound and creative rabidity but whereas the first has a fluid and seamless evolution even in its most agitated and ferocious moments, the second song brings a bedlamic and discord fuelled frenzy which clashes and sparks against the senses and itself for another ridiculously compelling and scintillating proposition. Also employing a haunted and stark post punk essence within its melancholic shadows as well as electro spiced causticity, the song is equally unafraid to entwine a torrent of flavours and insatiably rabid creativity around its bordering on maniacal walls and charm.

Access Code is invention at its most damaging, arousing, and brilliantly animated best, extreme metal with a new intent and breath which sets Deconstructing Sequence not only apart from the rest but as a template for others to find inspiration in.

The self-released Access Code EP is available now @ http://dsprogart.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DeconstructingSequence

10/10

RingMaster 12/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cathartic violations: An interview with Throat of Lesch-Nyhan

lesch nyhan4

Formed in 1989, the journey of Philadelphia metallers Lesch-Nyhan has been one of two halves, their first coming rich with potent horizons ahead but derailed before their realisation could be smelt. The return of the band in 2012 though looks like being a different matter. Returning with all the potential and inspiring qualities of before but honed into an even more rewardingly imposing and thrillingly incessant beast of an encounter, as evidenced by their new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, the quartet has emerged again as the ravenous and inventively savage proposition their fans always declared them to be. The new album is a wake up swipe to extreme metal so we called on the time and kindness of band founder and vocalist Gary ‘Throat’ Hadden to take us into the heart and creativity of Lesch-Nyhan. We get the frontman to talk about the two different periods of the band, reasons for its break up and resurrection, the band’s take on the current metal scene and plenty more…

Hi Throat and many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Before we talk about the new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, can we look at the beginnings of the band back in 1989? What was the spark to its birth and intent to its heart?

In 1989 it was a time in metal where Thrash ruled, and Death Metal and Grindcore were not heard of that much… I was asked by Mark and Anthony Delacandro if I’d like to form a band, Hell Yeah, I said. We then asked Greg Oreski RIP to join the band and it was rounded out by adding Mike Carr; we started to form and create the sound of Lesch nyhan… The intent was to have fun, we never expected what was about to happen…. It was a great time…

lesch nyhan2It is fair to say that the band was moving and brewing up a strong and potentially potent future with its unique sound and presence, but some of its members were not ready or were unprepared for that step? What was the core reason for that do you feel and the halt to the band’s progress?

Yes there could have been a chance Lesch nyhan would have had an opportunity to get signed and be a part of the start of what was still a growing scene, changing a lot, but still growing. The demise of the band; first off we had a lot of attention from Peaceville Records, with that came parents who disagreed with their sons’ decision to continue to play in the band due to its possible signing. As I mentioned previously, Thrash Metal was popular and the musicians were far and few between… I did find several musicians one being Dan Kamp who moved onto Incantation. The other members in the band just couldn’t create what we previously were and it was not working out… So that was it…

Was this a slow turn or a swift punch into the heart of the band as members realised the possible future of Lesch-Nyhan?

It was quick; we were active playing with today’s Legendary Bands in Suffocation, and Incantation, amongst others… So with all that was going on it seemed clear we had a chance to make a name for ourselves.

I know the band went through a few members at this point, what was the final straw which brought the band to an end back then?

Overall lack of interest…. or skill to play our form of music…again Death Metal or Extreme Metal was really at its birth so it was hard to find the right people to carry on… I also got involved in drugs that messed me up for a few years… Hope that answers that….

It was not until 2012 that the beast rose again, what did the interim years hold for you musically etc.

Envy… My best friend Kevin McLintock played in Mortal Decay and also had and still has his band Polterchrist, so during the last 22 years I’ve been a huge fan of Death and Black Metal, it has kept the spirit in me and the desire to once again create something unique, even though so much has been done and tried. I went to a lot of shows and remained a big fan of music.

Was there a trigger to the band’s return in 2012 or was it something brewing in thoughts and emotions for a while? Lesch Nyhan

It happened real sudden, I was approached by a former member in Rob Vandeerveer to see if I’d be interested it trying to get back to making music. I asked around, Chris Miller previously of Crucifier and Afterbirth joined forces and brought in his friend and drummer Mark Vizza; Jimmy Dabatista was also in the reformed band at first. So now Chris and I have parted ways with all those guys. Jack Carmichael formerly of Afterbirth was long time friends with Chris so he joined and we found Mark Stanthorpe Jr to round out this line up…Which is finally solid and steadily progressing.

How did you approach things this time around, musically and just in the process of being a band?

Very seriously, we know we aren’t a group of young guys; we are doing what we know to do to spread out our music. We are grateful to be where we are today, being ready to record our first full length CD. The music is written by the band, I write the lyrics. One important thing with the band is Chris and Jack were fans of Lesch nyhan back in 89/92 so that helps keep the vibes alive.

Did it feel any different as Lesch-Nyhan rose again other than what maturity and experience brings?

Yes, we are proud of what we are doing and have done so far… It’s an awesome feeling to see some old heads that used to come to our shows back in the day and for some new young and old people to find interest in our music is a great feeling.

How different was the death metal scene when the band reformed to when it left it, and did that have any impact on your thoughts in regard to sound, songwriting, and just returning?

No, actually the guys in the band don’t even listen to today’s Death Metal, so they write what they feel. Myself I write about a lot of things from hating life, gore, some political stuff and anti-religious stuff. We don’t care what people think, we’re not trying to impress anyone, and we are doing what we feel and what we want. So trends and popularity isn’t important, being honest to ourselves is more important… Nothing fake here.

You have just released new album Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. Has its emergence in some ways been unfinished business or more a new chapter looking ahead only?

I think it’s a look ahead; we do have Bathed in Phlegm on the CD that was previously written in 1991, other than that all new material…

How has your sound changed between the new release and Indistinguished Remains of 1991 in your ears and thoughts?

In 1991 we were young; I used a harmonizer on my vocals back then and used it live as well. Over the years I’ve been upset with the decision to use that effect, to us at the time it seemed inventive and different. So in today’s music it is raw, it was recorded that way ‘because we play it live that way. This to me is a dream come true, and don’t think we all don’t put in time, we practice a lot and enjoy creating music. The basic elements of the old music are still alive today… Done with more talent and intent of making unique music, not typical run of the mill…Lesch nyhan

Has your inspirations for songs and the raw passion and craft which breaths in your music and songs still the same which lit up your early compositions or has that also changed and found new seeds over the years?

For me the passion runs deep, I feel my vocals are one of a kind and try to make it that way; creativity is vital to all of us. We keep it in the same vein as early days but much more advanced in writing and song composition…I think…

frontcoverHow did you approach the recording of Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, was there a certain intent with its creation or did it find a more organic evolution once expanding and recording the tracks?

We knew going in what we wanted and were looking for…. we’re not a polished band, we’re a live band, we practice a lot and I think are pretty tight so recording this CD was easy. It actually took us 12 hrs, my vocals 2.5 hrs…We all hammered it out quick and were quite pleased with the results.

Are you someone who likes to have songs predominantly finished one recording starts or likes to give them that freedom to evolve and surprise you in the recording process?

Yes I rehearse a lot, I put together the songs vocally during practice; if you’re familiar with Lesch nyhan there’s a lot of vocal changes and it takes time to work them into the songs, although a lot of Lesch nyhan Syndrome just came out as a surprise… Not all some though…

How does the songwriting primarily emerge in the band?

Chris Miller, Jack Carmichael, Mark Iii as he’s known, write all the music…I basically just listen for it to move me, if it doesn’t than it won’t work …. They have become a machine. I practice mostly at Chris’ with him and Jack with the drums through the Pa, that gives us time to practice often and for me to do my thing… The song writing is going great.

How have responses to the release met with your hopes before its unleashing?

It’s gone well, the intent was to get the music heard; we really didn’t have expectations except enjoy having completed this after all these years. We definitely have sparked a flame here and I hope the next recording takes us to the next level, and see where things go.

What is next for Lesch-Nyhan, in regard to playing live, new songs, and direction?lesch nyhan3

Live shows is what I live for, in August we are making our way up north to Rhode Island and playing in Pray for Death Fest 2; our next local show is in September at Harpers pub. New music is coming along nicely, we are recording ten tracks at the end of this month, and the direction we are going is our own making music we enjoy and expressing ourselves as we please.

Again many thanks for sparing time for us here. Would you like to leave a final thought or word?

Sure, I have to say thanks to all the people who have checked out our music, came out to our shows; thanks to all the promoters who continue to provide us with good shows…in the Spring of 2015 we are headed to Wisconsin to play apart the Spring Bash, then follow up with a road trip where we will be playing Midwest states and north east. I hope to see some of you out there. If you do coke out always feel free to come up say and say hello… Finally I like to say thanks to you for doing a review of Lesch nyhan Syndrome…. and following it up with this thanks. To anyone who may want to check out our bands page it’s LeschNyhanMetal on Facebook, on YouTube type in Lesch nyhan band, and Google Lesch nyhan band…. Thanks Throat

Read the review for Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/lesch-nyhan-lesch-nyhan-syndrome/

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 06/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Triverse Massacre – With Bared Teeth And Truths

Triverse Massacre Online Promo Shot There is nothing kind or merciful about With Bared Teeth And Truths, the new EP from UK extreme metallers Triverse Massacre, its title more than hinting at the ferocious and torrid tempest grasping every second of the encounter. It is a formidable and reasonably striking encounter which at times does arguably offer more potential than realised triumphs but still incites a healthy appetite for the Carlisle quintet. From a decent enough yet underwhelming start, the EP emerges as a creatively flavoursome and pleasingly hostile protagonist reinforcing the suggestion set by its predecessor that Triverse Massacre is a band with a potent horizon ahead of them. Formed in 2010, the band soon earned a strong reputation for their uncompromising sound and fierce stage performances, the sharing of stages with bands such as Aliases, The Sun Explodes, and Meta-Stasis cementing their emerging presence in the UK metal underground. The band has earned comparisons to the likes of The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, and Slayer along the way whilst debut EP, In The Jaws Of Deceit set a potent base for the band to move on from. With Bared Teeth And Truths is possibly not as big a step forward from that well-received release as expected but certainly evidence of a band on the right course. The release opens with Wolves At Your Gates, a track which suggests more than it gives. From a raw and brewing tempestuous climate of distressed and pained sounds, rhythms emerge with intensive muscle and riffs with predatory Triverse Massacre Cover Artworkdesign, all ridden by the excellent insidiously venomous growls of Liam Clark. As the song settles into its purpose and stride there is an expected spark missing, hooks and acidic grooves from guitarists James Graham and Chris Kelsall imposing yet safe in their intensity whilst the rhythms of drummer Mike Collins, aligned to the sinister prowling intent of bassist Dan Fisher, are demanding but also devoid of real viciousness. Whether it is the production or the song itself, the encounter whilst still appealing potently just does not come alive as hoped. The individual craft of the band is impressive and the structure of the track as it tries to intimidate and scar the senses enticing but even with its inventive rabidity there is something amiss and lacking. The following Exhale Betrayal is instantly a more formidable and threatening proposition, swift grinding riffs rich bait to which rampaging rhythms add their mighty swings. The vocals again squall and squeal with an addictive presence, Clark’s delivery something you suspect will work for some and not others, but for those with a liking for his serpentine abrasing it is a highly pleasing asset of the band and songs. A virulent urgency drives the track as the guitars cast their unpredictable weave over ears and though there also is an incomplete air to the song, it is down to a lifeless production more than anything.      Bullets Kill Beasts opens on a melodic reflection, guitars casting an emotive hue framed by a military bred march of rhythms and a potent throaty bass suasion. Straight away the track brings a new breath and strength to the release, bringing more antagonism and potency to the vocal hostility and winding thrash fuelled grooves as well as the flurries of riffs. The track is soon charging contagiously into the imagination, its twists of ideation and sonically catchy enticements ensuring that With Bared Teeth And Truths is a completely different and now rigorously impressive proposition. The production still mutes some of the strengths of the track but compared to its predecessors it is able to throw off its restrictions to leave a lingering and fully satisfied impression. The closing Torn From The Throne takes things to another level again, the best track on the EP unleashing a greater physical and aural enmity on the senses and passions. The track simply tears at ears with a brutal predation and bestial rancor, bad blood infectiously flooding its sonic and melodic veining as oppressive weight and severity drives vocals and rhythms. In many ways the EP is one of two halves, the first appealing and full of promise but the second is where the real potential and potency of the band is on show. Triverse Massacre is gaining a fine reputation as they grow and With Bared Teeth And Truths definitely adds to that but it also seems like a missed opportunity to push the band onto a loftier step within the national metal scene. As said though they are heading in the right direction and more encounters like this, with a deserving production next time, will do nicely. The With Bared Teeth And Truths EP is available now via http://triversemassacre.bandcamp.com/album/with-bared-teeth-and-truths https://www.facebook.com/TriverseMassacre 7.5/10 RingMaster 04/08/2014 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://audioburger247.webs.com/