Direwolves – Aegri Somnia

direwolves

The hardcore scene has already impressed in 2014 with a ferocious flurry of rigorously intruding and thrilling furies, hardcore based or driven releases from the likes of Havenside, Ringworm, and Axecatcher to name just three leading the way. Stepping right in front of them or certainly alongside, are a pair of Throatruiner Records releases, one from Plebian Grandstand which you can read about elsewhere on the site and maybe the mightiest triumph of the lot Aegri Somnia from French band Direwolves. Their eleven track rage is a masterful persuasion of uncompromising riffs and rhythms fuelled by irresistible melodic tartness and inescapable hooks. Fusing metallic sinews and punk attitude to their sonic and vocal squalls, the debut album from the Lorient quintet is a standout treat for genre and year so far, an onslaught which if not on people’s best of lists will certainly be in their favourites of the year.

Direwolves formed in 2011 and were soon making a mark locally and within the French underground scene, their potent two track demo release Demo MMXI in their first year left in the shade by their first EP, the eagerly received and praised Me From Myself, to Banish the following year. Aegri Somnia is their next major step as a band and you suspect one into a wider intensive spotlight. The release takes over where the previous EP left off in many ways, taking its base as a launch pad for a more intensive and inventive venture whilst drawing greater blackened essences and harsher aspects of punk and crust into the hardcore brew. On its first scarring Aegri Somnia easily impresses and captures the imagination but as all great releases the more you share and open up the senses to its causticity the stronger and explosively persuasive it becomes.

Introspection starts things off, it a brief sonically hatched instrumental which casts an acidic landscape around the ears whilst giving far direwolves covermore than a hint of what is to come as rhythms manhandle the senses with fearsome creative power and the bass parades a carnivorous sound and intent. It is a striking and incendiary start, easily enslaving attention and anticipation as the guitars wash the air with melodic venom before it all explodes into the raging fire of Insights. Riffs and rhythms tear chunks from the psyche right away whilst the vocals abrase with every tortured syllable and angst driven word. It is an even briefer assault than its predecessor, one minute of hellacious contempt and sonic temptation with hooks to match and all very tasty.

The following storm of The Blindness That Keeps You Warm pushes the album’s entrance up another notch in contagious persuasion, flying at the ears with rhythms throwing muscular spite and riffs adding their animosity to the intense pressure whilst infectious hooks and grooves pierce and wind their way respectively into the tempest. It is a merciless yet seductive scourge of enterprise which evolves into Holy Treason with just as much invention and irrepressible fire driving forth the exhilarating turmoil. As with all songs though it is not just about passion and ferocity with the band laying out addictive designs and melodic toxins which help make the already eager taste for the encounter greedy and satisfaction unreservedly intense.

The bass snarl finds an even greater predation to its voice in the next up Echoed In Vain whilst the drums develop a controlled frenzy which only impresses further. Though the track maybe does not make the strongest initial scoring on ears and thoughts with melody brewed acid in its body and far reaching hooks, it is a forcibly engaging violation matched and exceeded by the excellent Sighs And Whisper. As pleasingly expected by this point in the album, guitars sculpt a web of sonic scorching and imaginative melodic entanglement around a merciless and brutally rapacious rhythmic drive. Equally though there is adventure unique to each track and here the song bullies its way into a moment of post hardcore, almost progressive insight, to keep predictability and assumptions at bay and wrong footed.

Aegri Somnia continues to impress as the adrenaline soaked and at times impossibly magnetic The Liar’s Choice and the voracious Face The Facts unleash their primal and instinctive belligerence vocally and unrelenting defiance musically on ears and beyond, whilst Light It Up from an outstanding rhythmic coaxing within a sonic wail intensively paints a finger pointing indictment at society. All three add a different aspect to the album, individual outrages and creative provocations to ignite thoughts and emotions.

The final pair of tracks, Keep It Clear and Endless Tragedies, are arguably the band’s most expansive and intrusive engagements, both thick in weight and passion relinquishing the use of skilfully crafted hooks and grooves for exhaustive almost doom clad atmospheres and melodically spawned explorations. They make for a formidable conclusion for a thoroughly impressive and exciting beast of a release. There is very little to offer as a temper to the fully hatched appreciation and ardour for the intimidation offered, though of course if hardcore is not an instinctive flavour that appeals from the off the songs could occasionally blend into each other through only a surface attention such their swift strikes and mutually intensive passion. The bottom-line though is that Aegri Somnia is a tremendous proposition and Direwolves a band set for major things.

https://www.facebook.com/wearedirewolves

http://direwolves.bandcamp.com/album/aegri-somnia

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

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Daggers – It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues

daggers

Hardcore right now seems to be one of the most adventurously explored genres, certainly going by the evidence gathered and unleashed by Throatruiner Records this month alone, with It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues by Daggers arguably the biggest slab of unquestionable proof. The new album from the Belgian quartet is a brute of an unleashing, twelve tracks of distinct inventiveness from a band which has never been slow on pushing their limits anyway. Whereas their previous array of releases have been an indignant fusion of crust and hardcore, Daggers upon their new fury pushes the walls down between hardcore and extreme metal noise for a wholly unique brew of rapaciously imaginative rock ‘n’ roll to them and scene. It is a raw maelstrom of inciting imagination and voracious intensity which provokes and violates senses through to thoughts, a ferociously uncompromising adventure which though it needs time to state its persuasion, is an irresistibly compelling bruising.

Hailing from Liège, the foursome of Yannick Tönnes, Gregory Mertz, Thierry Tönnes, and Thomas Fagny has left a trail of satisfaction and exhausted emotions with a clutch of imposing releases, starting with their 2008 self-titled EP through to second album Euphoria in 2011. Across their five years Daggers has always been a provocation which has earned an appetite here if not a raging fire towards them, each release making a lingering and potent scar in the hardcore scene but It’s Not Jazz, It’s Blues is another matter entirely, in presence and impact. The album is a real journey through cavernous sceneries and ruthlessly stark atmospheres but constantly poised to thrust its instinctive punk breeding and metallic causticity down the throats of emotions.

Recorded live by Ben Phillips at the Lightship studio and mastered by Magnus Lindberg from Cult of Luna, the album opens on a reflective accordion croon as Apex slowly unveils its emotive invitation. It is a sinister if restrained enveloping which hints but gives no real clue to the impending and sudden explosion of vocal antagonism within an intensive and hefty weight of snarling riffs and cantankerous rhythms. The track instantly switches character at the expulsion, prowling purposely and intimidatingly across the senses as the guitars entwine a spiral of sonic acidity around things and the bass adds an extra rapacious menace courted  by an inventive texture of lead and backing vocals, again their attack controlled but intrusive. Now that its heart is fully open, the song offers a true portent of the album’s intent and qualities, though not quite the maze of imagination and experimentation also to come.

The song’s closing riff is a bridge into the following Woolgatherer, the coarse link soon replicated with deeper hunger by bass and a Artworkgrittier guitar tone. The track is an instant snarl of vicious rock ‘n’ roll employing numerous textures from rock and metal in its pungent incitement; an infectious repetitive groove aligned to a harsh roar of vocals which even in the briefness of the track steals keen attention and incites a greedy appetite for more which is soon offered by the similarly corrosive yet contagiously welcoming brawl of Blues. Also too short for these greed infused desires, the slice of combative causticity is an imposing wall of melancholic indictment and almost warring accusations lyrically and musically, which only intensifies the impressive start and persuasion of the album.

Both Asunder and Beacon push thoughts and passions into stronger enjoyment, the first a feisty confrontation of punk abrasion and metallic ferociousness which skilfully wrong foots not long into the roar with a delicious sonic detour employing seductive if acidic melodies and an irresistible twang to its breath before heading back into a riotous engagement with addiction sparking grooves and stomping attitudes, the bass wonderfully bestial once again. Its successor is a minute touching purge of the senses, uncluttered with twists and ideas taking it from its core intent but still infusing subtle hooks and lures which entice and linger within and after its offering. Again the swiftness of the assault is possibly thirty seconds or more too short but when so memorable and incisive you have to think that Daggers have got it right.

Wanderlust encircles the ears next, grizzled vocals taking their animosity out on air and senses whilst a sonic weave and anger ebbs and flows with inventive enterprise around the provocation. Arguably it is at this point where the album really starts to unveil its new rich pattern of experimentation and adventure, though earlier songs all bring a new character and potency from the band. In its forceful embrace, the song’s narrative takes the listener into sultry climates and melodic pastures, all shadowed and coated by unpredictable intrigue and evocative mystique, an emotive climate explored further by the instrumental Labyrinth, a piece which brings beauty under the sinister scrutiny of shadows and dark temptations.

The pair of Evermore and Dormant unveil the dangers, threat, and bewitchment of these new landscapes, the first an exhaustive charge which magnetically and urgently entices before slipping into a slower and equally incendiary intensive smothering of invasive rabidity which than alternates with a lasting contagion, and the second a stalking heavy legged predator which threatens and tempts the imagination. As all songs there is an agitation which will have its say and here with the most stringent pressure yet.

It’s Not Jazz It’s Blues saves its most thrilling experiments until the end starting with Sovereign, a track with a coarse and almost rustic glaze to its riffs and vocals as well as a hypnotic bordering droning repetition of sonic toxicity. There is a Killing Joke feel to the song as it feverishly works away tempting its victim, the unrelenting venom irrepressible even when the excellent twist of vocal delivery and haunting ambience leaves its compelling colour on the brilliant ingenuity of thought and sculpting. That brilliance continues into Cultist, its hive of waspish toxins an instant burrowing under the skin and across the psyche before relaxing into another persistent nagging which is impossible to resist or not find a new ardour for. Again a haunting, eerie atmosphere embraces the imagination whilst the track presents its venomous and mouthwatering bait with inventive bedlam and vicious veracity.

The release closes with Citadel, a dirty bleak stew of rare sonic abrasion and naked emotion which is punk in its purest form. The track impressively completes a blistering treat of a release. It’s Not Jazz, Its Blues is without doubt the best thing to strike from the minds and hands of Daggers, maybe not quite the classic you feel is alive inside them but certainly an inspirational new instigation for the genre and noise. It also suggest that if the band pursues the realms ventured within the final three or four songs on the album, that imitable pinnacle is nigh.

https://www.facebook.com/daggersband

http://daggersband.bandcamp.com/album/its-not-jazz-its-blues

9/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

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Axecatcher – We Watch The Sun Burn EP

 

axecatcher

    If like us you thought Axecatcher’s last EP Sparks & Spears was forcibly impressive last year, and it undeniably was, than be prepared to be blown away by We Watch The Sun Burn. The new three track EP from the Irish hardcore band is exceptional, a furious and compelling manipulation of senses and emotions which not only confirms all the early promise of the band but thrusts them up onto the frontline of raw noise conjurors. The maturity bred and songwriting levels reached in the space of a year is stunning; the last release had the potential and weaponry to bring new blood and fury to hardcore, We Watch The Sun Burn realises that promise and so much more.

     Formed in 2011 and hailing from Limavady in Northern Ireland, the then trio of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Montgomery, bassist/backing vocals Colin Wilson, and drummer Danny Kane, made an instant mark with debut single The Odalisque in their first year. The well-received sonic exploration raised an attentive approach towards the band, something that Sparks & Spears turned into a more fevered appetite with its release via Belfast’s Savour Your Scene Records. Between EPs Axecatcher has kept momentum busy with their live shows and appearances, the band sharing stages with bands such as KEN mode and Rotting Out, each adding to their reputation and acclaim. We Watch The Sun Burn though takes things to another level for the band, in sound and stature. The release sees newest member, vocalist Karson Browne adding flavoursome rages to the passionately generated causticity. It is just one aspect where things have flourished over the twelve months or so, everything falling into incendiary place from an already impressive proposition.

    Opener Genghis Thrash Khan is an irresistible contagion from its first seconds. A sonic intrusion makes the first scar but is coversoon submerged in a rhythmic bombardment and a great vocal provocation from Browne, Montgomery, and Wilson. Once interest is enslaved, the band rampages through the ears with a fire of riffs, a deliciously throaty bass incitement, and the ever destructive might of Kane. Into its rapacious stride, grooves and viciously barbed hooks spear and seduce the passions whilst vocally Browne and the band squall with antagonistic fire and accomplished craft. The track continues to twist and evolve the deeper it entrenches itself into the passions, punk and hardcore fused into a quite magnificent predator of sound

     Easily the best thing on the release and of anything Axecatcher has written to date, the track makes an imposing benchmark for the rest of the EP, something the following Cinders handles with voracious intensity and flesh scorching spite. The opening graze of guitar only hints at the energetic bruising soon uncaged as Montgomery entwines sonic tendrils around the senses whilst riffs gnaw just as feverishly. Rhythms add to the lure with their commanding and crippling cage of sinew driven beats whilst the exhaustive and impressing vocals simply tear strips off their trapped victims. True the song fails to match its predecessor but still builds its own scintillating plateau for others to take inspiration from.

  The closing N.O.V.A. stomps and dances seductively straight away, it’s addictive grooves and discord kissed sonic spearing encased in a infectious embrace of catchy intrigue and masterful invention. Never allowing a moments respite in its psyche carving tempest until its midpoint where the heavy muscular rhythms of Kane pin the senses down by their shoulders in solitude, the furnace of passion and noise is a mouthwatering unpredictable violation and another irrepressible declaration of just how immense the band has become and will continue to grow. It is a staggering conclusion to a primal and instinctive slab of sonically and emotionally spiteful brilliance.

    There are numerous outstanding hardcore bands across the UK and Europe, but right now Axecatcher has taken a march on most with world persuasion definitely on the cards. EP of the year so far certainly, release of the year…it is right there challenging without doubt.

http://www.facebook.com/Axecatcher

http://axecatcher.bandcamp.com

10/10

RingMaster 20/03/2014

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Ringworm – Hammer Of The Witch

 

pic scott schumacher

pic scott schumacher

    I think it is safe to say that the ferocity and sonic viciousness of metallic hardcore protagonists Ringworm has not abated or diminished over their twenty plus years brawling with the senses. The indisputable evidence comes with new album Hammer Of The Witch, a towering and vindictive slab of destructive raging and antagonistic creativity. Packed to the brim with thirteen vitriol spewing tracks that just as venomously unleash a range of uncompromising riffs and addictive grooves, the album is a commanding onslaught of spite and animosity, simply unadulterated hardcore excellence.

     Formed in 1991, it is fair to say that Ringworm has left an indelible mark with their fusion of metal and hardcore, debut album The Promise in 1993 setting the Cleveland band as a sizeable proposition before a hiatus of sorts was ended by the unleashing of the critically acclaimed Birth Is Pain on Victory Records in 2001. Subsequent albums like Justice Replaced By Revenge four years later and the following The Venomous Grand Design of 2007 reinforced and strengthened their grip on passions and scene. Scars three years ago continued the stretching of the band’s creativity and power, the same pleasing accusation you can throw at Hammer Of The Witch, the band’s debut on Relapse Records. Recorded with Ben Schigel (Chimaira, Walls of Jericho) producing, the album is a merciless tempest chewing up and spitting out everything from ears to emotions.

     Opener Dawn of Decay emerges from a cinematic intimidation, a sense of epic danger spawning a weave of carnivorous 12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}basslines, rapacious riffing, and combative rhythms, all honed into a prowling entity which sizes up its victim before exploding into  fire of musical causticity and vocal threat, the tones of frontman Human Furnace as always living up to his moniker. The song stalks the senses from start to finish, the guitars of Matt Sorg and John Comprix abrasively ravishing air and ears whilst drummer Danny Zink gives them a further mighty battering.

  The excellent start is potently backed up by the corrosive wrath of Bleed and the nastily venomous Leave Your Skin at the Door, both individual tirades of inventive riffery and precisely sculpted contagious grooves courted by the deliciously dark hearted tones spawned from the bass of Ed Stephens, his opening of the second of these songs a mouthwatering provocation. Each track is also marked by keen sonic endeavour from the guitars; theirs an acidic play within the riot which even in brief colours raises the potency of the anger.

    The toxic Exit Life rails against ears next, its narrative and approach singular in venom and hatred but fully magnetic, before Psychic Vampire belts and engages the senses with rhythmic violence and a deceptively seductive groove which winds around and recruits the passions. The track is a maelstrom of vehemence, lyrically and sonically, and rich infectiousness. It is an intrusive antagonist that is hard to have enough of, the same that can also be said of King of Blood, another unbridled onslaught which savages and ignites the emotions with dramatic grooves, temper driven riffs, and bitter rhythms. The track in many ways is similar to its predecessor, the one trait you could lay against the album with a regularly familiarity across some songs, though it does not reduce the pleasure and power of the release one iota.

    Through tracks like the torrentially consumptive I Recommend Amputation and the predatory We’ll Always Have the End as well as the raging causticity of One Of Us Is Going to Have to Die…, band and album abrases and sears with compelling efficiency and enterprise even if each lacks some of the spark of previous songs, though amongst them the title track takes its victims on a hellacious ride of physical and mental ferocity which simply ignites the passions, it’s almost demonic poisons irresistibly and dramatically enthralling.

     The final trio of tracks starting with the flesh and synapse scorching Vicious Circle of Life lift the album back to its opening plateau, the fearsome slice of tempestuous hostility scarred with great guitar acid soon thrown under the shadow of the brilliant Die Like a Pig. The bass of Stephens digs deep for its strongest guttural growl whilst HF soaks every syllable and rage spewing sound with bile spawned malevolence and passion to match the creative rabidity of its partners of dispute.

     The album closes with slab of prime hardcore/punk jaundice in the riveting shape of Height of Revelation. The uncivil and rigorously inciting melee of sonic and rhythmic rancor is a thunderous and thoroughly incendiary last triumph for passions and album. Hammer of the Witch is a breath stealing, bone splintering furnace of acrimony and virulent contagion. It is masterful and thrilling assault on the ear which if not the pinnacle of Ringworm’s career is certainly right up there. Hardcore has never sounded better in the hands of the ‘veterans’, and they show no signs of losing their devastating anger and invention either…Happy Days!

http://www.ringworm13.net/

9/10

RingMaster 19/03/2014

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Havenside – Living Our Darkest Days

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    Formed in 2006, US band Havenside has become an invigorating excitement for ears but never quite made that big step into the strongest spotlight. Forging a ferocious mix of metal and hardcore, the band certainly across their previous three albums has sculpted persistently pleasing results from within their continuing rich potential but without lighting the major fires they suggest they are capable of. Their fourth album Living Our Darkest Days is in also a little guilty of not truly exploiting the promise and undeniable quality of the band but it certainly makes a strong fist of its attempt. The twelve track slab of sonic savagery and antagonistic vitality seizes ears and imagination from its first ravenous minute never relinquishing its grip until the final seconds. There are a few ‘ailments’ you can lay against the otherwise impressive encounter but the Sacramento has still crafted their finest moment yet to worry those higher echelons of recognition.

    Formed in 2006 by vocalist Brandon Wells, Havenside despite going through a few line-up changes has earned a fine reputation LODD_HighRes_Coverfor their ferocious sound and stage presence, not forgetting their well-received albums. Released via Innerstrength Records, Living Our Darkest Days is the Californian quintet’s fourth full-length fury, an intensive bruising to fire up appetites and emotions. The album takes little time to ravage ears as opener Indisputable from a distant squall launches a violent tirade upon the senses; riffs and rhythms aligned to lethally rapacious vocal spite producing an immediate savagery. The rigid antagonistic riffery of Casey Mann and Nik Santos churns up and chews on synapses with their heavily laden vitriol whilst the bass of Jordon Morch snarls with bestial rage alongside. It is a towering mix under the drive of the crippling rhythms of drummer Jaramia Bond, a thrust given a rabid head by the raw tones of Wells. Grooves threaten to break free from the tempest at times, teasing with their presence but never given full rein by the weight of the song. It is an intriguing and satisfying start which suggests more than it delivers but all the same grabs attention and enjoyment.

   Featuring Rob McCarthy (ex-Lionheart), The Broken storms in next, a winding groove given licence to twist around the imagination as the rhythms punch a frame around their lure. With Wells unleashing a malicious combativeness, the track plunders the senses with invention and voraciousness like an agitated leviathan. It is a spiteful yet magnetic provocateur raising the stakes for the passions to embrace. Its tempestuous qualities and strength is soon matched by the following Despised and then left behind by the excellent Things Will Never Change. The first of the two, like its predecessor, casts grooves and hooks within an intense cyclone of aggression and though the song does not quite have the bait to spark the same depth of reactions as the first pair, it has plenty to keep a hunger brewing. By this point a surface similarity coats the songs which does not deter or disappoint but does suggest some of the reason that the album does not explode in the passions as strongly as it should. The second of these two tracks is the exception and shows what is possible. Grazing and brawling with the ears from its first breath, the song instantly has something about it which is different and bold, drawing in the imagination ready for the excellent twist of clean backing vocals. Flinging sinews and malevolent attitude lyrically and musically around, the track has a swagger and swerving flow to its body which ripples and enthrals, the track moving away from the more metalcore premise of other tracks. It is a glorious incitement and one easy to hope the band explore further.

    Both the intimidating Unite & Conquer and the almost danceable, almost, Standing Your Ground Pt. 2 prey on the listener next, both accomplished and severe examinations which pale against the previous song but stand tall alone, before the first single from the album stomps forward. Stronger Everyday is a fiery and formidable encounter which lurches over and traps attention with its keen and resourceful animosity, providing another worthwhile wounding for the senses.

     The outstanding pair of King By Destruction and Supplicator soon put the last song in a shadow with their adventure and intensity. The first with a pack like stalking from its rhythms and riffs, nags and provokes with purposeful intent but it is the small melodically bred sonic veining and assisting clean vocals which lift the track from the rest, that and the increasing dramatic imagination and diversity which ignites the latter part of the song. Its successor is a swift explosion of bad blood, an excellent unpredictable tirade focusing on the more hardcore heart of the band. Like the last, it further suggests the expansive elements of the songwriting and sound within Havenside, something still not allowed enough freedom for us.

    The final trio of songs ensure the release ends on a strong footing if slightly underwhelming compared to previous songs. Composure rants and riles against the listener musically and lyrical in fine style with flashes of intrigue lighting up its war whilst Curse, which sees a guest appearance from Howie Favichia of Lifeforms, from a fascinating melodic intro crafts a brutality which scavenges emotions. Again there are great glimpses of emprise to the engagement though never anything truly pushed to its limits. Final song Refuse To Sink brings Living Our Darkest Days to an uncompromising and pleasing end if again without realising or exploring the full promise of its invention.

    The track sums up the album, a song which impresses and crafts some strikingly imaginative moments but seems afraid to unleash the creative beast inside. Living Our Darkest Days is a thoroughly engaging proposition all the same, Havenside at its best but still with some potential to unleash…that something to eagerly wait for.

https://www.facebook.com/havensideofficial

http://innerstrengthrecords.bandcamp.com/music

8/10

RingMaster 12/03/2014

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A Silent Escape – Black Heart

A Silent Escape Online Promo Shot

     Building on their potent and promise fuelled debut album, Swedish melodic metallers A Silent Escape return with its successor Black Heart to make another pleasing punch on the senses. Merging magnetically persuasive metal with hardcore abrasiveness, the Falkenberg quintet continue to be a band seemingly destined to close and eager attention whilst still on the road to finding their fullest potential. On the surface the new album does not seem a massive leap on from its strong predecessor but time and patience allows the songs making up the emerging impressive release to unveil a much maturer and poised invention alongside a greater hunger to the songwriting and its expressive realisation.

     Formed in 2010 out of the demise of Union Square, which featured three fifths of A Silent Escape in its ranks, the band was soon grabbing attention with their live performances and subsequently first album. Receiving good acclaim and response from the critical media the five-piece of vocalist Patrick Stenborg, vocalist/guitarist Joel Nilsson, guitarist Eddie Hanlsa, bassist Martin Karlsson, and drummer Per Qvarnström are primed to exceed its success with the self-released Black Heart, nine tracks of still not fully distinctive antagonism but certainly an accomplished and dynamic A Silent Escape provocation.

     The album opens with a bang through opener Gone. From its first breath rhythms are jabbing a hole in the senses whilst guitar A Silent Escape Cover Artworkflames singe and light the imagination with enthralling craft and magnetism. The intensive squalling vocal attack of Stenborg brings a caustic rabidity to the protest before making a strong union with the clean voice of guitarist Nilsson, their occasional combination across song and album a continually impressive suasion. There is an unmissable In Flames assault to the song and admittedly the whole of Black Heart which prevents the release from standing fully alone amongst similarly sculpted bands or reaching its fullest promise. It also in some ways undermines the deeper qualities of the songs with the ultimately familiar surface, but still the first thrilling track makes a powerful invitation into the album which cannot be dismissed.

   Both Frozen Blood and the following title track reinforce and continue the strong entrance of the album, even if failing to create the same spark in the passions as their predecessor. The first of the pair builds a melodic web of temptation and emotive intensity to its reserved yet inciting tempestuous sonic heat whilst the second prowls the senses with a challenging and intimidating air through its predacious intent. It tempers this with a seductive melodic coaxing, a singular strand of seduction which has any fault is too far back in the bulging maelstrom of energy and rhythmic probing to realise its full potency. Nevertheless it again shows a pleasing imagination and adventure to the songwriting which arguably was missing in the band’s earlier release.

     When The Last Song canters in with a melodic wind to its initial vivacious sails to make an engaging coaxing, but it is when a tightly acidic groove offers a contagious lure matched by the again thrilling union of clean and grazing vocals that the song ignites into one of the real pinnacles of the release. Aggressive bordering carnivorous and seductive leading into melodic elegance, the song is an ingenious brew of enterprise and rapacious enmity fused into a fiery and enthralling triumph. Without doubt the lead song on the album the band back it up with the verging on vicious storm of The Light, a song where the great rhythms of Qvarnström bruise and make intensive demands on the senses alongside the ferocious hardcore bred punk vocals, alongside the ravenous, emotionally and physically, Gagball. Once more finding a riveting mix of clean and demanding vocals across a melodically infused and threateningly aggressive sound the song, without quite matching the previous peak of the album, boldly twists and turns back on itself with invention and bold explorations.

    The following Speed Of Light and also Seeker bring two more enjoyable if underwhelming encounters, both undeniably skilfully crafted but without the spark of individuality to set them aside from assuming expectations, whilst the closing Still Commanding unleashes a final summit to the album with a mouthwatering play of emotive melodics and angst clad aggression steered into the passions by the excellence mix of vocals. It absorbingly completes a fine album from a band still proving strong evidence that they are a force in the making. Possibly Black Heart disappoints in the fact it is not as big an evolution from A Silent Escape’s debut as hopes and assumptions imagined but it pleases and satisfies from start to finish and that is the first requirement of any strong release.

www.asilentescape.com

8/10

RingMaster 27/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Stuntman – Incorporate The Excess

stuntmanpix

    An infernal noise machine with a brutality to match, French senses annihilators Stuntman unleash all of their intensive malevolence and sonic fury, and then some, with new album Incorporate The Excess. A pestilence of hardcore and noise ferocity, the seven track release is a carnivorous slayer of the senses and entrapment of the passions from a band no stranger to corrupting audiences since their formation in 2002. It is a provocation which maybe is the Sète quartet at its most venomous and violent yet on a release which takes a couple of tracks before fully seducing the passions but once into its stride is a ruinous onslaught which leaves ears and body wasted and the imagination not forgetting emotions raging.

     With two previous albums, an EP and split, as well as numerous compilation appearances under their belt and more than 150 shows alongside five European tours where the band has shared stages with the likes of Coalesce, Russian Circles, Jucifer, Genghis Tron, Child Abuse, Kongh, Mumakil and many more, Stuntman have sculpted out a new depth of intensity with Incorporate The Excess. Released via Solar Flare Records digitally and as a 12” LP in addition to a CD release through Head Records and a cassette version through Lost Pilgrims, the album takes no prisoners, does not even allow them to raise hands in surrender, instead going straight for the jugular from its first full assault.

    The brief intro Broken Mirrors Lacerate sets things off, its minute long mix of samples and random metallic sounds SLF013---hi-res-coverrevealing little and offering not much more in the scheme of things. Once it steps aside for The Patriot, the Elite, the Icon the ferocious flight is ignited, the track a savage squall of ravenous riffs and rhythmic provocation scarred by the caustic vocals. The track grazes and scores the senses with a sonic rabidity aligned to a predation from the rhythms which is eye watering but equally it is a thrilling scourge which provides a familiar and unsurprising in many ways presence. Nevertheless the assault leaves a certain appetite wanting more which is duly delivered with the voracious Bag of Dicks, the vehemence drenched tempest another similarly driven and pleasing ravaging which like its predecessor is low on casting something out of the ordinary but unerringly hits the spot.

    Everything changes and ignites though with the album suddenly exploding into another kind of beast through firstly the rapacious tsunami of vicious contagion and groove fuelled animosity that is Horn of Misery. Its initial touch is a writhing swamp of sonic causticity and rhythmic violence merged into a senses smothering wall of hate. Once intensive virulently addictive grooves break free to entwine and seduce with the strongest acidic toxicity and rhythms provide a dislocated dance of barbaric enterprise, the song becomes an irresistible magnet of magnificence, a strike taking the release up numerous levels soon matched by the plateau reinforcing Roll the Skull. Snarling and nagging as it works over the senses with thunderous drum assault and acutely incisive and niggling riffs whilst the bass finds a greater delicious guttural predatory tone adding extra texture and snarl to its malevolence this time around, the track is a full on vat of intensive persuasive . Less pronounced but just as epidemically infected, grooves again steer the song deep into the imagination, their flailing arms wrapping unerringly around the passions and now unbridled hunger coated in greed for the release.

   The following Chaos Shepherd is a two minutes all out malicious antagonist, riffs and rhythms brewing up a pestilential onslaught which corrodes and suffocates with its blistering and hellacious anger. It makes the perfect softener of the senses for the closing eight minute slab of intensive severity, Scarecrow Warfare. The track is like a heavy plundering dark leviathan putting everything else in its shade with a towering tirade of riffs and ponderous concussive rhythms speared by discord coated sonic swipes. The track stalks and preys on ears with a bestial carnality to its intensity and uncompromising savagery to its seductive weaponry. An instrumental which you would imagine might outstay its long provocation, the track is a synapse drowning, passions igniting slab of heavy-duty sonic alchemy from start to finish and quite scintillating.

    It might take a couple of tracks to explode but Incorporate The Excess turns into one dangerously addictive and merciless treat. Stuntman takes noise and turns it into the most lethal seduction which makes their new album overall one frighteningly toxic temptation you only want more of.

https://stuntmannoise.bandcamp.com/

https://stuntmannoise.bandpage.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 20/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Invivo[Exvivo]

 

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    With more of a storm than a buzz brewing up around US metallers The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, the Mansfield, Pennsylvania quartet unleash their new album Invivo[Exvivo] to ravage not only their already seemingly submissive homeland but equally Europe and the UK. Ten tracks of virulently malicious and ridiculously compelling extreme provocation the album is a ferocious mix of filth clad aural brutality. A voracious maelstrom of everything from deathcore to grind, groove to nu metal and a flood of plenty more essences poisoning its vitriolic glory, the band’s sound takes no prisoners but neither does it leave the listener searching for rapacious imagination or feverishly rewarding adventure. Some of the tracks take longer to pull a submission than others from the passions but ultimately all succeed on one quite exhausting and riveting scourge.

     Formed in 2010 and consisting of guitarist and songwriter Wyatt McLaughlin, vocalist Storm Strope, bassist Anthony Madara, and drummer Christian Fisher, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life not only build on but stretch strenuously the seeds sown and bred on previous releases, the Justice EP of 2010, debut album Know Your Exits in 2011, and the Warpath EP of the following year. Invivo[Exvivo] takes everything to new impacting levels, its impressive savagery and inventiveness the band at a new vicious creative height. Released by Workhorse Music, it is fair to say that the album is not quite the perfect beast, at times missing a few opportunities in a torrent of successes to tantalise as it rips out the jugular, but there is never a moment or second offered which does not flare up the senses and passions into an excited state.

      Engineered by Grant McFarland and produced by Carson Slovak (August Burns Read, Texas in July), Invivo[Exvivo] last10seconds_infvivo_finalcoveruncages Fertile Steps first to leap upon and savage the senses. The opening breath of the song is an antagonistic brawl and things only intensify as rhythms punch and slap with merciless and spite whilst riffs grind out insidious grooves around the impressive varied venomous squalls of Strope. From the first minute of his appearance the vocalist impresses and leaves ears as hungry for his destructive narrative as the carnivorous sounds around him. The track itself has a definite Slipknot meets Carcass feel at times but also with an unrelenting drench of Pig Destroyer saliva soaking the results.

    The immense and thrilling start is soon taken up and further by False Awakening and the following A Dime A Dozen, both sonic carnivores which tear through the ears with an intensive heavyweight predation and rhythmic stalking. The first comes from the violent throes of demons, in tone and effect soaked vocals which mingle with the guttural spewing which spills bile with every outpouring. The track stomps as it comes to an early conclusion allowing a breath to be swallowed before its successor produces a pestilential fury of unpredictable and persistently shifting sounds and flavours. Grooves and carnal riffery are irresistible bait in the torrential contagion and malevolently cantankerous heart of the confrontation. It is the first major pinnacle of the album though not that many steps above what came before to be honest such the impressive start of the album.

     Numbskull is the nasty spawn of a hard core and grind union; a track which rampages over and slowly preys on its victim with a continually switching creative intent, again a Slipknot like prompting with Devildriver animosity and Brutal Truth hatred a suggestive texture. It is a downtuned sonic pestilence easy to be consumed by and drool over as is the next up tide of ferocity The Face, a track which scars and seduces simultaneously though both abilities come with an untamed rapacious corrosion.

    Morality emerges from a winding sonic enticement initially before placing itself intimidatingly around the ears to take rhythmic and melodically bred violent swipes. It is a striking entrance but soon losing a part of its compulsion as it employs spoken vocals/sample within a maze of guitar sculpted descriptive noise. The track is strong and constantly slipping in a prod at the appetite but is devoid of the spark which made the previous tracks so irresistible. Arguably the song is too adventurous for its own good and certainly there is not the same fluidity linking all its imagination as that impressive elsewhere on the release. Its ‘weakness’ is instantly amended by Haste Makes Waste and Deadfast though, the first a magnetic tsunami of intensity speared by a great and varied swinish vocal delivery from Strope yet again. The second of the two is another best track contender, niggling hypnotic grooves opening up the throat of the song before its roar and ferocity storms the barricades with a delicious part hardcore, part industrial metal, and all extreme metal esurience. Relentlessly twisting its body and potent resources around and within itself, it is an exceptional blitz of ideas and flavouring which just gets better and better with a great sludgy intensity to its closing incitement.

    To be honest Skeletal took more time than any of the songs to fully convince, though it’s impossibly black and malignant heart and lethal sonic emprise was swift in its captivation. Eventually it did prove itself to be one of the strongest hatefully impressive blessings on the release. Its triumph makes way for the closing Ego Death, a seven minute plus infestation of grooves and rancorous imagination which gnaws away at and suffocates the senses with the densest malevolence jaundiced assault on the album. It completes in Invivo[Exvivo] an outstanding , absorbing, and invigorating intrusion which without being the complete devil is a demon record to make The Last Ten Seconds Of Life your next best brutal friend.

www.facebook.com/thelasttensecondsoflife

9/10

RingMaster 16/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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A SILENT ESCAPE’S Black Heart out 27th January, 2014‏

 A Silent Escape Online Promo Shot
COMMANDING QUINTET, A SILENT ESCAPE UNLEASH THEIR SOPHOMORE ALBUM THIS JANUARY!
A Silent Escape nationally release their spanking new album ‘Black Heart’ on Monday 27th January through all digital outlets.
Blending the potent prowess and hardcore edge of ‘Comeback Kid’ and ‘In Flames’ with the melodic fluency of ‘Millencolin’, A Silent Escape have formed a devastating sound that is ball-bustlingly heavy, abundantly tuneful and utterly engaging.
Born in 2010 and hailing from Falkenberg, Sweden (which is also home to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, Venerea, and The Unguided, amongst others), A Silent Escape are compromised of vocalist Patrick Stenborg, Martin Karlsson on bass, Joel Nilsson on Vocals/Lead Guitar, Eddie Hanlsa on Guitars and Per Qvarnström on drums(temporarily). Wanting to put the fun back into music after splitting from their previous bands, the rejuvenated combo began to write and soon amassed enough material for a stellar live set and debut album.
The energetic outfit soon toured extensively and released their self-titled album to the UK, garnering high praise from widespread national publications such as Rocksound, Big Cheese and Powerplay Magazine. The melodic hardcore crew will step up again with the national release of their sophomore album ‘Black Heart’. The album immediately grapples with your aural senses as ‘Gone’ ferociously bursts out of your speakers with pulsating beats and cut-throat riffery; and the pace doesn’t let up there. ‘Black Heart’ continues in a hearty vein, hammering your head into oblivion with a perfect assault of high velocity infused metallic punk-rock. The quartet shifts dynamics on ‘When The Last Song’ and unleashes an alluring cut that is blessed with an elephantine refrain. The album then strides forward with the monstrous ‘Gagball’, which again displays the band’s deft ability to merge blistering riffs with killer hooks, before closing with the immensely powerful and captivating ‘Still Commanding’. Look out as the band lay siege on the UK this year and next!
-A SILENT ESCAPE RELEASE ‘BLACK HEART’ ON MONDAY 27th JANUARY THROUGH ALL MAJOR STORES-
A Silent Escape Cover Artwork

Death Mercedes – Sans Éclat

Artwork

Like a creatively rabid merger of Cancer Bats and At The Drive In with plenty more intrigue and varied explorations in tow, Sans Éclat the new album from French hardcore band Death Mercedes is a masterful provocation which simultaneously invigorates the imagination whilst despoiling the senses in a sonic rage. The ten track fury is a challenging incitement and at times an uneasy companion with malevolent intent but one constantly rewarding perseverance and determination with an exhausting and thrilling passion clad tempest.

Hailing from Paris and containing members from the likes of Amanda Woodward, Cowards, and L’Homme Puma, Ravi, Death Mercedes since forming in 2011 has ignited eager attention with their striking presence and sound, their music a boiling brew of crust, scream, punk with plenty more rich spicery. Their seven track debut Du soleil refroidi two years ago marked the card of a great many to the potential of the band; a promise which it is safe to say Sans Éclat takes to a whole other level to provide a probing fuse to much greater awareness of and acclaim upon the band you can only suspect such its power and craft. Recorded with producer Francis Caste (Kickback, Comity, Hangman’s Chair), the Throatruiner Records released album sculpts short but deeply potent landscapes of sonic antagonism and melodic seduction shaped into tracks which test but even more so powerfully evoke and feed the senses with captivating abrasive adventure.

The album immediately opens with one of its peaks in the striking shape of Leurs Choix Désarment. The bass of Adrien Cadot and drums of Loïc Salmon instantly intimidate the ear with bulging hard hitting rhythms, their touch a persistent punch on the senses. Alongside them the guitars create a sonic lashing which is raw and acidic but composed enough to accentuate the menace in the air as vocalist Julien Henri unveils his coarse squalls, initially part spoken here and constantly across the album a presence soaked in causticity. With the lyrical narrative presented only in French throughout Sans Éclat, it is left to the music to represent the sentiment and passion behind the words for us less learned folk, which it does with ease as guitarists Bruno Chaouch and Antoine Goubard create a canvas of provocative and emotive depth and colour to support the expressive delivery of Henri. It is a dramatic start to the release soon backed by the rest of the album.

Borgne Et Aussi Aveugle from its first note next bustles and bruises the air with rhythms and sonic invention ruining any peace. Merging imaginative melodic hues with voracious vitriolic squalls, the track creates an enthralling and threatening short expanse of irresistible enterprise, hardcore at its best veined by a melodically bred sonic incursion which steals the imagination. The mixture is another incessant constant across the album, the likes of the predatory Chien Infidèle with its senses burrowing groove and vocal storm brought by Henri and Chaouch, and the angst loaded L’Inconnue De La Seine employing both extremes in exhaustive and inventive brawls upon the ears and emotions whilst Encore Et Encore traverses a transfixing violent path with exciting melodic hues and evocative calms along its less than two minute investigation.

There are admittedly times where tracks hold a surface similar to each other which only full concentration can filter out the nuances as with Eternel Gagnant Du Sans Eclat, a track which as expected is superbly crafted and thrust through the ears but lacks something special or arguably different to other tracks to spark up senses and passions. Next up Du Soleil Vert On En A Tous Bouffé and its successor Ta Fin Du Monde have no such issue, both immersing into a richer melodic exploration without letting the depth of spite and attitude dip. The first of the two provides contagious bait from the lumbering yet swinging tones of the bass alongside a groove which seizes a full submission from its first call whilst the second song opens with a delicious melodic enticement punctuated by the ever thumping rhythms of Salmon and the mordant delivery of Henri. Its passage becomes a fire of intensity and intrusive passion the further into its heart it searches but all the time there is charming warmth which entices from inside the brewed torment.

From one highlight Death Mercedes provide another with the following Trop Tard, a gentle melodic and sonic croon in comparison to previous songs, courted by again drama clad drums. Brief but lingering it passes the album’s finale over to Cafard De Bar, a closing sonic tsunami of passion and intensity which scorches and scars every aspect of the listener.

With a suggested need for more vocal diversity and an even more distinct surface abrasion between some tracks, Sans Éclat is not quite the finished article but as full in promise as it is in thrilling imagination. Death Mercedes has produced a confrontation which marks them out as a band going to lofty places and in doing so has uncaged one of the hardcore treats of the year.

http://deathmercedes.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/pages/Death-Mercedes/212073125473530

8/10

RingMaster 13/12/2013

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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