Warmblood – God Of Zombies

WarmbloodBand

There is something invigorating and healthy about being accosted with visceral sonic spattering and rhythmic brutality, especially when it is unleashed with a technical tenacity and dexterity which grips the imagination. Such a striking infestation is God Of Zombies from Italian metallers Warmblood. The album is a delicious adventure of sinew shredding barbarism and senses searing viciousness with the tendency to simultaneously seduce with rich melodic flames and unpredictable invention. It is a wrath of melodic death metal riding the hostility of thrash and temptation of groove metal into a blood drenched terrain of decay and ravenous intent. Oh, it is also one thoroughly compelling and impressive assault too.

Warmblood began in 2002, founded by vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Capra and drummer Elena Carnevali. Soon expanding to a trio with bassist Ivan Marconi, the band released a demo the following year. It was in 2009 that debut album Necrocosmos Destination was set free on the world, the time between releases seeing second guitarist Davide Mazzoletti join the Lodi band but Marconi leave. Deciding to continue as a threesome without a bassist, the band continued earning attention and praise for their live performances across shows and festival appearances, with their first album drawing a keen spotlight at home and further afield. A year later the band signed with Punishment 18 Records and released second full-length Timor Mortis. Inspired by the films of Lucio Fulci, it showed further evolution and hungry invention in the band’s sound. Supported by shows with bands such as Asphyx, Infernal War, Kraanium, Antropofagus, Psychofagist, and Blasphemer, the well-received encounter awoke stronger attention upon the band. Now with the release of God Of Zombies through Spew Records (Punishment 18), it is easy to expect the broadest recognition coming Warmblood’s way.

Opening on the portentous apocalyptic Intro (Zombie Genesi), an dramatically orchestrated instrumental piece soaked in menace, the album flies headlong into ears with Post Mortem Transfiguration, riffs and rhythms a torrential provocation from its first breath. Equally there is a tantalising sonic endeavour coating the tempest, scorched melodic temptation which sparks the imagination ready for the full weight and brutality of the song. Driven by pestilential gut wrenching vocals, the track smothers and infects with toxic intensity. Every syllable comes with a dose of festering ire and decay whilst the trash seeded thrust of the song is as rabid as it is uncompromising. Entwining that though is an invention of sonic intrigue and enterprise which spellbinds in its skill and adventure. It is a hellacious and exhilarating start to the album and only matched by its successor.

Contagium Escalation consumes ears with an even more hostile and urgent predation before honing a heavily thumping stride from which eruptions of malice and invention snare attention. It is not as easily flowing as its predecessor WarmbloodCoverbut still a captivating maelstrom of technical skill and inflamed agitation. Though the band has no bassist, there is a heavy tone which at times is hard to define whether it is bred from four strings or a baritone guitar but relentlessly gives tracks a richer ravenous shadow and depth, as shown by Eucharist Dead Flesh. Swaggering with a thrash seeded intimidation and energy, the song is a hostile flirtation, teasing and tearing the senses with its cantankerous and scarring scythes of sound and malevolence, an attack at times swathed in some quite delicious melodic ingenuity. It is a blistering treat of a violation but only the start of an extended new plateau breached by the album.

The next up Unfaithful Celebrant immediately and virulently entices with its rolling beats before sultry grooves salaciously bind rhythms and passions with their flirty designs. The track writhes with tempestuous persuasion, grooves an irresistible and twisted temptation amongst which a low slung growl adds its own enticement as beats unload their spears with composed yet violent intent. It is a glorious and inescapably addictive creative fury, the pinnacle of the album and alone bait to ensure Warmblood comes under the radar.

Both the thrash fuelled title track with its melodic familiarity and the ruggedly feisty Replaced by Death keep thoughts and emotions fired up, the first an evolving landscape of sonic colour and swinging hooks which is as evocatively restrained as it is furiously uncompromising. The second of the two is more of an unrelenting predator than the previous proposition but still prone to releases of exceptional melodic and skilled enterprise which seamlessly merges into the raw causticity and intensive provocation of the track. Vocally too persuasion is an instant slavery, the bestial yet seriously infectious tones of Capra an unending nightmare you only want to immerse deeper into, much as the album itself.

Culmination of Final Transformation is arguably the least hostile encounter upon God Of Zombies but one of the most engaging with its thick weave of melodic and sonic drama whilst the following Zombinferno is the last chapter to the demise of the album’s narrative. Opening with a vintage cinematic sample, the track explodes into prime rock ‘n’ roll whilst its death metal toned flanks ripple with animosity and a merciless rhythmic badgering is without brakes in speed and malice.

Closing with Ite Missa Est, a peace restoring of guitar sculpted instrumental beauty, God Of Zombies is corrosively spellbinding. It has a familiarity to it at times but just as thick originality across it too which makes it trap and feed ears with consummate ease. Warmblood is a band ready to break into the keenest spotlight, whether extreme metal is ready for their creative bloodlust is another thing.

God Of Zombies is available now via Spew Records

https://www.facebook.com/warmbloodband

RingMaster 30/10/2014

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Arcturon – Expect Us

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Released to mark their ten year anniversary, the Expect Us EP from Swiss melodic death metallers Arcturon, makes a tasty and intriguing proposition marking the beginning of a new decade for the band and twist to their enticing sound. Seemingly more adventurous than ever and certainly more bold in the use of additional flavours and styles, it is maybe not a release to blow anyone away yet its lure makes a compelling invitation to keep revisiting the encounter, a potency which should not be underestimated. More successful in some moments than others, but never leaving dissatisfaction lording over proceedings, the EP is a fascinating and ultimately highly enjoyable adventure.

It was around ten years ago that two fourteen year olds, guitarist Florian Moritz and drummer Samuel Fischer, gave creative birth to Arcturon. Honing their sound over time, the band’s first release, the Breaking Walls Demo in 2007, sparked increasing attention for their presence leading to support spots alongside the likes of Six Feet Under, Nile, Finntroll and Belphegor. Three years later came the extremely well-received debut album The Eight Thorns Conflict, with its acclaimed successor An Old Storm Brewing savaging ears in 2013. Sandwiching a successful Europe tour with Rotting Christ and Omnium Gatherum, both releases put the band into a more intensive spotlight which Expect Us does nothing to defuse. Released through Supreme Chaos Records, the Johan Örnborg (Arch Enemy, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) produced EP offers a new diversity and imagination than arguably previous Arcturon encounters. It might be more intriguing than rigorously successful in its imagination, but Expect Us unveils a rather potent and captivating suggestion of where the Basel quartet’s sound is evolving to.

The release opens with My Treasure, an instantly gripping and fiery proposition which from a lone rub of guitar, explodes into a turbulent stroll of abrasing riffs and punchy rhythms cored by a tight intrusive groove. Within seconds Arcturon - Expect Us - Artworkimagination and appetite is alight, greedy for the intimidating expansion of the song. The raw hoarse vocals of Aljosha Gasser venomously abrase the senses as a small respite to the tempest unfolds, but it is a reining in soon spearing by bulging beats from Fischer and a dangling web of temptation cast by Moritz, whilst the bass of Sam Fischer (yes two members with the same name) provides a shadowed prowl to the song’s continually twisting landscape. Sonic enterprise and melodic flames also scorch the multi-flavoured interpretation of melodic death metal pouring from the band’s creativity, the incendiary persuasion of the track playing like a mix of Bloodsimple, Dominanz, and Scar Symmetry.

The outstanding start is backed up by the EP’s title track. Raging from its first breath, keys and guitars swarm the senses with toxic melodies as rhythms and riffs sculpt imposing scenery to wall in the magnetic endeavour. As its predecessor, the song grows and expands into a threat of malevolent expression and sonic radiance though it lacks the biting wind and energy of the opener. Instead it breeds an emotive atmosphere which tempers and evocatively colours the robust furnace of intent and sound beneath it, the song captivating and impressing if not igniting the same strength of passions as the first.

A Restless Soul swiftly asserts its compelling hold on ears and thoughts next, an opening melodic caress and embrace of clean vocals unexpected and pleasing freshness, though it is soon turned by a spiteful and malicious intensity, Gasser reaching to his guts to roar with caustic antagonism. Surprises and unpredictability stay to the fore though as the clean vocal delivery entwines with the harsh tones whilst a carnival-esque like drama and sinister seduction flirts with and infiltrates the brewing tempest of the song. It is a tantalising treat of a track, a bruising and tender merger of creative hues which maybe does not go as far into the unknown and explore bold imagination as it could, but definitely leaves anticipation for the band’s exploits ahead excited.

The release is closed by Rowan, another resourceful and radiantly provocative entrance which needs little nudging to turn to its shadows and predacious side. The vocals stalk as keys mesmerise, but it is the rugged terrain of raw riffs and thumping beats which bind the emotions, though their presence again is never clear cut as haunting melodies and sonic expression veins their hostility. A song which at times is glorious and in others a more unsure persuasion, it still provides further food for thought and interest for the band’s new exploration in sound to make a potent close to Expect Us.

Already used to praise and keen attention, Arcturon with their EP as potent evidence, appear to be moving towards a fascinating new chapter in their sound which Expect Us suggests is going to be something very worthy of close attention.

The Expect Us EP is available via Supreme Chaos Records from 24th October.

www.arcturon.ch

RingMaster 24/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Laika – Somnia

Laika Press Photo

Though it ebbs and flows in the strength of its persuasion at times, there is no escaping that Somnia, the new album from Canadian melodic death metallers Laika is one compelling and thrilling encounter. It may not seemingly be bursting with open originality, the old school breeding of their style driving the creative tempests making up the album, but there is a specific drama and adventurous enterprise belonging to the band flowing through each fresh and seriously captivating persuasion that begs different. It is occasionally not as startling in places as it is elsewhere and maybe should be overall, but Somnia is certainly an impressive and lingering encounter ensuring that the name Laika will not just known for being that of the name of the Russian dog who became one of the first animals to travel to space.

Formed in 2009 with the name inspired by that hound, the then sextet soon drew strong local underground attention with the release of their full-length demo Crafting The Cataclysm the following year, and a live presence which has seen them play with the likes of All Shall Perish, Kataklysm, Necronomicon, Skeletonwitch, Abysmal Dawn, Septic Flesh, and Unleash the Archers over the past few years. The release of the Somnia EP in 2011 was subsequently followed by the band taking two years out to create and work on their debut album. Produced by the Winnipeg quintet, mixed and mastered by Ryan Forsyth, Somnia provides a striking and imaginative new assault for the band, one seeking and easy to see finding a more intensively crowing spotlight.

The release opens with Restless Mind, a brief instrumental which initially strokes the imagination with evocative piano drama against a ticking clock before expanding with a wash of similarly coloured keys and elegant harmonies. It is a laika 1-front cover- smallgentle and intriguing, if not startling, start which leads into the instantly imposing Escalation of Terror. It is a gripping entrance with riffs and rhythms offering hungry energy and intent straight away. Ears and appetite are ignited further as the bait intensifies with a muscular torrent of feverish grooves and vocal causticity crossing the intensive presence of the song. The keys of Steve Tedham bring rich and expressive hues to the great tempestuous intent of the track, their warm beauty a transfixing contrast to the raw scowls of vocalist Jordan Dorge and rhythmic provocation set by drummer Blair Garraway. It is a riveting blend which only grabs greater potency and suasion as ridiculously flavoursome and contagious grooves cast by guitarist Ian Garraway are matched by those throatily laid by the bass of Mike Mason.

It is a sensational incitement to body and emotions, a creative roller coaster which never dips below the exceptional on its way to setting up a hungry anticipation for the rest of the album. The title track is the first to feed that greed, its first touch rugged in riffs and beats but seductive in keys sculpted melodies. That evolves into a more expansive and less hostile landscape, though there is still a busy imposing air to the encounter. Guitars proceed to cast a sonic weave of enterprise and melodic tenacity across the still sinew driven terrain whilst the bass at times almost ventures into a post punk repetition and invention which, along with spicy grooves and vocal savagery, brings fresh character and intrigue to the enthralling track.

Both Fidelity and Caligae A Galea keep the creative and satisfaction levels high, the first stalking ears with a predatory attitude and gait but one fired in sonic invention and seductively inhospitable toxicity. As its predecessor, the track ripples with eclectic textures and imagination soaked ideation, defying expectations and binding eager attention from start to finish. It’s almost exhausting revelry and bold tapestry of sound is swiftly matched by the second of the pair. Opening on a heroic groove, its lure potent caped crusader like coaxing, the song growls and prowls with infectious charm and intimidation. There is a menace to it which Tedham’s craft can only wrap not defuse and Dorge’s grizzled tones easily accentuate. The song is soon providing an addictive canvas of sound which maybe is death metal based but just as pungently entwines a mass of flavoursome tendrils from the likes of noise and psyche rock to post punk and progressive metal. It is a stunning protagonist for ears and incessant lust for the passions.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by the enchanting instrumental Dream of Nothing, a magnetic and reflective slice of melodic beauty. Dark bass emotions lie easily with the sultry charm of keys whilst rhythmically the song walks with a firm and steady but restrained hand. There are also raw guitar crafted flames which intensify the expressive atmosphere and climate of the song, everything uniting for an immersive emprise of sound and imagination. The track also brings respite for the senses though they are soon under demanding pressure as the punk fired assault of The Immortal takes over. For all its ferocity and abrasing presence, it is another song unafraid to spring a web of melodic and expressive beauty in its successful trapping of ears and attention, and though in many ways it takes longer to persuade than elsewhere, it emerges as a simultaneously bitter and warm buffeting to devour with greed.

The final two tracks upon Somnia might not quite match up to their earlier companions, but each leaves no second or note unattended by the listener’s fullest attention. First up Predictions (Tide Bearer) rages and bristles with a merciless graze of sonic bad blood and vocal malevolence, a hostility which wears down the senses with its bruising but still flirts with the occasional melodic seducing. The tracks unrelenting pressure is followed by the exceptional majesty of final track Invaders, a song which sums up the album with its eclectic stock of sounds and spellbinding ideas within a virulent and concussive antipathy. The song is another intoxicating proposition leaving the listener basking in unique temptation and ready to share the glory of album and band.

Somnia just gets stronger and more impressive over time, shown by the fact that listening to it again whilst writing this, there are more reasons to argue against the earlier thought that the album is not as startling throughout as in particular certain moments. That gap closes with each venture, proving this is an album wanting more time than most to really reveal all of its consistent thick rewards and that Laika is a band with the potential to sit beside the ranks of Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity, and Amon Amarth.

Somnia is available now via Filth Regime Records and @ http://laikawpg.bandcamp.com/album/somnia

https://www.facebook.com/LaikaOfficial

RingMaster 23/10/2014

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

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Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Nemost – As The Ocean Burns

Nemost

As The Ocean Burns is one of those self-released propositions which could easily be missed in the never ending torrent of offerings but deserves the strongest of attention such its impressive and riveting contents. A rich and intensely striking blend of varied ideas and flavours upon a canvas of progressive death metal, the latest album from French band Nemost is a thought provoking and imagination igniting proposition which shows the Paris quintet to be one of France’s most exciting potential loaded prospects.

Formed in 2005, Nemost are not exactly newcomers but still a relative secret outside their homeland metal scene, though As The Ocean Burns will surely have a say about that. A self-titled demo in 2008 was well-received by fans and critics with debut album The Shadow’s Trail two years later drawing greater attention and reactions for its striking sounds. Four years on with the band’s songwriting and invention evolving as potently as their skills and sound, As the Ocean Burns is a new plateau for the band and a compelling addition to the ranks of melodic and progressive death metal. It is a release which grips from its first breath, leading the listener through cavernous scenery of sonic and rhythmic intrusiveness and intimate climates of melodic and atmospheric radiance.

Pressure Nation is the first encounter and straight away embraces ears in a melodic weave of guitar temptation and heavily jabbing beats from drummer Thybo Saz’Rain. It is a warm coaxing yet holds an intimidation which is soon ing the band) realised in a tempest of sonic causticity and bellowing intensity, the vocals of Arnold Petit roaring from within an imposing cloud of aggressive grooves and riffs from guitarists Johan Nat (since left with Pierre-Jean Catez joinuand Samuel Eymonym. It is a muggy climate which immerses the track but still allows clarity to the gripping drama and individual inventiveness of the band. The rampaging skilled urgency of Saz’Rain is impressive baiting for the senses alongside the magnetic and heavy tones of the bassist of Thomas Krajewski but it is the enthralling guitar craft and invention which steals the biggest chunk of the limelight in the exceptional track.

The stunning start is followed by the similarly hostile and engrossing Beasts and Bullies. Grooves worm into the psyche within seconds as rhythms hurl mighty and unpredictable swipes down on ears for a threatening yet addictive nemost-as-the-ocean-burnsentrance. It would be a debilitating start but for the outstanding mix of guttural scowls and outstanding clean vocals which entwine for a glorious and aggression tempering enterprise alongside the sizzling guitar play which emerges to ignite the imagination. Already two songs in it is hard to remember too many melodic death metal encounters this good and inventive, nor as virulently contagious as the first pair of tracks are.

Diversity is as much a key to the success of As The Ocean Burns and proven by the cinematic start and ambience of Respawned. Haunting crystalline keys tease ears first, followed by an expanding electronic charm and revelry. It is just the doorway into the delicious and relentless nagging of corrosive riffs and predatory rhythms, though it retains the melodic enticement of the song’s start throughout. A new dark throat emerges in the bass whilst the vocal harmonies seem to be fuller and more provocative than ever over the maelstrom of addictive ingenuity and adventure beneath them. There is a total lack of predictability to the album and songs, every time as here, you think you have handle on its intent and direction it twists or evolves its gait, direction or simply sound to bewitch and enthral.

Both the fascinating The Aimless Endeavour with its merger of Breed 77 like Latin melodies with insidiously dark malevolence, and the smouldering antagonism of Fight turn the temperature and persuasion up on the passions, the first a heat wave of sonic enterprise and aurally incendiary ideation. Its successor has a closer intimacy and more restrained purpose to its tempest yet it still immerses the ears in an almost oppressive texture of energy, as well as a cinematic menacing from its hooks which latch onto equally gripping melodies and the smooth vocal temptation of Petit. The track would make the perfect soundtrack to the darkest adult only Bond escapade and is another massive highlight on an album offering nothing but so far.

There is an inhospitable tone to Lifeless Heat, the song feeling like it wants to violate the listener even though it too comes with a sublime sonic inventiveness from the guitars. It does not live up to its predecessors in many ways but keeps the emotions enjoyable warm for the erosive might of Sandstorm. The track is a tempest of a track, a bear like ferocity unleashed by drums and riffs in league with a venomous beauty which soaks the ever impressing vocals and toxic lure of grooves. It’s incessant almost waspish irritancy and charm lights up ears and emotions perfectly before making way for the initial gentle and ultimately scarring brilliance of The Pale Observer. The track is ultimately a blaze of malicious invention and smouldering seduction, a battling tempest in the ears which evolves its fury into another fire of stunning technical and thoughtful enterprise blessed with gripping drama.

A kind of respite for the senses comes with Hourglass, though thoughts and emotions are kept busy by the entrancing sway of elegant melodies and emotive hues within a rugged sonic wind, before the fierce splendour and rabid invention of Year of the Libra and subsequently the bordering on demonic Atomnium treat and excite. The tracks bring yet further unique character to the album, each a dramatic exploration in sound and lyrical intrigue wonderfully impossible to pin down with real comparisons, though we suggest any fans of bands such as In Flames, Opeth, Katatonia, Lamb of God, Beneath The Buried And Me, Anathema, The Contortionist and the likes will especially get a kick out of the glory that is As the Ocean Burns.

The title track brings the release to a close, a song which is probably the lightest in intensity on the album but also one of the most spellbinding with its weaving of light and dark, seductive and violent textures into a fluid and beguiling landscape of originality. As the Ocean Burns is a gem all should take time to search out and investigate, a triumph which should not be allowed to slip through the net.

As the Ocean Burns is available now @ http://store.dooweet.org/en/cd/151_nemost-as-the-ocean-burns.html

http://www.nemost.com

RingMaster 18/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Flourishing on other’s scorn: an interview with Greg Burgess of Allegaeon

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   The past two years between previous album Formshifter and its successor Elements of the Infinite has not been an easy time to say the least for US melodic death metallers Allegaeon. The departure of band founder and guitarist Ryan Glisan alone offered a threat to the future of the band and seeds to doubters of their ability to continue to be a potently impacting force within metal. Overcoming those obstacles and determined to prove certain people wrong, Allegaeon has not only shown itself to be as powerful and impressive as before but unleashed one of the albums of the year and their finest incitement yet. Keen to find out more about the time leading up to the new album, the difficulties it faced, and the heart of Allegaeon itself, guitarist Greg Burgess kindly spared a chunk of his time to reveal all…

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

It is a few days after the release of your outstanding new album Elements Of The Infinite, a definite album of the year contender in our book. How are the emotions and expectations as it starts seducing the world with its sounds?

Thanks so much man for having me, it’s mixed for me. I’ve been so busy making sure things go right and with all the jobs I have, I haven’t been able to fully enjoy it. That being said I kinda feel a little vindicated from some of the hate mail I received saying we were shit without Ryan.

Does Elements Of The Infinite feel more of a triumph because of that then, because it comes after the departure of as you mentioned band founder guitarist Ryan Glisan and drummer Jordon Belfast as well as other obstacles which came the way of the band in the past couple of years?

Well Jordon hasn’t been with us for like what 4 years now? He hasn’t been in the equation for us as a band for a long time, but the Ryan thing absolutely. Like I said in the previous question there were a lot of people that thought we were gonna crash and burn without him. I’ve always written half of the albums up to this record, why people thought I was incapable of writing more than that pissed me off. I found their lack of faith disturbing, so yeah I feel I triumphed a little bit. This has nothing to do with Ryan by the way, I wanna make that clear, we only wish the best for that dude, and I really hope he’s successful in his pursuits. But sometimes having a point to prove can really lead to good things. Look at Mustaine’s career, a whole career based off of getting even with Metallica; I think he was very successful.

Enlighten the readers of other problems around that time. It was a serious threat to the future of Allegaeon?allegaeon_photo06

Well I mean after our tour with Job For A Cowboy, we came home and basically lost a guitar player, the van’s transmission was shot, and we had no drummer. It was a lot to overcome. I guess it’s all in attitudes. We looked at it as an opportunity to excel instead of walls. I think that is what propelled us further. When we were offered the Wretched tour, Metal Blade basically said to us, “Hey look if you wanna do this, figure it out and do it. If you don’t well then we’re not sure you have a future with us.” It wasn’t harsh; it was just a reality check. We launched an indiegogo campaign, and the fans basically saved our asses. After that I got some fill in’s and we did the tour, and it basically was a new beginning for us.

Tell us about new members Michael Stancel and Brandon Park, how did the link-up with the guys come about?

Both of the guys started off as just tour fill in’s, they did such an amazing job and we had such a good time with them that it became clear very fast that they were our guys. They were fans to begin with and their attitudes were hungry. It felt great having new blood in the band, and honestly we needed a full line-up since we’d been in pieces for the past 3 plus years. I knew Mike from his other band Artemesis. The other guitar player in that band was my student so I knew the guy could play. Brandon just was persistent on Facebook, and really wanted the gig. We’d played with his former band Suffer The Wrath so I knew the dude was good, it was just a chemistry issue.

Taking the evidence of your first two albums alone, Fragments of Form and Function and Formshifter, for a non-musician and knowing the technical level and imagination you guys are at it would be a prospect to intimidate many guitarists and drummers joining the band. Did you find a full or sparsely filled queue applying or were Michael and Brandon your prime suspects anyway?

Well to be honest we were looking elsewhere to fill the spots. Our buddy Peter Joseph who was in the Absence was slated to take Ryan’s spot. I had been talking to him for a while and the talks were really really good. Mike did the tour and was just killing it every night; every band on the tour was like you should just take Mike. My biggest concern was respecting Peter, so we didn’t give Mike the job outright, but when we went through Tampa Peter basically said “dude you should just take Mike he’s rad”. It kinda just was right. As for Brandon, it’s a little more complicated. We actually got JP who played on Formshifter to join the band for like a couple of weeks, but he couldn’t do this tour we had lined up. I just couldn’t take the risk of it being a recurring problem. It sucked cause JP is incredible, and one of our best friends. After JP I asked our last touring guy Shawn McGuffin to step in, he wasn’t interested. So I got into that desperation mode. Our buddy Jeremy Portz who’d performed on all the Vale Of Pnath albums we kept going after, but it just wasn’t coming together. So we were just drummer less once again. I needed a drummer for the tour, and I remembered Brandon. I’d had reservations about Brandon due to association through other people. The first time I ever saw Brandon play this dude came up drunk off his ass, and started bashing our guy, saying we should get Brandon to do it. I was immediately pissed ‘cause our guy was great, and this dude was just disrespecting him to our faces. So that was kinda strike one against Brandon. Next we were playing another tour in St. Louis and another “friend” of Brandon’s came up trying to get us to do coke with him. It was automatically guilt by association. Both these dues claimed to be friends of B Park, one was an ass the other was a coke head. No Thanks!! I don’t want that shit screwing up what we got going on. Then Brandon said something on Facebook about how stupid drugs were or something so, I reached out. It’s so funny now, ‘cause these dudes almost blew this opportunity for Brandon, and getting to know B Park, he’s completely the opposite of everything I thought about him. Crazy! We can laugh about it now, but I was really concerned at first. After the first show with Park, I knew he was our guy. We did a few more shows on that tour then our van broke down. B Park works on a farm so he’s really good with machines. The dude fixed it and got us up and running again…so here we are sitting freezing our asses off in our busted van, and I’m like this dude is so hired.

Allegaeon-ElementsOfTheInfiniteDid you approach Elements Of The Infinite any differently to your previous albums, especially with Ryan no longer part of the process?

Very much so…My work load was double! Not only did I have to write all the material but we had to take over his responsibilities. He usually communicated with the artwork guy and he worked with Metal Blade on the fine details. I had the most free time so I just took it up. Also getting Joe Ferris on board to collaborate with all the orchestra stuff, yeah it was the hardest I’ve ever worked on an album.

How long did the album take to make?

To record, about a month and a half.

There has obviously been plenty of pressure to the making of Elements Of The Infinite so was it as enjoyable as other releases to bring to life?

It’s early days yet, but so far I’d say the opportunities we’ve already gotten from this record have made it the most enjoyable record we’ve done. I am definitely proud of it. I certainly feel all the hard work is paying off for once.

You recorded the album as the others with producer Dave Otero, he seems to add an essence and presence which your sound requires and flourishes even further with?

Well Formshifter wasn’t recorded with Dave it was done with Daniel Castleman. We really liked working with Castleman however after the split with Ryan, and the Pyrithion EP, and everything going on there, and the Lambesis fiasco on top of it, we really wanted to separate ourselves from it. Plus my friendship with Dave had grown a lot over the years, so it felt really good coming back. We really sought out his producer role, since I thought my objectivity was compromised from writing so much material. I needed a fresh perspective, and we really respect Dave to not pull punches. I’d ask him straight up, I have no idea if this part is good or it sucks, what do you think? I even wrote multiple solos for parts going, hey man which do you like better? He was very helpful to us.

How would you on the inside say your sound has changed just between Elements Of The Infinite and Formshifter?

Well Formshifter was interesting ‘cause we went in cold, and there was a lot of trust developed between everyone. We didn’t have a drummer so we kinda didn’t know how the album was going to sound. This one, I was meticulous. We had the track listing, all the preproduction done before we even stepped into the studio. We knew everything about this album before it was even recorded. That helped keep the vision. We even had all of Joe’s stuff ready to go before we got in. It made the process go really smooth.

Has it been an organic evolution or something you have been working towards or had in mind for a while?allegaeon_photo04

I think it’s been organic. The decisions on this album weren’t spur of the moment, they were all thought out, and methodical.

Talking to you and reading other interviews members have made, it feels like the band was as much as anything just trying to produce a strong and potent album to keep the band on track. Has the fact that for us and a great many it sees the band at a whole new plateau and creative ingenuity surprised you, either the reactions of the fact that it is that good?

I think so. I mean I was just hoping that this record wouldn’t lose ground…that we could make a point that we were still relevant. The fact that not only we seemed to achieve that, but also the vast majority of the reviews think we’ve surpassed our previous efforts is very rewarding. The band is more a family now than anything we’ve had before. We look out for one another. Everyone is happy within our organization, and that’s the way we aim to keep it. It makes for a great working environment.

There are strong evocative orchestral elements across the new album; who composed and brought those to provocative life?

Being a studied classical musician, this is something I’ve wanted to do for years. We’ve just never had the technology until now to pull it off. The composition of the orchestral and choir elements was a direct split between Joe Ferris and I. Working with him couldn’t have been more exciting, and he’s definitely part of our writing team now. I’d write these choir and string parts and he’d flesh them out or just revamp them in some cases. In others he would just run with an idea he had, and made it truly awesome.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind the album and songs.

OK from the beginning. Threshold Of Perception is a look at death. It’s a look at it from a sociological and chemical standpoint. Tyrants Of The Terrestrial Exodus is about the evacuation of earth and some of the corruption that will inherently be present in the choosing of who gets to go. Dyson Sphere is about building super structures around a star, The Phylogenesis Stretch is about Goldilocks Zones…the distance where life as we know it can exist around a star. 1.618 is about the golden ratio. Gravimetric Time Dilation is about gravity and mass, and how it effects time. Our Cosmic Casket is about black holes. Biomech II is about 3D printing organs. Ages of Ice is about an Ice Age that comes as a result of a meteor hitting earth. And lastly Genocide for Praise is about the 10 plagues of Egypt as it is described in the Bible.

allegaeon_photo03You guys have a passion for science or just lyrically it suits your musical ideation?

It’s really just what we’re interested in. We love it, we love learning about it. It truly is a pleasure to write lyrics about this stuff you learn a lot.

Is there a particular moment or aspect to Elements Of The Infinite which gives you the greatest pleasure or satisfaction considering it’s kind of harder than expected journey into being?

Just that we achieved what we set out to do and it’s broadened our goals to expand onto the global stage.

Now the album is uncaged and out there, what comes next for Allegaeon?

Lots of touring…we wanna crush these couple of US tours we have lined up and then head overseas.

Thanks again for chatting with us, any final thoughts you would like to share?

Thank you to everyone who’s supported us, and to all the new fans, we couldn’t do this without you!

 

Read the review of Elements Of The Infinite @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/allegaeon-elements-of-the-infinite/

http://www.facebook.com/allegaeon

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 13/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Twilightfall – The Energy Of Soul

BandPhoto

An experience which leaves you in two minds about its impact and triumph yet embeds a compelling enticement in its wake which ensures you want more of its presence and adventure, The Energy Of Soul, the debut album from Ukrainians Twilightfall is a riveting and torrential onslaught of sound and ideation which can best be described as a maelstrom. It is not a release which lit a fire in the passions yet its invention and persistently alluring twists bred a hunger in an appetite for Melodic Death Metal which cannot be ignored.

The band’s sound is bred from the same well of imagination and hostile seduction which the likes of In Flames and Children Of Bodom have spawned their provocations yet there is plenty more to the album. Potent essences of thrash and black metal, as well as progressive tendencies all add to the thick and almost at times bedlamic voracity of the songs within The Energy Of Soul. The album unleashes its intent and relentlessly shifting enterprise with almost disorientating urgency and appetite which brings those somewhat confused reactions to its weight and fiery offering but all the time it is laying imaginative bait which easily draws thoughts and emotions back to its enthralling depths.

Twilightfall is the creation of guitarist Wortherax, a veteran of Ukraine metal scene with his most notable roots going back to death metal band Suppuration who he joined in 1993, a band which went on to evolve into the more renowned Nokturnal Mortums. The lead guitarist on the latter’s band’s seminal albums Lunar Poetry and Twilightfall, as well as performing session work on prominent releases from bands like Munruthel and Khors, Wortherax formed Twilightfall in 20112, adding guitarist Aywar, bassist Freyr, and drummer Odalv to the project.

Recorded last year and now released via Svarga Music, The Energy Of Soul takes little time in unveiling imagination awakening endeavour and intent as the title track sets the album off in rigorous motion. Guitars immediately are FrontCover1400pxbusying ears with aggressive riffs and sonic expression, aided by some equally magnetic strokes of keys. There is a portentous air to the track even with the swirling melodies and their rich poetic narratives which consume the senses just as eagerly as the sinew sculpted rhythms. The raw vocal growl of Wortherax makes a predatory tempering to the fluid revelry of the song yet it too has an enticement which only coaxes ears and appetite into the song’s web. As subsequently with all tracks attention is needed to define some of the evolving twists, hooks and grooves are open but soon lost from aural gaze as the next flood of adventure persistently soaks thoughts. The slow slip into gentle melodic scenery later in the track allows a breather, though it also lacks the spark of the landscape before and after it. It is still an enticing lead into a terrific climax of sonic temptation, a sizzling end to what is a heavily impressing song.

   Spirit Of Ancestors comes next riding a lumbering wave of rhythmic predation and dramatically fuelled keys with guitars matching their picturesque colour. It is not a startling start as with its predecessor but one which still holds attention, especially with the caustic rub of riffs and the now confidently striding drum swipes. We mentioned thrash elements to the band’s sound previously, not the most obvious of flavours across the album to be honest, but certainly here make for a cunning and infectious lure to the initial charge of the song. The move into a reserved flight of melodic and emotive endeavour has the opposite effect in its drive. It is beautifully and impressively crafted turn with the musicianship glorious at times, but loses the essence which initially gave the encounter the potential to be another highly scintillating proposition. Nevertheless the song is a commanding figure within the release and again has plenty to encourage constant investigation just like A Mirror Of Dreams And Reality. The third song is a similar merger of elegant melodies and hostile energies with arguably a more muscular intent and rabidity than on the previous songs. There is a devilish swagger to the track but also a darker attitude which shadows the intimidating hooks and seductive grooves which flirt within the tempestuous body of the song. Again there are moments where things make a less than impacting suasion yet times where the track strikes with pure brilliance to ultimately trigger a greed for more. The song is simply a cyclone of intensity and ingenuity which never gives ears and thoughts time to settle leading to, as the album overall, an undecided conclusion but one you want plenty more of to reach a decision.

From a definite highlight, the album dips into a more gothic breath with Welcome To New Day, its keys a shadowed drenched beauty paced by the guttural rapacity of the vocals, and the more classically cultured Your Chance. Whereas the first of the pair launches into a bordering on maniacal gait and urgency within its evocative emprise, its successor is a solemnly orchestrated incitement with flourishing melodies and provocatively shadowed textures. Both tracks continue the inescapable lure of the album yet again leaves questions and decisions to be e contemplated.

The album closes with the impassioned and dark breathed Go A Long Way To Each, its keys and melodies fuelled by an emotional cloud of again gothic sombre, and lastly the rabid ferocity and incendiary adventure of Storm, a track which lives up to its name in sound and creative turbulence as it brings another major moment for the release. The Energy of Soul is an album which you cannot pass by without finding its seeds and qualities have left a lingering tempting behind. Impressing more and more with each play whilst still not quite overturning any reservations it inspired early on, the album is a thoroughly captivating and enjoyable encounter from Twilightfall, a band impossible not to spawn a potent appetite for.

The Energy of Soul is available via Svarga Music now @ http://www.svarga.eu/en/webshop#!/~/product/category=3027770&id=37705371

http://www.svarga.eu/en/twilightfall

8/10

RingMaster 12/08/2014

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