Viathyn – Cynosure

Viathyn Press Photo 2

With a sound which revolves within a web of progressive, folk, power, and melodic metal, drawing on varying degrees of each essence with every twist of their imagination and invention, Canadian metallers Viathyn present another contagious and gripping proposition with new album Cynosure. Nine individual musical and creative emprises thick, the album presents a fruitful and colourful journey for ears and imagination. Every track is an intriguing and at times demanding proposition with more going on than can be taken in on initial unions. It is an attention wanting enticement though which roars with a melodic tenacity and strolls with muscular flirtation to give the richest rewards.

Formed in 2006, initially as the trio of guitarist Tomislav Crnkovic, guitarist Jacob Wright, and drummer Dave Crnkovic, Viathyn released the instrumental Demagogue EP in 2008. From there the band expanded with bassist Alex Kot coming in, whilst Tomislav added vocals to his duties. Debut album The Peregrine Way was unveiled in 2010 to enthused reactions from fans and media alike. It marked the band out for their songwriting, instrumentation, and equally the storytelling which on the album told the journey of an unnamed wandering man, through the highs and lows of his life. Cynosure is bred from the same creative template, in many ways an obvious continuation of its predecessor rather than providing a startling evolution in sound and intent, but still pushing the limits and enterprise of the band to new riveting and pleasing levels.

The album starts with Ageless Stranger, a track with an epic leaning tone and resourceful melodic scenery from the off. Guitars, keys, and vocal harmonies instantly spawn a radiant yet portentous atmosphere which the jabbing beats of Dave guides with a firm hand, leading it all into a rugged terrain of rampant riffs and concussive rhythms. The song is still swarmed over by the melodic appetite of the keys and guitars though, everything coming together for a maelstrom like tempest of enticement. The strong vocals of Tomislav bring another tempting texture to the mix whilst the fluid craft of Jacob bewitches from within the aggressive stride of the song. It is a pungent and invigorating start which as its successor, as much brings thoughts of a Dommin or Volbeat as it does of bands like Wuthering Heights and KingBathmat. The song is a constantly twisting and unpredictable yet flowing proposition matched by The Coachman.

The second song takes little time to explore a richer folk enterprise to its emerging stride of rock ‘n’ roll, before weaving in just as potent essences of heavy metal and melodic rock. It is impossible not to be drawn right into its vigorous revelry, Album Cover - Viathyn  - Cynosure - 2014every turn and new idea a lure to devour with ease and greed. The brief expulsion of raw growls does not quite work but is a mere instant in a song which vocally and musically simply infects ears and imagination for a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable encounter. There is also a theatrical mischief to the song which is given full clarity at the song’s end before Edward Mordrake thunders in on a storm of rhythmic agitation and fiery sonic temptation. Though not as immediately gripping as its predecessors, the song, with its seamless movement through varied gaits and imaginative endeavours, binds senses and thoughts in its successfully exploratory and surprising expression to keep them hungry and enthralled. The track also raises up slight comparisons to fellow Canadians New Jacobin Club at times, the drama in the skilled invention of the band’s individuals a similar and inescapable persuasion.

As mentioned there is plenty going on to reflect with mere words, this track a prime example as are both the following Shadows In Our Wake and Countess of Discordia, but that richness of depth and often tempestuously unleashed ideation ensures each partaking of a song reveals new aspects and adventures. The first of this pair of songs encloses ears with a heavy aggressive breath though it is soon aligned to an evocative wash of keys and the melodic narrative of the guitars. A thick gothic ambience also coats the song, lingering across the sinew toughened canvas and subsequent dramatic turns within the track whilst the second of the two leads by a great bass coaxing into a heavy and power metal blaze. Whether storming the senses with nostrils flared or seducing with mellower bordering on sinister melodies, the song is a glorious sonic waltz which gets better and bolder with every passing second.

Time Will Take Us All struggles to emulate the success of the previous song but still has ears and thoughts seriously engaged with its opening melancholic caress of keys and guitar, a potency matched by the emotive delivery of Tomislav. It is a song which as all on the album, builds and develops into a different proposition as it proceeds, its gentle climate discovering an imposing turbulence and emotive beauty along the way. It is not a track which lingers as others but provides another gripping tale to immerse within before the excellent folk/power metal escapade of Three Sheets To The Wind steals the passions. With a touch of Alestorm and Tyr to its Celtic folk stomp, the track swiftly recruits unbridled attention. As anthemic as all good power metal triumphs should be, the track soon has body and voice in tandem before exploring a progressive crafted landscape of mystery and invention, to keep ears and thoughts on their toes.

Completed by the dark atmospheric menace of Albedo, an outstanding track which is as predatory as it is sonically radiant and infectiously irresistible, and the closing title track, Cynosure is a peach of an encounter. The last song sums up release and band perfectly, an encounter built on a riotous elegance and creative bedlam honed into something sublime and intricately structured, not forgetting gloriously presented. The album is fun, at times unafraid to let its serious side have a rest, but most of all Cynosure is one of the most enjoyable and enterprising progressive metal releases this year.

The self-released Cynosure is available now @ http://viathyn.bandcamp.com/album/cynosure

http://www.viathyn.com

RingMaster 09/10/2014

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Falconer – Black Moon Rising

Falconer - Gruppbild 2014 I

Sure to please long-time fans of the band, Swedish folk power metallers Falconer return with their eight album and an embracing of the sound which bred their earliest presence. It is not as clear cut as it sounds though because the quintet also craft a compelling web of modern metal tenacity and at times hostility to create a varied, often unpredictable, and constantly rewarding proposition. Falconer has always been a band which either clicked with or missed our preferences up to this point but despite still elements which fall on our stony ground, Black Moon Rising surpasses all that came before and has little trouble leaving rich satisfaction in its wake to temper our difficult demands.

Formed in 1999 as a solo project by guitarist Stefan Weinerhall (ex-Mithotyn) with Mathias Blad stepping in as session vocalist, Falconer soon become a full band with the addition of drummer Karsten Larsson. From their self-titled debut album in 2001, the band had attention and passions falling over themselves as well as a wealth of acclaim. Its successor Chapters From A Vale Forlorn a year later marked another step forward for the band, though the year also saw Blad leave the band. With Kristoffer Göbel enlisted as the new singer, third album Sceptre of Deception in 2003 was unveiled to again strong reception whilst a year later another line-up change saw guitarist Jimmy Hedlund and bassist Magnus Linhardt joining Weinerhall, Larsson, and Göbel. A twist in style accompanied the next album before a more recognisable, and arguably wanted by fans, flavour returned as the next trio of albums lit up an ever increasing fanbase starting with Grime vs. Grandeur which marked the return of Blad. Recorded with Andy LaRocque at Sonic Train Studios, Black Moon Rising follows the entirely sung in Swedish Armod of 2011, taking those earlier ventures and sounds of the band on a brand new and rigorously captivating emprise.

Riffs and attention seeking rhythms open up first track Locust Swarm, which in turn awakens attention and an early appetite through Falconer - Black Moon Risingthe following energetic rabidity and deeply rooting hooks across a blazing sonic canvas. Soon settling into steady stroll as the narrative and Blad unveil their expressive tales, the song is swarming around and within the imagination whilst rhythms buffet ears. The song is a mix bag, the ravenous and predatory aspects of the track exhilarating and the mellower passages around the vocals slightly underwhelming in comparison. Nevertheless with the individual skills and combined enterprise, the track is a more than solid entrance into the emerging power metal landscape, setting up the listener nicely for the following Halls and Chambers. The haunting whispers within a cavernous hall is a great portentous introduction but not exploited fully as the song goes on a similar charge as in its predecessor. What emerges to take it another step forward though is an indefinable but open familiarity to the chorus and melodic tempting which flows as courageously as the breath and anthemic riffery through the track. Again it is not a song to lose full ardour to but with the delicious sculpting of guitar and a nagging persuasion it is an encounter to immerse in often, especially its great hard rock/folk metal finale, the beauty of melodies and vocals hand in hand with the beast of the bass.

The album truly erupts with the title track next, the song a muscular warrior of rapacious rhythms and eagerly roving grooves carrying the colours of infectious melodies and riveting imagination. By the first round of its anthemic chorus the track easily outweighs and outstrips its predecessors, enslaving thoughts and passions with a continually shifting aural scenery but never straying from the potent core which stole the plaudits within its opening breaths. Larsson impresses from first swiping jab to the last whilst the guitar ingenuity of Weinerhall perfectly assisted by Hedlund, bewitch and ignite a greater greedy appetite for the album.

The enchanting coaxing of folk stroll Scoundrel and the Squire has the misfortune of following such an epic but from its gentle initial caress builds a persistently expanding and tempting landscape of unpredictable beats and fiery guitar wrapped in poetic and melodic hues. Like its music its success and appeal grows and enriches ears the further it explores its premise before making way for the scintillating Wasteland, a track which attacks ears with a scourge mentality from the off before, and without losing its agile intimidation, grabbing its sonic steeds and galloping magnetically across the senses with rhythmic nostrils flaring and antagonistic riffs baring teeth. It is another major pinnacle within the album, feet and neck muscles as soon devoted to its suasion as ears and emotions.

Both In Ruins and At the Jester’s Ball keep things boiling nicely, even if they miss the lip of the previous plateau cast. The first borders on rock pop even within a tirade of blasting beats and exhaustive riffing, the song forging a great and enthralling mix of vivacious invention and raucous intensity, whilst its successor is a satisfying romp suiting the artistic revelry imagined by its title. Neither leaves thoughts awe struck but undeniably both add to the pleasure and fun being devoured by this point of the album before being shown the way by There’s a Crow on the Barrow, another insatiable gallop with melodic flanks over thunderous hoofs of rhythmic intent and heavily enticing riffs.

Dawning of a Sombre Age despite is open invention and masterful presentation leaves established heights alone though sculpting its own definitely pleasing level before the album concludes with the voracious and fascinating Age of Runes and the jubilant dance of The Priory. Each song brings the album to an impressive end, the first an absorbing proposition which never leaves expectations anything to truly feast upon whilst the last is just Falconer and their distinctive sound at their creative best.

Black Moon Rising has moments of brilliance and others where it merely pleases without much more but makes for an exciting and enthralling encounter overall proving Falconer have plenty left in their fire keep on setting power and folk metal new adventures to eagerly anticipate.

Black Moon Rising is available via Metal Blade Records now!

http://www.falconermusic.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 11/02/201

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My Refuge – Living In Anger

 

My Refuge - Foto

    Hailing from Italy, My Refuge is a band which has steadily gained very decent attention for themselves at home, a recognition which will be increased whilst potentially starting a just as keen reaction further afield through the release of new EP Living In Anger. The release is a power metal encounter which without casting any major surprises easily satisfies and potently continues the Varese based quintet’s more than solid emergence.

     My Refuge was started in 2010 as a solo project by guitarist Mauro Paietta, a start soon followed by the release of the 3407 Picture Of An August Night EP. Expanding in size with the enlisting of guitarist Simone Dettore, bassist Salvatore Chimenti, drummer Valerio Ferrari, and lastly vocalist Moz, this current line-up in place and stable from 2012, My Refuge was soon writing and creating potent and flavoursome sounds. Living In Anger is the next unleashing from the band, a taster and invitation to their forthcoming debut full-length due later this year, which easily raises interest and appetite for band and album. It is fair to say that it does not light any raging fires but just as undeniably it does offer plenty of temptation and potential to satisfy and lure a wealth of new hearts into the upcoming horizons of My Refuge.

     Opener A Storm is Coming is exactly as its title suggests, a tempestuous and voracious energy soaking ears from the first Living In Anger - Cover 200x200second. Though not exactly entering the eye of the onslaught, the song soon settles into a sinew clad, rhythmically driven stalking, the thumps of Ferrari bordering belligerent and the guitar design and tempting of Paietta and Dettore enticing. The magnetic bass sound from Chimenti adds its own individual predation to the stalking gait of the track whilst Moz provides a strong and varied vocal narrative which complements the song’s exploration without leaving lingering fires. There is an open familiarity to the song, as across the whole EP, but it makes resourceful use of previously well-worn paths to build a pleasing and very easy to return to encounter.

    The following song, The Cage (Oh Demon In My Eyes) does not carve out new ventures for heavy and power metal either but imaginably feeds any wants and needs from the genre with skill and endeavour. Like the first, the track does not rampage and push the listener into anthemic pastures with grand and mischievous premises like many power metal charges, but instead centres on emotive and dramatically passionate aspects. The vocals and guitars explore these evocative hues intensively and creatively leaving bass and drums to intimidate and lure the senses in deeper; it is a strong and potent blend impressively sculpted and delivered, if lacking the key to waking a more ravenous appetite for its invention.

     The title track steps up next with more of the same design in its particular pattern; vocals and thick melodies with an acidic nature leading the suasion from within another intensively brought rhythmic cage. Moz again unveils a good stretch of delivery with purpose and skill, even the typical heavy metal wails which usual fall on barren ground with our tastes only enhancing the variety of the song. Parading an almost carnivorous throat to its intent, the song does not quite match the previous pair but still adds to the growing presence and convincing provided by the band.

   The EP is concluded by an acoustic song called Empty Rooms. To be honest it is a track which initially did not lay any really persuasive hands on thoughts and emotions but as it makes its way across and deeper into its emotive journey, the union of guitars and vocals work under the skin to provide a real highlight of the release. The controlled and wide array of vocals is a vibrant treat in the melancholic embrace of the song, a suasion bringing a very decent release to an outstanding close.

   My Refuge feels like a band still finding its unique presence and voice but providing a satisfying presence on that journey. Living in Anger will not set your heart racing but definitely makes for a pleasing and refreshing addition to power and melodic metal, which is always a well worth investigating quality.

http://www.myrefuge.it/

7/10

RingMaster 12/04/2014

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Taberah – Necromancer

Taberah Promo2

A very agreeable merger of classic and power metal with melodic flames licking the imagination from within, Necromancer the new album from Tasmanian metallers Taberah makes for one rather tasty and satisfying encounter. Fusing a mix of essences which reap the seeds of Iron Maiden like heavy metal, AC/DC spawned classic rock ‘n’ roll, and the over blown revelry of Powerwolf, the album is a richly enjoyable ride which arguably is low on originality but high on accomplished perfectly sculpted pleasure.

With seeds blossoming from 2004 through guitarist/vocalist Jonathon Barwick and drummer Tom Brockman, Taberah has built a mighty reputation and following through firstly the Tasmanian live music scene on to the Australian shores and beyond. Handpicked by Lemmy for the Sydney leg of Motorhead’s 2011 Australian tour the band earned equally potent reactions from their own shows and the sharing of stages with artists such as Paul Di’anno, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, LORD, Psycroptic, Black Majesty and many more. 2011 also saw the release of the band’s debut album The Light Of Which I Dream, recorded with producer Joe Haley of Psycroptic, the record drawing strong acclaim around the world. Its successor Necromancer looks set to cement their stature and take it up a few more levels and though arguably it offers little truly new, the Dust On The Tracks Records released album leaves nothing less than eager satisfaction from its creative revelry.

With guitarist Myles Flood and bassist Dave Walsh alongside Barwick and Brockman, the album opens up with the mighty 2012. InstantlyTaberahNecromancerthe great throaty bass growl conjured from Walsh seduces the ear whilst crisp beats stand by its side with anticipation for the melodic flames of guitar. Next group harmonies light the air before the delivery of Barwick impressively delivers the lyrical narrative within a mesh of sonic imagination and striking craft. As energetically inviting as it is infectiously compelling, the song makes a great start to the album offering expectations what they wish for and intrigue plenty to find thrills within especially the excellent solo mid-way.

Dying Wish continues the riveting introduction with its colourful sinew clad riot of power/glam metal. There is a Cooperesque breath to the track especially early in its presence which catches the ear and with a contagious gallop of a chorus the track like the first provides all the aural manna needed to brawl with a wide smile on the passions.

From here on in the album ebbs and flows in its contents and originality thus also in success though plenty of that is down to personal preferences as much as the songs. The melodically weaved encounter Burning In The Moonlight, the dramatic Warlord, and the acoustically shaped Don’t Say You’ll Love Me are prime examples, all hard to dismiss and mark down such their craft and open imagination but still they are unable to generate a spark for the passions to grip on to. Amongst this trio there is the excellent title track to keep the release hanging on to its earlier heights though, the track a climactic march of air flailing riffs and flesh stripping rhythms creating a web for vocals and harmonies to paint their provocative and descriptive tale. As across the whole of Necromancer, from drums to bass, guitars to vocals everything is irrepressibly potent and skilled, all coming together in this instance for a ferocious yet merciful rampage.

Further highlights are unveiled in the shapes of the explosive and sonically absorbing For King And Country and the outstanding beast of a track The Hammer Of Hades where the band finds a carnivorous predation to accost the ear not seen previously on the album. It is a thunderous treat which leaves the closing harmonic sunset of  My Dear Lord quite pale in comparison though the bonus track Burn ensures the album ends on a final storm of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll.

Necromancer is a very decent and satisfying album which declares Taberah as one of the bands within melodic/heavy metal able to really fuse old school and modern metal into a voracious if debatably slightly unadventurous pleasure.

www.facebook.com/taberah.tas

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2013

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Dissension – Of Time And Chronic Disease

Dissension Press Photo

If you are ever undecided which genre to grace your day with then veering over to the debut album from Canadian metallers Dissension could very well solve your indecision. Combining a core of thrash, black, and power metal with numerous other flavoursome essences from multiple metal bred aspects into a coherent and fluid rapacious adventure, the band is a striking proposition with a debut album in the shape of the thrilling storm Of Time And Chronic Disease which simply exhilarates and captivates. Certainly the release needs time to lay out its ultimately irresistible persuasion and imaginative narrative but the effort is rewarded with a thoroughly invigorating and scintillating fury of inventive rabidity and deeply satisfying enterprise.

Formed in 2007 as Set to Kill with a different sound to what evolved and rampages through the ear on their first album, the Montreal quintet of vocalist guitarist Nathan Afilalo, guitarist Matteo Conti, keyboardist Andrew Proppe, drummer Anthony Pulcini, and bassist Oli Aveline (since left to be replaced by Giancarlo Cininni), took little time waking up appetites and attention locally and beyond. Shows with the likes of Tyr, Threat Signal, and Cryptopsy and an appearance on the prestigious Heavy MTL stage in 2011 all enhanced and accelerated their brewing stature but you can only suspect that Of Time And Chronic Disease will lead Dissension to a loftier height of awareness and recognition worldwide such its impressive encounter.

Produced by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions, (Slaves on Dope, What Comes To Life, One) and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, Album Cover - Dissension - Of Time And Chronic DiseasePriestess, Half Moon Run), the album immediately tells you what it is all about with opener Thralls To The Crucified. The track opens with a sturdy thrash inspired regimented attack of riffs and rhythms, their restrained but firm stance opening up the senses for the evocative keys which lay a suggestive wash over the growing hunger. Opening into a scenic melodic and sonic landscape crafted by the excellent invention of guitars and keys, the vocals of Afilalo caustically growls and squalls over the enticing venture adding to the intimidation stalking the track through the bass of Aveline and the predatory beats of Pulcini. Never seemingly staying in one gait and certainly one style for longer than is needed to get the sonic point across, the track is a riveting expanse of ingenuity subsequently echoed across the whole album.

The following Graceless Death is a venomous charge of blackened metal with symphonic winds smouldering in the background whilst their frequent louder whispers make a fuller seduction from time to time. With an intensive twisted groove and a flight of predacious riffing the song steals the breath, soothes the violation, and steals it once again across its inventively startling length. As becomes apparent in all the songs, it is impossible to take everything in the first, second, arguably even the third and fourth listen but that just makes each confrontation a giving and ever evolving pleasure.

The likes of Blacksteel with its less demanding heavy metal breath, though the track soon menaces and threatens with muscular intensity and ravenous creativity, the magnetic merger of light and dark suasion Set To Kill, and the finely crafted Legacy continue the enthralling start. The last of the three opens with an elegant melodic descript before unleashing flames of technically expressive and compelling shadow drenched emprise, the track another which seamlessly bringing light and dark, melodies and savage intrusion into an absorbing and continually evolving provocative triumph.

Immense and enthralling from the start Of Time And Chronic Disease reaches another plateau with its title track, the first single from the album. From a potent and rich atmospheric soundscape impressively carved by riffs, drums, and bass, and coloured by as now expected precise and imaginative melodic hues from keys and guitars, the track slowly unveils its sinister serpentine like bestial intent, the vocals a dangerous portent against the excellent discord tainted piano. The track like the imagination is soon at the mercy of the malevolence at the heart of the song though once more the track is a thrilling scenic passage through the darkest corners alongside the brightest sonic torches.

Dissention and Apotheosis bring the album to a stimulating intensive close, both like all before exploring the darkest depths of human nature and its accompanying shadows. As mentioned the layers and creative depths of the songs and album are only really discovered over numerous engagements thus making it impossible to truly portray all that the album contains in written word but that the rewards are rich and plenty is all you really need to know. Of Time And Chronic Disease is an outstanding debut and declaration of an emerging force in Dissension which you sense could be inspiring many future bands as the likes of Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, Sepultura, Kalmah, Nile, and Amon Amarth inspired them.

https://www.facebook.com/DissensionMTL

9/10

RingMaster 11/09//2013

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InfiNight -The Vision

InfiNight_Band

Whether The Vision, the new EP from German heavy metallers InfiNight, is exactly offering anything new or unheard before is debatable but for straight up enjoyment and anthemic irresistibility there are no questions over its offering. The five track release is a strongly satisfying and pleasing slab of power metal fuelled enterprise, one which leaves you licking lips for more whilst it unleashes an expanse of sound which feeds appetites from numerous aspects of melodic metal.

Formed in 2001, the quintet of vocalist Martin Klein, guitarists Dominique Raber and Marco Grewenig (ex-Inner Logic, ex-Arctic Winter), bassist Kai Schmidt (ex-Inner Logic), and drummer Hendrik Reimann (ex-Inner Logic, ex-Godslave) has built and earned a loyal potent fan base and reputation for their sound and shows. Their impressive sharing of stages with the likes of Children of Bodom, Motörhead, Nevermore, Six Feet Under, and the Scorpions across gigs and festivals has enhanced their status certainly in their homeland and within Europe whilst their two albums, Sea of Knowledge (2005) and Like Puppets (2011), has brought great responses and good acclaim upon the band, InfiNight being compared to the likes of Nevermore, Queensrÿche, and Iced Earth. The Vision EP is their next exploit in gaining wide recognition and whether it will be the key to that awareness is up for discussion but it will recruit plenty more eager fans their way quite easily.

Hideaway opens up the EP and instantly seizes attention as guitars carve out a fire of compelling riffs as the drums hold court with Infinight_TheVision_Coverthumping heavy beats. Taking mere moments to hit its stride the song enthralls the senses further with an energetic stroll of predatory riffs ridden by the excellent vocals of Klein. There is a dark almost carnivorous tone to the guitars and certainly the bass which offers constant intimidation even when the melodic flames of Raber and Grewenig ignite air and passions, and it is this depth of sound which grips tightly as the smouldering charms of the excellent song flare up throughout to provide another richly appetising aspect to the song. The slip into a more hard/alternative rock aside with again Klein impresses powerfully is unexpected and thrilling, that moment alone questioning that earlier thought that there is not much new going on. In invention that can be argued for sure. As the rising crescendo of passion and intensity climbs to forge a tremendous climax, the song is simply a virulent contagion which lingers wonderfully.

The following short instrumental The Passage is a raw and abrasive post-apocalyptic like strength of evocative ambience evolving into closing seconds of orchestral colour which make way for A Loss of Love. The song opens with the vocals of Klein crooning over the melodic elegance of keys and warmth. It is an ok start soon elevated by the epically honed expulsion of melodic and symphonic lilted persuasion. Superbly crafted and presented, with guitars and vocals a tempting heat over the eighties fuelled melodic caresses of the keys, the song is a welcoming adventure that does struggle to match the heights of the opener but grasps the listener all the same in a blaze of anthemic power which is hard to turn down or resist participating in.

Transformation is another short instrumental, a piano led emotive piece with towering rhythms and a symphonic breath. To be honest as intriguing and interesting as both instrumentals are, and excellently delivered too, they are too short to make the impact the band probably wanted. They do not hang around long enough to inspire distinct thoughts and visions in the listener which really leaves them as feeling like fillers, something the composing and craft does not deserve. That is soon forgotten though when final song, the title track, explores the ear and passions with another scintillating stomp of riffs, rhythms, and sonic imagination. It makes a powerful conclusion to the release, it and the first track stirring riotous bookends to The Vision.  As the guitars scorch the song with sizzling melodic fire, their touch searing the tantalising spine of incessant rebellious drums from Reimann, it makes for a brilliant finish to an impressively decent and enjoyable release.

The EP does feels like a teaser in many ways to something bigger and whilst listening to The Vision you only hope that is the case, InfiNight having something bigger and longer in the works for the near future. An exciting thought.

https://www.facebook.com/InfiNight

8/10

RingMaster 05/08/2013

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Angels Of Babylon – Thundergod

SC 235 Cover

Whether rampaging with the hearts of a hundred stallions or coaxing the senses with the melodic charm of a symphonic tempest, Thundergod the second album from power/heavy metallers Angels Of Babylon leaves a rather tasty flavour in the ear. It is not an album which consistently sparks the passions but when it does it is with furnace like intensity whilst the least successful moments of the release still captures a concentrated engagement with the listener.

Founded by former Manowar drummer Kenny “Rhino” Earl in 2008, Angels Of Babylon recruited strong acclaim with 2010 debut album Kingdom Of Evil, which featured Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson on bass. Line-up changes followed but now the potent force of Earl, vocalist Diego Valdez, guitarist Ethan Brosh, and bassist Steve Handel, return with the band’s new album and a powerful ear catching onslaught it is. With rampant rhythms and sinew bred riffs coursing the melodic expanses giving breath to the songs, Thundergod is a thoroughly enjoyable if inconsistent encounter and one which power and heavy metal fans you can only suspect will devour greedily.

The release starts and ends on an explosion of excellence which in many ways gives everything in between a formidable plateau to match, and though all valiantly try many pale in comparison to varying degrees. The title track starts off the release, its torrential charge of exhausting and contagious riffing speared by senses caging rhythms irresistible. It is automatically anthemic in energy and breath becoming virulently so with the vocals of Valdez impressively riding the heavy steer of sound and even more so again from the incendiary passion of the chorus. There is nothing to dislike or dismiss about the primal rock ‘n’ roll assault and it makes for the most compelling and epidemically tempting start to the album. Though there is plenty to get teeth into across the album, only closing track Bullet truly stands side by side on the same pedestal as the first song. Less intensive but equally as rapacious in energy and unrelenting persistence, the track is a tide of metallic aggression and melodic persuasion taking the passions by the scruff of the neck and sending them down a flume of delicious sonic invention. Predatory at its core and fiery in its guitar invention it is an exceptional tail to the mutually stunning head of Thundergod.

Between these highlights the skilfully accomplished likes of the emotive Sondrio with its soaring melodic caresses, the epically carved Queen Warrior, a song bringing carnivorous riffs and colour drenched keys into a pleasing union, and The Enemy ensure the release is never less than intriguing or satisfying, if at times predictable and walking the outskirts of being underwhelming. Each song does make strong company in their presence however you look at it through the excellent musicianship and vocals on offer but often without leaving anything to linger after their departure. There are exceptions as with the first two mentioned, with further highlights coming with the mesmeric White Star Line, its initial acoustic embrace merging through symphonic grandeur into an epic seduction of heavy metal passion and raging creative energy, keys and guitars sculpting a net of bewitching narrative and drums framing it all with understated yet hungry might.

Redemption stands further apart from the rest to also rival as best track, its heavy epic walls standing breathlessly over an imaginative pit of emotive fire and sonic enthrallment. It is an aural fascination and possibly the most inventive track on the album, certainly right to the fore as one of the most scintillating.

The Scarlet Records released Thundergod has everything a great heavy metal needs, passion, invention, and melodic ingenuity, it just fails to have enough hooks to secure the fullest ardour for its presence, when it does hit the nail though it is a monster of a treat.

https://www.facebook.com/rhinoaobofficial

7.5/10

 

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