Hollow – Mordrake

Hollow - Press Photo

There are some debut albums which impress, some which raise a depth of excitement sparking a long term connection, and then there are some like Mordrake from Canadian death metallers Hollow which simply have you shouting feverishly from the rooftops. The release is an extraordinary maelstrom of startling invention, mouthwatering imagination, and enslaving hostility which simply blows thoughts and passions away. There has been talk of great things about the Montreal quartet from their live performances and previous release, the six track EP Cynoptic Eschaton, but it is fair to say we were not expecting something so devastatingly brilliant for our first introduction to the band.

Formed in 2009, Hollow has earned a fine reputation and potent presence across Québec and Ontario moving across their homeland through their live incitements which has seen them excel alongside the likes of Voïvod, Suffocation, Sword, Jungle Rot, Iwrestledabearonce, Blackguard, The Agonist, Beyond Creation, Marduk, 1349, Tyr, Orphaned Land, and many many more. Cynoptic Eschaton drew further strong acclaim and attention with its release in 2010 which Mordrake is sure to emulate in much greater strength and expansion. Bringing new character to some of the tracks on the previous EP and plenty more new breath-taking encounters within its twelve song body, the Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope) produced, with Dan Lauzon (Entropy) and the band, album was recorded with an uncluttered ‘analogue’ like approach which brings a raw and honest dimension to the proposition allowing music and individual craft to paint a stunning fiercely textured adventure.

Opener Lament Configuration emerges upon a sonic prowl which is almost lumbering in its gait and thoroughly engrossing in its Album Cover - Hollow - Mordrake 2014 - smallsearching sonic exploration over the senses, the fingers and strings of guitarist Cadaver already capturing firm attention. Pungent rhythms add to the portentous tension brewing within the dramatic coaxing whilst orchestral melodies and harmonies soak the oppressive atmosphere lying thickly over the evolving scenery. Eventually the band step from the initial evocative smog with a surging stride of riffs and concussive beats from Blaac which vocalist Mott roars over with every muscle of his malevolence. It is an impossibly contagious charge which is just as compelling in its imaginative twists and enticements, not forgetting individual skills, as in its turbulent catchiness. The track is the thrilling declaration of things to come, a tempest of bewitching ingenuity and lethal aggression within a blackened pestilential beauty of sound and creative intent.

It is a staggering start which both Cryptic Howling and A New Life explosively reinforce. The first is a voracious torrent of rhythmic rabidity matched by an unbridled hunger in riffs and outstanding vocals, Mott gloriously unpredictable in his venomously corrosive varied delivery. Within the scourging onslaught, bassist Snow finds an even more intensive bestial voice from his strings to add to the hellacious web, a tone which is as at home sculpting a carnal texture to the vitriolic attack as it crafting deliciously haunting lures to the enthralling melodic hues which seduce robustly later in the track. The track is a severe examination of senses and psyche with more riveting rewards in its single body than most death metal bred albums offer across their full lengths, a treat repeated by its predecessor. Entwining ears in a climbing vine of sonic imagination which is soon under a tsunami of pungent antagonistic intensity and ravenous enterprise, the track adds to its surprises with contagious grooves which lead to a heavy metal endeavour beneath a symphonically seeded elegance. This is all around a heart which is predatory in the extreme and soaked in a simply irresistible rapacious appetite.

It should be noted that whatever description tracks are given here they only hint at the whole picture, so much going on and being sculpted that it is impossible to truly represent their brilliance and impossible to take all in on just a few encounters ensuring the album is a constantly giving proposition with every assault. The next up rampage of Landscape is instant proof, its ferocious vehemence in sound, vocals, and imagination a senses eroding, thought provoking ruin which wrongs foot with majestically flighted harmonies of keys casting seducing melodies. As ever it is just a twist in the soundscape of the song’s blisteringly shaped and exposed narrative, the track a purposeful sublimely designed meander that chains mind and soul from start to finish, whilst lorded over by the just as impressive vocal diversity of Mott, more of which coming later.

The pair of Iscariot and Sunriser throws senses and imagination into further exacting furies, both again intensive weaves of addictive hooks and toxic grooves upon exhaustingly adventurous and demanding canvases. As with every track on Mordrake, each is a distinct individual with the first finding a poetical grace in the keys within a uncompromising plague of voracity whilst Mott brings a brief but just as impressive clean twist to his vocals amidst another range of guttural and poisonously squalling growls. It is a glorious track which is followed by the just as staggering triumph of Sunriser, clean vocals given another outing whilst standing in a storm of demonic toxins from the raw throat of the frontman. The bass of Snow is also a real highlight in the foreboding drenched climatic air of the song, though to be fair to all the encounter is a scintillating blur of inventive animosity and imaginative pestilence for which all deserve the outmost credit.

     The emotively driven Vlad comes next, a track we assume inspired by a former band member from the band’s first days who passed away unexpectantly. With keys and violins an insatiable seduction, the song is another which rabidly suffocates as it inflames senses and emotions before making way for the provocative epidemic of sound and fascination that is Anomie, a track bringing orchestral flumes into an entanglement with heavy metal wantonness; keys, bass, and guitars conspirators in a savagely hued, magnetically cultured creative virus.

Generally in an album so incredibly gripping and awe striking there are going to be lulls or weaker moments but honestly Mordrake holds no such inventive languor, the following innovatory alchemy of both the chilled Snow where those cleaner tones of Mott are given extra time and the hypnotic maze of Birth, rhythmically and sonically as spellbinding as anything on the release. The same applies to closing tracks Hate and Death, two final incendiary expanses of fertile minds and musical ingenuity.

Mordrake is simply remarkable, one of the most promethean debuts in a long time and certainly within death metal this year, though Hollow have a sound and presence which you cannot confine to a single genre or singular mind-set. A brilliant album from a brilliant band, what more do you need to know?

The self-released Mordrake is available via http://hollowcanada.bandcamp.com/album/mordrake

http://hollowofficial.com/

10/10

RingMaster 30/05/2014

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Prematory – Corrupting Influence

 

PrematoryBand

    There has been a wealth of invigorating and thrilling thrash metal releases over the past twelve months or so and maybe to top the lot comes Corrupting Influence from Belgian thrashers Prematory. If you ask whether it offers anything dramatically new to the genre the answer would have to be, like predominantly most of the recent successes, no but whether it adds a fresh breath and potent shot in the arm for the scene, then that is a resounding yes. Eleven tracks of voracious imaginative metal with the craft and adventure to fire up senses and passions, the second album from the Leuven quintet is a snarling beast of a provocation, an antagonistic rebellion musically and lyrically which simply ignites the fullest, hungriest satisfaction.

      Formed in 2007 by bassist Joeri Trescinski, guitarist Joeri Van De Schoot, and drummer Thomas Minnen, with vocalist Simon Duson coming in soon after, the band spent the first couple of years working on their material, breaking that up with the occasional gig. Second guitarist Jonas Van De Sande then joined the line-up before the band entered the studio to record debut album Suiciety in 2010, it following on from the five track demo of the previous year, We’re the Titans. The album drew impressively strong responses from fans and press, and helped the band to secure support slots for bands such as Warbringer, F.K.U., and Dr. Living Dead. Established in the Belgian underground scene, the band followed up that success began hitting stages in countries such as Germany and The Netherlands. The addition of Thomas Wuyts to replace the departing Minnen came about as the band began writing for their follow-up album, the transition a seemingly seamless affair within the creation of Corrupting Influence. Linking up with producer Sven Janssens (ex-Aborted) from the Red Left Hand studio, the album was recorded early 2013 with the mastering provided by Chris “Zeuss” Harris (Suffocation, Soulfly, Hatebreed). Now released via Punishment 18 Records, the scintillating fury is armed to the gills with all the qualities and strengths to put Prematory on the frontline of current day thrash.

     Taking a look and swipe at everything from global, social, and political ills in modern society, Corrupting Influence sizes up PrematoryCoverthe listener with the provocative and enticing instrumental Sledgehammer to start things off. A sultry embrace covers the ears first before guitars expand a fiery climate, one soon driven by bold rhythms and tenderising riffs. Laying this potent canvas for barely over a minute, the riveting piece is immediately succeeded by Insignificance, a delicious carnivorous bassline providing its initial path into an already awoken appetite. Striding rapacious riffs are soon stealing its limelight alongside thumping yet restrained rhythms to stretch the brewing contagion, a lure added to by the slightly grizzled and grouchy vocal tones of Duson. The song proceeds to stomp and challenge with a relish and invention which sees twisting grooves and sonic flames searing those little hairs which grace every ear. The Metallica essence which marked their earlier album is less pronounced here but still an available temptation even if it is agreeably more in the swagger of songs than sound now. Providing a varied and creative endeavour to submit full attention and hunger to, the track sculpts a breath-taking full start to the album.

    The following Down the Drain is no less impressive as it keeps that adrenaline fuelled foot to the pedal and launches at the senses with a vocal and sonic predation. An almost Suicidal Tendencies like coaxing creeps into the song, especially in the vocal delivery, adding a great raw surface to the already caustically appealing encounter. Irresistibly anthemic and rigorously dynamic, the song’s ferocity is tempered by the magnetic beginning to Hold My Breath, a lone guitar veining the air with a simple and evocative temptation as singular drum punches intimidate the atmosphere. Building up to its full expulsion the track sends shards of melodic invention through the brewing fight before embracing the senses in a bear hug of accusatory vocals, combative rhythms, and condemning riffs. Less immediate than other songs, its drama and rebuking might still finds its way into the deepest appreciate and hunger, whilst the album continues with its insatiable energy.

    Both the virulently infectious Toxic Experiment, the name perfect for its blistering sound and presence, and the intensely enjoyable Lies upon Lies place another layer of thrash quality upon the album, though the second of the pair for the first time on the release seems to recycle previous riffs too openly to avoid detection. It does not deter a full and eager consumption though before the outstanding assault of Grave Raiser or the simply scintillating Sentenced for Life. Starting with an intro which provides one of those toxins there is no cure for, bait which leaves the juices incontrollable, the second of the two is a predator which uses every spiteful angle and ravenous invention to raise the temperature. It is a glorious and unique slab of vivacious enterprise, Eastern promise slipping in at times to explore and accelerate the ridiculously addictive pull of the song whilst its core evolution of sounds and ideas is impossibly bewitching as it takes best song honours.

    Avoiding the possibility of being an anti-climax after such a triumph the following pair of Peace?! and Bad Blood offer maybe more straight forward thrash blitzes but no less satisfying furnaces to engage in, whilst the closing title track uncages one final ravaging with compelling twists and vicious mischief to leave Corrupting Influence on a mighty high. You might not be getting something remarkably ground-breaking from Prematory on their new release but for thrash metal of the highest deviously addictive order than Corrupting Influence is a must have slab of inventive ferocity.

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9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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Rivers of Nihil – The Conscious Seed of Light

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Unleashing a debut album which intrudes upon and explores the psyche, UK progressive death metallers Rivers of Nihil is a band with a ruinous sound built with superbly accomplished textures. The Conscious Seed of Light is a captivating confrontation which as it devours and stretches the senses you can only have the feeling that its creators are at the start of a certain ascent to major recognition. The release is a demanding and intrusion affair, one which needs numerous encounters to truly reap all of its rewards, but a release which constantly stimulates and ignites imagination and passions.

Formed in 2009 by vocalist Jake Dieffenbach, guitarist Jon Kunz, and drummer Ron Nelson, the band from Reading, Pennsylvania, was soon gripping attention locally with their dark heavy explorations. Extended to a quintet soon after their first live shows by the addition of guitarist Brody Uttley and bassist/vocalist Adam Biggs, Rivers Of Nihil subsequently released a pair of well received EPs, Hierarchy and Temporality Unbound in 2010 and 2011 respectively, whilst extending their live performances through shows and tours throughout the East Coast and Midwest as well as appearances at events such as Midwest Fuckfest with Dying Fetus, Misery Index and Arsis, and Akron Deathfest with Complete Failure. As their stock rose the band continued to reap praise for their live performances which saw them going on to share stages with the likes of Suffocation, The Faceless, Despised Icon, Revocation, Beneath the Massacre, Dysrhythmia, Decapitated, Six Feet Under and more. September 2012 saw the band sign to Metal Blade Records before entering the studio earlier this year with Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel) at Mana Recording Studios (Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore, Exhumed) to record The Conscious Seed of Light. The result is an intense and dramatically agreeable death metal violation, a confrontation which is as abrasive as it is magnetic and as destructive as it is violently seductive. With essences of the likes of Morbid Angel, Gojira, and Decapitated to its uncompromising depths and presence the album is a release which cries out for attention, and you suspect will eagerly receive it.

      The Conscious Seed of Light is planned as the first of four related albums, each reflecting a season with Spring the theme of the band’s Coverdebut which explores “various themes concerning new beginnings, growth, and an attachment to the natural world in a post-human Earth.” It opens with Terrestria I: Thaw, the track a short instrumental which sets out the soundscape for the release to expand upon. The melodic breath and progressive endeavour of the piece is an instant if not quite dramatic draw which builds up its pressure and intensity to flow into the torrential assault of Rain Eater, its rhythms and vocals a squalling tempest of malevolence and creative causticity. Dieffenbach has a nastily grazing delivery which easily pleases and makes a great rub upon the sonically melodic enterprise which spawns from the guitars. As emerges across all songs, there is plenty going on within the vicious maelstrom, a wealth of invention which needs time to reveal its full suasion but provides potent and exhilarating rapacious flights each and every time.

The impressive start flows into the equally compelling Birth of the Omnisavior and Soil & Seed, both unbridled individual creative predations which leads senses and thoughts on a savage stalking of emotions and a dark damning aural storm. The second of the two is especially a bestial inventive ravaging which hints of directions across its sinewed flank but persistently just as you think you are on course with its intent twists down new avenues, its craft and mastery making for one of the major highlights of the release.

Across an album which holds its imaginative heights at lofty levels throughout, further immense pinnacles come with the dangerously addictive riff chugging Mechanical Trees and the intensive sonically scalding Human Adaptation with its Meshuggah like air splintering malefaction, whilst closing track Airless is a lasting voracious transgression which invites the listener to take the sonic tsunami of The Conscious Seed of Light all over again.

Not exactly an easy listen at times and a release with moments where distinction between tracks is lost without a really deliberate focus on the encounters the album is nevertheless an exciting provocation from a band you just feel has explosive horizons ahead of them. Rivers of Nihil is a name we will be hearing draped in acclaim starting with The Conscious Seed of Light.

https://www.facebook.com/riversofnihil

8/10

RingMaster 17/10/2013

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Exhumer – Degraded by Sepsis

Exhumer band photo 01

Five years after the release of their acclaimed debut album Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion, Italian metallers Exhumer unleash its eagerly anticipated successor in the grievous furious shape of Degraded by Sepsis. A torrent of voracious energy and spiteful craft, the album is a swift and thrilling pestilence of brutal death metal which chews up ears and senses whilst rewarding their blood stained carcasses with a thoroughly pleasing scourge of invention and technical violence. It is not a release without flaws or arguably has one issue certainly, but nevertheless stands as a confrontation which returns the band to the frontline of extreme metal.

Formed in 2004 by guitarist Marco “Furiogrind” Aromatario, the band made its first impression in the local underground scene with the Sick & Deviance demo of the same year. Line-up changes followed as did their continually driven attack on the live arena. The release of Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion in 2008 brought Exhumer into a worldwide awareness, the album lodged firmly in many end of year best death metal lists whilst the band itself under took their debut European tour not long after as well as appearing at numerous festivals across the likes of Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. With the band continuing to ignite stages since and with vocalist Diego Fanelli, bassist Alyosha Danisi, and drummer Paolo D’Amato alongside Aromatario, the band turns predator of the senses once again with the Comatose Music released Degraded by Sepsis.

Admire Your Ending graces the entrance of the album with a sinister instrumental soaked in bedlam and mental provocation, its Exhumer - Degraded by Sepsis 5x5 300dpidemonic breath a hint of things to come without revealing the extent of the violation impending which soon bears its claws with Vapours of Cadaveric Mucilage. Savage and carnivorous, the track is a torrid speeding scourge of ruinous rhythmic aggression and grinding voracious riffing driven on by the excellent guttural vocals. With the rabidity which soaks every moment of the album, the song alone leaves senses and thoughts exhausted whilst the appetite for the assault comes with strong hunger.

As the following Pungent Aroma of Uterine Necrosis and Effervescence of Corroded Coarse Remains carnally expose the senses and emotions with their exhaustive sonic brutality, the previously mentioned problem with the album shows itself a nagging annoyance. It may just be down to the fact that the promo for the album was a digital one, a format that can come polluted, but the production on the release does it no justice at all, its touch shallow and smothering creating frustrating smog across the music. The fact that the tracks can still impose their explosive qualities through the stifling conditions is an indication of their strengths and potency but as said it might just be the version Degraded by Sepsis came in that is the cause and once eager hands are on the CD the full majesty of the album can be explored. Nevertheless both tracks are still epidemically contagious, grooves and hooks insatiable and irresistible within the sprawling tempests whilst riffs and vocals simply enslave as equally as the twisting invention.

The likes of the intensive Foaming Secretions, the track a slaughter of the synapses which once it has caused full devastation and lustful greed takes its unbridled attack into a crawling stalking of the ears, the maniacal Enzimas Podridas, and the deliciously cruel sonic taunting spawned by Adipocere Corporal Glue continue the impressive ravaging. They all come with the same sadistic charm and ferocious turn of invention as well as a mutual senses grinding malignancy but each holds a threatening individualism which the band furthers across Degraded by Sepsis with the two instrumentals Misery, which lies within that trio of furies and Scent of Decomposition which follows them. The two tracks provide a rich evocative respite from the sonic scarring, though the haunting intimidation of the pieces still challenges nerves as the imagination explores the corners and depths of their musical narrative before being thrust once more into the fire.

The title track and the closing Putrescine provide that final furnace of intensity and annihilating consumption bringing the excellent confrontation to a blood boiling close. The first of the pair weaves a provocative melodic web around furious sonic terrorism to exploit further the striding imagination whilst its successor is a vicious brawl leaving senses and strength labouring before its primal malevolence.

Exhumer has uncaged a beast in Degraded by Sepsis that is thoroughly enjoyable and openly impressive, but with that question mark against the production misses grabbing the fullest acclaim, though inventively and musically it is masterful. A should investigate release for those with an appetite for the likes of Suffocation, Devourment, and Cryptopsy

https://www.facebook.com/exhumer.official

8/10

RingMaster 16/10/2013

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Spiritual Holocaust – Kingdom Of Cadavers

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    Kingdom of Cadavers is one of those releases which takes time to make its fullest persuasion though not from being a slow burner of a tempter but as one which needs extra attention to absorb the most potent elements of its persuasion. The four track EP from Finnish death metallers Spiritual Holocaust once given the opportunity and time to work its sadistic charms though emerges as a strikingly promising and satisfying confrontation. It does not come with the intent to create new boundaries for the genre but sculpts a web of intrigue and raw destructive potency through its death driven slabs of intensity which captivates the imagination and transforms initial appreciation into a more impacting response.

Hailing from Raahe and formed in the latter part of 2010 out of the ashes of death/thrash metal band Point Blank, Spiritual Holocaust soon built a strong local fanbase which was strengthen by the release of demo CD Salute the Death last December. The end of the year also saw the new line-up of band founders vocalist Tomi Vähäkangas, guitarists Janne Satokangas and Jaakko Ulanto, bassist Marko Launen, and newest member Ville Yypäanaho in place and contemplating on their debut EP Kingdom Of Cadavers. Released by Grindhouse Music the new release unleashes a consumption of old school death metal which without being distinctly different to the sound and flavours bred by inspirations such as Morbid Angel, Bloodbath, Grave, and Cannibal Corpse, stands aside of the majority of other genre origin fuelled bands. Add in thoughts of the likes of Bolt Thrower and Suffocation to spice up the mix and you get a good idea of where Spiritual Holocaust come from and are going with their own individual design carving out the narrative.

The EP stirs from within a sampled bloodbath of torment, guitars and bass awakening their venomous intimidation to emerge as a cover_spiritualholocaust_kingdomofcadavers_1000x1000pestilence of sonic toxicity and rhythmic stalking. Once into full malevolent flow Forgotten Horror crowds the ear and forces its venomous temptation upon the senses with accomplished rabidity and intensive might. It is not startling or structurally spellbinding but with a rawness which corrodes with every note and a serpentine breath that is magnetically suffocating, the track makes a compelling introduction; especially when it parades a ridiculously contagious acidic groove, a temptation which niggles and scores the senses until it is a lingering ingrained toxin.

The title track is like an aural plague from its first insidious note, its tsunami of attractive poison and melodically fouled intensity a smothering cloak of dark destruction around a skeleton of rhythmic bone which equally takes no prisoners. Once more irresistible grooves make their plea from within the thick swamp of malicious virulence though it is a greater intensive blanket compared to the first song. A lumbering brutality with a predacious spite to its gait, the track takes the strong opener of the EP up another level and enriches the already spawned open promise of band and sound.

From the apocalyptic landscapes of the previous pair Born of Hatred seems a more personal or certainly is centred on the more personal side of human nature, its sounds as reflectively provocative and internally baleful as the lyrical growling. There is no softening of the destructive essence and hate seeded air of the encounter though, it’s testing and twisted engagement no less a torrential animosity than the other trio of tenebrous tempests as shown by the closing Death is Alive. Gnawing upon and devouring every last gasp of the senses and spark of imagination, the track takes them on a ruinous tirade of sonic and rhythmic annihilation which in turn ignites the same entombed aspects of the listener. With riffs and grooves veining the assault and bass as ever providing the strongest predatory provocateur whilst the vocals in league with the sounds scowl and turn air into a vitriolic Cimmerian expanse, the song brings an equally sepulchral release to an enjoyable close.

As mentioned Kingdom of Cadavers is not grinding out or exploring new ventures but is pure old school death metal which leaves the senses and appetite fully satisfied. Spiritual Holocaust is a band, on the evidence of their first EP, at the beginning of what looks like being an eventful and fulfilling blood drenched journey.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spiritual-Holocaust/159862980694493

8/10

RingMaster 08/10/2013

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Karnak – The Cult Of Death

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Uncompromising and ravenous, the new mini-album from Italian death metallers Karnak is a furious consumption of the senses but equally a deceptively rewarding one which with bravery and strong will before its ferocity provides a compelling and invigorating examination of senses and thoughts. Made up by five predatory tracks, The Cult Of Death is an annihilatory turbulence through the ear which consists of four new songs linked to a concept inspired by Aleister Crowley, as well as a cover of a Celtic Frost track.  With savage essences which put you in mind of the likes of Incantation, Pestilence, Nile, Morbid Angel, and Suffocation, the release is a potent and dramatic gnawing of the synapses marking the Monfalcone hailing quartet as a persistently formidable proposition.

Formed in 1993 by drummer Stefano Rumich, the band released numerous demos before making a strong impression away from their local area with debut album Perverted, the first release under the name Karnak. This was successfully followed by Melodies Of Sperm Composed, an album which saw the band evolve from their initial pure grind/death metal stance exploring elements of jazz, samples and more to add flavour and colour to the still destructive tempest of sound. Third album Tutti I Colori Del Buio was released in 2002 before the band went on a break provoked by line-up changes. 2009 saw their return and the signing with Casket Records with the release of fourth album Dismemberment coming the following year. A tour supporting Krisiun and Kataklysm pushed the band out further in 2011, though by now having supported the likes of Impaled Nazarene, Suffocation, Nile, Decapitated, Avulsed, Necrodeath, Pyogenesis, Destruction, Fleshgod Apocalypse and more over the years, Karnak was no longer a hidden secret. Last year the band supported Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, and Vital Remains on another European tour followed by another with Deicide. Currently working on their next album, the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Francesco Ponga, bassist/vocalist Lorenzo Orsini, guitarist/vocalist Marco Polo, and Stefano Rumich raise real anticipation and hunger for said release with The Cult Of Death, its bestial creative assault wholly persuasive.

The opening Intro just lays out a simple rhythmic beckoning but its temptation is irresistible and almost tribal as it evolves into The cover_karnak_thecultofdeathConstruction Of The Pyramid (The Demon’s Breath) who replays its offering before opening the gate to an intensive exhausting technically honed riff driven blaze which scorches the senses with the brewing animosity of the song and its breath is not far behind in carnivorous intent. With vocals roaring like the oldest colossal predator imaginable, the track lurches at the senses with insatiable energy aligned to a more restrained but unreserved sonic and rhythmic stalking. Furies of technical and acidically melodic guitar do initially wrong foot emotions after their submission to the easy to devour onslaught, but soon persuade craft and evocative hues.

It is an impressive start repeated and then surpassed by The Construction Of The Pyramid Beta (Invocation), the Meshuggah like web laid down around the passions at the start over run by the torrential thick sonic mass of intensity and suffocating ambience. Doom oppressive and sludge lumbering, the shift bleeds the air of light and oxygen but equally ignites thoughts with shards of melodic light and colour before the nightmarish soundscape with its heaviness and rabid vocals seems to claw like a swarm of patient demons at the psyche. As with the release it is not at times the easiest or most comfortable listen on first impressions but beneath the barbarous surface and many deeper levels there is a magnetic and superbly crafted well of invention and skilled temptation.

The nagging chugging which leads the song to a dissipating climax is immediately thrown aside by the sadistic entrance of The Construction Of The Pyramid Gamma, a start which is only built upon and intensified the further the track chews at the ear with the drum attack of Rumich unrelentingly and impossibly thrilling. Also unafraid to bring a potent melodic and sonic adventure to the striking narrative of the release, the track is a frequently changing and provoking treat concluding and summing up the new songs and strength of the album perfectly.

Completed by the cover of Celtic Frost song Jewel Throne, the release is an enthralling malevolent engagement. The final track is more than decent but as accomplished as it is it is not a match for the previous trio of songs. Quite simply The Cult Of Death really gets the appetite aflame for Karnak’s forthcoming album whilst making a thoroughly satisfying meal right now.

http://www.karnakdeath.com/

9/10

RingMaster 02/08/2013

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Caustic beauty: an interview with Arnaud Pecoste and Canard of Ad Patres

Crédit photo : Aurélie YVON, Photographe — at Le Ferrailleur.

Crédit photo : Aurélie YVON, Photographe — at Le Ferrailleur.

Scorn Aesthetics, the debut album from French death metallers Ad-Patres took no time in drawing acclaim and critical acclaim upon its release recently, no surprise really with its carnivorous expanse of primal and pack like songs steeped in death metal corrosiveness. There is much more to the sound and release though so it was with a wealth of questions to find out much more about the band and their compelling creativity that we asked bassist Arnaud Pecoste and guitarist Canard to tell us more…

Hi Guys and thank you for talking with us.

Hi, and thanks for this interview.

Tell us about the beginnings of Ad Patres, its inspiration and intention.

Ad Patres was created by the end of 2008, at the time we didn’t have any precise idea of what it would be about, we were all looking for a band to play and have fun in. Soon enough though, it became obvious that we were to play Death Metal and that’s how everything started

Your sound is rich in old school death metal influences but unlike many other bands we sense you are not anti the variations of the genre’s sound today. Where does your heart and invention lie primarily or get its biggest appetite from?

Of course there are Old School influences in our music, for it is a common passion to all of us but we are also five individuals with our own tastes and culture, we don’t want look to play death metal only, I’d say we try to play death metal with our own individual influences as a topping.

Are there particular bands or artists past and present which spark ideas in your imagination and sound?

We, as a band, are constituted of quite different persons as members. Our musical tastes and influences are diverse but there are some bands that we all have in our favorites.

The band with the biggest shared consideration is, without a doubt, Suffocation. We all share a common passion for Despise the Sun and Souls to Deny releases.

Other federating bands we could mention are Decapitated, Hate Eternal, Nile and Death Metal classics (Death, Morbid Angel…) but not all of these have a direct influence on our own music.

Tell us about the band name, was it chosen for any specific reasons?ad patres 2

We had a tough time searching for a name. We did not want to have a name already heard or approaching many death metal band names such as “Brutal Demolition”, “Suffocate in Blood” or “Agony of Suffering”. I can invent thousands like these, lol.

We wanted our name to be a bit different and recognizable. “Ad Patres” is a Latin locution meaning “to the fathers” like in “to be sent to the fathers” or “joining ones fathers” standing for “to be dead” or “to be killed”. I think for a death metal band, it is sticking to the roots of the genre and it is direct, like we want our music to be.

Am I right in thinking the band, certainly in the first couple of years went through a few line-up changes, members leaving. Did this hold up the progress of Ad Patres significantly?

We did have some line-up changes during the first two years or so, we started with only one guitar and after a short while, Olivier joined up. We recorded a demo at the time which luckily never came out… Julien, our first singer learned that he had to move to Paris during the year 2010 so we recruited Axel and have played with both singers for a while, which is why they both appear on our 2010 promo. Once Julien left Axel remained alone on vocals, and we could focus on the writing of the songs on Scorn Aesthetics. We had some luck though as all this happened at the very beginning of the band and it didn’t really have any strong impact on the songwriting.

Your first release was a three track demo in 2010, with a re-release as a part of a split with Writhing two years later. How does your debut album Scorn Aesthetics differ from that first EP, has there been an evolution in sound between the two?

In terms of composition, I don’t think both releases are very different. The three tracks on the demo were re-recorded for the album.

One of the most noticeable differences is the presence of both our former and present vocalists on the demo, sharing the lyrics. There is also a guitar solo on “The Lock” that was added on the album version.

Regarding the sound and production, I think “Scorn Aesthetics” has a way better sound quality, the sound is more precise and our playing is also better.

Scorn Aesthetics has rightly earned strong acclaim since being released, has its success that way surprised you at all?

Honestly, our 2010 promo EP also had a great reception, on a different scale, so we were already feeling high expectations for “Scorn Aesthetics”, at least in France.

But you are right the rave acclaims of the album was above our predictions and we were really impressed by the feedback and the enthusiasm from the fans and it was an amazing surprise to have our debut voted among the best metal albums on the biggest French extreme webzine.

What was the recording experience like for the album, how did you approach its creation in the studio?

The recording process did not take place like what you see when Metallica or some huge bands make “Behind the Scenes” or “In the Studio” videos you might find on YouTube. We don’t isolate and lock with the band, the producer, sound engineers and a TV crew during months.

Most of the creation of the album, in terms of composition, was done a long time before the recording took place, expect a few arrangements. The drums were recording over a weekend at a friend’s place whose father runs a professional recording facility. A couple of months later, we recorded separately each guitar parts at Mathieu’s (from Gorod) home studio and the bass at Matthieu (from Asmodée) home studio. Later again Axel returned to the pro studio for the recording of his vocals and the mixing and mastering were done by Mathieu at his own place.

599216_10150937473889961_782522193_nDid the songs on the album emerge much different from your original ideas once in the studio surroundings or did you have set ideas which were stuck to?

We were pretty set on what we wanted entering the studio, we spend quite a lot of time having the material the way we want in rehearsal, so no, there hasn’t been much change, maybe a couple solos and a few arrangements came up on the spot but the songs sound mostly like they sounded before the recording.

How long did it take from songwriting to the actual release of your album via Kaotoxin Records?

We took our time, first because of the line-up changes you mentioned earlier, then because the album was recorded over several months, and finally because once everything was ready, we didn’t have a label yet…So we had to look for one, luckily Kaotoxin was on the list and everything went smoothly from there.

I’d say it has taken two good years to write, record and release Scorn Aesthetics but we are really satisfied of the result, there’s no point in rushing things if you can afford the time to do it right.

How are songs written within Ad Patres generally?

Usually, Olivier comes up with quite an elaborated structure of a song which we work together in rehearsal (it’s not always this way but most of the time it is), then each of us makes his part on the song, Axel sets his vocals up and in the end Arnaud write the lyrics. that’s how most songs on scorn Aesthetics were written anyway.

Is it quite a democratic approach to songwriting and working on the direction of tracks and your sound?

Actually it is, but it has some drawbacks, you can’t begin to imagine how many songs were started and put aside for some reason. For everyone to be content with every aspect of one song is almost impossible, so there has to be compromises if we ever want to move forward somehow.

We described Scorn Aesthetics as like ‘being persistently courted and pursued by a rapacious giant hornet, its demonic flight a niggling and insatiable tearing of the air and predatory hunt of the senses’. How would you describe your intense invention?

I’m afraid my English is not good enough to fully understand this sentence!

As we have a subjective point of view, we tend to consider our music in terms of riffs, notes, blast beats, heavy double bass patterns, energy and dynamics. I mean, we don’t describe it using animals and outdoor activities but anyway, it sounds badass so thank you very much!

 The majority of your striking invention and imagination lies beneath the great surface sonic squalls of songs, have you found the majority of genre fans are willing to delve deeper to find these treasures?

That is a great compliment and a great question, thanks for asking.

My point of view is that the way you feel music is something extremely personal and I also think one of the very interesting aspects of playing music in a band and writing songs jointly is that you are inventing things and feelings that you may not share or feel equally with the persons you are creating with. It is some kind of hazardous random assembly.

The step further in this process is exposing the result of your production to people that were not involved yet in the making – the fans of the genre.

This all sounds like Alchemy but let’s face it, we won’t create Gold, all we want to produce is brutal head-banging and we’re doing quite well so far!

Do you find combining the ferocious aggressive assault and the equally potent melodic enterprise and imagination and easy mix for you to sculpt to allow both extremes to have their loud voices within songs?

You are pointing to the key of our writing attempt and central point of concern. Our goal and obsession is to find the optimized balance between brutality and catchiness, efficiency and sophistication.

There is nothing simple within this approach and that is why we write then abandon many songs and why it takes us some time to write an album such as “Scorn Aesthetics”.

French metal nationally seems on a high right now, how is it when you get down to individual cities like yours of Bordeaux?ad patres

It is correct to say that French extreme scene, and Death Metal especially is doing well right now. We have really high hopes for very promising bands such as Antropofago, Offending, Savage Annihilation, and Nephren-Ka following the steps of more established ones like Gorod, Benighted, Recueil Morbide, and Kronos. I invite you and Ring Master readers to check those names if you don’t already know them.

Of course, we are talking about underground music and the difficulty is having venues and gig promoters that can meet both requirements of an underground audience and the need to help the bands grow in quality.

That also means individuals consenting sacrifices for the sake of our common passion and there is the crucial point when all we can do is hope most of those death rookies will overcome the difficulties of being the new breed to reach the level of our spearheads.

What has the rest of 2013 in store for Ad Patres or more what do you have in store for the rest of the year?

The first thing we have in mind is to promote our first album “Scorn Aesthetics” the best we can, and we do it best on stage. We are currently working on some upcoming gigs and booking some also for the end of 2013 and early 2014. We are now working with the idea to play outside France and we hope to be able to play in the UK in the near future.

We are also working on some videos that will be released from this fall and later, maybe in 2014.

We are so happy with “Scorn Aesthetics”, we want to promote it the best we can!

Once more great thanks for sharing time with us, any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us?

We would like to thank The RingMaster Review for offering us time and ‘voice’ with this interview.

Thanks a lot for your support, we really appreciate it. To all the readers, thanks for reading and go check our album “Scorn Aesthetics” — it is streaming for free at http://listen.kaotoxin.com  — and feel free to send us your feedback, we’d love to hear what you think and expect us live someday, we’ll do our best to come play near you!

Read the Scorn Aesthetics review@ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/ad-patres-scorn-aesthetics/

http://www.adpatres.net/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/08/2013

All Else Fails – Fucktropolis

AEf 2013 Promo Brightened-1

As Canadian metallers All Else Fails escorts the passions on a hungry and richly satisfying trip through new EP Fucktropolis, you soon realise that the eclectic R.I.Y.L. in the promo for the record was not merely casting a wide net to pull people in but actually an accurate call on the diverse sounds parading their sinews upon the release. Listed are the likes of Killswitch Engage, In Flames, Cancer Bats, and Five Finger Death Punch, and in the EP all those essences can be heard as rich spices within something which is not exactly drenched in originality but offers an intensively riveting encounter setting thoughts and emotions aflame.

Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, All Else Fails has carved out a big reputation certainly in North America for their constantly evolving and vibrant sound and live performances which has seen the band alongside the likes of Protest the Hero, Cancer Bats, Dayglo Abortions, 3 Inches of Blood, Fear Factory, Threat Signal, Decapitated, Suffocation, and many more as well as numerous festivals. Their previous releases, especially 2011 album The Oracle, What Was, Is And Could Have Been, have equally earned strong acclaim whilst the band itself has garnered nominations at the Edmonton Music Awards for the past two years. Now the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Barrett Klesko, bassist/backing vocals Seedy Mitchell, guitarist Mike Sands, and drummer Shane Tym, return with was is claimed to be their heaviest and most expansive release yet. The Suicidal Bride Records released Fucktropolis is a tremendous proposition, one which though not quite flawless leaves a determined hunger to keep band and their releases entrenched within future horizons, with some retrospective investigation too.

First track AntiMartyr emerges from behind a vocal sample wrapped in musical drama. It is not long before riffs and rhythms add their Fucktropolis Cover High Resmenace to spark a smothering rise in intensity and immediately enterprise and temptation grip thoughts and senses. Soon the track takes full hold as guitars carve out a weave of sonic manipulation and a fury of riffs driven by ravenous basslines and now fully imposing drum volleys take aim. The harsh vocals growl and scowl with excellent lure and expression, reaping the aggressive sounds for further intent. It is not all about ravaging the ear though as equally excellent clean vocals and acidic melodies spiral around the muscular hulk of the song to offer a full range of rich flavour and variety. The technical strikes of the guitars jar and crack on bone with riveting relentlessness locked in compelling craft whilst the array of vocal delivery keeps things moving and evolving within song and thoughts.

The following Better Left Undead unravels a precise groove from the off, additional melodic flames searing the surrounding air before holding sway as the gruff vocals graze the surface of the lyrical narrative, soon replaced by again accomplished clean persuasion. They are a moving target which never settles in to a singular gait, much like the music, and it all adds to a continually intriguing and appetising proposition. The song itself is strongest when its rage is lit but the mellower and sultry washes within still leave hunger greedy to immerse its teeth into the emotive meal. As the intensive face of the song returns with a Bloodsimple feel to its caustic breath the song leaves the flight of the release as potent and enthralling as its predecessor started it.

     La Demencia Violenta  with its sultry mystique swirling behind the again rigid framed rhythms and steely riffs is a provocative wash of metallic bite and sonic colour, the smouldering heat of the vocals initially swapped for a full fire of sizzling syllables and spite coated words. There is an underlying lure to the song which calls persistently even when the track savagely bites at the ear, imagine Palms meets Five Finger Death Punch, and though arguably it is in the shadow of the rest of the EP, the track burns and lingers perfectly, especially its jabbing compelling riffs.

The final two songs are simply the pinnacles of the release. Firstly Obedience At The Altar of Sacrifice steps up face to face with the listener, its passion brewing from behind a mesh of brightly hued guitar sculpting and rhythmic building. Limbs and neck are soon in eager union with its rapacious energy and torrential gait, though again melodies and harmonies as well as descriptive keys all have a defined place in the brawling storm. It is a scintillating blaze of heavy and corrosive, one which simultaneously scars and seduces with skilful majesty, but one instantly challenged by the following triumph A Most Unwanted Reprieve. The track is just anthemic metal at its very best, group calls roping in the passions as riffs and drums set addictive trap after trap in the unbridled charge of howling invention and sinew clad imagination. The best track on Fucktropolis with its almost schizophrenic avidity, it is the perfect end to an outstanding release. Actually it is not quite the finish as there is the hidden track The Deep Roads, but as it is just a brief schizo reprise of the opening to the previous song, it is not really something to be discussed, though it did raise a grin.

Fucktropolis is simply great, a release which has limbs, senses, and passions leaping in tandem with its metallic adventure. If this is the direction and future ahead of All Else Fails, there will be exciting times as the band places themselves on the front line of world metal.

http://allelsefails.ca/

9/10

RingMaster 30/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Perversion – Pillars of the Enlightened

perversion_3

Formed in 2006 and hailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, death metallers Perversion are now ready to wake up a greater awareness for their intensive sound with the help of Blast Head Records. Debut album Pillars of the Enlightened was first self-released last year and brought stronger attention on the trio but now with N. American poised to be consumed through the Canadian label, things are stirring for one of the few if only death metal act in the U.A.E.

Originally a quartet, Perversion goes for the jugular with unbridled and unpolluted death metal. It is a sound which holds no surprises yet has a devious intrigue which pulls you back into its clutches time and time again. The release of their first EP The Origins of Horror in 2008 made them a potent force in the local scene as did their live shows, if further afield they understandably were an undiscovered scourge. Consisting of founders Mahmud Gecekusu (ex – Nephelium) and Rhama Al Rhama alongside Alex Micklewright, the band is poised to welcome greater recognition and concerted focus with their powerful and deeply satisfying full length introduction as they build on successful appearances with the likes of Hate Eternal and Grave as well as at festivals alongside bands such as Suffocation, Vader, Origin and Exodus.

The short impressively executed intro/instrumental Through the Void begins the album’s aural tale, its dramatic and epically carved Cover Artwalls a potent beckoning into the heart of the album and next up Aging the Unbirthed. The second track makes a sure and forceful start if without showing its full strength and muscle. Soon into its stride though the band captures the imagination with a heavy blaze of intensive riffing from the guitar of Gecekusu and a barrage of predatory rhythms conjured and unleashed by Micklewright alongside vocals from bassist Rhama which hold an almost expected but accomplished guttural squall of malevolence,. It is a mighty start and if not ground breaking leaves an open appetite for more.

That hunger is soon appeased by The Great Deception and the title track, both continuing the intense stance and spite of the album in individual yet connected ways. The first offers tight expressive grooves and sonic flames within its stringent savagery to twist things a little further within Pillars of the Enlightened, whilst its successor just chews up the ear with carnally bred expanses of debilitating rhythms and carnivorous riffs. Already there is a similarity forming certainly across the surface of songs which the next up excellent Subconscious Mutation does little to dispute even in its glory, and if anything that is the biggest down on the release. That is not to say each track does not have its own facets and lures but a more determined delving into the depths of songs is often needed to find a memorable lingering mark distinct from the others.

Both Gates of the Multiverse and The Origins of Horror tease and taunt thoughts and senses with style and presence, the first through winding grinding grooves which work their way through to the psyche and wrap searing tendrils around their capture whilst its thrilling companion is deceptively insidious in its climb over and consumption of the senses, riffs and sonic weaves a tempest which shadow the lethal intent at work from bass and drums.

The pleasing Ones of the Beyond starts the closing of the album with a strong similarity to The Origins of Horror, though again a detailed watch reveals more than first assumed, and is then pushed aside by the thrash led rampage of Dementia (Of Devourment). Like a pack of ravenous wolves the song snarls and clamps its feisty jaws on the listener throwing and pulling them through an eventful fire of destructive and malicious intent.

It is an exciting end to a strong and pleasing album. Pillars of the Enlightened certainly is not attempting to set boundaries or reinvent anything within the genre but instead Perversion has created an album which feeds and satisfies all the wants you could have in a straight up death metal beast. Greater adventures you feel will come with the band ahead but right now they have laid down a very decent no frills slab of metal.

http://www.facebook.com/Perversion.band

8/10

RingMaster 30/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deadly Remains – Severing Humanity

Brutal and destructive with a technical violation as corruptive as its intensity, Severing Humanity is an impressive debut album from US death metal band Deadly Remains. It is an album which leaves one crumbling under its assault and at times hypnotised by its invention and intelligent enterprise for full satisfaction and to set an even greater promise for the band ahead.

Formed in 2006, the Santa Rosa quartet first drew a concentrated attention with their 2008 demo Moral Crusade. This gave them a platform to build a strong fan base through gigs around California. The following year saw the release of Before The Nothing and a marked progression in the skill and sound of the band. From that point the next few years offered the band shared stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Flesh Consumed, Sepsism, Colonize the Rotting, Septycal Gorge, Cerebral Incubation, Condemned, Embryonic Devourment, Putrid Pile, Arkaik, Pathology, Inherit Disease and Vulvectomy as well as a show supporting Pathology at the famous Whisky A Go Go. The band spent 2011 working on and recording Severing Humanity which is released through Deepsend Records and seem destined to explode into a much wider recognition with this aggressive and striking introduction to the world.

The foursome of vocalist and guitarist Ian Andrew, guitarist Josh Kerston, bassist Chris Dericco, and James Royston on drums, are a band going by Severing Humanity, which has no place for mercy in their vocabulary. The album from first note to the vicious last ruptures ear drums and violates the senses with a deep glee which soaks every sound. The album is oppressive at times, almost a punishment too far but brought with an accomplishment which is unmissable and invention which is compulsive. Admittedly a lot of the uniqueness and intelligent play is lying beneath the raging wall of noise which crushes all in its path but for the effort needed to reveal all the quality on offer the rewards are greater.

The album opens up its rage with Apocalyptic Birth and immediately floors the senses through the crisp and mighty rhythms of Royston and the incendiary guitar play of Andrew and Kerston. The riffs rip air and flesh asunder whilst the sonic flashes flay the ear with no regard for respect. The track bombards and bruises consistently leaving no time to blink let alone breathe and squeezes tighter and tighter with the onrushing consumption of intricate play and violence. Every aspect of the track is immense but the bass work of Dericco is stunning. As ultimately proven through all tracks the musician is a future legend in the making, his lines and sounds a constant snarling beast which gnaws and chews on the senses with intensity and technical aggression which leaves one smarting and drooling in pleasure.

From the tremendous start things only get better, the following Cosmic Necrosis is a track almost indescribable in its intensity and malicious ingenuity. From the opening bass rummage through the ear into the dehabilitating riffs and rhythms the track is like watching decomposition on fast forward. The sounds and intensity falls from the atmosphere like flesh from bone to pool in a torrent of raging malevolence. The searing guitar play which attacks after the onslaught has left its toll is a scarring pleasure to further open up the sores and all combined together makes a corruptive pleasure to immerse and drown within.

Lyrically who knows what is going on, the vocals of Andrew as ferocious as the sounds and just as rabid so no word finds clarity but it is their texture which is important and that is a valuable companion to the cyclonic force around them. Further songs like Instincts Of Flesh, Psalm Of Impurity, and the excellent closing title track,  continue the sheer turbulence around and within the listener, but every song on the release is powerfully satisfying and leaves one with great expectations for further efforts from the band.

There is a similarity across some of the album on the surface which only real focus disperses but it is not a major issue as that sound is so strong. Deadly Remains and Severing Humanity will delight fans of the likes of Gorguts, Disgorge and Suffocation but all death metal lovers will find plenty to feed upon and be excited by with the album.

https://www.facebook.com/DeadlyRemainsOfficial

RingMaster 06/08/2012

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