Swedish metallers System Annihilated have announced themselves through debut album Furor, as a band capable of already providing a formidable and thrilling encounter but also one rippling with an undeniable promise of even greater things ahead. Their first release is remarkably impressive considering the age of the band and one destined to place them immediately many rungs up the extreme metal ladder of recognition.
The band from Umeå was formed in 2009 when its members were only 13/14. The subsequent four years has seen the band establish themselves as one of the most powerful in sound and invention emerging bands in Sweden with the further reaches of the globe about to have their first rewarding taste of the aggressive corrosive riches of System Annihilated. Their sound is a senses stripping fire of death metal and hardcore equipped with progressive flames and ill-tempered technical metal, a blend which is exhausting and invigorating in equal measure.
Released via Discouraged Records and recorded with legendary metal producer Ronnie Björnström (Aeon, Zonaria, Ghamorean), Furor immediately scars the synapses with opener This Apocalypse, its entrance a fire of ravenous squalls from vocalist Christoffer Jonsson within thumping rhythms from drummer Joel Widengren Lundström and the caustic riffs of guitarists Petter Adsten and Kalle Kjellberg. It is a startling fury completed by the predatory rumblings of bassist Viktor Kröger, the combination a furnace of unbridled intensity and grievous aggression. Instantly the passion and energy of the band and album pounces on the senses whilst their musicianship leaves the listener transfixed as firmly as the expansive violating sounds. There are loud whispers of the likes of Meshuggah, Periphery, and Gojira alongside winds of Sybreed and Cryptopsy to stretch further the undoubted invention and accomplish craft of the band.
The first track is an immense start soon left in the wake of the title track and further songs like The Bitter End and Let The Rain Tear It Down. The first of these is a tsunami of rabid grooves and senses depleting riffs again driven by rhythms which venomously splinter bone. It is a brutal and intense affair which ravages with primal energy and skilled malevolence brought through the striking and impactful musicianship of the band. The second of the trio pushes further the open diversity within the songs on the album though all crush resistance with a similar intent and creative template. With an initial persuasion coming through a piercing resonating sonic embrace and nastily jabbing beats, the track is a bruising treat of exploitive irresistible grooves and heinously debilitating rhythms, and one very irresistible violator whilst Let The Rain Tear It Down slowly absorbs and seeps within the body through a seductively insidious sonic wrap and voracious riffs once more caged by unrelenting barbarous rhythms.
Alongside The Bitter End the biggest triumph on the album comes through the virulent spite of Seven, a track speared by an antagonistic groove and a malicious craving to consume and fracture the senses. It is a delicious assault of perfectly structured aural spite and unbridled inflamed rapacious passion.
Furor ends as mightily as it began with the twin chewing of the ear from Parasite and We Stand Alone, another two songs which confirm System Annihilated as a potently powerful band with a maturity and potential to become much more. It is almost frightening how good this band could become based on their first release and we as we suspect every other person to stand before their skilled tempest will agree, cannot wait.
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Consisting of torrents of passion and explosive sounds, Hope In Hell the debut EP from UK metallers The Shallow is an impressive and fiery introduction to a new and accomplished group of musicians. Creating a tempest of energy and sonic disruption through a brew of technical metal, hardcore, and unpredictability, the quintet from King’s Lynn, Norfolk has unleashed a furnace of emotive intensity with musical endeavour to match.
It is a release which is not quite flawless which only adds to the immense stature of the release but leaves one in no doubt that the band has all the weaponry and imagination to be a big force ahead. There is a touch of similarity across the four tracks which makes up the release, reoccurring melodies and structures whilst occasionally the release takes roads worn by other bands but such the compelling sound and strength of the EP there is no issue with these things, just signs the band is evolving all the time with anticipation of even greater things ahead. Since forming in early 2012, the band has honed their aggressive and inventive sound through their live performances and it shows on their debut. They have been earning acclaim for their shows and sound, drawing comparisons to the likes of Gwen Stacy and Architects. The EP is set to continue and further that enthused response to their music and set 2013 up as a big year for the band.
The release opens with Twin Peaks, the piece an immediate haunting and chilling of senses and emotions as it heralds in the release. Barely touching two minutes the track offers an epic breath and bedlam tainted vocals in heavy emotive skies, the voice of Christopher Wells a squall of part outrage and part emotive fire whilst the keys and sonic manipulations throughout unsettle and score amidst the thumping rhythms of drummer James Allen and grouchy lines of bassist Michael Knowles. It is an unnerving start further scarred by the abrasive guitar caresses of Stephen Barrett and Matthew Brand, the combination of all elements a challenging and startling beginning which the rest of the EP soon expands upon.
Father thunders in at the demise of the opening track with vocals, guitars, and drums scorching and pummelling the senses. It is a caustic rub on the ear with a grinding grooves and magnetic yet chaotic discordant flurries of melodic flames erupting within the dense intensity. It is also quite irresistible, the gait and breath of the agitated track a fury of inventive aggression and imaginative intrusion brought with skill and enterprise. The clean vocals midway add an extra pleasing wash to the storm to offer slight ‘calm’ to the maelstrom of sounds and ideas at work. A track which reveals more and gets better with every listen, something which applies to the whole release, the song is an outstanding assault and just one marker for the band now and in the future.
The release is completed by the even more impressive Death of a Thin Skinned Animal and the first single from the release, Diamond Wretch. The first of the two starts on a contagious groove before within seconds whipping it up into a chaotic hardcore brawl of sonic teasing and vicious vocals. As with all the songs you get the feel of a kind of improvisation going on such their continually shifting and unexpected journeys though it is all carefully and intently crafted. It is only ever compelling though weirdly it is also where the band in brief moments do remind of other artists despite the persistently evolving presence of songs, though with each track an unrelenting crusade upon the ear moments where they can be compared to others are a fleeting breeze in the unbridled winds of the tracks. The final song continues the devastation of the ear and thrilling of the passions. It is a merciless and wholly rewarding breach of the senses with a sonic stripping and intense barracking of the defences making a stirring finish to the EP.
Hope In Hell is an excellent release from a band which leaves one breathless and excited for their and our musical futures. Released as a name your price proposition this is one violation you do not want to miss.
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Having left the Canadian metal scene breathless with their arrival earlier this year, Ontario quintet The Afterimage is set to do the same in the UK and Europe with the release of their debut EP Formless. It is a monster of an introduction; four tracks which as well as making an impressive initial engagement paves the way for a high anticipation towards their debut album next year.
Formed in the final weeks of 2011, The Afterimage consists of vocalist Kyle Anderson, guitarist Alex Lappano, bassist Dallas Bricker, drummer Nick McCaslin, and second guitarist Mike Ticar who joined the Barrie band after the EP was recorded. The band creates a sound which is best described as progressive/post hardcore but with plenty of djent/technical persuasion and imaginative endeavours. There is a similarity to the likes of Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, and The Faceless but also a fresh and unpredictable invention which you could say seeds from the likes of The Mars Volta or Between The Buried And Me, all you really need to know is it will leave you gasping for air as it did our Canadian brothers and sisters.
Released via Ghost Music, the EP opens with the instrumental Prologue, a piece of shimmering crystalline waters heated by melodic scorching from the guitars and rhythmic shadows. It loudly whispers at what is to follow without giving to much away but immediately one can hear and feel the intent of the band whilst basking in the warm undertow of the track.
The new single from the release Reverie, follows taking its prompt from the first piece and expanding it into an imagination capturing confrontation. Initially it is an accomplished and straightforward engagement, the guitars teasing notes and melodies, rhythms stamping their authority, and the grizzled growls of Anderson wrapping each syllable in a heavy intent. Soon though everything explodes, sonics going haywire as the guitars manipulate notes with a maniacal mastery whilst still holding the form and intensity of the track. Moments border on jazz, improv, and chaos and it is glorious, the control of the band in keeping everything tight yet loose astounding; synapses might be sizzling at this point and losing composure but no such doubts with the song.
The thunderous Shallows exploits any still uncompromised emotions and feelings next, its corruptive oppressive weight showing the band can violate as easily as they ignite the passions, though they are doing both with the track. Well into its assault, the track showers the ear with spotlights of melodic elegance and infectious kisses though it is still bearing down hard on the senses and devouring their resistance. Leering grooves and disorientating spears of sonic mastery are unafraid to add their ingenious presences to the glorious onslaught of corrosive ideas and sounds, leaving one bruised and delirious in their wake, if also slightly dazed.
The release closes with The Void, another continually evolving soundscape of creative irreverence and brilliance fuelled by sonic violations and melodic interventions all twisted and mutated into something solely belonging to the band. The track almost breaks into an electro breath recalling someone like The Browning but nothing stays still with The Afterimage and the furnace of inventive flames just continues burning brightly and shifting destructively.
All the tracks on the release lay individual atmospheres and escapades which ride like the best roller coaster, the senses unbalanced within gravity but returned to their initial state by the end; just they are now wasted and blissful. There are many great new debuts around right now, all worthy of being discovered but Formless will bring the biggest reward and addiction.
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As mesmeric as it is provocative and as brutal as it is emotively elegant, Disclosure from The HAARP Machine is magnificent, a stunning and enlightening storm which easily grabs the debut album of the year award. With their signing to Sumerian Records earlier in the year there has been a great buzz and anticipation surrounding the band but one wonders if any outside of the London quartet saw such a masterful release coming for their first true introduction to the world. It is an album which explores and explodes boundaries, a maelstrom of ideas, sounds, and textures which barge and impact on each other like an aural sandstorm yet are so skilfully conceived and realised the songs shine and radiate like sonic diamonds to ignite only the fullest captivation.
The HAARP Machine began in 2007 with Al Mu’min, the guitarist creating the project as an expressive outlet for his musical ideas and heart. The first couple of years saw struggling to find a solid line-up of musicians with the same drive and passion as himself. Creating demos and music which were drawing some attention without finding any true fire of interest, Mu’min contacted Dan Foord (Sikth) in the autumn of 2009 about doing a session on an EP. Though Foord could not commit beyond that moment the emerging music from their collaboration woke up a keener interest and intrigue within people. Many line-up changes ensued, including seeing Craig Reynolds (Viatrophy) involved, as Mu’min set about finding a settled line-up of musicians to capture the imagination, sound, and drive of the band. Now with vocalist Michael Semesky, bassist Oliver Rooney, and Alex Rüdinger on drums alongside Mu’min, Disclosure shows that the determination and patience was worthwhile in finding the right people, each member immense in their roles and invention within the band. After releasing a pre-production demo to keep some kind of momentum going in the interest towards the band, the band was approached by Ash Avildsen the owner of Sumerian Records with an offer of a deal to help complete the first part of what one can only expect to be a long journey for The HAARP Machine with the release of the album on October 15th.
Disclosure is a staggering intense weave of majestic progressive metal, destructive death metal, and disorientating tech metal, and that is simplifying it. The release is a perpetual tsunami of invention, imagination, and emotive intensity. It is magnetic and bruising, the songs an unrelenting surge of unpredictable but fluid creativity which you wonder if in the hands of any others would actually come together let alone sound as good. At times it can be overwhelming, the album never allowing the time to take a breath or contemplate what is before such its constantly shifting soundscape which at times flirts with chaos though it never comes close.
The album opens with the quite brilliant Esoteric Agenda, a track top and tailed with shimmering ethnic sounds and instrumentation. It is not long though before an opening crescendo of power barracks the ear with a furious onslaught of crippling rhythms, scything sonic manipulation and abrasive riffs. The track has body parts unleashing their energy in shifts, at times feet at one with the venomous drums, in others the head offering whiplash possibilities within the intensive assault. The vocals of Semesky are superb whether with a heated clean delivery or caustic rabid growls whilst the music shifts through all shades of violence into soothing piano touches It is an impressive start which is eagerly matched by the rest of the album.
Tracks like Lower The Populace and Pleiadian Keys sear flesh with the acute sonic blazes to then trample the wounds with a mix of corrosive malevolence and soothing whispers, the blend perfect. The senses are awestruck throughout and sent into meltdown with songs like From Vanity To Utility and the title track. The first of the pair is a furnace of melodic fire from guitars and the wonderful piano breath within the tempest of barbarous riffs and ravenous intense energies all fuelled by the abrasive passion of the song whilst Disclosure sirenades the imagination with further ethnic caresses and a barbed progressive grandeur so that even in its most enticing warmth the music is carnivorous in its intensity.
As mentioned there is so much going on it means with each play every song is a different creature, each subsequent engagement unveiling more and more of their riches, which songs like The Escapist Notion and Extension To One, well to be honest all tracks, have in abundance.
The HAARP Machine has in Disclosure created an album which stands right up there with the latest releases from Between The Buried And Me and The Faceless; a release which truly is songwriting and craft at its most imagination and skilled. This band is going to be huge.
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Though it came out the tail end of last year Wasted On The Living from Australian metalers Devour The Martyr is one of those releases which needed retrospective attention for those like us who missed its initial release. The five track EP is a thunderous and incendiary explosion of death, groove, technical and trash metal brought through a tempest of aggression and invention. It easily riles up the senses and excites the heart whilst flooring them with vicious breakdowns, corruptive riffs, and crushing intensity. Though not a release to rupture the boundaries of extreme metal it and the band take it to its limits with precision, skill and ease.
Formed around three years ago the band started making major inroads into the metal scene early last year through the sharing of stages with the likes of Psycroptic, Blood Duster, Claim the Throne and Grotesque, and now of course with the release of Wasted On The Living. Consisting of vocalist Matt Ellis, guitarist Liam Ford, bassist Max Harwood and Dan Nazroo on drums, the band brings a hybrid sound which is inventive and refreshing. As said it does not set new dimensions but without doubt determines levels of creativity and power many others fail to imagine let alone breach.
Exploding with the opener For The Slaughter, the release tops and tails itself with the best of the equally striking and impressive tracks. This first song storms the barricades of the senses with a corrosive energy permeated by harshly jabbing rhythms and destructive riffs. The track bruises and flaunts its muscle through every note alongside the increasingly spiteful and venomous growl of Ellis. The djent ruptures are compulsive within the constantly shifting assault which keeps things highly intriguing and persistently insatiable for it and its recipients. As the song settles into a more oppressive prowl there is a exchange of grooves, one strolling with predatory ease and the other a niggling greedy tease. There is also a Lamb Of God air to the more melodically crafted parts especially within the stylish and dazzling climax.
The following title track enters with caustic riffs framing a domestic exchange dripping anger. One expects the track to explode once into its stride but instead it takes a balanced and accusing stance in vocals and sound. It crawls through the ear with malevolent but finely shaped guitar play and deep resonating basslines to engage with less violence than assumed, the unpredictability of the band and its imagination impressive. The track persistently badgers and barracks the senses without unleashing its full might but the slower pace makes it one heavy and oppressive beast to satisfy all needs.
The Closer We Get and Realm Of The Toxic take the ear into further varied shadows, the first another slowly boiling slab of consumptive weight with scorched guitar play and festering energies which feed off the blackened breath and the second a rampant maelstrom of metallic variance. The second track whips the senses into a frenzy with thrash driven riffs and burning acidic melodic invention all pierced with stunning bass work and bone splintering beats.
As mentioned the release ends on the other biggest peak on Wasted On The Living in the magnetic shape of No Suicide Without A Homicide. The track is again a thrash breathing brute of a song with death metal veins but is layered with striking progressive essences and a less vindictive temperament. There are moments it feels Metallica like, if they had bigger balls, and in others it expels a Sepultura intensity, the shifting combination keeping one permanently engaged and thrilled.
Wasted On The Living is an outstanding release which all metal hearts will find a satisfying feast as well as the introduction to Devour The Martyr, a band destined to make a big mark on world metal.
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A sonic explosion to exhilarate and enrapture every sense and thought the debut album from US band Glass Cloud is quite simply stunning. It is an enveloping maelstrom of persuasive emotive atmospheres and a storm of dehabilitating aggression brought with an imagination and technical ingenuity to leave one in awe. When you have a band consisting of a great vocalist like former Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice & Men frontman Jerry Roush, inventive and expressive guitarist Joshua Travis of The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, and the supreme rhythmic prowess of bassist Travis Sykes and drummer Chad Hasty, you expect something good to come out of their union. Whether you could have imagined something as staggering as The Royal Thousand is debatable but their collective creativity has certainly given birth to something simply immense, a true colossus of a release.
Released through Equal Vision Records in the US and Basick Records in Europe, The Royal Thousand stretches then manipulates the ear and beyond from the first breath of opener White Flag. As guitars conjure heated weaves within the ear and Roush brings his usual impressive mix of strong vocals, the song spirals with majestic craft and incendiary energy to greater heights. The intensity it brews twists and grips tighter to evolve into a disarming rage of disrupted rhythms and blistering riffs within a warm sonic soaked ambience. It is majestic yet only an understated sample of what is ahead.
The following If He Dies, He Dies from an emotive caressing of the ear stalked by an intimidating air erupts into a thoroughly intrusive provocation of metallic fingerings from the guitars alongside rhythms leaving knees like jelly. The fusion of sonic and heated beauty with safety destroying corruptive intensity is beyond acclaim; the track is pure poetic violence and alone makes claims for Glass Cloud as the true masters of your senses.
Track after track the quality and invention is unrelenting, the likes of the quite brilliant Ivy & Wine an example of the continual ingenious dark enterprise leaving only numbed devastation in its melodic scathing wake. Even the melodic beauty of instrumental Prelude For A Ghost is brought with an eerie ambience to leave one looking over their shoulder. Midway through The Royal Thousand and the opening song seems long in the past and against what impressively followed it seems almost ordinary in comparison though that is not a word one can truly use in any real context in regard to the release.
The mesmeric creative chaos of She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill takes the senses on a controlled yet perpetually evolving disrupting journey whilst the following Counting Sheep rampages in corners of the heart and emotions you never knew existed with phenomenal technical guitar intrusions within an atmosphere which colours thoughts and feelings with every hue of bruising.
Closing on firstly the dark hearted Memorandum whose opening passion and play is as hypnotic a piece as you can find anywhere and finally the outstanding From May To Now, the album is pure excellence veined with brilliance. Heavily and skilfully textured The Royal Thousand brings a new and deeper experience with each immersion into its pulsating fresh magnificence and malevolent aggression. Glass Cloud leaves you on your knees but also in total bliss.
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It has to be said that the There Was A Hole Here. It’s Gone Now EP from Georgia band Lazer/Wulf is one remarkable release, a stirring and intriguing piece of songwriting and realisation. The EP, barely touching twelve minutes in length contains four tracks making one full, continuous, and evolving emotive experience which is individual to each who immerses themselves in its powerful presence. It is a release which no matter the original premise and theme which the artist represents with its sounds, instigates a personal vision and journey which changes and finds its own evolution the more one spends in its company.
Lazer/Wulf is an instrumental band who occasionally use vocals as another element not a focus. From Athens, GA, the trio of guitarist Bryan Aiken, bassist Sean Peiffer, and drummer Brad Rice, create an involved form of progressive metal fused with distinct and varied strains such as sludge, jazz, technical metal, and more. Their music is wonderfully unpredictable and impossible to bring any expectations to, except that from the evidence of There Was A Hole Here. It’s Gone Now it will be something unforgettable. Their sound is dense and rich in consumptive originality without becoming painfully intrusive, its heart and breath a perpetual trigger for individual thoughts and responses.
Originally a quintet the band has consistently grabbed strong attention through their live shows and striking releases, which led to them in 2008 being acclaimed Athens Band of the Year. 2006 saw their debut demo Demo-Lition! taking no time in making its mark in the ears of local music lovers, but the line-up changes, some enforced, saw the band reduced to a threesome and the challenge of re-interpreting their immense sound without losing its might. 2009 saw the release of their full debut The Void That Isn’t, its strong and impressive sounds a declaration of the new Lazer/Wulf though this also was followed by losing another member. A long search led Aiken and Peiffer to the eventual discovery of drummer Rice in 2011 and finally the band was set and began working on There Was A Hole Here. It’s Gone Now.
Opening track We Will Meet Again teases the ear from the start with a brewing atmosphere which beckons without revealing its intent merely offering a sense of something big impending. As it flexes its mass a throbbing hungry bass begins lurking behind the mesmeric guitar intrigue. As it lifts its energy the rhythms become eager and excitable and even in the restrained moments when vocals add their breath the track is pulling at its reins. Eventually the song breaks free and we are treated to a storm of urgent energy, striking melodic prompting, and feisty rhythms. The track awakens thoughts, its warm yet open sense of finality inspiring ever changing interpretations of personal imagination.
The piece turns into a muscular beast as it emerges as second track Song from the Second Floor. Whereas the first track has a Mars Volta like gait here it brings an angrier intensity to its energy, a thrash laced metallic presence. With the guitars surging with purpose and again the bass a ravenous presence, the track is an initial inciting bruise of pleasure. Taking a step back to assess the situation the song offers a lull before it builds to its climactic chaotic riot upon the senses. Chaos breaks out as a battlefield of emotions, sounds, and intrusive atmospheres collide in ingenious invention, the track having the feel of an all powerful element standing over the enraged mayhem within its shadow.
Bones of the Youth is the portrait of this bedlam of creativity and intensity, its air paranoid and defensive but with a corruptive defiance. Each listen to the piece brings a difference thought, its varied metal veins incendiary and irresistible. Emerging from the venomous atmosphere the equally distorted air of Morgue Nest brings the EP to a unforgettable climax. With combative rhythms and aggressive riffs rippled with malevolent guitar play the track is the final statement. Whether it is a full finality or the spring board for another development you decide as it and the whole EP leaves you breathless and desperate for more.
The There Was A Hole Here. It’s Gone Now EP has to be heard as a whole for its fullest glorious effect to be felt and enjoyed, though individual tracks will still leave all metal and rock fans quivering with excitement. Released also on vinyl and cassette with the bonus instrumental It’s Gone Now, the EP is one of the most impressive things to come our way this year, and Lazer/Wulf one of the most exciting bands.
As one stands before the mighty destructive storm that is Re-Evolve, the new three track release from Italian metallers Despite Exile one can only be impressed and left swollen in their inferno of sound. The release is a tumultuous mass of bone shattering and merciless power, each riff and rhythm an iron jab and every melody a scything flash of intrusive creativity, and though it may be slightly lacking on originality it more than defuses that with a skill and passion which welcomingly overwhelms and deeply pleasures.
Re-Evolve follows debut album Scarlet Reverie and marks a sure progress in the Despite Exile sound and songwriting. Arguably more melodic, definitely more technical and certainly more aggressive the release shows a maturity and tighter control in its nothing less than blood racing sounds and unbridled promise for things ahead. The quartet from Udine of vocalist Jei Durisotti, guitarists Sanchez Santini and Carlo Ferraro, bassist Giovanni Minozzi, and Sasha Veselinovic on drums has already won over their homeland with their prog/technical metal/deathcore blend as well as leaving it wasted with their live shows which has seen them share stages with the likes of Heart In Hand, It Prevails, Hopes Die Last, and Ready Set Fall. Their debut only went to garner further recognition and acclaim but Re-Evolve feels like being the trigger to wider acknowledgement and interest. There is a persistent flood of strong and impressive bands, something which will never dry up but few leave such a dent and lingering assault upon the senses as Despite Exile whilst making it truly pleasurable.
The EP opens with the immediately psyche stretching Oscillate. It eagerly winds up the pressure and intensity with a firmly gripping intrusive groove whilst the rhythms leave one punch drunk. It is not all out war the track preferring to build the intensity through deliberate precise riffs and scouring melodic slices of steel. The vocals of Durisotti crawl through and rage against the ear dripping venom with his every breath to match the intrusive effect from the puncturing riffs and twisting melodic guitar invention. Though not the fiercest fire on the EP you can still feel flesh withering from the sonic heat of the track and one cannot ask for or expect a better opening to a release.
Perfection Neutralized ignites a raging inferno next with its blistering energy and numbing intensity. With impressive breakdowns and melodies to scorch every cell the song has a slight schizophrenic nature. It is agitated, openly venomous, whilst assuming nothing but submission before its might. With melodies like blades through the ear and imaginative rhythms offering no sign of respite the track is a monstrous glory; even the emotive progressive element cannot defuse its snarl and ravenous heart.
Despite Exile end Re-Evolve with the excellent Mechanical and allow their softer side to emerge. Well one says softer but as ever each and every note, thought, and second is a brutal annihilation of the senses; it is just here the band bring an extra melodic grin to their intent. Ever evolving within its skin the track ventures into and awakens places untouched by others. It is nasty, vindictive and purse excellence, a song to leave women and children cowering and men on their knees. It is a beast of ingenuity and compulsive sounds which leaves one damning the band for there being only three tracks on the release.
With more than a spice of Meshuggah, Whitechapel, and Veil Of Maya to its blood Re-Evolve is a storm of fury which brings the most gratifying satisfaction. Despite Exile might have been a mere unheard whisper before in the ears of many but surely they will soon be the loudest and most welcome scream.
Though it was released the tail end of last year the recently brought to our attention EP Last Rites from UK metallers Cambion is just so good that a sharing was a must. Without breaking down boundaries or driving into new areas Last Rites is a full and muscular pleasure that brings an extra fresh breath into an already lively flurry of emerging UK metal bands. Cambion have something extra though not something which can be pinned down but their music just rips through the senses to invigorate, light up, and bring them wonderfully to the boil. They just bring a maelstrom of raging aggression, skilful technical accomplishment, and simply heart lifting uncompromising metal.
Formed in 2009, the Devonshire band openly state their influences and start their sound with seeds of the likes of Fear Factory, Meshuggah, and Divine Heresy. There is much more to their sound but you can hear those inspirations within the five songs that make up Last Rites. The year after forming saw the band on tour with Fozzy and in 2011 Cambion played a return performance at Wizzfest in Belgium alongside Blaze Bayley. That year also saw the release of their second EP City of Ember as well as new members, bassist Colin Beale and rhythm guitarist Liam Neary joining drummer Frank Dennis and lead guitarist/vocalist Elliott Alderman-broom. With the band in their time also sharing stages with the likes of The Defiled, Malefice, Fury UK, and Beholder, they have become as shown by the EP a tight and formidable band which deserves being placed at the fore of the new metal blood coming through.
The EP opens with the muscular rampaging Death March. The track rifles the ear from the start with threatening riffs, concise guitar asides, and growling venomous vocals. The song is a towering aggressive animal which breaks down any resistance with its deliberate and intense drive. Midway the song steps back in pace as a wonderful solo lights up the darkened corners of the song but it is not long before the insurgent rhythms and barracking riffs resume control. The song is a strong start to the release if not the most remarkable but it is impossible not to be swept up in its overpowering force.
The following Jester steps up a gear adding a fine groove metal vein to the assaulting riffs and intensity. It is with the excellent clean vocals though alongside the sharp melodic play that one is openly shown just how good this band really is. That previously mentioned undefined essence a sure presence as the track wraps its intrusive manipulative groove and touches around the ear tightly. There is a mix of Malefice and Periphery that come to mind as the track plays though just strong spices to their flavours.
It is with Quantum Concept and Salem that the release really ignites all the inner sparks. Both tracks are immense and as satisfying and intriguing as they are intense and consumptive. The first brings its Meshuggah incited elements to the forth to puncture and persistently jab the senses with tight and eager riffs, whilst alongside there are crystalline melodic strikes which mesmerise. The rhythms from Dennis are immense showing him , as do all the tracks, what a masterful and inventive drummer he is, the driving force for the songs but with an intelligence and imaginative flair. Salem is the best song on the release though a close call between them all. It stomps and grooves with a devilment that rides the intrusive spikes of sound which the track pitches into the senses. It is like being plugged into the mains listening to it as it forces a hyperactive response to its violations and a mesmerised addiction to its caressing melodic and harmonious play and vocals.
The closing Virus Pt.2 The Infection is a bristling pulsating metal mix offering a Fear Factory industrial tone and a scraping Static X electric intensity. As it stirs up the senses the song adds a melodic progressive metal side step which shifts the song into a warmer feel before returning to rupture the senses once more with direct and manipulative strikes.
Last Rites is excellent , simple as that. It not only hits the spot and gets the blood flowing in a torrent it declares Cambion as one of the most impressive emerging UK metal bands and one to watch very closely.