Warstorm – Goatspel

WarstormBand

Hailing from the city of Busto Arsizio in Northern Italy, Warstorm is a young band which on the evidence of their new album, has all the makings of providing thrash metal with a new explosive character to hungrily devour. The band’s debut full-length Goatspel, is a raw and rebellious slab of metal voracity, an encounter loaded with potential which easily suggests healthy horizons for the quintet.

Formed in 2011 by bassist Federico Colombo and guitarist Lorenzo Gagliardi with the appetite to follow new thrash metal intentions, Warstorm swiftly became a threesome with the addition of drummer Davide Guzzetti. Completing the line-up with guitarist Enrico Giovinetti and vocalist Lorenzo Saccà a little after, the band recorded the Let The Warstorm Begin demo in their first year. This was followed by the last two members of the band leaving to be replaced by Andrea Collaro and Giorgio Ossola on drums and vocals respectively. Following further successful shows with the likes of with Irreverence, Vexed, Mesmerize, and Ultra-Violence, Warstorm entered the studio last year to work on their first album, its six tracks now unleashed to raise a keen appetite for the band and a suspected enthused reaction from the thrash metal scene.

Released via Earthquake Terror Noise, Goatspel opens with the excellent Checkmate for Mankind, an instantly forceful yet inviting entrance into the album. In no time feisty riffs and hungry rhythms are resourcefully filling ears as WarstormCoverthey swiftly establish a steady and eager charge which openly goes up in gears as the song reveals more of its contagious presence. A throaty bass tone adds underlying drama to the increasingly gripping excitement, its lure in full flight as the great punk vocal antagonism of Ossola belligerently erupts. Goatspel is a thrash record but immediately established by the opener, there is a definite potent punk rock tenacity and attitude to the encounter, the first track the most vocal of this welcome essence permeating the release. Striding and charging across its compelling presence, the track is a riveting treat which is also unafraid to explore its melodic corners with gentle elegance and depths with progressive colour and invention.

The exceptional start is followed and matched by the rampaging The Age of False Innocence, riffs and rhythms a predatory incitement from its first breath. As with its predecessor there is an inescapable virulence to the riffs and grooves of the track, its thrash urgency and voracity enslaving ears as the imagination is taken care of by the tantalising craft and enterprise of the guitar whose sonic seducing comes warped and discord blessed. The thrilling onslaught makes way for the similarly irresistible Cursed. Grooves as now expected cast a passions trapping web as soon as possible, and though arguably their lures and those of the ferocious riffery at times holds no surprises, it is hard to think of many same genre releases this year to enthral and tempt the passions as powerfully as Goatspel. A strong whisper of Slayer erupts across the song as a raw vocal attack from Ossola and guest Hyades rages impressively to add, alongside a funkier bass exploit and viciously grooved guitar invention, greater tempting bait for ears and appetite.

Both Relentless Possession and Pulse of Existence keep body and emotions aflame, the first a fiery torrent of thumping beats and unpredictable yet seductive grooves across feverish riffs whilst the second of the pair provides a slower and heavier stalking, though as expected it too finds a lease of urgency within its magnetic fury. The two tracks impress and thrill as thoroughly as those before them, each a merciless epidemic of attention grabbing and pleasure fuelling grooves aligned to biting inventive temptation.

The title track brings the album to a close, the song a ten minute creative emprise which seamlessly flows through progressive and melodic pastures into warlike thrash scenery before diving into even more exploratory textures and corners. The track is glorious, alone the revelation of the promise and ability of the band in songwriting, craft, and sound. As Goatspel, song and album, comes to a close it is hard to suppress the enthusiastic urge to shout loud about Warstorm and their future. It is only their first album and second release but as it is given more time to convince, it is impossible to deny that thrash metal has something special in its midst.

Goatspel is available now via Earthquake Terror Noise @ http://www.earthquaketerrornoise.com/releases.html

https://www.facebook.com/pages/WarstorM/238014932889338

RingMaster 23/09/2014

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Black Sachbak – No Pay No Gain

no pay no gain cover

Strapping on a tank full of punk to their trash fuelled juggernaut of sound, Israeli metallers Black Sachbak is one of those wonderfully intrusive treats which it is impossible not to develop a lustful hunger for. Theirs is thrash metal at its most mischievous and antagonistic, a sound which most likely along with the band’s antics and attitude has led them to earn the title of or make a self-declaration that they are “the most hated band in Israel!”

Imagine the devilish thrash ferocity of Municipal Waste with the hardcore flavoured metal viciousness of Suicidal Tendencies and the punk hostility of Biohazard, and you get somewhere around the uncompromising onslaughts of Black Sachbak. The Petah Tiqua hailing and 2010 formed quartet offers a warped uniqueness which given the chance is a seriously rewarding and impressive bitch slap to ears and senses. Though originally released last year, No Pay No Gain, the band’s debut album was re-released recently through Stormspell Records on CD and Tridroid Records on cassette. It has given the world another opportunity to discover a thoroughly compelling band, one certainly all thrash fans should seize with both hands.

No Pay No Gain takes barely seconds to induce full attention with an extra lick of the lips as the opening rock ‘n’ roll fanfare of Haircut I Never Got sets the fury in motion. Swiftly heavy handed thumps of beats from drummer Noam Chizo Salingre descend on the senses alongside the gruff vocal resourcefulness of vocalist Eliran Balely. Their potent bait is enhanced by the sonic endeavour from the guitar of Dor HaShamen Plaut and the meaty bass prods of Lidor Sharaby. It is a demanding entrance which just as forcibly twists into a heavy striding ferocity, riffs and rhythms almost goading ears and vocals. It is a glorious rage which is unafraid to juggle the pace of its attack and throw some wrong-footing twists into its tempestuous presence.

The outstanding start is followed by the slightly less astounding force of The IMF. It is only a dip because of the brilliance of its predecessor, the track a raucous brawl of compelling riffs and antagonistic beats speared by a virulently contagious groove. Also loaded with excellent guitar craft and enterprise with a sweet solo, the track provides another rugged inescapable trap for the passions before making way for the brief punk assault of Dubstep Sucks. Picking on the target in its title, the track roars and snarls with sonic hostility and vocal unpredictability to provide three highlights out of three for the album.

Both Marx Was Right and Beer Law keep the levels high and appetite greedy, the first flying from the traps with voracious riffs and similarly greedy rhythms ridden by the lyrically caustic and vocally savage tones of Balely. As anthemic as they come on the album, the song flirts with and barracks ears from start to finish with prime thrash ferocity equipped with a healthy strain of punk and heavy metal tenacity. Its successor provides more of the same but also takes a slower, at times stalking approach to ears. Riffs gnaw feverishly on the senses throughout whilst rhythms swing with unbridled sinews but in other moments both shift almost 180 degrees in their attack to again bring an intriguing turn of events.

     Next comes a cover of a song by an Israeli artist called Tamir Gal. Having no idea of its creator or the original, it is still safe to say that Black Sachbak has pillaged, maimed, and reinvented Soher in their own chaotic likeness. The track is pure bedlam, vocals deranged and sound disturbed into a sonic haze so that it is hard to know how to take the track. Yet it brings a broad satisfied smile before the excellent Capitalist Zombies goes for the jugular. It is a wonderful irritant, riffs and beats a hellacious ravaging whilst singular and group vocals rouse and graze the passions eagerly. Punk thrash at its best, the track is another insatiable slab of irresistible toxic and thrilling creative rabidity.

A matching blaze of voracity drives Fuck Your Law, a torrent of anger drenched vocals and riffs emulated in spite by the hostile swing of beats. Short and to the point, the track blisters ears and psyche before TV unleashes its infectious and malicious frenzy. Spiked with stabs of delicious grooves and hordes of addictive riffs, the track is a stormy treat which seduces as it batters, leaving the listener sore but blissful. Its certain triumph leads to the closing Smoke Hash, a final blitz which evolves into a scorching haze of heavy metal prowess and thrash savagery.

It is a great end to No Pay No Gain, which itself is the entrance into an exciting proposition in Black Sachbak, who surely will not be for much longer a secret to the thrash scene. The band and associated labels have given us all another chance to get in at the ground floor on their rise with No Pay No Gain; it would be rude not to take a look.

No Pay No Gain is available now via Stormspell and Tridroid Records, and @ https://blacksachbak1.bandcamp.com/album/no-pay-no-gain-3

https://www.facebook.com/BlackSachbak

RingMaster 19/09/2014

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Algebra – Feed the Ego

algebra 1

It might not be dramatically unique but with a sound blending the voracious fury of a Testament or Exodus with raw causticity vocally and aggressively of Suicidal Tendencies, the new album from Swiss thrashers Algebra is one of the more compelling and exciting releases in the genre this year. To that irresistible rage of thrash hostility though, Feed the Ego and its nine tracks infuse an invention and riveting enterprise which as their band name suggests, is calculated and specifically honed to ignite the imagination. The album is a riveting and increasingly thrilling onslaught and its creators an emerging exciting force in the genre.

Formed in 2008, the Lausanne quartet set out uniting inspirations from eighties thrash metal and bands such Slayer and Sepultura with those of more technical and melodic thrash/death persuasion like Forbidden, Gojira, and Pantera, twisting it in with their own ideation and hostile yet ruggedly seductive sound. An early demo in 2008 brought the band strong local attention reinforced by the Procreation EP a year later. Their self-released debut album Polymorph awoke a far greater attention and recognition of the band in 2012, it subsequently earning a re-release with Stormspell Records. Now after signing with Unspeakable Axe Records earlier this year for their new unleashing, Algebra is ready and poised to push nearer to the frontline of thrash metal with Feed the Ego. It is easy to suspect that the album will bring hordes more to their feet in acclaim, fans and media alike and if not now sow the seeds to a deserved breakthrough in world metal.

The Andy Classen mixed and mastered release opens up with the steadily intimidating Survival Nowadays, its ear crowding wall of riffs and rhythms a menacing bait to which spicy grooves bring added portentous temptation. The algebra coversong starts like an imagination stalking warning, an insight to darker, heavier, and more open hostility which soon expels its weight across the expanding song. There is an essence of Biohazard to the now forcible stride and attack of the provocation but an incitement spiked with impressive endeavour and sonic enterprise from guitarist/vocalist Chaos Edy. The intensive riffing of rhythms guitarist Phil Void aligned to the thumping beats of Tony Sharp and the predacious lines of bassist Mat Showman, create a just as appealing challenge and though the song does not quite set a fire in the belly it warms up senses and passions nicely for the glories to come.

The intensive tempest of Prisoner Outdoors ignites ears and thoughts further, its determined insatiable stroll a platform for the scathing tones of Edy, his every syllable an accusing roar over his and Void’s captivating sonic sculpting. The track never relinquishes its rugged assertiveness but colours it with some alluring melodies and addictive hooks before the twisted enticing of Necessary Evil takes over. Riffs and rhythms again make a virulent and vicious contagion, the swings of Sharp senses dulling as Edy backed by the band casts a vocal web which is just provocative and unpredictable. With blistering grooves and a gripping solo, the track offers numerous enthralling flavours to its rampant charge keeping the album in firm control of body and emotions.

My Shelf is a slower more heavy metal seeded encounter, opening with a rich acidic twine of guitar invention. There is a bluesy lilt to its expressive smouldering of sound and a presence which intrigues and surprises with its emotive melodies and progressively hued emprise. Vocally, though Edy makes a potent offering it is an area which does not fully convince at times though it is more a personal preference than flaw. The song grows and persuades to potent effect over time though always pales against the might of Profound Guilt. Drama soaks it from first note to last, guitars creating an opening caress of haunted temptation before the track explodes into recognisable thrash ferocity. The core of most songs hold little to surprise but it is the layers of guitar invention and melodic mystery which turn strong propositions like here into irresistible fascinations.

Its success is followed by the title track, its threatening body emerging from transfixing scenery of rolling rhythms and winding sonic enticement aligning for a climactic atmosphere and conspiracy. The track is a mouth-watering exploration embracing its eventual thrash cored dance with a binding of guitar ingenuity and rhythmic tenacity yet never releasing that initial imposing charisma and danger soaked charm. One of the major highlights of the album it is an invigorating incitement which, as we said at the start, although the album is not openly unique it like most tracks provides something new and strikingly inventive.

With only the fade out a slight niggle, the stunning track is succeeded and emulated in glory by Ego System, its entrance and body similarly commanding and addictively imaginative before unleashing its raw thrash gnawing on the senses which in turn is bound in the inescapable lures of toxic grooves and sonic trespassing. Its triumph is followed by the again similar structure and presence of The Fort Broke. If there is one criticism to the album it is the familiarity between the thrash built spines of songs, this track’s lures a very close relation to its predecessor’s at times though that is tempered and often lost in the mesmeric creativity of the individual members which again only sparks a hungrier appetite for band and album. The last song Monotask simply reinforces all the power and potency of the album with its own individual and punk infused thrash provocation, again leaving emotions full and appetite wanting more.

A thoroughly enjoyable rampage, Feed the Ego is a rollercoaster of aggression and voraciousness for those with a head for hostile heights and the adventure for tight curves of imagination.

Feed The Ego is available via Unspeakable Axe Records on 16th September @ http://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/feed-the-ego

https://www.facebook.com/Algebrathrash

9/10

RingMaster 05/09/2014

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Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

BW - promo

From its outstanding cover art to its heaviest predatory note, Outbreak of Infection the new EP from Canadian death metallers Display of Decay, is one richly appetising and satisfying proposition. Unleashing five tracks which crawl and lumber over the senses with tenacious and skilled purpose, the release pushes the Edmonton based quartet another few strides towards the brightest spotlight. Maybe it does not hold any major surprises but without doubt the EP makes for a fresh and rigorously protagonist which is thoroughly compelling.

Formed in 2007, the band took little time in grabbing local attention with their old school bred death metal which, as shown on the new release, is unafraid to add doses of thrash and doom seeded ferociousness to the mix. First EP Blood Borne in 2010 brought the band to an instant attention which their band’s self-titled debut album two years later stretched even further, aided by their live presence which has seen Display of Decay infest western Canada with their sound whilst sharing stages with the likes of The Faceless, Origin, and Beyond Creation amongst many. Self-released as its three predecessors but their first international release, Outbreak of Infection has the potency to take the quartet to greater and wider attention, something hard not to see happening.

Display of Decay has recently expanded to a four piece with the addition of rhythm guitarist Jeremy Puffer, but Outbreak of Infection sees the combined talent and might of guitarist/vocalist Sean Watson, bassist/vocalist Tyler Display of Decay - coverGoudreau, and drummer Avery Desmarais uncage its creative pestilence on the senses. Opening track Born Of Rot immediately imposes itself on ears and imagination, riffs savage in touch and raw in voice. The steady rapacious start is soon striding with a thrash urgency and hunger as the heavy guttural tones of Goudreau growl into action. The song’s irresistible entrance loses none of its potency and voracity as the song expands with sonic tendrils amongst bestial bass lines and thumping rhythms. The band cites the likes of Pantera, Deicide, Vital Remains, Dying Fetus, and Bolt Thrower as influences and as the song tangles intimidating prowls and fury led surges essences of those hints come out in the flavour of the track, and EP overall.

The excellent start is continued by the following Manchurian Candidate, its reserved but open swing of riffs and short grooves infectious bait for ears to greedily latch on to. With a bestial charm, the song stalks the senses whilst flirting with strands of sonic enterprise which may not seduce as forcibly as the unrelenting heavy hunt of riffs and rhythms but certainly sparks a healthy intrigue and enjoyment through the craft and colour of Watson’s guitar. The song flows seamlessly into Praise The Gore, Goudreau and Desmarais setting up an imposing cage of rhythmic enticement to which Watson adds blistering sonic hues. Once again the band is adept at merging a furious charge and reserved gait with a flick of a chord, ensuring that predictability is never allowed to breed. As the last song, it does not quite rival the heights of the first track, but both ignite thoughts and emotions with a resourceful and inventive voracity which raises the pleasure found in the EP to another level.

The title track sears air and ears with a lashing of captivating grooves and a barrage of hostile rhythms all prowled over by Goudreau’s barbarous vocals. There is inescapable virulence to its enticement and energy which enslaves attention and emotions given extra potency by the dark intent and throaty twang of the bass as well as the inventive flames of the guitar. The song is incessant in its imposing presence and magnetic invention, and quite merciless in its hold of the passions.

Outbreak of Infection is brought to a fine close by a cover of the Kiss track Black Diamond, the song given a blackened make-over with death metal predation. It is a captivating version providing a pleasing finale to an excellent encounter. Display of Decay may have been Canadian metal’s pride and joy before but with the release of Outbreak of Infection maybe the rest of the world will now be making claims to the band’ time and attention.

The Outbreak of Infection EP is available now @ http://displayofdecay.bandcamp.com/

http://www.displayofdecay.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

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Guilty As Charged – Leap of Faith

BAND guilty as charged

On the evidence of their debut album Leap of Faith, Belgian metallers Guilty As Charged create a brew of thrash fuelled heavy metal which without stretching originality too far provides a rather tasty and invigorating proposition. The band’s new album is a fiery and creatively gripping encounter which surges and rampages with all the right moves to ignite ears and passions as its ferocious enterprise works away on the imagination. A game changer it is not but for riotous pleasure and honest satisfaction not many albums have surpassed Leap of Faith so far this year.

Formed in 2008, Guilty As Charged soon made a good impression with their live shows and the following year through the demo Boxed In. That was followed by the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Pro-Pain, UDO, and Stormrider as well as festival appearances at events such as the Alcatraz Metal Festival in 2011 with Helloween and Death Angel, and Masters @ Rock 2012 with Soulfly & Channel Zero. Recorded last year, Leap of Faith is poised to push the foursome of vocalist/ rhythm guitar Jan De Vuyssere, lead guitarist Dempsey Derous, bassist Hannes De Caluwe, and drummer Matthew Vandenberghe into a wider and more intensive spotlight, one certainly deserved by the storming presence and exciting escapades within the release.

Opening track Preach to the Masses instantly seizes ears and attention with its swipe of melodic coaxing which is soon over run with thumping rhythms alongside keen and feisty riffs. It is an easy bait to find an appetite for, one growing Albumcover Leap Of Faithinto a magnetic stroll of roving beats and a senses entwining sonic enticement. The raw and grizzled vocal roar of De Vuyssere only accentuates the impressive and incendiary start, sparking off an even richer strain of guitar endeavour to snake across the song’s climate. In full muscular flight, the track badgers and intimidates with resourceful enterprise and a great rapacious groove which flirts perfectly with the throaty basslines and the melodic scorching of heavy metal incitement. It is a riveting entrance by the album, not one to leave jaws slack in awe but one to fire up body and emotions for a greedy anticipation for the subsequent tracks.

Those expectations are soon fed a tasty morsel with Last Chance, a track which does not quite match the opening plateau but still sets its own thrilling level with predatory riffs and similarly gaited rhythms and vocals. There is an underlying hostility to the song but it is tempered by the blaze of melodic enticement and skilled sonic suggestiveness. The vocals like the music mix up their textures and attacks to add their own depth and intrigue to the rampant confrontation. Its triumph is soon rivalled by the outstanding title track which from its funky lead in expels waves of sonic intrigue to which the ever impressing vocals add their expressive narrative. The dark hearted tones of the bass and ridges of riffs only add to the rigorously contagious encounter whilst Derous lays a web of ingenious bait which is as insatiable as it is addictive. There is also a punk edge to the track which offers hints of Suicidal Tendencies and Biohazard to the flavoursome and impressing mix.

Both the Metallica like I’ll Never and the enthralling Lonewolf bring diversity and potency to the release, the first prowling and gnawing on ears with sinister expression and predatory invention which sparks the imagination into new adventures. Its successor again has that fierce attitude and breath with an air of the likes of Megadeth and Testament to it yet with its exploratory sonic designs equally provides something individual to the band. Both tracks incite the listener to join their potently anthemic calls before the melodic caress of Elysium wraps its elegance around ears. With rising sultry flames of guitar and emotive hues, the instrumental makes for an evocative engagement before making way for the bruising presence of Lack Of Control. With a caustic scent to its rapacious intensity and attitude, the track boils and bellows with passion and antagonistic purpose whilst veining its roar with acidic shards of sonic invention and colour which as much as the song intimidates equally seduces.

The album is closed by Down, maybe the least eventful and striking track on the release but a song bringing Leap Of Faith to a mighty close with its Pantera-esque swinging groove and simply ravenous intensity. As suggested Guilty As Charged do not change the face of heavy and thrash metal with their first album but certainly they have given it a thrilling and explosively enterprising new proposition and who cannot be up for that?

The self-released Leap of Faith is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guilty-As-Charged/73401643876

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/08/2014

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Morbidity – Revealed from Ashes

Morbidity-RevealedfromAshes

Forging a ferociously gripping old school death metal bred presence with the fury of thrash and more grooves than to be found on the tread of a wet weather racing tyre, Bangladesh metallers Morbidity presents one of the furiously compelling and thrilling extreme metal release of the year. Revealed from Ashes is an insatiable torrent of raw and predatory death metal which infests and consumes ears through to emotions but comes equipped with barbarous hooks and gut foraging grooves to equally give the imagination a torrid and welcomingly intensive examination. It is not a release to sculpt new realms or templates for their seed genre but employing existing strains of voracity and rapacious ingenuity as it does in the band’s own refreshing and seriously invigorating way, the album is a comfortably impressive onslaught.

Hailing from Dhaka, the quintet of vocalist Defiler (Ex-Slaughter Cult), guitarists Skorcher (Retribution) and Azerate ( Nuclear Winter, Ex-Catastrophe, Ex-Urfaust), bassist Sethos (Ex-Idolatry), and drummer Nefarious goes for the jugular with every note and rhythm unleashed. The band’s influences such as old school Grave, Morbid Angel, Dismember, and Death, as well as the likes of Carnage, Slaughter, Impaler, Kaamos, Grotesque, Entombed, Cancer, Benediction, and Venom openly spice up the irrepressible Morbidity sound and it is easy to see why the band is garnering and earned strong attention and support in their spot on the globe.

The album breaths out an atmospheric mist initially as intro instrumental Decaying Souls spreads its haunting enticement. As death knells toll a thrash seeded stride crosses ears to the senses, a mystique kissed Metallica like groove entwining their swiftly satisfied welcome as the otherwise weighty coaxing of the track warms the imagination and appetite for the impending fury of Incarnation Of Death. The second track unleashes the floodgates of a voraciously intensive rhythmic testing and similarly eager riffery. Acidic grooves and continually twisting guitar enterprise binds the raging rhythms and song intensity as tightly and magnetically as they do the seamless step into a more reserved but no less rabid passage of suasion. Skilled sonic expulsions burn impressively on the senses to add stronger toxicity to the impressive storm whilst the guttural scourging masked as a vocal deliver from Defiler, just hits the submissive sweet spot perfectly.

There is a familiarity to the track and the following Let There Be Chaos, as across the album, which defies a real sense of originality but only adds to the roaring pleasure found in the searing might and weight of the incitement. The third track again unleashes a bestial ferocity and uncompromising flood of thrash seeded riffery and death metal corruption to remind that no matter how enjoyable and impressive some of the modern twists on the genre are, there is something about the origins of death metal which hit the primal instincts for unrivalled rewards.

Both Morbidity and next up Pits Of Eternal Torment ensure the foot is firmly on the accelerator of intensive confrontation and energy. The first of the two bruises air and senses with an avalanche of merciless rhythmic provocation around which the guitars spin a delicious sonic web of enterprise and vitriolic expression. The track sears the hair within ears as its lights thoughts and emotions but as elsewhere it is the pure primal sound of the bass which even within swamps of oppressive sound and adrenaline sets the brutal tone. Its successor is one of a couple of tracks which labours in the wake of those around it, though to be fair with body flaying rhythms and toxic acrid flavouring to the eventful exploits of the guitar and psyche lethal riffing, it is impossible to resist or dismiss the lure of the track.

The title track storms the barricades next leaving an exhausted and thoroughly contented wasteland of emotions, its barbarous hostility and prowling predation constantly prone to tearing chunks from the senses just riveting. Again the track loses some of the early potency of songs but still grips tighter than a dead man’s grip whilst its successor Skullcrusher reignites the richest reactions and passions again with its virulent temptation of malevolent riffs and slowly stalking rhythms beneath the darkest vocal presentation and poison yet unleashed by Defiler. It is a tsunami of spite and depraved death bred maliciousness but one easily happy to hold back at times to prey slowly upon its victim with intensive and intrusive sonic creative violence.

The release comes to an imposing and intrusive close through Unholy Resurrection, its demonic persona and pit spawned malevolence soaking every syllable and psyche splicing chord. The track is an absorbing intimidating final attack bringing an excellent album to an impressive conclusion. Revealed From Ashes maybe short of true originality but it brings everything you could wish for in a death metal release. Morbidity is without reserve a strong recommendation for all after old school malice.

Revealed from Ashes is released via Memento Mori shortly http://memento-mori.es and on vinyl via Me Saco Un Ojo Records http://www.mesacounojo.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Morbidity/133630130030339

8.5/10

RingMaster 07/07/2014

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Channel Zero – Kill All Kings

Channel Zero - Band Photo 2014 #3 - Photo Credit Tim Tronckoe

The first release since the untimely death of drummer Phil Baheux, Kill All Kings from Belgian thrashers Channel Zero is a worthy tribute to their friend and one of metal’s rigorously stylish stickmen. The loss of one of the Brussels quartet’s founders understandably almost brought the band to an end but honouring him by not giving in to the obvious temptation to call it a day for the second time, Channel Zero has unleashed an album which simply sees the band draw on all its undoubted craft and invention to create a captivating and thrilling encounter. It is not an album to set new templates or plateaus for thrash metal but like a safe and rewarding friend hits the sweet spot of wants and satisfaction for a thoroughly enterprising engagement.

Formed in 1990, Channel Zero pushed themselves into world recognition across the next seven years through their potent groove infested thrash sound. The period saw four well-received albums with Unsafe of 1994 and Black Fuel two years later especially acclaimed, whilst in between those particular releases and amidst a clutch of successful EPs, the band played around the world, touring with the likes of with Megadeth, Danzig, and Biohazard as well as playing numerous major European festivals. 1997 though saw the band call it a day but fevered support for the band from fans continued, eventually going some way to persuading the band to get together and return with a one off live performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. That was the plan but with the show sold out in a minute, the further five added devoured in less than two hours, and the shows all a major success, the band in many ways had no choice but to unite for a full return. Fellow founders, bassist Tino Olivier de Martino and vocalist Franky De Smet Van Damme alongside Baheux and newcomer guitarist Mikey Doling (ex-Soulfly), who replaced original Xavier Carion, after a series of singles created and unleashed their fifth album. The 2011 Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head, Soulfly, Devildriver) produced Feed ‘Em with a Brick was wrapped in praise by fans and media alike, putting the band back on the front foot though the sad passing of Baheux from a rupture of an artery in 2010, made the band contemplate stopping again.

Thankfully Channel Zero decided to carry on in honour of their brother and last year set about working on Kill All Kings with again Channel Zero - Kill All KingsMader. With Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly) providing the drums for the recording, the album is a fitting tribute to the memory of Baheux and a new chapter in the sound and future of the band. From the opening Dark Passenger, band and release ignite ears and imagination, with feet and neck muscles in close order. Guitars rustle up a sonic mist and a portentous atmosphere before erupting in tandem with crisp punchy beats and jagged riffs, into a transfixing heavy stride. Bass and guitars carve out a magnetic lure, the first especially gripping with its throaty predation, whilst the rhythms swing with sinewed urgency as the excellent voice and delivery of Van Damme roars with an appealing growl and melodic enticement. There is nothing dramatically new about the song in respect to its seeding genre but still makes a compelling and anthemic introduction to light ears and emotions easily.

There is also an immediate and understandable emotive passion to the track, especially vocally, which just as potently spices up the following Electronic Cocaine. The initial winding embrace of acidic grooves and meandering basslines leads a ready appetite into a slower but no less captivating stroll of rapacious riffs and vocal coaxing. It is riveting bait which lays down the perfect terrain for the contagious and gloriously alluring chorus to break out from. The exceptional song continues to stomp and sway, entwining both within its inventive melodic casting and rhythmic incitement to prove an imaginative and imagination sparking treat which is swiftly matched by the more voracious Burn The Nation. Beats and riffs are antagonistically besieging ears from the start, vocals soon employing their own animosity lined encouragement to thoughts and emotions. As its predecessor, the track embraces a melodic toxicity which is as drawing and gripping as the insistent rhythms alongside a great bass sculpted lure.

Both Digital Warfare and Ego keep the album in the heart of eager attention and greedy hunger, the first fuelled by an old school thrash rapaciousness bringing thoughts of Exodus to the fore whilst its flirtation of grooves and drama clad invention creates a rich incendiary hue for the core of the song to charge masterfully through to seduce the passions. It is another scintillating proposition which is matched by the emotive prowl of its successor with its Metallica like gait and fiery resourcefulness in melodies and rhythmic agitation. As with all of the major peaks across the album, it is the impossibly contagious and invigorating anthemic potency of the track which turns excited embers into flaming ardour, a vibrant bed stoked further by the strong guitar craft and imagination aligned to intriguing inventive adventure.

Across Crimson Collider and the title track, the album seems to settle into a more emotionally driven but less openly exploratory premise. The pair of tracks certainly retaining the album’s grip on thoughts and emotions with ease whilst treating ears to powerful and creatively magnetic propositions but the spark of adventure is lessened by a more expectations feeding aspect to the songs, that safe feeling mentioned previously washing over keen hopes. To be fair both tracks do have body and mind caged within their infectious designs ensuring pleasure and involvement is still leading reactions, though even that meanders a little with the imaginative but ineffective balladry of Brother’s Keeper.

Things move in the right direction again with the predatory stalking of Army Of Bugs if without sparking a riotous hunger, the bass and scything riffs especially alluring alongside the great malevolent growl crawl of Van Damme’s delivery. It is a compelling and enticing track which triggers an expulsion of and return to the gripping unpredictability and instinctive adventure which started the album off. Mind Over Mechanics bristles with muscular confrontation and rhythmic demands to enslave ears and thoughts whilst a sonic web from the guitars courted by melodic flames, colour song and emotions with a rich fascination and enjoyment. It is a formidable provocateur with addiction forging properties just as the following tempest Duisternis. Sung in his own dialect, Van Damme seduces and cages ears in a blistering weave of vocal temptation wrapped in a similarly enslaving bass taunting and riff nagging. With rhythms a concentrated swing of primal rabidity, the track is raw voracious metal at its.

The closing Heart Stop brings the album to an ear capturing conclusion if again not quite matching some of its fellow storms on the album. Like Kill All Kings as a whole though, there is an underlying potency which refuses to let attention and rich satisfaction waiver and look elsewhere, its emotive drama as pungent as the creative skills at work. It is a fine end to an excellent album, not a release to set new standards but an encounter to place Channel Zero back to the fore of European thrash and more importantly to provide one of the most enjoyable metal albums this year so far.

Kill All Kings is available via Metal Blade Records now!

www.channel-zero.be

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

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