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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Chronosphere – Embracing Oblivion

ChronosphereBand

2014 has already been flush with some impressive and more importantly thrilling thrash metal releases, some old school bred and others sculpting the new penchant for fusing thrash with death metal and other styles. Somewhere in between comes Embracing Oblivion, the exhilarating new rampage from Greek metallers Chronosphere. With adrenaline driving relentless through every vein making up the ten-track avalanche of insatiable thrash baited ferocity, the album is an exhausting and exciting confirmation of a promise already laid from the band previously but now aligned to a new plateau of inventive hostility and mouth-watering creative tenacity. Arguably the release is not casting explosively original persuasions but with ease Embracing Oblivion stands to the forth of the emerging modern twist of Bay Area spawned thrash metal.

The beginnings of Chronosphere started in 2009 when vocalist/guitarist Spyros Lafias formed the old school thrash fuelled Homo Sapiens. The demo Hypnosis came out the following year as well as several line-up changes which subsequently led to the union of guitarist Panos Tsampras, bassist Kostas Spades, and drummer Thanos Krommidas alongside Lafias. The band’s reputation has grown constantly through their live performances which over the years has seen them share stages with the likes of Rotting Christ, Suicidal Angels, and Evile as well as various festival appearances such as Metaldays and Wacken Open Air. 2011 saw the band begin working on their debut album Envirusment, an attention grabber which was released as Chronosphere via Athens Thrash Attack in 2012. Acclaimed and drawing world-wide attention its success is now set to be left behind in the wake of Embracing Oblivion and its explosive might.

The concussive entrance of Killing My Sins awakens attention and appetite within seconds, guitars and rhythms cascading venomously ChronosphereCoverdown on the senses before settling into the casting of predatory riffing and antagonistic beats. It is a dramatic and gripping torrent of intent and sound driven forcibly by the excellent vocals of Lafias supported anthemically by the shouts of Spades and Tsampras. The song is a ravaging onslaught but also a tempest which has the guile and deception to slip into moments of stalking rapaciousness and respectful intimidation, though it is only to un-cage a scorching solo before reasserting that savage and exalting furnace of intent and aggression.

The exceptional start is swiftly matched by One Hand Red Per Saint, again an insurgent proposition from its first breath. Riffs consume ears with an edacious hunger and rhythms unleash a cage of battering animosity, both expected in many ways and pleasingly welcomed but it is the inventive twists and imagination deviation to the core formula which ignites the passions most impressively, those and the ever successful vocals. Already within two songs there is an unpredictability infused into the assumption feeding base charge of the encounters which sets the band apart from the masses and flirts wantonly with the imagination for a full and eager submission, the next up Force Fed Truth equally as effective and ingenious in its presentation. It all makes for a familiar and refreshingly new twin attack from the album, one which simply does not fail in winning an ardour wrapped reaction.

The third song is debatably more expectations feeding than its predecessors but still a thoroughly electrifying provocation before making way for the merciless temptation of Brutal Decay. With a great vocal deviation to its narrative at times and a new intensity of urgency and energy beneath the spiralling casting of guitar and their sonic endeavour, the track is a galvanic onslaught which is anthemic in its recognisable seeds and dramatic enticement but littered with shards of often brief but scintillating invention. The guitar prowess once more lights a blaze of impressed appreciation whilst drums and bass continue to inspire a new strain of hunger for their enterprising voracity.

Things step up another notch with the intoxicating Frenzied From Inside, Lafias and guitars weaving further rousing ideation and breath-taking toxicity into its wonderfully hellacious rampage, whilst the next up Herald the Uprising instantly has the passions eating out of its hands with the opening rough carnivorous bassline, bait impossible not to get carried away over. It leads the ears into a furious pleasure of bad-blood veined enterprise and virulent anthemic beauty, the vocals as magnetic as the flesh chewing riffs and citric touch of the razor sharp cuts from the tantalising guitars. It is an enslaving enticement as potently matched by the scything rhythms and the persistently masterful bass sound, not forgetting one fire soaked solo.

The album continues to inspire hungrier and greedier responses as City of the Living Dead backed immediately by Seize Your Last Chance hold ears and imagination spellbound, the first a haunting and sinister examination which simply engulfs the listener in caustic sirenesque predation and its successor a more concentrated preying of the psyche. One very happy to un-cage an epidemic soaking of barbarous rhythms and similarly inhospitable riffs wrapped in a bewitching grooves expelling exceptionally addictive sonic invention.

The album comes to a close with the bestial brutality and muscular beauty of Beyond Nemesis, a thunderous pugnacious treat of an antagonist, and the melodic metal spawned blaze of craft and ferocity that is The Redemption. Both songs again expel an invention and creative adventure which leaves anticipation for more in the future as full as the satisfaction and pleasure embraced. There are a couple of minor moans which could be placed before Embracing Oblivion, well one really which is the similarity of many tracks across their strong surface which requires extra attention to look through, but that focus is rewarded with that gripping invention and devilry so really it is just an observation which probably will work itself out as the band evolves organically. Chronosphere is another band taking modern thrash to new heights without losing its source and providing impressive highlights in a busy year for the genre.

Embracing Oblivion is available via Punishment 18 Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/ChronosphereGr

9/10

RingMaster 16/06/2014

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Axegressor – Last

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Thrash metal with the hostility and ravenous jaws of a rabid horde is the bestial sound which roars away in the hands and skills of Finnish metallers Axegressor, epitomised and taken to its strongest level to date on new album Last. The nine-track fury is an exhausting and thrilling onslaught of passion and thrash rabidity, maybe an encounter so well seeded in its inspirations to lack a strong vein of originality but holding an invention and craft to its contagious ferocity which easily make the band stand apart from the rest and pushes them towards the frontline of the genre.

Formed in 2006, the Turku quartet of vocalist Johnny Nuclear Winter, guitarist Seba Forma, bassist/backing vocalist Aki Paulamäki, and drummer Atte Mäkelä took influences from authentic thrash metal into their own ideas, impacted upon by bands and sounds they had been listening to since their teens. Alongside that flavouring, experiences from ten to fifteen years playing in various metal bands adds to a mix which is impressively accomplished and exciting as evidenced by the new album. Over the early years the band grew a potent and increasingly growing fanbase and reputation in their homeland, helped by shows supporting the likes of Dark Tranquillity, Legion of the Damned, Onslaught, Soilwork, and Municipal Waste. At festivals too the band has only done themselves good whilst previous albums, debut Command and its successor Next in 2007 and 2011 respectively, after first EP Axecution a year into its life, confirmed and accentuated the impact of the emerging Axegressor. The Listenable Records released Last is the band’s greatest moment so far and the expected trigger for the band to much bigger things.

From the opening Freedom Illusion, band and album has attention and thoughts engrossed and eager to explore the voracious cover_lenticements ahead. Heavily striding riffs and sinew swung rhythms engulf ears first within which for the first and definitely not the last time the great savage predatory sound of the bass thrills and bewitches. It is a formidable and commanding start, nothing flash or explosive but everything that is compelling and anthemic for appetite and passions. Once the vicious rasping vocals leap from the shadows a switch is flicked and energy and tenacity is lit up as the track charges with teeth bared and aimed for the jugular of the senses. It is a seamless and captivating move, accompanying group shouts and the sonic invention of the guitars irresistible. The song continues to mix up its gait, at times swamping the body like a swarm of insidious hornets in sonic flight and at other moments prowling around with a bear like intent weighing up its next move.

Lead Justice rips at flesh next, in top gear from the first second scything through air and bone with its rhythms and searing flesh with guitar rapaciousness. As the first, the track is an incessant persuasion badgering and impressing for an early submission with its tremendously gripping bait. A certain drama also walks the edge of the narrative, primarily sculpted by the exciting bass sound and the vocal causticity, the result with all combined a continuation of the striking presence of the album and ignition of an even keener hunger in the listener, a greed soon satisfied by the blistering Mind Castration. Riffs and rhythms as expected, shape the fury of the song from the first moments, carving out their temptation from within the sonic flume marking the first surge of the track. Once more there is an insatiable thirst to the elements of the song which simply nags from start to finish with repetitious and contagious efficiency, a suasion upon which vocals and melodic enterprise wrap their toxic exploits. It is a riveting adventure, a constant aggressor clad in sonic finery and creative distinction from those around, as all songs on the album to be fair.

Things are kept ticking over very nicely by Merciless Reality Check, a track which is nastier and more intensive than those before but lacks some of the spark. Nevertheless it is a pleasing and exciting incitement before the furnace of spite that is 15 unleashes its venom on the senses. Rhythms and riffs collude in a maelstrom of antagonistic and malicious endeavour from the off before aligning into another single minded but unique rampage. Malicious and hypnotic, and wholly infectious, the track is an invention clad predator which surges and twists throughout its tempestuous presence, a roaring proposition and soundscape for which battlefields and nightmares were invented.

Intensive examination is the order of the day once Social Pressure unleashes its punk infused tsunami of incitement and beleaguering enterprise. The track tunnels deep within ears and skin, hooks and grooves as pestilential in their epidemic contagion as they are malevolently seductive. Axegressor have mastered the art of creating repetition fuelled beauty with no finer an example than this monster of a track soon matched in its own unique character by A Fistful Of Ignorance. Delivered in a more predacious crawl than the outright onslaught of the previous track, it massages the senses with heavy handed riffs and that carnivorous bass persuasion to impressive effect before inserting its own transfixing and determined urgency.

The closing pair of Command To Last and Determinator ensure brakes are untouched in their tumultuous and varied deliveries, the first a constantly belligerent gallop with moments of unbridled aggression and the last an uncompromising heavy metal stomp around a thrash cored ferocity which may not match earlier successes but leaves the album in a thrillingly healthy state.

Last is an exhilarating encounter and though as mentioned it arguably uses well wore seeds, there has been few bands producing a sound anywhere near this good and uncaging releases as enjoyable within thrash metal over recent months and longer. A must check out release for all thrash and punk metal fans.

Last is available via Listenable Records in Europe now and in North America on June 24th.

http://www.axegressor.net

9/10

RingMaster 10/06/2014

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Ashura – Mindhood

AshuraBand

If you are looking for something not especially original but is thrash metal in its most exciting and virulently contagious form then checking out Italian metallers Ashura and their debut album Mindhood is a must. Consisting of eight tracks which simply rage with energy and skilled aggression as well as unbridled revelry, the release is a mouthwatering charge of adrenaline driven metal with a very healthy essence of punk to its thrash bred voracity. As mentioned the quartet from Vincenza is not rewriting the book and template of their genre but on the evidence of their first full-length they are undeniably giving it a fresh and invigorating surge of prime rabidity.

The seeds of the band began back in 2011 when the brothers Gastòn (vocalist) and Luciano Gordillo (bassist) decided they had enough of playing covers and wanted to write and strike out with their own original adventures. Working and searching hard for the right mix, things suddenly sparked into place with the addition of guitarist Enrico Cavion in 2013. Calling themselves Ashura, the band recorded demo EP Vengeance of Blood in the March of that same year. It was released mainly through their gigs to great responses which in turn encouraged the band to go ahead with a heftier and more serious recording. Before then the line-up was enhanced by drummer Matteo Snichelotto joining the band, successful live shows bedding him in before the studio beckoned for the recording of Mindhood. Since then Ashura has signed with Earthquake Terror Noise for the album’s release and seen the joining of Gianluca Poppi (Guitar) and Giacomo Orlando (bass) to the band.

The release opens with Reap What You Sow and from a distant perch an initial glaze of heavy metal guitar which is soon joined by a AshuraCoverpotent coaxing of anthemic rhythms and a dark throated bassline. It is instantly magnetic bait which continues to work on the imagination as the guitars close in all the time expanding their fiery flames of melodic suasion. The track is soon rampaging head down across the senses into the passions, bruising and inciting with all its strength before relaxing into a sonic web of enterprise. It is a momentary respite though as the track erupts into a predacious onslaught once again to the entry of the roaring vocals. It all combines for an excellent slice of thrash antagonism with a Bay Area breath and heavy metal guile aligned to at times a speed metal urgency and punk rock rapaciousness. There is a definite familiar tone to the tempest, many of the prime genre names coming to the fore at certain times, but also plenty of twists and wanton revelry which marks sound and album out as something attention grabbing. With only the vocals a weak spot in the latter stages of the song, the holding of notes not always Gastòn’s strongest point, it is a tremendous introduction but one right away left standing by its successors.

Both Bhopal-ToxicViolence and Vengeance of Blood take the release to a greater plateau. The first immediately offering a darker snarl and weight to its predatory emergence, bass and drums again intimidating intensive lures whilst the guitars scythe through their thick threat with surging riffs and toxic grooves. It is little time before the prowling gait of the song is a virulent blaze of furious energy and intent which easily recruits full allegiance to its addictive enticement, a success in no small way down to the raw punk growl and savagery at the heart of the track and the infestation of thrash sculpted provocation. Group calls, stomping rhythms, and the lead vocal groan all add to the compelling weave, with the outstanding carnivorous bass sound from Luciano simply irresistible. It is a masterful breath-taking ravaging which is right away matched by the second of the two, again riffs and rhythms torrential examinations of the senses and imagination whilst the sonic flare and vocal confrontation of the song roars and ensnares the passions further. The opening trio of songs alone show all the bulging potential within Ashura and the last two the direction personal satisfaction hopes they follow, their merging of the most predacious and inhospitable essences of thrash and punk a scintillating triumph in the band’s hands, especially here where the full skill and imagination of the guitars is allowed to paint the battlefield below in unique colours.

In God We… Dust! enters on a single melodic caress, a tantalising tempting of emotive beauty which is soon courted by the dark resonance of the bass. It is hard to avoid thinking of Megadeth/Metallica at this point, even as the energy whips up into a controlled frenzy, the sonic endeavour and subsequent charge of riffs wearing their influences on their sleeves. It is the pleasing turns of invention and the rapidly shifting delivery of energy and attack which stops the song becoming something predictable and unsurprising though, its creative canvas another treat to devour greedily.

The shadow drenched bass draw bringing Heritage into view next is another lip licking start but not really a clue to the almost underwhelming straight forward thrash riot to come. There is plenty to feast eagerly upon within the song to be fair, veins of melodic incitement and rabid rhythms as well as an unrelenting tide of flesh stripping riffs all meaty flavours but the track as accomplished and enjoyable as it is feels formulaic at its core and lacks the spark of its predecessors. In some ways the same can be said about V2 which comes after the 19 second title track which is just silly and unnecessary where it is. As a hidden track it would be a laugh and raise a smile but in the middle of great songs it is a moment to pass by without stopping on the way to its successor. V2 leans more on the side of heavy metal, guitars and vocals revelling in the scenery as they unveil imaginative and raucous persuasions respectively. It is another song which does not inflame thoughts and emotions as the early tracks but undeniably leaves them and an ever satisfied appetite caged by its fluid and incendiary enterprise and passion.

The album also offers bonus track Venganza De Sangre, a thoroughly enjoyable squall of thrash irreverence and fierce heavy metal hues which if not a live cut was recorded live to great effect. The song makes a stirring conclusion to a strong and highly satisfying debut from Ashura. Such its craft and energy not forgetting unbridled contagiousness, it is very easy to overlook the lack of real originality within Mindhood but not the rich promise of the band. We expect big things and releases from the band ahead.

Mindhood is available via Earthquake Terror Noise @ http://www.earthquaketerrornoise.com

http://www.ashuraband.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

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