Dark Century – Murder Motel

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A release which can just as easily raise a wide grin as it can an urge to go violate something, Murder Motel is an exhaustive and exhilarating corruption from a band clad in imposing and compelling devilry. Dark Century comes with a potent buzz behind them and their new album easily reveals why as it ignites ears, imagination, and a greedy appetite for their fusion of death, thrash, grind with a viciously healthy course of hardcore. It is a release which has plenty in it to feed expectations but also comes with a just as rich soak of originality to thrust The Canadian quintet into a spotlight of its own.

Formed in 2001 by guitarist Martin Gendreau, Dark Century has built an impressive reputation and presence over the years around Montreal and beyond. It is a time sign-posted by their excellent and well-received debut album Days of the Mosh as well as a live presence which has seen them alongside the likes of Aborted, Misery Index, Quo Vadis, Rose Funeral, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Goatwhore, Origin, The Faceless, Battlecross, Fuck the Facts and many more as well as light up numerous festivals. With a new line-up Dark Century return with their monstrously towering new incitement, an album which puts the band on a new plateau. Produced by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, Mythosis, Erimha, The Agonist, Derelict, Neuraxis) with Gendreau, Murder Motel is a storming onslaught from start to finish, a ravenous bestial proposition veined by incessantly riveting imagination and unpredictable twists.

     In Our Veins starts things off and is soon careering through the same network of the listener with riffs grazing every surface they can find and rhythms voraciously pummelling the senses. It is a ferocious start which aided by the raw thrust of the vocals and that rhythmic tsunami, only intensifies its assault the further into its destructive arms you sink. Drummer Steve Burns is exceptional from the off but also is the stringed ravishment from Gendreau whilst the slightly varied and excellent caustic tones of vocalist Leather King and the predatory bass incitement of Francis Lafrenière equally steal their share of attention and acclaim.

The fine start hits another gear with the following title track where again a mere breath is taken before a disorientating rhythmic assault and bass grilling consumes the senses. Little time passes neither before a swagger and violent swing to the track wraps its irresistible temptation around a by now rampant appetite, the track lurching over and provoking the emotions with mischievous designs and violent intent. Here as with a few songs there is something familiar to the proposal offered but it only eases the accessibility of the track for the eagerly offered passions. The solo from Erik Fernet-Evans is a plume of intrigue and drama to colour further the potent canvas of the song as it drifts away at its end for Torticolis to seize its portion of attention. Rabid and intensively imposing, the track grips with carnal intent and flesh savaging sounds, its breath toxic and riffery a torrential assault driven harder by the severity of the Burns’ rhythmic spite.

Knees might already be buckling at this point and senses cowering in fear but hunger for more is insatiable and fed healthily by the brief but intensive predation of Ice Breaker and the fearsome rage of new single Kill The Crowd. The latter’s touch is as violent and scarring as anything heard before on the album but is aligned to a masterful persuasion of heavy metal coaxing and hardcore ravaging. Add the irresistible swinish grind twists and vocals plus the teasing cowbell, as well as the horde chants and you have another irrepressible capture of thoughts and emotions, but one exceeded even more by the brilliant Dead Birds. It is one of those addictions impossible to shrug off with the track from its anthemic rhythmic entrance stamping its authority over ears and excitement, crowding and preying on the senses with primal riffs and vocal voracity. It is just one of the structures ready to subjugate the passions, a heavy intensity laden consumption taking its sizeable portion of the adventure under its control just as firmly as the underlying but easily detectable excitable grooves have their appealing say.

   The four second Trio du Bûcheron comes next and there really is little to say about it. Neither working as an intro nor making any impact being so short, it is just there before both Cholestérol and Chloroforme cast their severity over ears. The first is another merciless gorging of the senses with piggish vocals, hellish rhythms, and a sonic weave of skilled enterprise igniting the otherwise pleasing if underwhelming song, in comparison to previous maelstroms. Its successor is similar in its presence, formidable and undeniably impressively crafted but failing to spark the same rapture. Nevertheless both keep band and album in solid control before the closing pair of firstly Mosh Test Dummies and the closing Gore On My Snare ensnare ears to inflame responses all over again. The first of the final two initially stalks and stares venomously at its recipient, its approach reserved but only for a deceptive moment as the song soon uncages its sinews and rigorous ingenuity to smother and savage all before its predatory strides. Its companion is pure blistering barbarity, everything from riffs to rhythms and vocals to creativity a masterclass of bloodlusting malevolence. It is demanding physically and emotionally making a scintillating conclusion to a tremendous provocation.

The album comes with recommendations that fans of bands such as Dying Fetus, Cannibal Corpse, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, and Annihilator will get a hot flush from Murder Motel, but we suggest anyone with a lust for inventive and revelling extreme metal will find Dark Century a new best friend.

The self–released Murder Motel is available now @ http://darkcentury.bandcamp.com/album/murder-motel

www.DarkCentury.ca

9/10

RingMaster 19/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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E-Force – The Curse

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For all newcomers to the band, disregard the off putting name and get your claws into one cracking album from E-Force. Though formed in 2001, the band’s moniker has never nestled easily with us but it has not stopped the thrash and heavy metal fusing encounter from lighting up the ears, new album The Curse their most potent aggressor yet. Hailing from Montreal but now France based, E-Force uncages eleven raw abrasing assaults which savage, antagonise, and thrill the ears. It is not an album breaking into new pastures for aggressive metal but certainly one to fire up the passions and imagination of metal fans across multiple genres such its flavoursome exploits.

The band was created by vocalist/bassist Eric Forrest, the frontman of Voivod from 1994 till 2001, a period which included the albums Negatron and Phobos as well as the live release, Voivod Lives. Taking his nickname as the band name, E-Force released debut album Evil Forces in 2003 to strong acclaim from fans and media alike. Relocating to Toulouse soon after, Forrest pulled together a new line-up which continued the emergence of the band; the second album Modified Poison in 2008 also earning eager plaudits for its stronger and more diverse sound. The years has also see the band forge a mighty reputation live, successful tours with the likes of Carpathian Forest, Tsjuder, and Wykked Witch, and acclaimed festival appearances highlights over the years. Now The Curse brings the next potent rampage of the band; Forrest alongside new guitarist XAV and returning drummer KROF with contributions from special guests Glen Drover (Megadeth, King Diamond), Kristian Niemann (Therion), Vincent Agar (Yotangor), bringing forth the caustic breath of the band’s live aggression to drive a new creative riot on the senses.

The concept album which takes its premise from the power and temptation of, and obsession with, the female race, makes a portentous E-Force - The Curseentrance through the brief Invitation. Its atmosphere is soaked in warning whilst a seductive female teases and lays bait to expose the weakness of man. The track is pushed aside by the following Perverse Media, riffs and rhythms immediately ascending upon the ears with a voracious hunger and combative urgency. The vocals of Forrest are equally as confrontational making for a strong and solid start, but it is just an initial lure which is soon given to greater appeal by ravenous grooves and scything twists of adventure. The track turns into a formidable predator, an aggressor which teases and intimidates throughout leaving appetite and pleasure ablaze.

The virulent temptress that is Witch Wrk steals attention next; riffs an abrasing incitement framed by a rhythmic rabidity which is controlled but rapacious. There is a gnawing pressure from the song which never relinquishes its appealing persistence whilst vocally again the delivery is soaked in a causticity to match the antagonism of the sounds. The potent bestial contagion of the encounter is matched by Serpent’s Kiss, its distinctly different temptation just as carnally insistent and masterful. From weaving seductive sonic enterprise the track brawls with the senses but again with a control which is more of a stalking beast than an unbridled storm. Continually twisting its body and gait the track, just as the album, evolves into a killer proposition over each provocation taken; both only increasing their rigorous and irresistible strength with each assault.

Both Awakened and Psyclone keep the intensity and impressive levels on full throttle, the first an inventive scourge of guitar and bass ravishing driven by the irrepressible charge of the drums whilst the second discovers a more insidiously addictive lure to entwine around ears and imagination, the track lashing the senses whilst simultaneously rewarding with dramatic hooks and infection drenched grooves, every second a tempestuous and powerfully compelling intrusion. Again both songs take a while to conquer the passions but subsequently neither leaves them idle or lacking fire in the engine room.

The instantly intriguing and exploratory Devoured fires up the passions next, its opening the prelude to the most inventive and imaginative track yet with the band infusing their thrash cored maelstrom with even broader veins of groove and melodic metal with a blackened majesty. The track ripples and pulsates with a barbarous beauty whilst the guitar casts a mesmeric and skilled web around the explosive confrontation. It is outstanding showing the depth to the band’s endeavour and potential still unrealised, a potency examined again in varying detail by the scourge like Mass Deception and the irresistible Your Beloved Hate, the latter’s opening bass call a trap of addiction, its bait easily backed by the finely carved grooves and hungry predation of the song.

The penultimate track Infexxxous unveils a virulent nagging to recruit attention and appetite before forging its own specific rampancy and enslavement of the senses with the unrelenting craft and creative fertility of the band. The second half of The Curse is the most inventive and imaginative with the first clutch of tracks on the album besieging the listener, caging their submission before stretching the ideation and resourcefulness with the following horde of persuasions as evidenced by the insatiable final song The Curse Of The Cunt. Concluding the album in exhausting sadistic style with plenty of blood soaked colour, E-Force leave satisfaction and enjoyment bloated. The Curse may not be the most original album to be let loose this year but it sure is one of the most invigorating.

The Curse is available via Mausoleum Records now.

https://www.facebook.com/eforceoffical

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kill Ritual – The Eyes Of Medusa

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Having been thrilled and impressed by their debut album The Serpentine Ritual in 2012 and more than intrigued by the single Harder Than Stone earlier than this year, anticipation was high for the sophomore full-length from US metallers Kill Ritual. Though it probably took longer than its predecessor to fully convince, needing a more intensive attention and time discovering all of its twists and compelling turns, The Eyes Of Medusa easily feeds expectations and hopes with its inventive and diverse flavouring. The album is one which continues the band’s skilled fusion of thrash and heavy metal with a wealth of fiery additives as shown by their debut but pushes a wider imaginative adventure upon this potent canvas. There are moments where success ebbs and flows a little within the release but it is an unrelenting captivation which even in its less potent moments is never far away from igniting the imagination and a very healthy appetite.

Kill Ritual was formed in 2010 by Imagika guitarist Steve Rice and drummer Wayne DeVecchi, who continued their union to explore and push on the music they were already working on before the demise of the band. The line-up was soon completed by the addition of former Eldritch guitarist Roberto Proietti, former Dark Angel bassist Danyael Williams, and vocalist Josh Gibson. Released through Scarlet Records, the band’s brew of progressive and classic essences with a thrash driven core caught immediate attention through The Serpentine Ritual, a release which was unpredictable and compelling from start to finish. Unleashed by now a quartet of drummer Gee Anzalone (Brain Damage) alongside, Rice, Gibson, and Williams, The Eyes Of Medusa is much the same; whether an acceleration of its predecessor’s triumph is still in debate but certainly it is a release which stands by its side in quality, surprises, and enjoyment.

Mastering by Rice and Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Hammerfall, InFlames), and produced by Rice, the GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music kill_ritual_The_Eyes_Of_Medusareleased album steals the passions instantly through its opening title track, the entrance of the song through a wonderfully nagging lure of jagged repetitious riffs immediate magnetism especially with the subsequent fall of heavy rhythms and dark throated bass strikes. The additional emerging web of melodic temptation only steals a richer intrigue before the proposition unleashes a charge of thrash bred voracity. The track surges with sinews flailing air and intent ravaging senses whilst vocally Gibson parades a strong and varied display which matches the equally eventful and resourceful narrative of the song. It is an impressive invitation into the album, guitars a fluid colour of imagination and craft across a canvas of hungry rhythms and riffing which highlights further the eloquence, raw power, and striking invention of the offering.

The following Hair Trigger struggles to match the stunning start though it still leaves a satisfaction which keeps attention and appetite fully locked into the release’s grip. A classic/power metal spine thrusts the track urgently through the ear, its thrash intent similarly loud and enveloping but the spark of ingenuity which veined the first is less vocal thus feeding expectations more. Despite that with another great vocal diversity to his presence Gibson alongside the guitar of Rice light the senses and emotions to please with a more than accomplished slab of muscle bound rock ‘n’ roll. Its successor Never Get Me is much the same, a very decent and engaging slice of metallic persuasion presented with the expected craft and enterprise of Kill Ritual but lacking that essence of originality and ingenuity which ignited the album’s start and much more of its body to come.

Ride Into The Night is prime heavy metal and like the previous pair satisfies but fails to light any fire in the belly of itself and the passions before The Eyes Of Medusa launches into a greater inventive turn to return to its earlier glory. Weight Of The World slams headfirst into ears with a storm of thumping rhythms, snarling riffs, and an intensive breath. Grooves entwine their infectious tempting around a reawakened hunger, lacing the ears with addictive bait matched in success by the again impressive range of vocal styles, the spoken dark tones irresistible, and a sonic enticement which sends sparks across air and senses. Virulently contagious the track has the pulse rate racing ready for the equally rapacious Writing On The Wall, a track which stands tall with vivacious rhythms framing sonic flames and rich melodic hues. It is a thoroughly captivating rampancy which throws an enthralling curve ball as the song flirts with gothic shadows and progressive textures whilst exploring its roaring imagination.

The seeming power ballad premise of Just Another Sin reinforces the wide songwriting skills of the band with its emerging predatory sound and carnivorous energy before My Little Sister provides the album with another pinnacle. A tempest of raw and dirty rock ‘n’ roll fed with an antagonistic metallic rabidity, the track stomps and seduces with old school breath and thrash voracity tempered and enhanced by melodic metal temptation. Veined by inescapable hooks and a barbed rhythmic slavery, it is a masterful capture showing the band as capable of rock pop as unbridled thrash consumption.

The album ends with another couple of triumphs to make it a must investigation of 2014, the first Unleashed employing the mix of darkly spoken vocals and scorched clean delivery again to great effect and persuasion within a similarly convincing antagonism of hard rock and heavy metal filtered by the aggressive skill which makes Kill Ritual a constantly rewarding protagonist. As the album, the guitar skill and enterprise of Rice seduces as does the impressive vocal variety and strength whilst rhythmically Anzalone and Williams makes an irrepressible cage. Final song Agenda 21 is our favourite, its sinister presence and continually changing character of sound scintillating. From a mix of Anthrax and ArcticFlame, the track turns into a bestial demon before another twist sees a funked up blaze with essences of Suicidal Tendencies to it, at times a more Infectious Grooves infestation thrilling. It is a glorious stomp with grinning mischief and insatiable ingenuity running riot across its creative and riveting body.

    The Eyes Of Medusa is another tremendous exploit from Kill Ritual which warrants close attention to its plentiful bounty as it provides a sizeable treat.

http://www.facebook.com/KillRitual

http://www.killritual.com

8/1o

RingMaster 04/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Harlott – Origin

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Thrash for us is one of those genres where originality is not always the key to the strongest excitement and satisfaction, certainly it is an added bonus but seemingly more of a rarity these days it. Australian band Harlott does not exactly buck that trend but with a certain twenty first century adventure and imagination to their 80’s Bay Area influenced ferocity, they definitely bring something feistily refreshing to the table. To be honest even if they were lacking that extra ingredient, such the voracious sound and contagious excellence of their debut album Origin long term fandom to their scintillating presence would be a given. It is an adrenaline driven blaze of metal bred rock ‘n’ roll, an exhausting and breath-taking rapaciousness which clads old school seeded fury with modern day enterprise for a distinctly exhilarating and feverishly rewarding riot.

Hailing from Melbourne, Harlott has built a strong presence and reputation within the city’s metal scene, their sound, energy, and live presence urging a strong and fevered fan base. Two EPs, Virus and None in 2011 and 2012 respectively, added to their emerging stature but it was the release of debut album Origin in the November of last year which brought the band to a wider attention, into a spotlight which caught the ears of Italian label Punishment 18 Records who subsequently approached the band. The result was Harlott signing with one of Europe’s most exciting thrash and metal labels and the release of their album this week across Europe and North America.

Origin takes no more than a few seconds to ignite ears and an appetite for the band’s sound with its title track, guitar bait drawing attention HarlottCoverinto the waiting predatory clutches of drummer Dan Van Twest and the ravenous riffery of Andrew Hudson and Ryan Butler. With the bass of Tom Richards adding another throat of intimidation to the mix, the track shrugs off any tethers and begins a stirring rampage across the passions with an intensive rhythmic battering and almost carnal riffing. The vocals of Hudson are just as eager as the sounds, riding their charge with clean but growling tones backed just as impressively by those of Richards. The song stomps and lurches from one memorable post to another, nothing spectacularly ground breaking or unique to the history of the genre but with a more explosively contagious and irresistibly anthemic stance than any thrash release has arguably presented in a long while.

It is impossible not to think of the likes of Testament, Exodus, and even Slayer as the opener and following Effortless Struggle alone light up thoughts but only as references as Harlott taken those seeds and grown something decidedly of their own making. The second song on the album drives with an even harder and uncompromising intensity strapped to an equally ferocious energy; rhythms and riffs gnawing ears and senses whilst the meaner predatory flavour of the vocals incites intimidation and badgering accusations. The track is a torrent of skilled aggression and merciless provocation, a demanding treat speared as its predecessor by some impressive solo guitar sculpting, a design the following Ballistic breeds its irrepressible hostility from also. Similar on structure and tone to the previous track, it manages to slip pass assumptions with a side step of melodic flames and a virulently contagious rabidity in energy and passion.

To be honest such the immense start if the rest of Origin had been a disaster, waxing lyrical about the band was still on the cards but there was little chance of that happening as proven by Heretic and Export Life, the first a ridiculously addictive furnace of rhythmic bewitchment from Van Twest skirted by scorching flames of sonic tempting and destructive riffery and the second a more measured but no less insatiable confrontation. As with many of the tracks there is an almost hardcore/punk causticity to the song, slightly in the vocals and definitely in the sheer maliciousness which breaks through more than occasionally. Both tracks are blessed and spiked by mouthwatering guitar invention and colouring, the album presenting some of the best dramatic but reined in solos heard in recent times.

Hierophobia makes an emotive entrance through a lone melody crafting guitar, breaking the more formula starts to encounters so far, though it is soon urged on its way by another avalanche of esuriently imposing riffing and menacing rhythms. The track is soon surging with break neck speed and impossibly catchy grooves whilst vocally Hudson and Richards hit their finest moment singularly and combined, though they never disappoint anywhere. The song closes as it began bringing a moment to breath before Kill and Infernal Massacre rampage with their turbos and skilful animosity in top gear. As the pair uncages their individual might and magnificence neck muscles are beginning to show signs of wear but even after numerous plays, Origin is not a proposition to take a break from or stop before its conclusion. So with teeth bared, much like the attack of Van Twest, the outstanding Regression is allowed its pound of flesh. Masterful rhythmic bait is laid first before the guitars hold a tempered check to their still hungrily pressing touch. The song twists with a classic metal lilt to some of its suasion though never veering from the compelling confines of the thrash intent. Arguably the most diverse and inventive song on the album, the encounter offers more proof of those aspects of Harlott which sets them apart more than enough from most others.

A powerfully assertive tempest of thrash turbulence with vocal and melodic intensity hits next under the title of Virus, the exceptional track flinging itself from the linking sonic spike between it and its predecessor across already tender synapses with acrid sonic toxins and barbarous argumentation. It is another onslaught which steals its fair share of the passions, as does the just as truculently dynamic Ultra Violence and the closing Not Long for This World, one final vigorous anthem of crusading thrash metal. It brings to an end without doubt one of the most rigorously enjoyable and exhausting albums of the last twelve to eighteen months. Yes Origins is not forging new avenues for trash metal to explore but Harlott gives the scene an explosive new shot in the arm and that is more than enough for us.

http://www.harlott.com.au/

http://harlottmetal.bandcamp.com/album/origin

9.5/10

RingMaster 31/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Endless Chaos – Rejected Atrocity EP

 

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    Unveiling their introduction through a three track ravishment which simple devours the senses, Canadian metallers Endless Chaos have announced themselves upon the world in impressive style. Forging an inventively refreshing blend of blackened thrash with death metal, the Winnipeg based quintet take little time raising a greedy appetite for their incendiary sound through the Rejected Atrocity EP. Simultaneously the promise drenched fury also ignites a major anticipation for further things to come from the intensive band, expectations of even greater triumphs a hard to resist thought taking the premise of the outstanding debut from the band.

     With a presence and sound which embraces chaos and enterprise in equal depths, Endless Chaos has forged a formidable reputation through their live performances which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skeletonwitch, 3 Inches of Blood, Wretched, Aborted, Toxic Holocaust, and Kataklysm to great success and acclaim. The next step on their emerging domination of local and further afield metal scenes comes with their first EP, a released inspired by classic horror movie Re-Animator, a film which is definitely akin to the unbridled lust of their creativity. The self-released, Ryan Forsyth produced, Rejected Atrocity is a teaser and taster of things to come from the band, in the words of Jordan Dorge, the EP will “give you the best taste of what’s to come of Endless Chaos,” the vocalist going on to say “When we were writing these songs, we really took in everything we love about death, thrash and black metal and incorporated it into Endless Chaos.”

    The title track violates the senses first, rampaging riffs and pummelling rhythms an instant assault. Within the torrent of sonic abuse the guitars of Mike Menza and Mike Toews also unleash a twisting irresistible clutch of grooves and hooks to immediately seduce the imagination, their potent bait a bewitching and similarly lethal distraction from the carnivorous rhythms uncaged by drummer James Burton and bassist Jeff Humarang. It is a breath-taking and riveting web of intrigue and devastation from the opening second, the thrash driven ferocity speared and veined by the some of the richest compelling craft and imagination heard in a long time from a thrash/death tempest. The vocals of Dorge parade a vitriolic squall as intimidating as the sounds and invention at work, his slight variation in delivery enough to leave satisfaction ripe and song enhanced as well as listener blissful.

     The scintillating start is soon matched by the following Sacrificial Ritual, it a bestial consumption cored by serpentine vocal malevolence, unpredictable spite, and a maze of ingenious adventure sculpted by the continuing to impress technical craft and vindictive imagination of the band. Like its predecessor, the song is unafraid to launch into unexpected and bold detours whilst the guitars again carve a sonic sculpture which scars and invigorates the senses. The bass of Humarang brings an even throatier predation to the cyclone of malice whilst Burton simply splinters bone and synapse with a continued display of skill and aggression.

   The closing Condemned to the Pit drives at the jugular with its thrash bred energy and sinews crushing all before whilst rhythmically the track batters and concusses with hungry rabidity. As with all the songs, the onslaught is only half of the picture. The track reaches its mid-point and seemingly takes a step back to survey the damage, rhythms still plundering and provoking but sonically the song relaxes somewhat. It is a mere moment in time though as the feverish ferocity is soon letting its death/thrash rage and expertise off the reins to bring the unquenchable storm to a staggering close.

The Rejected Atrocity EP is just exceptional, a must have impressive and towering debut to inject real excitement into the world of metal. It sparks, without reserve, the belief that Endless Chaos will be not only a prolifically important joy ahead but one which will help take thrash, death, and metal itself into new mouthwatering realms.

https://www.facebook.com/endlesschaoss

http://endlesschaos1.bandcamp.com/album/rejected-atrocity

10/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kayser – Read Your Enemy

 

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    With a sound as cantankerous as it is compelling, Swedish metallers Kayser unleash their third album, Read Your Enemy, an encounter primed to ignite the imagination and emotions. Sculpting a tempest of modern metal with a thrash/heavy metal breeding, the band reaffirms their presence in a land of generally more blackened and deathly exploits. Released via Listenable Records, the album is a thoroughly riveting blaze of rapacious energy and invention which simultaneously sounds familiar and new as it stirs up the passions.

   Kayser was formed in 2004 by vocalist Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand (ex-Spiritual Beggars, ex-The Mushroom River Band), guitarist Mattias Svensson (also The Defaced), drummer Bob Ruben (ex The Mushroom River Band), and guitarist Fredrik Finnander, and were soon grabbing attention with their raucous live performances and equally muscular sound. Their second year saw debut album Kaiserhof followed in 2006 by The Good Citizen EP and second album Frame The World…Hang It On The Wall, all well-received and bringing greater attention upon the band in a time which also saw a change in personnel. With a line-up of guitarist Jokke Pettersson (ex-Poseidon) and bassist Emil “Ewil” Sandin alongside Sjöstrand, Svensson, and Ruben, the Helsingborg quintet has continued to build and expand their reputation and sound, shows with the likes of Volbeat, Blinded Collony and Ektomorph across countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Czech Republic increasing the intensity of the spotlight growing upon them. Read your Enemy is the next formidable venture in their strong ascent, a proposition which cements the band as one exciting provocateur of intensive metal.

    The album takes little time in seizing control of ears and attention, the entrance of opener Bark and Bow an enticing single KayserCoverguitar beckoning soon immersed in a brewing ominous atmosphere. Whilst it is taking hold riffs are revving up their engines to strike from within the embrace in tandem with firm rhythms. Now into its forceful yet restrained stride the track is soon graced by the great grizzled clean tones of Sjöstrand, his delivery expressive and intimidating to complement the similar attentive sounds. This eager charge is insatiable until wonderfully tempered by a breath taking melodic moment wrapped in acidic flames before reasserting its full fire again to mesh with the distinct skill of the guitars. There are many comparisons laid alongside the band but as this and subsequent tracks toy with the imagination thoughts of Bloodsimple are the strongest.

   The excellent start is soon surpassed by the brilliant Bring Out the Clown, an insatiable rampage of thrash and heavy metal with a plethora of groove metal temptation. With rhythms taking chunks out of the senses whilst again Pettersson and Svensson savage and seduce with every note expelled, the encounter ignites body and soul with its contagious toxicity, a virulence shared by the following I’ll Deny You. Again its presence is a towering pressure and presence which baits its weight with infectious grooves, bold hooks, and submission stealing rhythms, all under the leadership of the continuing to impress narrative of Sjöstrand. Unafraid to twist its body with a feminine wantonness, the track easily sets a new plateau for the album from its already lofty heights.

    Dreams Bent Clockwise steps up next, immediately chewing the ear with its hungry riffs and crisp rhythms. A core groove soon has its claw into the psyche and passions, the band using its drilling to wrap melodic endeavour and fiery sonic spite around the imagination and though the track is unable to match its predecessor, it still leaves an awakened appetite for the album hungrier. The mid-way slip into a tender melodic passage does cause eye brows to rise; it is a surprising and accomplished move as well as very enjoyable but the transition does not quite work to leave uncertainties which the song admittedly overcomes with ease.

     The tile track thrusts the album back to its highest peak straight after, its predacious rabidity in riffs and rhythms matched by the vocal assault and the emerging carnivorous throatiness of the guitars and their ravenous presence. The diversity within songs and the eagerness of the band to raise a middle finger to predictability ignites the imagination as well as the songs themselves, this track one prime example as it excels and bloats satisfaction with every scything chord and fascinating idea. It is an enthralling trait which Almost Home employs next to the full too, the blend of melodic flames and bestial intimidation a senses and thought engulfing tempestuous adventure.

      It is unfair to say that Read Your Enemy is an album of two halves but certainly from here on in the release fails to live up to what came before though much is down to the quality of the earlier songs and not the lack of invention and craft in the latter stages, as shown by Where I Belong and He Knows Your Secrets. The first of the pair seduces and plagues the ears alternatively with skilled suasion and animosity but lacks the spark to really turn on the passions whilst its successor lays down appealing grooves and heavy duty aggressive riffery but again is unable to spark the same greedy desires.

    Nevertheless the album continues to feed and hold a keen attentiveness as the likes of the combative Forever in Doubts and the similarly feisty Carve the Stone expel their particular contentious. Using these two as an example, the uniqueness which marks out the earlier songs seems missing whilst the tracks have a relatively similar presence, certainly on the surface layers of their presence. The final two captivating tracks, Roll the Dice and The Fake Rose, are much the same but as all still provide a stormy treat which suffices the hunger, the skill of the band individually and united mouthwatering. To put the difference into context, every part of the album leaves most other recent releases from heavy metal cored bands pale in comparison, just some songs more potently than others.

     Wrapped in fine artwork from Timo Wuerz, Read Your Enemy is a transfixing adventure feeding any wants and though arguably it could have been even better, maybe a modern classic, it is close enough to thrust Kayser to the frontline of modern metal with a traditional heart.

http://www.kaysertheband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Kaysertheband

8.5/10

RingMaster 04/03/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Prematory – Corrupting Influence

 

PrematoryBand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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9/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

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Jesus Christ – We Will Fight

Jesus Christ

    We Will Fight is one of those releases which maybe fails to live up to its potential but is fuelled by such a rich promise that you suspect its creators will find greater success in the future. The eight track debut album from Russian metallers Jesus Christ is a riotous confrontation with plenty to enjoyably satisfy the appetite, a brawl of thrash metal with healthy heavy metal expression which more often than not fires up the imagination. It is certainly a flawed adventure unleashed by the band but one which compensates with songs which treats with inventive passion drenched storms.

    Hailing from Nizhny Novgorod, the band began in 2011 with two guitarists, Max Shcheglov and Sergei Morozov. Soon joined by vocalist Andrei Mironov, who had just resigned from the armed forces, the trio set about writing and honing thrash driven songs whilst looking for a drummer, a position filled by Sabbath. The following year saw a change in the line-up with a vacancy for a guitarist being taken by Garnov Ruslan and also the addition of bassist Dmitry Ilaltdinov to the band. From a debut show with local thrashers Resurrection, Headcrushers, and Exaloud, the quintet earned a fine reputation for their performances and sound going on to share stages with the likes of Brazilian bands Astafix and Harllequin. From there they turned their attention to recording their first album, the self-released We Will Fight.

     The album starts off impressively with the instrumental March of Jesus, a track which turns through a classical bred piano beckoning into an expressive and superbly crafted charge of melodic and sonic imagination. Though the production, as across the whole of the album, is not always the most flattering to the skilled charm and invention of the sounds, the track is an enthralling and incendiary treat for the emotions; one not quite matched by the following tempest The Deadmen Attack. Immediately aggressive and openly thrash bred, the song steals easy attention with towering riffs and a violent rhythmic persuasion. Again because of the production the air around the flair of the band is too smothering and cloudy, stealing the deserved clarity of the individual and united quality of the members though the vocals survives that detriment. Mironov provides a varied attack, ranging from hardcore through to classic heavy metal wails which are not as pleasing and successful, though that is just because of personal preference to be honest. With good sonic seduction to the solo and an ever contagious ring to the riffs, the track makes a more than decent full welcome to the encounter.

     Eternal War steps up next with a deeper carnivorous growl to the bass amidst classically spawned riffs, a tone the song provides across many of its aspects within a thrash cultivated provocation. Less urgent and rabid than its predecessor and similarly less commanding on thoughts and emotions, the song still makes for a steady and pleasing proposition if failing to ignite any real hunger for its arguably messy but at times inventive presence. Traitor is a more controlled and ultimately thrilling antagonist in comparison, the bass again standing out alongside the potency of the guitars and their adventure. Riffs consistently scowl across the ears as rhythms swipe chunks out of the senses, their aligned attack rabid and magnetic defying the production and again less striking but generally capable vocals. It is the best moment of the EP to that point showing a good depth of that potency and promise mentioned at the start.

     The ravenous attack of Ahead makes a promising case for the song from the first moments and continues to light the ears with its Megadeth influenced predation, a core appeal which never loses its lure amongst the fluctuating vocals and restrictive production. Its departure brings in the excellent Revolution Now, the forty three second instrumental an infection of rhythmic temptation and vocal intrigue wrapped in a restrained but enticing melodic conspiracy. As to its purpose it is hard to say but not a question to linger over such its exciting inclusion before Blind Humanity expels its blaze of thrash ferocity and the closing title track scorches senses and atmosphere with its own incendiary energy and attitude. Both songs hold a similarity which does not work against them, with certainly the last offering a great vein of exploratory invention winding in and out of the raging causticity. They both provide the strongest moments of the album after that great brief interlude, bringing the album to an impressive and invigorating conclusion.

     We Will Fight does have issues but provides an undeniable quality from the band and a promise in sound to leave an open welcome for the band in the future, the next meeting with Jesus Christ you feel being something to eagerly anticipate if they resolve the negatives here.

http://jesuschrist8.bandcamp.com/

7/10

RingMaster 21/02/2014

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Def-Con-One – II

 

      Def-Con-One

    Bawling inventively in the face whilst being driven by a constant fury which simply exhausts and exhilarates the senses, II the new album from UK metallers Def-Con-One, is one of those riveting muscular scourges you just cannot get enough of. It is fair to say that the band employs well ingrained flavours and styles across its riotous body but with a flair and imagination which sets them and the release apart from most. It is a thrilling adventure which rarely leaves you wishing for more in any particular song and constantly has the emotions beaming broadly under the creative onslaught.

     Hailing from Newcastle, the quartet of vocalist Davey Meikle, guitarist Johnny Hunter, bassist Steve Miller, and drummer Antton Lant (ex- Venom and Mpire Of Evil and the brother of Venom frontman Conrad Lant) brew up a sound which merges thrash and groove metal to name just two of their rich spices, into a maelstrom of ferocious enterprise and fierce imagination. II follows the critically acclaimed Warface of 2012, a release which thrust the band into a certain hungry spotlight not found by the band’s 2008 self-released Blood Soaks the Floor, a release which has been seemingly passed over with II described as the bands second full-length. The new provocation reinforces the success of its predecessor whilst unleashing a greater maturity and invention to its striding predation. The band has been described by the organizers of renowned Bloodstock Open Air festival as ‘a bar fight between Machine Head, Slayer and Pantera’ and in many ways that still fits except that the inventiveness and tempest of styles driving the new album has increased and expanded to bounteous new depths.

   The Scarlet Records, who the band signed with before Warface, released rage instantly unleashes its full strength and animositySC 235-2 DEF-CON-ONE the moment the first full breath of H8 Ball hits the ears. Jagged riffs and thumping rhythms are soon splintering cartilage in the opener, a djent savagery riling up the senses whilst the vocals of Meikle switch between clean rock and squalling antagonism in the midst of the continually evolving sonic rabidity. By the halfway point the song has teased thoughts with essences of American Head Charge, Alice In Chains, and Meshuggah, though all merely loud winds in a storm all Def-Con-One. It is a scintillating beginning to the album which immediately slams it up another gear with Broke. An unavoidable Pantera comparison wraps the opening seconds of the song remaining across the whole of its mouthwatering stretch, grooves and rhythmic battering as contagious and magnetic as the expressive vocals and sinew parading riffs equally inciting the juices. As the track, like many on the album, rummages in thoughts and emotions you do feel you know the provocation before it spreads each moment of its narrative but are left satisfaction drenched as everything comes in a uniquely different guise to any waiting expectation.

    The following Soul Possessed is the next on the continuing ascent of the release, its opening melodic caress aligned to clean vocals an appealing but deceptive invitation refusing to hint at the ferocious tsunami of imagination and intensity to follow. The invention of the song comes with an electrified voracity, it’s twisting through straight on corrosive metal into nu and groove lit thrash vivacity irresistible. The track throughout its inventive carnage never settles into more than a few moments of any one direction resulting in a persistently intriguing rampage with imaginative flexibility in its sound and stylish enterprise.

    Both Scarred For Life and Debt To Society were destined to slip below the new plateau set by the previous song but only just miss its lip with the first a breath-taking adrenaline fired torrent of thrash and heavy metal whilst its successor wires veins of southern metal into a ravenous brawl of groove fed heavy metal . The pair feed the already greedy hunger for the album with a full meal of craft and aggressive passion whilst the next up Skinhead Shaped Dent swerves and seduces the listener with a caustic fire of grunge inspired punk aligned to a commanding web of rapacious grooves to raise the stakes. At this point the album can and does no wrong, and whilst that familiarity to other things is never far away it only enlivens the irresistible toxicity of the band’s enterprise.

     The pair of Need A Reason  and Die Again provide the first undulation in the course of the release, the first an intoxicating ear devouring stomp of contagious and at times venomously sonic rabidity whilst the second is a slow meandering slice of classically spawned metal which fails to rise to previous heights. It is to be honest a well-crafted and satisfying piece of songwriting but just does not ferment in the imagination and passions anywhere like the potency of the previous songs. That slight dip though is soon addressed by Damned Disgrace where the already carnivorous bass sound of Miller is at its most primal, and the closing Drag Me To Hell, a rhythmic agitation of pure infection and bestial riffery which leaves the senses sore and blissful. The final track concludes the album as impressively as it started; a lingering last intrusive splinter of ravaging to ignite the passions.

   To be over critical you could accuse II of not being unique enough in many ways to other bands, though there are few fusing as many facets of metal as inventively and successfully as Def-Con-One does. The truth is that when the album emerges as one of the most enjoyable favourites so far this year, certainly for us, giving the strongest fattest satisfaction, who really cares?

http://def-con-one.tripod.com/

9/10

RingMaster 16/02/2014

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Chaos – Violent Redemption

chaos

    Steamrollering the senses with a tsunami of ravenous riffery and adrenaline charged predation, Indian thrashers Chaos reinforce the fact that the band’s homeland metal scene is one of the most exciting adventures to be explored with debut album Violent Redemption. Eleven tracks of insatiable high octane thrash metal brought with hungry craft and contagious energy, the Trivandrum, Kerala hailing quintet ignite the ears and passions with a blaze of old school/Bay Area thrash ferocity. Whether there is much new going on with their first full-length can be debated but for full-on impressive and exhilarating metal, band and release are simply scintillating incitement.

    Rampaging around India for around a decade without finding that opening to wider recognition beyond their home borders, Chaos has earned a strong reputation and following in their underground scene. Their first demo EP in 2009, also called Violent Redemption marked the band out as an intensive force but with their album you feel, with that bit of luck and fortune all bands need, a widespread awareness is poised to envelop their thrilling confrontation. The double award winning band cast their sound with a thick influence from the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Pantera, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Motherjane, Anthrax, and Testament in its voracious hunger and intensity. You can hear much of those flavours throughout the album which raises the lack of originality question to proceedings but used as a broad and inventive swipe in their enterprise, Chaos turns the familiarity into an addiction forging weapon in their creative armoury.

     The opening atmospheric intro Ungodly Hour is a haunting and sinister embrace giving little away to newcomers of what is to coverbe unleashed. The wait to find out is minimal though as barely a minute later Torn thrusts its muscular presence through the ears, riffs gnawing waspishly on the senses whilst rhythms punch and jab with precision and controlled rabidity. It is an immediately tempting assault, one soon energised further by the excellent vocals and melodic sonic endeavour searing the walls of the rapacious provocation. Neck muscles do not take long to start aching from the intensive response to the song’s virulent lures whilst emotions are enflamed by the anthemic call and unbridled contagion of the track.

    The immense start is instantly backed up by both Game and War Crime, the first a snarling beast of a track with explosive rhythmic jaws clamping down hard on the senses for the riffs and sonic adventure which breaks out to savage and score the imagination respectively. Three hungry minutes of prime energised thrash stalking, the song is a mouthwatering tsunami of intent and intensity matched by the equally raucous and infectiously fuelled second of the two. The almost whining essence to the grooves and riffs licks the passions into a feverish appetite whilst rhythmically and vocally the band just incites further greed for more of the same. As with most songs the solo design is striking and unpredictable whilst at times testing the limits of its place in the larger scheme of the track. Chaos though has the intelligence and ingenuity to merge it all into a narrative which rips attention and affirmation from the emotions its way each and every time.

     Saint pounds and stalks the ears with a low swinging swagger littered with irrepressible grooves and uncompromising beats. The group calls behind the again excellent delivery of vocalist JK soak the track in another almost call-to-arms temptation whilst the bass groan is a wonderful dark menace within a weave of melodic flames and sonic invention. As across all songs though it is the thrash sculpted stomping which steals an unreserved submission to what is on offer, a potent bait replicated throughout Violent Redemption in individual incendiary guises such as that of Heaven’s Gate, a song which steals the passions with an enthralling blend of Anthrax like revelry and Rob Zombie bred devilry with more than a whisper of Motherjane to the melodic craft and elegance which has its say too.

     Blacklash and Merchant of Death keep the dosage of high quality and intensively persuasive thrash enterprise hectically consuming the senses, the first with a breath-taking Metallica meets Down vivacity and the second through a creative maelstrom which seduces and gnaws the ears simultaneously whilst twisting in some of the most imaginative ideas and exploits on the album. Both leave that early hunger slavering whilst the esuriently riffing Self Deliverance and the outstanding and blistering imaginative storm of Cyanide Salvation send it and passions into a new lustful satisfaction.

    Completed by its title track, a furious unbridled juggernaut of thrash antagonism, Violent Redemption is an unashamed and exhaustive furnace of old school thrash. Putting aside the very slight issue of not offering anything truly new, Chaos has unleashed an album which does everything right and to the most virulently contagious levels. It is up there with the best genre releases over the past twelve months or so but we would suggest leads the way in providing the strongest pleasure and thrills. It is exceptional stuff with go check it and Chaos out our parting recommendation.

https://www.facebook.com/chaosindia

10/10

RingMaster 04/02/2014

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