Hellish Outcast – Stay of Execution

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Simultaneously a tsunami of organic hostility and premeditated intimately defined brutality, Stay of Execution from Norwegian metallers Hellish Outcast is quite simply one of the finds of the year. Not that the Bergen quartet are real newcomers, the band has been tearing up the local underground scene since 2001 and making a potent announcement of intent with debut album Your God Will Bleed two years ago. Their new album though is a whole new murder-pit of creative antagonism and majesty from the band, a rhythmically crippling and sonically ravishing destruction and seduction of the senses. Described as thrash/death metal, their sound is so much more than that limiting tag, the album inescapable evidence of a vicious and scintillating tapestry of varied flavours and styles picked apart and used as weaponry in one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed by guitarist Martin Legreid, bassist Mads Mowinckel (Breed), and drummer Mads Lilletvedt (Solstorm, ex-Byfrost), Hellish Outcast as mentioned was swiftly an attention grabbing and growing force in the Norwegian underground scene. 2006 saw the release of the demo Release You from Their Soil, and two years later came the unleashing of the Raping – Killing – Murder EP which drew keen and favourable attention on a wider scale. The addition of vocalist Thebon (ex-Keep Of Kalessin) in 2010 helped trigger a new twist and attitude in their already visceral sound, a spark ensuring Your God Will Bleed was well-received by a more potent spotlight . Stay of Execution takes it all to another level though, the expanse and maturity in sound and songwriting as marked as the greater insatiable brutality accompanying it. It is an album which tears senses and psyche asunder whilst serenading them with addiction binding grooves and melodic toxicity. Stay of Execution is exhilarating, rigorously compelling, and a release impossible to get your fill of.

It is fair to say that as soon as an avalanche of riffs and rhythms cascades down on the senses through opener Partition of Lust, the album takes a tight hold of ears and attention. It is an instinctively anthemic lure, the creative artillery of beats from Lilletvedt rigorously enticing bait within which riffs cast their own raw tempting. It is an onslaught which never waivers in its demands and punishing intensity, only increasing its savagery as the malevolent vocal squalls of Thebon explode in the maelstrom of spite. Though there is a repetitive core to the track, it just as grippingly unleashes strong variation in voice and grooving to provide the most hostile and irrepressibly addictive start to the release.

Things only accelerate in persuasion and ingenuity as the following punkish brawl of I Can No Longer See the Sun erupts. The song’s subsequent barbarous body is swiftly drawing on groove and nu-metal tendencies as it dips into the 10653627_10152640278209718_9183828471053285056_ndeath bred corners of muscular animosity. It is a bewitching pillaging of the emotions, at times crooning with melodic and harmonious beauty and in other moments stripping the senses bare with vicious and merciless invention. Its deceptive and thrilling mastery is soon emulated by the lethal breath and inhospitable landscape of Heresiarch, the track a stalking predator but again unafraid to sooth the wounds it’s rhythmic and sonic claws dig with a weave of warm melodies and spellbinding clean vocals. The song is ravenous in its fierce imagination and seductive through the grizzled radiance similarly expelled.

The corrosive rancor of the thrash fuelled Hunter Supreme comes next, its title perfect naming of the exhaustive sound within the predacious enmity masquerading as a song, before a new pinnacle is forged with Gods of Fear. This track is as primal as it is innovative, the opening crawl of riffs and bass intimidation bestial at best and tar thick malevolence at its deepest. It is soon engulfed in another thrash driven tirade of death and groove metal blood lust yet manages to hold a rein on its venom to more taunt the imagination and emotions. Scorched with a blistering solo, the track is a monstrous rancor and virulently infectious.

Leave offers its own outstanding violation next, its entrance a mellower coaxing than anything provided before on the album but also as portentous and menacing as those same companions. With a slow groan of a delivery from Thebon exposing the song’s narrative as at times vocal harmonies magnetically colour the background, there is a Faith No More essence to the brooding incitement, a similarly distinct inventiveness as the track seduces with clean vocals and grizzled snarls musically and lyrically. It is a transfixing treat setting up the listener for the impossibly contagious presence of Machines. With a robust swing to its stride and sonic tenacity to its enthralling enterprise, the track is loaded with a creative rabidity which is pure fascination. A round that is a ferocity which is honed into something controlled but forcibly hungry. The mid-point slip into a stark and dystopian like metallic soundscape does not quite work with personal tastes, mainly for the length it consumes before allowing the severity of the blistering storm to return, but it cannot derail another track from impressively igniting body and passions.

The album’s irresistible title track makes for a distinct and intriguing antagonist next, its winding grooves like sonic ivy entwining the imagination and lingering in grip, before both Morbid Attraction and Torment unveil their destructive and thrilling characters. The first is a nostrils flaring, fist pounding hellacious assault; riffs and rhythms scything and swiping respectively upon the senses with barbaric and deliciously infectious urgency whilst its successor almost glares at the listener with its initial imposing stance before casting a canvas which is as predatory in tone and effect as it is sizzling in unpredictability and melodic imagination. Both tracks, as the whole album throughout, share searing and unique displays of sonic invention from the guitars aligned to exciting vocal variation and an enslaving rhythmic animus. It is a starling blend, which in whatever individual form the combination comes, never loses the band’s almost inimitable touch.

The album comes to an end through the instrumental beauty of The Wait, an acoustic led piece of music which is expressive in melodies and spellbinding in elegance. It finally gives time for breath to be taken within Stay of Execution, though in some ways the senses feel it might have been more useful earlier. The track makes a provocative close to a devastating and mercilessly thrilling release whilst at the same time revealing yet more of the qualities and thoughtful adventure within the band.

Whether Stay of Execution is forging new scenery for extreme metal is a debate which can be argued either side way. It does provide without any doubt though one of the most exciting and refreshing releases this year, pushing Hellish Outcast to the frontline of brutal pleasure.

Stay of Execution is available via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/en/81_hellish-outcast

https://www.facebook.com/HELLISHOUTCAST

RingMaster 22/10/2014

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Chainfist – Scarred

ChainfistBand2

It is fair to say that Danish metallers Chainfist with their new album Scarred, has not ventured too far from the roaring core which made their debut album Black Out Sunday an acclaimed and greedily devoured storm. To that easily agreeable seed though, the quintet has found a bolder, fuller, and melodically driven freshness which makes second full-length and even stronger and gripping proposition. The release still wears the inspirations of thrash metal’s founding fathers openly and proudly on its sinew bulging sleeve but twists them into a new creatively exciting and voracious adventure.

Formed in 2007 by members who have the likes of Infernal Death, Epicenter, Panzerchrist, and Frozen Sun to their pedigree, Chainfist made their first major impression in their homeland and around Europe with Black Out Sunday in 2010, it gaining further recognition when the band signed a management deal with Rock N Growl two years later. It was a release making strong first impressions before growing to be an increasingly persuasive potential soaked thrill. Scarred makes the biggest impression right away, the band fulfilling the promise offered on their debut whilst building a more distinctive presence of sound and invention. There is still not a massive uniqueness about the release but with a melodic emprise and imaginative resourcefulness which inescapably captivates ears and emotions, the album stands as a thoroughly riveting and anthemically powerful proposition.

The Michael Hansen produced and Jacob Hansen (Primal Fear, Volbeat, Anubis Gate, Pretty Maids) mixed and mastered release swiftly grips ears and imagination with the start of opener Scars of time. A lone guitar within a chilled ambience offers a haunted and portentous yet inviting coaxing which soon opens up the door to rugged riffs and thumping beats. It is prime thrash antagonism which gets the blood running urgently through ears and emotions but also carries an infectious swing leading to a rampant chorus. In no time vocalist Jackie Petersen is driving the song to greater ferocity, his clean but welcomingly raw tones backed perfectly by group harmonies whilst the guitars of Michael Kopietz and Thomas Hvisel provide an abrasing and melodically bracing temptation to fire up the senses even more. It is an impressive if not startling start, in comparison to things to come, which sets the tone for the album perfectly.

1000 ways to bleed strides intimidatingly in next, the rhythms of drummer Jesper Heidelbach flirting with hostility whilst bassist Braca Pedersen provides a heavy compelling lure around which vocals and guitars cast their addictive ChainfistScarredCoverdesigns. Less aggressive than its predecessor in some ways and more intimidating in others, the track explores a melody rich but imposing scenery of invention and enterprise before making way for the outstanding Black rebel noise. A spicy groove wraps ears early on before the track finds a swagger to its punchy incitement. There is a definite Volbeat feel to the energy of the song whilst musically and vocally it is hard to look past Metallica and John Bush era Anthrax as references but the track soon develops its own contagious suasion to enslave body and passions.

Both Another day in hell and Poison moon keep the thrills and quality coming, the first bursting from an evocative stormy ambience coloured by a melodic caress of guitar and the continually impressing vocals of Petersen. It subsequently evolves into an emotive reflection which is at ease whether smouldering with melodic calm or raging with virulent hostility. Melodic meets classic heavy metal within a thrash bred predation the track is an unpredictable and impassioned blaze of sound and craft. Its successor goes for the jugular from the start, almost moving in reverse as it brings warm washes of melodies into its unrelenting tempest of intensity and ravenous riffery. It is a striking and richly pleasing provocateur but soon shaded by the next up 10.000. Prowling ears from the start with menacing riffs and brutal beats, the song stalks with tenacious vocals and sonic enticement, guitars spinning a caustic and infection soaked web to bind ears and thoughts. It is a glorious muscular anthem unafraid to explore its more devilish side through toxic addictive hooks and a scorching solo.

Know you hate similarly sets the heart afire with its ridiculously catchy temptation within an aggressive weave of riffs and rhythms. Volbeat again comes to mind whilst also thoughts of Disturbed make their suggestive hints from within the exhilarating slab of addiction. It is not quite matched by Seven minutes of pain, but the following song powerfully lays down a bordering on savage assault of riffs and rhythms which is prone to scythes of sonic intrigue and melodic radiance vocally and musically. It is another song where its infectiousness is irresistible for feet and voice, an aggressive provocative fuel for the passions.

Through the similarly structured and creative Statement, band and album reinforce their potent persuasion whilst Mass frustration provides the most intensive and volatile track on Scarred without neglecting the radiant melodic side of the invention running through the release. It is a powerful encounter which leaves ears on an agitated high for the final acoustic version of Black rebel noise to restore calm and peace to. It is an enjoyable and skilled end to the album but the meat is in the richly flavoursome meal of the previous songs.

Chainfist have moved their sound on to a striking new plateau with their album and it is easy to feel there is still more to come even as impressive as Scarred is. The album confirms the Danes as a major proposition in the making and a thrilling encounter of insatiable metal in the now.

Scarred is available now through Mighty Music @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarred-Chainfist/dp/B00M9JLS06/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412602534&sr=8-1&keywords=chainfist

http://www.chainfist.net/

RingMaster 07/10/2014

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Warstorm – Goatspel

WarstormBand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RingMaster 23/09/2014

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Black Sachbak – No Pay No Gain

no pay no gain cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/BlackSachbak

RingMaster 19/09/2014

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Algebra – Feed the Ego

algebra 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/Algebrathrash

9/10

RingMaster 05/09/2014

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Display of Decay – Outbreak of Infection

BW - promo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.displayofdecay.net/

8.5/10

RingMaster 27/08/2014

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Guilty As Charged – Leap of Faith

BAND guilty as charged

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

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

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

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

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

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

The self-released Leap of Faith is available now.

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

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/08/2014

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